Friday, June 24, 2011

The Coming of the Light

The Wizard Crystals of the Elements have fallen into the hands of the Demon Lord Abaddon, forever corrupted and transformed to evil.  Abaddon now patiently waits in his northern kingdom for the coming of Saruinkai—the evening when the spirits of Darkness rule the night, and when he will unleash the Crystals' horrific powers against their own elements and sweep destruction across the earth.

The Light's hope now lies in the young Nasharin warrior Darshun Luthais—the chosen Guardian, for he alone carries the power to stop Abaddon's black sorcery and end the war once and for all.  But to do so he must cross over into Abaddon’s kingdom, and that means destroying the one who guards the only accessible path, a Fallen Angelic Throne, the secret to Asgoth's three hundred year Rule and invincibility.  The Throne is stationed upon its master's tower
deep amongst the Haunted Ruins.  As its gaze had once overshadowed the seven realms of the heavens, its gaze now watches the boundaries of Asgothas is commanded by its master.

Led by the elvish lord Caelestias, Darshun and his companions travel through unfriendly territory, encountering spirits of the dammed, a hungry Witch, accursed trees, and soon enough, the Throne itself.
  Though they are victorious in the battle, they fail to realize that a few enemies slip away and bring their defeat to the tyrant of Asgoth, King Tanarokai.  The unexpected news excites his anger to gather all of his forces and sweep havoc across the east, coming face to face with those responsible for the destruction of his Throne, the Humans and the Elves. 

Darshun must now make a choice: either, cross the border while he has the chance, leaving the men and the elves to Asgoth’s wrath, or stand with them against the coming darkness—a darkness no army has ever defeated in three hundred centuries.

Available August 1st, 2011

The Cover to my Third Upcoming Book!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Cullach Race

The Cullach race look like a cross between human beings and wild boars.  They are a very selfish and bitter people—even toward one another.  Typically, each individual will seek out only what would benefit his or her own needs, with little or no concern about a comrade.  Their mindset is simple: “Only the strongest survive.”  

A Cullach has two to three times the strength of a human.  They love to eat raw flesh and fall into ecstasy over the taste of fresh blood.  However, being as vile, or 'animalistic' as they are, there have been cases of good mannered Cullach.  Like any beast of the wild, they have to be taught, and even tamed, otherwise, they'll always do what is naturally built into them for the mere purpose of survival.

Originally, the native climate of the Cullach was Syngothra—a near desolate frozen wasteland, once home to the Demon Lord Abaddon in the First Age. The Cullach of this land generally have features of dirty white skin with shades of ice blue spotted and scattered, or sometimes black leathery skin, high pointy ears and rugged tusks. The clans that had migrated to the west usually have more of a porcine-like face, thick gray skin and stooped figures.

Their origin is debated. Many believe Demons experimented on the early development of some life forms, which is why such hideous and hateful creatures like the Cullach (according to the Light), exist. After all, their physical features are far more odd than the ‘common’ humanoids such as Elves, Human Beings and Dwarves. The same idea is spoken about when it comes to Centaurs, or other entities that stray from ‘the common’ in appearance, and yet are strikingly beautiful; only, the Angelic must have been responsible for this the thinking goes.

The Dwarves

In many ways, these little muscle-bound creatures are quite similar to humans. They love to build. They love to eat and drink (meat and ale, mostly). They behave like excited children when throwing a festival, and they are seldom judgmental.

Being the great miners that they are, Dwarves are addicted to caverns and underground tunnels; that is also why they're highly attractive to riches and 'shiny things' such as gemstones, as the elements are commonly unearthed whenever the Dwarves are at work building their lairs.

Some claim Dwarves are ignorant of the world and her history, and if you were to have a conversation with one, you'd get a monotonous amount of ramblings on how to brew the perfect ale, or how beautiful the Great Hall of Avshalum (the Dwarves greatest cavern) is when decorated with sapphire, rubies and diamonds. However, this is not entirely accurate. Many Dwarves keep a rich history of the world on record, and love to tell tales about the past. Dwarves also care for the, as they call them, 'up Landers' of the world, only, when all the dissention began to take place in the beginning of the Third Age, most of the Dwarves scurried back into their underground world to avoid the strife. Like Centaurs, they are seldom ever seen and some now question their existence.

The Human Race

Human beings are a very interesting people. For a race having no natural ability for magic, they make fierce warriors. Their strength is often seen in their numbers and most definitely in their determination.

Humans love to build, create, expand their territory, and improvise to accomplish their objectives. They are sometimes looked down upon by the higher races of Light because of how easily they can succumb to corruption, and mocked by the evil lords of the Seventh Realm for their inability to cast magic. Although most of that mockery disappeared after the Great War of the First Age, when humans played a major role in defeating the earth’s original adversary, the Demon Lord Abaddon. Abaddon’s biggest mistake was to misjudge Humanity and its great will. “In truth, it is not that Humans have a superior will above other creatures, just that no other race on earth has accomplished so many wondrous acts and defeated masters of sorcery while never possessing the slightest of magic. In order to survive, the Human race defies all odds, overcoming what Wisemen call ‘impossible victories’, and they have done so time and time again. They always seem to find a way. None can say that about other magicless races, or share such heroic stories of awe and wonder.”

Humans also played a part in creating the legendary Sword of Purity. In a time when Wizards, Elves, Centaurs, Dwarves and Humans stood united. Blacksmiths working together forged the sword from five hundred pieces of different metals. The Holy Prophets then blessed the blade. Multiple warriors from each of the five races used the weapon at one time or another to crush their adversaries. Legend proclaimed whoever held this sword could not be defeated in battle, for the spirit of the Light overshadowed it, and therefore the sword became a mighty tool feared by evil. The Sword was last used by King Lythar of Loreladia, but has gone silent ever since, ‘shutting down’ its power since the united races had separated.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Wizard Race

The Wizard Race

Among all of the races upon the earth, Wizards were the only ‘special’ creation. It is said, that in the early development of the Seventh Realm (earth), a great battle was fought between the Angels of Light and the Fallen Angelic that had abandoned Heaven and sought to take the earth as their own. After a climatic battle, one that had altered the development of the earth, the Fallen were defeated. However, the Angels of Light had suffered a tremendous loss as well, and thier blood had been poured out across the barren wastelands. It is said the ground cried out for their blood and wept their loss, and for their sacrifice the earth would one day return the favor, breathing life back into them. As time passed, the blood of the Angels soaked into the hardest elements, and over tens of thousands of years power streamed within them, forming beautiful red crystals, similar to gemstones, except these were known as ‘Asharian,' meaning ‘elements of angels,' (an interesting factor since the Nasharin Race—while in Transformation, look like glorious figures of light with their flashy auras and gem-like skin). Then a mist fell from the sky, a mist some say was the breath of Abidan, (God of Light). It descended upon the rocks and split them open releasing their energies, and the energies converted into physical forms, the Wizards—the first natural creatures capable of immense powers and the only creatures ever created in such fashion.

Wizards are creatures of ‘evolving magic,' having the ability to learn any class from Fire, to Water, to Air or Earth. A ‘High Wizard’ is when a wizard has mastered all four classes of magic including the multiple spells each class contains. When a Wizard is born he comes into this earth bearing one specific spell granted to him from above. No training is required to cast it; no teaching is needed to understand it. The spell is ‘instinctual,' you might say; a test to see what he shall do with the gift, being it can only be used once in a lifetime. And unless molested by darkness, a wizard never sees natural death; instead, they walk amongst the earth for a thousand years and are then taken up into one of the many realms of Heaven. During their time spent on earth they are typically seen as protectors and guardians. They are often welcomed into cities with open arms and are lavished with gifts.

The Elvish Race

The Elvish Race

The Elves are the most enlightening race among all the creatures of the earth. It is as if Abidan, the God of the Light, wept tears of joy across the landscapes, and from those tears sprung the elvish kin. Of course this is folly; like almost every other humanoid race, Elves come from a common ancestor. But in their early stages of development did they sense the presence of the Light, and instead of seeking out the common pleasures life has to offer, and even the basics needed for a certain extant, they sought first the presence of Abidan. From then on all other necessities for life were given to them.

Some Elves are born with beatitudes and attributes of their God Abidan. Whether it is Truth, Love, Forgiveness, or the like, these gifts are often sensed or witnessed at an early age. Although few would be fond of an elvish companion bearing the gift of Truth, for every mistake, unwise manner of speech, or action one might make, a ‘Bearer of Truth’ would call the individual out on it, often in a condescending way. At the same time, if one has spoken wisely, the ‘Bearer of Truth’ will praise the individual. To an outsider this would look like drastic moodswings, but it is just the way of the gift.

Elves contain magic, similar to Wizards, but also different. Elvish magic is usually lent to them upon their calling. In other words, it doesn’t come from within, as it does from a Wizard or Nasharin, instead, it is asked for, and depending on the rank of the elf, the spirits of the elements almost always respond. There are a few exceptions, but this is how the magic generally works. Elves also avoid the natural process of death—unless taken willingly. If some of them are called to reach one hundred years of age for the purpose of being a strong leader—or even a thousand years for the duty of prophet, they remain in such a physical state for as long as the earth continues in her existence.

The Centaur Race


The Centaur Race

Centaurs are a Matriarchy. As far back as written history can remember, the females have always held an advantage over the males in intelligence, leadership, archery skills and creativity, while the males are much more gifted in magic, reading the stars, and physical strength. Queens are sometimes looked upon as Goddesses, or at least treated like them. But even queens answer to a higher power, for Centaurs worship the same deity as the Elves, Abidan—God of the Light. Although they will often refer to Abidan as ‘she’, just as a patriarchy race will refer to the deity as ‘he’. Of course Abidan is neither male nor female; the difference in the pronouns stems from the dominant species of each race.

Like Elves, Centaurs are in love with nature, especially the woodlands. It is said that Centaurs are so strikingly close to certain species of trees that the vegetation will respond to them in spirit, and also naturally grow around their presence. If you were to visit a Centaur village you could see for yourself how authentic this information is, as the huts they live in are nothing other than shrubs, bushes or trees intertwined and curved with such precise artistic measurement.

Centaurs are also the most ‘righteous’ among all high races of Light. They strictly hold to the ancient laws...some of those laws stating that ‘fellowship with the accursed race (Nasharin) must be avoided at all costs’, or ‘no Nasharin must be allowed to live.’ By the time the Third Age came around Centaurs grew even bitterer in their hate for Nasharins, and even the Elves, as it was said that the Elves of Ashhaven now welcomed the accursed ‘wizardmen’ into their homes.

Sadly, Centaurs went into exile after their war against the dark city Asgoth. Supposedly, King Tanarokai of Asgoth had stolen Queen Aeryka’s children and murdered some of her siblings under the cloak of shadow. In rage the Centaur Queen stormed into the unconquerable city only to have her king killed and her people slaughtered; few had escaped. From that moment on Centaurs have remained silent, and unseen; choosing to avoid the other ‘traitorous’ races such as Elves and Wizards.

The Nasharin Race


I thought I’d write up a little detail to some of the creatures in the world I have created. Although it’s brief, I thought it would be fun.


The Nasharin Race

The word ‘Nasharin’ comes from the language of the wizards, meaning ‘wizardman.’ Nasharins are the offspring of the High Wizard Milandrith and his human bride, Princess Auristela. Typically, nothing truly special or unique would have come about with the couple’s first child, but in the development of its life, something was altered. Wisemen of that world (and our own) would call it a ‘mutation,' but the Elders of the Light understood it as a curse. For it was unlawful for any Wizard to have relations with a human; the Human Race had been touched by darkness from its very beginning, and something as holy as the Wizards (guardians and protectors of the Seventh Realm), were supposed to avoid the sacred act of lovemaking—for the sole reason that it creates new life. Still, Milandrith could not turn away from his feelings; neither could Auristela, and in secret they married, and soon enough, began to procreate.

With this ‘biological fusion,' and also ‘curse,' Nasharins sustain long life and holy magic passed on from the Wizards, and great strength, will and determination passed on from the Humans, molded together as one entity. They are a hybrid warrior race that love battle and crave energy much like a Vampire craves blood. A powerful adversary or opponent excites them, and by all means they feel they must dominate that power and stand triumphant over it.

Nasharins appear human, and unless one is trained in the art of sensing energies, you cannot tell a Nasharin from a human being apart until the Nasharin’s Transformation—and that is the uniqueness of the creature. Depending on the magic or element each Nasharin is born with, Transformation differs from individual to individual. Let us take the main protagonist of the story, Darshun Luthais (whose element is Fire). When Darshun transforms, a volcanic-like eruption takes place, red flames dance around his body as an aura or a cloak, his eyes and hair shine a fierce red, his skin hardens, becoming gem-like with a fire opal color, and he smells like an entity that had just crawled out of the heart of an active volcano.  Strength, speed and stamina increase dramatically, senses are heightened, and they gain two magical abilities. Since Darshun is Fire, he has the ability to cast blistering red flames out of his palms, and he can create an attack known as the ‘Fire Star,' a sun-like sphere of explosive energy forged together by unseen energies upon the earth.

The reasons behind a Nasharin having ‘two’ magical abilities are up for debate. Some spiritualize the number two, believing it traces back to the original Father and Mother of the race, Milandrith and Auristela. The number two is a powerful number; it completes the missing half of another when looking for a bride or groom, it symbolizes unity, and it’s another sign that if you stand among the Light, you are never alone. Others mock this belief, and claim the only reason behind these two abilities is nothing more than a random act of the curse they are under.

Unlike Wizards, Nasharins evolve in their physical and magical strengths as they age, where the Wizards generally lose their physical abilities to fight, and have to rely on their evolving powers of magic. This is what makes Nasharins so dangerous—in all areas of their talents, they are forever evolving into creatures of power, or as some have said, monsters of chaos!

Note: The image above is NOT the illustration of a Nasharin, though that is how they're often pictured or imagined when spoken about in tales.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Battle Scene Influences

Growing up, there was nothing I enjoyed more than turning on the television and slipping in one of my many VHS tapes for a couple hours of hard pounding action. I've always been fascinated by a good battle—preferably a battle between two monstrous powers (Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris, King Kong vs. GodzillaGodzilla should have won that!).  There was just something about that feeling of: ‘whoa, this adversary is bad arse! How on earth is the hero going to beat him?’ Or: ‘when they clash it’s going to be a great battle, because both of them are ridiculously powerful.’ Then, they’d meet, eye to eye, on the battle grounds, just like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris met in ‘Way of the Dragon’, and the lightning-fast kicks to heavy pounding punches to a hundred graceful moves of the martial arts would begin. Oh yeah, that used to get my adrenaline pumping, it still does! …maybe it’s a guy thing.
Cartoons were big for me as well. He-Man and She-Ra (I must admit, She-Ra was the first woman who made me feel powerless, or ‘crushed’, if you know what I mean. I was head over heels in love with that Princess of Power!), Thundercats, Silverhawks, Mask, Gobots and Transformers. Anything that had something to do with a transformation of form or power really caught my attention.
Then, when I was twenty-one years old, I saw the greatest action cartoon in perhaps the entire universe, Dragonball Z! All right, I admit, it’s the easiest cartoon to poke fun at, especially whenever the warriors are ‘powering up’. It sounds like they’re constipated. But the flashy colors of their chaotic energies, and the thunderous battles (accompanied by an epic soundtrack) caught my attention immediately. It wasn’t long after I had wanted to write a novel that I imagined my own characters having battles of a similar setting: transformations, the raising of energy, flashy colors, chaotic explosions, feelings of desperation when the adversary has you beaten, etc. Of course, all of this means nothing if your characters are dull, but it set the stage for the way I would play out battle scenes in my ‘Guardian of the Seventh Realm’ series.
That’s where my Nasharin Race comes from. Akira Toriyama (creator of the DBZ Manga) is by far the biggest influence for me when it comes to battle scenes and warrior transformations. J.R.R. Tolkien, and my own personal beliefs on spirituality, is where the rest of my influences stem.
As for Nasharins, they are definitely the most interesting class of warrior in my series. Being half-wizard/half human, lusting after energy like a vampire thirsts for blood, and having the ability to evolve or transform into figures of extravagant power and beautified form, my hope is that many readers will find them exciting and colorful, enjoying the long journey I have paved ahead for them, right up until the end of book five “Rise of the Guardian”, where my series finally comes to a close. At least for now.

Why So Much Violence?

Lately I've been running into people within my hometown who have read the first two novels in my epic fantasy series Guardian of the Seventh Realm. Those within their twenties and thirties (and even one seventy year old former marine) have shaken my hand, pleased with my new release Siege of Darkness. But I am also encountering people among a different age group (no pun intended) who are asking: "Why all the violence in your story?" or, "I kept thinking evil was going to win!"

I have to say, I'm happy people are seeing the darkness in this story. I admit it is very dark, a tale of brutality, and even some perverse sections involving the Dark Queen Talvenya. There are many reasons why I had written it like that. First, I didn't wish to write a 'candy-coated' adversary. When I get involved into a tale of good verses evil, I want to feel 'afraid' of the dark—to a certain extant. If I don't feel 'threatened' by the adversary or his minions, I gradually lose interest in the conflict, and soon enough the story. I will mention no names, but there is a certain Urban Fantasy series out there that has an arse-kicking opening book! It is still one of my favorites among the genre. But as the second and third books came out, they all shared one thing in my opinion: 'No Fear of the Adevesary.' I never felt threatened. In just about every battle—if not all of the battles, the good guys would kick butt and always win. From then on I avoided the series.

Second, for me, the violence in my second novel Siege of Darkness is a reflection of how cruel mankind can sometimes be, and even the red in tooth in claw of Mother Nature herself. Sure nature is beautiful; I mean, one of my favorite simple pleasures in life is to gaze at a blue summer sky filled with mammoth-sized white clouds (which still remind me of marshmallow fluff), as a warm breeze blows against you, carrying with it the delightful smells of summer, or the gorgeous lilacs and majestic peonies with their immaculate scents. I swear I could get lost for hours with my face stuffed in a lilac bush or a peonies flower...I just have to watch out for the bumble bees and ants. And let’s not forget those adorable little fawns walking with their mother. They often cross our yard—just the other day there was a doe and her two fawns, the little ones following her lead, strolling down the grassy slope, by-passing the apple trees and wandering into the wilderness.  Yes, very beautiful indeed, and yet, what goes on every night within that wilderness when the coyotes awaken is far from beautiful, but that is the way of this world, beautiful at times, but also very dark.

And thirdly, Siege of Darkness is also a reflection of the trials in life that we all face, unless you are one of the blessed ones who have never tasted darkness or even seen it...but that is a rarity. The main protagonist and 'Guardian' of the story, Darshun Luthais, learns the hard way by facing this darkness, brutality and death. For him, it was necessary to experience the evils of the world and suffer before he could truly come to terms with what he was born to be, the Guardian of the Seventh Realm. I can parallel this to my own life as well. I would not be where I am now had I not faced my own demons, trials and hardships, and to a certain extant, conquered them. It is an unfortunate suffering many of us have to go through in life, but a ‘fortunate blessing’ once the tribulation is over. And though I often felt alone, as Darshun felt, there would always be someone there to lift me up with a helping hand, as there always is for Darshun.

And so, as the next three installments in the series come out, I hope many will continue to enjoy the journey I have paved for them, and feel as though you are traveling alongside Darshun and our other heroes as part of the quest. And maybe, just maybe, when Darshun gets out of line, give him a good kick in the arse. It will do him well, the cocky Nasharin that he is! :D 

Siege of Darkness

'Siege of Darkness' begins right where 'Prophecy of the Guardian' leaves off. These two books were originally 'one' book—the first book of my 'Guardian of the Seventh Realm' series when I had planned on doing a trilogy, that is until the publishing company asked me to split the trilogy up into five installments. Fortunately, Siege of Darkness does not end so drastically, leaving you feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, as Prophecy of the Guardian does. (Sorry about that my fans, J)

It's difficult to summarize this second story without giving too much away. What I can say is this: Siege of Darkness flows a bit differently than the first. Instead of the heroes sweeping across the landscapes, the majority of this book takes place within Castle Volborg—the home fortress of the Dark Queen Talvenya.

While being held 'captive', our hero, Darshun Luthais, discovers many new truths about his elvish heritage—including the dreadful fate of his blood parents. Darshun is also greeted by a couple of new allies in the war who are also being held captive—one being a she-elf of angelic purity, and the other the Nasharin brother of Nayland, Kaylis Winviel.

And so (like I said, I can’t give too many details away or I will spoil the surprises for you), slithering through the castle in the late hours of the night, and led by his 'battle frenzy', Darshun finally comes face to face with the Demon Lord Abaddon, who is holding three of the Wizard Crystals as his own. But the only thought embedded into Darshun's mind is to challenge Abaddon in battle, for he's unlike any opponent Darshun has ever faced—an enemy having powers not seen in thousands of years, powers that awaken Darshun’s most difficult lust, the Nasharin Battle Frenzy, and therefore he must be dominated; by the skill of a Nasharin he must be defeated. Finally, Darshun's true abilities are put to the test in an epic clash of good versus evil.

Again, while having a different flow than the first book, Siege of Darkness carries much more action and brutality, as well as some touching spiritual moments that may cause you to shed a tear. I hope fans of the first will enjoy this second installment in the series.

Again the book is available in paperback or ebook at Whiskey Creek Press and also at Amazon (kindle edition).