Novella – A Home

Emotions leave powerful imprints on reality as the bodies they were wrenched from degrade into a stain; sometimes the emotions are so strong that they are able to bind a soul to a place, person, or object. Ancient places are often collectors of such phenomenon whether in fiction or non, steeped in the sorrow and joy of countless life forms across countless eons. There are locations in Melias that mirror our own in this manner and why wouldn’t they? Would not a home be haunted by a lonely widower? Or a grieving child visited by his late mother’s spirit? Going further, could not portals to other planes be opened?

Poezslav Manor is one such a place, a place buried in history. Genesis, a Cleric and Hero of Melias, is hired by the owner of the manor to investigate some strange occurrences within the estate before a large Gala- the first of the season. The fun of Manor Poezslav is that it is known in elite, wealthy circles for being haunted. In fact, that’s what makes the price so right for the owner. But as of late, the occurrences in the manor went from cheeky to downright horrifying.

Genesis investigates the Manor and the surrounding grounds, finding clues to Manor Poezslav’s bizarre past, discovering ghastly clues along with artifacts and knowledge utterly sibylline in nature. As her investigation wears on, Genesis delves deep into the bowels of Poezslav, deeper than any of its owners have ever dared; determined to unravel all of its covetous secrets.

As a rule, I hate the pure horror genre. I used to be an avid fan when I was a child (that tells you a lot, don’t it), but as I grew older, I realized that was the problem.  I was a child. Horror never satisfied me. All I saw was just victims getting splattered, and then an unsatisfying ending typically implying another film, or one that illustrates the monster/antagonist getting away to commit more murders. At other times, the “point” of the horror movie, or story was to simply kill all the protagonists. Lazy. Uninspired. Boring. Enraging. So instead…

Elemental horror places Genesis into Manor Poezlav, a hostile paranormal environment, and she will be able respond whenever there is danger, not possible in most versions of classic, pure-genre horror. In addition to her incredible prowess as a warrior, both in technique and physicality, Genesis, like all Clerics in Melias, channel powerful spells called hymns- songs derived from places of raw willpower and faith that manipulate the ether to a desired end. Most of the time, Clerics act as exorcists, banishing malicious spirits from the physical plane, or smashing the undead. The hymns aid to that end, either strengthening the Cleric, or weakening their foes.

Is she invulnerable? Will she be in danger? Will she be challenged? Absolutely. Genesis is human. She bleeds, needs to eat, drink, and sleep, and can die like you or me. Poezslav, and all of its horrors, will test her mind and body to their very limits and then some. But is this just some dumbass horror story with a hair-in-the-face ghoul haunting an antique mirror?

HA! Go rent a movie if your looking for that tripe.

As Celat

*Journal entry stolen from Celat by Gya, directly following the events of The Hunters:*

“…nobles breed and those below them are expected to support their gluttony. I know because I was a body below, buckling under the weight. Until I realized they needed me more than I needed them. Enough time passed and I realized that I didn’t need them at all.

I had always suspected that the noble class, be they politician, wealthy entrepreneur, royalty, banker, industrialist, merchant, treated the lower classes unfairly. I had seen the abuse firsthand. But it runs deeper than that. The band of disrespect nobles have for those under them is actually black hole of rotting cruelty that demands to be fed, fed a never ending supply of human misery. Nobles merely decide who to cast into the abyss.

Those who suffer under the nobles’ harsh rule look for others to strike out against. Children. Women. Men. But mostly it’s animals. In all my years as a Ranger of Enpelison, I have learned one thing if nothing else. Humans abuse ones lower than them. Cruelty is an accepted part of human society, and one is considered weak if one does not abuse their lesser peers, or if one shows compassion toward beasts and other flora or fauna.

I offer a counterpoint of violence to this logic and show that compassion at its very core is inherently violent. Who does not fight harder than from a place of protection? Love? Hope? Peace? I have fought and repelled conquerors and men and women fighting from places of great cruelty and evil. They have failed. One and all.

It is this very reason why the noble class seek such cruelty and wealth and power over others. Even other nobles. They fear usurpation. They fear it because they are vile and tyrannical. I destroyed a child trafficking ring where nobles treated human beings like holes to be bought, sold, passed, and murdered for pleasure and barter- simply to grease the wheels of corrupt transactions dealing in sums of land, coins, and power. Considering how much blue blood I’ve spilled in the last three weeks, one would think a few names would come to light as the Crown of Enpelison investigates the site of an invasion. But nothing. Not a single name. Just a list of “philanthropists” and “family men and women” that were brutally murdered by a rouge agent of the state. If I destroyed one, I know there are more and I know there are bigger ones. I shudder to think. No, I am nauseous with terror to even consider it, truth be told.

If the public knew what I knew and saw what I saw that night at the fort, the Crown of Enpelison would be broken and bloodied before nightfall and the people would demand a new ruler.

In a world such as Melias, justice does not arrive promptly. It is lazy, often taking decades to arrive properly. This is unacceptable. I, Celat, am the catalyst and reaper of pain, and I have learned time and time again that regardless of consequence. There is no justice except for that which I take.”

*end of entry*

Novella – Oppidan Inquisition

Wretched things happen in the real world that I cannot control. Instead, I use them in my work and twist them against the forces I am too vulnerable to face alone, but not only for me. Every twisted ideal, each abominable act of violence. When a new fiend develops a vile new way to violate an innocent soul I develop a way to strike back for the vulnerable innocent because they can’t. That being said. The new novella I am creating is called Oppidan Inquisition, and it centers around Celat.

Celat, a Hero of Melias, and quite possibly the most gifted Ranger on the planet, starts this legend by tracking a band of poachers through a dense forest along an overgrown trail. It starts standard, sure. Celat is no fan of poachers or animal abusers in general, if you read The Hunters, which is the first novella I ever featured him in.

From the wilderness, we track Celat and the band of foes to a town, changing the Ranger’s approach completely. Well known and now even wanted in some parts of his homeland after his exploits detailed in The Hunters, he must forego his telltale armor, equipment and weaponry and rely more on subterfuge, sabotage, and wits. Like usual, Celat’s relentless and curious nature pulls a thread that unravels a momentous adventure, one that he could never had expected.

Without spoiling their plots, I will say that both The Hunters and Oppidan Inquisition visit two subjects that are very abhorrent to me. Human trafficking and animal genocide. Celat does two things. He provides revenge and violence to a group of individuals that are completely helpless. Children and most animals are helpless in the cross hairs of predatory humans. Celat preys upon the predatory human, inflicting fear upon the fearless.

Empathy is another aspect of Celat’s personality that may not be at the forefront. As violent and vengeful as he can be, he does everything that he can to protect and help others. Be they an ant or ice bear (the polar bear of Melias), be they beggar or King. If there is an innocent soul being abused, Celat is often lying in wait, ready to ambush their tormentor.

I want to bring these horrific subjects to light not to sell books or for shock value but because these things are happening. Right now. As I am typing now in my past, and as you are reading now in your present. Be aware of what is happening to the most vulnerable around you.

Just by doing a simple Google search, I was able to find numerous sites where one can donate money, goods, or time toward helping people and animals in need. People who have been victimized again and again. Animals who have no reason to trust humans again. These wounded souls need help, and it is up to those who are Good to do it.

What side are you on?

 

 

All Things Marry

Melias has begun to grow large enough where I can no longer entertain it on my own. I must branch out and share it with the world more than ever, and I want anyone and everyone to come along with me and discover how incredible this planet really is. To make things easier, I am doing a number of overhaul activities to help get, and keep, things straight.

First, I’ve offered links on my website (look above) that direct you to a fixed page where you can acquire my novels/novellas in digital format. As always, full novels are $2.99 and anything under that is $0.99.

Second, I am going to be opening an art gallery on Etsy this summer. I post very rough concept art here sometimes, but where I really display my work is on Instagram. I have provided a link (also above) where you can view these pieces if you are so inclined. Instagram will provide more information on the piece, where the blog will go into length on the piece’s backstory (it’s place in Melias).

Third, Twitter is going to keep everything annoying in your ear, always letting you know what I am doing with Melias and when new art or writing is coming out, or came out. It’s my mouthpiece. I’ve discontinued Facebook because I find it redundant.

With that being said, I am going to start this plan and do everything that I can to share the World of Melias as much as humanly possible. I care about what I have created, and I want you to care too- not just for the fucking money. All in all, all money is just a system of points. I want you to care because I truly believe that your life will be better because of it. Period.

Still care to draw steel with the men and women that call Melias home?

Flash Fiction – Celat, The Ranger

Time had claimed the slick features of youth, dragging the long lines of grief, anger, sadness, smiles, and laughter into a silvered hairline which melted into a calm, but wooly beard. Age had also claimed Celat’s urge for violence and revenge. Perhaps claim is too final. Soothe would be more accurate.

He still thought of the pigs. Of Elgon. The bodies. The screams. The tastes…odors…

But those thoughts weren’t as sharp now. They were easier to evade, and the act of dredging them up to mind didn’t spark an unquenchable urge for violence. Instead, Celat found new ways to help the wildlife of Enpelison, his homeland, the land he had protected for his entire life.

Stepping from his small hut, Celat inhaled the cold air of the forest’s wet pines. He was the local herbalist, vet, and hunter. Unable to keep up with prey, or train a bow on target any longer, he offered advice on the local fauna and stuck to gathering herbs, roots, buds, and other vegetation to keep his reagents stocked. His hut was several miles off the beaten path- hidden but not impossible to find and an essential stop for most anyone looking to venture deeper into Melias.

He smiled as he watched a herd of deer gently make their way through the pines to a hidden meadow a few dozen yards from where he lived. In the spring, if the timing and weather had been just right that year, the meadow would partially flood into a vernal pool. Being this close to nature…he loved it. Celat helped animals here. People. Himself. Without bloodshed. It was his first, and only, true home.

Locals would stop by looking for remedies, herbs for their own concoctions. Children would often bring Celat creatures they would find injured beside the road or in the forest, wounded by misadventure or cruelty. He would mend these little souls, and then send them back into the wilderness, much to any nearby child’s joy. These people didn’t know him here. Didn’t know what he did, what he was, or what his name meant. He was just a wise old man in a hut.

A drop of water hit the top of Celat’s head from the awning above. It was cold- it had hit a balding spot right at the crown of his skull. He rubbed it with his hand, smiling at this silly little situation. He jumped, startled by an animal’s scream from the road. He exploded into a sprint, his aged body protesting at every hinge. As difficult as it had become, (in his younger days, sprinting might as well have been walking) he had barely lost any of his speed. He rubbed an old medallion at his belt, comforted by its warmth.

Before he approached the noise, he slowed his pace to calm his heartbeat and breathing rate. Electric vein patterns burned bright shadows into his vision as his pounding heart pushed blood into every hidden inch of his body. His movements as breath, he disappeared into the underbrush and inched toward the disturbance, almost right in the middle of it all.

Celat spied three boys torturing a stray cat. The cat was lucky- they had just started their fun. A boy held the creature by the end of its tail (an act which is agony in itself for the feline) which another slapped at its face, laughing as the cat tried to claw his hands. The final boy had a small studded club. Celat had seen enough cruelty in his lifetime to know what was to happen next.

“Hold it still!” The boy with the club yelled, “I wanna good whack at ‘er!” The cat was pregnant. The game was to bust open her womb in the least amount of strikes and make her kittens spill out of her belly. “I wanna see those babies!” The boys screamed and laughed with rabid glee. The boy with the club raised his weapon.

A bolt of pain exploded from his wrist down into his shoulder as three fingers made of living stone bruised and crushed his delicate skin and flesh. The boy shrieked and looked at his friends’ faces, both of which paralyzed in horror, the cat released without thinking. The club wielding boy turned slowly, tears streaming from his cheeks.

Celat towered over the boy, his fingernails dug deep into the child’s skin, drawing a few drops of blood. His face was twisted with anger far beyond any the child had seen in a grown-up. Celat’s eyes wide, his brow furrowed, his mouth relaxed, even, but slightly turning into a scowl. His hood cast his features into shadows, the shine of his eyes almost like a animal’s against the moon.

He uttered, “flee.”

The two boys fled; the club wielder screamed in horror as Celat held him without difficulty. “LET ME GO! LET ME GO, PLEASE! LET ME-“ Celat released the boy as he jerked himself away, causing the boy to fly backwards. The club fell from his hand and slid to Celat’s feet. Sheer instinct shot his foot out, kicking the weapon deep into the woods. The child scrambled to his feet and began to run, looking back once at Celat, who was still standing there, staring to walk toward him.

He doubled his pace, his horror ignited anew. He dared not to turn back again, feeling the heat of Celat’s body bearing down on him, hearing the crash of his boots just inches behind him, his labored breathing. I’m gonna die, the little boy thought, I’m gonna die! I want my momma! Dadda! He turned around and closed his eyes, shrieking, waiting for Celat to finish him off. When he opened his eyes, there was no. Trace. Of his attacker. He had completely disappeared.

Sobbing, the child didn’t question his sudden good fortune and took off for home.

THE END

A Flood of Work

In the time I’ve spent away from this place, I have created six works, all ready to be purchased, all outlined below. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know that documenting my whole experience from writing to publishing is kinda this whole blog’s thing. As much as I like to use the blog for emotional release, I’ve never forgotten its true purpose.

1. The link below leads to one of the first novellas I wrote that took place in Melias. The main character, Thas, is a Warrior Shaman- a strange wanderer unique to the planet and all of its inhabitants. A hero first and foremost, I wanted this story to not only give the reader an excellent introduction into how magic can work in Melias, it also illustrates the finer points of Thas’ personality, ideals, and goals. Find yourself curious?

Path of the Warrior Shaman: http://tinyurl.com/jyos2e3   $0.99 on Kindle

 

2. One of my favorite legends, this work depicts what can happen when people work together to oppose evil. I introduced a few new characters with abilities and secrets of their own, along with a vile. Antagonist. This story was meant to illustrate the mark of the truly privileged- apathy. And with apathy and power comes cruelty. Is your heart beating a little faster? The Heroes of this tale think it should.

Suffering and Hope: http://tinyurl.com/hpzqmmp   $0.99 on Kindle

 

3. This tale is one that stands to scream a hideous truth; shining light on the abuse and ruthlessness of man. However. Celat, a Ranger (and the protagonist), is a human that aims to turn these hideous qualities on those the most deserving. This tale illustrates that no man is invincible. No creed is certain, no fate, no fact. There is only Celat and the lifeless, broken bodies of evil men left in his wake. Push the weak around long enough and they push back. Hard. Did this speak to your darkness?

The Hunters: http://tinyurl.com/z27b43e   $0.99 on Kindle

 

4. Might as well be a campfire tale. This work illustrates how the fanatical never make sense- and only seek to destroy what does not suit them. Humans have turned to human/animal sacrifice for eons to communicate with the otherworldly. More pleas than communicating really; hoping to appease a being that doesn’t answer to our base, and disgusting offerings. But…what if one such being answered back from behind one of our bloodied and broken boons? Indulge that shiver in your spine.

A Memory of Suffering: http://tinyurl.com/jh2fe5j   $0.99 on Kindle

 

5. A tale coated in rust and scalded by salty winds of the sea, Gruun the Barbarian tests his mettle against seafaring bandits hell bent on raiding and destroying any village that gets in their way. The story seeks to truly highlight the mortality of even our most dangerous, horrifying foes and obstacles can be crushed, and crushed by everyday people like you. Ready to draw steel with Gruun?

Joy and Misery: http://tinyurl.com/zwnbgj4   $0.99 on Kindle

 

6. Truly the best for last, this is the first novella I ever wrote for the 99 Cent Novellas series, and was a launchpad for my entire body of work to date. This legend follows Gruun as he carves his way through a nasty batch of bandits, putting his sword and skills to good use against evildoers. His employer, however, seeks to change the terms of his employment. This does not bode well for out hero. Witness a caged beast break free.

Path of Violence: http://tinyurl.com/z22yvu7   $0.99 on Kindle

These are the works that I plan on presenting first because I feel like they make the biggest impressions. Not only do I want to entertain with my writing, I aim to enlighten, educate and inflict cognizance.

Truth be told, a lot of the fucked up things that happen to characters in Melias are based off of things I’ve seen, experienced, heard, or studied about first hand. Many protagonists highlight the best in humanity, while the antagonists highlight the bad; both sides constantly being influenced by the other while being influenced by nothing. It is this struggle that I am interested in. If you are a reader of the Fantasy genre, prepare to become obsessed.

 

Concept Art and Mental Bleeding

Working on many projects simultaneously may divert attention for some. Myself included, I admit. But I’d have it no other way to be truthful. My attention span is greedy. I become bored easily, and I don’t like to do the same thing over and over again for very long. When I do work, I work. It comes out effortlessly, but 99% of the time I have to dredge creation from the bottom of a deep, filthy lake. It’s covered in shit when it first emerges, you know. Through proofreading and editing, I clean an idea off once it’s free of the mental mire.

99 Cent Novellas: more of a concept project than anything else. I’ve been writing since my last entry, working on concept art and generating what I believe are quality stories. I’ve created new characters, given them their own plots, stories, weapons and quirks- I’ve also created supporting characters that mix with my Protagonists to help move the story along.

Expansion of the entire idea, the whole world of Melias, is what I’ve been doing. My mind and my writing are completely fused together; often spilling into my dreams if not specific instances opposed to central themes- I’m not entirely sure if my imagination is delusion, or if it is actually doing its job.

Doubt is the assailant- we are all victims, defeating ourselves. So in spite of this, create. Speaking of which, I’ve made some new additions to Melias that I think you’ll enjoy. First up? A pair of antagonists called Rezerad (the fat one) and Hectan (the jacked one). After the picture, I’ll explain what they are:

Rezerad_Hectan

Rezerad

An ancient Infernal (demon) that has ruled a universe within the Infernal Plane (basically hell) for countless eons. A cruel, twisted, foul merchant, it uses wealth and trinkets to ply weak mortals into willful slavery. A master at manipulation, Rezerad never leaves the safety of the Infernal plane, and the empire it created. The Infernal uses other Infernals and mortals to do its bidding. Worst of all, Rezerad is patient. It will wait for a millennia if it ensures success, and if one does? There will be naught but suffering. Rezerad is a ruthless, greedy miser as well, hording its own wealth to use across the entire physical plane- it always has just the right thing to tempt an unwary mortals.

Hectan

Mindless and utterly without pity or mercy, Hectan is a destroyer- meant to be unleashed. It is incapable of true rational thought, operating with cruel instinct like that of a rabid animal. If it is alive, it must die, and Hectan is large enough to do it. It towers over most anything (in my novella, he was able to cross an ocean without completely submerging) and raises an army in the wake of its slaughter- the lower half of its body the equivalent of a slug, the mucus corrosive, removing flesh down to the bare bones. The mucus also reanimates these remains as skeletons to fight for Hectan, which creates an ever expanding, indestructible army to ensure that whatever is in the Infernal’s path is raised to the ground, and stomped into complete extinction.

In addition to this, I’ve been working on another system of stories that revolve around a particular Rogue, named Gya. I’m not entirely sure of her backstory yet…anyway, here’s Gya:

 GyaGya

Unsure of where to start her, I am still working on her back story. I considered her defecting from a thieves’ guild, or breaking off from an assassin’s cult. I might mix that shit too, I don’t know yet. Unparalleled dexterity, speed, agility and cunning, Gya is more than capable of depending on her own skills to get along. She utilizes many, many custom gadgets and weapons, all geared to help her disappear, distract, deceive, or destroy. A deadly shot, she also uses a collapsible shortbow that launches her arrows with incredible force and accuracy. The arrows themselves host a whole variety of effects such as poison (of fuckin’ course), hallucination, and explosion.

A master of simple illusory magic, she can deceive and confuse her foes to the point where they are trembling in fear- an easy mark. A dagger and a shortsword are her weapons of choice; Gya’s speed and agility allows her to get in close before her foes can react, sending them to a bloody end. She uses magic to also help close distance and confuse her foes- a short range teleportation spell helps her outflank her enemies, but this ability is only limited to leaping from shadows to shadows. A greedy, driven kleptomaniac, her profession augments her natural tendencies, making her a force that is always underestimated until death is near.

Gya, being a thief, knows plenty of fences as well in order to hock her shit and make some money. After she’s done with a score (especially if its a good one), she likes to visit one fence in particular, owned by a dwarf named Urgo, who she has known for years. They are close and loyal friends, and won’t hesitate to protect each other. Take a look at Urgo:

Urgo

Urgo runs a very unique pawn shop / bazaar in addition to being a fence. Taciturn and guarded, Urgo doesn’t just…jump into things. He is calculated, patient, and very intelligent. Gya is far from the first thief to fence Urgo goods- he has a complicated system of thieves all over Melias ready to get gold for their “hard earned” scores. The gun he’s flashing was a gift (that he still had to pay for) from Gya to help keep him safe. It is the only firearm he, or Gya has ever seen (which shows how rare they are). The cartridge is a solid steel slug packed tight with a hornet’s nest of smaller shot compressed into a tight paper wad, ignited by a substance called Deathpowder. It’s like black, or gunpowder, but five times more powerful and backed by powerful alchemy. A supporting character, Urgo helps Gya stay focused- and to help move the plot forward with sensibility; a trait Gya sometimes lacks.

Urgo and Gya will also be facing a powerful enemy in the novella they’re locked in- a sentient flesh golem named Hevitus. A powerful mage, Hevitus stands to propel his own agenda forward which is to basically rule where he roams. What gives him the power to do this? Well, let’s start with his portrait first:

Hevitus

Hevitus

As a construct, Hevitus doesn’t have many weaknesses, like mortality, or even a heartbeat. An extraordinary mage, his magical ability rivaled most Spellslingers in Melias when he was human. Now, there is nary a force that can match his power. Hevitus transferred his terrible will into the construct you see above. Once he gained control of the golem, he brought it to life with powerful magic from the inside, utilizing only the four elements as his basic weapons. The golem itself amplifies his abilities, making him all but unstoppable. If left unchecked, he would simply crush whoever opposed him, able to raise entire cities to the ground as his power builds.

With these characters, especially Hevitus, I tried to think outside the box and really attempt to create something I had never seen before. I want to twist the fantasy genre together with reality and fiction all at once, creating a living story that reflects many aspects of humanity, government, and fiction. Regardless of what agenda or ideals I decide to push forward, I will always make a good, entertaining story. That’s the goal, anyway.

In my fervor, I created another Protagonist, one that utilizes the supernatural in her abilities. A cleric, she uses her martial skills and divine magic to banish evil and the unhallowed, along with bringing rest and guidance to lost, or tortured souls. Here is Genesis, who prefers to be called Neesi:

Nesi

 Neesi

 A cleric of high standing within her order, (I do not have a name for it yet), Neesi follows the same path most clerics do- she wanders Melias to destroy evil and help the innocent- whether they are alive, or restless spirits. A powerful psychic, she constantly hears the whispers of spirits from the Ether (spirit world) to guide her toward places of darkness or suffering. She is a white light for many- living, dead and otherwise, offering guidance, peace, and sometimes death.

Her armor is too big for her because they refused her a custom made suit at the cathedral she is based out of (it’s a real man’s world where she hails from). Often, she looks like she is swimming in it! However, a skilled and capable smith, Neesi created her own under suit to pad the armor and make it fit perfectly. But make no mistake, Neesi is a band of steel; a lithe machine of muscle, conditioned by years of training with heavy weaponry and equipment. Enemies that underestimate her by merely looking at her stature are often gutted or bludgeoned to death because she can easily overwhelm most with her strength.

Her blade and most of her shield are made from Lumite, a strange metal that sometimes falls to Melias from one of her three moons. A rare material, Lumite is almost indestructible, and holds a keen edge for a very, very long time, in spite of what it may be hacking through. Her abilities are driven by her inner will and compassion; she can destroy the unhallowed (undead), exorcise those possessed, help beings cross over, and a whole host of other offensive and defensive spells. I think for the first story I will write…Neesi will be exorcising an Infernal from a young boy, or girl. She is tough, stoic, powerful, dedicated, and vigilant.

Alright, that about does it. I’ll check in from time to time here on out.