Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Notebook: Honorable Men

This is another installment in my Maric di Ascalon series, but is actually a revision of an earlier story I wrote last year, adapted for Maric and Sphaeren. The earlier draft was called "We are Knights". I'd like to see if people think this adaptation works.

"Blood in the Snow" by SadinaSaphrite on deviantART.

Honorable Men

by Blake Tan

The quiet fell among them like an ashen snow. Beneath the breathing, the clink of mail, and the crunching of the white-dusted grass, there was no other sound. Through the silence, Maric di Ascalon spoke, his voice joyless and grim.

“They are not here.”

Around him, the green-cloaked soldiers turned over the bodies of the dead. Most of their faces were ruined and rimed with frost, their bodies leaving pink spots in the gray-flecked snow. The corpses bore the badge of a chained bear on their coats, though whatever armor and weapons they bore had been looted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Impressions: Skyfall

Slick, sexy and stunning. All three words describe the most recent installment in the James Bond franchise. Daniel Craig reprises his role as Agent 007 in “Skyfall,” facing down death, destruction and the newest (and arguably best) villain since Goldfinger in Javier Bardem’s cyber-savvy terrorist, Silva.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sigils of the Royal Houses of the Northern Realms

As a fantasy writer, I have that unique problem of getting a bit lost in my own worlds. Sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be writing a narrative and get lost in the colorful histories that happen in the background. This post is a perfect example. The Maric di Ascalon stories take place in a medieval world, one ruled by kings and other high lords. The sigils of these powerful families have always been a subject that interested me.

A few hours ago, I found a program that let me fiddle with and create my own coats-of-arms for these dynasties. Below, for the curious, are the emblems of the royal houses of the Northern Realms, as well as brief explanations as to their symbolism.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Notebook: The Enchantress

I present yet another part of the Maric di Ascalon cycle. Chronologically, this takes place a few years after "The Swordmaster" and in collection will probably sit afterwards too. I'd also like to take a moment to point out that these are in no way final versions and a lot is subject to change. I'm just of the school of thought that perfection isn't everything; I want you, my dear reader, to enjoy the journey of writing these stories as much as I am.
Morgan Le Fay and the Lady of the Lake were both inspirations for this character.

The Enchantress

By Blake Tan

Cold winds encircled the restless band waiting by the edge of the vast lake, shivering despite the layers of wool and fur they wore. They were a ragged bunch, some still bearing the tattered badges of lords they had served or free companies they had fought for, but their eagerness was palpable, despite the supernatural chill that saturated the night air.

“Better be worth it, Quenton,” grumbled one of the mercenaries, shoving their prisoner onto his knees by the banks of the lake. “The bastard killed seven of ours before we could take him alive. Might’ve got more of us too, if not for Elgearne’s shot.”

The band’s leader, Quenton vyr Theiss, a broad-shouldered bear of an Ostian, gave the captive a solid smack on the back of the head. “He’ll be worth it; the king wants this whoreson alive. I reckon he’s in for a worse fate than a hanging or a beheading.”