Thursday, September 10, 2015

Irindia Bestiary

Just some of the creatures you'll discover in Irindia.
D_John_Watson's irindia album on Photobucket

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A leader drawn from our own legends

Despite the legend of the Gatherer and his anticipated arrival,  many of the rulers of Irindia  band together under the leadership of the Lady Akara Nene andf the flag of an ancient House.  Lady Nene is the ruler of her own territory and like all for the other lords and ladies of Irindia, she is bound in service to the imperial family, in this case, the besieged empress.  She calls together other lords and thousands of warriors for a campaign that she hopes will free her land of Draga and his arm.  And like any other leader, she is beset with a host of problems, from those who don't agree with her plans to personal histories that she can't seem to get away from.  As a warrior in a man's world, she must be harder and more fierce than the lords around her but she cannot defeat this army alone, she need allies and she looks to other races that inhabit the land, such as the Selcar and Centaur, eventually even the elves.
For someone like this, I needed to got into history and pull out some of the legendary women warriors of our own past.  I looked to Japan's Nanako Tekedo, Ireland's legendary Queen Medb
and even Hollywood's latest incarnation of Guinevere.  For Nene, honor is something she takes very seriously and she's bound to defend her land and her Empress as are those around her.  But she is also surrounded by powerful personalities like Gen Brahn, Lord Kensu and Lord Croix as well as her advisor, a wizard named Olma.
Her only hope in freeing her land from Lord Draga is to defeat the army that he has thrown at her before she heads north for the palace that he's taken for his master.  But against a powerful wizard, she will need more than her army but all of the magic she can bring to bear against Draga and his master.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


A massive shape greeted him as he emerged from the entrance. It was a great, hulking, predatory beast. Out of reflex Draga reached to touch its mind. Wyvern were the most dangerous creatures in the air, a fitting mount for one such as Draga. He found its conscience easily and bent its will to his own.  The creature lowered itself for him to climb and Draga used one of its heavily muscled forelimbs to lift himself onto its back. The beast gave a cry and launched into the air with the thunderous beating of great wings.
Draga left the forest then looked down on the city of Caribeth. It was a sprawling city at the mouth of the river that gave it its name. For as long as he could remember it had been his home, but no more. He had another now. There was no need for this one.
In order for him to truly be free Draga had to erase everything that had been part of his old life. Draga raised his arms then closed his eyes. He saw the images of his plan for the city and the commands came to him without effort.
First he heard a whistle, then a boom as the fiery rock struck and exploded with the force of a meteor. He could hear the screams. These were followed by another whistling sound. This time he felt the passing of the stone, as well as its heat as it descended on the city. Another followed that one, and then another.
Finally he saw the results of his anger and was satisfied.  Raging fires besieged the city and the spot where his father’s house had been was a deep crater that was littered with burning debris.  Any who survived the assault did so out of luck. Sama was gone; his entire past was erased. It was now time to take what was his. He had been denied his entire life, treated as second best, not worth the time to be noticed for his true gifts. However another had noticed and given him his due.
An image came to him; it was the vision of a white tower sitting in the center of a maze of gardens and pools.  There was the Gate of Irindia. A gateway that would allow him to go anywhere in Irindia he wanted. However, it was controlled by powerful magic, which could only be freed with the blessing of Empress Alassa.
You will build an army unlike anything that has ever been seen, and you will sweep aside all that oppose you, the voice had told him as he had left the chamber.  You will take this region, and then Irindia itself, for your own, the voice promised.
The voice had kept its promises. There was no reason to think that it wouldn’t continue. I will have everything I want, Draga told himself.

The voice was cold in its agreement. Yes, you will.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

One of the things that I had to figure out was how to get some of my characters  across great distances quickly when simply trekking on foot would be too impracticable.  For Draga, I chose a wyvern, the smaller but no less deadly cousin of the dragon.
Wyvern are the most deadly things in the air and their only natural enemy are storm birds, lightening infused birds based on the mythological roc and the thunder bird.
Originally I had thought about using dragons but those presented too many problems in the story line so I went with the wyvern.  It has most of the same characteristics of its larger cousin except the ability to breath fire.  One of David's first truely dangerous encounters after he becomes the Gatherer is when the ship he is on is attacked by one and he's nearly eaten.  Only Suma's skill is able to save him but they are an ever present threat in the skies over Irindia.  And a threat that they will have to deal with more than once.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


When I started writing, I knew that my hero would have to struggle to find his way home and that  my villain would have to work just as hard to get what he wanted,  This came in the form of a gateway that both needs to do what they want and like all valuable possessions, it needs a guardian.   I might have used a dragon or some nearly impassable barrier but I wanted one that was believable. My guardian comes in the form of Empress Alassa, the young ruler of Irindia.  This gateway cannot be gained by trickery or force, it must be given up freely, hence Lord Draga's problem.  Draga has gone to the trouble of arranging her ascension to the throne and she is forced to endure his manipulation of her dreams and his threat against her brother but she cannot give it to his demands.  

She starts her reign by refusing Draga's demands for surrender and her city is destroyed by an army of unnatural warriors she cannot defeat.  She is held captive, threatened and forced to watch as her subjects are destroyed or transformed in grotesque servants of the man who holds her.  She's promised release by a mythic warrior but not told when, only asked to be strong and patient. 
Damsels are an important theme in literature as well as movies and television.  We can all name hundreds, Princess Leia, Sarah Connor, Olive Oyle, they have many of the same qualities.  They all have a strength that gets them through no matter how dire the danger.  They are the sole survivors in slasher movies and have adorned the covers of pulp fiction magazines and books and in many respects, Alassa is like many in that she must be stronger than she thinks she can be.  At the same time, her only safety lies in the fact that neither Draga or any of his agents, nor even the master Draga serves can act against her on his command.  
However, if someone else does without his consent or influence, the gateway is free for him to claim.    

Saturday, January 31, 2015



The mentor is arguably the most important figure in the story. Without him, the hero cannot learn what he needs to know to win the battle, save the universe or rescue the damsel. Obi-wan, Mr. Miyagi, or John Keating from the movie Dead Poets Society, each of these characters casts their shadow over the world they were a part of. Even the Kurt Dussander, former nazi from the Stephen King story, Apt Pupil is what the main character needs to fulfill his role in the story. Teachers are the most important job in society and they have a special place in literature. 

And so it is for Suma, the wizard assigned by an race known as the Ancients to guide David through his quest and act as his teacher. And like all people he has a past and secrets he has to hide. Suma is uniquely qualified to understand and help his student in his quest. He knows Draga as no one else alive can, he is his brother. It is this association and special knowledge that makes him so important to David's quest and although he knows he has to do this, he knows that he is being asked to help destroy his own brother. He still loves the brother he had, he cannot save the being his brother has become. 

I had many good a teachers in my life and a drew from them as well as those I'd seen in books and movies. I used my experience in the martial arts, both as a student and as an instructor to give Suma's teachings a slightly Asian touch. Ultimately, the students no longer needs the mentor and so the mentor moves on, sometimes tragically, and other times to teach others. Yoda dies, and as Nanny McPhee puts it, "There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Introduction to Irindia


In every story, the hero must have something or someone he has to fight against, something that is strong enough to best him And a force that will define him.  For David, this comes in the form of Lord Draga, a dark wizard who is consumed by the evil that he has summoned.  Draga was trained from a young age in the magical arts but he  became obsessed with learning the more arcane, darker magic of Irindia.   His father is a powerful wizard and a member of the Soh'Magi.  He refuses to teach his son  the dark arts and his refusal only serves to make Draga more determined to learn.  This overshadows everything and it becomes the real driving force in turning Draga into the darkest force Irindia has seen in generations.  His greed for knowledge warp his values and he eagerly accepts the offer of the deamon Jumbdah Sek who sees Draga as a way to enter Irindia.

  Evil is a powerful force in and like many who seek it out or accept it, Draga doesn't see the true nature of the deamon or the treachery it is capable of.  He sees only the power of the magic being offered to him and he first uses it to avenge himself on this he felt  have wronged him, starting with  his father by leveling his home village.  But will a deamon really share his power?

  For Draga, I looked to characters we all know, they're the ones that are driven by their on needs and they're blind to the pain they inflict on others,  We all know people like this, maybe not to this magnitude but we've dealt with bullies, seen evil in historical characters.  For me, Draga was a bully who wanted what he shouldn't have and lashed out when someone offered it to him, without asking the price.  And will he be willing to pay that price.  


   If you were given the chance to save a world, what would you do?  For David Sanchez, the hero of my new YA series, The Chronicles of Irindia, this is more than that, it's a destiny he can't avoid.  And it's the only way he can return to his own.  David is like any other teenager, he's into sports and games and he doesn't always see eye to eye with his parents.  That is something that's made worse when he's uprooted again and moved to rural North Carolina.   And when he makes a silent, selfish wish, he get exactly what he asks for, to be someplace else.  Except the you really need to be careful what you with for, you may just get it.  And get it he does in form or a destiny he can't run away from.  For  David, there's only one  way home, he has to defeat  one of the biggest evils this land has ever faced and so begins his  journey through a land where magic and.myths are very real.  David is just an ordinary kid with an extraordinary fate who is not only going to have to fight his way across a landscape that 's beautiful and dangerous, but learn the magic he will need to defeat this evil.

  The true reality of this world and the dangers come after he is chased across a savannah and uses the magic he is learning out of panic and uses it to kill. For David this is a dramatic turn of events and one that shows him the dangers of the world he is in.  In the end, he is awakened to what he is, the Gatherer, the only one who can assemble the pieces of the Stone of Irindia and use its power.
Now all he has to do is survive the dangers of the land he's in and return to his own.

  Many people have asked where I got the inspiration from and to be honest, it started out as a mental picture I drew a few times and there were several incarnations.  Eventually it got to the point where I knew there was a story there that had to be told.  And for David, I looked at my son and many of the aspects of his life and relationships. both with me and his fascinations with games.  I like to think that this would be how he would react if he were David.  David is rebellious but determined.  He knows what he has to do and although he doesn't like, it's the only way he can return to his family.