The Judges of the Abidan Court
(The Reaper and the Creator)
Ozriel, the Reaper
When a world lives too long and drifts from the Way, only one person can terminate the Iteration without scattering corrupted fragments that threaten other worlds.
For most of the history of the Abidan, there was no Ozriel. They eliminated worlds the old-fashioned way, and most of their manpower was spent defending Iterations from chaos-corrupted fragments. Ozriel reduced the threat of corruption to such a degree that the Abidan could spread their manpower to an unprecedented degree. Where once it took hundreds of Abidan to protect and maintain a single Iteration, now that same team could supervise an entire Sector of ten or more worlds.
However, the entire system of the current Abidan now hinges on one man.
Where most Judges are rule-abiding and structured by nature, Ozriel is not so rigid. He often challenges Abidan laws and traditions, trying to change and improve the policies of their organization. He might have succeeded by now if he were willing to relinquish control and cooperate with others. But, traditionally, he has never been much of a team player. When others don't agree with him, he tends to do exactly what he wants anyway.
As the one individual in existence with a world-erasing superweapon, he's used to getting his way.
And now he's missing.
Adriel, the Creator
The first seven Judges inherited their power and titles. Only Ozriel and Adriel are the exceptions: Ozriel because there has never been a Reaper before him, and Adriel because there has never been a Creator since.
Adriel is a myth to the modern Abidan. Some of their oldest records posit his existence, but he vanished before the Eledari Pact was signed. The strongest pieces of evidence for his existence are indirect references left behind by the first Abidan Court.
The Judges can defend, maintain, and alter Iterations. They can combine fragments into new worlds.
But only one person could, according to legend, design and create Iterations out of whole cloth: Adriel. He created new worlds, introducing fresh pieces into the cycle of existence.
His weapon, the Hammer of Adriel, is sometimes used by the Abidan as a symbol of creation.
As I've done once before, I'd like to share with you some early thoughts from those who read Blackflame when it was still messy and wailing.
Feast your eyes on the raw, almost fanatic enthusiasm of these formerly unbiased critics as they discover new vistas of literary wonder on every page:
"Will Wight is my favorite author!"
"Of all the books I've ever read, this was the most recent."
(Author of The Crimson Queen)
"Wait, this isn't Kings and Killers?"
"My favorite part was when Lindon learned the Rasengan and then met Dende."
(Author of Sufficiently Advanced Magic)
"Where's book four, Will?"
"Blackflame is the one book you should read this year. The only book. Just read Blackflame over and over, and buy copies for your friends until they beg you to stop."
(Author of Some Stuff and also Some Other Stuff)
"My weight is healthy for someone my age, and I'm very comfortable in my own skin."
I'm locking it in now: Blackflame is going up on Amazon one week from today, on May 1st.
Enough readers have confirmed that Blackflame is ready for release (with only minor tweaks) that I know I can finally stop making big changes. I'm tuning it this week, polishing it up, and sending it out the door.
After that, we have a lot more to talk about, but let's ship this book out first!
If I had been updating you on my Blackflame progress for the last six weeks, it would have sounded like this:
"I've had to make some more changes than I thought, but I'll be done this week for sure."
Rinse and repeat, x6.
This book took me a lot more work than usual, but some books are just harder than others. Part I of Blackflame has a lot of setup, Part II has a lot of training, and Part III is essentially one long scene cutting between like six different fights.
Kind of a weird structure for me, but I just kept playing with it until I was happy with it.
And now I am! Woohoo! Release very soon, unless I see something very wrong with it that I've somehow overlooked until now and requires extensive rewrites, in which case it'll release June 1st.
Either way, ALMOST THERE!
P.S. Abidan Part V is coming next, I've just been swamped with Blackflame. I got up at 4 this morning, and I went to bed at 4 the night before, so I don't even know what a sleep schedule is. ONLY BLACKFLAME.
He landed, examined the arrow, nodded appreciatively, and tucked it away into his void key.
90% of draft
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