Top of Mind Stuff, July 23, 2018

Thank you to everyone who took a peek at Temple of the Golden Serpent! For a few days there post-launch we ranked in the top 10%. That always makes me feel really good. One of the reviews was quiet stellar.

Deep within the tangled web of the jungle, the people of Pel Paijan are living a deeply religious life full of ecstatic rituals and blissful worship. But underneath the dazzling displays of symbolic architecture and luxurious shrines lies a dark secret, a secret that only Jerranic and his team can uncover. After a priest returns from the jungle barely alive and recounts what he witnessed there, it becomes clear that something is amiss among the Paijans. The dying priest describes haunting images of people caught in a rapturous fervor, seemingly possessed by a violent passion, doing things they would never otherwise do. They worship a golden serpent, both terrifying and awe-inspiring in its majesty.

Jerranic and his friends decide to investigate the matter for themselves, and set out on a perilous journey into the unknown. They soon encounter the worshipers, and at first, nothing seems suspicious. But a series of revelations brings the dark truth to light, and Jerranic vows to rid the Paijans of their spell. But this proves to be a formidable task; a Hell Lord is using powerful drugs as a means of control over the Paijans, sending them into fits of ecstasy to convince them they are worshiping the Kingdom of Heaven. Against his will, Jerranic has his own experience with the drugs and comes close to renouncing his loyalty to the Sun God, Pha Rann. Realizing the disturbing influence these drugs have over the land of Pel Paijan, the seriousness of the situation becomes even more dire.

A devout priest, will Jerranic be able to resist temptation while staying true to himself? And can he awaken the deceived Paijans out of their curse before it’s too late? Barnum keeps you guessing while supplying a satisfying ending that hints of more to come.

A must-read for both new and old Forsaken Isles fans.

The art (acquired for use in FI) below shows an armored mage leading his troops to war. It’s dark and grim (grimdark anyone?)… and except for the face helmet and hammer is pretty dang close to how I imagine the red dragon, Alerius. Other differences… Alerius would be much larger. While not giant-sized, his physical presence is very large. Think of how you might feel if you were standing next to a pro body builder, wrestler, or some other very large athlete. Alerius does not fight with weapons, but by Malcor’s time, you can rest assured that he has been gifted many a choice blade in the form of a giant sword. Dar Tania (now Dar Ana’s) sword, Morbattania, is modeled after Alerius’ first blade, a gift from Sean’s Pragmatist Order in Taysor. The blade is nearly 10′ long and morphs with Alerius’ magic shapeshifting. In dragon form, his weapon coats his talons.

general leading his army in war


On a completely different topic, I’m getting itchy to go hiking. Because I can’t write full-time, my day job promoted me in July and I just kind of want to celebrate… by hiking. Messed up huh?