A Look Inside the Latest Series
When I completed Shadows of Siernod I knew I was nowhere near done with Fist La’brau. I knew there were plenty more tales to be told in spite of the ending. In looking back on that series, I was free to write any kind of story I wanted. I have a strong attraction to writing fantasy because of the countless possibilities in the genre. It is one place you can write without anything but the most basic rules of writing. My imagination in my only limitation. With fantasy in hand, I embark into a set of sub genres toying with heroic fantasy blended with a style that has come to be known as sword and sorcery.
Shadows of Siernod did not start out with an overall plot in mind. In fact, the first novelette I wrote ended up being the second book in the series. That was “The World’s Rim”. Rim was an adventure tale with a little swordplay that was conceived in my mind to illustrate the existence of a flat earth with a defined boundary but it also contained a mystery plot mechanic that I have wanted to do for a long time. “The World’s Rim” is my shortest work in the series but it is also the most unusual. It stands out in such a way that it doesn’t seem to fit into any of the story lines but it is also one of my page turning fan favorites.
When I began piecing together Shadows of Siernod, I felt that the Anvil of Discord did a better job of introducing readers to Fist La’brau and the world he lived in. For that reason alone, I chose to make it volume one. I knew that when I published these works together that it was important for fans to have the correct picture of Fist and the realm of Siernod, at least as much as could be introduced in one novelette. The third story, “The Sewers of Thuron” was written as another stand alone story but before I got to the end I decided that the plot element needed to be continued and by doing so it would give Fist a primary villain to focus upon through a few more stories. From that point, I knew that readers might be a little thrown off but I planned to include all five stories in a single volume eventually anyway. That was when I focused on bringing much of the beginning of the saga full circle and link it to the ending in a way readers might not expect. In doing so, I created a very dramatic ending to a heroic adventure.
When I concluded the series I knew the next series was going to be pretty good. I jumped right on it and decided to start out with Fist not being what people might expect. The ending to Shadows of Siernod had a profound effect on the hero and gave him a new conflict to deal with. Being the strong person he was both physically and mentally, it only takes him a couple of stories to get things under control but he will always have some demons to deal with. “The Legend’s Ebb”, volume one of Flames of Palamarr primarily deals with the transition of a hero who has fallen as far as one could fall. He cares not for what he has become because life seems so vain. Once a subject of many bard tales, now his legend ebbs to the point of nonexistence. Yet a series of events goads Fist back to a frail version of himself to exact vengeance upon an evil warlord and then a ghost from his past comes calling for him.
So Flames of Palamarr is born and as the series of adventures come and go, they serve to reharden the hero to the mighty fighter he once was. Along the journey Fist and his new friend Lyrum find themselves lost in Limbo then thrust into a distant realm that has been charred by cataclysmic events kindled by the forces of Shadow. He learns that for some reason, the balance in the cosmos is shifting in Shadow’s favor effecting the influence of Light. Should Shadow continue to gain power, the whole of the cosmos could plunge into a dark abyss and devour humanity.
But for the moment, this is the least of Fist’s worries. He is more concerned with finding his way back to his beloved realm of Siernod and leave the dark rock of Sechdomayhn behind. As Fist and Lyrum search for a way home, they befriend a woman who becomes a master of the feathered friends. They also befriend a barbarian woman from the ground where most people perished or fled to the several sky cities that float a mile high in the air.
In one such sky city, Fist gets a little out of hand as the call of strong drink betrays him and he becomes imprisoned in the city’s dark dungeons where he learns he is to be confronted by something more powerful than a dozen men. Lyrum sinks to some morally questionable tactics to save his friend but it seems time is running out to remove the chains that binds Fist to his ill fate.
As heroes do, they find some way to succeed and I will not spill the beans on how this happens but it happens at a tragic cost, at least depending on how you view it. Sometimes success features a setback, sometimes it requires consequences. Whatever the price, with a jewel in hand needed to fuel powerful spells to conjure a gate, all they need to do is find someone who can perform the task. Aboard a bizarre floating ship that sails the skies, they embark upon a voyage to a mysterious city near the realm’s edge. What they hope to find is someone who can open a gate. The voyage is wrought with danger and mystery. What they might eventually find is the source of the unbalancing of the two forces in the cosmos, Light and Shadow.
So you might ask, “What is Palamarr?” Palamarr is a name for the cosmos that the realms of Mann exist in. The name is derived from the hub realm that is master to all other realms where the powers of Light and Shadow call home. It is there they exist in opposition to one another but separated in a way to keep balance in the cosmos. The question in this series is, where is the imbalancing act happening? Could the entire cosmos be collapsing or perhaps there is some rogue entity devouring light as it travels through the Sea of Limbo? Will our heroes find their way home? We will just have to wait and see what is going on as further stories unfold.
– by J.Wade Harrell,