Outcast Book 1 of the Exiled Triumvirate Book Blurb Forsaken; Lynian is abominati, a taboo union of two species. Taken from the floating cities of the Soldii she is sent to the monastic Order of Allemann and put in the care of Godhart Leland, a venerated templar. But Godhart has problems of his own, chosen as successor of the Order and the target of a political plot; he needs to survive long enough to make it north to Sanctuary with his charge. Abandoned; after being orphaned Hensel is taken in by the Order and dreams of becoming a scribe, but after a series of unfortunate events he finds himself far from home in a foreign land. Discovered by Malik, a sahr of the Eranshar with a checkered past, he is offered a chance to fulfill his thirst for knowledge, but only if he can overcome the curse that threatens to erase his existence. Rejected; Felix is the heir to a powerful family. Between his oppressive father, a plot to remove him from the line of succession, and Ravus, the assassin hired to protect him, he struggles against family, friends, and a life with little choice. This is the tale of the triumvirate; three children born to a world of malicious politics, dogmatic cultures, and tragic pasts. When magic meets the renaissance and people are just a means to an end, there is little room for compromise. Book Background Imagine the Renaissance had happened in the 8th century, humans aren’t the only intelligent species on the planet, and there are two moons instead of one; this is the world of Erd. Erd is geographically similar to the Earth of our time. To the west is a continent much like modern day America called Arca. This continent is a perpetual tundra of frozen ice and snow with many natural resources. The people that inhabit Arca are called the Lunaii. These people are fair skinned and haired with blue eyes and elongated ears. They are an aristocratic society which believes in slavery, and that their race is superior to all others. Lunaii often raid other kingdoms with their airships to harvest slaves for their ever growing cities. Below Arca are unexplored jungles inhabited by mysterious creatures and cultures (possible room for exploration within the narrative at a later date). At the centre of the world (relatively) is the Deutz Empire, an ever growing industrial and scientific powerhouse that is in the grip of a scientific revolution and on the verge of economic collapse. In order to finance his coffers the Emperor orders the religious organisations (such as the Order of Allemann) to be sacked and destroyed. In a panic many of the religious orders are fleeing the Empire to escape. North of the Deutz Empire is Roskya, a kingdom ruled by a tzar and his royal family. Roskya is much smaller than other human kingdoms but it stands as a bulwark against the beast men and other creatures that threaten the human kingdoms from the northern wastes. Roskyan people are hardy and barbaric compared to more cultured civilizations. South of the Deutz Empire is Eranshar and the Soldii (separated by a large inland sea). The Soldii inhabit large floating cities and keep to themselves… mostly. The Soldii believe themselves to be an elder race and don’t want to interfere with the other civilisations on Erd. Both Soldii and Lunaii are Alvii, a species who came to Erd from one of the orbiting moons, Fro, five millennia ago as the moon was becoming too unstable to inhabit. Every seven or so millennia Fro passes close enough to Erd so that both the celestial bodies’ atmospheres connect and make it possible to travel between them by airship (a machine that uses a special gravity defying rock from Fro to float). Unlike the Lunaii, Soldii are dark skinned, dark haired and have hazel to gold eyes. Alvii are generally weaker physically than humans with less dense bones, but are on average taller. Interesting physiological side note about Alvii, they have three genders, male, female, and inichubani. Alvii don’t have sex, the female will lay a small egg, and the male will spread his seed over it (from an organ inside his mouth). The egg will then sprout feelers that leech nutrients and genetic material from the inichubani that sits on it. Inichubani are always obese and have difficulty moving around. They have a revered status in society but hold no places of power. Alvii females have no breasts and males have no genitals, both genders also hold an equal social status. Lynian is the taboo result of using a human (or other species) incubating the egg. The Eranshar are a Middle Eastern inspired people who share similarities to the Ottomans and Arabic peoples. The Eranshar recently underwent a cultural revolution and have fully embraced science as their religion. Having close links to the Soldii they continually push the envelope of science and are one of the most advanced human civilisations on Erd. To the east is a mountainous region and beyond that the unexplored Far East. The Tehk mountain people are the only civilized society that lives in the region between the known world and the Far East. They are a collection of subterranean earth dwellers that have adapted to the darkest depths of a vast cave system and rarely come out, except at night. They have poor eyesight, squat bodies, and don’t like to associate with the outside world. Tehk have unrestricted access to precious minerals and ores, and are often sought after by diplomatic envoys of other nations. In the far north exist strange beast like creatures that live in societies and exhibit intelligence. One example is the Feros, a barbaric wolf like creature that is often twice as large as a normal man with half the intelligence. Feros live in packs and often raid Roskya for food and weapons. Many Feros are also addicted to a red powder which they use to work themselves into a frenzy before battle. The Feros believe the red powder connects them directly to their god, and that their god desires bloodshed and death. There are many other smaller nations and peoples throughout Erd. The axial tilt of Erd is less than Earth which means that there is less seasonal variance, with most places, like Roskya and Arca, remaining perpetually cold. Due to the twin moons there can be up to four tides a day, and on rare occasions there is a super tide which often wipes out coastal communities. Seafaring is considered very dangerous on Erd, and very few people live close to the sea. Technology is comparable to the 16-17th century in most human kingdoms, while the Alvii have technology that exceeds 21st century earth. Muskets, cannons, and pikes are the weapons of choice. Very little Alvii technology has made it into human hands and are impossible to reproduce or to power. Story Arcs/Synopsis Lynian and Godhart Lynian and Godhart’s story arc revolves around external conflict and uses elements of the quest and the journey. In Lynian’s case she deals with being unwanted and an outsider in a foreign land. In Godhart’s case he deals with the mantle of patriarch and outside forces trying to destroy the Order. Their story begins in the Altstadt Allemann monastery. After escaping a siege on the monastery they travel north in disguise with three other templars. In the forest one of the templars, Dieter, exhibits strange behavior (he is a pedophile) and tries to rape Lynian. Lynian escapes into the forest and meets a strange leopard who turns out to be the god Iacus, master of shadow and trickery. He offers her patronage in the form of worship and a contract. He says she is special and he needs to her to something for him. After Iacus disappears she is found again by Godhart (orchestrated by the god) and the templars, Dieter’s crime is still undiscovered. Just before they reach the sanctuary Dieter tries to rape Lynian again but is discovered by Godhart. In a fury Godhart almost kills Dieter when the group is attacked by Feros (beast like wolfmen). A bloody battle ensues but the Feros are too numerous to defeat. Dieter sacrifices himself to buy them time, and they escape to the Sanctuary of Allemann. In the Sanctuary Godhart is told the true reason he was sent with Lynian. He is told that the Order of Allemann was created to protect an ancient artifact until such time it was needed again. The problem is however that the artifact can only be used by someone of Alvii descent. In the final chapter Lynian is given the artifact with disastrous results. She turns into a demon and almost kills Godhart. Hensel and Malik Hensel and Malik’s story arc revolves around internal conflict. Hensel deals with his own identity and his dreams, where Malik fights old demons (within himself) and tries to find solace in helping outhers. Hensel is an initiate at the Alleman Monastery in Altstadt when he discovers a silver amulet, which he subsequently throws into a grove for fear of being accused of stealing (again). After being attacked after dark he wakes up in the body of a crow, in a puddle he sees his reflection and the amulet he had thrown away fused around his (crow) abdomen. After getting used to the crows body he meets an albino crow who befriends him. They pilfer food together until the albino crow is killed by black crows. Alone and lamenting his friend Hensel strays into an alley where he is eaten by a cat. Malik finds the cat aboard a merchant ship headed for the capital of Arca, Arcon. Recognizing the magic used by the amulet he is able to communicate with Hensel. Learning the boy’s (cat’s) story he agrees to take him on as an apprentice sahr (mage). Once reaching Arca, Malik searches for a replacement body for Hensel. He doesn’t want to use a living person because of the conflict it can create (having two consciousness in one body), so he searches clinics and hospitals for a vegetative person they can use. While Malik is out searching Hensel (in cat form) meets Felix (who is already in possession of one of the artifacts which he received at his coming of age ceremony) who can understand him and they quickly become friends. In the final chapter Malik is confronted by old enemies and Hensel’s consciousness is copied into the new body. Hensel (person) defeats the old enemies in his new body but is crippled. Hensel realizes he has two consciousnesses which can communicate with each other (one within the cat, one within the person) and questions whether he is truly still alive, or just a copy. Felix and Ravus Felix and Ravus’ story arc revolves around relation conflict. Felix is Lunaii and expected to treat slaves as slaves, but he believes the system is wrong. He is also issues with his father, who wants him to become head of the family and a mage. Ravus was once a great noble, but has lost prestige and his position in the family due to old circumstances; he also has a great desire to learn magic. He makes his living as an assassin. Felix’ coming of age ceremony is soon and his father wants to prepare him to take the mantle of family head, but Felix behavior is a concern to his oppressive father. Instead of treating slaves like salves, he treats them as friends and equals. This causes a lot of conflict between Felix and his father, as well as others of his kind. The family (Argentai) is not happy with Felix becoming head of the family and hatches a plot to assassinate him. Discovering the plot the father sends for Ravus, the most infamous assassin of the Lunaii, to protect his son. Ravus is not happy babysitting a soon to be mage and heir to a powerful family (all the things he once was or wants) and the relationship between Felix and Ravus is icy and volatile, Ravus embraces Lunaii culture and has trouble understanding Felix’ feelings about slavery. Just before the coming of age ceremony Felix’ is almost killed but is saved by Ravus. After the coming of age ceremony Felix meets Hensel in his cat form and is able to communicate with him (due to the linked artifacts power). They share their stories and quickly become friends before Malik calls Hensel away. Felix persuades Ravus to run away with him and in the final chapter and they escape Arca and head toward the Deutz Empire.