As some of you may have noticed, is that my activity this month has been immensely quiet, and there are perfectly good reasons for this. Firstly, I have a job, and working full-time hours right now, going down to around 25 a week, because, and this is my second reason, my dissertation take priority. There may be a chance that I will be sharing my progress with that epic piece of work! Thirdly, what I have done so far since the book was last edited, is currently been edited after my girlfriend completely scrutinised it, I mean, ripped it apart. So, as well as those reasons, I’m having to find time for cycling, reading, writing, work, and Uni work (which is priority, I mean, lets face it, it is £27,000 and I would like to get a good mark in it). I will try and get some more posts next month when things have calmed down, since we’re short staffed at work (because Glastonbury festival, and people will illness, which is unfortunate (not Glasto, that can take a nice walk out of Somerset!))
Hold fast people!
Praevalidus, recognised as the centre of power in Pravum, the pinnacle of human creation and innovation. A place of magic, discipline, leadership, scholars, and the revered Tower of Imperium.
There is no question that the Tower of Imperium is the ugliest building in the Stronghold. It is a tessellated design of volcanic rock, which towers above the sea, but is merely a stump in comparison to the other buildings. White and grey stone spiral up from the base of the tower; bleak, stern, with no windows, no natural light to penetrate the stale air that fills the hall, it holds an atmosphere where there is no space for stupidity or petulance. The soldiers trained mimic the towers appearance. Respected, disciplined and stern. They are not to be disparaged. Each swears an allegiance to the realm and thus is anointed into the order of the Guards of Praevalidus, to protect and guard the city of any threat.
The top of the tower is split down the middle, with two columns rising above the high ceiling connected by diagonal conduits. One column grey, creating a shadowed effect, and odious in stature, a column that has no place in such a world, but resembles the characteristic that all guards are attuned to discipline. The walk to the chamber is done with a padlocked blind fold, concealing any light that may enter the eyes. Blinded by thick, black cloth, the soldier must find the safest passage through tared covered, burning pillars to the top of the column. There, he or she, must negotiate a path through a dense maze of thorny branches and wooden, polygonal objects, to find a chest filled with one item the soldier will forever possess; a Guard’s Ring. A ring that embodies the oath to the House and Legion, Fermata, which conscribes the soldier to fight in any circumstance. If the soldier revokes the oath, the hand on which the ring situates, is truncated when conscious. The test is renowned for being the hardest, most ruthful and life threatening ritual in Pravum.
The second column tests a soldier’s reluctance and exposure to hostility. At the top of the staircase is a white, vacant chamber. A group of eight recruits enters, and the chamber is filled with crawling and curious insects, which, if agitated, become hostile and venomous, if not, remain perfectly friendly. The riddled chamber disturbs and irritates the eight recruits, while wearing nothing but their undergarments. The group have to remain composed and relaxed for thirty minutes’ exposure. If any one of the eight cannot sustain their reluctance, the venomous insects become agitated, biting, stinging or infecting the recruits, leaving them to live the rest of their lives with terminal conditions or to die a slow and debilitating death. The Tower of Imperium is riddled with horrors and endeavour, but has never failed to receive recruits and produce the most illustrious soldiers in Pravum.
The Dythe Mountains are notorious for being the most dangerous lands in Pravum, and possibly Faraday, on-par with the Deep Woods. Immense mountains that pierced the sky, and continued through the clouds, topped with a constant cap of thick snow and ice. The dense caps have never melted, only grown, then shrunk, to then grown again. The smallest mountain scrapes the highest clouds, leaving a long, thin trail of crystal blue sky where the tip parts the cloud in two. The sides are almost vertical, with shear drops along the Ice Passage, that leads to the other side of Pravum. Thousands of men and women died when constructing the single road through the mountains. All falling thousands of metres to their death. Built into the tough granite sides of the mountain, it’s a constant battle of keeping the passage clear of snow, ice, and falling debris. The permanent granite stone made it an almost impossible task to build the passage, although, when the sky is clear, and the sun shines in the morning light, the quartz and rich ores imbedded in the mountains glisten in the rays, creating a mosaic of colours. Reds from the red granite mountains, blues from the black and blue granite mountains, purples and greens and hints of orange, shine and beam at different parts of the day, when the sun rays shine through the crystals, making a beautiful and mesmerising site, hiding the danger of the place. Within the chasms and ravines and steep valleys lie the Dythe Mountains hidden treasures. A wonder of caves, filled with rich and rare ores and diamonds, enough to reduce a dwarf to tears. The only issue is getting there. Unlike other mountains in Pravum and Integer, the Dythe Mountains create an impenetrable wall of rock. The only way to pass through the mountains is by going up. Within the caves live the Dythe bandits. A population of hardy folk that create havoc and dismay to those that travel through on the Ice Passage.
The city and stronghold of Praevalidus has many meanings and attributes and powers. Praevalidus is Latin for ‘great’, which is a profound understatement for what is found there and the family that are in-charge of the city and stronghold, the Fermatas. In the common tongue in Faraday, Praevalidus means three things. Prae is a word for peaceful, val is strong and great, dus is fearless. The Fermatas, known as the peaceful, the strong, and the fearless, were the first to tame the first dragons of Integer, almost four-hundred-years ago, before that, they rode the famous val stallions, a horse like no-other, and still do.
Only found in the Southern Reaches, in the Uyllisian Plains and the outskirts of the Lyntherian Forests, the val’s are acclimatised to the warm, hot weather of the south. The vals are equipped with huge, muscular legs, the largest measuring two metres, and a small streamlined body, making their galloping the quickest and swiftest in all of Pravum, but turning sharply at high-speeds is notoriously difficult for them to handle, due to the enormousness of their legs. They’re mostly noted for their small, subtle tail, made of coarse hairs, usually tangled and messy. Their manes are short, coarse and stubby, and not very comfortable to stroke when riding. All the vals are light in colour. The majority of them are light brown and dark yellow, however some, the most powerful and ferocious, are light grey. All the vals have black manes and tails. The grey vals were once rare in the Uyllisian Plains, but once, after many, many attempts to tame them, because of their aggressiveness and speed, the Fermatas and Praevalidus Guards finally tamed some, and made them abundant by careful breeding in Praevalidus. Only the grey vals are used by the high ranking officers of the Imperium and the Fermatan family.
Although aggressive and stern in nature, the vals are also extremely shy. The only times when their true nature emerges, like any other animal, is when their private space is invaded and feel that intruders are a threat to their young. They are extremely loyal and protective of their young, but since the Fermatas and Imperium Guards started breeding them, have become very loyal and protective of their owners. The vals dwarf every other type of horse and stallion in Pravum, making them very intimidating to any other animal, or person. Their weakness, however, is the cold. Since they’re only found in the Southern Reaches, the cold is the vals biggest threat, since they cannot cope with very cold conditions. When travelling to the Central and Northern Reaches in Pravum, the vals are equipped with thick heavy coats of sheepskin leather, creating a protective overcoat for their travelling. This does, however, have a major disadvantage in battle, since the additional weight means less speed, and the bulkiness of the coat making them less agile, although they still outmatch any other horse in Pravum.
So lately, after continuing reading ‘Game of Thrones’ and writing ‘Right of Legions’, I think it’s time to start spicing things up a bit on here! So, commencing Friday (or tomorrow) I will be posting large updates/status’ explaining some of the beliefs and legends of Faraday, just to give a bit more context, and depth, to generate some more interest. So, stay tuned, stuff is about to get wild!
Also, another mention about the giveaway.
There is evidence of when I used to be very good at drawing, but I’m talking about drawings that are quite old (we’re going back to late primary/early secondary school here). This is one of the things that’s slightly annoying about writing a book, is drawings and covers, the little things. So, being artistically inept in that sort of sense means that I have to use more of my imagination to try and use the materials available to create pieces of artwork that fit the book. Thank you clipart! A lot of you maybe thinking right now, ‘what a fake!’, but seriously, trust me on this one! Because I’m quite good at photoshop, I take what I can (stuff that can be moderated and used for commercial use, so I’m not breaking the law), and manipulate it into something better. For instance, the sigils/emblems I’ve been posting recently, the crown, and my book covers. I take what I can get, and make it better. Of course, it would be even more better if I could draw, but I can’t and don’t have the time to do it, unfortunately (and I’m not giving up cycling or my degree). In coordination with this, I also use things like microsoft shapes in powerpoint to make sigils/embems, so kind of drawing.
When I release my book cover for ‘Blood of the Sea’, you’ll understand what I mean further, because that cover (in my opinion) is something else! And yes, I used things that can be used commercially, and yes, I did use photoshop…but that brilliant program also helped me create the ‘Right of Legions’ title logo. And that turned out okay right?
Also, reminder about the competition giveaway! 100 followers people, I really want to make some shirts, and in your own ‘Right of Legions’ design too!
So, I’m back in the flow of writing right now, and writing about a long journey from the Southern to the Central Reaches of Pravum, of course, there is a lot of description. But, I especially liked this one, for reasons I can’t explain, so, I’ll post it up here to see what everyone thinks! Enjoy!
Once the cavalcade had cleared the moors, they then entered the Lyntherian Forests. It took an entire day to clear the densely packed maze of oak, spruce and birch and pine trees, whose branches had become so entangled, it was almost a small replica of the Deep Woods in Integer. The forests, although scary, dark, and intimidating, offered comfort to those that respected nature and her beauty. Common people would look at the forests in two ways. One sending frightening and chilling vibes through one’s spine, the second, offering comfort and safety amongst the branches and leaves, mostly the great salix trees, that towered above all the others. Whose thin smooth, white branches hung from the top, and falling all the way to the ground, creating a circular wall around the trunk. The circular wall of branches made by the great salix is used by many animals for mating, and raising new-borns, particularly the dragons of the Southern Reaches. Quite often, the Guardian’s would find their dragons sleeping under the safety of the great salix, their massive bodies curled around the trunk. Within the centre, in the small space between the dragon and the trunk, would be the young, new-born dragons. Their eyelids protecting them from the sun’s intensity.