D.M. Cain’s blog

immersive fantasy series by D.M. Cain

Epic fantasy series – 2nd edition brand new covers!

My epic fantasy series ‘The Light and Shadow Chronicles’ has undergone a makeover!

A Chronicle of Chaos was first published by Creativia in June 2016. The amazingly talented Irina French designed the original cover. It features an ancient shield carved with symbols of importance to the history and lore of Alcherys and Meraxor (the warring nations in the series.)

Now, Creativia Publising has designed brand new covers, but still utilising the work of the original artist. Here are the two covers side by side:

A Chronicle of Chaos

In a world ravaged by war, the paths of two warriors are about to cross with world-shattering consequences.

Chaos is a soldier of The Children of the Light, and fights in the name of destiny, honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he believes he is the strongest warrior in the land, until a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. When the forces of light and dark collide, where will their loyalties lie?

Amazon buy button

The Shield of Soren is the second book in the epic fantasy series (although you can read them in any order). Released by Creativia in March 2017, this book has also had a makeover:

The Shield of Soren

Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya’s marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he’s more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons?

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy’s land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

Amazon buy button

RELATED LINKS

Buy A Chronicle of Chaos on Amazon

Buy The Shield of Soren on Amazon

The Light and Shadow Chronicles novella: Genesis of Light

A unique epic fantasy series

A Chronicle of Chaos soundtrack

Exclusive chapters, inside news, and loads of freebies!

My latest book to be released, Origin of Shadow, is a dark exploration into madness, destiny, honour and brutality. Follow Vincent Wilder’s descent into the murky recesses of ultimate power in this new novella from The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

Origin of Shadow by D.M. Cain book cover poster and review quotes

Not sure if it’s your thing? Get Chapters 1 & 2 of Origin of Shadow for FREE here and take a look. If you love it, great! If you don’t, no harm done.


As part of the research and planning for Origin of Shadow, I had to get into the head of main character and anti-hero Vincent Wilder. It was fun to give him quirks, neuroses and talents. As an inside peek, here is the first ever mind map I doodled when I was getting to know the man himself:

As part of the lead up to the release of Origin of Shadow, I will be putting together a video interview, in which I will answer fan questions about the book, the series, myself as an author, or even what my favourite flavour of ice cream is. The beauty is, the questions come from YOU. So, please comment on this page, or send me an email to dmcain84@gmail.com with your questions. Thank you!


RELATED LINKS:

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

Genesis of Light

The Light and Shadow Chronicles – A unique fantasy world


Why not help yourself to a few freebies while you’re here? Click on any of the images below to be taken to a whole range of awesome freebies!

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FREE Prequel Novelette! Click on the image above to be taken to your freebie!
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Audible Studios audio books – Riders of Fire 1-3
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Origin of Shadow Cover Reveal

I’m so excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming release, Origin of Shadow! This novella is part of my epic, immersive fantasy series The Light and Shadow Chronicles. The series is centered upon a centuries-long war between two armies and each book focuses upon a character within the timeline. This novella gives the origin story of one of the armies – The Brotherhood of Shadow. The complementary novella entitled Genesis of Light is already available in ebook, paperback and audiobook.

The official release date for the book is 23rd Novmber. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the others in the series yet you can get them here (though reading these first isn’t required to understand Origin of Shadow):

A Chronicle of Chaos –  http://mybook.to/ChronicleofChaos

The Shield of Soren – http://mybook.to/ShieldofSoren

Genesis of Light – http://mybook.to/genesisoflight

Origin of Shadow BLURB

“Vincent Wilder.” The voice broke into his thoughts, everywhere and nowhere at once, deafening, yet somehow a whisper. “Are you ready to learn the truth?”

As heir to a notorious crime syndicate, sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder is determined to live up to his father’s intimidating legacy, and expand his violent empire. The Wilders have terrorised the city of Pabell for decades and Vincent knows the business inside and out (and has dirtied his own hands more times than he dares to count.)

But no matter how ready he thinks he is, nothing could have prepared him for life at the helm. His father was a man of many things, but secrets wasn’t one of them, or so Vincent had thought. The deeper Vincent gets into his leadership role, the more terrifying and inexplicable skeletons he uncovers.

With the threat of a revolution, a mysterious and intrusive voice in his head, and a long-lost history he had known nothing about, is he really up to the challenge?

You’ve read the Children of Light’s origin story, now experience the same events from a different perspective with this prequel novella from The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

Origin of Shadow EXCERPT

The ticking of the timepiece was far louder than it should have been. Every innocuous click of the hands reverberated around the room. Sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder stood perfectly still, making sure his chin was raised and his expression stony. He tried to hide the fact that his fingers twitched nervously behind his back. This meeting needs to go off without a hitch. There’s so much resting on it. He made an effort to narrow his eyes and puff out his chest, hoping his young frame was imposing.

A single drop of sweat trickled down his forehead, running a sticky trail across his skin. He wanted to reach up and wipe it away, but didn’t dare draw attention to the fact he was perspiring. If they saw it, would they take it as a sign of weakness? So he did nothing and let the salty drop work its way down his forehead, running into his dark eyes. He blinked to clear the drop, but his vision blurred and his eyes itched. He could hold off no longer and was forced to swipe at his eyes with a hurried hand.

His eyesight cleared and he took the opportunity to glance down at the table and the people sat around it. A couple in their early forties sat on one side, close together, huddling for comfort. Their eyes were strong and defiant, the woman’s in particular. Her hands were flat on the tabletop, and she leaned forwards, speaking with determination.

The ashen-faced man beside her was silent. Despite the stony expression on his face, Vincent could see the man’s hands trembling.

Across from them sat Franco Wilder, Vincent’s father. Once, he had a thick shock of dark hair, long and wild, draped across his shoulders. That was how Vincent always pictured his father, but the figure that sat before him had changed drastically in the past few years. As soon as Franco’s hair had started thinning, he had shaved the lot, and the bald head made the most terrifying man Vincent had ever met even more intimidating.

Franco’s posture was rigid and unmoving, a coiled snake waiting to lunge. The dark eyes that had chastised Vincent since childhood were now zeroed in on the couple before him. His father’s fingers were locked together tightly, but Vincent knew that it would only take a split second for Franco to wrench the knife from his concealed thigh pouch. Vincent’s muscles too were primed, ready to propel him into a fight. Never relax around Franco Wilder. He’d learned that very young.  

D.M. CAIN BIO

D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The series instalments to date include A Chronicle of Chaos, The Shield of Soren andGenesis of Light.

Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Sci-Fi novel Award.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her partner and two young children, and spends her time reading, writing, reviewing and indulging in geek culture (Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Final Fantasy).  

LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DMCainauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMCain84

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/dmcain

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH

Website: www.dmcain84.com

Would you like to get your hands on a free copy of Origin of Shadow before it even hits the stores?

Genesis of Light by D.M. Cain audiobook banner audible listening is the new reading

Fantasy audiobook out now!

Not much time for sitting down with a book? Why not let somebody else read to you while you drive, cook dinner, or walk the dog? I am delighted to announce that my epic fantasy novella, Genesis of Light, is now available as an audiobook. It can be purchased via Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

Audible US
Audible UK

More about Genesis of Light:

Warring countries, fantastical creatures, beings of terrible power and journeys of epic scale. The legendary Book of Alcherys tells wild and unimaginable stories. But they are not mere fairy tales. They are true, every word.

Callista Nienna is strong and independent, but nothing could have prepared her for civilisation being brought to a violent end. Now, she is forced to stay alive in a desolate wilderness with only her closest friend for support.

She has two choices: give up and die with the wilting world around her or seize her destiny and make it to the only sanctuary left unscathed. At the end of her journey, something awaits Callista, something both terrifying and unbelievable.

The beginning of a fantasy epic. Learn where it all began in this prequel novella from The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

fantasy novella Genesis of Light 5 star book review poster

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A unique immersive fantasy

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

A Chronicle of Chaos Merchandise

A Chronicle of Chaos Soundtrack

DM Cain merchandise A Chronicle of Chaos banner

A Chronicle of Chaos merchandise is now available!

The official line of merchandise for A Chronicle of Chaos has now been released!

Together with merchandise brand LitMatter, my publisher Next Chapter Publishing have created two types of merchandise for my epic fantasy novel, A Chronicle of Chaos.

NOVEL DESIGN

three young people modelling A Chronicle of Chaos t-shirts

GENERAL DESIGN

two young people modelling A Chronicle of Chaos t-shirts

More about A Chronicle of Chaos…

In a world ravaged by war, the paths of two warriors are about to cross with world-shattering consequences.

Chaos is a soldier of The Children of the Light, and fights in the name of destiny, honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he believes he is the strongest warrior in the land, until a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. When the forces of light and dark collide, where will their loyalties lie?

If you enjoyed A Chronicle of Chaos, why not check out the rest of the Light and Shadow Chronicles?


RELATED LINKS:

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

A unique fantasy series

A Chronicle of Chaos Soundtrack

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

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Click the BUY NOW button to dive straight into the Playing with Fire boxed set, with thousands of sizzling pages of sexy, forbidden love and the trials these paramours must overcome to fulfill their deepest desires.

Links:

ibooks : https://apple.co/2PgS1Og
B&N : http://bit.ly/2WK3IzB
Google Play : http://bit.ly/2K6yQHX
Kobo : http://bit.ly/2TTY78a

Worldbuilding The Light and Shadow Chronicles

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

The Light and Shadow Chronicles Regions – Meraxor

Recently I’ve been working really hard on building and developing the world in The Light and Shadow Chronicles. Each of the novels to date has been set in a different location in the world. A Chronicle of Chaos was set mostly in Alcherys, the nation of the Children of Light, and The Shield of Soren took place in the country of Parador. Now, I am working on two different stories, both set in completely new locations. The Ballad of Benedict takes place in the distant, forested country of Thos, and The Sins of Silas will feature the wild jungles of Meraxor.

Worldbuilding: world map of the Light and Shadow Chronicles
The original world map

So, I decided to expand upon each country and pad them out with further details. This post will explore Meraxor and its capital city, Belkeep.

MERAXOR – Home of the Brotherhood of shadow

Some context for or those who have read any of the books in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series:

Meraxor is the homeland of The Brotherhood of Shadow. The modern city was developed by Vincent Wilder and the Bavelize around 130 years before the bulk of the series takes place. However, there was civilisation in Meraxor many thousands of years prior to this (and remains of this ancient culture can be found throughout the nation.)

Worldbuilding: Meraxor map
Meraxor

Meraxan FAST FACTS:

Width at widest point: 300miles

Size in area: 27,300 miles² (Roughly the size of Ireland)

Population: 996,574

Population spread:

Approx. 180,000 people live in the largest three cities (18% of the population)

Approx. 37,500 people live in the smaller three cities (4% of the population)

Approx. 280,000 people live in 123 towns (28% of the population)

Approx. 498,000 people live in 2660 villages (50% of the population)

Approx. 400 people live as hermits or wanderers, away from civilisation (0.04% of the population)

Social Organisation:

Within Vincent’s closest circles, men are generally viewed as superior to women. Women are viewed as mothers, partners and carers for the men of the Brotherhood of Shadow. Due to this, misogyny and sexist prejudice are rife. Prostitution is common and Vincent himself has numerous concubines, with whom he fathers many children.

In the slums of the cities, men and women are considered equal – all are poor, destitute and lacking hope, and gender plays no part in this. Again, prostitution is common amongst both sexes, and people do as they can to survive. Children are cared for by both, or either, parent dependent on the family’s circumstances. Most common people live simple lives, working as farmers, fruit pickers, miners and shopkeepers. There is a huge number of tiny shops, stalls and tradesmen working out of the slums and the most successful and talented of these progress into the central market square where trade and transportation are accessible.

People who live in Belkeep or the other large cities generally spend their entire lives within their birth city. Travel is possible via the railways and rivers, but it is expensive, especially to travel on passenger transports. People can buy passage on trading boats and rail carts but the journey times are long and uncomfortable. Travel on foot is almost unheard of, as the dense jungles around the cities are so dangerous and inaccessible.

Terrain and climate:

Meraxor is a large country which sits upon the equator, meaning the majority of the climate is tropical, with smaller sub-tropical areas. It is prone to extreme weather conditions – tornados, earthquakes etc. 69% of the land is arable, but 31% is forested and inaccessible/undeveloped.

Worldbuilding: Meraxan climate map
Meraxor – climate map

Meraxor is surrounded on three sides by ocean. The Perion Sea lies to the east, and the Bernian Sea to the west.

Meraxor is one of the most stunningly beautiful countries on the planet, with a huge diversity of wildlife. Central Meraxor is dominated by the expansive Meraxan rainforest – the largest jungle on the planet, parts of which are entirely inaccessible for humans. A large river and stream network feeds the jungles and connects the oceans and the mountains. The Meraxan people use the water networks for transport, trade, military expeditions and as a food source. Meraxor is one of the most stunningly beautiful countries on the planet, with a huge diversity of wildlife and flora in the expansive Meraxan rainforest.

Extract from Origin of Shadow:

‘The landscape was very different to the world in which he had grown up. It was spectacular. Vast, sweeping vistas met his gaze. Enormous, dramatic mountains sloped in from the east and west, creating a gorge in the centre, where a turbulent river crashed over rocks and tree roots, cascading in gargantuan waterfalls at intervals along its length.

The mountains and valleys were covered in lush, dense forests as far as the eye could see. The trees that covered the valley stood taller than any of the buildings back in Pabell. Rich, vibrant colours sprang forth from the canopy in the form of luminous foliage or the occasional tropical bird. Far beneath the towering trees, the forest floor was dark and overgrown with vines and mosses, but the understory was teeming with life and plants of such astounding beauty that Vincent was taken aback. Clear, bell-like bird calls or grating, screeching cries rang out through the air.

In the centre of the exotic jungle was a large structure made of wood and stone. There were platforms stretching between the taller trees to allow people to pass over the forest, rather than fighting their way through the thick undergrowth. Beneath the platforms, Vincent could just make out old, crumbling stone walls and domes.’


To the north of Meraxor is Terralia and the enormous Jardian mountain range which borders it.

There is also the Khardesian mountain range in the west of the country, and the Stenmirren range at the southern coast.

Worldbuilding - Meraxor mountains and lakes

There are two huge lakes, Freyval and Teyan.

There is an underground cave network in the north west of the country, though it is largely unexplored.

Coinage:

Meraxor uses Embers – the same coins as Alcherys and Parador use.

1 Ember (a circular golden coin bearing a flame symbol – approximately $3)

10 Sparks to an Ember (Sparks are tiny golden coins, rectangular in shape and made of copper – approximately 30cents)

Economy:

Money is scarce in Meraxor and people have to work for everything. If they have no job, they get nothing at all. Alternatively, if they are skilled or very lucky they can become incredibly rich.

Meraxor is a great provider of multiple resources: Medicines from the rainforest, fruit, animal hides, food, cloth and other materials for clothing and crafting.

Meraxor has excellent transportation and trade routes, and therefore they trade with every other nation except Thos.

Political Structure:

Meraxor operates under a dictatorship. Vincent Wilder wields absolute power and his actions are not restricted by a constitution or laws. Vincent’s senior advisors and officers in the Brotherhood of Shadow advise him, but he can choose to acknowledge or ignore their recommendations. Appointed officers take care of administrative matters and the day to day running of the country, but all decision-making goes through Vincent personally. 

Cities:

BELKEEP: Capital City of Meraxor. Belkeep is the largest city on the planet, covering 780 square miles and with a population of 100,000. 60% of the city is covered by sprawling, heavily crowded slums, where thousands of people live in poor conditions.

There is a central hub to the city, where the markets, guild halls, shops, courtyards and nobles houses are located. This is also the centre of the transport networks.

A huge wall surrounds Belkeep and branches off around the country, offering both transportation via aqueducts and railways, and also a strong defensive system.

The richer people of the city are those that inhabit the forts that are stationed along the wall. Vincent Wilder’s family often defend these fortresses (Silas Wilder of the novel The Sins of Silas is one of these). Vincent himself, his highest ranking advisors, and his concubines live in the palace of Belkeep, which sits on top of the city itself. This is known as the ‘Diamond Tier’.

Worldbuilding - Meraxor city locations
Meraxor population spread

Tisgudor: Population 40,000

Khasimara: Population 40,000

Terakeep: Population 20,000

Vermidor: Population 10,000

Yunasdor: Population 7,500

Boldor: Population 6000

Phirkeep: Population 4000

Panekmara: Population 2000

Costumes:

Traditional dress in Meraxor is lightweight and flowing to allow the wearer to handle the heat. Most clothes are lightweight, cotton, and sporting bright colours, elaborate patterns, jewels and beads.

Weaponry:

Poison-enhanced weaponry is common in the Meraxan elite armies. Using poison from the creatures in the rainforests, they utilise poison darts, and poison-tipped swords and axes. Older weapons, from before the Second Age, used bone ridged weapons and the jagged teeth of wild animals to give their armies more power.

The iron mines of the Jardian Mountains, including the enormous Ironmaw, are under the control of the Brotherhood, since the occupation of Terralia. Meraxor, therefore, has total control over all production and trading of iron armour and weapons. The majority of this iron is sold on to other nations (including, ironically, their main enemies!), but a percentage is kept within Meraxor.

The higher ranking members of the Brotherhood of Shadow have access to Terralian steel, whereas the foot soldier army have subpar, mass-produced weapons made of inferior steel or sometimes even wood.

The people:

Ethnically, Meraxans are typically dark-haired and dark-eyed. They often have almond shaped eyes and creamy skin (similar to real-world Far Eastern characteristics). 2% of the population are born with blonde or red hair, and light-coloured eyes are even rarer.

Culturally, Meraxans are industrious and want to work to drag themselves out of the poverty that 90% of them suffer through. They will strive to work hard, and take their losses or failures hard. Stalls and temporary shops pop up often in the slums due to this desire to succeed, but resources and money are so scarce in the slums that they often fail and the owners slip into depression, poverty, drug use and alcoholism.

Notable characters:

All Brotherhood of Shadow, Vincent Wilder, Silas Wilder, Drake Wilder, Requiem Wilder, Mercy Wilder, Odin Wilder, Serena Kariss.

Religion:

The Meraxan people are superstitious and religious and most of the country worship at the Cult of the Bavelize. The citizens are wholly obedient to the Bavelize. They believe that everything in the universe is the creation of the Bavelize and there is no point questioning anything as everything was designed to fit a purpose that only the Bavelize knows.

There is an 80% religious following of the Bavelize, with the remaining 20% identifying as ‘undecided’ – a risky opinion to voice, but one which is increasingly more common among young people in the slums.

Believers are under no obligation or duty to convert or convince others in their belief. Therefore, they have no disdain for non-believers, merely a smug assurance that they are more knowledgeable.

The smoky deity has temples in its favour spread across the nation, especially in the city of Belkeep. There are no official services or gatherings at the temples, and rituals or ceremonies are a private affair. People may choose to serve the Bavelize as they see fit, providing they follow its every instruction when, and if, they are called upon. Some families barely acknowledge their god in their day to day lives, others pray 5-6 times a day and live their lives in the service of their ‘creator’.  Followers of this religion are concentrated mainly in Meraxor, with a mere 0.3% of believers scattered across the rest of the world. It is the belief of all Bavelize-worshippers that Meraxor, and particularly Belkeep, are the chosen grounds of the Bavelize and as such many make a pilgrimage to the great city and remain there to live in the slums.

The Cult of the Bavelize is mostly based around fear of the smoke creature. Its appearances to the public are incredibly rare, and only very few people have ever been graced by its true appearance. Vincent Wilder is regularly in communication with the Bavelize and its wishes are dictated to him to carry out in his nation. In later years it is unknown how much of Vincent’s instruction comes from himself or the Bavelize. There are no commandments or instructions to live by, aside from the direct communications received from Vincent and occasional other people. As with the frequency of worship, people serve as they see fit. Early messages from the Bavelize indicated that the people should follow their own interests, beliefs and motivations with the intention of developing your soul. The meaning of life to those in the Cult of the Bavelize is to become the best human they can be to honour their god.  

In the jungle, there is also an ancient amphitheatre where the original Meraxans used to summon their god. This ancient summoning location features carvings of creatures unknown to humanity. The central summoning altar is carved with a deep spiral, which is the only known symbol representing the Bavelize. It fell out of common use in the early years of the modern development of Meraxor and has since been confined to history.  

Worldbuilding - the swirls that summon the Bavelize

There are no specific rituals to commemorate birth, death or marriage. Many people choose to take their new child to a temple immediately after birth, to have the Bavelize ‘bless’ the baby. The bodies of the deceased are also sometimes lain within temples for a day following their death. This is usually only applied to those of the nobility and the Brotherhood ranks. The dead of the slums are the responsibility of the slum citizens and as such they store bodies in cold cellars and then burn them all in monthly funeral pyres. Some traditions around these death ceremonies have appeared in the slums in recent years, with people beginning to recite poetry and sing songs to honour their dead.

Marriage exists in the Brotherhood of Shadow, but may only be permitted by Vincent himself. The lovers must approach him, state their reasons for the union and how it will benefit them, the nation, the state and most importantly, the Bavelize. If they are unable to give adequate reasons for their marriage, it will be declined. If accepted, Vincent assigns a senior member of the Brotherhood to complete a short ceremony within the central temple inside the Palace of Belkeep (Vincent’s private summoning room for the Bavelize).

Marriages also occur in the slums, but there is no official service, record or legal binding contract. Two people state their intention to become joined to one another, their friends and family gather and a raucous celebration will take place in the numerous bars, inns and markets of the slums. Due to the non-legal nature of marriages, the average length of a union is around 5 years and people may ‘marry’ as many times as they wish.

Architecture:

Meraxans go all-out with elaborate designs and architecture. Vincent likes his chosen buildings to be the best anywhere on the planet, and those he cares little for are left to rot and crumble. It is the responsibility of all in the slum to build new shacks, maintain sanitation and trash disposal. Vincent and the Brotherhood have no part in the upkeep or development of the slums.

Belkeep palace: The centrepiece of Belkeep is the grand palace, which was stunningly crafted with years upon years of slave labour. Everything is designed to impress. The largest palace in the world, it is topped with handcrafted golden leaves and surrounded by impenetrable stone walls. The Palace of Belkeep has iron bars that run under the flooring like radiators – they are heated with steam and warm the entire palace. Gold, diamonds, and statues of marble and pearl are common inside the palace. 99% of the wealth within Belkeep is located within the palace building and its grounds.

EXTRACT ABOUT PALACE

Great Wall: The Great Wall of Belkeep is a stunning architectural marvel. It surrounds the city, stretching in a wide ring nearly 250 miles long. The wall is 20metres high around the city itself and nearly 10 metres wide. Some parts of the wall hold aqueducts and rail tracks to provide safe and easy trade and travel in and around the city. The wall then branches off in five directions to snake across the nation of Meraxor for a further 220miles.

Amphitheatre. Deep in the jungles, and hidden from civilisation by foliage, vines, enormous trees and sweeping hills, is the ancient summoning temple of the Bavelize. It is believed to have been built over three thouand years ago by the people of the first age, and used the blood of a human sacrifice to call upon their deity.  

Worldbuilding - Meraxor rainforest amphitheatre

Roads

The cities are paved with cheap, sturdy and resilient asphalt using gravel and stone from the mines and quarries. Carts, horses and travel by foot are common within the cities. Outside of the city there are few roads. Northern Meraxor, and especially the semi-desert plains of the Holy Lands have some dirt and stone tracks. Southern Meraxor and the arable farmlands near to the South coast have tracks and some small roads to aid the transportation of produce and crops.

However, the bulk of the country is covered by dense rainforest which is impossible to keep cleared and safe for roads. Horses and carts are rendered useless in the jungles and travel is restricted to foot or river boats.

The rivers are offer an extensive travel system throughout Meraxor, especially those inaccessible forested areas. The forests are fed by a huge network of rivers, streams and lakes. The Meraxans developed narrow canoe-like boats to negotiate these streams and to be able to transport goods across the nation without having to go around the Meraxan rainforest.

Coupled with the railways, the Meraxans developed an ingenious transport system involving amphibious rail boats which can enter and exit the rivers via rail. Traders can load the boats on land or on water and transportation is fast, reliable and accessible.

When the rails and the rivers meet the city of Belkeep, there are huge pulley systems that allow the carts to be hoisted up the walls and onto the aqueducts which run around the perimeter of the city. This allows the goods to be taken to the very centre of the markets, and also provides an excellent mode of travel around the city. There are trade boats and passenger boats running often.

TRAVEL MAP

Water – To provide water for the largest city on the planet was no easy feat, but luckily Belkeep had been built at the intersection of two great rivers, beside the huge lake Teyan and within 100 miles of two different oceans – The Perion and the Bernian. The aqueduct and river systems bring fresh water to the city and the wells and pumps are kept fresh by this flow of water.

The people in the slums use wells, buckets and hand pumps to retrieve the water they need. There are large steam-powered pumps that supply water to the palace.  

Sewage

There is an elaborate sewage removal system in the palace of Belkeep. Large pipes and steam powered pumps flush the waste out to the rivers in the forests. The slums have no sewage system, so people go to the edge of the city and dig trenches. Some parts of the slums have very little sanitation, and therefore disease and infection are rife.

Food

Meraxan cuisine offers some of the most delectable treats anywhere on the planet. The food is extravagant, spicy, and aromatic. Even the poor people of the slums can have access to delicious and nutritious foods for a low price (though many struggle to afford even such low cost meals). The people eat a lot of meat and fish which they have to hunt themselves in the lakes, rivers and at the edges of the forests. Vegetables, wheat and barley are grown in the arable areas and transported to the cities, but these foods are generally more expensive than the meat and fish the forests provide.

Juicy, tasty, colourful fruits are common in Meraxan cuisine, as well as unique herbs and spices – all of which grow in the rainforests. Meraxan food is difficult to cook, however, and some of the more interesting and elaborate dishes must be cooked by experts, due to the possibility of mixing tasty ingredients with poisonous elements.


Thank you for reading all about Meraxor and the home of the Brotherhood of Shadow. Meraxor will be the setting for the upcoming novel, The Sins of Silas.

Next on my list of worldbuilding locations will be Alcherys – home of the Children of Light.


This worldbuilding was inspired by Medieval Demographics Made Easy by S. John Ross, The Rivan Codex by David and Leigh Eddings, and the World Building for Fantasy Writers course on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/share/100FncBUAddVdUQ34=/

Science Fiction and Fantasy collection

Travel through time and space with cosmic spies, space thieves, and telepathic pirates!

Fantasy and sci-fi collection - time, space and pirates

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The Spirit Shield Saga – ‘rip-roaring’ epic fantasy!

Hello immersive fantasy fans! Today, I have a guest on my blog (and I am very excited about it!). Please welcome the talented, multi-award-winning fantasy author, Susan Faw. She is touring her epic series, The Spirit Shield Saga and has answered some questions and given us some insight into her awesome books. Enjoy!

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

There are multiple POV characters in this series (every epic fantasy does this) but the main thread revolves around Cayden. I knew Cayden’s fatal flaw from the beginning, and stayed true to that flaw throughout the series. I cannot even mention it here, as it would be a major spoiler, for those who have not read the series. Suffice it to say, that it creates no end of problems for those around him.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

The title is another Easter egg. It has two meanings, which should become clear as you read the book. Beyond that, I googled the name and also searched amazon and other book sites to make sure that the title was not like anyone else’s.

Who designed your book covers?

The Spirit Shield Saga covers were designed by Greg Simanson Design, you can find his website here:

https://www.simansondesign.com/book-covers

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I am going to stick with actors from the Harry Potter films 😊 Helen Bonham Carter would make a perfect Helga. I think I’d like to see Emma Watson play Avery, and for Cayden, I’d pick someone like Matthew Lewis. Evanna Lynch would make a great Artio. And Mordecai by Ralph Fiennes. It would be great to see him do something comedic. Ziona is a tough one, more like Legolas’s love, of the LOTR, I think.

Soul Survivor
Prequel to the Spirit Shield Saga
by Susan Faw
Genre: YA Fantasy

An ancient feud that spills from the realm of the Gods. Four desperate agendas that cross the line. And a boy with a mysterious box is the world’s only hope.

Helga, demi-goddess of the underworld has but one true desire, a young man named Genii. But Genii belongs to her sister star gazing sister, Artio.
Obsessed with possessing Genii any way she can, Helga sets herself against her siblings. The vicious rivalry sets brother against sister and flesh against spirit, as they battle each other for ultimate control of the souls of the dead.
Helga summons a great evil, spawn of the underworld, which left unchecked, will sweep all life into the depths of the underworld, where Helga rules supreme.
In the epic battle that ensues, only one will be left standing, and if it is the wrong one, how will the world survive?
Download this tale of love, jealousy, and magic, today, and dive into this award-winning epic mythology fantasy series!
**Get it FREE!! **
Seer of Souls
Book One of The Spirit Shield Saga
“A Rip-Roaring Series Opener!” – Kirkus Reviews
The time for hiding is finished. The dead are restless.
Fate and destiny collide.
Twins Cayden and Avery Tiernan have grown up in isolation on the fringe of the realm. Gifted with forbidden skills, they hide their growing magical powers. Ancient prophecies speak of the ones with the power to depose the queen.
To protect her throne, Queen Alcina scours the land for evidence of magic, while the darker force she serves threatens the land with chaos. She is not the only huntress however. Primordial seekers discover the twins first but before they can escape, the death of a queen’s guard puts the entire village in jeopardy. To save their town, the twins flee, only to be dragged toward an unknown destiny.
Guided by her gift, Avery senses lies and treachery where others see only truth. Dare she trust her instincts? For Cayden, an irresistible voice whispers to him. Does it belong to the souls of the dead and are they calling him home?
Buy Seer of Souls and plunge into the first book of the Spirit Shield Saga today!
Soul Sanctuary
Book Two of The Spirit Shield Saga
A temple awakened. The forbidden mountain stirs.
The dead are missing.
Snatched from her home by a Primordial Seeker, seventeen-year-old Avery is imprisoned by the people she intended to serve. In a desperate bid for freedom, she escapes, only to find herself racing against time to save those who seek to use her.
Driven by jealousy, the lust for power and the stain of ancient crimes, conflicting factions struggle to gain control of the magic of a Spirit Shield. Avery must dodge all who cross her path, for each group vies to control her actions.
Aided by the mythical creatures of her native land, she discovers that a true Spirit Shield is much more than a simple priestess. She must fight for control of the souls of the world, and in doing so must face her worst fear of all: family.
Purchase the next exciting chapter in this must read epic saga, today!
Soul Sacrifice
Book Three of The Spirit Shield Saga
The underworld writhes. Terror unleashed. Souls enslaved.
The Spirit Shields with memories returned are plunged into a conflict older than mankind. The pending battle pits family against spirit and flesh. The godlings face off for ultimate control of the souls of the dead, each with their own agenda, for there is no love lost between these siblings.
Helga, goddess of the underworld, tightens her hold on those who hold the key to ultimate victory. Meanwhile, Avery struggles to convince her sister Artio that unless they become allies they will fail in their misaligned quest. Cayden, with the aid of Brimstone, struggles to fulfill a destiny prophesied since their original deaths long ago.
Can four warring siblings find peace and forgiveness? Or will they battle to the end of the world, sacrificing all living souls in the conflict?
Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Spirit Shield Saga! Purchase your copy today!
*Winner, Dante Rossetti First In Category, Chanticleer Reviews (2018)*
Get the Box set here and save!!
Winner of the Dante Rossetti Grand Prize for Best Young Adult Fiction of 2016 (Seer of Souls, Chanticleer Reviews) and First in Category, Dante Rossetti Best Young Adult Fiction of 2017 (Soul Sanctuary, Chanticleer Reviews) Susan loves to bring new worlds and fantasy adventures to young adults and inspire them to join her on her make-believe journeys. She is actively crafting stories that sing in your memory. You can find Susan at http://www.susanfaw.com, on twitter @susandfaw or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SusanFaw.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Struggle with small print? Never fear – large print is here!

A Chronicle of Chaos and The Shield of Soren are now available in large print! You can get copies in paperback or kindle here:

Epic fantasy books large print

A Chronicle of Chaos Large Print version

The Shield of Soren Large Print version

RELATED LINKS:

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Light and Shadow Chronicles