The Five Realms – An Overview


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.



Now available for Amazon Kindle.

NaNo Update – Final Word Count


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