Category: Guests

The Magic System in The Huntress: A Guest Post by Ana Marija Meshkova

I have another guest for you today! Check out Ana Marija. 🙂

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When I was working on creating The Huntress universe and the lore accompanying it, I didn’t really know much about what I wanted to do with it. I only knew two things, that I wanted a world in which demons and witches existed and his in plain sight, and that I wanted a magic system that is both categorized and full of grey areas. As time went on and I delved deeper into the story, I found out more.

Magic in The Huntress is a force similar to gravity and magnetism. It flows through everything in the form of essence. Not everyone can tap into it, and that is why it has remained hidden from most of humanity. Those that can tap into it, wield magic to create spells. Those spells can be as simple as moving your hand, require words, crystals, blood, or certain materials, or full blown rituals involving all of the components. For those requiring words, intent and rhythm are more important that the actual words, which is why translated spells rarely work. If the spell requires components besides the right word, it becomes even more complicated because everything needs to be timed just right. And lastly, spells require channelling essence, either one from your body, or one that comes from another place passing though your body, which can cause immense pain and a lot of side effects, depending on the strength of the caster.

Magic casters are divided in two groups, good and evil. Though these names are (and this becomes a theme through this entire world) given by chance. Humans are both good and evil, while demons fall only under evil because the humans that claim to be good are the types to lump all non-humans together. In time, this divide just increased and tension mounted, which is why when the events that kickstart the plot in the book happen, the magical community is waging a war they hide from humanity.

If we were to get technical, all magic in The Huntress is demonic. Demons are not being of hell, in fact, they predate the world, and even humans by a few thousand years. They occurred naturally though evolution, and in time developed different races, each with a different biology and different way of using magic. Some races can breed, some cannot, some can talk and think, some are animalistic, while some have more in common with plants. What binds them all together is that their essence and spirit are linked, which means they always have their powers. As times changed, so did the demonic races, and their attitude. Old demons were extremely powerful, since they actively sought out genes different from them and bred more powerful descendants. In fact, old demons were so powerful they could weld magic in completely different ways, creating disciplines and becoming the deities that inspired folklore and religion. One of those disciplines is called Ocaran magic.

Now, demons are closer knit in their communities, and the races are stagnant. Some have been named according to a legend they closely resemble, even if the species the legend was about has been extinct for years, some take those sort of names themselves, while some have inspired legends that have changed over time and no longer resemble their original source. In the modern days, demons who breed with no predetermination are outcasts, and some have a lot of human DNA. Half-humans, half-demons are common, because demons are becoming rarer, and they are considered lower class. Demons all belong to different disciplines, and can even learn other disciplines if they try.

Humans have self-divided in two groups, witches and warlocks. Witches fight demons and wield light magic, while warlocks are more chaotic and align with demons and wield dark magic. Dark and light in this case are just associations, and could be considered lesser disciplines, or styles. These styles can be recognised easily by magical individuals.

The reason not all humans are born with magic is that that they were given the power long ago by a deity during a battle between the old demons that threatened to destroy everything. The deity that gave them their power wielded Ocaran magic, which is why most witches can wield that. But just like demons, witches can learn other disciplines too, and it is even easier for them, because they are not so closely linked to their essence. Power can be taken away from them, which is why some clans have a power that is passed down a line. The general power that most but not all witches posses is the ability to create fireballs. They can control the size and power of the fireball somewhat, depending on the amount of training they have had.

Another category is dimensional and non-dimensional, or ordinary, magic. Dimensional magic is magic that can pass through dimensions, and is wielded by those who can channel their essence far enough and bring it back again. More demons are capable of this than humans, and human can get some nasty side-effects. This is the exact reason why it’s far easier to bring demons back from the dead than it is humans.

Of course, when flawed people and emotions are involved, things are not always that clear. As humans and demons, or even demons of various races mix, one can see clearly that these categories are only man made, and with that can be combined.

I hope you liked this foray into the strange world that is The Huntress. You can find the first twenty parts of The Huntress in its original serial form in the pages of Far Horizons magazine. The whole story will be re-edited and released as a book, at as of yet undetermined date.

~About the Author~

From a young age, Ana Marija has been fascinated by the written word, reading anything she could get her hands on, from old classics, to newer books. Feeling the need to release the characters from her head, at the age of 16 she turned to creating that which occupies a large portion of her life. Her imagination making use of everything around her, she writes regularly for Far Horizons magazine, where she is also the layout designer, and was one of the authors contributing to the Tied in Pink anthology for breast cancer, and hopes one day to publish her own books. She also regularly dabbles in translating from English to Macedonian and reverse.

~Find Out More~

Far Horizons Magazine:

https://farhorizonsmagazine.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/farhorizonsemag/?ref=bookmarks

About My World: A Guest Post by Mirren Hogan

My friend Mirren’s on the blog today! Give her a warm welcome. 🙂

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Magic lives beneath the earth of Isskasala, accessible by only those with the ability. Most of those can draw the magic forth from the earth via a staff pressed against the ground, acting as a conduit for the power. A rare few can channel directly from the earth via the air around them. Tabia is one of these. Born to a poor but ambitious merchant, at eighteen she’s sold into slavery to pay his debts. In Isskasala, slavery is nothing to be ashamed of, although slaves are subject to the whims of their masters and mistresses.

While the ability to channel through air is rare, Tabia isn’t the only one, or the ‘chosen one’, she’s a young woman unsure of herself, who makes mistakes but wants to learn how to use her skills, whether to help her mistress or herself. Her mistress is a savvy but spoilt princess, with appetite for decadence and a pair of jealous younger sisters. What could go wrong?

Although Tabia has the power to do magic, in many ways she’s powerless in the face of politics and convention. Her magic can’t save her from envy, hate or a palace coup which turns her life upside down.

Loosely based on Africa, most Isskasalans have dark skin, while those in Vanmala — where Tabia is sent after the coup — have swarthy skin, similar to those in India and Pakistan. People with fair skin come from Serain, a mysterious kingdom in northern Isskasala which will be explored in book three.

What more do you need to know? They have coffee and chocolate, like all good worlds!

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Follow Mirren, or purchase her book, here:

 

About the Author

Mirren Hogan lives in NSW Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cat, rabbits and countless birds. She has a Bachelor of Arts (English/ history), a Graduate Diploma of Arts (writing) and a couple of degrees in education. She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal fiction.She has several books due for release with The Dragon’s Rocketship publishing within the next year, including a trilogy co-authored by Erin Yoshikawa. She’s also had several short stories published and has co-edited two charity anthologies; for breast cancer research and Plan Australia.

Pylira: A Guest Post by S.L. Perrine

I have a lot of writer friends. Lucky me! Enjoy a guest post by my pal S.L. Perrine.

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In a world of magic and betrayal, one can only expect more.

The lands were in turmoil. Perpetual war pushed people to flee. Five men and their families crossed the land, and eventually fled to the open sea. When they reached a new continent, a new land was born. Pylira. A new land with old possibilities. The climate is ever changing. It’s people forever at peace. Until one thinks he should be set higher than the rest.

They should have known nothing lasts forever. Pylira flourished, but when war came, it changed the people, but more, it changed the land. The four realms: Corinthia, known for its fishermen, lay in the south-east; Regalis, which supplied dairy to the lands, lay in the north-east; Largania, known for its production of steel is north-west; Ormshire, is known for its crops of wheat, rice, soybeans and corn. It lays in the south-western corner of the realm. In the center of it all is the King and Queen in Hearthstone Palace. Deep beneath the keep, a bright red light illuminates the hills around the palace. The power source of the land.

The four realms worked together harmoniously without disruption for nearly thirty years. It was hard for any to believe when the most trusted of the realms turned against the King. A curse was enacted on him for his treachery, but he did not suffer nearly as much as the people of all the realms.

The lands became a barren waste. Bark of the trees dried, leaves wilted and fell. Yellow and brown replaced the vibrant colors that once flourished. Lakes and streams held nothing more than a trickle of life. Only enough to keep the earth below soft and pliable. Even the clouds changed. Their ominous colors remained forevermore, but the threat of rain never came.

Some fled, in search of a new land. Others vowed to see the curse through, and help reanimate the realms. Most moved to Corinthia. Lord Cantothos served his king, allowing safe passage from his realm into the heart of Hearthstone. Others remained where they were. Keeping to the live they had worked so hard for. To make certain the land could be as it once was.

Those who were in Ormshire at the time of the curse, held a different fate. The once thriving realm was desecrated to a land of filth, poverty and misery. The rich soil that once profited, was now nothing more than quick sand. An endless pit into the depths of the ruin that has become a fallen realm. It’s lord, a self-proclaimed King is entrapped in the body of a great beast. When he moves, stone breaks loose of the castle walls. Fire overwhelms the great throne room with his every breath. Spike holes remain in the wood beams at his head. Whether from his head or his tail, no one knows.

This is the life of the world. It may crumble with no hope of resurrection, or be restored to its former glory. Telling which, would ruin the surprise.

~About the Author~

SL PERRINE is a wife to a mechanic and mother of four crazy teenagers (3 are boys) who eat her out of house and home. While raising her kids, she has obtained three degrees, and now works to feed this bunch as a Registered Medical Assistant in a private physician’s office in the city she currently resides.

She is working toward obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction, to further her writing career.

~Find Out More~

Website: http://www.slperrine.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slperrine/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sl_perrine/?hl=en

Tumblr: http://slperrine.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PerrineShannon?lang=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8326583.S_L_Perrine

Rough Passages: A Guest Post by K.M. Herkes

Please welcome the second of my guests, K.M. Herkes, to talk about the world in her Rough Passages stories. 🙂

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I read the instructions as, “Talk about one of your worlds and worldbuilding. Anything you want to share.”  Here’s what came out.

Some worlds begin in stardust. They burst forth from a writer’s imagination in a glimmer of dreams and a sparkle of imagination. Mine? Mine start as raw ore, get hammered into shape through force of will and tempered in my sweat.

The world of my Rough Passages Tales started with the following raw materials: the angry sound of a slammed door, a photograph of a smoking handprint, and the thought, “Damned hot flashes. I am going to burst into flames, I swear.”

The final shining result? A world where a mid-life crisis can cause natural disasters. I twisted history one tiny bit and traced the ripples of consequence forward to a present day that’s a distorted but familiar reflection of our own reality. Here’s how it started:

Between May 26 and May 29, 1943, a huge number of men and women worldwide…change. Instantly, simultaneously, unexpectedly. Naturally, none of them are prepared, and not all of them survive. In the United States, the event becomes known as First Night or Chaos Night depending on whose history books you read, because it begins at 9:21 PM in the Eastern Time Zone.

People freeze themselves solid or entomb themselves in solid rock. Some ignite whole towns and burn them to ash, others wash away coastlines in floodwaters. Some people transform into distorted, unrecognizable forms  and go insane from the pain of metamorphosis, other grow wings, tails, fur or scales, and many kill their loved ones with venoms, poisons. Some begin hearing voices or seeing visions and their minds break from the pressure. Others send whole populations into riot by imposing panic upon them or terrifying them with nightmare hallucinations.

No one knows exactly how many people rolled over in that first wave because destruction and turmoil go on for weeks, and the extent of the damages make effective record-keeping impossible. The precise moment is well-documented because a number of guest at a White House state dinner change in dramatic ways and are caught on film.   Later census results confirm approximately 5% of the population over 40 ends up changed by the end of 1943.

States activate their National Guards, but the units are overwhelmed and under-equipped to deal with insane, invulnerable giants, panicked, lava-throwing grandmothers, and confused, angry graybeards shaking down whole cities with earthquakes. (to name only a few of the many devastating abilities people can manifest.)

After declaring a national emergency, President Roosevelt mobilizes units of the United States Marine Corps to take over and coordinate the many containment operations. Refugee camps are set up to sequester the changed and house the citizen their actions create, and order is slowly restored.

Why the Marines? At that time the USMC is the only branch of the military he could legally order to move against US citizens on US soil. (see: War Powers Resolution and Posse Comitaus Act for in-depth info.)  Use of force by all branches is later authorized by Congress, but the USMC’s head-start and creative battlefield solutions — including immediate recruitment of powered citizens– give it an edge when the time comes to organize permanent systems for handling this new twist on aging.

Let’s fast-forward to the present day world my characters live in. Here’s some trivia:

  • One in four people tests positive for a cellular marker that indicates they’re at-risk for a traumatic physical change in their lifetime.
  • If it happens, it’s called rollover, and roughly one in fifteen people goes through it. Usually between the ages of forty and sixty they develop elemental powers, gain some other weird ability or suffer some permanent physical change.
  • The cellular marker doesn’t behave like a heritable genetic trait, and the blood detection test for it only gives reliable results on those who have entered puberty.
  • One in twenty or thirty thousand changes during adolescence instead of middle age. These “early-onset” children also die early, burned out by their powers or trapped in bodies that deteriorate in unnatural, unstoppable ways.
  • The US Marine Corps maintains a training and special operations battalion dedicated to the control and containment of people with rollover powers. They are the only military unit permanently authorized to engage in military operations on US soil.
  • A federal institution known as the Department of Public Safety oversees the processes of identifying and monitoring those at risk for rollover, and its bureaucracy supports training and reintegration after rollover. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Human institutions are full of flawed human beings.
  • The Civil Rights movement happened but it looked very different. Issues of racial and sexual discrimination, prejudice and hatred are complicated by and intersect with changes related to rollover. It makes for a lot of social friction. Good story fodder.
  • A chunk of the Asian continent and the Pacific Ocean effectively disappeared in 1945 shortly after Japan’s surrender. An opalescent barrier known as The Wall sprang up one day and cut off all contact. The affected territory includes much of China, Mongolia, the Koreas, and Russia. Some of Southeast Asia and the Himalayan mountains as well as coastal waters are included. Any living creature touching the Wall finds itself instantly translocated back a to distance proportional to its size. No one on this side knows why the barrier appeared. No one knows what’s going on behind it. Nothing alive goes in, no one comes out. Weather systems and water currents are unaffected. Yeah, I’m gonna explore this big mystery someday.

I could go on and on about the potential for conflicts and when people with normal lives find their worlds turned upside down, but the stories do that for me.

~*~

 

Get your Rough Passages stories right here!

Extraordinary: books2read.com/u/4N19e6

Powerhouse: books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW

Nightmares: books2read.com/u/3yPExv

Lockdown: books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn

~*~

K.M. Herkes writes and publishes stories that dance in the open spaces between genres. Damaged souls, triumphs of the spirit, and dialogue loaded with sarcasm are the house specialties. Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing. Cats are involved.

She lives in the Midwest and works in a library, and when the weather is warm and fine she will be found in her garden instead of the office. At least once a year she disappears into the woods for a week to disconnect from the modern world.

Bookmark her website, dawnrigger.com, to keep up with the latest news on upcoming stories, check out extras like story-inspired art, and pick up exclusive free reading material. You will also find her social media links there along with blog rants on  life, the universe and writing.

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My World: A Guest Post by Martin Allen

I’ve been talking so much lately about Rothganar that I thought it would be nice to show you other worlds and other voices. This is the first of a series of many guest posts. I’ve invited several other authors I know to talk to you a little about their favorite fictional places. Here’s Martin Allen to guide you through Sol Invictus.

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Greetings and welcome to Sol Invictus, weary traveller. Please take the time to watch this instructional video on our glorious history and culture so as to better acquaint yourself with your surroundings… and avoid the pyres of the inquisition. (Please note attendance is mandatory and drone surveillance will monitor early departures, such is the will of Sol Invictus, our glorious God).

You have arrived by Trans. Hub a revolutionary matter transference technology which has allowed the Empire to spread itself and Invictus’s beneficent word throughout the galaxy. Please use this opportunity to rest and recuperate.

Sol Invictus used to be known as Earth prior to the rise of the Empire, but soon after mass globalisation it became painfully clear that the vast differences between the various cultures and religions of the world was a position that was unsustainable and was stopping mankind achieving its true potential. A movement was born, taking a name from the past that was largely untainted with the blood of the innocent, so little was known of its true origins. It quickly rose to prominence superseding the leading religions of the day. For such an act one would imagine the birth of the Empire in Death, Fire and War. Not so, it was a peaceful following of modern principles of Peace mixed with the old imagery of one of the Christian Church’s precursors Sol Invictus.

The movement was born out of distaste for the many religious disputes used primarily as an excuse for money, power or simply the age old human pleasure of killing another human because of historical disputes. The Leaders of this world in the Twenty-First Century, political and religious, had come to the realisation, that humans have always killed other humans, humans still kill other humans and that humans will continue killing other humans. They then proceeded to continue along their normal policies with uncaring about which country was invading which unless they were directly involved. The followers of Sol Invictus took exception to this and preached a revolutionary message of peace and incusion. Their message of non-violent resistance and unrelenting forgiveness somehow broke through. Perhaps it was their willingness to include other faiths and listen to their point of view that helped set them aside. Given that much of the historical records of Sol Invictine religious rights had been destroyed by the Early Christian Church, which was scared of competition, this gave the new worshipers the freedom to adjust their teachings to the intricacies of the day. They had no ultimate religious book that they had to use to justify their beliefs. Thus they could take the best of all religious doctrine and discard the outmoded and bigoted. Cogent opposition views were simply adopted them into this new religion. Soon the world had converted, apart from the few that clung to the old religions out of a sense of tradition, fear or real belief in the tenants of their religions.

Soon all war had stopped, there was no point humanity was all one, united in faith in Sol Invictus, or accepted as different; yet included.

In 2067 a minutes silence was held all over the world to morn the dead of all the wars ever held and a mere 3 months later the world leaders all signed a firm declaration of realistic disarmament.

I urge you all now to mourn the sad passing of all those innocents that are martyrs to the cause of peace, without them the Empire and Sol Invictus could not have been realised. We shall hold a brief moment of silence to remember them (remember you are being monitored), feel free to hold hands, or prostate yourself in prayer.

Amen.

You find yourself in Sol Invictus, the Capital City of the planet of Sol Invictus, itself the capital planet of the Empire. Newcomers may find locals referring to the planet simply as “Sol” and the city as “Invictus”, this is a perfectly acceptable shortening of the official titles.

You are invited to visit the central Temple of Sol Invictus as it has a rich history of its own, quite apart from our capital city. This is literally true. The Temple had once served another purpose having been the seat of the old Papacy in Rome. This however had been moved to Invictus from where St Paul’s (its previous name) had once stood, upon global acceptance of Sol Invictus as the Official Deity of the planet. This is a result of the true religion coming from the ashes of the old, but we can never go back to the old ways so the temple had to be moved.

You may find yourself confused by references to “The Seven Thousand” given the monotheistic nature of the Empire, this is normal. The Seven Thousand are appealed to for leniency in the prayers of those who feel they have failed the Empire. For although the Empire cannot afford the mercies of injustice, the fact that the Seven Thousand had once been Human and are now, by virtue of the manner of their release from Humanity, now so much more allows them to intervene in the Divine plan and allow some measure of mercy to the sinful. The Mortal Sins cannot be intervened for, but the fact that there is a chance for the minor indiscretions gives some measure of comfort to the population of the Empire for we are all human and thus imperfect. The Seven Thousand form a bridge between the mortal realm and the Divine. They can even intervene in the here and now. They are the soldiers of the Divine and watch over us and the Empire with eternal vigilance.

We hope that you enjoy your stay and find salvation in Sol Invictus, for now that the Empire stands proudly and unopposed there is no need for any other God… or their followers. Those of you who have not yet been entered into the Invictine religion as yet will be detained and given a chance to convert and renounce your Gods, for Sol Invictus is merciful. Those who refuse shall be shriven in the pyres of the Inquisition, those of you who sin shall face trial and justice by the hands of the Inquisition.

Sol Invictus watches… and punishes the ungodly.

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About the Author

profile

Martin Allen graduated from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 2003 with a Law LL.B (Hons) Exempting L.P.C. Degree. He has worked in many different areas of the Legal Sector and built up a wealth of experience.

Martin enjoys reading and writing Science Fiction but has taken the time to write a few Legal pieces, one of which is available in E-Book format through Amazon (The Prosecutor’s Fallacy: The Reliability of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence).

The Phoenix Series is a Science Fiction series set in a world where a Theocracy has come to power. “Phoenix: Penitence” is a short story set in this world. The first Novel “Phoenix: Rising” charts the rise of a new interpretation of the theological teachings of this Empire and the lengths this Empire will go to protect itself from it. The story is told from the point of view of an Imperial Investigator caught in the middle of the Empire’s manoeuvrings. The Prequel, Phoenix: Ashes tells the story of the Seven Thousand, part of the mythology of the Empire in Phoenix: Rising and tells their story.

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If you’d like to see more from Martin, you can visit him in these places on the web. 🙂

 Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixAuthor

 https://www.facebook.com/BeormaStory

 https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixAshesBook

 https://www.facebook.com/ReconditeMartinAllen

 https://www.facebook.com/Phoenix-Rising-634061653301026

 Website:

 http://runicdraconis.webs.com/

 And Martin’s books!

Factual:

The Prosecutors Fallacy: The Reliability of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence

Art:

Recondite

Science Fiction:

Phoenix: Penitence (short story)

Phoenix: Rising 

Phoenix: Ashes

(Remember, the Phoenix books are set in Sol Invictus!)

Six Points of Contact: An Anthology to Benefit Wounded Veterans

(contains another Phoenix story!)

Humour:

 Residents of Caer Bannog Need Not Apply (short story)

 Fantasy:

 Beorma (short story)