Firstly thanks to
for the suggestion
So the experiment on Patchwork seems to be going along nicely. I’m pleased folk are enjoying the tale Anyhows this seems a good place to give everyone a sort of summary and a list of the characters.
Our world. Sometime in the future, an event has happened which has shaken the stability. The origins are lost in legends and three twisted volumes (NB: In-joke referencing to the three original books of The Nearly Not Quite Paladins project…. don’t buy em, all badly edited and put together, I may put them out on Kindle one day at a very low price…like free).
The Power: aka The Ethereal/Stommigheid/ Astatheia. Some are born with it, some work it through machines, others get stuck with it. In theory its use is banned. In practice the ban extends only to individuals and not Offices of State. Those of sober outlook know it is being used far too much and unwisely thus is in danger of releasing fel beings from the dread Fourth Realm (Our world is The First; The Second and Third are consigned to legend and don’t figure…. yet). Some folk wish to take advantage of this, others wish to stop it and the Ruling Classes….are clueless!! This book involves folks drawn into the situation; making it all up as they go along.
The Empire of The Grand Oaken Throne; aka The Oakhostian. A collection of Princedoms and city states in roughly…Europe, all owing allegiance to an emperor, who you are unlikely to meet hereabouts.
Custodians; Think of Inquisitors, only more hidebound in fussy pestering of communities, petty politics, administrations, complacency and not rocking the boat, sends its loose cannons who take the job too seriously as far away as possible from important locations. In constant bickering with the overall church The Ecclesiastes
LifeGuard: Obstinately the emperor’s bodyguard. Now a state within a state. A mix of conventional and ‘special’ forces & intelligence gathering. More concerned with stability than the specifics of who is emperor. Light handed and benevolent to most folk but ruthless to those deemed as Dangers. Local officers are expected to show initiative, unless orders come direct by Drygnest- The HQ. Some versed in use of the Astatheia (their official term) through various devices.
Jordisk: A mix of Adventurers, searchers for Knowledge, Opportunists, crooks, dreamers and skilled mechanics who use machines of many sorts to work with as they call it The Ethereal. Frowned upon by authorities and not the least bit organised. Also considered witches by ordinary folk. The less pretentious ones proudly call themselves Mechanicals
The Obsidian Council: The villains. Unified in one purpose to satisfy their ambitions by using grim forces (Fourth Realm & Anything else that comes to hand). Only recently becoming a serious threat.
There are three; these are young women who are caste together by circumstance and in two cases through forces they didn’t care to be associated with. Buffeted about they are trying to make the best of it, and in doing so are making impressions.
Deya Beritt: A medician (think medic) in the LifeGuard. Although hardworking, resolute, and compassionate to folk in distress, also grumbles, can be acerbic. Good at her job. Loyal to the LifeGuard. Gives as good as she gets with other soldiers (troopers)
Karlyn Nahtinee: An exile from the big (notorious) city of Elinid. Part thief, part arsonist, claims she can ‘smell’ out ‘whicheri. (Ethereal/ Stommigheid) Volatile; can be comic, also nasty, and violent. Thin and athletic. Very vague about her past and her motivations. Recruited by Custodian Meradat. Claims to do her best sniffing up the top of trees and appears to talk to insects.
Trelli: Orphaned as baby. No memory of parents. Diligent and well-valued servant at the house of a merchant. Wanted no more from life. Becomes inadvertently involved in the younger son’s Ethereal/Stommigheid experiments. Furious with him. Capable and organised in her own world. Now thrown off-balance.
Important Support Characters
These are folk who have relationships or encounters and thus affects and effects upon the three central characters.
Major Gellgrachen: Deya’s commander. Veteran. Generally composed and astute. Does not pretend to fully grasp the subtleties of The Astatheia. But has confidence and respect of his command.
Captain Dekyria: Lost part of leg in combat. Invalided. Threw himself into study of Astatheia, commands the Observation team (aka ‘Owls). Intelligent. Dependable. Sensitive over injury will not let Deya check on it. Wishes to get back into action.
Sergeant Erzns: Battle-hardened veteran. Commands Gellgrachen’s best file.
Custodian Meradat: Tall, imposing of grim and thunderous demeanour. Determined in his mission to remove the Stommigheid from the hands of people. Intolerant of the senior officials of both church and his own branch. Not cruel just fearsome. Experience has taught him astute judgement. Hence Karlyn Nahtinee.
Translator Pastoral Padragh ClnMyla: Intelligent, compassionate and canny priest of minor rank. Bit of a fixer. Long-time associate of Meradat. Both despair of each other but value their qualities.
Master Bleymore Lone seeker of knowledge. Terrified by recent observations of the Fourth Realm. Panicked flight. May well be the first act which precipitates the action in this book. Clever, but nervy. Needs constant reassurance.
Master Tymus (aka ‘Old Oily’). Think of the sort experienced plumber/mechanic/repairman, who turns up and shakes his head and makes sage pronouncements at the mess in front of him. An adept ‘mecahnical’ Works for one of the villains (Silc), not because Tymus is villainous himself; it’s just that the man pays well and is also from Elinid.
Migran Hendrechan: Enthusiastic dabbler and dreamer. Younger son of the household Trelli works in. Good at maths and questionable accountancy. But feels he can do so much more with The Ethereal. Out of his depth, does not see it. Fond of and trusts Trelli.
The Villains (currently only the members of the Obsidian Council- but you never know)
Grand Duke Karutorm: Creates similar impression as Meradat by similar means, except he intends to rule rather than serve. Recent arrival to the council has to all intents seized it as a means to ensure his own native region of the North-East of the empire becomes autonomous. Cunning. Bold. Ruthless.
Master Fereal Silc: Crime lord of the city of Elinid. In a shaky alliance with Karutorm. Prefers to work in the shadows. Sanguine. Always with plan. Not to be crossed in ‘business’. Doesn’t believe much in the Fourth Realm; strictly means to an end stuff.
Belacheli (Mage): Hysteric. The only one of the council who actually believes the inhabitants of The Fourth Realm are gods. Has harnessed variable powers through tomes, charms, some chants and sacrifices. Not held in high regard, considered useful as a source of knowledge. Intends to bring ‘the gods’ to this realm.
Uraxch The Pioneer: Large fleshy man with an undeserved reputation in the more vapid parts of the upper echelons of young society as being a cultish ‘dangerous rebel’. Thus appropriates wealth and lustful gratifications. Knows a few Fourth Realm tricks. Deludes himself that he is not a charlatan. Useful to Karutorm & Silc as a source of information and influence amongst the Stupid & Wealthy.
Prince Merthyl: Nasty, sadistic. Youngest son of a very influential nobles at the imperial court. Commands the awe of equally unpleasant young men. Only in it for the pain and suffering he can cause on others which feeds an ambition to rise higher and cause more pain and suffering. Has a veneer of sophistication. Arrogance masking as confidence attained through a life of privilege. Considered useful by Karutorm as an instrument of instability and terror.
The Helmsman: A fellow with a skill at keeping the Council’s location at the point between the world and the Fourth Realm and so out of observation. Of dual identity, to the rest of Council he is a loyal, self-contained, cultured man. Silc knows him of old from Elinid and is his man on the inside; when with Silc he is nervy, subservient and lapses into elidian slang.
Others (so far)
Sinola Mietitore (you’ll meet him soon): Leader of a small very professional group of mercenaries in the pay of Silc. Specialities, kidnap & assassination. Their own folklore beliefs based on history have a profound and unforeseen influence on others’ plans.
Gervalons: An ancient cult which follows very austere, strict and near blasphemous beliefs. Currently quite mysterious and very secret. Generally used by everyone as the reason for anything going wrong. Handy for officialdom when some blunder leads to loss of life.
Occasionally references will be made by various folk to these characters out of previous books
Lady Green Vixen; Captain-Sister-to-Us-All– Invoked by the women of the LifeGuard referencing to Sherevine/Shayvene: A young woman who rose rapidly through the ranks of their predecessors The Chasserai- died heroically. It is believed she watches over the women of the LifeGuard.
Ven of The Numbers: Reputed to have come from Elinid. Thief and very gifted mechanical of low birth. Supposed to have mastered some of the most intricate problems and travelled many realms. Lover & Betrothed of Sherevine. Such records as there are suggest he left this world after her death.
(Others will appear from time-to time)
Hopes this all helps with a few unanswered questions and in forthcoming episodes.
For those new; below are a few links to start you off: