Update

Hi. Howdy. Hey. How’s it going? Welp. I didn’t mean to go a month and a half without posting anything. A thousand and one apologies to you all. I have nothing to post right now, but I am working on the story! I swear on my life, I have not abandoned my writing. I just let the time get away from me. It’s no excuse for the lack of writing, but it’s the god’s honest truth. I have to deliver the unfortunate news that it will be sometime before another chapter of the main story comes out, but I have a couple side chapters in the works. I am going on a trip early in August and that will prevent me from writing for a bit, but I should be back at it at the end of August.

Once again, sorry.

Written In Stone, Not So Permanent

Science and Koeleth butt heads. A lot. Case in point, the Oathkeeper, Tom’s iconic stone longsword. The fact of the matter is stone swords just don’t work, sans crazy magic mumbo jumbo. And the Oathkeeper isn’t magical. It’s just a sword, made of stone. In fact, gemstones don’t work either, so the Earthstar has to go, too. Honestly, metal is the only suitable material for sword making known to man. Steel, in particular, is well suited for the task of sword making. Why, you might ask, is steel so much better than minerals? It’s very simple really: steel is flexible, durable and relatively easy to repair, while stone is rigid, brittle and near impossible to repair (especially by medieval standards). Gemstone is less brittle than stone, but not enough to compensate for the advantages that steel has. The most important quality that steel has over other materials (at least as far as I can deduce) is its flexibility. A rigid sword breaks because its brittle and can’t sustain repeated impacts. Stone doesn’t have that flex. All this said, I’m not completely trashing the Oathkeeper; it’s too intertwined into the story. Not, like, fate of the world rests on this blade crucial, but simply a constant presence in Tom’s arsenal. So, my alternative is as follows: I plan to rework the story of Earthgift such that instead of cutting their weapons from stone, they forge them using the heat of volcanic magma. This slightly alters the geography of Darwin’s Expanse, but whatevs. If you’re wondering how such a smith might endure the scalding heat of subterranean molten rock, the answer is simple: talcum based protective gear. See, I’ve decided that while no more sophisticated than most other societies of their time, the Urdvayne, who worship the Stone, have a particularly advanced understanding of geology, mineralogy, and metallurgy. In other words, they know how to make good swords and they have the materials needed to make them. So, the Oathkeeper still exists, just in a different form. This, of course, also means the Royal Oathkeeper, the Oathbreaker, and all other variations of the design must also change. But I’ll get more into that when they come up in the story. Anyways, that’s all for now, so keep your eyes peeled for new updates.

Car Update

I’m sitting in my car right now as I update you folks. For because reasons, that’s why. Anyways, just wanted to let you all know I am still working on the chapter. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, what with having a forty hour work week between both my jobs and other commitments to attend to. Sorry for the delays but it may take even longer as I’m basically rewriting the chapter. I figured a better way to do what I wanted to do,but it requires me to rewrite the chapter from the very beginning, which is time consuming.

A Small Request From Me

What is up, my cherished readers? I have a small request of you. Very small. It’s costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time. When I post content, I encourage you to comment on it. I want to know what you think, how my story is being recieved, and what can be improved. You are unlikely to affect the outcome of the story in anyway, but if you have some idea of how the writing or the flow of the story might be improved, I want to know. To that end, I have left my commentz section open. Thanks.

Dropping Some Knowledge

Remember awhile back when I made a post with terms and definitions? Well, this is part 2! Also I edited a term from the original post.

Classifying Koelth, Pt. 2

Sealer – Any creature, human or otherwise, who has been born with a natural resistance to magic. Whereas abominations suffer from an excess of magical influence, sealers lack the sorts of residual and vestigial magic that even normal humans have. Like abominations, sealers can vary greatly in their ability to affect magic. Due to the passive nature of most sealers’ abilities, they rarely learn of these powers. Universally used term.

Asperser – A paragon who turns renegade during the process of receiving their guardian’s blessing. This is the rarest form of magical blessing by far, and all records indicate that the only way this can happen is if one guardian intervenes in the ritual of another, one of the greatest taboos among the guardians. The intervening guardian presents an idea to the would-be paragon that they cannot resist, leading them to completely reject the blessing of their original guardian. As a result, the asperser receives two blessed artifacts: his original paragon artifact and a separate renegade artifact. Unlike a normal renegade, whose renegade weapon is simply a twisted version of their paragon weapon, the asperser’s paragon weapon retains its original power, and their renegade weapon has its own distinct power. Primarily Trialian term. Ex: Cecil

Grand Sealer – A sealer whose abilities allow them to combat paragon level magic. At this level of power, sealers are not simply resisting magic, but actively manipulating it. When fighting against a non-magical opponent, nothing is gained. When fighting against a powerful mage, however, what would be a weakness for others becomes a strength for the sealer. Primarily Trialian term.

 

S-Rank Hybrid Classifications

Note: It is not uncommon to have hybrids of previously mentioned classifications. However, they rarely receive any special recognition. When they reach S-Rank, however, it then becomes noteworthy. In the below cases, all aspects must be S-Rank. We are dealing with characters whose nature is no weaker than Grand Sealer, Slayer, Paragon, Iconoclast, World Eater or Archfiend. A slayer who is also blessed is only a paladin if they have paragon magic, for example. These classifications are rare enough (except maybe the paladin) that you will never see more than two or three introduced into a single story (probably). You will see two of them, for sure, in the River’s Tale, but you’ll get no more spoilers.

Paladin – A slayer blessed with paragon level magic. Many paragons, renegades and exemplar learn how to fight against other magic users due to their frequent encounters with them, but without their own magic, they find themselves lacking. The paladin has trained himself to take on mages even if he is deprived of his own magic. Societally, their respective roles as paragons or renegades remain unchanged, but when they are put to the test, their skills in physical combat give them an edge. Primarily Trialian term.

Archangel – An archfiend blessed with paragon level magic. For all their merits, paragons, renegades and exemplars are limited by a lack of diversity in magical ability. They have only the magic which they are blessed with. Much the same could be said of archfiends. Their abilities are vastly broadened if they have two magical talents instead of one. Thus, archangels have a keen edge in battle. Most archangels, rare as they are, are exemplars, as the guardians’ sense of balance typically precludes archfiends from being paragons proper, and, as a result, they are rarely renegades. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Bender – A grand sealer blessed with paragon level magic. Grand sealers are dangerous on their own, but gifted with paragon level magic they become a force to be reckoned with. Capable of manipulating the magic of others and commanding powerful spells of their own, it is not hard to see how legends arose claiming that soul benders could affect souls themselves. Most soul benders, rare as they are, are exemplars, as the guardians’ sense of balance typically precludes grand sealers from being paragons proper, and, as a result, they are rarely renegades. Primarily Trialian term.

Demi-Soul – An iconoclast blessed with paragon level magic. Demi-souls have twice the magical power of paragons, but are no more susceptible to magical burnout than a regular paragon. Normally, demi-souls are created unintentionally, as some forms of apostate magic can be shielded from the guardians. Naturally, if the guardian cannot tell that an individual is magical, they would have no trouble further blessing them. Often reluctant to be chained to a master, there is a disproportionately high number of demi-soul exemplars who go renegade. Primarily Trialian term.

Resonator – A world eater tether blessed with paragon level magic. Unlike other such combinations, resonators typically become paragons before becoming world eaters. Earthbound guardians are not beholden to the same laws and customs as the ascendant guardians, and as such care little whether or not a human is already blessed. Depending on the circumstances, such a bonding can force a paragon to go renegade. However, several outside factors play into this. Primarily Trialian term.

Dual Soul – A paragon blessed by two guardians. If one person represents the values of two guardians equally, he may find find himself blessed by both. Once a rare but real thing, it is now one of the greatest taboos among the guardians. Primarily Trialian term.

Fiend Hunter – An archfiend with slayer training. Oftentimes an archfiend finds itself the target of paragons, exemplars, slayers and even other abominations. Thus, when facing mages and those trained to fight mages, it is useful to have non-magical skills with which you can defeat them. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Breaker – A grand sealer with slayer training. Grand sealers are dangerous on their own, but trained in the arts of slaying they become a force to be reckoned with. Being virtually immune to magic, they are the ultimate anti-mage weapon. Even an asperser would do well to steer clear of a soul breaker. Primarily Trialian term.

Dark Paladin – An iconoclast with slayer training. Many iconoclasts learn how to fight against other magic users due to their frequent encounters with them, but without their own magic, they find themselves lacking. The dark paladin has trained himself to take on mages even if he is deprived of his own magic. Primarily Trialian term.

World Stalker – A world eater tether with slayer training. Often world eater tethers will learn slayer arts to be able to defend themselves against the various magical foes they face and, on rare occasions, their own familiar. Between the familiar’s power and the tether’s skill, the world stalkers are nearly unstoppable when they set their minds to a task. Primarily Trialian term.

Fallen Angel – An iconoclast born as an archfiend. It is hard to determine whether a fallen angel’s powers come more from their iconoclastic magic or from their archfiend magic, as both emerge at a young age. However, they channel each variety of magic through different methods. Because of their natural magic affinity, archfiends make for very dangerous iconoclasts. Due to the methods by which most apostates are made, both aspects of a fallen angel’s magic work well together. Primarily Trialian term.

Fiend Eater – A world eater tether born as an archfiend. It is hard to say what might give rise to such a pairing, but it is undoubtedly a formidable one. The tether and the familiar play off of one another’s magic so well that it would be foolish to cross them without being prepared. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Cleanser – An iconoclast born as a grand sealer. Few examples of this combination are known. The effects of forcing magic through the body of a sealer of any degree seem to be erratic and unpredictable. Sometimes it results in an artificial abomination, because the body cannot properly absorb the magic; other times it produces relatively normal humans, with the added magic simply filling the gap left by the victim’s anomalous nature. In rare cases, the victim’s nature and their magical weapon remain separate but intact, making for a powerful combination. In either the first or the last case, a grand sealer who achieves iconoclastic magic can be quite the potent anti-mage. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Eater – A world eater tether born as a grand sealer. Though no harm is intended, this pairing can be dangerous for the familiar, as the sealer’s abilities will sometimes drain the familiar’s magic, causing harm. Why an earthbound guardian would endure such a punishment willingly is unclear, though some suspect that they are trapped by the sealer’s magic. Either way, this unlikely combination proves quite useful, with both parties being able to manipulate and shape magic skillfully. Primarily Trialian term.

Disruptor – A world eater blessed with iconoclast magic. Unlike other such combinations, disruptors almost exclusively become iconoclasts before becoming world eaters. Earthbound guardians, while far more in tune with magic than any human, sometimes struggle to detect iconoclast magic, and therefore would likely bond with one unintentionally. However, the knowledge of their tether’s magic would also have little bearing on the guardian’s decision to become a familiar. Primarily Trialian term.

The Elephant in the Room and Final Notes

No doubt you have noticed something missing from the above list. There is one combination I haven’t accounted for. Well, there is a simple reason for that: sealers and abominations, by their very nature, exclude each other from coexisting. Sealers lack normal levels of magic, and abominations possess greater than normal levels of magic. If you had a person who was born as a sealer and an abomination, what you would probably see as the result is a normal human. There is no exception to this rule thus far, and there likely never will be. As it is, the chances of encountering more than one of each type of hybrid character are extremely low. World eater and slayer combinations are by far the most likely. Slayers are the product of training which anyone could theoretically learn, while world eaters are the result of a magical entity taking a shine to a particular person. Iconoclast and grand sealer combinations are the least likely. Sealers are rare, with only a handful existing in a single generation in Trialias, and there might only be two or three grand sealers among them. Due to the taboo nature of apostate creation, the actual number of apostates in the world is believed to be low; however, occasionally, when a successful method is discovered, there is a spike in the number of known apostates. Iconoclasts are rarely immediately noticed; often the magic increases in power as the child cursed with it grows into maturity, much like an abomination. Somewhere in the middle you find paragon types and abominations. Abominations are not terribly uncommon, but archfiends are exceptionally rare. Since all three major Trialian nations have a negative view of abominations, there are several organizations that hunt them. Fiend hunters, therefore, are more common than archfiends without slayer training. There is a set number of paragons each generation due to the fact that each guardian may pick one and only one paragon, with rare exceptions. However, there is always a predictable but varying number of renegades and exemplars. When a paragon turns renegade, oftentimes a guardian with have an exemplar on hand to replace them. Due to the inevitable conflict between paragons and renegades, and even between paragons and rival paragons, many fighters on both sides learn slayer magic to counteract their foes’ magic, thus paladins are common.

An “I’m Still Alive” Update

Turns out my editor was having the same problems with my chapter as I was, so it’s going through even further refining as we speak. A thousand apologies. Hopefully the end product will justify the wait to some extent. Anyways, that’s where I’ve been. In case I haven’t mentioned this, I also expect to be getting a substantial increase in work hours, so my schedule going forward is…chaotic. I still plan on giving all the other posts I promised, it just may take some time.

Hero’s Hero

This is not the special thing I was planning. This is something I thought about very recently. And so I wrote it.

A Hero Fallen, A Hero Risen

“What happened to you!?” Tom rebuked, his unbridled wrath shooting daggers at the old man. “You were a hero! You were a defender of the innocent, a guardian of truth!”

The man gave no response, coldly staring down his younger adversary. His eyes were dead as the bearskin he wore over his shoulders; blood painted his finely crafted chainmail. The old warrior raised his axe and readied his shield; he would end this young upstart.

“What happened to the great and mighty Willamar Icerender!?” Tom spat, unfazed by his foe’s lethal intent. “You, a hero among heroes, a Koeling of the highest regard, have been reduced to a vile and repugnant fiend! When the paragon of Warrdu took innocent lives in Barren Reach simply for the crime of being poor, you fought him to the death,  slaying him with your bare hands!”

The disgraced hero ignored Tom, adopting an aggressive stance. He was going to achieve greatness, and he would not let any ignorant child impede his progress. Tom was steadfast, however, and refused to budge.

“When the Bear of Itrelia threatened the town of Grave Hollow, you battled until neither of you could even move, let alone fight. It was out of sheer respect that the Bear abandoned his quest of destruction!”

Willamar charged forward, his axe powerfully swinging at Tom’s exposed neck. It was with astounding speed and reflex that Tom deflected the blow. Willamar was just as adept at blocking Tom’s counterattack, however. Tom’s recounting of his history never ceased, however.

“When the Cult of the Lost sent their forces against the western border, you lead a charge to drive them back!”

Against a lightly armored opponent, someone as skilled and strong as Willamar would normally wipe the floor with him, but Tom outmaneuvered him at every turn. Tom never broke eye contact, and Willamar began to feel the weight of his judgement.

“You’ve saved countless lives! How many hundreds of children are alive today because of your valor? How many innocent peasants thrive thanks to your sacrifice? And yet you have fallen!”

For a brief moment, the old warrior hesitated. His opponent did not take advantage of this opening, a kindness he had not seen in many a year.

“How did you get here?” the younger man continued. “You’ve become a monster! You’ve slain farmers! You’ve devastated small villages!”

“No…” Willamar protested, denying his sins.

“You were once a hero to children, and now you are the thing of their nightmares! What happened to the man beloved by the masses?”

“Stop!” he said, his voice a pained growl.

“They call you ‘Calamity’ now! But you used to go by a different name! They used to call you ‘Lightbringer.'”

“Lightbringer died fourteen years ago! I am Calamity now!” Willamar screamed, but the will to fight was quickly leaving him.

“I never much cared for titles myself,” Tom continued, his tone more compassionate and less judgemental. “The only title I need is my name; it tells me exactly who I am. But you embraced Calamity like a mother embracing her child. You took it on, as if you were bestowed with a high honor that needed upholding.”

Willamar fell to the ground, his spirit all but broken. Tom stood above him, sympathetic but on guard.

“It was never meant to be this way,” Willamar bemoaned. “The first one was a mistake. I was mislead. They told me that the village was haven to a group of rebels. I was convinced they harbored ill intent and that the whole village was rotten. I…tried to spare the children, but, by then, my ‘reinforcements’ had arrived. Oh guardians, the bloodshed. When I learned the truth, I couldn’t live with myself. It..broke me. Nothing I can say can undo what I have done, and I fear my hands are too bloody to be redeemed. I don’t know that I can stop myself now. You must end me.”

“You were a childhood hero of mine; that’s something hard to forget. Nor am I a man without guilt,” Tom pondered. “But even I have to admit that you may be beyond saving. I think there is a chance to heal, though. A wholly wicked man doesn’t feel the weight of his sins, nor does he wish to rectify them. So, how do we fix this?”

“We cannot. You must end me. But before that, I have a request. You must prevent another tragedy from occurring. I agreed to meet a certain mercenary captain and fulfill a rather wicked contract. If I were to go, I could not resist the reward, but you have no steak in this game. Kill him. End it before things escalate. I know your reputation as the Merciful Mercenary, but you must do this.”

“You know who I am? I don’t recall introducing myself.”

“Vincent told me of you. Thomas Riversedge is not a foreign name to my ears. Vincent…warned me that you were coming.”

“Why would Vincent do that?”

“He was a friend once.”

“…Must I kill you?”

“I see no other way, do you?”

“….No.”

“You know, there was one little girl I managed to save from that village. She gave me a simple bracelet, crude and amateur, but it is my most treasured possession. She’s a young woman by now, about twenty, I imagine. She had the curliest brown hair and the brightest hazel eyes. I know it is unlikely, but if you cross paths with her, please give her the bracelet and my sincerest apologies.”

“Alright, that much I can do.”

Pantheon #17

Hey, folks. Content as advertised.

Showcase #17

Peaz

Peaz is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s inner serenity and harmony. A lover of the arts and a positive soul, where Joye rejoices in revelry, Peaz embraces poetry and philosophy. He is the solace that shelters humanity in times of turmoil. He hates war and conflict, and is pacifistic nearly to fault.

Religion:

Domain: Peace, Tranquility, Calm

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Temple of Tranquility

Native Magical Element: Wind

Symbolic Weapon: Stave

Symbolic Gem: Lemon Quartz

Symbolic Bird: Dove

Insignia: Peace Sign (Because why not?)

Appearance:

Body Shape: Small Frame, Straight

Eyes: Hazel

Hair Style: Unkempt, Long

Hair Color: Brown

Facial Hair: Hippie Beard, Brown

Skin Tone: White, Tan

Attire: Hemp Robes, Rose-Colored Glasses, Sandals, Tie-Dye Headband

Weapon: Simple Staff

Markings: None

Notable Features: Distinctive Scent

Background:

Titles: Lord of the Trance, Serene Mind, Spirit of the Pacifist

Siblings: Warrdu

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: He believes in free love, so the list is long.

Antithesis: Warrdu

Notable Events:

Pax: In the aftermath of the fall of Orgalav, there was much work to be done. Peaz and his paragon made significant strides in smoothing out tensions lingering between the remaining nations. Koeleth, and Trialias, might not be what they are without his intervention.

Paved with Good Intentions: The Wanderer, as the bearer of the powerful weapon Envoy, has a duty to responsibly use his powers. Before certain rules were established, a follower of Peaz obtained the weapon. In their attempts to do good, they managed to destroy a city and devastate the farmlands around it.

Vacation Time Update

Howdy, folks. Sorry about being utterly absent from the picture for two whole weeks. No excuses, really. However, my chapter is still unedited (what can you expect when people have their own lives to worry about and aren’t paid to do this?) so be patient, please. At any rate, as the title suggests I am on vacation. Worry not; I’m on vacation from my job, and not from writing. I plan to post at least 3 non-chapter things this week (plus the chapter, if everything works out), and at least two of them will be the usual guardian showcases, and the third will be something special, methinks. Maybe I’ll even get a little something done tonight. For those who want a schedule, umm, check at night or in the morning, I guess. My days will be spent with my family, so no writing will get done until evening. Thanks for the patronage, you guys are awesome!

Pantheon #16

Sorry this is late. Nothing else to say here.

Showcase #16

Disciplina

Disciplina is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s lawful, orderly nature. Possibly the most emotional of all the guardians, Disciplina hides her thoughts and feelings behind a steel curtain of rigid self-mastery. In all situations, she keeps her head, analyzing every detail with a scrutinizing eye. Disciplina is the ideal of warriors and scholars all across Koeleth. Leader of the Koeleth Sentimals, she commands the respect of guardians the world over.

Religion:

Domain: Discipline, Order, Self-Restraint

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals, Formerly Orgalav Dominion

Religious Order: Temple of the Golden Pillar

Native Magical Element: Earth

Symbolic Weapon: Hand-and-a-Half

Symbolic Gem: Amethyst

Symbolic Bird: Osprey

Insignia: Corinthian Column

Appearance:

Body Type: Slight Spoon, Medium Frame

Eyes: Ruby

Hair Style: Ponytail, Long Straight

Hair Color: Burgundy

Skin Tone: White, Tanned

Attire: Light Plate Armor

Weapon: Hand-and-a-Half

Markings: None

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Queen of Divine Order, Unerring Rule, Golden Standard

Siblings: None

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: Maybe, just maybe, Apathos, if he could get his act together.

Antithesis: None in particular

Notable Events:

The Conquest of Trialias: When Orgalav waged war on Trialias, Atoriti waged war on Trialias’ gods. Disciplina was one of his highest ranking subordinates, and she led the charge against the Nagyb. Her dominion allowed for the rise of the tragedies who now rule those lands.

Breaking the Rules: When the Ekoalem returned to drive out the Orgalavi, they shone a light on the cruelty of the empire. Realizing how dark the empire had become and what her role was in its fall, Disciplina was convinced to aid the Koeleth Sentimentals, eventually proving herself worthy of leading them.