Category Archives: The Seven Signs

Gods of Eldath: Devla

DevlaAnd now it was that Devla, daughter of Light and Shadow, she of the Eternal Cycle and source of life, looked down upon the creation of her husband, Evmir.  “I see your mountains,” said she.  “I see your lakes, your rivers, your storms and snow.  But your creation is not yet whole.”

She hummed first a lullaby, for the world was a babe in the Void.  Devla passed the world thrice through the flame, warming it with the Light of her father.  As her song was hummed to the world, it began to awaken from it’s barren slumber.  All things green and growing rose from the dirt, awakening to her song.

She then went down amongst the mountains, lakes, rivers, and the sea, and everywhere she went, she danced to her wild song.  She swam through the ocean, and all the fish sprang forth from her, to swim alongside.  From there she went to the land, and danced among the fields and forests, giving birth to the beasts of the hunt.  So mad was she with ecstasy for the dance that she rose into the sky, and birds came tumbling from her hair.

She danced for a thousand ages, until all of Eldath was seeded.  It is the reason Devla is called Mistress of Beasts, Lady of the Hunt, the Eternal Mother.  The world was no longer a babe, but had bloomed as the rose in spring.  Now the other gods saw her beauty, and came to give their blessings.

~From The Epic of Creation, stanzas 12-15

 

Gods of Eldath: Evmir

evmirBefore the world was, the aether was formless, without sight or sound.  There was only the Void–black, deep, and unknowable.  For cycle upon cycle, infinite in number, the darkness remained.

There came a time, though, that the great god Light grew restless, and called his wife Shadow to his side.  They danced through the emptiness, and Light took her out in the great expanse.  He filled her with uncountable children, and Shadow gave birth to the stars, each one a child of their union, each with its own name.  The stars were many, and unknowable.

When the two came to the end of their dance, Shadow asked her husband to grant her a child that she may love for her own, instead of scattering them to the corners of the Void.  Light so loved Shadow that he granted her wish, and gathered her close.  Their dance was so vigorous that Light gave Shadow not one child, but five.

These are the five older gods–Evmir, Eindor, Devla, Neesa, and Aeglar.

Evmir was first to come forth, with a battle cry that shook the aether, and a storm of lightning.  So it was that Evmir was called the oldest, and the kingship of the aether fell to him.  For his father and mother–Light and Shadow–wished to sleep, so to better hear the dreams of all their many children throughout the Void.  Light forged for Evmir a great hammer, a parting gift from father to eldest son, and took Shadow into the vastness of the Void.

So it was that Evmir looked out across the vastness of the black, and knew that something must be done.  He took up the Hammer of Light–the gift from his father–and smote it down upon the aether.  He did this many times, over and over, until the world began to take shape beneath the blows of his great hammer.  It was in this way that Evmir forged the world.

~From The Epic of Creation, stanzas 1-6

Child of the Flames is Here

Available now at Amazon

Available now at Amazon

So Child of the Flames is now available over at Amazon.  Head over today and get your copy–or you can borrow it for free as a Kindle Unlimited member.  Also, you can lend it to friends and family for up to 14 days, even if you’re not a member.

Head over and check it out right now.  Like, now, Carl.

Git to it.

When you’re done, feel free to leave me an honest review, tell your friends, and subscribe to me somewhere.

ML&R

~D.W.

The Cult of Aeglar

A Treatise on the Cult of Aeglar

“During the birthing years of the world, the Gods bestowed their gifts upon their new creation. Evmir forged the world, and his brother Eindor gave it magic. Devla formed the wild forests and the beasts within, while Neesa handed down art, love, beauty, and music. Bast made the laws and forms to govern the world, and Aastinor instilled war and revenge to drive humanity to enforce it. Even Saarnok had his place, tending to the souls of those who lived a foul and evil life, holding them in the Six Hells and bringing pain and suffering to the world so those living there would appreciate life.
One God, however, did not partake in the making of the world. This God grew jealous of his immortal kin, of the gifts they handed out freely to this new creation. Aeglar knew of magic and of forging, like the brothers Evmir and Eindor. He would rule mankind with these abilities rather than grant them freely. The more the world grew, the more his jealousy festered in him. As humanity built itself up in power and knowledge, Aeglar sat and watched. He saw that in people there was great strength and purpose, but there was also fault. Humans had within them greed and lust, the need to aspire to something greater than what they were.
So Aeglar went into the world and walked among its people. He whispered in the ears of men and women that shared his envy, telling them of the arrogance of the Gods. He spoke of power that the Gods hid from them still, that humankind was destined to be so much more. He taught them secrets that he had kept through the forging of the world, giving them to a select few in exchange for their worship and obedience.”
~From “The Gods Among Us,” written before the Second Great War.
I think it worth mentioning, curator, that no one this scholar has been able to find has any written records of the Cult’s true origins. These passages, and others like them, are the first appearance of the Cult in history, though we cannot be completely sure. This account is taken from a religious text. The Cult itself denied any requests to view a written history, and interviews with members yielded only mythological answers to questions about their origins. The leaders of the Cult of Aeglar are a secretive group, and declined any request to meet personally.
What this scholar has been able to gather from reading historical accounts throughout Alderak is that the Cult of Aeglar most likely formed in Lesmira after the Treaty of Duadan of was signed with the Sevenlands. The Cult is a widely known anti-sorcery organization, and there exists no mention of it in the historical record until Lesmira signed the Treaty. There has always been an undercurrent in Eastern society that is fiercely anti-magic, and it seems most likely that the Cult arose from various groups of political dissidents that banded together in order to put pressure on the Lesmiran monarchy. It was two years after the signature, the year 501, that the Cult attempted to assassinate the King and Queen, and were summarily banished from the Lesmira forever.
The Cult has been known to openly protest policies it regards as “pro-sorcery” all over Alderak, but at its core the Cult of Aeglar is a military organization. It has used its might for political bullying before, and it is suspected of much worse. Stories abound about the Cult abducting those born with the spark of magic in their blood and carrying them off to meet some grim fate, though these allegations have never even been officially investigated. This scholar has personally interviewed wizards from the Lesmiran School of Magical Arts that insist the Cult has attempted to abduct them, and many wizards report incidents of being followed and harassed when traveling outside of the country.
The Cult operates openly in every country on the Eastern Continent except for Lesmira. They have a particularly strong presence in Dannon, but are widely regarded as religious zealots in the lands south of the Moravian grasslands. There are rumors that some members of royalty and other world leaders may be secret members, or supporters of the Cult, though no proof currently exists.

Child of the Flames

Coming August 1st

Coming August 1st

Child of the Flames is coming this Monday, August 1, 2016.

It will be released on Amazon at $0.99.

It’s a story of revenge, of tragedy, of triumph.  And it’s got blood, swords, and magic.  What more do you need for a good story?  It’s been a long time coming, and now it’s finally here.  I know you guys are just as excited about it as I am.

I know a lot of you have already read up to The City Under the Mountain, and may not want to start back at the first book.  However, Child of the Flames is not The Sentient Fire.  It’s a new book through and through.  While many of the same things happen (you can’t revise and not hit the plot points) they happen a bit differently, and to characters who are much more three-dimensional.  In short, The Seven Signs is maturing a bit for it’s relaunch.

You can certainly just pick up at The Oath of the Blade when it comes out if you want, and you won’t miss anything, nor will you be confused.  But, if you’re like me and you re-read the entire Game of Thrones, or Wheel of Time, every time a new book came out because you forgot a lot of the story…

Child of the Flames will be enjoyable for you.  It’s like re-reading, only with new writing 😉

(You guys should know that I love you–that’s the first time I’ve ever used an emoticon, after years and years of refusing to do so.  I broke my prohibition for you, ‘cuz I love ya)

So look for Child of the Flames on Monday.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Child of the Flames

Coming August 1st

Coming August 1st

Child of the Flames is coming this Monday, August 1, 2016.

It will be released on Amazon at $0.99.

It’s a story of revenge, of tragedy, of triumph.  And it’s got blood, swords, and magic.  What more do you need for a good story?  It’s been a long time coming, and now it’s finally here.  I know you guys are just as excited about it as I am.

I know a lot of you have already read up to The City Under the Mountain, and may not want to start back at the first book.  However, Child of the Flames is not The Sentient Fire.  It’s a new book through and through.  While many of the same things happen (you can’t revise and not hit the plot points) they happen a bit differently, and to characters who are much more three-dimensional.  In short, The Seven Signs is maturing a bit for it’s relaunch.

You can certainly just pick up at The Oath of the Blade when it comes out if you want, and you won’t miss anything, nor will you be confused.  But, if you’re like me and you re-read the entire Game of Thrones, or Wheel of Time, every time a new book came out because you forgot a lot of the story…

Child of the Flames will be enjoyable for you.  It’s like re-reading, only with new writing 😉

(You guys should know that I love you–that’s the first time I’ve ever used an emoticon, after years and years of refusing to do so.  I broke my prohibition for you, ‘cuz I love ya)

So look for Child of the Flames on Monday.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Timeline Updates

allbookcovers2015

Time to send out a quick update to let you guys know what the current timeline looks like for the release of the upcoming books.  As you may have realized, they’re not coming out at the end of this month.  That was a tentative date anyway, but it’s not getting pushed too far to the right.

Tentatively, again, look for the books to drop around the end of June.

Here’s my logic behind setting the date for June.  First of all, it’s obvious that this project was going to take me a little longer than I had anticipated, especially with the portions that required heavy rewriting.  Child of the Flames is now finished, and that means that the lion’s share of the work is done.  I’m currently working on The Knife in the Dark, which won’t require nearly as much rewriting.  Basically, I’m taking the amount of time I think it will take me to finish the next two, and doubling it.

One reason for this is simply to make sure I give myself enough time to do this right.  Another is that my school schedule is ramping up as the middle of the semester rolls through, and I have a full schedule of classes.  Failing them is just something that I won’t do, and that means I’ve got to dedicate a little more time to them when needed.  College is expensive, and my G.I. Bill is fairly limited.  One has to maximize one’s time.

However, if you just don’t want to wait for Child of the FlamesThe Knife in the Dark, and The Old Man of the Temple to publish on their regular date, you can JOIN THE CONCLAVE.  I’ll be leaking advance copies of the first two books to the mailing list as they become ready for market.

The going plan is to have six books out by the end of the year, the audiobooks ready before Christmas, and possibly to make a few changes to the blog.  I plan to start blogging more regularly once The Seven Signs is back on track, mostly about nerdy stuff, but not always.  You all know of my general disdain for social media, but maintaining that in today’s world is virtually impossible.  It might be time to shake hands with the devil.

Anyways, back to The Knife in the Dark.  I’ll be posting here to talk a little more about Child of the Flames next week, and how the story is changing, and how it isn’t.  Stay frosty.  Remember to bring disgrace upon your enemies.

~D.W.

theknifeinthedark01

 

World of Eldath: Magic, the Blessed, and the Learned

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Many scholars throughout the years have attempted to discern exactly what magic is and where it came from.  Its effects have been studied by the School of Magical Arts, the Conclave in the Sevenlands, and even the Minsdurim Academy, upon occasion.  There are multiple books on the subject, the foremost among them being Garland’s Song of the Fabric of Creation.  Still, at the time that this report is being written, this scholar has found no invention, scientific method, or even a magical device that can test the essence of magic and tell us what it really is and where it came from.

The accepted view by most laymen is that magic is the “fabric of creation” or the “material of creation” left over from when the Gods forged the world.  Such a simplistic explanation can be credited to the Epics of the Gods and the mythology that most religious texts perpetuate.  The general idea, explained by a Devlan Devotee, is that Evmir shaped the world and everything we see from a magical base material.  The phrase so often repeated is that he  “commanded the world come forth from the ether”.  When asked exactly what magic is, or what the “ether” is, most religious explanations fail to satisfy, as they so often do.  If one wants to learn of magic, one must go to a wizard.

According to representatives of the Conclave of Wizards, children who are born with an inherent connection to magic, referred to as “Blessed”, begin to show signs of the power between the ages of seven and fourteen years.  This range is not as accurate as it could be; the Conclave admits that some children may go for years using magic undiscovered by their scouts or their parents.  The manifestation seems to correlate directly with the children aging into sexual maturity, though there have been cases which seem to show no correlation.  Sometimes trauma has been shown to be a direct factor as well, though those cases are rare.  Findings from the School of Magical Arts directly support the information from the Conclave.

Magic is described by wizards as having an empathetic nature.  It apparently responds to emotions felt by magic users, and those emotions can either intensify, confuse, or entirely null the effects of their intended spells and evocative castings.  By their own admission, the use of magic can be a very dangerous undertaking.  Wizards have been known to lose control of their powers and kill themselves–or others–because of the emotional factors at play, though the Conclave assures me that such things are rare and easily controlled and prevented through proper training.  Strenuous mental discipline is the best deterrent, according to those who traffic in the use of magic.

Magic apparently responds to outside stimuli as well.  It has been shown to resonate differently with different materials, such as brass, stone, various gems, and even water.  Mathematical and geometrical formulas seem to evoke a response from magic, as do certain shapes in nature, the most common of which is the circle.  This scholar had heard rumors of a great circle constructed in the bowels of the Conclave called the Crux, but any reference to it, or request to see it, was met with denial.

The most interesting magical reaction seems to be with music.  Apparently musical tones have an intense effect on magic, and the Conclave has studied the phenomenon for a long period of time.  They have found that the most interesting reactions seem to come from entire compositions of music rather than individual tones, as if the music produces an emotional response from magic, as ridiculous as that sounds.  The theory seems to hold water when compared with the earlier knowledge that magic responds to emotions from those who use it.  The two phenomenon seem to be intertwined somehow, though sufficient time and effort would be needed to study it further.

Magic seems to be able to perform almost any action the wizard can imagine, though the boundaries of such power are blurry and undefined at best.  Most wizards seem to operate on their own preconceived notions about nature, and such a thing can be a serious deterrent to studying magic’s full potential.  Some of the more mundane uses for magic, such as moving large objects or producing a small light from nothing, can be as simple or as complicated as the mind of the wizard wielding the power.

This scholar personally listened to two different explanations on how one would move a rock with magic.  One wizard preferred to simply seize the rock with his “Kai”, as he put it, and move the thing a small distance.  He explained that in his mind, he pictured carrying the stone in a large, invisible hand.  The second spoke of an invisible force holding the rock to the ground already, and he simply pictured himself coaxing the force to let go for a small amount of time while he moved the rock.  The results were the same, though the methods were clearly different.

Wizards do seem to have a limited amount of endurance for using magic.  Each person would appear to have a different threshold for holding a certain amount of power, and it has been determined by the Conclave that every wizard grows slowly stronger over time.  Exposure to the power also seems to lengthen the lifespans of all wizards, though it is said that most older magic users retreat from society in order to better commune with the strange energy.  It is also said that wizards heal faster than normal people, and are more resistant to disease, though the factor by which this happens is minimal.  It has been demonstrated to this scholar that magic also cannot heal any ailment with reliable results.  The two things may be connected, and that subject may warrant further study in the future.

It is possible for those born without the ability to touch magic to gain it through careful study and training.  In the Sevenlands they call those wizards the “Learned”.  The differences between Learned and Blessed magic users stop at the method by which they gained use of the power.  There appears to be no correlation between the method of training and the final ability and strength of any wizard in question.  This would suggest that physical properties and breeding do have some effect on these phenomenon, though those effects have yet to be studied.

From A Treatise on Magic and its Effects, by the Magister Sir Umril Genhardt, of the Tauravon Archive.  Written in the year 1066, archived in 1067.

Hope you guys enjoyed that little tidbit about the setting.  I’ll be uploading little blogs like this to help flesh out the story for you guys, as the World of Eldath will be an ongoing setting for stories long after the Seven Signs is finished.  More news on this to follow, and I’ll talk to you guys soon.

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New Timeline for the Seven Signs

allbookcovers2015

Alright folks, it’s time to hammer down the official timeline for the re-release of The Seven Signs.  I’ve been plugging away at it hard for the past few weeks, and looking out over the upcoming landscape, I’ve got a much better idea about how to go about releasing it.  Here goes.

First of all, much to everyone’s disappointment I’m sure, the date has to move to the right.  Not by much, though.  Let me go ahead and let you guys know how this is going to happen.

The first three books in the series, which will replace The Sentient Fire, will be released at the end of March 2016.  It’s not January, but it’s not too much later.  The bottom line is that in the process of revising this thing, I’ve had to chop and rewrite huge sections of the first book, Child of the Flames.  It’s taking me much longer than I had anticipated.

The good news is that the next two books, The Knife in the Dark and The Old Man of the Temple will need much less in the way rewriting.  In reading ahead and figuring out how much I’ll need to revise, it is very clear that the second two books in the series are already much closer to being complete than Child of the Flames is, at least in it’s original form.

Child of the Flames needed many sections completely redone, it needed lots of new material, and entirely new POV characters and sequences.  Essentially I’ve been going through it and rewriting the entire book line by line, which is something that the next two won’t need.  Child of the Flames will be a very different story than the first part of The Sentient Fire was.  The next two will have lots of new stuff too, but the revision process will go much faster than this one has.

Right now, Child of the Flames will be finished on January 2nd.  From there, I’m giving myself a month each to finish The Knife in the Dark and The Old Man of the Temple.  This includes the editing process.  Those three books will be ready for the market by the end of March.

From there, I’m going to put The Oath of the Blade up for preorder, and set the release date for July 1st.  That will give everyone enough time to read the books again if they wish, and ensure that the book isn’t rushed through the editing process.  Going any faster at this point will sacrifice quality, bottom line.  Plus, it allows the newly revised series to gain a little steam and get some exposure.  Releasing all the books at once will cut it off at the knees, so to speak, and I’m listening to a little advice from other writers on this one.

The sixth book, which will be called City of Cages, will be released January 15th, 2017.

The next month is going to be a little crazy for me.  I’m writing ten pages a day, every day, until the middle of January to get this stuff done.  That includes Christmas and New Year’s Day.  I’m basically shutting myself away and going monk-mode until this is done, and right now it’s going swimmingly.  I’ve got the time away from school, no commitments until the middle of January, so I’m maximizing that time for effect.

Since this is the last update you guys will get from me until next year, I’d like to wish you all Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Saturnalia, or whatever it is you celebrate this holiday season.  Enjoy your leave, and I’ll talk to you guys next year.

Much love, and JOIN THE CONCLAVE.

Let’s Move Again…Again

Hello all, it’s been awhile, yet again.  You all know I’m a sporadic blogger at best, but I’m trying to get better at that.  We’ll see how this all pans out.

It’s been crazy on my end.  Some of you know that I’ve moved around like a vagabond the past few years.  From Georgia to Virginia, then back to Georgia.  After that we moved to southern Arizona, and now…Tucson.  That’s right, yours truly just moved one more time to a new place.

Tucson has really impressed me so far.  I’ve been coming here to attend school, but living here is different.  Tucson is an odd sort of place.  It’s got a strange brew of cultures and people that I’m not sure you’d find anywhere else.  Hispanic culture inundates everything here, and if the food wasn’t good enough, then the architecture will surprise you if you’re not ready for it.  My apartment building is made to look like stucco, and is painted in hues of red, yellow, and tan.  Everywhere I go there are these little villa-type houses with enclosed courtyards, and cool little tile arrangements.

Mixed in with the Mexican folks, you’ve got the hippies.  I was surprised at the community of artsy types here in Tucson.  There are artists of all sorts here, whether you’re into folky country art, or the finer stuff down the street at the University’s Fine Arts Center.  Everywhere I look there’s another girl with purple hair and tattoos inviting me to this art show or that music festival.

Now that the pot is seasoned, you toss in the Old White Folks of Arizona–OWFAs.  The OWFAs are a myriad conglomeration of people who all seem to have one defining quality:  they don’t need nothing from nobody, and they don’t need you to tell ’em jackshit, either.  It’s not uncommon to see guns on hips here in Tucson, but nobody bats an eyelash.  The OWFAs value their freedom and independence–after all, that’s probably how they found themselves here in the first place.  OWFAs come in all shapes and flavors–from hiking enthusiasts to crusty bikers and cowboys.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed about Tucson, though, is how friendly everyone is.  People talk to you here, and I don’t mean in the empty way you’d see on the east coast.  If you ask a Tucsonan how their day is going, they’ll tell you.  Don’t expect a “fine” and a walk-away-quickly-without-making-eye-contact.  People from Tucson will immediately jump into conversation with you.  Every time I go out to buy something here, I find myself hanging around with my bags in hand, chatting it up with some friendly stranger.  Yesterday I went to Home Goods to buy a tray, of all things, and ended up talking about Star Wars with the girl at the cash register for a few minutes.  Today it was a guitar stand, and a conversation about how the blues scene here in town is starting to get really good.

It took me about two weeks to get everything done–or done enough to calm the madness, anyway.  Yes, that means I lost about two weeks of good writing time, but don’t fret.  Child of the Flames is still coming along, and now that this move is out of the way, things can finally settle into some semblance of normalcy.  No major timeline changes for the upcoming releases just yet, and I’ll let you guys know.

Just a quick update to say “hi” and let all you wonderful guys and gals (and anyone else on the spectrum) know what’s going on.  If any of you guys are in or near Tucson, then shoot me an email.  I’m still exploring, and having a local guide is always great for any adventure story.  Stay frosty.

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