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Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Who’s Who on Shade 2: Part Two

Welcome back to the second part of the skinny on Shade 2.  This week we’ll dissect more of Shade’s allies and more importantly his enemies such as his arch nemesis in Shade 2: Kingsblood.

Here we have a mass scale assassination attempt painted in glorious display which includes two distinct and powerful factions of Covent. In the blue trunks, weighing in at 2,000,000,000 combined pounds we have the forces of mighty Doljinaar!  Ok, so maybe not all two billion pounds of the Doljinn war machine is represented in this picture or else it wouldn’t be much of a fight. The kingdom of Dolijnaar encompasses all of the western continent, so Doljinn guards are understandably spread across the empire.  This is but a tattered remnant of the guards present at the attempt on the king’s life.

It may be a small detail, but I was very excited at the representation of the Doljinnarian boys in blue painted in this picture. It’s far more inspiring to witness the guards’ noble desperate rally to save their king. They’re charging the enemy, they’re rushing to the king’s side and their infamous blue banner is blowing proudly in the wind. I couldn’t be happier. This portrait captures the true fighting heart of Doljinaar, the fighting spirit that conquered half the civilized world. It paints a stark contrast to the corrupt and lazy guards posted in Shade’s backwater outpost in Jile.  Ah here are those scoundrels, still passing around a bottle of brandy and warming themselves around the fire.

Good for nothing lazy Jile guards…sheesh!!!

And in the red corner, weighing in at a combined weight of 80,000 pounds is the Shaltearan Brotherhood! The Shaltearan Brotherhood is the largest and most powerful assassin’s guild in all Doljinaar. Known for its willingness to recruit anyone even women and children, the Shaltearan Brotherhood is widely feared for its ability to meld into everyday society. Shaltearan can strike from behind any face, even the most unsuspecting faces. They can be anyone, strike from anywhere…

The Shaltearan cloaked in red battle-gear in this picture are the Shaltearan elite! They live by a grisly code of murder called the Assassin’s Codex. For every kill they tattoo their flesh with another symbol.  For every one hundred symbols they ascend a rank in the guild. Under those red ninja-like uniforms are entire bodies covered in Shaltearan symbols. The Shaltearan Brotherhood employs a wide array of exotic weaponry, kill tactics and smoke screens. Shade has really stirred up a bloody hornet’s nest by attempting to foil a Shaltearan blood contract in Shade 2.

But we’re not done yet! Among the Shaltearan ranks lurks one assassin feared even by the head of the guild. His blades have become synonymous with death, his aura compared to a ghost. He is a young and ambitious assassin with his eyes set on taking Shade’s place at the top of the food chain. He has fashioned himself a set of weapons the world has never seen.
Introducing the world’s very first set of Hand Sickles! Shade’s opponent had these daggers custom crafted to resemble the shape of sickles and further enhance his growing deathly legend. Worse, he has mastered the use of these blades and become one of the most unorthodox killers in the world. And this is only the beginning of the list of his horrible talents…

Raithe is Shade’s worst nightmare. In addition to Raithe’s already imposing array of combat skills, he incorporates equally unorthodox magic into his attacks. Raithe is not called a ghost without good reason. He can float through the air, pass through solid walls, cause his body to dematerialize to avoid hits. Shade has never faced an opponent quite like Raithe…

My reader’s group is already saying that Shade’s duel with Raithe is the best back and forth duel we have ever written…

Shade 2: Kingsblood will be released late this year or early 2013.  Stay tuned:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/shade2.html

Or catch up on old reading!  Shade 1: Waiting Game is available now:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/shade.html

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The Who’s Who on Shade 2—Part One

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback on the cover of Shade 2: Kingsblood! We are very excited to be following up with the second installment of the Shade Series. Last week we simply pulled back the curtain and unveiled the cover. This week we thought we’d run a magnifying glass over the cover and give you the who’s who on Shade 2: Kingsblood.

We’ll start with the most out of place character on the cover: Jago.

Jago is a Dragol or a rat-man as they are sometimes called. Dragols are a cross-breed of unknown racial origins, just called rat-men for their humanoid appearance. Dragols are known for being one of Covent’s uglier races and have an insatiable appetite for garbage.  Hunted down for years, Dragols have proved to be extreme survivors and are slowly gaining a loose acceptance in Doljinaar.

Jago is from Jile, Shade’s town. He’s an orphan taken in by the kindhearted owner of The Pig’s Trough eat house in Jile.  He works as a dish boy, but has a mischievous streak for troublemaking and picking Starlilies from the Ice Marshes to sell to drug-dealers. Dragols are extremely agile and stealthy and his skills enable him to become an unwanted tagalong in Shade 2.

We were very happy with this concept picture, though we asked that the artist reshape the skull a bit to make it look more ratlike than catlike.  As you can see Thom Scott happily obliged.

Now we’ll move onto Aagren, captain of the Majesterium.
Aaagren is a Haradrik by blood, a clan of ice Vikings who live off the southern coasts of Doljinaar which lies on the shores of the arctic ocean known as the Haraglace. Haradrik are divided into two camps: Loyalists and Icefarers. Icefarers are known for rebellion and their stubborn wills in their efforts to sail south and colonize the frozen southern continent. They are trying to make a new country of their own, but most families don’t survive the harsh winters.  Loyalists have accepted life under Doljinaarian rule.  Aaagren is a Loyalist.

Aaagren is captain of the Majesterium, which is the royal guard of the king. He never leaves the king’s side.  Aaagren carries a two-handed battleaxe in one hand and a tower shield in the other. In this scene Aaagen has lost his axe, the wounded king leans on his shoulder and he waves his shield in a desperate last ditch effort to save the king.

Finally, let’s finish up with King Magnus…King Magnus is close to 1,000 years old. Unlike mere common humans, the eyes of the royal line of Doljinaar glow a solid white. The combination of their abnormally long lifespan and their ethereal gaze feed the perception that they are in fact gods in flesh. It is believed that the Doljinn kings ascend into godhood at death. The most memorable kings are worshiped as gods, as either a deity who stands for good or for evil, depending on the manner of their rule.

King Magnus has been a fair and wise king. He has had a long and hard rule. He has managed to keep a relative peace in Doljinaar, unlike many of the past Doljinn kings. He will be remembered well, but has been forced to spend much time on the battlefronts, stemming the tide of threats from entering the kingdom. His most controversial decision was the abolishment of magic, but there are many in Doljinaar who supported the bold decree. Doljinaarian history is filled with devastating magic wars that left entire towns leveled and left wounds upon the lands that have never fully healed. Magic is greatly feared.

Stay tuned for next week, when he dive into the other characters on the cover including the Shaltearan Brotherhood and Shade’s cocky nemesis in Shade 2: Kingsblood.

Need to get caught up on reading?  You can always start with Shade 1: Waiting Game:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/shade.html

 

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Shade 2 Book Cover Reveal…

Greetings blog readers! Sorry I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately. I’ve been traveling far and wide, but to make it up to you I’ve got some very exciting artwork to reveal. Our artist, Thom Scott, has been hard at work on the artwork for the cover to Shade 2: Kingsblood! Shade 2 reveals a cast of reoccurring characters both to the Shade Series and the larger Chronicles of Covent brand itself.

I’m very excited about the release of Shade 2, even more so than Shade 1 because the book takes our anti-hero to new levels of story-telling. Shade finally finds the trial he is looking for, but he is forced to play the unlikely role of hero. This allowed us to explore new dimensions of his character that just weren’t possible in Shade 1, which was aimed at merely establishing our cold confident killer.

And so without further ado, allow me to reveal the cover to Shade 2!

I won’t say too much this week about the story and its characters, but look for a more in depth blog next week that dives into far more detail. To whet your appetites, let me entice you with the book description and the FULL COLOR COVER WRAP down below that shows TWICE the scene!

Doljinaar.  City of Kings. A contract has been signed in the shadows of the great capital, soon to be sealed in the blood of kings. The Shaltearan Brotherhood moves to make good on this contract. It has unleashed its largest force of elite assassins in history.

Shade is sent to foil the assassination and waylay the conspirators behind the plot, but to do so he must venture deep into the bustling heart of Capital Doljinaar. A city the size of ten bustling metropolises walled together side by side. Thousands of eyes lurk at every corner, none trusting of Dark Elves.

Shade must take the deepest, darkest roads to reach the palace secretly and when he finally reaches the palace he must face off against the Shaltearan elite in an ultimate showdown. Among their number awaits a worthy adversary who has been dying to meet him. A ghost who moves silently among men…

 

Shade 2 will be out late this year or early next year (I told my loving wife I wouldn’t release our next book so close to Christmas again). Watch our website and the blog for more announcements and updates. We will be updating the Chronicles of Covent homepage with new artwork, new character, creatures and place reveals over the next 6 months. It’s going to be a very exciting time for the Chronicles of Covent!
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/shade2.html

Comments and feedback on the cover are welcome on the blog or by emailing me direct at jlficks@chroniclesofcovent.com.  We still have plenty of time to tweak the cover this time around, so any constructive feedback would be much appreciated!


 

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