Hey, it just so happens that I've found myself in Atlanta this weekend, attending DragonCon!
(I'm the king of advanced planning.)
If you also happen to find yourself in the Con of Dragons, let me know! I can be reached with relative speed on Facebook, Twitter, or by email.
And next year, I'll try to let you know my convention plans BEFORE I get here...
P.S. In the middle of a Dr. Horrible showing right now, singing along with a thousand other people. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
Because I wasn't paying attention to the days of the week, I missed my post yesterday, so here it is today! The next of the ten Imperial Guilds: the Greenwardens!
These guys are like park rangers with druidic powers, and they're more likely to try and tame a Kameira (one of the monsters in this world) rather than kill it, like a sane person. They actually have a lot more powers than are presented in this excerpt, and I can't wait for you to see them in action!
I just wrote a scene involving the Greenwardens, actually. They're crazy.
While the Greenwardens do protect us from wild Kameira and keep the Imperial Parks that we all know and enjoy, you may not be aware that they were originally intended to save the world.
The Guild of Greenwardens was founded at a time in our history when alchemy was first coming into its own, and we were afraid that a combination of alchemy, then-modern weaponry such as the cannon, and unregulated human intent would tear the world apart.
Greenwardens were created to preserve Kameira, preventing us from driving them extinct, and to monitor and repair the effects of alchemical and gunpowder weapons on the environment. They each carry an Awakened talisman, which for some has become their Soulbound Vessel: a shining green jewel that they use to heal wounds and promote the growth of plants.
Guild Head: Tomas Stillwell is a practicing physician and a fully inducted Magister of the Vey Illai as well as the Guild Head of the Greenwardens, proving that no physical infirmity can prevent you from contributing to your Empire. Though he lost his legs in a childhood encounter with a wild Kameira, he never let that experience make him bitter. Instead, it drove him to study Kameira, their habits, and how they function. He is now one of the most famous natural scientists in the Empire, and he has done much to prevent the extinction of species such as the Stormwings and the Deeproot Flyers.
Symbol: the Green Diamond
I just got out of The Expendables 3, and in my humble opinion, every single movie ever should end with a fistfight between Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson.
Other than that, and Antonio Banderas being hilarious, it was exactly the movie you'd expect. But still, Stallone vs. Gibson is the best final fight scene for any movie, regardless of genre. It's kind of like how Christopher Lloyd should be cast as every movie character, regardless of gender.
On a slightly less serious note, Amazon has finally allowed pre-orders for self-published authors! So from now on, starting with Of Sea and Shadow, I'll be putting up a pre-order option for all of my new books!
You know, as soon as I finish them. Which, for Of Sea and Shadow, will be this winter. Just a little reminder.
And speaking of my new series, here's entry #3 in the Guild Guide...
(Hit the jump)
Reminder: This is preliminary information about one of the Ten Imperial Guilds from my upcoming novel, Of Sea and Shadow. It is all subject to change.
Thanks to generations of legends and misinformation perpetuated by the Luminians, many of you have certain preconceived notions about the Blackwatch. They’re hated by many, feared by all, and I urge you not to heed the rumors. Every Watchman I’ve ever met has been professional, focused, and inquisitive--very few of them actually worship the Elders.
Let me put a few of your unfounded fears to rest: no, they do not eat human flesh for power. No, they do not conduct dark rituals involving blood sacrifice. No, they do not kidnap babies from their cradles.
Yes, they do use certain powers and techniques of the Elders. That’s no reason to treat them like cultists.
The Blackwatch was originally founded by the Emperor for two purposes: watching over the graves of the Great Elders, and studying the Elder Races to twist their great powers for the good of the Empire. It is thanks to the Blackwatch that Urg’Naut or the Dead Mother have not risen and devoured our living world.
Members of this Guild are known as Watchmen. They respond to calls for help and reports of Elder activity. Each Watchman carries seven long, black nails invested with the power to bind Lesser Elders for vivisection and study.
The goals of the Blackwatch often bring them into conflict with Knights and Pilgrims of the Luminian Order, who hunt down Lesser Elders with the goal of destroying them completely.
If the two would only work together, it’s possible that Aurelian lands would never be troubled by Elder attacks again.
Guild Head: The current head of the Blackwatch is a young-seeming woman known only as Bliss. Her origins are shrouded in mystery, though tenuous evidence suggests that she was born in a Kanatalia research facility.
Like every Blackwatch Head before her, she carries the Spear of Tharlos, a weapon supposedly carved from the bone of a Great Elder. I have never interviewed anyone who witnessed the Spear in battle and survived with their sanity intact.
Symbol: the Elder’s Eyes (six eyes on a mass of tentacles)
What you see before you is my attempt to get back on a regular schedule, now that I have my semi-predictable life back on track. I therefore plan to put up a blog post every Friday afternoon, at least until my schedule shifts again.
So, for now, let me explain what I'll be doing.
A handful of you have asked for a summary of my new series (coming later this year!), Of Sea and Shadow. I'm not quite ready to divulge that yet, as an accurate summary of the book contains a sort of twist that I don't think you're prepared to handle.
I won't be giving you a summary, exactly, but I'm giving you more information. That's half of what we're doing here.
Here's the other half: if a handful of you asked for a summary of OSAS, hundreds of you asked for a definitive guide to the Territories. I never wrote one. I have a Territory glossary for myself, of course, but it's in such a personalized, messy format that getting it organized to the point that you'd be able to recognize it as human speech would be harder than writing it from scratch. So, for this next series, I'm writing a guide from scratch.
I call it the Guild Guide, because alliteration amuses me.
The world of Of Sea and Shadow takes place in the lands of the Aurelian Empire, a kingdom that ruled the entire world for the thousand-year lifetime of its Emperor. Five years ago, the Emperor mysteriously died, and now the Empire itself is falling apart.
How did the Empire rule for a thousand years, you ask? On the backs of ten magical orders, known (very accurately) as the Ten Imperial Guilds.
So each week, I'll be providing an in-universe summary of one of the Ten Guilds. It's arranged alphabetically, so the first Guild is The Am'haranai: the Guild of Consultants.
I hope you enjoy the free information, and remember that the picture isn't yet complete. If there's a name you don't recognize or something you don't understand, be patient! Each entry in the Guild Guide is a piece in a puzzle that won't be complete until this winter, with the release of Of Sea and Shadow.
Hit the jump to read more!
"Calder straightened his back, focused his mind, and opened the door."
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