Tag Archives: Icarus

Cover Art – The Maelstrom

Hey there folks!  Today we’re going to show off the last sequel property we’re bringing you through 2018 (not counting whatever sequels will make their way into the Tales of Tellest, Volume Two short story collection).

The cover for The Maelstrom is one of my absolute favorites.  Leo did a fabulous job making not only a beautiful cover, but helping us come up with an awesome new race of creatures.  Let’s dive right in, and see the process.

So, when we started, Leo knew that The Maelstrom would involve “demons.”  There was more to it than that, of course, but we sometimes have translation issues since we’re on different continents.  So the demons that Leo came up with at first were very traditional.  It was my job to steer him away from that.

In this second shot, you can see that things are cleaned up substantially.  Our demons were supposed to be storm demons—you typically see these infernal type beings that hail from fiery realms, but I wanted to switch things up with this book.  As it stands anyway, our demons look kind of like towering mannequins!

At this point, you can see our cover taking even more shape.  Color was adjusted, a pose was picked for our main character, and the demons, a race of otherworldly beings called the Kin Maelar, really come to life here.

We adjusted the position of the invading demons, and threw a weapon in the leader’s hand.  These guys tower over the surviving elves of Shandranar, but Icarus is ready to face them head on.

Here you see the final take on the cover of this upcoming novel.  The two other characters, Icarus’s father and brother, are fleshed out, and the odds are even less in our hero’s favor!

If you recall, Icarus went through a lot of trouble during the event now known in Tellest’s history as the Fall.  You might have thought the worst was over, but these new invaders are sure to make our beleaguered elf wonder if the worst is truly behind him.

The Night Before Wintertide, Part Four

The Night Before Wintertide
A Story by Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
-Part Four-

As the sun rose, Robert stepped out to the top deck and took a deep breath, soaking in the fresh ocean air. The dwarf had a boat and navigator waiting for the adventurers in the port of Argos and had set sail right away. They decided to rest upon reaching the lone port of Iona and the dwarf was the first to awake. Robert looked out upon the jungle island and took in all the beauty.

The sun, rising above the jungle, gave the entire island a warm glow. The exotic birds from the area could be heard making some of the most beautiful sounds the native inhabitants had the luxury to experience, while the sounds of waves crashing set the mood of the island.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Icarus asked as he walked next to the dwarf.

“Very. Where’s the boy?”

“Still sleeping, I thought we’d talk before he woke.”

“What is there to talk about, elf?”

“Just because the prince and I accompanied you on this,” Icarus took a deep breath, “adventure… that does not mean you will treat it like your past expeditions for the coxcomb.”

“Those men knew what they were getting into.”

“Not the point. The prince is more important than this treasure. Understood?”

Before Robert could respond to Icarus, Jason climbed up from below deck. The prince, unlike his companions, looked disheveled. His hair was wild, his clothes wrinkled, and he was barely awake. He approached his companions, stretching to force himself to wake.

“Let’s get ourselves a hat,” Jason yawned as he spoke.

“Coxcomb of Andekus,” Robert corrected.

“And where does one wear the Coxcomb of Andekus?” The prince quipped.

“Yer head.”

“Like a?”

“’Tis not the same thing—”

“I think I’ve made my point,” Jason smiled before directing his attention to Icarus, “So what’s the plan?”

“Jason, my boy, this was your idea,” the elf said. “I am following your lead.”

“In that case, let’s make our presence known to the locals. No reason we can’t start this off diplomatically!”

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

The three companions stepped off the boat and entered Port Mir’Dautag, named after the orc town that was nearby. As they walked off the pier, heading east toward the town, the port workers stared. It wasn’t often a human visited the area, let alone accompanied with an elf and a dwarf. Robert was inclined to reach for his weapon, but Icarus sensed that and nudged the dwarf.

As they entered the town, Jason noted the lack of security. There were no walls erected to protect the town, nor were there any guard towers. The buildings were all very similar, built from stone with open windows and doorways. The only differences seemed to be that buildings that were meant for business had wooden roofs, whereas the residences had thatched roofs.

“May I have a word with you strangers?” A deep, strange voice called from behind the group.

Turning around, the three adventurers were faced with an iron-clad orc, standing taller than Icarus, with grayish-green skin. His hair was dark and had several braids that were brought together as one ponytail. His mutton chops hung from his chin—also braided. The sun glistened off his armor, adorned with what appeared to be a captain’s cape, with light reflecting from the metal scabbard that held the orc’s broad sword.

The orc’s hand moved to the pommel of his sword, and he was ready to unsheathe it at a moment’s notice. “Perhaps I was not clear. Let’s have a word.”

“Good day to you sir,” Icarus said, taking a step forward, “I apologize on behalf of my group, we were taken aback.”

“What do you mean, ‘taken aback’?”

“Um, well, we… we just weren’t—”

“I’m having a go at you,” the orc laughed as he released his hand from his sword.

The three companions nervously chuckled along with the orc before Icarus finally responded. “The name is Icarus. I’m joined by Robert and Jason. We’ve come from Arthica to visit our sister island.”

“Arthica? We don’t get many visitors from there. What brings you to Mir’Dataug? Surely taking port in our capital city would have offered,” the guard hesitated for just a moment, eyeing the group, “less of a distraction?”

“Dautran, even with all its beauty, is not the first place I would show my companions. Not when you can catch the sun rise from behind the jungle at your lovely port,” Icarus explained.

“Don’t forget about the temple, we’ve got to visit the temple,” Jason chimed in.

“The temple? Are you referring to Yen’Taug?” The guard asked.

“That’s the one. And we’re kind of in a hurry—”

“Watch your tongue, boy!” Robert angrily cutoff the prince.

“Excuse me?”

“Jason, Robert, please not now,” Icarus pleaded.

“The boy must learn respect,” the dwarf argued.

“Respect? I need to learn respect? You dare talk to your prince with such disrespect?” Jason countered.

“Jason? Prince? You’re the son of that skrig king, aren’t you?” The orc questioned.

“What was that?” the prince asked, almost confused by the orc’s sudden hostility.

“If we could all just take a moment and relax,” Icarus tried to reason with everyone.

“Your father is the king of Saffraan, is he not? Iollan Dactyls is nothing but racist skrig that banished my people from any kind of trade talks with Arthician towns. If it weren’t for King Kristoff Quinn of Silverrod, we would have crushed Arthica and its capital,” the guard explained.

“My father is no saint, but you would be best to find respect for the royal family of Saffraan. It is out of respect that we haven’t come to our sister island to crush you—you’re far from innocent.”

The orc guard stepped up to Jason, looking down at the prince, “You should listen to your dwarf friend and watch your tongue.”

Without hesitation, Jason swung his fist into the orc’s chin. The guard, taken by surprise, teetered back from the impact. The orc unsheathed his broadsword and swung toward Jason, who hadn’t yet tugged his own sword from its scabbard. Icarus quickly removed his baton and extended it to its full bo staff form and blocked the weapon from hitting Jason.

“Always need to make things difficult, don’t you?” Icarus asked his prince.

“I like to think I make things interesting,” Jason responded before removing his longsword from its scabbard.

Jason and Robert, with battle axe in hand, flanked the orc guard as Icarus stayed directly in front of him. The guard swung his sword about, contemplating his next move. He directed his next slash towards the dwarf, narrowly missing as Robert jumped out of the way. Before the orc could turn to face his adversaries again, Jason and Robert rushed him.

They underestimated the orc, who was able to rush the prince and the dwarf himself, bending slightly to meet them with his shoulder. When they collided, the two adventurers were sent flying back several feet, landing on their backs. When the orc stood straight once again, he locked eyes with Icarus.

“I apologize for my friends, they are a little over zealous. Perhaps we could just take a moment to talk?” The elf tried to reason.

“You take me as a fool?”

The orc shouted a war cry before rushing Icarus. It was clear that the orc, although skilled, was still far beneath the abilities of the elf. He was able to side step the guard, using his bo staff to trip the orc to the ground. Before Icarus could react, he heard others approaching fast.

As Jason and Robert stood, they were faced with three additional orc guards with swords at the ready. The original orc guard was joined by another, then.

“Captain, are you alright?”

“Arrest these three and throw them in separate cells,” the captain paused, looking at Jason before continuing, “Feel free to especially rough with that one.”

Two of the orc guards grabbed Jason, each punching him in the stomach for good measure. The remaining guards grabbed Robert and Icarus as they headed north, into town. The captain rushed ahead and caught up with the guards holding Jason. As they walked, he leaned in towards the prince.

“Perhaps that skrig of a father will listen to us now,” he whispered in the young man’s ear.

Character Art – Icarus

Hello there, Tellest fans!  We have a big treat for you today, and one that’s been in the making for a long while.

It’s been almost a year since we posted anything from the great Bea Gonzalez, but we’re happy to say that our trio of commissioned works from her is drawing to a complete conclusion now.  She had already done amazing work with Venathryn and Alicia, and we were very happy with how they turned out.

For our third character, we opted to use one of the other heroes from the Tales of Tellest.  Icarus was one of my favorite characters to write about.  It gave me an opportunity to make a different twist on the Greek mythology, and Bea brought him to life in a way that I would never be able to.

Icarus 1

Here’s a rough sketch of our winged elf.  As far as the written page goes, Icarus is one of the longest-lived individuals on Tellest.

Icarus 2

A more detailed set of lines came next.  Bea captured our hero in a way that I was incredibly impressed by.

Icarus 3

Finally, Bea started bringing color to the piece.  Her attention to detail is breathtaking.

Icarus Complete

For the final cut of the piece, we see a huge amount of progress.  Again, just take a look at all the different fabrics and materials.  Bea did a fantastic job.  My only disappointment is that I didn’t have more of her work to show more often.  I’m afraid she may have outgrown us for now, but we’re hoping the Tellest brand expands quickly in the months to come.  Stay tuned for more info!

The Night Before Wintertide, Part Three

The Night Before Wintertide
A Story by Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
-Part Three-

 

Icarus winced as he hit the ground.

“What are you complaining about? I was the one who crashed through the window,” Jason said, laying on the ground next to his mentor.

“Falling isn’t as easy as it once was.”

Both Jason and Icarus reached their feet and looked at the destruction before them. The ground had broken glass scattered about and they could see the fighting going on within the tavern from where the glass had once been.

“Do you think it was because I said other idiot?” Jason asked.

Icarus shook his head and they both turned north, towards the castle. They didn’t travel too far when they heard a scream. When they swung about, they saw Robert flying out the window and landing a few feet away from them. The dwarf stood up, brushed off the dust, and collected his battle axe. Before he could run back in, both Jason and Icarus grabbed his shoulders.

“Rob, enough is enough,” Jason said.

“The prince is right. There’s no reason to get yourself hurt—or worse—in there,” Icarus reasoned.

“Maybe I was a little harsh. Perhaps we could go somewhere private and talk more about this hat?” Jason asked.

“The name is Robert and wherever we go, they better have plenty of ale.”

“Okay Rob, okay.”

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

It had been centuries since the elf was part of the war for control of Ippius. Prior to the permanent settlements of that make up present day Arthica, many different races settled the three large islands that make up a majority of Ippius. It was the arrival of the minotaurs that forced the humans to fight for what they believed was theirs.

At the time, Icarus was staying in his thatched cottage found in what is now known as the Vanyatavar forest, just west of Argos. After years of adventure, he had finally settled down with the elven maiden, Zaleria Vamaer. The couple had met during a battle to save Zaleria’s tribe from an attack by a pack of lagano years prior and had fallen deeply in love.

The elven couple had decided to not interfere with the happenings of the other races, however the battle for land control had spilled into their home. The minotaurs had taken camp within the forest around their home and while out by one of the many streams, Zaleria was killed—mistaken as the enemy by a minotaur warrior.

When Icarus went to meet his love, he was horrified to find her body lying on the ground; lifeless. Without having a moment to mourn, the same minotaur that had killed his beloved came after the elf. Icarus was able to spring out of the way and readied himself for battle, however had no weapons to mount a proper offense. As the minotaur turned to charge, the elf was in motion and leapt into the air, his wings appearing and giving him extra lift. As the elf soared over his advisory, he grabbed a sword that was sheathed on his back—the wings disappearing as he landed behind the minotaur.

 

Icarus shook his head as he heard Jason calling his name.

“Icarus!” Jason yelled, practically in his mentor’s face.

“What is it, lad?” Icarus finally responded, with more anger than he had intended. “Jason, I am sorry, my mind was elsewhere and I shouldn’t have snapped at you.”

The elf had been lost in thought, reflecting back upon his long life—a blessing and a curse. Being part of much of Tellet’s long history was something the elf was proud of, but it came with great costs—losing his love during The Culling was one of those costs.

“Anything you want to talk about?”

“A tale for another evening. What was it that you wanted?”

Jason returned to the table he was sharing with Robert—notes and ale were spread about the table.

“Robert and I were going over his notes from past explorations to try and determine where we should search next. We’re at a loss and there isn’t anyone who knows Tellest better than you.”

“Let me see what you have.”

Icarus followed Jason over to the table and thumbed through the notes. He saw that Robert and his previous teams searched most of Draconis, including the islands of Ippius. Before he flipped through any of the other notes, he noticed that it seemed like Iona, the second largest island of Ippius, had yet to be explored.

“You’ve taken a team to Norkoth before Iona?” Icarus looked to Robert.

“Aye. We had a lead that mentioned those lizardfolk and headed there. In all of our research, nothing ever pointed us towards Iona,” the dwarf answered.

“So, you’re telling me you that you decided to leave the mostly peaceful island of Iona alone while you explored one of the most dangerous lands? You really are daft!” Jason interjected.

“Who are ye calling daft, lad? Evidence is evidence – why would I waste me time?” Robert countered.

“The boy is right,” Icarus started as Jason smiled. “Not about being daft. Going to Iona would have likely prevented the loss of lives. Although Andekus is known in all of Tellest, it is largely believed that she resided in the jungles of Iona for some time.”

“Now listen here elf, I’ve researched Andekus more than anyone else on this rock and I’ve never seen anything about her hiding out in a jungle,” the dwarf argued.

“Robert, although you have been around Tellest much longer than many other beings, you are still naïve. Plenty of history has been left to be forgotten. There is an abandoned temple in the jungles of Iona. It has been a very long time since I have visited, but since then, I had heard of rumors of an extremely generous soul making the temple their home,” the elf explained.

“Boys, dare I say it’s time for adventure?” Jason asked, putting his arms around Icarus and Robert.

“Your father won’t be happy,” Icarus mentioned.

“When can we leave?” Jason asked with a smile on his face.

The Night Before Wintertide, Part One

The Night Before Wintertide
A Story by Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
-Part One-


 

Jason stood before the Nadeus tree, a twelve-foot pine adorned with albino flutterballs, in the holiday room of the castle. It was the holiday season, the time of year where citizens of Argos, the city of which Jason was prince and heir apparent, celebrated Wintertide. The town was bustling with traffic as families shopped for loved ones and friends gathered for Wintertide Festival, a weeklong celebration, activities.

Ten years had passed since Jason last thought about Wintertide and its meaning. He never understood the weeklong festival, or the celebration of Andekus, the goddess of charity and the deity of the holiday. He couldn’t grasp the idea of celebrating seven different ideals when it was clear to him that it was all made up. However, he did understand that his father, King Iollan Dactyls, despised everything related to Wintertide.

Although the Dactyls ruled Saffraan, the western nation of Arthica, they were part of a small community that believed in one creator, rather than the gods and goddesses of the land. Believers of the one, true savior also disregarded the Wintertide holiday and celebrated Nadeus. But even the most powerful believers were afraid of what the majority would do if they found out about their belief system.

“Son,” a voice from behind Jason snapped him out of his thoughts.

Iollan stood behind his child, stroking his black, bushy beard. He was imposing, standing at six feet tall with muscles bulging through his heavy royal garb. He was looking his son in his eyes when Jason turned around.

“It wasn’t so long ago that you looked up to me.”

“That was long ago father. I’ve grown much since I was a child.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Jason looked to the floor. He and his father had a tenuous relationship in recent years, specifically with how non-humans were being treated in the kingdom. He looked to his father, brushing his dark brown hair out of his eyes.

“You treat those not like us without respect. We were all created equal in His eyes.”

“That may be true, but that does not mean we all grow to be equal. The world is more complicated than you believe it to be, son.”

“Maybe you make it more complicated than it needs to be, Father.”

Jason walked out of the room. He had spent the last ten years following his family blindly in what they believed. When he witnessed his father kick a down on his luck gnome—just looking for a warm place to sleep—out of the city, he was heartbroken. Jason confronted his father about it and when he saw that his father held no remorse, he knew he had to follow his own path.

As he made his way out of the castle, he was stopped by Arik Purdell, the five-year-old son of his father’s top General, Alan. Jason didn’t acknowledge the young boy, the thought of his father’s treatment of other races still on his mind, and quickly walked by with purpose. He was running late to meet a friend.

“Master Jason,” the boy said.

“Arik, I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

“Oh, okay…”

Jason stopped walking. He could hear the disappointment in the boy’s voice. He turned and stared at the child and gave him a brief smile. “How many times do I have to tell you, it’s just Jason,” he said as he knelt down beside the lad.

“Sorry, sir,” Arik said. “You seemed angry, and I wanted to try and make you feel better.”

Jason smiled. “The fact that you wanted to help me is all I need to feel better. You are going to make a fine general one day.”

“Thanks,” the boy smiled, “what are you up to?”

“I’m meeting some friends at the Wintertide Festival.”

“Won’t the king be angry with you?” Arik asked, befuddled.

“That’s the idea.”

Jason smiled and stood up. He tousled Arik’s hair before turning around and heading out of the castle. As he left the castle grounds, his mood began to change to match the holiday décor—the more fantastical the town looked, the less he thought about his father. Jason’s eyes grew large as he soaked in all that Wintertide had to offer.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

The Falcon’s Nest, a tavern in the south side of Argos, was the home to criminals and lower level Saphron Brotherhood members that visited Argos. The brotherhood, a group of assassins from the region, often had their initiates use the tavern as their home base. Once they had proved themselves worthy, the initiates were promoted and invited to the Saphron Brotherhood’s main hideout, which remained a secret to all but those who belonged.

Icarus Callatuil sat at a table in the tavern, waiting for his friend. With its dim lighting, insipid odor and penchant for attracting the least trustworthy citizens of the city, the elf could never understand why his friend chose the tavern as their meeting place. He didn’t mind though, for the Falcon’s Nest had some of the best ale in all of Tellest.

Jason walked into the tavern as the elf finished his drink. He scanned the room for his friend, before locking eyes with Icarus. The elf waved him over and pointed to the bartender, holding up two fingers to request another round of drinks. Jason walked to the table and sat down as the drinks were delivered.

“I’m surprised you continue to agree to meet at the Nest. My father would be livid if he knew you were complicit in my rebellious actions,” Jason smiled.

“Your father would be even more livid if I shared all his dirty secrets from his rebellious years to you,” Icarus smirked as he responded.

“My father? Rebellious? Even so, he wouldn’t forgive my choices.”

“Jason, my boy, there will come a time when you complete your training and take the throne. We will become friends and work together often. I will also be sitting with your future son, training him,” Icarus paused to take a drink, “aiding him when he rebels against you.”

Jason smiled and they clinked their mugs and gulped down their ale. Icarus signaled for another round.

“I will never understand your stubbornness about meeting here. It’s a dangerous place, and this is just to anger your father.”

“I’m disappointed. I thought you would know me better. The fact that coming here bothers father is just an added bonus.”

“Enlighten me then.”

“Argos is the capital of Saffraan. If you want to find information, the Falcon’s Nest is the place to find it.”

“And what information can the prince of Saffraan get here that he can’t get from official contacts?”

“What information could I possibly receive at the castle that could lead to an adventure? Come to the Nest enough, you’re bound to hear about something exciting. You can’t tell me that an elf of your age doesn’t know how to find adventure?”

“And I suppose you want my help when the time comes?” Icarus asked, ignoring Jason’s question.

“What are mentors for?”

The Fall Released!

It’s a proud day here at Tellest.  With the release of The Fall, we’re one step closer to fulfilling the promise that we made two years ago: to deliver great content, entertaining stories, and a growing literary universe.  I cannot tell you just how great it feels to get this story on virtual shelves.

I would be delighted if you’d give this final novella in the first volume of Tales of Tellest a gander.  This particular story was most definitely a labor of love, and I think it shows… it may just be your favorite Tellest book yet.

 

Icarus must intervene before a wicked ritual is completed, or humanity will be banished from the world of Tellest forevermore. But his people, the elves, have determined that humans are too dangerous to share the realm. How can he protect the friends that he has made without betraying his race?

Samael is a man scorned, whose only desire is to enact vengeance on those who have wronged him. However, his involvement is the deciding factor in the call to banish humanity. For the sake of all the races of Tellest, he must work with Icarus to put a halt to the foul dealings.

 

The Fall is now available on Amazon!

Art: The Fall Cover

It’s been a long time since we showed you the cover of one of the longer stories.  And while we’re not actually done with the tale just yet, I think it’s time to share the final piece of the novellas that we set out to release last year.

We knew that we needed to get Leo to finish up the fifth cover, so we reached out to him, and told him the gist of the story, that The Fall was essentially a fantasy retelling of the myth of Icarus.  There were some incongruities between the old legend, and what is written in Tellest lore (AKA the truth).

So Leo gave us two versions of the cover to work with at first.

7_2

 

This one would show our protagonist’s back, and the foe that he would face.  We’ve got a lot of these so far, so we decided to switch it up, and go with the second option.

 

7_1

 

 

I think this version made things look a lot more heroic.  We decided to show Icarus approaching the enemy, doing everything he can to stop the cataclysmic event of the story.

 

color

 

 

Things changed a tiny little bit, and we also added some background materials.  The floating islands in the background help to lead us to the idea of where exactly we are in our fantasy realm, and the crystal is a nice touch too.  It’s imperative to the actual story.

 

8

 

 

I’m showing this one because it is a fun little addition – you rarely get to see the interim stages of art where certain components aren’t in place yet.  In this instance, our poor antagonist doesn’t have his head!  You can also see a couple more minor changes.

 

fin

 

 

And here’s the final piece we arrived at.  I hope you like it.  Leo did an excellent job on all five novellas, and I think this was a great way to wrap up the Tales of Tellest.  Stay tuned in the next few weeks for the conclusion of The Fall!

Ippius

General description

Entymology

Ippius was named after a courageous warrior in a fairytale told by the inhabitants of the country.  His name was Arthur Ipparius.  The three main islands in the Ippius archipelago are all named after characters in the fairytale.

 

Geography and Environment

Ippius is a series of three large islands, the biggest being farthest north, and the smallest being farthest south.  Several dozen smaller islands are on the ocean beside the main islands as well, but do not rival any of the larger islands in size.

The largest island of the Ippius archipelago is called Arthica, named after the hero of the Ipparius fairytale.  The largest human establishment of the island, Argos, is also named after Arthur, and is considered the country’s capital.

The second largest island is named after Princess Iona from the fairytale, who is portrayed as Arthur’s love interest.

The smallest of the main islands is called Norkoth, after an evil warrior who tried to slay Arthur and all those he loved.  Norkoth banded together a primitive group of lagano, and led them into battle against Arthur and his soldiers.

All of the lands within Ippius are islands, but many of the islands seem to have personalities of their own, due to the wide variety of geographic differences.  Arthica is generally a mild island, with many forests, mountains and plains.  Norkoth is a jungle infested land mass, with only a few beaches, mountains, and a large volcano offering some diversity.  Iona is a mix of the other two islands.  A large jungle sits in the middle of the island, but plains and forests encroach upon it.

 

Races

Humans are the predominant race within Ippius, and many of them are cold to other races.  However, many of the smaller islands are inhabited by other races.  Even the third largest island is overrun with lagano.

Besides the humans and lizardmen of the country, the kaja have found homes among several islands in the archipelago.

A tribe of orcs also shares Iona with a civilization of jungle dwelling humans.  These two races coexist rather peacefully, however orcs are only very rarely permitted to visit Arthica.

Groups of murkgill also have villages within the waters surrounding the islands of Ippius.  They typically leave the other races alone, but sailors have been mentioning that they believe the numbers of the underwater dwellers are growing at a rapid race, and will soon overwhelm even the humans.

 

Ippius 2

 

History

Early History

Ippius began as an uninhabited set of islands, but as time progressed, several races found their way to the isles.

Murkgills and mermen were the first to inhabit the area around the islands, and some of the murkgills had even taken to land.  As lizardmen found their way to Ippius, however, the murkgills withdrew to the lakes, and mermen withdrew to the ocean, preferring to dwell beneath the water instead of sharing the lands with the air breathers.  Kaja were the next to settle among the islands, stalking quietly out of sight of the lizardmen.  Humans arrived soon after, in larger numbers than any of the other races.  Finally, after the loss of their homeland Minoa, minotaurs began to settle within Ippius as well.

 

The Culling

After the refugees from Minoa arrived in Ippius, the humans began to grow tired of sharing their lands with the other races.  They began driving out the lizardmen, kaja and minotaurs.

The lizardmen hardly inhabited present-day Arthica, and went without much pressure toward the island now known as Norkoth.  The kaja, too, disbanded easily, electing to avoid unwanted attention from the humans.

The minotaurs were not so easily pushed from Arthica.  A series of violent, bloody battles unfolded throughout Arthica, and even when the minotaurs fled to Iona, the humans followed, driving them out of Ippius altogether.

At the same time the humans were claiming dominance over the land of Ippius, the murkgills had decided that the ocean surrounding Ippius belonged to them and them alone.  They began hunting the mermen around the islands, and drove them out, becoming the supreme underwater race of Ippius.

 

Backlash

After the culling of races, both the humans and lizardmen grew in tremendous numbers.  Arthica became greatly colonized, and Norkoth was teeming with lizardmen, almost to the point where they were overpopulated.

It was during this period that the Ipparius fairytale began, and was rooted in actual fact.  The lizardmen from Norkoth attacked Arthica, in an effort to punish the humans who had violently drove them out of the country.

Though the lizardmen were unsuccessful in their attempts to regain all of Ippius, the human settlements were badly damaged, and even Argos suffered because of Norkoth’s raid.

 

Current State

Ippius is once again free of racial oppression, the lizardmen and humans staying on their own islands.  However, Arthica once again fell into darkness over the past several years, when the entire royal family line, the Dactyls, was wrought from existence.

Some say that there is a distant relative of the Dactyls still left breathing, but none can find him, and many have worked to discredit that rumor.

In the place of the Dactyls, a retainer for the throne was named.  Arik Purdell, a military advisor to the late King Jason Dactyls, is currently governing over Argos, and most of Arthica.

Level Up!

I love equating everything I do to an RPG.

In this case, I’m talking specifically about the series of five shorter stories I’m going to be telling over the next few months.  I’ve been saying for the longest time that this quintet was going to be a collection of novelettes – that is, they were going to be significantly shorter than I expected they’ve become.  As I push forward, however, it seems that each of them is developing a littler further than I intended. 

I’m a firm believer in allowing a story to tell itself.  When each of these first three that I’ve been working on have exceeded the planned six chapter arcs that I anticipated, I wasn’t dissapointed.  It seems to me like the magic number is eight, but, as you can tell, I’ve been surprised before.

Therefore, the novelettes are hereby being upgraded to novellas.  There will be much rejoicing.

Because of this change, I’m going to adjust my plans of releasing them somewhat.  Originally, it was my intent to throw them up on the Tellest site in little two-bite increments.  The second week, you’d be able to see the first two chapters, the following week, I’d remove the first chapter, and instead add the third chapter.  That’s all very confusing, especially when you add two more chapters to the back end.  So instead, the game plan is to keep each chapter up for the featured novella.  You’ll have eight weeks of content, back to back, probably on Tuesdays (we’ll call them, Tale Tuesdays).  They won’t be removed from the site until the ninth week, when they get published to kindle.

As of right now, I’m committed to a late December or early January release for the beginning of this journey.  That would lead us to a Tuesday, March 4th publication of the first story.

It always boggles my mind how excited I get for this thing that just once upon a time started as a little speck of ingenuity in my brain.  I can’t wait to share it with you!