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!
I didn't intend to work much on my vacation the past few weeks, but every once in a long while, the story just jumps on you and it doesn't feel like work. As a result, I finished three chapters of Of Sea and Shadow (coming this winter)!
One of the chapters won't really go into the book. It's a world-building chapter, centered around events occurring a thousand years before the main plot. But it was a cool scene, and it helped me to try out some ideas on paper, so I wrote it.
It wasn't bad, so I'm posting it here. For your...perusal.
This chapter is in the world of Of Sea and Shadow, in the early days of the Aurelian Empire. It should help you get a decent glimpse at the direction I'm taking this.
Hit the jump to enjoy!
Today, I'm putting the finishing touches on the new version of House of Blades.
It's still got some issues. I've only worked on it for two weeks, and--just like any book--I could re-write it forever without ever feeling like I was really 'done.' The plot still lurches forward in a few places, and certain facts aren't explained quite as well as I'd like.
But it's noticeably better than it was.
I've made adjustments throughout the book, but most of the severe changes/additions are in the first 40-50 pages. That was the section of the book that needed the most attention, as it originally took some effort to read all the way to Valinhall.
Hopefully, it should be a little easier now.
EDIT: I've realized this wasn't clear, so I'm adding a note in here to explain how things work. If you own the Kindle version, you WILL NOT have to purchase anything else. The book should update automatically within the next couple of days. Amazon should send you an email notifying you when it happens. Thank you.
I'm posting the revised prologue here, to give you a taste of what's changed in this edition. Keep in mind that only the first four chapters were altered to this extent; again, I've made corrections/added a bit of polish in every chapter, but I focused most of my attention on the first section.
Could I spend longer on this book? Yes. But every hour I spend here is an hour I'm NOT spending on a new story. At some point, I simply have to move on.
Anyway, here's the new prologue! I hope you like it! As usual, if you notice any typos, errors, or awkward sentences, just let me know and I'll change them.
(Hit 'Read More')
Ladies and gentlemen, I couldn't be more excited to announce my new partnership with Facebook!
All my future novels (beginning with City of Light) will be published through the social media website, and will include the full social functionality that I know you've all been missing in your reading material.
At the end of each page in the book, you'll be prompted to share your progress to your Facebook page, to let all your friends know just how fast you can read. All Facebook users will be allowed to leave comments in the book itself, which are viewable by any future readers and cannot be removed. This is your chance to make a permanent mark on your favorite ebooks, so leave as many comments as you can!
Facebook is very committed to your privacy, so they will never share the details collected during your time reading my books. Your average reading speed, the facial expression you made when your favorite character died, the number of minutes you spent reading on the toilet or in questionable social situations...those are some examples of data that Facebook will collect, but would never release to anyone they didn't absolutely trust to keep a secret.
These improvements will take a little time to implement, of course, so we're "adjusting" the City of Light release date to reflect the changes. You can expect CoL sometime around September 21st, 2017.
And, of course, all my future releases will be announced using the patented "GRRM Calendar" - with dates ranging from "It'll be a while" to "It's done when it's done."
Look forward to the new Facebook-enhanced Traveler's Gate Trilogy, coming "soon!"
Of the Cradle series
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