August 2019 Archives

Setting The Board

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I'm waiting for one more beta reader at this point to finalize the manuscript, but I have a deadline to meet, so I will have Setting The Board uploaded and available at by Tuesday (the 20th) at the latest.

Calmena was Hell.

It was a primitive planet where descendants of abductees were enslaved by enemies of humanity, hoping to breed docile servants. It hadn't gone well for anyone.

A century ago, the Empire found the planet and began using it to trace the fractal demons back to their home. But they also began helping the human slaves throw off the demonic yoke, always careful to camouflage their help as native ingenuity. In that century, Calmena has gone from isolated villages at the demon's mercy to independent towns and cities.

But the real power of the fractal demons was never on Calmena. When the fractal demons prepare to strike at the Empire, the Imperial missionaries must blunt or divert the blow, lest it completely crush the nascent Calmenan freedom.

1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.

I am Alexan, Jarl of Ygg in Treemount, on Migurd.

2.Tell us where and when were you born.

I was 'born' in the Empire of Humanity as a splinter of an ultsi. I became an independent entity when he made a mistake that ended up severing his soul from himself.

3. How would you describe yourself?

My physical description changes as I wish it. Mentally, I am inquisitive. But the most salient feature to most people is that I have become an Eternal. Think of me as equal to one of the gods of Olympus or the Aesir of Valhalla.

4. Tell us about where you grew up.

I suppose you could say I grew up where the attitudes of my original were formed, as an ultsi of the Fifteen Families in the Empire of Humanity. The competition for mastery and power is fierce and Darwinian, and the death rate is high. You must always be on your guard, and doom can strike without warning at any moment. There are limits, honored by those who play the Game of Houses as in the best interest of all, but all of its players are driven to achieve.

5. How old are you?

You could argue that I'm about one year old. Or you could argue that I am several 3600s, as I have the generic memories and skills of my original.

6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?

I didn't have a childhood at all as most people use the term. I was born adult. My original's was happy enough in the way of the Fifteen Families, but childhood to them is a precious time to learn as much as you can. There is not a lot of leisure. But he was loved by his family and taught well.

7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?

I know my original was married and had many lovers, but those were soul-bound memories that I did not inherit. I have looked up the names of his wife and descendants, his parents and siblings, but I have no actual memories of them or of the times he spent with them.

I have bound myself to a fellow Eternal, the Lady Petra. We have one daughter Catharin, born roughly a year into our marriage. I have another child, a clone that became infused with a soul, in spak stasis waiting upon the right time to bring him into the universe.

8. What do you value above all else in life?

The life and happiness of the Lady Petra, my wife. She has had more than enough pain and hurt for a lifetime of any length. The well-being of my daughter Catharin.

9. What are you obsessed with?

Learning. Preparations for likely threats.

10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?

I believe in cooperation out of mutual interest. I believe that facts must be the basis for all decisions, so evidence must be ruthlessly examined. I believe skills must be shared. As a result, Petra and Catharin are learning what I know. We are wealthy as such things go, secure as is reasonable, and by all evidence, happy.

11. Biggest fear?

That something will cause pain to the Lady Petra.

12. What line will you never cross?

In the mold of my original, I can never go against the interests of humanity as a species, or the Empire of Humanity as a whole.

13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you?

The Lady Petra deciding I could somehow help her escape her curse. It became so much more.

The worst?

The moment the Lady Petra informed me that others from the Empire of Humanity had been to the realm of Aescalon.

14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

When I realized what the situation was with my original, and that I had to leave the Empire as a result of him dying.

15. Biggest secret?

If I told you what sort of thing it was, I'd have to destroy you utterly.

16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?

Driven, as are all ultsi. Even though I am not technically ultsi.

17. What is your current goal?

As the second novel of Connected Realms opens, I am most concerned with understanding the divine ecosystem that the Lady Petra and I have become part of.

I now have a cover for Setting The Board (Book Three of Preparations For War)

Some people have said it's too busy, but that's combat. I have only two minor complaints, and one of them is a virtue from an artistic standpoint. The other is that a rifle that features prominently is too modern, but everything else is true to a scene about a third of the way through the book.

STB book cover.jpg


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