Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Other Fantasy Series

As Promised in yesterday's note. . . .

While I’m working on my Death Throne novel, I’ve been working on and off on another project of mine for years, a Urban Fantasy series (Yes, series -- I have two half written novels and a completed short story so far, so yes a series). It’s about a normal guy who suddenly finds himself in the position of taking the family business — Merlin’s Heir. Now, a word from the main character:
My name is Roger Merlin, and I am the fortieth person to assume the mantle of Merlin’s Heir. Yes, that Merlin. I didn’t want the job — hell, I didn’t even apply for it. But it’s mine, and like it or not, I have to do it.

Why? Because someone needs to help defend humanity against those things that go bump in the night. and there’s plenty of them. Demons, evil spirits, werewolves (Fur, fangs, and really bad breath), vampires (Non-sparkly and vicious to boot) and nearly anything you can think of. I have my teacher, my snarky familiar and the best intelligence network on the planet to help me and Allies of Light (Pretentious title I know, but most of the other good ones are copyrighted) to call upon and be called on to help.

So, assuming I can get this all written down and translated into readable English, I will see about getting them published. In the meanwhile, if there’s a monster under the bed, don’t worry – sooner or later, I’ll be in the area.
        Roger Merlin

That’s the series in a nutshell. I'm 90,000+ words into the first novel and I attempted to write the second one during the NaNo WriMo event (I failed, but did get 42,000+ words of the first draft down.) I also have a short story done that I may extend into a novella sometime down the road. Still working out the details, as I bounced through the series I have planned. Now back to writing!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Still Slogging

I manage to double post a blog entry, and I have a lot on my plate, but I will have something new tomorrow, promise!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Background: The Kingdom

The Kingdom is surrounded on all four sides by natural barriers – mountains to the east, west and south, while a large body of water to the north. These barriers, combined with the Kingdom’s well-trained and armed Army and Navy have kept both the Empire and Dominion from taking the county. It is a prosperous country, with a strong merchant fleet and plenty of natural resources. There isn’t major blights of poverty-stricken people, no rebellions, no major strifes. In short, a nice place to live.

As I envision it at the start of the story, The Kingdom is a bit of a misnomer, as there hasn’t been a ruler for some sixty years. We have a missing ruling family. Now, why hasn’t anyone else taken the throne?

The answer is in the title of the (Hopefully) series: The Death Throne. For the past sixty years, anyone who has tried to take the Kingdom’s throne for themselves hasn’t lasted a month. Most have died, either from accident or assassination and a couple have gone mad and fled the country. After a while, the idea of taking the throne is consider suicide.

All it takes for someone to Claim Kingdom’s Throne is to sit in the King’s Throne, a massive chair in the Throne room on the Citadel’s capital city. It is said that any person who claims the throne who is not of the ruling family will not last a lunar month.

So, who’s running the country? A council handles the overall running of the country, while several nobles handle their own lands. It’s a lash up, but it’s working.

But while neither the Empire nor the Dominion have been able to take Kingdom with force of arms, they’ve been trying to subvert the Kingdom with spies, assassins, and bribery. Things are beginning to come to a head. Both the Empire and Dominion are gearing up for war and the Kingdom is looking to be the battlefield.

More later!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Empires of the Mind.

(Note: if future posts seem to be less frequent, I’m working on something else that has a deadline and needs most of my attention right now. I will try and put up at least one post a week on this blog. Now back to your [ir]regular post.)

I’ve decided to start with the basic map of this new world, at least the part I want my story based in. As someone recently reminded me, I should stick with the one story, and don’t worry about any others in the series. Fair enough, but I want to start with a world that I can tell stories in. Maybe not in the detail from ther start, but I would like to have something more in the wings, assuming I actually get this thing off the ground. For now, I will stick with that part of the world where the action happens.

I envision three countries: One, which I will call the Kingdom for now, are the "good guys," the home of the main characters. The other two, which I will call Empire and Dominion, are larger than Kingdom and are the "bad guys". Yes, it simplistic, but I’m just getting the basics down first, there will be plenty of time to layer in the shades of gray.

As I envision it, The Empire and Dominion have been at war for a long while, but are at a stalemate. The Kingdom is wedged between them, sharing common borders with both sides, but staying out of the war. Combined, the Dominion and Empire holds about seventy-five percent of the land, while the other twenty-five percent belongs to Kingdom.

That raises the question; Why hasn’t the Kingdom been swallowed up by either of the larger countries?

The Dominion and Empire are both aggressive expansionist states, with a hunger for land and people to rule over. Just being neutral is not going to cut it; the land is either part of the Dominion/Kingdom, or about to be. There would be three ways to keep both larger states out — a strong military, technology, and physical (or mystical) barriers.

The strongest of the three is the physical barriers. Mountains, seas, swamps, dense jungles, sheer cliffs, gorges, massive walls, or a combination of several of these. Anything that keeps large groups of soldiers out. The mystical barrier may have some possibilities, but I need to work out the magic first before I can make that decision.

The Kingdom’s military, not as large as either Dominion or Empire’s forces, but well trained and equipped, excel at defensive battles. Part of the army would man fortresses along the border in strategic locations along the border, with a mobile part able to move to where they’re needed. Maybe a small but potent section of battle wizards?

Technology. . . .This is something I’m going to have to look at. Not being well-verse in the type of era I plan to set this story in, I need to do some research, to get an idea.

For now, I think physical barriers is the best and simplest reason for Kingdom’s independence. But I don’t want a landlocked Switzerland-like country. I want Kingdom to have a seaport, as part of the economy and for future story ideas. So, something like this:

                        ^^    Kingdom      ^^
                       ^^                  ^^
      Empire           ^^                  ^^      Dominion 
                      ^^                    ^^
                      ^^                    ^^
                       ^^                    ^^
                        ^^                  ^^ 
                         ^^                ^^
                          ^^               ^^
                           ^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^
                      (Coastline somewhere down here)

Now that I have the basic shape of my land, I need to think through the different countries, their cultures, mindset, general history and military.
Back to work!