7/20/22 – Behind the Curtain

Dear Readers,

Here is an update that may prove frustrating, but I think does a nice job of demonstrating progress! We’ve got an update on the map:

So, as you can see, this is a substantial expansion on the original (it is in fact, twice the size). Obviously the western half is in the preliminary stages, but it is shaped out to form correctly and the placeholders are there (some of which have already been altered, for example Pirate Sands is actually called The Vastness).

I wanted to take a moment to perhaps show everyone how the books actually get made, because I’m not represented by an agent or a publishing house. However, the team that supports me has done everything they can to make The Legacy Chronicle as professional a series as can be.

The way it works of course starts with me writing the book itself. After that, Wes Covey and Erica Paul (my sister) are the de facto readers for content, flow, and storytelling. Molly, my wife, also gets in on the game when I read the book to her (which helps with the first pass of basic editing).

Once those notes are collected, considered, and modifications made, I pass the text on to Mary Veilleux, a professional editor who works for “thank yous” and copies of the finished text. She is a terrifyingly efficient and brilliant editor.

Then it’s up to Shane Thurston to do the formatting and interior/exterior design. He’s usually working on that while the other parts are ongoing. Sarah Fensore also does the cover art and sketches in sporadic stretches.

Where we are at now is Shane tinkering with the very complex map design tool to make it work as a two page layout. Like everyone else listed above, he’s got his own life outside of this, and that is what gums up the works in getting things done as fast as I’d like.

But I want to issue a really clear statement here that, despite the delays in this book coming out, particularly compared to the short time between The Sword and The Shield, it is coming out. So will the rest of the series. Hopefully, it will start to come out with greater rapidity.

Also, I have every intention of returning to book signings and the convention scene in force in 2023 (or maybe even late 2022). I want to do it when book three is ready and with a whole new set of products from shirts to hardback books and some new art pieces. I’d also love to have the horror anthology done then too, but that’s maybe a stretch.

In the meantime, I’ll put out another excerpt from The Steed in the next couple of days. If any readers have contacts that might want to host a local author signing or reading, please reach out. I’m building a list of conventions and businesses (including, hopefully, Sherman’s Books) to tackle once book three comes out.

I hope this was a positive update for those waiting for good news. Stay tuned for more!

T.H.

4/17/22

I realize this update is long overdue, and I also feel some clarification on the delays of the third book and the horror anthology I’ve been developing is overdue as well.

The past year, in addition to all the challenges everyone around the world have been confronted with, my family and I had some additional hurdles to overcome. My wife and I left our jobs at the boarding school we had called home for almost a decade. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but the correct one.

Because of that, we have been trying to obtain housing and stability in, what I am sure all of you understand, is a decidedly trying time. We have been staying with her parents thanks to their extreme kindness and generosity. Our son, Caleb, now over the 3.5 year mark, has been in my mother-in-law’s excellent care to prevent him being in daycare due to potential COVID spread. I’ve been working almost an hour and a half away at my new school.

Things have begun to look up. Just before 2022, we obtained a place to live close to my work and a Pre-K arrangement for Caleb for next year. My new job is wonderful, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying accomplish several tasks in the order below:

  1. Relearn how to effectively teach in a high-achieving public school setting.
  2. Support my family as they deal with a constantly changing situation at work and at home.
  3. Find us a long term housing solution where we can all be together all of the time.
  4. Finish the publication of book four.

So, as you can see, the completion of The Steed is not the top priority at the moment. In addition, Shane has had a number of personal challenges arise that have prevented him from undertaking the very substantial task of turning the one page map from books one and two into a two page map depicting the areas of the world now relevant for the series moving forward.

I’m stuck in a bit of a tough spot here. I can release book three without a new map, leaving some of the locations a bit harder to visualize in terms of relative location to others. I can try to recreate a digital version of the world on my own with a program that will transfer to the proper file type for Kindle and Amazon publishing. I can wait for Shane to have time to complete the project, which feels unfair to him given this is not his primary job or even 4th on his priority list (I hope).

So, as I am now in April break, I am looking at options. I will attempt to take over the formatting and book proof production duties on my own so Shane doesn’t have to, but that’s also a work in progress. I appreciate everyone’s patience. I want to release the book ASAP, but I also want to release a quality book with everything that is supposed to be in it present from the first edition.

More updates coming more frequently, I promise.

T.H.

12/15/21

Another excerpt from the upcoming book, still in formatting stages:

Vorasho Angladais dozed heavily in his cell beneath Napal City Castle, now called Castle Bane. He had languished here for a long while, he knew not how long, in truth, and he had battled boredom and madness equally. Reghar Holt, once the High Thane of the Napalian Empire, was his only fellow prisoner. A man who had been down in the dungeons for so long, and experienced so much, he was hardly coherent for more than a few hours a day. Vorasho had gradually become used to sleeping in the horrid environment, and now it was almost second nature.


The gentle splash of water on stone became insistent, rhythmic, and it woke Vorasho from a stiff slumber beneath his bedframe, where Reghar had insisted he rest for safety. Though Vorasho had thought his crazed cellmate to be completely mad, the past months had shown snippets of clarity in his raving. One particularly quiet evening, when the silence in the halls of the dungeon had become too oppressive to be natural, Vorasho had listened and pulled his cot beneath the iron frame of the bed chained against the wall. Strange sounds of claws on rock and echoing moans had made him grateful he had listened. Reghar, despite his deterioration, had proven a valuable companion.


Vorasho had explored his cell more times than he could count. It was six paces from each corner to the next, with one’s hand on the wall or bars. The bars themselves were wide enough he could reach his arm through up to the shoulder, but Reghar had advised him not to do so, lest he tempt whatever horrors the madman believed were lurking outside their prison. Vorasho though, had become determined to find a way out, but thus far had come up with nothing he could do to extricate himself and his newfound ally. He did think of Reghar as a friend now, if not, perhaps, a reliable one. Reghar could spend days chattering to himself about people and places Vorasho did not recognize, and could not be certain were real, and in those lengthy periods where communication was not possible, the Angladaic prince did what he could to find them an escape.
But there was not one coming, from what he could discern. The chains on the cot were too thick, as were the bolts holding them in place, to be used to pick the lock built into Vorasho’s door. He had some hope that he could knock out the stone around the bars and loosen them enough to knock the metal barrier down. Vorasho had obtained some rocks sizeable enough to chip away at the wall, and estimated it would only take him about a decade to make enough progress to fit one limb into any gap he made.


Reghar had, either due to the torment he had been put under by Wolfbane or because of his prolonged isolation, long ago given up on escape. He rambled instead, and when he was cogent enough Vorasho would try to talk to him about things he might be able to understand. Generally, this was fruitless, but it kept Vorasho from going entirely mad himself, and prevented the Angladaic from worrying about his escape, if only for a while. Recently, however, a new visitor had begun to come down to the dungeon on occasion, the visits more frequent with each passing week.


Vorasho hefted himself off of the hard floor and stretched. He could hear Reghar eating next to him, talking around or between his mouthfuls. Vorasho went to the wooden bucket in one corner that served as his latrine and relieved himself before going to the far corner, near the door and close to Reghar’s cell, to drink water from one of the leather pouches hanging on the bars. He had to admit, they were served bland foods but with great regularity and in good quantities. Reghar heard him and stopped his meal long enough to say, “Beans today, with a bit of flavor. Good day.”


Vorasho picked up the bowl at his feet and sniffed it. Cold, and likely not flavored much at all despite what Reghar had told him, but a reasonable dish nonetheless. He tried to avoid using his hands too much, but the extensive beard he now sported made simply lapping the food from the bowl or tipping it into his mouth too messy, and he eventually surrendered. He’d not bathed since he was brought here, and his wounds had received only cursory review by a few men, likely not even healers. It was a wonder he’d not become sick or had his injuries infected.


Finishing his meal, he went and sat on the metal frame of the cot and wiped his fingers, futilely, on his breeches. He was considering what to do with his time, then fell to the ground and began doing his fitness routine. Body weight exercises, jumps, and presses all over the room were the only way that Vorasho could stay relatively fit and ready, should his opportunity to escape come. He was in the midst of push-ups when he heard the heavy tread of thick heeled boots coming down the hall and saw the flicker of torchlight as a door opened nearby, letting in the briefest gust of fresh air. Vorasho did not stop his routine, though he heard Reghar retreat and whimper softly in his cell.


Wolfbane came round the corner, carrying a torch in one hand and a battered stool in the other. The massive man was dressed unusually, as he had been for some time now. Where he had once gone bare-chested and with his great musculature on full display, he now wore a tunic of the Napalian design, with metal clasps to hold the two sides of the shirt together over the chest. Wolfbane had his shirt partially undone, but it only showed Vorasho his waist and just below his neck. He watched as Vorasho completed his final push up and rested on his knees. The warlord set the stool down and hooked the torch into a wall sconce. “Still planning on breaking free and fighting me, Angladaic?”


“Preparation is key,” Vorasho answered him.


Wolfbane smiled and sat in the chair, resting his elbows on his large legs. “I don’t know why you are in such a hurry to leave; we’ve been getting quite close, you and I.”


“Yes, these little chats are so informative.”


Wolfbane laughed. “You can dismiss them if you want, Vorasho, but I find this to be educational. You see, brawn is nothing without intellect, and as you are the son of a great nation’s ruler, and a brave and valiant man by your own right, I feel there is much I can gather from talking with you. It would be better if you saw this as an exchange and not an interrogation.”


“For it to be an exchange,” Vorasho said wiping his brow as he studied Wolfbane through the bars, “we’d have to be equals, and you never share anything about yourself.”


To his surprise, Wolfbane paused to ponder the point a moment. “Alright,” the large man said, spreading his hands, “tell me what you want to know.”


It was the first time Wolfbane had given him an opening, and Vorasho was unsure of what to do. Each of their conversations prior had been Wolfbane pumping him for information, like churning the handle of a well to squeeze every last drop of water from it. Now, Vorasho had a chance to get something in return, but he wasn’t sure what to ask after. “I suppose you might as well start from the beginning,” the Angladaic said. “You were not born Wolfbane, so who are you, really?”


“How do you know Wolfbane is not my true name?” The larger man grinned, then admitted, “But you are correct. I went by something different before.” Vorasho waited expectantly, though he half-believed Wolfbane would simply change topics. “My education began in Plynth, where I was nameless. Do you know the city?” Vorasho shook his head. “It is a vast place, ruled over by the Pirate King in the midst of the Vastness, right on the great water reserves that form the massive oasis there. I was taken from my parents before I could even form a memory of them, and made a slave. My owner gave me a name, but I refuse to speak it here.”


“Is that who taught you to fight, your owner?”


Wolfbane laughed loudly, throwing his head back. “Oh no, prince, I learned to fight because that was how I stayed alive. When I became too dangerous to the other slaves in the household, they sold me to the gladiatorial pits, where I killed anyone who tried to take what little belonged to me. I was good at it, very good, and before long I was the best gladiator in the arena. I had women, fine clothes, all the food and drink I could want, but nothing of real value.”


“Because you were still a slave.”


“Yes!” Wolfbane leaned forward, seeming pleased that Vorasho understood. “Everything given to me was just that: given. None of it was mine; what I had could be taken from me at any moment.”


“Angladais had slavery for a time, long ago,” Vorasho admitted. “We abolished it, not because of respect for our fellow men and women, but because it is an untenable way of maintaining control.”


“Wise,” Wolfbane said nodding, “and a lesson the slave owners of Plynth will likely never learn. In the Vastness, among the Theiman men, my people,” he said the last with a humorless smile, “possessions are all that matter. You have, or you have not. As a slave I had nothing.”


Vorasho found himself intrigued, despite the man before him being a sworn enemy. “So how did you escape?”


“Escape?” Wolfbane smiled. “You still do not understand me, Vorasho. I don’t run, I fight. I convinced many of the slaves to join with me instead of fighting one another. We revolted in the midst of what was to be the biggest series of games in the pits in a decade. We killed most of the masters, took a great chunk of the city of Plynth for ourselves, and then it all fell to infighting and backstabbing, and I was already the hand in so many deaths, with so little to show for it, that I took my freedom and went north.”


“But how is that different from running?”


Wolfbane pulled the ends of his long shirt together, one of the clasps having come loose, covering something that Vorasho still could not quite make out, something that seemed a bit off about his chest. “Running would have been sneaking out. I carved my way free, and made sure everyone who had kept me in chains, even those who’d gifted me great wealth, paid for what they had done. I went north because there was no sense is staying. The slaves would not know how to cooperate with one another long enough to hold any real control. We were raised to kill and steal, and most of all to distrust. I went looking for something better, with a few who thought like me.”


“Where did you go?”


Wolfbane held up one massive finger. “Now, you’ve gotten quite a lot from me, Vorasho. I think I’ll save that for later. I came down here to ask you about something else, as a fellow ruler.” He pulled a neatly folded piece of parchment from a leather pouch at his side and opened it, reading. “To the False Lord of Legocia: you have taken it upon yourself to lay claim to lands that are, by divine right, those of Neroth, God of Death, and his servant, Wolfbane. This will be the only warning you receive. You may meet with me and discuss the terms of your submission to the Shepherd of Souls, or you will be destroyed.”


Wolfbane looked at Vorasho, gauging his reaction. The Angladaic was confused. “Who is the Lord of Legocia?”


“Exactly!” Wolfbane stood, spreading his hands in exasperation. “You know by now that Frothgar and Valissa failed to take Aves, though they nearly destroyed the fortress and crippled the region. Well, the Broken have lived up to their name and spread out across Dragon’s Watch and the Dust Plains, back to being minor raiding bands with little ambition beyond their own animalistic needs.” He paused scratching at his beard. “But I don’t need them, and the loss of my officers is something that can and will be overcome. Yet, in the wake of this minor victory, some young upstart has named himself Lord of Legocia, and is rumored to be claiming dominion over all lands south of the God’s Bones!” Wolfbane laughed, but it was more like a snarl. “Next he’ll be laying claim to the Silverleaf elves as well!”


“You’re concerned,” Vorasho said. “This is a real threat.”


Wolfbane raised one eyebrow and smiled, dangerously. “When you are in a position of power, everything is a threat.”


“You could negotiate with him.”


“To what end?” Wolfbane scoffed. “I’m looking to you for your experience and input, treating you as an equal, and you really think you can persuade me to bow down before some upstart?”


“How many soldiers do you have, right now, that you could dedicate to fighting another force to the south? You’re dealing with this Resistance to the east, containing my people in Angladais, and you want to stretch yourself even thinner?”


“I gave him the choice to surrender.”


“You’re threatening him. It’s only going to make him push back harder, dig his heels in, it might even bring him more allies.”


Wolfbane studied Vorasho, considering his words more carefully now. He sat back down on the stool and held one hand out, palm up. “Very well, what would you do?”


“Invite him to parley, get a read on what he wants and what resources he has. Do some reconnaissance and, maybe, find a way to avoid another war on top of the one you are already fighting.”


Wolfbane studied Vorasho, trying to read his eyes, which remained unblinking and locked on his own. “Alright, perhaps I could adjust the tone of my missive. I’ll invite this Lord of Legocia to meet me, and see what he has to call upon for aid.” Wolfbane stood, retrieving both the stool and his torch. “You’ve been quite helpful, Vorasho, and very observant. It would be a great challenge to oppose another enemy to the south with what I have left in my reserves, but luckily I have other resources I can call upon.” Wolfbane walked almost completely out of sight before pausing and calling over his shoulder, “Until next time, Angladaic.”


When he was gone Vorasho found himself moving back towards the bars, looking in the direction the warlord had departed in. He felt there was something, a hint of important information, in the conversation they had had. What did Wolfbane mean by “other resources?” Even in his imprisonment, Vorasho could not stop thinking how he might use his position to maybe, someday, help those fighting back against the Nerothians.


“You can’t trust him.” Reghar was at the bars of his own cell, his disheveled and filthy hair and beard almost completely obscuring his eyes and other human features. It was difficult for Vorasho to remember that the haggard man was younger than he was by nearly a decade. “He did the same with me, squeezing me for information until I had nothing left. And now….” The other prisoner trailed off.


Vorasho, noting the briefest moment of apparent lucidity from his fellow cellmate, asked, “Do you know what other forces Wolfbane has? Why doesn’t he seem more upset about the defeat to the south?”


“They are everywhere.” Reghar’s eyes rolled up into his head and back down, scanning in every direction. “I think I hear them, scraping away in the walls and the ceiling.”


Vorasho watched him back away from the bars, fearfully looking all about him. The moment lost, the Angladaic prince returned to his bunk and laid back on the metal frame, staring at the ceiling and waiting for the next delivery of food and water.

10/22/21

Excerpt from book three, more to come:

When the Lion Empire was expanding beyond the mainland of northern Westia to the islands of the Sirrion Sea, they sent many expeditionaries under their banner, or that of the highest ranking imperial families, laden with supplies and citizens to establish new homes and trade posts. The Claws, a stretch of high, rocky islands with little soil and prone to strong currents and storms, was one of the first places to be settled. A tower, doubling as a lighthouse and a defensive structure, was built on the easternmost island and garrisoned by a small force, with a camp for resupply and shore leave built below.

Much earlier expeditions, around 1025 After the Exodus, or AE, had led to the foundation of Swordwatch far to the south on the distant western coast of the Vastness. But resupplying Swordwatch and those in command had proven difficult with pirates and opportunists scouring the waters from the Sirrion Peninsula southwards. The founding of this small outpost in their territory was put in jeopardy many years later by the heirs apparent to the Pirate King of Plynth’s throne, who sought to prove their worth through conquest. Bralm Bloodblade, after failing to take the Sirrion Peninsula and her wealthy cities, retreated to the Claws and sat off the coast, licking his wounds and contemplating his next move. Unwilling to go home, he decided to attack the outpost and get his revenge on the Lion Empire.

Bralm’s attack was thwarted by one Jorgan Emera, a legionnaire and commander of the 29th Legion in the Lion Empire. Jorgan used his singular tower to rain small cannon fire onto Bralm’s fleet, while he and his men desperately held the still just-begun fortress they were building on a larger island across from the one holding the tower. Bralm was repelled, as were a number of other attacks in the years after this first famous battle. At first, men and women came from far corners of the Empire to settle there. Later, they came from all over Teth-tenir because there was no discrimination in the fledgling settlement and all sorts were needed to keep the place going. 

Bralm Bloodblade abandoned his assault in 1759 AE and the outpost was officially named Emera’s Watch in Jorgan’s honor. It would face a similarly daunting threat during the Arcane Wars in the year 119 AW. The fortress would be utterly decimated, a mere ruin since, by the prolonged siege of a dread commander named Blackclaw. The young Tobias Ratchet, then commander of the still active 29th Legion, would eventually defeat his foe and save Emera’s Watch; but the 29th disbanded shortly thereafter, and the fortress was abandoned.

Since that time, Emera’s Watch had become even more independent of the imperial authority it still maintains a loose subservience to. Imperial law is not enforced in Emera’s Watch, where a local police force keeps the peace under the oversight of a locally elected mayor. All manner of people flee to Emera’s Watch, where things are less lawless than the pirate port of Baradir and less prone to violence and dark magic than the cutthroat towns of Redsand Haven or Netian in the Vastness. Every outcast that can board a ship headed for the Claws goes to Emera’s Watch, where they can expect to be relatively safe and left alone. No one will ask after other residents’ origins, and most prefer it that way. The town is still not heavily populated. There is little to do for work outside of manual labor, tending bar, or selling one’s body to those who will pay. Most live on a temporary basis, crewing a ship for a voyage and coming home to a small apartment, flophouse room, or, if fortunate, one of the few proper houses in town. 

Edgewulf el Vac had been at sea with Daleth Kette for almost three months. The first part of the journey had taken them to Ilanis, the last home Edge remembered before joining Wolfbane. From there, at Daleth’s insistence, they had gone south towards Emera’s Watch. Daleth had put the Stormrider into port at Evertide to resupply, and Edge had chosen to remain onboard the ship to avoid being identified. Indeed, in all the time they had traveled together, Edge rarely left his spacious cabin unless Daleth explicitly told him to. Thus, he’d done little more than read through the books the captain had on hand and train regularly so he would be fit for any danger once they reached their destination. 

Once, on the voyage to Emera’s Watch from Evertide, Edge was brought out of his quarters by the sounds of a strange, shrill, instrument playing loudly in the middle of the night. A lantern in hand, the Lost Elf went searching for the source to find Daleth Kette standing at the tiller, his hands not steering the ship but instead frantically working a bow across the strings of small fiddle. Daleth was moving so violently that his long, wavy hair was thrashing about and his eyepatch catching the light of the lantern off of the silver binding of the dark leather. Edge listened to the sound, a haunting, rapidly paced cacophony of undulating waves of noise that had a rhythm so complex but so compelling it gripped the lone member of the audience.

When Daleth finished he stared out at the sea a while, clearly unaware he was being observed, and then set the instrument down with slumped shoulders. As he did, he noticed Edge at last and, for perhaps the first time, the swashbuckling captain seemed uncomfortable. “Master el Vac, what brings you out here this evening?”

“The music was rather …insistent.”

“Yes, I’m sorry. My crew is used to it by now; they’ve known me longer than you I suppose.”

“I knew you played the guitar, but I didn’t know you could play other instruments as well.”

“I can play most anything. Anyone can. They just don’t all play well.”

“What was that song? I’ve never heard it before.”

“And you likely won’t again. It’s just something that I …came up with.”

“In the moment? Something that complicated and fast-paced?”

Daleth straightened a bit then, having leaned on the tiller, lashed on course, as he was putting away his fiddle. “Some sounds are worse than others, and in the desperation to drown out one we can compose the most wondrous noises.”

“But it’s quiet out here, almost silent.”

Daleth’s feathery cloak fluttered in the breeze of the sea air. “For you, I suppose it is.”

The captain was moving by Edge then and the Lost Elf did not see him again for the rest of their trip. When they sighted Emera’s Watch, about a day after the Claws became visible on the horizon, Edge came up to the deck to catch the first glimpses of the small seaside town built between the narrow shore where ships anchored amid the shadow of a broken fortress. Houses and shops ran up the angled road from the docks to the fortress, all of different designs and most looking inexpertly constructed. Daleth pointed past the main shop fronts and explained that further up on the heights of the island were farms and some other homes or inns, all of varying sizes and styles as well. To Edge, the place looked like someone’s vague idea of a town, but with all possible variances thrown into the design.

The Stormrider slowed as she came into the bay and dropped anchor, a small rowboat having been lowered for Daleth, Edge, and some of the crew to go ashore. Through the web of masts and rigging, Edge could see people moving on the shore and amid the other ships. They lowered the rowboat and clambered down the ropes on the side of the ship. As Edge settled onto one of the small benches, Daleth turned to him, his back to Emera’s Watch as he made the occasional furtive glance in the direction of the town. Edge noted his apparent nervousness, and soon Daleth noticed his attention and sighed. “I’m rather well-known around here is all.”

“You’d given me the impression you were known everywhere.”

Daleth puffed his chest out a moment, clearly enjoying the flattery, then swiftly slumped once more. “In Emera’s Watch my reputation is a bit less positive. It’s a lawful place, even if the Empire doesn’t hold sway, and I’ve done some jobs that blur the lines of good taste in my past.”

Edge shifted nervously in his seat. “Is there going to be trouble?”

“Not with the guard, at least nothing serious. There might be others with a grudge on shore. Just keep your eyes and wits about you, and we’ll be fine.” Daleth thrust his chin at Edge’s halberd. “And you’ve got that oversized axe of yours still, in case we need it. Don’t do anything without my say so, though; agreed?”

Edge noticed then that on his hips Daleth had two long, slightly curved, knives strapped. They were almost the size of shortswords. He did not remember seeing the man armed on his ship even once, and took notice. He nodded at Daleth. “I’ll do as you say. I don’t know this place.”

“They know you though, or at least your name. Any person of significance that has passed through Emera’s Watch has heard stories of the el Vacs. Some of them you hear on the mainland; others are less common. People come through here, and they see things, hear things. If there’s some hint as to who left you and your brother in Ilanis, we’ll find it.”

They didn’t speak for the rest of the ride through the maze of ships to the docks. Once there, the crew tied the boat off and Daleth hopped onto the sturdy planks, offering a hand to Edge who was less sure-footed than his companion. A few parcels were slung over to the captain and they made their way to the small shack on the beach with a sign for port authority.

Daleth strolled in all smiles and, when he saw the woman behind the counter, he became even more boisterous. “Elmena! My dear, you look ravishing! How goes the law and order business?”

The woman behind the desk, dressed in billowy white sleeves and a leather corset with a number of rings in her ears, did not even look up from her paperwork. “What are you bringing ashore, Daleth?”

“Elmena, come now.” Daleth sat on the edge of the desk and leaned over her work, obscuring some of the sunlight from the window. “Must it be all business with you?”

“Yes.” The woman pushed him out of her sunlight. “Answer the question.”

Edge, having come in behind Daleth and catching up to speed on events rather slowly, angled his head around the sea captain and saw the woman at the desk had oddly colored skin, tinged with red and orange to an alarming degree. Then he noticed her teeth, sharpened like fangs or those of a carnivorous beast. It was unnerving, but perhaps more so because Edge could not place her race or region of origin. As he was studying her, Daleth was rattling off a list of small items as she copied them down furiously. She never missed a beat when Daleth interjected more platitudes and praise for her appearance and character, simply using the pauses to recheck her work. “And, of course, three of the crew and my good friend here: Edgewulf el Vac. They’ll be joining me on shore leave.”

At Edge’s name, Elmena’s head snapped up and she looked hard at Edge. “What did you say your name was?”

“Edgewulf el Vac.”

Elmena waved a clerk over and passed a small piece of paper to him, her eyes never leaving Edge’s face. “Captain Kette, you should go to see Guardswoman Brynhalla immediately. You’re cleared to go ashore provided you stop in at the guards’ barracks before going anywhere else.”

Daleth seemed unperturbed by this request, handing off some pouches with money to his crew so they could enjoy their shore leave on him. “Oh, believe me, Elmena, I know Brynhalla wants to see me again, but are you really trying so hard to pawn me off on another woman? Have you married since we last saw one another?”

There was no response, just a casual wave of the arm as she dismissed them. Edge followed Daleth out the door to the main shore area of Emera’s Watch where stalls hawking fish, clams, and other various aquatic delicacies were stretched in all directions. Anything Edge could have wanted was on offer, as well as cheap textiles and trinkets for bartering. Daleth strode confidently through the shouts of salesmen and their customers, making for the road up the cliffside. Edge caught up to him and asked, “So are we going to the guard first to find this Brynhalla?”

“Hm? No, of course not. Bryn’s an old flame, and I wouldn’t mind seeing her again, but I just went through their little customs interview, and I’ve had enough documentation of my whereabouts for one day.” Daleth paused and turned to Edge, halting their progress through town for the moment. “Bryn is a member of the local guard, and while she’s a real beauty, she’s also rather critical of some of my previous business decisions. She can be even less personable than my beloved Elmena.”

As they continued to move further into town, Edge caught up to Daleth and asked, “Why did she have that skin, and those eyes? I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Daleth laughed and shoved Edge in the shoulder playfully. “She’s a Planar, el Vac! You’ve never seen one?”

“They allow Planars here?”

Daleth smirked. “Not everyone who was touched by the daemonic energies from the Arcane Wars turned into a complete monster. Many of them were just irreversibly changed, some more visibly than others. Half the reason you think of dangerous criminals and beasts when you hear of Planars is because people treated them that way. Most just want to live normal lives, and in many parts of this world they can’t.” Daleth stopped outside of a door and turned to face Edge. Driving his finger into his chest he concluded, “But in Emera’s Watch, Master el Vac, everyone is welcome as long as they keep to themselves and don’t cause trouble. Follow the rules and you’ll find you fit right in, and best of all, no one will care who you are.”

“But you said a lot of people here knew about you, and not in ways that cast you in a good light.”

“When you’re as dashing as I am, Edgewulf, all light is good light.” Daleth pushed the door open and strode in like he owned the establishment, and it was only then that Edge noticed the sign hanging above him was that of a tavern: The Lonesome Gunner. Sighing deeply, he stepped inside and braced himself for the trouble he was sure his guide was about to cause.

October 8th, 2021

Quick update: spoke with Shane and he is working on the new map and the formatting. The map for the book will take time because 1) it is now a two page spread and 2) we’re trying a new software for producing a more detailed image, so that’s cool, but also requires a learning curve. End of year publication still seems likely.

To sate your appetites, I will be posting an excerpt of book three here tomorrow or Sunday, and at least two others in the coming months. If you want to avoid spoilers, I will put a warning header on those posts.

T.H.

September 25th, 2021

Hey everyone, brief update.

Until the COVID situation calms down, I won’t be planning any major in person appearances or signings. I have talked to a few local places in Maine about doing some smaller appearances and readings, but no progress yet. I will update if that changes.

The Steed is in formatting at the moment, and in the meantime I have begun working on a collection of horror stories that I plan to release in late 2021 or early 2022. Those will be under the same name, but unrelated to the Legacy Chronicle series. I will put more information on the website once I am past the initial creation process.

In the meantime, I am still selling signed copies via Facebook or email. You can reach out at trevorhpaul@gmail.com and place book orders. I will take preorders for The Steed, but keep in mind a release date is still TBD (but I would guess before the end of the year).

Thanks for reading,

T.H.

August 6th, 2021

The book is done and has been handed off to Shane for formatting and insertion of art and images. Cover design is also underway. I will update when I get a clearer timetable of publication, but recall I do need to get a proof copy and review it before making the book available on Amazon and other retailers.

As always, I will sell books directly to readers and ship them to you for $25 each (that includes the shipping). If you buy two, that drops to $45, and when the third is available, I will sell all three together for $65.

Once I begin attending conventions and other events in person, the pricing there will remain $20 for one, $35 for two, and $50 for three books. It’s cheaper to get them in person if you can, and I love seeing people!

I am diving into a brief (I promise) new writing project: an anthology of horror stories that will also be available on Amazon and at events. I don’t have a publication date in mind yet, but it will come out quicker than the Legacy Chronicle books do. I will be starting work on book four soon, too, so don’t fret.

T.H.

July 20th, 2021

I am cranking out the appendices before sending the final book to Shane. I am hoping it will be done soon, but I do need to update the glossary and include a simple timeline.

I had hoped to be done sooner, but a lot has been going on that I have had to process with my family. Rather than go into detail, I’ll just link the article here: https://www.sunjournal.com/2021/07/18/hebron-academy-tumultuous-but-welcome-change-of-leadership/

Since I’m moving to a new school I haven’t had access to my laptop, which is supplied by our state and my favorite tool for writing on, and that became an excuse not to do as much as I could have been. I finally sat down today and worked on my desktop even though I don’t like using it for writing. Thanks for all your patience and understanding, I promise this book is coming soon and I think I’m getting myself back on track.

T.H.

June 20th, 2021

Here’s where we stand.

The main text of the book is completed. I need to do a brief look through for consistencies in capitalization and italics, but it’s done.

As is my practice, I’m going to include an updated glossary of factions and characters. This book will also have a condensed timeline of world events. As the scope of the story now begins to reference past instances of historical importance, having a rough representation of time passing from each is useful.

Also per usual, there will be appendices on background details that are part of the lore, but aren’t included as exposition dumps in the text itself. That is so readers can decide how much they want to dig through the fictional histories and cultures without it clogging up the story itself. There may be only two appendices in The Steed, instead of the three I had in the previous two books: The Lost Elves of Haddon Mirk and The Empire of the Lion.

If I do include a third lore topic, I’ll update the blog when I pick one. Because we’re in the process of moving, it may take me until the 4th to complete these additions to the final draft.

Thanks for reading and your patience.

T.H.

Author and Educator