The Five Realms – Liserna

LisernaRegional
Regional map of Liserna. Mostly the habitable bits.

Synopsis

The Spirit Realm, the Western Realm, where beings of the realm of Omnia go when their spirits leave their bodies (aka, death). It is the harmonic opposite of Oberun, which means that natives to that realm cannot exist in Liserna for very long without great discomfort. The beings who live here do have limited lifespans, like Mortals, though in vastly different ways. The most widely spoken languages in the established world are Spiritspeech, which is spoken widely in Liserna and among Omnian undead, and Serranian, spoken mainly by Shades and Valkurjar.

Lands

Liserna is characterized by one landmass and one global ocean, and most of that landmass is considered uninhabitable due to Val-Serra’s experiments with Red Necromancy in the Dawn Era. The land mass is generally called by the same name as the realm, and the ocean is simply, “the ocean.” The sky here is green, and the plants are generally dark, in varying shades of reddish, blue, and violet. If there are any green plants on Liserna, they aren’t native to it, and many of Omnia’s dark-shaded plants actually came from here, and were able to survive, such as weeping junipers, red stonecrop, barberries, sand cherries, and cordyline.

Some herbs that come from Liserna are non-poisonous to outsiders, including Shade Basil (which looks similar to Thai Basil), chamomile, white sage, and chocolate mint, all of which adapted green leaves in Omnia, from their blueish Lisernian counterparts. Other herbs, usually imported for their color, or on accident, are highly toxic to folks not native to the Spirit World. These include wolfsbane, nightshade, and hemlock, all of which have black leaves in Liserna. Strangely (at least, to people of the other Realms) native Lisernians use these herbs for medicinal, magical, and even culinary purposes.

Animals on Liserna are generally prehistoric looking (or they would be to us, anyway), and are generally well adapted for the environments they live in. There is a great deal of megafauna, including cave bears, wooly mammoths and mastodons, dire wolves, aurochs, muskoxen (a favored herd animal of the Dvergar), reindeer, moose, ice lions, and dire boar. Tiny mammals also scamper around the Lisernian undergrowth and burrow in the plains and hills, including jackalopes, cats, swamp deer, various rodents, maned foxes (not maned wolves, but literal foxes with big, fluffy manes), and tanuki. There are also several varieties of reptiles, including drakes, monitor lizards, and snakes, some amphibians, like turtles, frogs, and toads, and all manner of bird species, including but not limited to: sea birds, corvids (which are actually native to Liserna and migrated to other Realms, nobody knows quite how), owls, small songbirds, and large carrion eaters like vultures and condors. There are also said to be strange, twisted creatures that linger in and around the Deadlands and deep forests, with names like Spindle Striders, Murk Lurkers, and Shadow Eaters. Make of those what you will.

An example of what Liserna’s forests might look like. Courtesy of lenia-lostinspace

Countries

  • The Raven Lands:

    Theocratic Monarchy, ruled by the Raven Queen and/or the Raven King, who preside in the Ivory Tower. All dead souls eventually reach the Tower, and from there their Fate is determined. The main inhabitants of the Raven Lands are Ghosts, though some other races stop in every once in a while for trade. The first one too rule from the Ivory Tower was actually Raven King Runel, who caused the animosity from the Shades that resulted in a boundary being proclaimed. Before that, the seat of power was in what is now the Shadelands, where the First Raven Queen, Val-Serra, ruled with a gentle hand.

  • The Shadelands

    Socialistic Gerontocracy, ruled by the elders of various clans. While they don’t have clans in the traditional sense of the phrase, they have extended families tied together by their sigil, or tattoo. For example, the clan Whitebarrow’s sigil is an aspen tree with an arched doorway in the trunk. The elders from the clans get together once every new moon to discuss what would be best for the younger generations. Technically only Shades are part of the Shadelands, though members of other races also live there. They aren’t viewed as second-rate citizens, just general outsiders, and are given the same respect and opportunity as a Shade of the same standing.

    The capital of the Shadelands is Serra’s Cove, which used to be the capital of Liserna, before Runel moved his rule to the Ivory tower. Val-Serra, the First Raven Queen, ruled from Val’s Keep, which is the center point of the town, and is now mainly used as the meeting place for the Elders.

    Librarians and Scribes are highly valued in the Shadelands, as usually there are one or more of them in attendance at the Elders’ gatherings in order to keep track of the goings-on and to preserve the living history of their people. In fact, many Shade librarians go out into other realms, sometimes at the risk of great peril, to copy down religious texts, historical documents, and other stories.

  • The Valk Highlands

    Home of the Valkurjar, it is a mountainous region that extends north toward the equator, and into more tropical climate. Because the Valkurjar tend to keep to themselves, and even have their own language which is generally unintelligable to other Lisernians, not much is known about them, their lands, or their culture. Their terrifying appearance often keeps people away as much as the terrain does.

  • Dverg Territory

    A stretch of high peaks that separate the Shadelands from the Deadlands, in which the Dwarves make their nomadic homes, driving or following herds of muskoxen and aurochs through the valleys and sometimes up into the alpine tundra. Because the mountains of the Dvergar are considered sacred to them, nobody has ever been allowed to mine them, including the Dverg themselves.

  • Risar Territory

    Lowland mountains and rolling plains that extend northeast of the Raven Lands, over which the many tribes dispute territory and sometimes live in peace. The Risar aren’t as nomadic as the Dverg, but they do have a wandering streak, and sometimes entire encampments from one tribe or another will up and leave to find greener pastures, or get away from the encroaching forces of other tribes.

People

The native races of Liserna do not have a collective name, given the wide variety of lives they live. This includes Risar, Shades, Dwarves, Ghosts, and Valkurjar. Generally, these races do not intermix with each other, save for the occasional mix between a Risann and a Shade, or a Shade and a Dverg. Ghosts are incapable of reproducing, and Valkurjar are so genetically different that to try with any other race would be futile.

  • Risar stand roughly 7 to 10 feet tall, and are built lean but muscular. They are a very androgynous race, with almost no way to tell a male from a female but for their reproductive organs(which still isn’t always trustworthy on first glance) and their own personal say-so. Gender expression in their culture largely depends on relationship dynamics. Many Risar are skilled in the art of shape-shifting, usually into animals, or animal-humanoid hybrids, and have formed clans based on various powerful animals over the centuries. They are a visually diverse race, despite the androgyny, often taking on characteristics of their “bond-animal,” that is, their shapeshifted form of choice, as they age. Risar generally live to be about 150 years old.
  • Dwarves (or Dvergar) stand from 3 to 5 feet tall, and are generally built wide and strong. They have nearly black skin and hair, and eyes in all colors that shine like gemstones. They live in high altitudes, generally all the way up the tops of mountains where the air is thin and cold, and the sun is dangerous. They are nomads, herders, and occasionally settle down into farming villages is the valleys, though these are usually temporary as well. Male Dwarves typically grow long beards and long hair to protect them from the wind and cold, and females do the same, just lacking the beards. Due to the harsh environment, which sometimes strays into the Deadlands, Dwarves only live to be about 80 years old.
  • Shades (or Svartnar) stand about 4 1/2 to 6 feet tall. They are physically similar to Humans and Elves, and can reproduce with both, though the latter is beyond rare. Their skin ranges from paper-white to a dull tan, with hair usually black or dark brown, even straying into shades of dark violet and blue. Some Shades pale their hair or sections of it, generally in accordance to personal taste, and almost all of them have tattoos indicating clan, name, occupations, and sometimes life events like periods of grieving or great accomplishments. They live to be around 100 years old regularly, and the older the Shade, generally, the more tattoos.
  • Ghosts (or Draugar) are the souls of the dead from other Realms that have come to live out lives on Liserna before they “retire” back into the Wyrd, or in some cases, are picked for reincarnation. They are usually white-skinned and white-haired, or even appearing in grayscale due to their transient and corpse-like nature. The period of time between a Ghost arriving on Liserna and when they leave again varies from individual to individual, and all of them have walked what is called, “the long, cold road,” to get from their “spawn point” to the Ivory Tower. Some Ghosts live on Liserna for only a few hours, some for centuries, but all of them are temporary, and aware of this in a way none of the other races are. They are also the only race that doesn’t age, and can’t make themselves age, either.
  • Valkurjar are the tallest race in Liserna, and possibly in all of the Realms, towering over most others at 12-14 feet tall, and resemble an odd amalgamation of human and bird. In their culture, it is a sign of respect to wear the skull of an ancestor as a mask, and to outsiders it sometimes appears as though they actually have skulls for faces. To remove one’s mask is a sign of deep trust, and even love, and is usually only done in private and around one’s family, chosen or blood. The Valkurjar are the only Lisernian race to have six limbs, with two legs, and two pairs of arms, one of which extend out into feathered wings, though are still used for grasping as well. They are capable of gliding, but not of powered flight, and instead have mastered the skill of teleportation. The Valkurjar are rumored to be immortal, but really they live to be about 800 years old before finally passing on. Their long lives mean that the dead and mortality in general is a struggle to remember, thus the skulls.

Many have wondered what happens to spirits on Liserna when they die. Not many outside of the Realm know that anything but Ghosts live there, but those that do are perplexed by the other races’ existence. In truth, when a person, of any race really, dies in Liserna, that’s it. Their soul goes back to the Wyrd, without any in-between point. Nobody is really sure why that is, though there has been much speculation, ranging from, “because it would be redundant to come back to Liserna,” to, “because the First God cursed everyone there.” Again, nobody really knows.


Thank you all so much for reading through this little glance into the Realm of Liserna! I hope to someday explore it further in short stories, or even novels. The Tales from Liserna, while taking place there in part, doesn’t really do it the justice it deserves, and I really want to show it off a little. Next week we’ll be taking a peek at the enigmatic Oberun, a realm split between light and darkness. Hope to see you then!

-E.J.

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The Five Realms – Omnia

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The main setting of Omnia (One of my first attempts at hand-drawn fantasy cartography.)

Synopsis

Omnia. The Mortal Realm, the Harmonic Realm, where any and all beings from any realm can co-exist relatively peacefully. It has a balance of the energies from all other realms, and so naturally exists in the center of the energetic cosmos. The beings who live here naturally have limited lifespans, the shortest of which belong to the Beastfolk. The most widely spoken languages in the established world are Estlandic, a linguistic descendant of Empyrean, and Gaoan, which is older than any other language in the Realm. All gods hold sway over this land, some more than others, as a measure to keep the energy of the Mortal Realm truly balanced.

Lands

  • Lazarus:

    The land first conquered by the Empyreans, the first ancient empire, who gave it and the surrounding lands their contemporary names. Lazarus spans from the arctic circle down to almost the equator, in one long, relatively thin, mass of land. It is populated by all manner of folk, and is home to two Kingdoms: Estland and the Empire of Stones (or Hargaoah), and three Territories: the Western Isles, the Northlands, and the Red Desert. The fauna of Lazarus is generally small, compared to that of other Realms anyway, consisting of birds of prey, herd mammals like elk, deer, and horses, bears, a few species of large cat, and the occasional wyvern.

  • Austellus:

    The “paradise” continent. Because of its location and history, Austellus is one of the most geologically, meteorologically, and socio-economically stable places in Omnia. It has kept its Empyrean name over the millennia, but has yet to be conquered by any kingdom, though it has been settled. It is treated as a kind of neutral territory, and has only ever come under serious threat, and nearly destroyed, once. It is host to a wide variety of songbirds, big cats, horned mammals like gazelle and antelope, and – in the southern reaches – species of crocodile and alligator.

  • Ravine:

    Named for Riven, Demon King of the North, who, in 2E 257 covered the land in Scourge, which initiated the 66 year long Lazarus War. Originally called Boreas, by the ancient Boreans, it is a cold land of ancient mountains and evergreen forests northwest of Lazarus. After the Undoing, it has become a wildly contested land, as the hills and mountains are rich in metals and gems. Its original fauna boasted a wide array of hardy animals, like aurochs, sheep, long-haired horses, and bears, but the ecosystem has since changed. The first species to return to Ravine were birds, especially mountain songbirds, birds of prey, and scavengers like ravens and crows. Many species have since begun migrating to Ravine over the winters, when the ice can reach up into the arctic circle, making paths between Ravine, Lazarus and who knows where else. Wolves, bears, and mammoths have been the most opportunistic of this new place.

  • Hargulad and the Hyperion Islands:

    It is rumored that somewhere out to the west in the South Sea, there are a chain of Islands where the stone is rich blue and the trees stay broad-leaved and green all year round. Those islands are called Teo-Tahl by the locals, and have been mapped extensively by one intrepid cartographer. On the other side of the world, out somewhere in the Immanis, there is another land rumored to exist, from far back in Empyrean legend. A land several times the size of Lazarus and the surrounding landmasses combined. Nobody knows if this place, called Hargulad in Gaoan myth, is actually real, but with the discovery of Teo-Tahl, some are looking hopefully to the east.

Countries

  • Estland:

    Autocratic Monarchy, ruled by the King or Queen, who presides in Silverkeep, the capital. The kingdom was founded by Diamant Silverkin, and the crown has passed down the line until Xankul’s bastard son Jay Thursmund, the Phoenix King, took the throne, by virtue of his heroic acts against Riven in the Undead War. Estland is 225 years old and has had a total of five Kings.

    Estland is populated mostly by humans, and the most commonly spoken language is Estlandic. People who come from Estland – usually those who are brown of hair and ruddy of skin – are called Estons.

  • The Empire of Stones (Hargaoah)

    Oligarchic Monarchy, ruled by an Emperor, or Empress, who has gone through intense and specific training and instruction as to how and why things work in the Empire. The process of choosing a monarch begins with a circle of Oracles, who seek children with the gift of leadership, and ask their parents if they would let that child go into the education system, in preparation to perhaps become the next monarch. There is also a council, made of representatives from each of the guilds, who have the power to veto bad decisions, and even dethrone the monarch, but only with a unanimous vote.

    Some of the guilds include Farmers, Merchants, Architects, Tailors, Artists, Fighters, Mages, Hunters, and Scholars, among others. The Shadows(thieves and spies), are actually sanctioned by the Empire, and only operate outside of it. They act as an information network, and the head of the Shadow Guild is generally the speaker for the council. In times of war or impending unease, the Shadow Guild can also act as a sabotage network.

    Hargaoah mostly consists of Gaoans, and is usually ruled by a Gaoan. The language most often spoken is actually Estlandic, among the common folk, and Gaoan, among the councils. People from the Empire are called Hargaozi, and the capital is Har Aradace, known to outsiders as Boulder Keep.

    The current ruler is Empress Ukuna, a Gaoan with flashing gray eyes, black hair, and skin the color of metamorphic rock. She is also known as Ukuna, the Lady of Steel.

  • Ravine

    Ravine was formerly known as Boreas, and, before Riven decimated it, was a thriving civilization that rivaled even Empyrea, and indeed even went to war to defend itself against them. The so-called Dragon Sea War lasted only three years, after which the High King of Empyrea decided it wasn’t worth the wasted resources. Boreas was ruled by a High King too, as well as a collection of regional lords. They had the largest navy in the world, at one point, and some say they even sailed as far as Hargulad in their height of power. However, after it became Ravine, is is now beginning to be re-settled, and has no central seat of power. Some folk are taking to Ravine as an escape from the ways of their home countries – most often from Estland – and as such are more than willing to fight to defend their freedoms, echoing the original spirit of Boreas.

  • The Western Isles

    Once just a collection of separate nation-states, as of the end of Winterdream it has become a united Republic under the rule of Regent Terestai Dwin’Ervis, whose brother, Caunion, acts as Ambassador. Each of the isles elects representatives who deal with the larger issues like foreign affairs, and a code of laws governs all of them. However, they run their own business amongst themselves, have their own names, and even their own internalized governments, which the Regent doesn’t interfere with unless it’s strictly necessary. It is a very new country, and is still in the throes of trying to figure itself out.

    People from the Western Isles are generally called Westerners, or Islanders. They speak a collection of languages, but most commonly Estlandic. While they are currently “ruled” by an Elf, the vast majority of people here are humans, and half-breeds. The capital of the Isles is Alardan, and Alardan Keep.

People

RaceLineupOmnia

The native races of Omnia are, as a collective, called True Mortals. This includes Gaoans, Humans, Pebblefolk, Merfolk, and Beastfolk. Generally, these races do not intermix with the other True-Mortals (in fact doing so is, in many cultures, considered taboo), though they do sometimes produce offspring with races from other Realms.

  • Gaoans, or Stonefolk, stand roughly 6 to 8 feet tall, are built thick and bulky, and have striated, mineral-rich skin that seems to mimic layers of stone, which comes in various shades from chalk white to jet black, ranging through dull reds, yellows, browns, and sometimes blues and greens. They are the longest-lived of any True Mortal race, with the average life expectancy being 180.
  • Pebblefolk are genetic cousins of the Gaoans, standing from 3 to 5 feet tall, with the roughly the same variations of skin and hair color. They tend to have slightly bigger ears relative to head size, as well as slightly larger eyes, and they normally lack striation in the skin. They live only slightly longer than humans, with a life expectancy of 90 years.
  • Humans, or Plainsfolk, are generally referred to as what happened to the Mortals who weren’t changed by the various gods and lands and magics. They stand about 5 to 6 1/2 feet tall, with skin that ranges from pale to dark, in varying shades of brown, and hair that ranges from white to black, with various shades and permutations of brown, gold, and red in between. The average life expectancy of a human is 65 years, assuming stable living conditions. Humans are also the race that interbreeds with other races the most often.
  • “Beastfolk” is an umbrella term to describe the races that resemble non-sapient land animals. Many of these races grow hair, scales, or sometimes feathers all over their bodies, and have other attributes, like claws, ears, tails, and eyes, that further link them to their bestial counterparts. The individual races are often named after the animal type that they most closely resemble, for instance “Foxfolk,” “Catfolk,” and “Snakefolk,” though this is not the case with Fauns. They do have their own names as well, for instance, Nagas for the Snakefolk, and Huldras for the Foxfolk. They live the shortest of any True Mortal race, perhaps because of the conditions in which most of them live. Average life for a Beastfolk is roughly 40 years.
  • “Merfolk” is another umbrella term, but this one is used to describe the water-dwelling races of Omnia, which are often lumped together under the same name by the land-dwellers. They generally all have some array of fins, gills, scales, and occasionally lack any body hair. Merfolk are the least likely of any race to breed with any other, mostly because of the difficulties involved in doing so. They have an average lifespan of 100 years, and have adapted to suit many marine environments, from freshwater to salt, tropical to arctic.

There are races in Omnia that are not originally from Omnia, since the realm is one that supports almost all life. They are also called Mortals, since they also have limited lifespans, and are prominent in the various cultures of the world. However, being non-native, they are not True Mortals, and do not see any wrong in breeding amongst themselves – outside of cultural morality, anyway. These other races include but aren’t limited to: Elves, Dark-Elves, Demon-kin, and Dragon-kin.

Undead, while technically native to Omnia, do not have limited lifespans, and so are not technically Mortal. The most well-known varieties of Omnian Undead include Vampires, Litches, Banshees, Ghouls, and Revenants. Scourge-spawn were once on that list, but after the Undoing, there are now no Scourge-spawn anywhere in the Realm. Werewolves and other shape-changers also exist on Omnia, but because they are created from other races, like Undead, they’re more of a condition than an actual people unto themselves.


Thank you for being here for this overview of the Realm of Omnia! Next week we’ll be taking a look at Liserna, which is more than just the land of the dead. Hope to see you then!

-E.J.

The Five Realms – An Overview

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For much of human history, we’ve been asking ourselves if this is it. If this earth is the only one out there, if we’re the only ones in the cosmos like us. We’ve been asking ourselves if we are alone. For the people of Omnia, and the rest of the Five Realms, the answer is a definitive no. They share their cosmos with beings who are all similar, yet distinct in their own ways. The existence of the other four Realms are well known to the people of Omnia, and yet there are still those who look out at the star-spackled night sky and wonder if there are yet more worlds yet to be discovered.

What are they?

Nobody is quite sure how the Realms work, or how they interact with each other, only that they do. The most studied scholars’ best guesses have been… inconclusive, to put it lightly. Some believe that the Realms all exist on the same larger world, but spaced apart so distantly as to be impossible to reach without the use of a Gate. Others believe that the Realms are different, separate, but energetically linked planes of existence, all oscillating and jostling together in the same space. Still others believe that all of these Realms are worlds that existed long before they started interacting with each other, and that they really don’t share any common connection. If you asked the average person on the street where the other Realms are, most would shrug and brush you off. If you got lucky, someone might gesture vaguely to the sky or to the general surroundings and say, “Out there, somewhere. I dunno.”

Where did they come from?

In the oldest mythologies, those that were preserved by the ancient Boreans through the attempted conquest by various Empyrean rulers, all of the Realms began as one. In the old stories, Omnia was the first and only Realm, from which all other beings and all other places spawned. It was from this ancient time that the First Gods rose up and began to change the race of Mortals, from whom all others are derived. When the First Gods created their own lands, those that would become the Realms, they took their people with them. All but one, who stayed on Omnia, with his people of stone and the unchanged Mortals, who eventually came to be called Humans. Since then, people have wandered back and forth between all of the planes, some more so than others, in search of adventure, answers, or in some case, an escape from horrendous catastrophes.

Who lives where?

In the Harmonic Realm of Omnia, any and all creatures from the other four Realms can live relatively comfortably, and often do. The natives of this Realm are still called Mortals, or sometimes True Mortals, though there are many different types. Despite the rather large population on Omnia, the race of Elves are actually from Oberun, the Fae Realm. The Fae are divided into two larger categories, the Kind and Cruel (or Seelie and Unseelie, in their tongue). The Fae people, because of the energetic relationships between the realms, cannot exist comfortably on Liserna, the Spirit Realm, nor can Spirits exist comfortably on Oberun. The people of Liserna don’t actually have a collective name for themselves, preferring their own respective names to any broad definition. Liserna is the realm that most souls from dead beings on Omnia go to for sorting, though some end up getting pulled into Arcturus or banished to Senabyss instead. Arcturus is the Celestial or Astral Realm, and the people who live there seldom interact with any of the other Realms. They would rather keep to themselves as a general rule, especially after what happened in Oberun that made the Elves leave. Unlike Liserna and Oberun, people and creatures from Arcturus and Senabyss can exist in each other’s Realms without side effects, though given the vast separation, energetically speaking, they prefer not to bother most of the time. Senabyss is often called the Dark Realms, as it not only includes its own main world, but also the Shattered Realm, a place where, to everyone’s knowledge and hope, nothing lives. The people of Senabyss are generally called Demons, and are looked upon with great distaste by many because of past events, and their generally chaotic nature.

The Wyrd

The universe of the Five Realms isn’t just the physical Realms themselves. Connecting all people and all things in all Realms is a vast expanse of energetic patterns and spaces that, in Old Borean, is called the Wyrd. Originally the phrase meant something along the lines of destiny, or the patterns of one’s life, but when more and more people began learning to journey in the Wyrd, realizing that this was the between-space through which Gates to other Realms crossed, the meaning changed. This is the place to which all souls eventually return, and presumably is where they come from as well. Rarely is this infinite space traveled, and never has it ever been fully and accurately perceived. The Wyrd is shaped by the mind of the explorer, and tends to shape it back in return. Those who walk in the darkness never return unchanged.


Thank you for checking out this brief overview of the Five Realms! This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but haven’t had enough of the worlds in place to begin until now. I’m going to continue this series of “About the Worlds” posts, in which I’ll be diving deeper into each of the realms, the people and gods who live there, end eventually get into the different styles of magic. If you have anything about the worlds that you really want me to talk about, leave me a comment!

Next week we’ll dive into the people and places of Omnia, which is where most of the Tales books take place. Hope to see you then.

-E.J. Lowell

The Redgate Chronicles: Old World

Chapter 0
The Great Mistake

The world, it seems, will never forget its chaos and be at peace. For more than a thousand years, wars, rebellions, and uprisings have kept the land in turmoil. At the slightest hint of lasting peace, another resurgence begins, and tensions with the Beast-folk races rise once more. Swept into the midst of that strife are three unlikely champions, pulled from the dungeons of Olsan and into the service of an unorthodox queen. With the world breaking down around them, and enemies rising in the shadows, it appears their only hope lies in the cryptic musings of a peculiar bard, and in ancient tales long abandoned. In the end, a desperate attempt at a solution may be their only way out. This is a tale of nobles and monsters, legends and demons, and a familiar face come to tell the story.

OLD WORLD

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Now available for Amazon Kindle.

NaNo Update – Final Word Count

Wooooooooo!!!!

Hello, my friends!

I have finally, finally, after much heartache, distraction, and struggle, finished book one of the Redgate Chronicles. I say finally because shortly after the halfway point I had a couple of days where I only managed to write a couple hundred words because of a family vacation of sorts(totally worth it, btw) and a few days in the mix where I didn’t write anything because, *alien hands* life. Not sure what I’m complaining about. I’ve managed to outrun my dad, the man who inspired “The Lowell” as a unit of measurement for productivity(which, if you’re curious, is 10k words in a day. I can write a half-Lowell.) which is a feat in and of itself.

The final, verified word count came in at a whopping 60,998 words, which, for me, is absurd for a first draft. Old World is going to be a long book, as far as my writing goes, and I am so excited to read back through it in a month or so(maybe less if I work on something between then and now) and relive all of the hilarity, heartache, and Huge Monstrous Mistakes again. And edit, of course. That too. Also cry. I suspect there will be a lot of crying involved. *curses at Marcus*

So, what comes next? Several ideas. My current projects include updating the Tales from Liserna covers to match the style of the Tales of Esper Ravenwood ones, more stories for the Lazarus Anthology, actual art for the cover of the book I just wrote because that’s a good idea, and a read-through of All’s Well in Asgard.

Actually, I might do something different with that last one. The “reality” parts of All’s Well in Asgard are really boring, and not really the story I want to be telling. The fantasy bits, on the other hand, are basically what I tried to do with another project, that has long since bit the big one, but in a way that actually works, and feels like a complete story, even though it’s only 26k or thereabouts. I may end up renaming the project to Charge, which was the title for the bit-dust project, and make it into a graphic novel/comic. It’s a story that would work quite well with the medium, and put a challenge on me that I might actually be able to complete this time.

As for non-book projects, I’m working on, of all things, developing a tabletop game with some friends of mine for the Three of Wands RPG Company. I’m currently the one spearheading the project, as it were, and thus far have the only testable prototype. I work smart. I’ll probably be running that into the ground for a while, which should sufficiently take my mind off of the Chronicles. Should be a good time!

So that’s where I’m at. Tomorrow, I will be a very confused hermit because I won’t be writing a book. Oh…wait. I’ve still got New World to plan. *evil hand wringing*

See you soon!
-E.J. Lowell

NaNo Update – Halfway There

Hello, friends!

I’ve never written a story this fast before. It’s terrifying. I just hit 30,000 words and am on Chapter 7 now. Those of you who’ve read my other books know that I tend to write long chapters. My average is 11 per book, with my longest so far(in terms of numbers of chapters) being WinterdreamOld World will end up being 12 chapters long, and possibly something like 60,000 words by the end of everything, which would make it my longest book yet, other than Revenant.

And I’m only on day nine. How am I doing this?

Whatever. Keep rolling, Ej! And the rest of you, too. We’ve got worlds to explore!

NaNo Week 1 Update

Hello, friends!

So far so good! I’m a week in and already almost to 25,000 words(which is a higher word count than my dad has right at the moment. Didn’t expect this at all). I probably won’t end up with that by the end of the day, but maybe tomorrow. I’ve got a distraction today that I really wish I didn’t, but do I wish that because it’s not worth it, or because it’s dragging me out of my house while I’d rather be home writing and drawing? Remains to be seen.

Old World is writing itself in a blaze of creative glory, much like Revenant did. It’s rather refreshing, actually. It’s all planned out and is following the path in a gently meandering way…right up until the wall smacked everyone in the face. I’ve just gotten past the first earth-shattering ka-boom and it was awesome. If draining.

I’m learning a lot about this world and the characters in it that I didn’t realize in planning. They keep writing in little bits about themselves, like Kisuke spontaneously becoming a lore-nerd, and Marcus swearing in Abyssal. Evaline is still a little bit of a mystery, but she’s one of those characters that I know is going to bloom majestically when she gets into serious trouble. Ivan Valenshine is a bit of a surprise, though. He’s much more involved and sarcastic than he was when I first “met” him, and he and Evaline get along weirdly well. Surprisingly, the hardest character to write so far is Queen Elenora. She was much more vivid in my mind, but perhaps that’s because the only chapters in which we get to see her so far are through Kisuke’s point of view.  I didn’t expect her to be the problem child, but, hey. There’s always one. Except for Winterdream. That entire team worked together like a well-oiled machine.

Here’s to the next week, and the next couple of chapters. Marcus is about to meet one of my favorite characters from the planning stage, and the world is about to be thrown into utter chaos. *evil cackling*

Catch you later. Keep going strong, fellow WriMos!
-E.J. Lowell

NaNoWriMo 2015 with OddBard

Hello, friends! Happy National Novel Writing Month!

Last month I got All’s Well in Asgard to a grand total of 50,969 words, but it’s still not quite to the end yet. I mostly got stuck after I put the two halves together, and I’ll probably come back to it after November to whip it into half-decent shape. I do quite like the story, though, and it’s one that I want to tell, eventually, but I think it needs a bit more time to percolate before I finish it and put it through the Edits.

I also started putting together the first tales in the Lazarus Anthology(currently 12,000 words long, ish), a collection of short stories set in Esper’s world. There are currently three written, with seven more potentially planned(five of those being from the Companions of Jay). The finished ones are Mixed Blessing, a third-person account of Nuin’s curse, The Way He Smiles, an excerpt from Leon’s journal, and Sanctuary, a short story set after the events of Lightbringer in which we get to see Captain Heartnet in action. I’ll probably be working on the other short stories while I work through my NaNo novel, since I anticipate needing a break every once in a while.

This month I’ll be writing The Redgate Chronicles: Old World which is all planned out(I’m not pantsing this one, thank goodness) and should be a wild ride. My author page is over here, if you want to come be my writing buddy and watch me struggle my way through yet another tale of craziness and trickery. This is going to be a good month!

To my fellow WriMo’s: May the Words be ever in your favor. Good luck!

RedgateOW Working

The Redgate Chronicles and an Unexpected Story

Hello, friends!

I’ve been meaning to post something here for a long time but haven’t, obviously. Mostly that’s because I hadn’t thought of anything to post, and was going through a bit of a story hangover after having gotten Scourgemarked into print. I’ll start working on Lightbringer when I feel like it’s worth it, but right now I’m not selling anything. Kinda disheartening, but it happens. Not everyone is a Nathan Lowell their first year out the gate. Not even his elder progeny. (Crap, it’s only been a year, what am I worrying about?)

So, projects. I’ve got a new series in the works that I’m going to start seriously cracking down on for NaNoWriMo, a two-book story called the Redgate Chronicles. The first book, “Old World,” is planned in detail already and I’m working on the plot for “New World,” on and off. It’s fantasy, just like the two Tales trilogies(which I should probably just start calling the Omnia saga or something), but it’s not set in the same time or society as they are. It’s going to be a little different. New deities, new history, lots of cool stuff. I’m pretty excited. I’ll probably end up designing a cover for Old World before October is over.

I also accidentally started a work of Mythic fiction, which borders on historical at times, after just plonking down and trying to get ideas going. I’m 12,000 words into that so far, I could probably get it to novel length before the end of October, or I might end up putting it on pause and picking it back up in December if I don’t finish. It’s also the first draft so I may find myself at, “Would you know yet more?” before I get to 50,000 words. The story behind this one is that a while back I tried to write a modern-day Mythic fantasy called “All’s Well in Asgard,” but it didn’t work out. I got 30,000 words in and decided it wasn’t the story that I wanted to be telling, so I just dropped it. This thing I’m working on now is tentatively going by that title, even though it all takes place in Midgard, Vanaheim, and Jotunnheim at the moment. It’s currently focused on the journey of an Eshnahai(a Vanir from back before the elves and jotunns decided to become two different things) not named in lore called Vursythian, and his apprentice Erisath. Loki is also a main player. Because Loki…is Loki. He does whatever. I’ve still got the mock cover that I made for that when I tried to write the first iteration, and this second one is probably going to get merged with it somewhat. Given that I’m basically pantsing this one, we’ll see how much editing it takes to get it where it needs to go.

That’s all for now, folks. See you again soon, hopefully.
-E.J. Lowell

AWiA Cover

Scourgemarked is out in Paperback

Hey, friends!

Esper got his turn on Revenant’s cover in July, so here’s Leon’s face on Scourgemarked! If you want to get a copy and read the stories for yourself, here’s that for you.

Also, I’ve been working on maps behind the scenes, as well as planning out my next series, so hopefully I’ll have some pages up soon about the world of Omnia.

Until then, see you soon!
-E.J. Lowell