Thursday, January 24, 2013

Threshold Trivia: L'avan Founders & Inherited Traits

Many generations before Adesina was born, there was a man whose name was L'avan. He wandered the world after the Great Wars, searching for a purpose in life. Over time, he gathered eleven orphaned boys and began taking care of them. The Great Wars resulted in plagues and pestilence, famine and chaos. L'avan took his "sons" to a remote part of the world where they could farm and hunt and live in peace.

Prior to the Great Wars, the world had been filled with all sorts of magical creatures. After the Great Wars, the majority of the magical creatures had died or fled to the Spirit Lands (a realm separate from the world). One day, when L'avan was exploring the mountains near their home, he discovered a gateway between the two worlds. The guardians of the gateway were the Serraf (beautiful and immortal women with magical powers) and their companions, the Rashad (large, intelligent felines that can talk). Eleven of the Serraf gave up their immortality to return with L'avan, and they became the brides to his eleven sons.

Adesina and her people are descendants of those twenty-two people, and they call themselves L'avan in honor of the father of their race. All of the L'avan have two hair colors that indicate their family lines. The main color is inherited from their father's patriarchal line, and the locks around their face are the color of their mother's patriarchal line.

Kind of like this:

Here are the different hair colors:
* Gold--inherited from L'aslo, the first orphan to be adopted by L'avan. He had some magic in his blood, and that's why his hair was a metallic color. He was the leader of the sons of L'avan, and his descendants are now royalty.
* Silver--inherited from Ed'mon, who also had magic in his family history. He was the best warrior of the sons of L'avan, and his descendants are usually Protectors. (He was the last orphan adopted by L'avan.)
* Bronze--inherited from So'phus, who was the third and last son of L'avan to have magic in his blood. He was known for his wisdom, and his descendants are often Royal Advisors. (He was the fifth orphan adopted.)
* Black--inherited from Za'far, the second son of L'avan.
* White--inherited from B'osli, the tenth son of L'avan.
* Brown--inherited from M'os, the sixth son of L'avan.
* Blonde--inherited from Na'cum, the ninth son of L'avan.
* Red--inherited from Cre'sin, the seventh son of L'avan.
* Honey--inherited from O'nan, the third son of L'avan.
* Auburn--inherited from Gi'tel, the fourth son of L'avan.
* Strawberry Blonde--inherited from Kay'l, the eighth son of L'avan.

The metallic eye colors of the L'avan (as discussed in a previous blog post) were inherited from the Serraf, and indicate magical ability. That ability can only be passed through the women of the L'avan. So, if a L'avan man were to marry a woman outside of their race, their children would have no magical potential. However, if a L'avan woman married a man outside their race, their children would have the potential for magical ability. There would be no guarantee for that ability, but there would be the possibility.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Special Announcement

After some deliberation, I have decided on the title for the upcoming sequel to "The Threshold Child." (Drumroll, please...)

It shall be called:
"The Legacy of the Blood"

Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Threshold Trivia: History of Sehar

"The Threshold Child" takes place in a land called The Fallen Kingdom of Sehar, or simply Sehar. It is roughly half the size of the United States, and it is connected to the rest of its continent only by a relatively small stretch of land. Few travel to that part of the continent, due to its slow and unvaried economy.

Sehar was established as a monarchy after the Great Wars (which will be the subject of a different blog post), and was a strong nation for hundreds of years. The last several kings and queens were not as wise as their predecessors, and they led the kingdom to its ultimate ruin. By the time the last king sat on the throne, the people were starving (except for the nobility, of course) and every aspect of their lives was filled with corruption. Eventually, the royal family was assassinated, and the entire nation fell into chaos.

The members of the nobility were driven out of their homes by the very peasants they had oppressed, and they were viewed with so much hatred that they were never able to settle down again and rebuild their lives. Over time, these groups of people continued to wander and became the Northern Tribes.

With no heir to the throne, the monarchy in Sehar crumbled. Riots ensued, cities were burned, and the people began to isolate themselves from anyone they didn't already know. In Adesina's time, there are only six remaining cities. Most people live in small towns or farming communities, and they have little to do with each other.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heart List: Elizabeth Gaskell

It seems to me that most of the female readers that I know set Jane Austen up as the golden standard for classic literature. While I do enjoy Austen's work as an author, I always suggest that they try reading something by Elizabeth Gaskell. Her works cover a larger variety of situations and societies, and the tragedies in her personal life give heart-felt depth to her style of writing. I have read two of her more famous novels: "North and South" and "Wives and Daughters," both of which were excellent. I plan on reading "Cranford" and "Ruth" next. I thoroughly enjoy Mrs. Gaskell's skills as a storyteller, and I find her writing to be engaging and beautiful. 

I love finding "new" authors, and I assume that others are the same. I am certain that there are many authors out there that I have yet to discover, and when I do, I will share them with all of my reading friends.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Evil Overlord: Part 3

Things I will Remember if I Ever Become Evil Overlord

* I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

* I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

* I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

* I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for each aspect of my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say, "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

* The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However, before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

* My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Anyone who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

* I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."

* I will not employ devious schemes that involve the hero's party getting into my inner sanctum before the trap is sprung.

* I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

* My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard PC and Macintosh laptops.

* I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

* My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

* When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

* If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

* I will offer oracles the choice of working exclusively for me or being executed.

* I will be an equal-opportunity despot and make sure that terror and oppression is distributed fairly, not just against one particular group that will form the core of a rebellion.

* All giant serpents acting as guardians in underground lakes will be fitted with sports goggles to prevent eye injuries.

* I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

* I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

* If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.