This sketch art just came in! Presenting it, I thought it a good time to share the genesis of my writing. Malcor’s Story predates any other book I’ve written. It was the first. Having finished it in early 2015, I then began editing and rewriting it until in 2016 when I thought I would publish it. I gave it to some friends and family. Comments were all positive (as you might hope and expect from people you know). However, some of them said things like, “There’s so much there I kept wondering if I was missing a reference or something I should maybe know. You need a glossary.”
I’m not a fan of glossaries. I find them annoying. It’s like saying, “Welcome! My book is complicated and twisted enough that you need this reference sheet.” So, rather than go with a glossary, I wrote other books, the first of which was Dar Tania. The early empire of Morbatten has less magic and more wonder. By Malcor’s time, these things are taken for granted. In Dar Tania’s time, 1800 years before Malcor, it was all new, challenging, and difficult. The myths and legends in Malcor’s time are the stories occurring in Dar Tania’s.
Starting with the cover of Malcor’s Story, we can see his sword. It’s called the Apprentice Blade until later he names it Coming Undone (subject of next blog post). Malcor did not have a happy childhood. His father, Dar Kell, went insane when his superior multifixed his wife and children to death. Dar Kell was the first male priest ever. This triggered a civil war fought within the Temple of Tiamat as priestesses (100% female) and paladins (99% male) took sides and fought. ‘The Sister’ prophecy came from this war. It pointed to one of Kell’s children as the next king. When the war ended, it’s not like those opposed to male priests just submitted. This is warrior religion. They went underground. And, let’s be clear… Kell’s children were not love matches. Kell was insane. The Court of Patriarchs found the children and hid them.
Malcor was hidden in Klenna. He endured, where the other children where hunted and killed, because his mother was a Half-Orc and this masked his resemblance to Kell. He was also severely burned along his head and neck in a forge accident. Yet, growing up with a single-minded focus on becoming a paladin, Malcor knew long before others that the Sister Prophecy was not him. He serves reluctantly as king since Rojo’s fall in 1805 DAR. He is a berserker. Being possessed by a shadow dragon, the last of 3 to survive the Shadow Realms, Malcor knows that his self-control hangs on a thread.
As King (of the Military), Malcor is entrusted with the Prophecy of the Spear and the Shield, which drives Morbatten to continuously hone its war machine until it is strong enough to attack the Mother of All Nightmares, Set. And, win. Since Morbatten is recovering from the events in Bomoki’s Gate, Malcor has been forging powerful weapons for Tania’s heroes and leaders: Shadowsorcere for Legion Commander Ayden, for example. The Dread Lords have granted him two bloodstones.
- Earring of Vocal Thinking. Formerly King Rojo’s earring, this powerful device allows Malcor to touch it and, while holding the face of someone he wishes to speak with, establish a two-way telepathic conversation. He is training to use this to address multiple people, alien creatures (telepathy does not rely on language), and groups of people as large as all of Tania.
- All-Recall Eye Stone. Alerius granted this to Malcor when he at last realized how crippled Malcor’s upbringing truly was in the forge of House Tor. Activating this bloodstone, Malcor’s thoughts are quickened so that he can recall anything he reads, studies, hears, etc. It’s important for a king to remember faces and names. This stone allows photographic memorization without effort. With focus, the user can implant the knowledge so that it stays, but there is a price when used this way.
- Apprentice Sword/Coming Undone. The runes on the blade say, “Let that which is made come undone.” The sword can cut, but it’s real power is that destroys enchantments, permanently.
In 1806 DAR, Malcor is 21 years old. He was granted a dispensation to marry the priestess Ora. They have a son, Alauren. As king, he is guiding and protecting the actual person described in the Sister Prophecy, a young girl named Clarissa. Clarissa is 9 years old. People are often surprised that Malcor is not a pale-skinned Caucasian, is not tall, and is not shockingly handsome. Yet, once they get to know Malcor, his persistence in being true to Tiamat, and his single-minded focus on reaching and being an ‘ideal paladin’ tend to win everyone over. Malcor makes mistakes in spite of a keen grasp on what his weaknesses are. If anything, he feels his failures more deeply than others might.
As an author, like a parent, I know I’m not supposed to have favorite characters… but in this case, I’ll admit it: Malcor is my favorite. There I said it!