I'm almost done with the outline to Rise of the Red King. There will be quite a few new characters introduced into this book. Some of the characters that you may be familiar with if you've read Cryptic Tongues will be traversing the Martian globe to other lands!
Lands and Peoples
New lands are being introduced such as Pallinona (the inspiration for this land in the Red World is Italy) and Dyrland (inspiration for this land is ancient Germany. The peoples that live in this land, and one of them you may recognize from Schisms - Uwain - are inspired by the Germanic tribes, specifically the Teutons and the Franks. There will be some serious conflicts between these two tribes, and other tribes such as a race of giants. Several, in fact. :o)
Some things I am exploring and attempting to write about in this current book:
In this particular book I focus more on the work and study of alchemy, the issue of slavery, kingship and authority and gods and prophecy.
In these books alchemy is science and scientific endeavor. For most it is the investigation and examination of the physical constitution of matter and life through the applications of the states of birth, death and resurrection - alchemical endeavor, if you will. For some it is also a spiritual work, the seeking of perfection, either physical or spiritual. I do not go into the spiritual side of it or the occultic side except as it pertains to Black Alchemy, which is evil. You may have already noticed slight refernces to alchemical sayings and meanings in the book such as: As Above, So Below. I don't go too deeply into these as the book is not about alchemy how I protray it in the story is not true Hermetic Alchemy.
I have divided alchemy into three disciplines: White Alchemy, which is the study of practical and to a limited extent, spiritual alchemy to heal the human body and attain vital health and knowledge of the body and of the plants and other forms that can heal it, through herbal remedies, distillations, fermentations and concoctions or even surgery and primitive pharmacology. There is a sub-discipline that they share with Black Alchemy. These are the physicians and nurses. The scions in their own way study this, in part. They call it herbalism but they do not go in for pharmacology or surgery except to sew up already open wounds. The miraculous healing powers of the scions that do not come from herbs or other plants come from a Divine Source. Because of this, White Alchemists often see the scions' work as the pinnacle of what they want to achieve in White Alchemy. Other women in other cultures who do the herbal work and have the knowledge of herbs and plants that the scions do and have in the Red World are considered Wise Women.
Then we have Gold Alchemy. This is the purely practical art of making tinkering machines, making technological advances, studying energy and motion and gravity and other natural forces and how to harness them, as well as turning as turning base metals into higher metals. From this metallurgy and blacksmithing and swordsmithing and many other crafts dealing with metals or chemicals and dyes have come. These alchemists tend to be very well off and highly talented in making new discoveries fo the world around them or making beautiful and useful things for society.
Then there is Black Alchemy. This is the darkest of dark arts and there is a practical and a spiritual side to it. The spiritual side is the most important. It is the study of power over others and many arts are employed to achieve this end. Those who study it are often worshipers of the unnamed one and from him they derive their power. The unnamed one in the real world (our world) would be the devil.
In Cryptic Tongues I explain in the glossary the two sub-disciplines in Black Alchemy. White Alchemists study one of them but for purely medical reasons. Only the most evil people study this discipline because it is specifically studied to learn how to trick, harm and hurt others and exert pressure and power over those who will not bend naturally to one's will. The widespread practice of Black Alchemy during the decadent age before the fall of Assenna is why it was eventually banned in Hybron - along with all Alchemy. But this goes too far in the other extreme. Because of this Hybron went through a dark age. Alchemy, or science as I am using it in the books, is the study of knowledge around you of matter and life. What you do with it and how you practice it is what matters, not the discipline itself. And isn't that true of many things in real life?
After all, just because someone uses something or has knowledge of it for evil ends does not always mean that that thing is evil in and of itself.
Wondeful machines will be explained. You may have noticed one of these machines showing up in theSecret Doorway Tales as well as a reference to an old sage too. I like to plagiarize myself. I'm kind of like Sting when it comes to that. :o) The chilyabe or chilyabium makes a serious comeback as well as the special starmap or book of constellations that Rapheth took from the All Library in Rhuctium. Turns out that he's going to need it!
Anyway, I will be giving updates on things I'm writing about in this third book. I also want to mention this for the poetry lovers out there: I have five poems already written. Whether or not this new book will have ten poems, I don't know yet. It may only have nine or eight. I haven't slacked off from that. Look for the poetry book later this fall. Don't forget that I have a new sci-fi short story out, The Prototype. Download it now while it is free. I will be trimming and making one more editing pass before next week. Next week it will be available at the usual outlets for $0.99! Also, don't forget the newest episode of theblueshifters is out.
That's all for now folks, have a great day!