About Order & Entropy

Book IBook I – (Index) Book IIBook II – (Index) Book IIIBook III – (Index)
Book IV – (Index) Book V – (Index) Book VI – (Index)

For centuries there has been a tenuous peace through the ruins of the Corinthian Empire.  One bought with the blood of countless thousands, and floundering in the shadows of a cold war fueled by magic, faith, and dragons.  The memory of mages may be long, but time brings complacency, and ambition is a wolf ever circling at the door.

Three children are cast into the royal court of the small western kingdom of Avrale.  A land ever caught between the true power brokers of their world.  Yet the forces of fate spiraling around the Ashton children hint at a larger picture.  That nothing about them is at all ordinary, even if all they want is to live their lives, and find their place in a world that seems to always have other plans.  They will learn that gifts can be burdens, and that great power is never without consequence.


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Chapter VI:16

A son he left me, in the ways of men,
should a mother bemoan he is as him,
tis it better a woman hath a grandchild,
to care for girls, charmed by his wiles,

wouldst it be wiser that I’d not bore his son,
wait for a daughter that might so choose none,
oh he left, tis his loss, he’ll die cold and alone,
an old woman warm, and surrounded at home.

– A Matron’s Lament, 423 E.R.

The Bees and the Trees 

Rhaeus 4th, 1 S.R.

“Up and at ‘em, soldier,” Katrisha commanded.

Liora woke, and turned a spiteful glare to the woman beside her hammock. A nudge to the shoulder accomplished no more.

“Come on, we still have a dozen women, and near so many children in need of training. I made that… pirate, promise she would give them opportunity. The chance to be more than fate has brought them to. I intend to not be a hypocrite in this.”

“Then don’t,” Liora said, and stared back at the ceiling, clutching her arm.

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Commentary VI:15

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All Things are Relative

I suppose that is the theme, at least of this opening scene. One thing I’m not sure I’ve ever commented on is how I use the term god rather liberally, and abstractly. (Though I’m fairly sure I’ve commented on how little I gender the term.) In part because in the sense of our world that word can already be rather abstract. Even the bible occasionally speaks of angels as gods, or statues and the ideas they represent, while casting neither actual power or respect to them.

The Mage Kings rarely ascribed themselves to divinity in a linguistic sense, even if their keeps were often cathedrals, their demand for obeisance notable, and their powers at times truly vast to the point where one need question their definitions. Laset by far amongst the most powerful being we’ve encountered, rivaling perhaps the Avatar, but I imagine the two would have an utterly futile time fighting each other. Gods indeed.

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VI:14 Update

Found some misplaced content gathering scraps for this week, and decided this dream sequence fits at the begging of Chapter VI:14, but making a separate post for the update.

It was snowing. That wasn’t right.

Katrisha saw her breath swirl around her. A twin the same height, and with the same dark hair stood across, already in a fighting stance. A broad shouldered, stocky man sat on a short fence at the edge of the training ring. It looked a bit bad for the railing.

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Chapter VI:15

The last word may be all you get,
when all else falls to bitter regret,
part on good terms such they are,
if one last barb, not quite too far,

a pence or a sov can never compare,
to leave an opponent stewing there,
walk away resolved for the morrow,
one more chance you might borrow.

– The Last Word, 517 E.R.

Parting Wagers

Rhaeus 3rd, 1 S.R.

“Oh poor Laset.” Rihonae frowned, stepped closer, and reached for a frozen face, turned aside in the moment of a blow. It was too cold to even get near. She withdrew the hand, and shook her head.

It had taken a dozen locals, a bunch of planks, and Rihonae herself to move the mass into the orrery chamber the prior evening. Even so, a few had gotten frostbite, and the chamber had grown a bit colder for its presence. It sat behind a throne, moved to the edge of the dais, and fit well enough. Rihonae glanced to Katrisha, who stood below the step up.

“Have you come to ask about leaving?” Rihonae offered with a dismissive wave. “You are free to go, if you can figure out how.” She stepped around, and sat with a petulant grimace. “It was nice, having a god at my side.”

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Commentary VI:14

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The War of Mirrors

Trying again to do commentary in parallel with editing, and really tightly coupling the process section by section. I decided to add another day on background, in which I presume mostly wallowing, or futile conversations happened. No progress, Laset continues to imply she is to weak without showing obvious signs.

One presumes Rihonae is actually using the orrery chamber as a functional throne room, and not just for show. Maintaining a presence here most days for petitioners, and so she was easy to find on the previous day, to have one more ask of when they would be let go.

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Chapter VI:14

What whispers in the dark,
those things we’d never do,
passing frightful impulse,
to our own selves untrue,

what lurks in the shadows,
fear of a fate at hands unclear,
where eyes flit ‘n heads turn,
oh there’s nothing there to fear,

it should give no quiet or respite,
only an ever sinking, seeping dread,
where one casts light into shadows,
and so learns, it was all in their head.

– The Lurker, 523 E.R.

The Sun, The Moon, and the Sea

It was snowing. That wasn’t right.

Katrisha saw her breath swirl around her. A twin the same height, and with the same dark hair stood across, already in a fighting stance. A broad shouldered, stocky man sat on a short fence at the edge of the training ring. It looked a bit bad for the railing.

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Commentary VI:13

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The Long Run

I had initially titled this chapter the Blood of the Sea, but felt it was too on the nose. The Silver Thread ultimately came from the crimson thread of the poem (blood in veins,) but does evoke the silver chord a bit, which plays well enough. All this said there is a favored metaphysical idea I oft return to, that the sea is never far, for we cary her with us in our veins.

What had originally been drafted in one chapter, is now looking to take at least 3 to resolve. Even two felt rushed, and I’m still struggling with structuring the climax of this mid book arc. If that is too telling, apologies.

To be overly real this proved a frustrating chapter to construct, not so much write. I wonder if it shows that I switched the sections around a bit after they were written, and then edited them to more appropriately flow. This pushed me too late in Sunday for editing to realistically be addressing commentary alongside final editing. Which has a cost, little things slip. Mostly towards the later part of the chapter. Some of which I’ve since fixed, after only a reader or two had read it.

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