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Found 86 results

  1. I'm still reasonably new to the writing world when it comes to doing it myself using my own imagination. Sorry if this doesn't fit here its taken me a while to post something like this due to my anxiety but I want to be able to write so much. This is a small snippet of what I'm writing at the moment, I'm wondering if this is any good or if I'm just a shite writer like my anxiety makes me think. sorry if I misunderstood this part of the forum. The girl gets tossed over to the mother who whispers to the daughter “it's all going to be okay just stay quiet and let us adults talk this over”, the girl grasps her mother tightly ,afraid. The four people stand at the other side of the room muttering to each other out of earshot of the daughter and mother, the four turn around staring at the two. One of the women begins chuckling and says “ The girl is coming with us I'm afraid, since you have nothing worth the amount you owe us we will be taking your daughter as new inventory”. The mother, outraged, tries to escape her restraints but realizes she was tied down too well and just embraces her daughter for what might be the last time she can. One of the men yanks the daughter away from her mother with little difficulty, putting her over his shoulder as she kicks and screams, demanding to be put down. The group grab the sacks they came in with and leave together leaving the mother crying defeated in the corner still tied down to the chair. The group leave the house, closing the door behind them as if nothing happened. Although everyone nearby heard the commotion no-one came to help in any way, the inhabitants of Lumicon Rong watch as the group walk away with the young girl and possessions of the home they left. The young girl watches as no one helps or even speaks a word of displeasure to the abductors, she thinks to herself realizing “no one cares... do they?”. People hardly glance in their direction, no matter how loudly she shouts. They pass an assortment of buildings on their way to a location the young girl had never seen before, what looks like a small castle wall with a few tall buildings behind it in the corner of the mountain range Lumicon Rong resides in. Within the twenty or so minutes it took the party to get there, not one person spoke out or even crossed the path of the abductors. It was as if no one could see or hear them, or maybe they feared what might come out of any conflict created. As the group approaches the closed gate one of the women shouts loudly “oi swain, wake up”. The sound of a bottle being knocked over followed by a grunt comes from above the gate as an older gentleman's head appears. He acknowledges her with a nod and opens the gate, swiftly disappearing afterwards back behind the battlements of the wall. The young girl at this point has accepted what has happened to her and is awaiting whatever will come next, hoping for the best, expecting the worst.
  2. Hello my fellow writers of the 17th Shard! Do you find accountability helpful for your daily writing productivity? Maybe you find that a little friendly competition spurs you on? Or perhaps you simply enjoy a bit of camaraderie now and then? Well, starting Monday, September 6, Rasaar and I are going to be running regular writing sprints on the Shard Discord! We’ll go Monday-Friday, 2pm-5pm Central Time US. That is, for reference: 12pm-3pm Pacific Time (US) 3pm-6pm Eastern Time (US) 8pm-11pm London Time (UK) What the heck is a writing sprint? A writing sprint is a focused, timed period of writing designed to increase word count by dissuading distractions and, with multiple participants, add a little competition. NaNoWriMo calls them Word Wars, but the principle is the same: set a timer, WRITE, then report on your progress! We’ve also added a new bot to the Discord server to facilitate tracking sprints (more on that below). Why are you doing this? Well, for me specifically, I have ADHD, which comes with it executive dysfunction issues. Experience has taught me that I work best when I am accountable to some other human(s) in order to be at my best. I’ve had good luck with joining others’ writing sprints, but they aren’t always at the most convenient time for me, nor are they as consistent as I would prefer. As for Rasaar, she has expressed to me a similar desire for some structure with getting into the writing groove. We actually came up with the idea of running Shard writing sprints independently of each other, and by a stroke of luck, our preferred writing times line up very well despite being in wildly different time zones. How exactly are you going to structure three hours of sprinting? We’re planning to do multiple sprints per session in 30-minute blocks. We’ll probably do something along the lines of 25-minutes of writing to a 5-minute break. We can tweak the details as we figure out what works best. This is a great idea, but Crazy Unicorn Lady, these times don’t work for me! Worry not! The Discord bot we’re using for the sprints will be accessible to everyone, though will be limited to the #sprintspam channel, located near the bottom of the Discord channel list. If there are other times on any day that work for you and a few of your friends, you are more than welcome to hop onto Discord and utilize it! And while you may be familiar with Sprinto, we’ve renamed it to Cultivation to fit in with our snazzy little theme. We’ve also created a new voice channel -- Creative -- for the sake of all writing and arting discussion. You can verbally coordinate sprints there and, if you like, chat during the rest minutes between sprints. I’m in! But I can’t do it every weekday. Is it okay if I only join a couple days a week? Of course! Join when it works for you. Barring holidays, vacations, and emergencies, we plan to keep a regular schedule so you know when to expect us there. (Having two mods running the event together will help there!) Neat! I’m on the Discord now and I want to run my own sprints. How do I use Cultivation? Cultivation is a fairly simple bot that has been programmed with basic commands. She can start a sprint, keep track of time, and even track your word count during the sprint! Bear in mind, though, she doesn’t work in every channel. Mostly, we expect member-run sprints to happen in #writing. Moderator-run sprints can occur in #writing or #chat-for-voice. Per the first update comment: all sprints should take place on the #sprintspam channel. Bot Commands: **Starting the sprint:** _sprint 20 -- in 1 minute, start a 20-minute sprint _sprint 20 in 5 -- in 5 minutes, start a 20-minute sprint _sprint 20 now -- start a 20-minute sprint right now (The maximum sprint time is 60 minutes.) **Participating:** _join -- join the sprint with starting word count of 0 _join 100 -- join the sprint with starting word count of 100 _wc 200 -- set your word count to 200 (the bot will ask you to do this after the sprint ends) _= -- join the sprint with starting word count equal to the last word count you've given the bot **Stopping:** _forget -- you will not be pinged for the next sprint (otherwise, Cultivation will ping you for 3 sprints after the last you participated in) _cancel -- stops the sprint you started So, say you’ve got some people ready to write and you want to start a sprint. No problem! Simply go to the #writing channel in the 17th Shard Discord and start her up! Say you want to run a 15-minute sprint -- you’ll type “_sprint 15” into the chat, hit enter, and the bot will respond. If you don’t want the sprint to start immediately, that’s fine, too! You can instead type “_sprint 15 in 3” and a 15-minute sprint will begin in 3 minutes. Now, you and everyone else needs to officially join the sprint with your word count. Cultivation makes it easy to track based on your current document count - just tell her where you’re starting at the beginning of the sprint. You’ve already got 1,257 words written in your current Work in Progress, so you’ll type “_join 1257” to set the starting point. When the sprint is over, Cultivation will ping an alert and text marking the end of the sprint will appear on screen! Say now you’re document is up to 1,513 words - you’ll type “_wc 1513” into the chat. The bot will automatically calculate the number of words you’ve written and save the data. Once everyone has input their final word counts, Cultivation will send a message to the chat with a ranking of every participant and their final results. Cultivation’s command list will also be pinned to a message on the channel, so if you forget how to work her, the information will always be at your fingertips. Happy writing, and we hope to see you in writing sprints on the Discord!
  3. I was just doing a casual reread of OB and looking over Shallan's sketches of Urithiru while it was occupied by Re-Shephir and realized this sequence might've been intended to evoke a sense of dread in the reader. A lot of the Unmade would've been pretty terrifying: Re-Shephir, Moelach, Ashertmarn... but they don't really invoke any emotion in me aside from curiosity. Is Brandon just bad at invoking a sense of looming dread, that mash of horror and mystery? Because I feel like when there's a more human aspect to the dread, he does it well: the fountain executions in Mistborn. What do y'all think?
  4. I'm writing a thing! Specifically, a story called Chosen. It's like, a weird, trope-subverty thing. The premise of it is a classic "Chosen One" story, but told from the perspective of the mentor. It also does, like, other things with the plot, as you'll see as I write more of the story. I just have the rough draft of Chapter 1 written right now. Don't expect any more from me this week - I've got school crem to do - but I expect to be doing a lot of writing this summer. Constructive criticism would be very much appreciated. Chosen 1.
  5. The gay male protagonist. Bane of mainstream literature. But things are better now™. *sigh* LGBT literature is still very much- actually hold that thought. The existence of that term alone shows the problem: that LGBT literature is a separate thing from straight literature. We rarely have fantasy, mystery or sci-fi whose main character happens to be gay, we have gay fiction which happens to have a fantasy, mystery or sci-fi setting, rarely. Mostly it's just romance. Written by women. *sigh* It's mostly erotica, basically not even aimed at the same gender. There are gay authors: Adam Silvera, TJ Klune, Will Walton, Benjamin Alire Sáenz,... well-known LGBT authors. Special thanks to Richard Morgan who finally wrote a non-romance with a gay male character as the main protagonist. Also Robin Hobb. Gay characters are almost never the main protagonist in the mainstream literature. Gay literature is still a niche genre and generally not taken to be a part of mainstream literature. When gay characters do appear in the mainstream and they're not badly written, they're usually secondary characters or at most, the deuteragonist. These authors are then treated like the bastion of LGBT literature and everyone else would remember their example for the next ten years as completion of the required dosage of gayness they can handle on their reading list. They will then cite these books everytime some poor sod mentions we need more representation, "wasn't that one book from 5 years ago with that one gay character (who probably dies later on) enough?" And these authors too, even after all this time, are in the minority compared to those who simply ignore that gay people exist. These are the books most likely to have a lot of romantic subplots. Love triangles, ahoy! "But we need romance in our books!" "Why do we need to have a gay character?" "what does it add to the character?" Female gay characters are, of course, fine. I mean there's also less gay female characters because it's not as daring and "female lead" is still something that can be used to sort books but at least people aren't directly opposed to them. Gay male characters on the other hand are an insult and a threat to masculinity everywhere *long exhale* So we have Ranette and Drehy filling the quota of gay characters in the Cosmere and they're tertiary characters. So far, we have maybe-promises from the author regarding gay characters in the future. On a completely unrelated note, how many love triangles have we had in the Cosmere so far again? This post is my anger and this post is my logic: Also check out this comment by @The Awakened Salad which addresses the question of why a character would "need" to be gay:
  6. This is an article I wrote a couple of months back about foreshadowing in fantasy. It is one of my favorite topics to talk about, as evidenced by this, and how I immediately jumped to the chance of being on the Dusty Wheel's episode on foreshadowing. I'd love to discuss it with all of you, and hear your opinions on the topic. Copy_of_Foreshadowing.pdf
  7. Greetings pals. I'm kind of new to the forums, so if this post doesn't belongs here, please excuse me and erase or move it. I was wondering if any of you knows where (if possible) to find some of the outlines that Sanderson have wrote and used before witing a whole novel. You'll see, I'm a amateur writer and this would help me a huge lot to learn how to propperly outline a story (beacause i think my current outlining method doesn't quite works well). If any of you can point me in the right direction by telling where to find one of BS's outlines, or explaining how does he makes his outlines, it'll be a huge help to me. Thanks a lot!
  8. So I'm drafting a book. I'm only on the first draft, and not quite 20k words in, and I don't really have any previous writing experience. I'll post the introduction, which I think for once might be decent, and I'll try to be posting more content periodically. For now, just let me know what you think!
  9. Hello! Here is the prologue for the story I've been writing. I'm going to try to get a new chapter out every week or so, but don't hold me to it, I'm an extremely slow writer. I hope it's not too bad, and feel free to point out any typos. That is all, enjoy:
  10. Welcome back! The third Chapter has been released, hope you enjoy it! Also, leave your theories down if you want, I'm curious what people think is going to happen. (Follow me if you want chapter release updates and if you like this, Check out my Sources of the Universe series. That one is much longer.) Ch1 Ch2 Ch3
  11. Yes! I have made my first fanfic! Welcome to the first Chapter of Daniel and Marisa. Tell me what you think of it and follow me if you want to know any updates on its progress (I will be probably releasing these far slower than my Sources of the Universe chapters.) Link to main thread:
  12. I’m not sure where this is supposed to go, so I’m putting it here: Challenge: Write a fanfic set in Era 2, where Kell drags Marsh to a showing of a play based on TFE so they can make fun of it - and remember old friends. Bonus: Dox and Ham are cast as women. Brandon makes a cameo as the playwrite. Era 2 main cast characters are present. Sazed gets dragged into the fun. Challenge 2: Write a modern age Scadrial fanfic involving Survivorist metal band (think Christian Metal) called the Survivor’s Crew. Bonus: Kell is the secret backer funding the whole thing. The Band members dress like crew members. Have actual music for the band. They don’t only do heavy metal. Write lyrics for the songs.
  13. I need some help. If you look at some recent topics, you will see that I am planning to write a book. The problem is, I can’t come up with any names. I don’t want any generic names from Earth, but I don’t know how to come up with names like Kaladin, Elend, or Raoden. If you can think of any innovative names, please post them below.
  14. This is a thread for all those little things that you want to share, but don’t quite need their own thread. Stuff like: ideas that you haven’t fully fleshed out yet, character outlines that you haven’t used, writing prompts you think could be fun, opening paragraphs that don’t have anything following them. Just those random Bits n Pieces that you want to share or want some feedback on. Here are some openings for some short stories that I wrote forever ago and haven’t continued. I wrote them late at night and hardly remember doing it, but they aren’t horrible, so I’ll share as an example for what this thread could be. “A Kingdom Conferred by a Handshake” “The Storyteller”
  15. Does anyone know what character archetypes Brandon used in the original crew of Mistborn?
  16. Hey all, I've been trying to write some music and I just don't know...any advice???
  17. Some of you may know of this character, but now I wish to publicize him. Borio Singaldi is a character I randomly made up one day in school when the name popped into my head out of nowhere. I was just minding my own business when the name "Borio Singaldi and the Death of a Prospect" came out of the blue. I was so intrigued by this ridiculous thought that I had to write it down. Once I did, I shared this idea with my fellow Knights of the Cosmere and decided to do something about it. So we started a mini writing group about the character of Borio Singaldi, our stories about him often based on a variation of the title "Death of a Prospect" (such as Death of a Perspective, Death of a Prospector, Prospect of Death, Perspective of Death, Prospector of Death, etc). But they don't need to be limited to that. The story can be about anything, so long as one sticks to the character. So I guess you should all get a full description of the guy from which to base your thoughts on him. Character description: He is a large and portly man, overweight but not quite obese. He is often fashionably dressed in a sort of foppish way. He has brown eyes, black hair, and light tan skin. I'd almost say he's entirely white, but he has a bit of Greco-Italian blood in him. His strongest defining characteristics are his mustache and his cane. He has a long, elegent, twirling mustache that often seems to move on its own. It is very important to him that he maintain its appearance. His cane is made of a fancy and valuable type of wood (that I haven't fully decided yet) and has a diamond tip. It is extremely valuable to him and he never goes anywhere without it. As for his personality, he is not the brightest bulb in the box, but he's prone to bouts of cleverness and spontaneity sometimes (due to the writers having fun with him ). He is very blunt, not very witty, quite often annoying, and has a very domineering presence. He is never intentionally mean and he has a good heart to him, but he's just not good at understanding other people and their feelings, so he's insensitive but not rude. For some, he's extremely annoying, for others he's simply charming and maybe even amusing. What does he do with his life? Well, that's up to the people who write him. It's also been made canon that he lives in a fancy mansion in Des Moines, Iowa, with his butler Earnestwise Tomatopatch and maid Clemendine Tomatopatch (a running joke is that he's never been able to figure out how they are related; he thinks they are either siblings or spouses, but has never really known). He has a strange relationship with the supernatural entity that is Death, and he has gone on many fantastical misadventures. I usually come up with a story and then have to make characters for it, but this is a reversal in which I have made the character and try to write stories about him. Because of this, they are obviously very character-driven. My mentality with writing him calls to mind Chef Gustaeu's line from the Pixar movie Ratatouille: "Anyone can cook." Or in this case, "Anyone can write a Borio Storio." It can be about literally anything you want, so long as you stay true to the character. I now invite my fellow writers who have already contributed to the creation of these Storios in our private PM to now share them here. Or if you want, I can share them for you. Whichever you prefer. @[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@Sherlock [email protected]@Stormblessed Dolphin Yes. We had a PM of our own prior to this in which we shared them. I want to share this character and his stories with the rest of the Shard, and eventually the rest of the world. But baby steps, Fire. Baby steps. I now invite you all to join in me in continuing to build a universe of ridiculous stories about this guy. They can be any genre and can be any length. Genres we've done so far include realistic fiction, light fantasy, and science fiction, all in a comedic aspect. The longest one so far has been maybe two pages long and the shortest one so far was just a couple paragraphs. Keep in mind that while all of the stories we've done so far are intentionally comedic (and laugh out loud hilarious if I do say so myself), you are NOT REQUIRED to do comedy when writing him. Comedic stories are generally expected and quite welcome, but I'd like to maybe see a serious or dramatic rendition of the character. But again: you can write the story about ANYTHING. Of course, I ask that you keep them clean and don't have inappropriate content (no foul language, no overt or discreet sexual content, violence is allowed to a degree). But please, my fellow Sharders... the most important thing I ask of you when writing these Storios is... HAVE FUN. Please have fun writing this, it's meant to bring out the weird and playful writing side of you. I started this Borio Writing Anthology so we could have fun. And now, I will share a few that I have written with all of you as examples of what they are typically like. Hopefully my current fellow writer will share theirs too. Borio Singaldi and the Borio Singaldi and the Death Borio Singaldi and the Death of a Prospector Borio Singaldi and the Seventeenth Shard Borio Singaldi and a Kind Act Borio Singaldi and Procrastination And here is a Borio Singaldi Mad Lib I made: http://www.projectlabyrinth.com/MadLibs/MadLib.php?mid=1794003279834 Enjoy, fellow writers.
  18. So this game is pretty simple. The first person (me) provides the first writing prompt. Whoever is next responds to the prompt and then provides the next one. There is no minimum length, but at least a paragraph would be nice , and there definitely isn’t a maximum. If multiple people respond at once, then you can just pick a prompt to respond to. You also don’t have to have a prompt of your own. If you do not want to add a prompt, simply write “I Defer” in bold and someone else can write a prompt. In regards to formatting, please bold your writing prompt, so that people can easily see the prompts. With all that out of the way, here’s prompt number 1: You just got fired from your job. Unfortunately for your former boss, you are actually a super villain, who’s about to do what ever it takes to get revenge.
  19. tropes

    The epic fantasy genre is still relatively young, at least compared to other literary genres. The foundational work of creating an entirely new category of literature, one defined by the creation of an entirely new fictional world where the story takes place, is attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien. Everything Tolkien had done have become standard fantasy tropes: dark lords, medieval settings, elves and dwarves. Of interest here is the medieval settings part, which defines so much of the fantasy genre: fantasy world settings are mostly based on Europe, around the medieval time period in thought and technology and the nobility. I'm not referring to the quality here, which is it's own trope, but the idea related to class & bloodline & the divine right of kings. Brandon Sanderson is Mormon, so the portrayal of religion in his works is something that has been discussed a lot. You can find answers to most questions you might want to ask him regarding this on his site itself and there's plenty of discussion here on the forums, on reddit, etc. The trope of nobles and commoners in his works, however, is something that is not discussed enough in my opinion, and when it is, it's usually mentioned as a throw-away comment: "yes, we get it, Brandon, not all nobles (are bad)" This trope has evolved over time from its origin, the divine right of kings. In the Lord of the Rings the only difference between the line of Kings and the line of Stewards is their pedigree. Some people are apparently inherently superior and thus have the right to rule over the rest of them. Let's not get into the other critiques of LoTR like race or apologetics (I suggest looking into CS Lewis for more on this). Denethor was a bad ruler not just because he was a bad ruler but because he wasn't the rightful ruler. Aragorn comes and he's the rightful heir and everything's chill now. The themes are still kinda there in Sanderson's works too, the trope has been transformed but not truly subverted. In Mistborn era 1, book 2, Elend institutes a constitutional monarchy which is still very skewed with only 1/3 of the representatives being skaa. This assembly then boots him out, rightfully through Elend's own laws but Vin goes on a rampage of murdering and/or forcing his competitors to submit to his rule. In book 3, he decides that the time for debates and legislatures is later somewhere in the indeterminate future when the crisis is over. I do understand what the stakes were that motivated him to do the things he did. I'm simply pointing out a plot point. In era 2 of Mistborn, the legislative branch is divided into two halves: half elected and half aristocrats. The main protagonist is one of the aristocrats and one of the overarching character arcs for him was about accepting the responsibility of being an aristocrat. There are forces from outside of Scadrial who are involved in trying to topple this system. In Warbreaker, the God-King of Hallandren, Susebron was a figurehead ruler with the power being concentrated in the Court of Gods. The other main characters all belong to the ruling classes as well: two princesses, one of them also the queen, a member of the Court of Gods, and an enigmatic former ruler. The antagonists wanted to overthrow the system but are thwarted at the end by Susebron who comes into his powers after having been educated by the princess-queen and given back his tongue by magic. Hallandren's future looks just a bit brighter with its rightful ruler in power. In The Stormlight Archives much of the story revolves around the Kholin family, who reunified the broken kingdom of Alethkar. The idea of fighting against the Lighteyes does exist but that stuff is less important than unifying under them to face a greater threat. Also, Lighteyes are mostly descended from the ancient Knights Radiant whose eyes glowed the colour of their Order, that's where both the colour and the notion of superiority came from. In Elantris, the kingdom of Arelon moves on from plutocracy to monarchy, but we shouldn't worry because Raoden is pretty chill. ~spoilers for Aether of Night~ I'm not saying that these issues might not get resolved in future sequels. The Mistborn era 2 broadsheets seem to be hinting at civil unrest and discontent. And if @asmodeus's theory* is right, it might become a major plot point in eras 3 & 4 Stormlight might not just be about the fight against Odium but a fight against hatred. And again, I'm aware of the plot, circumstances and characteristics behind these noble characters. I'm just pointing out that these were actual plot points in the stories. Brandon has broken quite a few tropes in his prolific career but for now at least, it seems, that this is the trope that would not break *asmodeus' theory: Also, go read Powder Mage you guys! Edit: There is a subversion of this trope in Sanderson's work: White Sand. Making the Diem less dictatorial and more accountable is one of the most integral parts of the plot.
  20. ok so, I have a character (his name is Sage Myllen) who has powers of summoning and vanishing, and there is (almost) no limit to what his magic can summon/vanish (yes, he does magic like, 'is this your card, etc'). I've added a weakness, but it still feels a bit to OP (probably because of the fact the weakness hinges on one of his character traits). If Sage uses too much of his powers, it seriously injures and possibly kills every living thing in a five-foot radius, excluding himself, things too small to see, and anyone he's touching (and no, you can't make a human chain. It needs to be direct contact), this is a problem to him because he's a pacifist, and literally refuses to hurt a fly. I know the amount of magic he has to use to "turn on" the murder magic, but he doesn't, and it (figuratively) drives him crazy the whole story. I'm just wondering if there is anything I should add/subtract to make it so that if he's still not too OP, or if there are any critiques you have of the character.
  21. Hey everyone! I'm hoping for some assistance for myself and hopefully many others in the future. As many of you may know I (and my cousin) am now a self-published author through Amazon. If you're interested in what I've written please visit my website at Khesyc.com. Anyway, The reason for this post is to ask all of you to help me find a real publisher for my book. In that, I'm hoping everyone can look at their favorite fantasy/sci-fi novels and tell me the name of the publishing company as I'm not the best in the world at finding a good list of publishers. Obviously I know of TOR and Tom Doherty as some of the major publishers, but I was hoping you guys could help out with additional ones. Let me know if you have any other possibilities. And I want it to be known that we won't turn down a "small town" publisher if there is one that's willing to take up the cause of my book. Thanks in advance everyone!
  22. Hey guys! I'm trying to create a magic system for my book and keep bumping into the same problem when I work on the source: Magic is power bigger than mankind, and thus implies that either a deity must exist in the book or a Force, like in Star Wars. Does anyone have any ideas on how to avoid gods and also avoid having magic be a well of power like the Force?
  23. I'm trying to experiment with my writing. Widening my voice so to speak. I mostly read Sanderson due to limited time but I worry that might limit what I think is good writing. Among people with wide tastes I generally hear that Brandon has good ideas, plotting, world building and characters but his prose is very utilitarian. What authors would be an example of good prose, like the kind of thing that is a pleasure to read just because of the wording and flow. How would tolkien or jim butcher compare on your personal scale or prose? Feel free to info dump, I'm mostly looking for a large chunk of knowledge to look at and digest.
  24. Hey everyone, Long time reader, first time contributor. Just kidding. I've always wanted to say those words. Anyway, my cousin and I have written a novel and decided to post something here for everyone to look at and let us know what you think. As a side note, this novel is ready for publishing and we're currently awaiting cover art to self publish on Amazon (so if you know a good artist who's willing to work on commission or just for prestige, please let us know as our last attempt fell through). Please enjoy the below copy of our prologue to our book. If you like what you see, please let me know and I can give you the information for our website (since my account is so new that it won't let me post links). Prologue It had been thirteen years since the wizard's order had left their library in Illyria. Those were brighter, more peaceful days for magicians; with the high wizard and his counsel living at the library, no outside force dared to attack them. No force but Xardan Ta’Caran, Faelhart's Knight of the Black Era. A pleasant summer breeze blew past a lone man as he made his way back to the once great city of the magi. The last time he had been in Illyria was the fateful day of Xardan's attack. The nightmares of that day haunted him waking and sleeping, but the need for rare knowledge had become too great for him to put off the inevitable any longer. As the man approached the city, he accelerated his horse as though running from the memories that would soon overtake him. He was at a full gallop when the images of that horrific day invaded his thoughts. Dark bolts of Shadow Lightning announced the Knight's arrival as they extracted the heavy gate from its hinges. Dozens of soldiers passed through the gate on Xardan's heels, cutting down any mages that came within arm's reach. The wizards at the library at the top of the city sent great flaming spheres screaming toward the intruders at the gate, but the Knight reacted faster. Walls of shadow surrounded and extinguished each and every one of them as his soldiers formed into columns and pressed into the city. Rows of mighty oak trees rose to either side of the road to greet any visitors. Suspicious of a potential ambush from the many pillagers and looters seeking magical artifacts, the man slowed his tall warhorse to a walk before he cautiously approached the rubble that was once the proud gate. The city beyond was a mere shadow of its former glory. Large blocks of white granite had been used to construct the walls and buildings, with magical bonds causing the blocks to fuse together giving each building the appearance that it had been carved of a single slab of the stone. Never the less, the tall buildings and towers rose up to shattered walls and rooftops wherever the magi had made futile attempts to defend their city from the Knight of the Black Era. The man followed the destruction to the library in the center of the city; while Xardan was ruthless in his massacre of the mages, he hadn't needed to go out seeking them as they fought to defend their home. The main street from the gate to the center square was ruined, but the rest of the city was surprisingly intact. A wide staircase led from the center square to the library's front door. He dismounted and tied his horse to a fallen beam before he ascended the stairs with the practiced calm his nightmares had forced him to master. Xardan had wasted no time in the city. His Shadow Lightning carved a path through the ranks of mages and his soldiers jumped into them before the Illyrians could close their lines. He rallied his men in the center square and led them up the stairs in perfect, practiced formation. Lightning and fire lashed out at the column, only to clash uselessly against Xardan's shadowy defenses. Xardan moved mercilessly as his shadow magic both protected his men and leveled the entrance. The library had never been set right after Xardan's attack, and the man had to resist the urge to straighten the various toppled tables and bookshelves. With the door blasted from its hinges and one of the far glass walls shattered, the valuable contents of the library had become victim to the unpredictable weather that the ocean threw onto the mainland. A thin layer of dirt and dust that the wind had allowed to settle revealed a dozen pairs of footprints that would have led the man to what the other visitors had come here for, but he only paid them enough mind to determine that none were fresh enough to be less than a week old and went straight toward the central courtyard. In the brighter days, the wizards had used the stone floored courtyard to facilitate their cauldron fires as they experimented with various potions and brews. The open roof allowed the smoke to drift harmlessly upward, while the glass doors and walls surrounding the courtyard protected the books inside from the weather while still brightening the interior of the building with natural sunshine. Xardan arched his blade around to slay another wizard before he finally turned toward the courtyard. Several wizards smirked through the glass they had reinforced with their magic. The Knight of the Black Era tapped the enchanted glass walls with the tip of his blade before turning to walk deeper into the library. Cheers and shouts rose up from the wizards at the Knight's apparent defeat. One by one the cheers silenced as the nearby shadows thickened, darkened and twisted obediently onto Xardan's blade; the gleaming steel turned to a dark, forbidding black. The Knight of the Black Era shifted his foot back, turned, and threw the black blade. Shattered glass lay strewn around the courtyard among the various skeletal remains of dead wizards that scavenging animals had left alone for whatever reason, proving undeniably that Xardan's attack had scattered the wizards too quickly for them to clean their former shrine. Preparing for long hours he was planning to spend in the library, the man dropped his saddlebags, pulled various supplies from them and lit a small fire. Various ingredients and spices made their way into a pot followed by several strips of dried meat and within minutes the man had a stew simmering nicely over the flames. Pulling a torch from its wall sconce, the man lit it from his fire and turned into the deeper reaches of the library. He knew the tome he wanted was rare and powerful and could only be found in the high wizard's collection; if it was here at all. The high wizard's fire landed harmlessly against Xardan's Shadow Shield as he stormed into the office. Xardan passed the wizard a wicked grin as he spun his blade mockingly. The high wizard started casting a spell that Xardan knew he would never finish as the wizard’s shadow started rising up his legs. The Knight of the Black Era had placed dark wards of deep shadows across the door leading into the high wizard's quarters. After careful examination, the man saw that none of the wizards had even attempted dispelling them, and used his own magic to lift them. The high wizard's skeleton still lay slumped against the glass wall where Xardan had left him all those years ago. Out of the corner of his vision, the man saw a shadow run through his camp in the courtyard below. The man's blade flashed from its scabbard and the shadows bent to block his torchlight from passing beyond the windows, though he knew it was likely too late already. Cautiously, the man continued back into the high wizard's personal collection of books and shelves. Before he could react, a firm hand pressed against his back and a small blade rested against his neck. Binding spells restricted his knees, ankles, and wrists and forced him to drop down to the floor. "No gag?" the man asked. "I can't get answers from you if you can't talk," a female voice replied. "You got up here fast. You Traveled, I assume?" "Why would you assume that?" "I saw you running through the light of my camp only seconds ago." "And how do you know it was me? It could have easily been a companion of mine while I was up here all along." "A companion!? You? I would sooner believe the Trelain had left Talar!" The blade lifted from the man's throat and the Binds released his hands and legs. "You know me too well, Xardan Ta'Caran; but times are changing. Faelhart’s war is escalating uncontrollably! I have to travel with companions and you are going to have to let others help you." “So you do have a companion then?” The woman scoffed as she replied, “Not yet.” A brief moment of silence passed over the room as Xardan stood and brushed the dust from his pants. "Why are you here, Ilays?" Xardan asked. "The same reason you are, though I only stayed this long to save you time." Ilays replied, "The tome you seek isn't here, but the high wizard had notes on some of its last known locations." "And where are those?" “One is an old Lythrain city, buried in an earthquake ages ago; it is my intent to search there.” “And the others?” Xardan pressed. "There is only one other location listed: Ealthen’s Monastery." Ilays answered. "I see…” Xardan muttered, “So that’s their secret…”
  25. Hello everyone! For a little while now, I've been planning to make a fun project. It is (Drumroll) a guide to investiture! Wait, it said that in the title? Whatever. Basically, I've searched many a time for things similar to this, and have found no results. I am going to change that, and have been planning for a little while now, so here it is! Click this link and you can comment, if you want full editing powers, PM me and ask! Please note it is nowhere near completion, so I would really appreciate anyone's help!