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A Brief Uplifting Tale from the Land of Northreach

This morning, my wife asked me to tell her a story. This is what came out.

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On a farm in Northreach, a child was playing alone behind the barn. His carved wooden soldiers were crude and simple, but he loved them anyway. His father had carved some of them, but some – the boy’s favorites – had been made by his father’s father, and despite the wood being worn from two generations of loving handling, those three figures were always the heroes and kings and generals, whatever the story in the boy’s head needed them to be. The day was cold, since winter was not long passed, but much of the snow was gone and behind the barn the ground was dry and free from the mud that seemed to be the main component of the farm during early spring.

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The Storm of Northreach Is Now Available. So There’s That.

Book Two of the Saga. It’s a saga, you see. Saga.

It’s official. The most popular zombie fantasy novel series in Bear, Delaware has the next installment available for mass purchase. The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (see, I always wanted to write a saga. Trilogies are for the organized. A saga, man, that just sounds epic. Had to write a saga.), is now available for purchase in paperback form. With a limited edition cover, no less, commemorating my friends and loyal supporters at The Days of Knights in Newark Delaware. In fact, DoK’s has signed copies you can buy, right off the shelf, like it’s a book or something. If you can’t get to DoK’s, though, you can get Storm through Amazon. It won’t be signed, but that’s your problem. The Kindle and other ebook versions will be available soon, so have patience, you loyal rabid followers, you.

In the meantime, the fantastic Candice Bundy has interviewed me over at her blog where I expound on literature, wine, and chocolate ice cream. Check it out, then make fun of me in the comments or behind my back or wherever, it’s all good.

Not only that, but the Coolest Man in the World – Steven Montano – has a preview blurb up for Storm today that is eight thousand times more professional and awesome than anything I’ve done for my own book. That’s because he’s the Coolest Man in the World.

Finally, here’s a link to an excerpt from the novel that gives nothing away of the main story but gives you an idea of what the books are like. Note the hilarious estimate of Storm being a 2011 release. Hahahahahaha! Still, it’s a saga.

In case you’re curious, here’s the description of The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (you can’t tell me that when you say Saga in your head that it’s not done in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, all weighty and full of gravitas and shit. Saga. Saga.):

The storm is breaking, and the undead are loosed.

The legacy of the insane necromancer Troius lives on. Now freed from his control, the scattered remnants of his undead horde stalk the isolated hamlets of Northreach. The survivors of the destruction of Daneswall seek shelter from the oncoming storm, while soldiers of Baron Northreach are sent to investigate the strange message sent by the Baron’s son. Meanwhile, the city of Anticus, proud and insular, ignores the troubles of the backwater region of Northreach, unaware of the torrent bearing down from the north.

It’s a fuckin’ saga, man. That’s some cool shit right there.

Saga.

Devotion Magic in the World of The Curse of Troius

Awhile back, I wrote a post about the general nature of magic in the world the Northreach Saga takes place in. Now that Curse’s younger brother (younger in age, but bigger in both scope and word count by a large margin) Storm is done as a first draft and moves to the editing process, I wanted to go into a little greater detail into one of the types of “magic” present in the world, one that takes on a slightly bigger role in Storm.

This is what I said about Devotion Magic in the prior post:

Devotion magic uses the power of an outside spirit, such as a god or demon, channeled through a person devoted to exercising the entity’s will.  The applications of devotion magic are many and varied, according the type of spirit being worshipped.  A god of peace and plenty may provide his devout followers with curative and blessing spells, while a demon may grant her devotees spells of fire and destruction.  Devotion spells are broken down into Spheres, and each individual spirit would have different Spheres that the spirit provides and can influence.

Those familiar with role-playing games know what priests can do. They walk around and heal people. Occasionally they provide protective enchantments to help in battle. They carry blunt weapons and can’t use swords for some reason. The most common explanation one hears for this is some kind of sacred commandment that priests can’t shed blood. Tell you what. I want you take a 6-pound iron club with flanges on the end and smash someone in the head with it – actually, I don’t want you to do that, so let’s say “imagine” it instead. What do you imagine you will find? If you guessed a big bloody mass of pulped flesh, brains, and an awful lot of blood, then congratulations, you win.

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Inside the Zombie Studio: An Interview with Comrick and Daevan of the Curse of Troius

Thank you for joining us today on Inside the Zombie Studio, the highest-rated and only show on television after the rise of the walking dead. I am your host, William Tetley.

(audience moans, shuffles)

Joining me today are two of the primary… shall I call them movers? of the zombie fantasy novel, The Curse of Troius. I am honored and pleased to welcome first the Stranger of Daneswall, Daevan. I hope that it wasn’t too much trouble getting through the horde surrounding the building?

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Magic in the World of The Curse of Troius

Get your Nerd Waders out. This one is gonna be geeky. Like a 7th level Spiritwrack spell geeky. Thou hast been warned.

During a recent author interview (see what I did there!? Didn’t that make me sound all authoritative and cool? Like I’m a big time dude that magnanimously allowed the guy with the white card that says PRESS tucked into his fedora onto my yacht and allowed him to savor the aroma of my pipe and swirled brandy. It was almost exactly like that.)

Anyway, during a recent author interview, I was asked about the nature of magic in the world of The Curse of Troius. It was an interesting question, or at least it was interesting to me, since I never expected it. Magic plays a very subtle background role in Curse, with few “on-screen” demonstrations of spells and wizardly goodness. The zombie plague at the heart of the story is caused by magic, of course, but little of it is described in detail as a process – mostly because I didn’t want to turn it into a story about My Magic System. It was enough for me to show that magic was behind it, then move on the the important stuff like gnashing teeth and spilled innards.

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Last Alley – An Excerpt from The Storm of Northreach

This is the latest excerpt from The Storm of Northreach, the sequel to The Curse of Troius, due out sometime in 2011. As of now, this is unedited, since I wrote it yesterday afternoon. It may reflect that fact. But it does give an idea of what the novels are like without giving anything away, since this the former minstrel Ternn’s first appearance anywhere. Enjoy! Or hate it. I can’t tell you what to do. But you can tell me what you think.

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The pouring rain ran in a sheet down Ternn’s seamed and pinched face. He clenched his arms protectively the crude clay jug pressed against the sodden fraying remnants of his shirt.  He staggered down the half-flooded road, plodding obliviously through the rank water that had risen from the lowest channels of the refuse canals that cut through the Gutters.  At this point, he would have waded through a knee-deep pool of the city’s collected shit in order to reach his favored spot, now that he’d gotten his hands on enough of Icar’s rotgut to keep him in a stupor for a few days.  With his treasure, he’d be able to keep the memories haunting him at bay for a little while longer. Read the rest of this entry