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.