Taliesin is this month’s character feature! A headstrong, passionate dark elf healer that cares deeply about others. His risk-taking and button-pushing approach to life creates plenty of conflict, but Taliesin never backs down in the face of injustice or threats.
Taliesin enjoys learning and reading. He is always up for a good time and a late night party. He hates the art of necromancy and has cultivated his skill in driving away undead and banishing ghosts. Religion surrounds his whole life and he wants to use it to guide and help others.
We first meet Taliesin inPhantom Five. His challenge of status in Berenzia has gotten him in trouble with the ruling priestesses. After recovering from eight months of punishment for his wild tongue, he has run away from home. He crosses paths with dark dwarf Ruuda, a fugitive in her own rights. Together, the two set out to explore a new land and find a new direction in both of their lives.
As readers will know, in book four of Thread of Souls our characters travel to the Citadel. In anticipation for the publication of the book on December 15th, we’d love to share some lore about this new location!
The Citadel is technically considered its own territory within Corventos. Its land stretches from the Arcane Fangs on the west, all the way to Viscera’s Bay on the east. While it is much smaller compared to other territories, it is incredibly powerful.
The mages of the Citadel practice cystalmancy. The draw upon the power of crystals such as quartz and amethyst to channel their magic. This makes their magic more of a science compared to clerics that draw their power from a divine source.
The Magister is the prime deity worshipped at the Citadel. Known also as Naboris, he is credited with giving mortals the knowledge of magic and is depicted holding a “spark” of magic.
The Citadel consists of three spires. The Dominicore Spire where decisions are made, the Inquisicore Spire dealing with research, and the Intellicore Spire for the university.
Viscera Dante founded the Citadel. Leadership after her has included Aviana Zebell a wild elf, Pava Dante who was Viscera’s daughter, Hallistair Dante who was Pava’s son, the dwarf Karduun Whitetree, and presently Leliana Dante herself.
We hope you enjoyed this sneak preview lore drop! Look for Thread of Souls: Asunderon December 15th!
We couldn’t let spooky month pass without a villainess character feature! Here we have the eight priestesses of Berenzia, leaders in its theocratical society. Consider this a sneak peek for characters that will be featured more and more in the coming Thread of Souls books. Happy October!
High Priestess Maiathah
Maiathah leads the entire city of Berenzia and is cunning, merciless, and dangerous.
Standing nearly seven feet tall, Kekilshon is the brute force of the priestesses.
With a perpetual bored expression, Jezmeri is a master of manipulating the minds of others.
Don’t let her big smile fool you. Marionette’s idea of fun often involves knives and pain.
The strategic mind behind Berenzian operations, Fraya is always calm and collected.
This necromancer employs legions of the dead to enforce her will.
She files her teeth to points because she enjoys biting her victims. That is enough said.
Hedonistic and with a large harem of men, Seantir is deadly with her whip in battle.
This month’s character feature is Sen, captain of the Scarlet Maiden! He is a fun-loving dragonborn as quick to a drink as he is to a brawl.
Sen is a dragonborn in his thirties always seeking adventure. He calls himself a pirate, though he mostly just steals from other pirates. He wields a giant two-headed axe and is a tank in battle, not brought down easily by his enemies. He worships the Tide Bringer, goddess of the sea.
We first meet Sen in Phantom Five in the small coastal town of Somberdale. He has won is 100th tavern pit fight in 100 days. Sen is good friends with paladin Brother Zok and the druid Jade that also live in the town. He loves his life and is not afraid of anything.
That all changes, however, through a series of strange occurrences in Somberdale. When Brother Zok’s mentor is murdered, Sen volunteers to sail his companions down the coast to the desert in search of answers.
What happens on that voyage changes Sen’s life forever.
Death, healing, and natural order. The dogma of Lady Raven, Goddess of Death in Thread of Souls. She is featured heavily in the Spider Octology, our eight-book fantasy series, and is one of the many included Protector gods in our world.
Often depicted as a dark hooded and winged figure. She guards those that pass on and is actively opposed to necromancy, murder, and the perversion of death. Her Deathwalkers are an order of warriors that fight against the necromantic arts.
This Bardic Inspiration focuses on her. We chose music tracks that invoke a sense of mystery, darkness, the unknown, and themes of life and death.
The Sea of Ghosts
As the Goddess of Death, she ferries souls after they pass. Souls that do not cling to any god are welcome to stay with her in her realm of the Sable Mausoleum. Sea of Ghosts is a reverential track that brings to mind lingering souls, whether trapped or free to explore.
Reverie of the Netchimen
A lighter more free-feeling track perfect for a cleric or worshipper of Lady Raven. The cycle of life and death is one everyone experiences and this is a great fit for exploring the traversal between one and the other.
Mists of Morthal
Mists of Morthal plays when visiting sacred or hallowed ground related to Lady Raven. Whether it’s a temple devoted to her or a cemetery honoring the dead. It ebbs and flows between dark and moody to harmonious and soothing.
A Cold Wind Blows from Atmora
Soothing strings and a choir bring to mind peaceful moments. Life and death can bring peace and while having the title of Goddess of Death sounds sinister, it’s one of respect and hope. She doesn’t seek to reap souls, but rather help them find solace in the afterlife.
You’d think we have a massive crush on Elder Scrolls Online, and you’d be right. Its soundtrack is vast and these are just a few examples of songs fit for Lady Raven, Goddess of Death.
Here is our Lady Raven playlist you can use for your game.
The character feature for August is Artemis Wolfsbane! A fiercely independent and stubbornly private ranger that adventures the wilderness with her wolf.
Artemis Wolfsbane is a half-elf in her early twenties that was born and raised in the Southern Kingdoms. She doesn’t talk about her past, merely saying that she is a fugitive of the wars that have plagued the South for centuries. An extremely adept fighter, her primary weapon is a bow and arrow.
We first meet Artemis in Phantom Five. She is thrust into a mission given by the strange spellcaster referred to as Jenkins. Afterward she joins up with Brother Zok, Jade, and others to aid them on their quests.
Artemis becomes an integral part of the group. As an archer, a ranger, and a survival expert she quickly has the others relying on her expertise. Known to cause shenanigans with her illusion hat, and for her appetite for desserts, Artemis seems easy-going on the outside.
But the others have noticed that she rises to anger when asked about the Southern Kingdoms. And they wonder what secrets she might be hiding.
This lore drop will feature a plague known as the Queen’s Revenge. This took place in An’Ock, the capital of the Korventine Empire, during the year 848 ADS.
The Queen that the plague is named after is Queen Olive Winslow. She was married to King Fletcher, who inherited the throne from his aunt. Their reign lasted thirty years. They were not well-liked by the populace. More concerned with parties and pleasures than caring for the common folk’s needs, they often left the city to escape the angry crowds.
After one of these trips, Queen Olive returned carrying a plague with her. She succumbed to it, as did many in the city due to her husband’s inability to implement measures of control. The common folk began to call the plague the “Queen’s Revenge”, because it was still killing people even after her death.
King Fletcher became more and more unpopular as the sickness raged on. Two years after the plague began, the year 850 ADS, was the last year of Fletcher’s life. A resistance group had formed to stop the abuse of power by the king. One of its members was a gnome-human woman by the name of Delilah Holloway. Wearing a plague mask, she snuck into the castle at night and slit King Fletcher’s throat. She turned herself in and was executed, but to the public she was a martyr and freedom fighter.
Things could have quickly fell apart in An’Ock after that. But Delilah and Fletcher had a son named Nicholson. He took power with his wife, Queen Camila. They got the plague under control and restored peace to the city. They were well-loved by the public, and continued on the Winslow line. Centuries later, the royal line recognized Delilah Holloway for stopping a horrible king, and a statue was built in her honor.
Happy International Beer Day one and all! It’s not for everyone but it is what Ruuda Drybarrel’s family bases their entire livelihood on. The dwarven clan built a brewery next to their house and spends hour after hour creating beer. Whether it’s an IPA, lager, stout, ale, root beer, or another concoction, they are dedicated to perfecting each and every bottle.
The clan of 14 was blessed by the deity Thruumdar to brew beer. Ruuda, however, was not so lucky. When it came time for her blessing, she failed at everything. She couldn’t seem to do anything right and her family said each bottle of beer she made turned out wrong.
She failed at the whole process. From milling grain, pulling yeast from fruit skins, lautering, properly boiling the brew, fermenting the brew, and creating kegs and glass bottles. Her parents said each brew was poor quality.
In Thread of Souls: Phantom Five, Ruuda is forced to leave her home as she’s earned a sizeable debt to other clans figuring out her blessing. She carries with her a keg on her back full of supplies and her homemade brew. Her family may not like it but she finds it drinkable. As do many others along her journey.
Taliesin said, “Ruuda, right now I could really use one of your beers.” “Really?” Ruuda gasped. She untied her barrel from her back and quickly rummaged through, pulling out a bottle.
At first she only grabbed two cups, but when Unolé and Wash held out their hands, she grabbed another two and sat them out. She poured the beer into each one and dispensed them.
Taliesin took a long drink and she watched him carefully. When he sat the cup down, she asked, “How is it?”
He grinned. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”
There’s a lot that goes into writing a novel. We researched how beer is made so we’d understand the process and could explain it in Thread of Souls. We both grew up not liking the drink and to this day it’s still not our favorite thing. However, it runs in the family.
Dorian’s father is a homebrewer so we know firsthand what it takes to brew a bottle. The smell is horrendous but the process can be enjoyable, especially to watch. There was one time the kitchen nearly burned down in the middle of brewing. From then on, father Ravenwood was forced to brew outside.
At home, the process was a one-man band. In Thread of Souls, it’s every Drybarrel on deck. Each clan member has a job to do and it’s all managed by Ruuda’s father Angrem and mother Sadiq.
So, the next time you grab a pint of beer or root beer. Give a cheer to the Drybarrel Clan. They’ll toast your success as well. Drink responsibly, friends!
This month’s character feature is the paladin Brother Zok. A brave and steadfast holy warrior whose quest for achievement often puts him at odds with his oath.
Zok was born in the coastal city of Sunspire. He grew up the son of a fisherman and lived a humble and happy life. It was not until he was older that his father told him the truth of his parentage. During the Fire Raids that plagued the region, his father remained in the capital city of Eleste’si and had an affair with the elven queen, Mirandril Galanodel.
Zok’s birth was kept a secret, as a half-elven offspring would only be seen as a threat to the throne. Zok’s father took his son back to Sunspire and was given a house and money by the queen to raise the boy.
In his early twenties, Zok set off on a quest not only to meet his mother, but also to achieve his dream of becoming a paladin to the Holy Dragon. The Holy Dragon is the god of honor, loyalty, and truth. Zok’s quest took him across the eastern half of Corventos all the way to Eleste’si, where he was able to get an audience with the queen herself. He hoped for a kind welcome to the city, but instead, he was rejected and turned away. The queen’s advisor, Therond, told Zok he never should have come.
While Zok did not get to bond with his mother, she did set up his entry to the Holy Dragon’s temple in Eleste’si. Despite the ideals of goodness and honor, Zok found only racism from the high elves within the temple. He did not stay long, and quickly left the city.
Hurt by his terrible experience in Eleste’si, Zok traveled south to the riverside village of Vesper. He defended a man that was being harassed by thugs and ended up being beaten himself. Wounded and unconscious, he was rescued by a wild elf druid by the name of Jade.
Zok thought that was the last he would see of his druidic rescuer until his journey took him to the western coast of Corventos and the village of Somberdale. He joined the Holy Dragon temple there under the title of Brother Zok and served as a paladin. To his surprise, he found Jade living there, as well. He made a home for himself in this beautiful place and made a friend in the boisterous dragonborn captain, Sen.
We first meet Brother Zok in Phantom Five attending one of Sen’s fighting matches. Zok is happy with his life in Somberdale, and is just starting to leave the pain of his past behind him. All that is shattered, however, when his beloved mentor, High Priest Amon, is murdered. Zok takes his friends on a quest to find the killer. Zok must learn to make peace within himself and accept who he is, or he will never become the paladin he always strived to be.
Happy Pride Month! As two authors that fall within LGBTQA+, we are passionate about supporting people and writing diverse and inclusive characters. Our real world is not “one size fits all”, and we enjoy reflecting that in our books with characters that have depth, different cultures, varying values, and unique ways of approaching life. To celebrate this year, we want to feature some characters showing their pride, as well!
Sen is everybody’s friend. Up for a good time, a long night drinking, and a bar brawl, his large size makes him intimidating. Looks can be deceiving, however, because Sen is fiercely loyal and unfailingly kind. Sen is a pirate that loves sailing on his ship, the Scarlet Maiden. Sen is pansexual, enjoying the company of any race and any gender. His longest lasting relationship was with a human woman named Miriam, but they have both gone their own ways. Since then, Sen has enjoyed casual hookups in his adventurous life.
We first meet Sen in Phantom Five, winning his 100th tavern-hosted fight in 100 nights in a row. Quite a way to introduce our easy going dragonborn!
The dual-wielding dark dwarf Ruuda is fast and strong in battle. She is down-to-earth and pragmatic, but that is well-balanced by her large heart and caring spirit, particularly when it comes to animals. She is a protector of animals and an advocate against their slaughter. Ruuda is demisexual, uninterested in sex unless she feels a deeply strong emotional bond with someone. Casual relationships do not intrigue her, as she commits her entire heart to all she does.
We first meet Ruuda in Phantom Five escaping the caste system she grew up in. Teaming up with the dark elf Taliesin, she adventures the Surface to find a new life and purpose.
Talkative, energetic, and rebellious, Taliesin’s endless curiosity gets him into trouble more often than not. He weathers it all with a grin and a shrug, though, seeing life as one grand adventure. While he faces the world with a smile, there is deep hurt in his past, having grown up in an oppressive cult. Taliesin is bisexual, uncaring if he is with a male or female because he values the quality of one’s soul above all.
We first meet Taliesin in Phantom Five, a runaway from his cult hoping to repair the broken pieces of his life. He finds an excellent adventuring companion in Ruuda!
Jasita is a dedicated researcher at the Citadel, a prestigious establishment of arcane discovery, education, and law. To Jasita, the world is all logical and can be easily analyzed through numbers, patterns, and facts. Archeology is her specialty, especially ancient elven history that has been lost to the ages. Jasita is asexual, preferring to focus on her research and career rather than relationships. Her encounters with sex were beneficial from an experience prospective, but nothing she is interested in having again.
We first meet Jasita at the end of Phantom Five, stationed at a checkpoint tower along the Amakiir River. Her first encounter with Taliesin and Ruuda intrigues her very much, and she sees them as highly beneficial to her research!