Authors know all about change. Characters grow and develop over the span of the story. Heroes rise from nobodies, villains are defeated, or have a change of heart. Books take you on a journey of discovery. In our quest, we discovered Thread of Souls, too was changing. That brings us to our big announcement.
Thread of Souls is evolving! The series has brand new covers for books one, two, and three. Gaze upon them in awestruck wonder below!
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.
You sit at a desk in a dimly lit classroom. The windows are covered by large tapestries depicting the various studies of the arcane: divination, protection, defense, potions, and the like. The smell of old tomes, incense, and ink fills the space.”
Suddenly, the tapestries snap open bringing harsh sunlight in the room. Other students shield their eyes at the change of scenery. A burst of magic erupts from the doorway and in strides the teacher. They wear a robe of pink with blue sigils and a matching pointed hat that hangs slightly askew. “Welcome to Magical Studies I, I am your professor. Turn to page 157 and we shall begin with how to summon a simple light spell.”
Magical academies, such as the Citadel in Thread of Souls, are all the rage in fantasy, right? As authors, we love sensory details but what does it sound like within an academy? Music is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. Imagine the above scene with the following tracks playing in the background.
Magical and mysterious is Eothas. It’s soft and soothing and is great for lore drops and providing details about locations, people, and items. At the Citadel, it’s a wonderful backdrop for sweeping shots detailing the school and its three spires of law, study, and research.
The Crystal’s Shimmer and the Wind’s Revelations is a mesmerizing track for showcasing wonderful magic. It’s light and full of wonder. A great backdrop for the crystalmancers of the Citadel as they learn and teach about the eight disciplines of magic.
How May I Serve You? is an eerie discordant track for untrusting moments. Magical academies are full of many interesting people and not all of them are to be trusted. Each and every person has their own agenda. The Citadel is home to powerful mages, without giving any spoilers, not all of them are as they seem.
Bonus Dragon Prince song. I See You pairs nicely with How May I Serve You?
Mages are scholarly and Cyrus, the Scholar fits nicely for a library.
Alabastra is for those moments when the students explore the restricted section. It’s way more fun to venture into an unauthorized zone. Forbidden is just an invitation for curious mages.
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 are drawing closer and closer to the publication date of Asunder, the fourth book in the Thread of Souls octology! Not long ago we shared an excerpt from the upcoming book. Since this week we sent the early book off to our ARC readers, we thought a wonderful way to celebrate would be to share another portion of Asunder! Enjoy !
“What is this?” the paladin asked.
“One of the Artifact Vaults,” she answered. “Your friends’ belongings have been stored here for the time being. I’ve been able to advocate on your behalf and ensure you can keep your armor. But that blade you carry is interplanar. It must be put here.”
Zok gasped, taking a few steps back. “My Sunsword? But . . . I need it.”
Vera regarded him for a long moment, her expression inscrutable. Then she slowly paced, her arms wrapped over one another. “Do you know the history of the sword you carry?”
“History? I found it in a demi-plane. It was created to slay vampires.”
“Did you know there have been a small handful of such weapons throughout known history?”
Zok hesitated. “ . . . No, I did not.”
“They’ve been known to be weapons of holy warriors,” Vera continued as she paced. Her steps echoed in the room around them. “Extremely powerful and used to take down only the most dangerous of foes. Wyrmrider Renna might be a name familiar to you.”
“A hero during the Age of Dragons.” He inclined his head. “She served the Holy Dragon and battled the Blight Dragon’s cultists. I heard of her in my studies at the temple.”
“Our records at the Citadel suggests she used one such weapon. A spear of sunlight to battle the darkness of the Blight Dragon.”
Zok glanced down at the ornate hilt of his sword that hung from his belt. “I am uncertain if what you are telling me is meant to make me want to part with my sword.”
Vera stopped her movement and stared up at him. “I am trying to impress on you the importance of what you carry. Just because you found one that had been transported to a demi-plane does not make it any less significant. We handle all such artifacts with respect and care at the Citadel. I expect you to show the same respect to your sword and not simply carry it for show around a town of civilians.”
“It is not for show. It is for self-defense.”
“You are in no danger here, you do not need your weapon.”
He shook his head adamantly. “I cannot give it up. It means a great deal to me.”
Vera’s tone was even and unyielding. “You are not giving it up. But until questions can be answered about where you obtained it, it must remain here. Your cooperation will go far in getting it returned to you.”
“On whose authority? Dorian Aster’s?”
“No. The Council of Nine.”
Zok paused, then asked, “Who is that?”
“The Council of Nine consists of each leader of the eight disciplines of the arcane. It also includes the Magistrate, leader of the entire Citadel. Currently, that is Leliana Dante. After the mages of the Inquisicore Spire get the answers needed about you and your friends, you all will be brought before the Council of Nine. There you will have a chance to tell your side of the story to the most powerful people of the Citadel, some of the most influential leaders in all of Corventos. A judgment will then be rendered.”
Zok felt like the room spun around him. The enormity of the situation weighed heavily. He felt so small compared to the mechanisms at work here. He couldn’t even win over the respect of his mother, queen of Eleste’si. How could he do so with these powerful mages?
And so, he surrendered his Sunsword.
Asunder will be published on December 15th via Amazon and other places books are sold at those store’s leisures. We can’t wait to share this exciting installment with all of you!
My word, it’s been a busy time here at Thread of Souls land. With injuries healing and colder weather upon us, we are here with our monthly update. It’s a doozy.
Book IV Asunder ARC Readers
The fourth book in our fantasy series, Asunder, is off to our ARC readers! It’s been a wonderful time editing the book and we are excited to get it into the hands of our adventuring party. While they are reading over Asunder, we are moving on to other matters such as marketing, trailers, and social media outreach.
Just because book IV Asunder is handed off to our ARC team doesn’t mean you can’t join! If you want to become a member of the Thread of Souls adventuring party (our ARC team and other fun collaborative projects) hit us up. Comment on this post or send us an email.
Check out that new updated map as well. Coming to an updated book in the not-too-distant future.
New Covers for Books I – III
We are in the process of updating the covers for Thread of Souls. We have seen the updated covers for books I and II, Phantom Five and Ash & Thunder. Holy smokes, our editor rolled a natural 20 for both of them. The cover for Path of the Spiders is coming along as well. We can’t wait to show you the finished covers for all four books.
Thread of Souls Music
We’ve mentioned before about working with a composer on music for TOS. So far we have heard 10 tracks for the first three books. Our composer sends them to us as soon as he’s finished and each one is a fantastic surprise. So, we are going to show off one of those for you.
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.
Hello! We’ve got our monthly news for the world of Thread of Souls. It is a very busy time of the year for us, so there is plenty to share!
Jade’s Alphabet of Animals
We still don’t have an exact date for when this lore-based humorous book will be released. It got pushed back due to injury, and now we find ourselves busy with Asunder’s release. We are still working hard on the lore within, as well as the art of the creatures featured, and will have a better idea of its release date after we finish editing Asunder. To hold you over, here is art of one of the creatures within, the mirecat!
Book IV: Asunder Release Date
Big news is that book IV is coming! It will be published on December 15th. We are in the final stages of editing, and it will be wrapped up by October 31st. We are sending early reading copies out on November 1st. There is still time if you want one of these advanced PDF’s, so feel free to reach out if you are interested. We are also working on a lot of fun promotional materials for Asunder that we are eager to share with you across November to give you a peek at what is to come!
Books I – III Updates
More book news! We are doing slight updates to books I, II, and III. We have hired an indie graphic designer to do new covers. We are also going to do slight changes to the interior. This includes a new map look, as well as some fun “lore expansions” for the first few books. As we hit the series’ mid-point, we felt it was necessary to give the earlier books a face lift, and we are really excited for what the futures hold for the rest of the octology.
We still haven’t watched the Dungeons & Dragons movie trailer, but are curious about it. What has us even more interested is the announcement of two prequel books ahead of the movie: The Druid’s Call and The Road to Neverwinter. Let’s talk about what we know and what we’d like to see from them.
The Road to Neverwinter is written by Jaleigh Johnson. Little is known about it but we can deduce it will take place in the city of Neverwinter, the Jewel of the North. As huge fans of the Neverwinter MMO, we’ve spent, I was going to say countless hours exploring the city, but it’s 361.5 hours, according to Steam. That’s more than 15 days.
Needless to say, we are looking forward to The Road to Neverwinter.
The Druid’s Call, from E.K. Johnston, also has a special place in our hearts for one important reason. Talia’s first D&D character was the druid Jade, a main character in our fantasy octology Thread of Souls.
The two books are exciting and they got us thinking. We’re sure they’re written like a typical story — choose a premise, characters, outline it, and write it — but we believe it be great if they were based on their own tabletop experience. Imagine if the characters in both books were played by actual people around a table like a D&D game.
The players all choose a character in the story and roleplay them and tell the story together. With A Druid’s Call following the main protagonist Doric, the actions and decisions her player makes shape the world and therefore the overall book.
The same be The Road to Neverwinter. While it’s unclear what the story is, the book must involve some of the characters from Honor Among Thieves. Our thoughts are on rogue Forge Fitzwilliam, as he is tied to the city.
However the books and movie are written, they’re sure to be thrilling. But as authors who turned our ongoing ttrpg campaign into fantasy books, it is definitely a fun way to write a series after playing it around a table with friends.
Clothing is an important factor in a story. You may not consciously think about the characters’ outfits while reading or watching, but they tell the story just the same. Shows and movies are easy-to-track outfits, while books or actual plays are more challenging. Keeping track of your character’s clothing is fun and should be part of the tale itself.
Clothing isn’t Optional
Talking about character outfits is just as important as talking about them. You don’t have to describe much or go into much detail. Something as simple as stating the character wears dark leather armor and carries a belt with multiple daggers on it, gets several points — pun intended — across.
This character relies on stealth and strikes quickly. This brings to mind they may be some sort of rogue. The dark armor suggests they prefer to stick to the shadows or be out at night.
You can use clothing to quickly describe a character without outright saying what their specialty is. Mages wear flowing robes, rangers wear leather or fur armor dyed the color of nature, and clerics or healers wear colored robes depicting their deity.
Plot, plot, plot. Location, location, location
Keep in mind the environments your characters visit. Once again, clothing description isn’t meant to take up a lot of words. You’re not in school anymore, you don’t need to hit a word count. What you need to worry about is the type of clothing. If your story takes place in a cold and snowy biome, make sure the characters wear thick outfits to keep them warm.
Vice versa, if they are at the beach for a relaxing day. Put them in clothing that says beach attire. Also, don’t forget about their weapons.
For the love of all things holy. Nothing drives us madder than when characters have their weapons with them all the time! Take them away from time to time. Give them moments to use random objects to fight with. A frying pan hits just as hard as a hammer. Another thing. Please, if they get locked in prison, have the guards take their armor and weapons. Throw in the trope of having a stealthy or rogue character thoroughly searched if you have to. It’s funny.
Major plot points require outfit changes, too. These can be anything from going from one environment to another and character growth. If a character is just starting out on their quest, their outfit should be tailored to their lifestyle. Perhaps they are a professor and only wear professional-looking attire. Then, once they get thrown into the fire as it were, they come out changed. No longer are they that clean professional instructor, but an adventurer who has seen some shit. Their new clothes should reflect this. Now, they wear business attire but it’s ripped or bedazzled with color.
Keep clothing in mind when you write. Outfits make great characters and really help describe your characters even more.