Sunday, 5 March 2017

From Winter

Vastly belated 2017 greetings to one and all! Christmas has been and gone, taking the New Year and winter with it. As those dedicated readers will have no-doubt noticed, I ended up being absent for longer than I'd originally anticipated, and this is by no means signals the start of regular posting again. For this I do apologise. Things in the ever-nauseating Real World have been hectic and busy, and I wasn't able to dedicate quite as much time over the Christmas period as I would have liked to preparing material for TFE. That said, plenty was still done, as I shall reveal in due course.

News. As I said, I hoped to spend most of Christmas preparing content for TFE, and I met with somewhat mixed success. Given the nature of the Christmas holiday, its whirling festivities, and a pile of university work, I was not able to do as much as I had hoped. I had envisaged enough content to carry me through to June-time, which, in wonderful hindsight, was woefully naive of me. The good news is that the next short(ish) story is written, is curretly being proof-read, and by all accounts, should be very soon ready to go. There is just one problem:

It's far too long.

Most of my short(ish) stories I've shared so far have ranged from between 12,000-35,000 words. The next story is just shy of 100,000 words in length: almost as long as everything so-far released on TFE combined. As a result, I'm not sure if releasing it in weekly chunks is a good idea, so I'm currently exploring other options for getting the latest tale out to you. What seems likely, however, is that it will not be released on the TFE blog. This is simply a decision based on the length of the piece; I fear that breaking it up into somewhere between ten and fifteen chapter-like chunks and releasing them week-by-week would hugely detract from the narrative of the story: several months would have passed before all the content was available, by which time I fear the reader would have forgotten what took place in the earlier weeks. On balance, I'm reluctant to release it all as one post for that very reason - it would be a truly giant blog post, and near-impossible for the reader to navigate. Still, it is written, and I shall find a way to get it out to you all.
Now, the exciting part: details. Echoes of the Past is a follow-up to my most popular short(ish) story, Of Fire and Shadow. It sees the return of Jaedor Gaelon, the now one-armed scholar, and his reluctant priest friend Derryk Whyte, the cloistered son of a rebellious nobleman. A calendar year has passed since the events that took place in Of Fire and Shadow, and both Jaedor and Derryk are still suffering the effects of the dreadful days they spent trapped in the city of Palvia.

A great deal has transpired since the events in Of Fire and Shadow. The Maedarian Rebellion, spearheaded by the self-proclaimed King Aelfurd, has led to the entirety of the western Vidorian Empire rising up in insurrection. The provinces of Maedar, Westernaea, Eagle Island, and even Westmoor - the land adjacent to the Imperial Heartland's western border, watched for generations by the Fortescue earls - have spurned the name of the Divine Empress in favour of the Old Gods, and their freedom.

The fame of our two characters, however, has spread. The story of the priest and the scholar who, unlike many, managed to escape the war-torn Maedarian city is one that brings hope to the people of the much-shrunken Vidorian Empire. Both men, however, are keen to get away from their day-to-day lives and escape the long shadows cast by the Aelfurdian Rebellion, and when an opportunity arises for them to embark on a new adventure, both men leap for it with open arms. Little do Jaedor and Derryk know, however, that they are about to become key players in mitigating the political fallout from the rebellions - and wanted targets by the western rebels.

So, that is how things currently are. I'm drafting a few lore posts to add a little more depth to Esdaria, and Echoes of the Past in particular. More on those later, though. 

I'll leave you with this picture from my Instagram of the snow that fell in early January. It hasn't snowed in England for several years and, although this only lasted an hour or so, most of the Kingdom of the East Angles was briefly lost under an icy white sheet.

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