Oct 23

On the Writing Side

Posted: under Background, Story.
Tags: , ,  October 23rd, 2013

I am still not happy with the Paksworld story written for the second anthology (and the deadline daily steps closer to my nose) so I started another one.   Actually I’ve started several that didn’t work at all, either because they instantly bulged and made it clear they would be too long,  or because fitting them to the anthology requirements would warp them too badly.   But this new one has retained its potential and is cantering along briskly.  It’s too long, but that’s because I had to work out background in the course of writing it–cuts shouldn’t be too difficult.  I hope. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 10

And an Update

Posted: under Background, Contents, Website Update.
Tags: , , , ,  February 10th, 2012

The history page on the Paksworld website has now been updated and expanded.   Ever wonder what they use for money in the different realms?   Want to know more about trade?   You folks were showing enough interest that when I went into the file to fix typos (and let’s hope I didn’t just create more typos)  I decided to add more information.

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Mar 18

Legends I: Torre

Posted: under Background.
Tags: , ,  March 18th, 2011

Instead of a snippet today, a background legend from Paksworld.   The origins are far enough back that it’s not possible to be sure where it originated, and many versions exist.    No spoilers here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 31

And Forward Two

Posted: under Background.
Tags: ,  October 31st, 2009

Some of you will remember the “Rules of Aare” quoted and discussed extensively in Surrender None.   Some will also remember the various mentions of Old Aare, legends and stories and songs about that mysterious land and the “fall” of Aare that brought the magelords across the sea.   You know it’s across the Immerhoft Sea from Aarenis, and that Aarenis was named for it:  “Daughter of Aare.”

But the deep mysteries of Old Aare are central to the long story arc of this group of books…what happened in Aare has had consquences affecting the entire north as well.    There are a few hints of this in Oath of Fealty, though it’s mostly concerned with the immediate consequences of Kieri’s  move to Lyonya.    More show up in book two.   Paks unwittingly involved herself in the affairs of Aare, elves, dwarves, dragons,  and magelords even before she became a paladin…everyone she touched is changed by that, as well as just her personality and more obvious paladin qualities.

So a lot of questions will be answered, though I can’t promise they all will be (in fact, probably not.  Just the big ones.)

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Jun 02


Posted: under Background, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 2nd, 2009

Those of you who’ve read Diana Wynne Jones’  The Rough Guide to Fantasyland know that the typical food of fantasyland is stew.  Maybe with bread.  Maybe, if you’re really lucky, bread and cheese both with stew.  Or alternately.

I’m not a foodie (lack the qualifications), but I do like to eat, and when I started writing the Paks books, I didn’t know about the “stew” convention.  Even though there’s some stew, it’s because I felt it fit that location (and pocketbook) and I had great fun inventing other dishes.   Food preferences and eating styles reveal character and offer multiple thorns for plot and character and setting to attach.

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Feb 18


Posted: under Background, Contents.
Tags: ,  February 18th, 2009

The magelords moving north from Old Aare and Aarenis introduced the concept of “knights” to the north.   The Old Humans who lived in the north before the magelords came were not horsemen, though they knew of horses from the horse nomads north of them.

In the present day,  knights as such exist in Fintha, Tsaia, Lyonya, and Prealith.   Most are knighted as part of a specific order (Knights of Gird, Knights of Falk, Knights of the Bells)  but some are battlefield promotions of squires, knighted for deeds of valor.   Any knight may create a knight, though most leave that to the knightly orders. ..in the north, at least.  In Aarenis, knights are created individually more than in orders.  Knights of an order wear insignia indicating the order.

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Feb 12


Posted: under Background, Contents.
Tags: , , ,  February 12th, 2009

This snippet is the first in the book (in the present version) to resonate with the title Oath of Fealty.    Location: Duke’s Stronghold, shortly after word reaches there  (finally!) that Kieri Phelan is a) the rightful heir to the throne of Lyonya and b) on his way there.    The snippet is in snatches, leaving out bits that aren’t relevant to the title issue.

Arcolin woke to the memory of yesterday’s surprises and the realization that he needed to parade the whole Company.  They had given their oaths to Kieri, who had now left them.  They must now give their oaths to him.

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Jan 23

New onsite: People of Paksworld

Posted: under Contents, Website Update.
Tags: , , , , , ,  January 23rd, 2009

Over on the website,  part one of the People section is now up and live.  It covers the basic groups, some of which–elves, dwarves, and gnomes– have been discussed on this blog.   I took out some bits of the blog info as not really necessary, and added some.

Additional groups discussed include the kuaknom/iynisin/dark cousins–those “fallen” elves the others don’t like to mention–and four basic, distinct human lineages: the Old Humans of the north, the magelords who came over the sea from Old Aare to Aarenis (and later, the north), the horse nomads,  and the Seafolk.    The people in the far west, beyond Kolobia, are peripheral enough (so far!) that they’re not being included.

Eventually (but not immediately–need to spend more time on the books proper) there’ll be more background information on specific people–both “current” (in book terms) and historical (ditto), myths and legends, religions, etc.

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Jan 11

Earthfolk: dwarves and gnomes

Posted: under Background.
Tags: , , , ,  January 11th, 2009

I’ve mentioned before a book by one of my college professors, F.S. Lear’s Treason in Roman and Germanic Law. In the course of studying ancient and medieval history, I was dragged (willingly, most of the time, but sometimes dragged) through a lot of legal systems. Lear discusses the contrasting bases for a concept of treason, ultimate disloyalty, under the two systems: one tribal, where loyalty is to a person or tribe and treason is a personal betrayal. The tribal leader in that case cannot be guilty of treason because he (it was always he, then) is the one to whom loyalty is due. The other is formally legal, where loyalty is to a code of law, and anyone–including those at the top–can be guilty of treason if they have transgressed that part of the code.

Relevance to current politics is obvious, but not a topic for this blog, except to show that the same conflicts of concepts exists today, as it did 2000 years ago….and undoubtedly longer ago than that. I grew up on the Border, in an area where a culture that claimed to believe in a rule of law was in daily contact with a culture for whom personal relationships were obviously more important.

All of the history sources I used are relevant to the Paksenarrion universe, but this one, in particular, set the tone for the two types of Earthfolk–dwaves and gnomes– in the books.

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Jan 01

O Captain, my Captain…

Posted: under Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  January 1st, 2009

The book continues to throw surprises at me, though not fast in the last couple of days as the International Gut Bug has reached our house.   But leaving that unsavory subject aside…it dawned on me last night, working on a scene between Dorrin and some of her cohort, that this continues a conversation begun in the first Paks book, and resulting (ultimately) from a very old schism in human behavior.

What is loyalty?  Who or what can be the object of loyalty?   What are the theoretical and practical and ethical boundaries of loyalty?   Heavy stuff for New Year’s Eve…

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