Second-to-last of the Imperial provinces and protectorates is this quiet little place, sited in the shadow of the Rift and a vassal of the Empire for decades before the Empire invaded any other western territory. Averogne yielded easily to the Empire’s advances and accepted its troops without fuss, though it refused to cut down any of its woodlands to build garrisons. It was happy to sell wood to the Empire, however, and let Imperial troops man the protectorate’s current defenses.
And maybe marry into the population.
Or disappear into the woods.
Many invaders have disappeared into the Averognan woods.
Continuing the Culture Composites series, this will be a short one! And require the use of a rather haphazard map. The target this time is Muria, the hidden homeland of the silver elementals (or Muriae) and their Primordial, Brancir. Muria can be thought of as an autonomous zone within the protectorate of Kerrindryr, existing mostly underground but also encompassing the external area of one particular large mountain — Ratrangas Garta, or Howling Spire. The human city at its base, Thul Rei Tenko, is a part of Kerrindryr but considered under the protection of the Muriae, and is known to have a certain amount of infiltration from the Silver Folk.
Six years later, I return to the Culture Composites series! I’d always planned to make more, I just…never did.
With this installment, we’re only one step away from finishing up all the Risen Phoenix Empire’s vassal provinces and protectorates. Darronwy joins Riddian, Trivestes, Wyndon, Amandon, Corvia, and Haaraka, all located in the Imperial Heartlands (even if they don’t agree that they belong), plus the conquered lands of Illane and Kerrindryr. Beyond the Rift with the latter two, Jernizan is the only free land shown so far, but it won’t be the last. (I swear!)
Since I failed to do a Best Reads for 2018, I am making a point to do one this year! Arghh! It’s probably been clear from my minimal posting that doing blog-related things is at the bottom of my list right now — which I wish wasn’t so, since I’ve enjoyed this. I just haven’t had the brain-space to devote to it. I hope to get back to it once I have the full rough draft of Book 6 hammered out and can stress a bit less.
Anyway! Since I skipped last year, I’ll add a few highlights from it, since some of them (series- or author-wise) do continue onto this year’s list. However, this was also the year where I saw some of my previously-favorite series, both old and new, trail off into things I didn’t like so much. I don’t really want to go into what I didn’t like and why, just to note this background feeling of dissatisfaction with a lot of the authors I used to favor.
I can’t really call them Book 5 updates anymore, when nothing about Book 5 is moving. Sadface. Hopefully soon, though.
September has been trash for progress, due to a few Day Job issues but also a grand fun time with a pool leak. A leak repair guy is out there right now, getting started on what should be a 2-3 day affair, which pretty much smashes my writing week. I know, fragile artist types, but I can’t concentrate when there are other people around. I feel like it’s been that way for the whole month.
Regardless, I’m wrapping up chapter 16 of the Book 6 rough draft now (well, probably Thursday v_v). Hopefully October will be more productive, but there will be at least one Day Job intrusion. Not sure now whether I can finish the draft in this calendar year, but since all my deadlines are self-imposed, I suppose it’s fine. My alpha reader seems to be enjoying the draft well enough, though I have a lot of work to do, both in removing and adding material. Honestly, right now I’m just going through my copious notes and trying to hit all the points brought up by them. Turning all of that into a polished story with the right character and plot beats is the big job.
I hate having to type that title. It means it’s been a year since my previous Book 5 July update. But…that’s just how it is.
Yet again, this is a brief ‘things continue to progress, like snails’ post. The Book 5 cover has moved forward a smidge, but there’s been another technical snag for the artist, which hopefully will be resolved in August. Then we can steam forward?!?!
The Book 6 rough draft continues on schedule. I’ve started Chapter 12 (of still probably 27) and am pleased with how everything is shaking out.
In related (?) news, I did finish a paperdoll I started prooooobably a year ago, of Magus Revek Voorkei, our lovable if tusk-garbled Gejaran spy-slash-ally-slash-scryer’s-first-boyfriend. Seen below modeling Gejara’s typical ‘we like colors and patterns and we don’t care about your eyes!’ casual garb under a light spring coat.
Posted in Writing
Just a brief update, since I don’t have the news that any of you readers really want to hear. I’ve finished the final draft of Book 5, The Bloodied Army, and am awaiting further notes and/or tweaks from my editor. The cover is, unfortunately, still in the wind; my artist has been having a rough time lately.
However, I plan to take ~a week’s break, then edit a short story (unrelated to the series, but which I’ll post here), then start on Book 6. Hopefully we’ll encounter a block of time in which we can get both the 5 and 6 covers done — since I have the concept for 6 as well. Doesn’t matter too much to me if the two final books come right on each other’s heels. I just wish I could get them out to you all ASAP.
See below, my shabby author’s composite concept of the Book 5 cover, which alas is all I can show at the moment.
Posted in Writing