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Category Archives: Forgotten Realms

The Brand is Growing…

The Brand is Growing…
I’m very excited to announce I’ve holding the first proof of Shade 2 in my hands! It’s pretty cool to be holding not one, but two Chronicles of Covent books in my hand. Sorry I haven’t been blogging much, but I’ve been tied up working Hurricane Sandy over the phone, so I’ve been quite busy working storm hours. I have been pouring over this proof copy in the evenings however and on my Kindle, which technically means I’m now onto proof 3.

If you can bear with me for one blog, I thought I’d make this blog more about Covent news rather than a terribly clever blog update. That said I’ve got a lot of exciting news and am developing a new strategy for next year that should see a better balance between blogging and the official ChroniclesofCovent.com web updates I promised last year. Although, I enjoyed the blogs I think they distracted me a bit from all the official CoC.com web updates I had originally planned. I think a massive content fantasy website could really walk hand in hand with our books and hasn’t been done before on a large scale.

That said I also believe in blogging. It’s a great way to have get clever, show off content, interview guests and get your name out there. I’ll still be doing blogs, however, I’ll probably stick with once a month so I can continue to pump out books and official ChroniclesofCovent.com web updates. Except far more official ChroniclesofCovent.com web updates next year including characters, races, creatures and more.


Updates! Updates! Updates!!!

We’re excited to announce that the first round of Shade 2 updates had gone live for Characters and Races on ChroniclesofCovent. We have added over 50 new characters and 10 new races to the website. Expect Shade 2 updates to Factions, Races and Places over the next few months. Please forgive a few typos. I’ve had to focus my late evening proofing sessions on the next book, which you can’t fix after it goes to print so website is priority 2. You will notice we had to move away from the fancy flip format pages on these pages. Sorry about that, but loading time was getting worse and worse with all the new entries, especially on Characters. However, going to simpler HTML will allow me to make far more updates myself without waiting forever on our web guy.

New Artwork!
You’ll also notice a lot of new artwork on the official homepage. Some artwork was made by our cover artist Thom Scott, but several other artists submitted Chronicles of Covent artwork to us as well. We realize that some of these art styles don’t totally mesh on the website, but we’re excited for the interest. By representing all of the different artist submissions we’re received is a great way to show off some of the excitement that is buzzing around our new brand and also help artists fond enough to support us to promote themselves. We welcome any other artists wishing to send us more art from our world. We are now listing artist credits in the description of each Character, Race, Faction, Creature or Place. Stay tuned! More artwork to come!!!

So When Is Shade 2 Coming Out?
Shade 2 is reaching its final stage in far more pristine condition than our original release of Shade 1. I’m hoping to release the softcover, PDF and Kindle edition next month, that’s December 2012! The iStore, Nook and Googlebooks versions will probably be available in January as it seems these vendors take twice as long to put the book on the virtual shelves. We are discontinuing hardcovers as this format has not been supported by sales. We are very excited about Shade 2 since our reader’s group has been saying it’s twice as good as the original. Shade 2 is also a bit longer than the original, clocking in over 200 pages. We can’t wait to get this new book in your hands!!!

Stay tuned for a far more active ChroniclesofCovent.com this coming year!!!

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Not Sold on the Wii U (Part 2 of 2, Yes I Kept it to 2)

Sorry blog-readers part two of this blog has been so long in coming. I’ve been immensely productive on our book series. I completed two full proofing runs of Shade II, seven more chapters of Elf Wars, three totally new chapters of the finished book one of Adventure Series and even six full chapters of the completely overhauled Triloriad. As result, the importance of my ranting on the Wii U felt small by comparison. That said, let me jump back on the whine wagon.

Ok, ok, onto my hardcore concerns…

The Big N Always Trying to Outdo the Big N
There is no doubt that Nintendo has some of the strongest video game franchises of all time and makes some of the best games in the world. I just don’t understand why they can’t just embrace a technology they made last generation and simply pour all their energies into making epic Mario, Zelda and Metroid in glorious high definition. I do not want to play another Zelda game without Skyword Sword motion control! I don’t care if link’s menu now appears on a little screen on my controller. I want to wave my sword around like Link!!!

Right now I feel like Nintendo is its own worst enemy. The Big N is infected with a major case of “out-do-itis”. Instead, of releasing a major epic Nintendo franchise at launch I feel like they’ve spent too much time trying to come up with the next revolution in gaming. The E3 coverage was highly disappointing because Nintendo didn’t unveil what everyone was really waiting for…a high definition Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda or another mega launch franchise. Instead, we get Nintendoland. Whoopie! I can now shake my blocky controller like a Japanese tourist with my grandma in high definition! Again, why am I not playing Mario or Zelda with traditional Wii controls in glorious high definition?

Of course, I will acknowledge that there is a time and place for motion control. Some Wii games got too gimmicking trying to incorporate actions that simply can’t be done naturally with a Wii controller. Like kicks or headstands or cartwheels or bellyflops, but the Classic controller, classic NES style among other control schemes provided a wide array of options. Right now Zombie U is one of the only Wii U games that looks like it has some good ideas on how to incorporate the Wii U controller. That said, my biggest turn off is that I’m going to have to aim this clunky Wii pad or an analog stick at the screen to shoot zombies. I’m a Japanese tourist again…say cheese, zombie!

Alas, I’m getting back to controls again. Sorry, I’m grabbing a hold of the blog wheel and steering toward my other Wii U concerns. There, back on track…

Lack of Third Party Support
My biggest fear is that Nintendo’s latest toy will distract Third Party Support from making some truly awesome high definition motion control or point and shoot games. Third Party Developers already shied away from the original Wii because as one of their toothy programmers put it, “Nintendo just took two Gamecubes and stuck them together with a roll of duck tape.”  Ok, so Wii U has some power under the hood. So developers can finally make some hi-def games, but the last thing I want them to do is to try to incorporate the new controller into everything just to please Miyamoto. Then if third party sales don’t come in because we tried to mold the game to the controller instead of the controller to the game, they’ll back off the Wii U entirely.
Third Party Support was such a glaring issue on Wii I don’t think I’ll be able to run out and buy a Wii U before I see how well they support the Wii. This puts me in a one to two year post launch window for even thinking about buying a Wii U. Pretty much all the groundbreaking third party games were made on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 because, and I cough, the Wii’s graphics sucked! Even though the Wii outsold both the PS3 and the 360, it was largely ignored by third parties.

Lack of Online
Another of my biggest complaints for the Wii was the HORRIBLE online experience. While the 360 was rocking a far more customer friendly Xbox Live, I was still stumbling around trying to enter Friend Codes. Worse, Wii didn’t even get a fraction of the online options available on other systems. Entire game expansions, free downloads and customization options GREATLY enhanced many of the game releases on other systems. People were playing and replaying the games they loved through new downloadable content and I was still trying to type in that pesky friend code!

I’d hate to admit it, but I am still a wrestling fan. Yes, I know it’s fake, but for some reason I am drawn to the flashy muscle-headed soap opera known as professional wrestling. Sometimes even more than watching wrestling, I enjoy a good highly customizable wrestling game where I can make my own feuds and have greats clash across impossible intergenerational lines. WWE on Wii not only had worse graphics, but it also ALWAYS left out a lot of content that was included on PS2 and 360 counterparts of the same game. It also had NO customization options outside what was included on the disc itself. It had no downloadable packs to download new wrestlers. It had no way to download other gamer’s CAWs (nerdy way to say player created wrestlers). It had no way to upload custom music so my Goldberg or NWO CAWs could actually come out to their real life theme music. Ugh!

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that I’m not going to run out and buy a Wii U like last time. I appreciate that the Wii controllers are still compatible with the Wii U, but I’m going to wait and see if programmers bother to still make games for the truly innovative motion control scheme. If Nintendo ignores the original Wii controls, I will ignore the Wii U. If third party Wii U sales fail because they spent too much time trying to make games for Nintendo’s latest gimmick, I will ignore the Wii U. If third parties cannot compete on Wii U due to Nintendo’s super franchises (I have play a thousand times), I will ignore the Wii U. If I cannot download packs or CAWs or upload custom music to my Wii U wrestling game, I will ignore the Wii U.

Nintendo, this lifelong Nintendo fan’s loyalty now rests in your hands, so try not to blow off your fat foot with that new clunky Wii controller…

To find out more about us check us out at the www.chroniclesofcovent.com. Next blog will be Covent centric and the entry after that will be an Author Interview with my special guest, Michael Patterson, the author of a killer new super-hero title called Freak.

You can check him out here for in the meanwhile…
http://www.amazon.com/Freak-Michael-Patterson/dp/1453666192/ref=sr_…

 

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Not Sold on the Wii U (Part 1 of 2, Maybe 3 Week Rant)

Kishrub & Zulbash on the Wii UI thought I’d take a break from our regular content that revolves around our insanely overblown fantasy world and talk about something off subject. As all of my friends know I’ve been a loyal Nintendo fan since the original console. I have been loyal to every Nintendo console owning every single system from the original NES to the Wii with the exception of the Gamecube. I have owned no other system but the Playstation 2 which I bought used post generation and an imported Japanese Turbo Duo back when I was into Japanese Anime. I got out of videos games for what I call the “Too Many Buttons” Generation, but I found the Wii to be so innovative in its simple and fresh approach to gameplay that Nintendo won me back to the fold.

Now don’t get me wrong. How can one go wrong with a High Definition Wii? I mean after all the Wii’s outdated graphics did not stop it from being wildly successful. Boy does Wii Sports look bad on any decent flat screen TV, but it was fun. The new high definition graphics should make these clumpy polygons a thing of the past and I’m sure Nintendo will deliver some of their franchises in jaw dropping 3D definition at last! Seeing a high definition 3D Mario or Zelda should be every Nintendo fan boy’s dream, so what am I complaining about?

I’ve been reviewing news presses, launch announcements and E3 coverage, but I find myself lacking any initial excitement over the new system. It’s not the graphics or the lack of a MAJOR Nintendo launch title that is putting me off. It’s just I don’t trust this blocky DSi turned controller Nintendo is touting around as the next major video game revolution.

Controls were exactly why I hesitated so long to buy any gaming system in the “Too Many Buttons” Generation. I remember trying Starfox at Walmart and walking away in disgust because the Gamecube controller just was a button too much for me. I fear that Nintendo’s next effort to redefine the industry is a break away from the ingeniously simple customizable Wii controls and a return to a caveman beating himself over the head with an awkward stone tablet.  Duuuuuuuh, how dis work?

I have other concerns, but let me get to them one at a time. Here goes. What’s wrong with the Wii U?

The Shape
Look at this thing! The shape feels all wrong to me. What is this a motion controlled brick? I could not think of a more awkward motion control device. I have a hard time wrapping my imagination around a brick. There were so many natural items the original Wii controller and nunchuck could create together. What am I supposed to do with this thing? Shaking in frustration. What is this an Etch-A-Sketch? Oops I shook the remote when I meant to push a button. Mario just jumped into a pit!

Let’s compare the new so called revolutionary Wii U controller to the original truly revolutionary Wii controller. Look at the sleek long design. It fits very naturally in one’s hand. Oh, I can imagine that shape as a sword or a bat or a tennis racket. Really, all I have to do is swing it like a sword or a handle? Brilliant! What’s this nunchuck thing do? Oh, wait I get it. I can run around with it. Or put up my fists and box. Feels good to throw punches. Goodbye “Too Many Buttons” Generation!

And on top of that it has point and shoot capability? Just point at the screen. Oh, like a gun? Yes, just like a gun. You mean I don’t have to sweep an awkward dual analog stick across the screen to shoot targets? No, you just point and shoot. BRILLIANT! Now I don’t need every first person shooter in the world, but let me tell you playing Metroid and Goldeneye on Wii caused me to NEVER, EVER want to play another first person shooter without Wii controls again.

But now we’re back to this. Mind you its’ not a Gamecube controller, but it’s a glorified DSi controller in disguise. I appreciate what Nintendo has done for the industry, but why do we need to reinvent the wheel every generation? Is there ever a time when Nintendo’s cutting edge efforts ever cut off their foot? This new peripheral is going to drag attention away from the control schemes I really like and go back to playing Gameboy with motion control one hay-wired.

It’s Not Simple

Duuuuuuuh, what we do with this thing? This pad makes me feel about as stupid as Kishrub and Zulbash. It makes me want to wrack my brain over it. Part of the initial appeal of the original Wii was that it was so simple. People just picked it up and used it. It made even casuals instant converts. Now Nintendo you want me to hand this thing to my grandma? Are you nuts?

I can just imagine the look on her face. The “what in tarnation” have you handed me look? I might as well hand her my multi-function TV, amp, VCR, DVD remote back from the 80s. Look grandma its motion control with dual screens. Grandma stop looking at the Wii U controller screen, you can’t see where you’re driving. No grandma don’t shake the controller, you’ll speed boost into a tree. Grandma please don’t stand on the controller. It’s not a Wii Fit board.

This doesn’t sound fun to me or her at all. I’ll feel like I’m telling her how to program the VCR all over again. It’s just not simple. I don’t think casuals are going to embrace this devise like they did the Wii because it feels far less natural, because it’s basically a big awkward object and I don’t think casuals are dying to see Wii Sports in high definition. That’s why Solitaire and Minesweeper have been popular for years. Casuals just want simple straight-forward games.

I have several more hardcore gamer reservations, but I’ll save those comments for next week. I’ve gone on this tirade long enough for one week. Stay tuned for Part 2, and maybe even Part 3, of my rant. I guess I’ve got a whole lot more bottled up inside…

If you’re wondering who we are. You can find out more about us here: http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/

 

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The Tribes of Men (Part 3 of 3)

Welcome back blog readers! I won’t waste time with an intro this week, but let’s jump right into part three of the Tribe of Men. A special thanks again to all these great artists for helping to bring our world to life. And now the exciting conclusion to the Tribes of Men…

13) Shamite [sham-ite]
Shamites are a tribe of flashy white men who are the shrewdest of traders. They adorn rich golden embroidered clothing, troves of jewelry and sprinkle their blonde hair with gold dust. Their faces are heavily pierced and hung with gold chains. Shamites are known and at times despised for their honey smooth speech and well oiled grins. Shamites have risen to the highest classes of Doljinaar due to their ability to amass wealth and control the economy.

Shamites struggled in the Age of Tribes. Although their civilization grew quickly, they had little in the way of defenses. They desired to trade with their hostile neighbors. So when Shamites heard of the united kingdom of men they welcomed Doljinaarian rule with open arms. Shamites have since wormed their way into every market in the Doljinaarian economy and given rise to the Merchant Guild. It is said that a boy can’t even buy a loaf of bread off a street corner without somehow slipping a coin into the guild’s back pocket.
14) Terramothian [tare-a-moth-e-an]
Terramothians are a large clan of hardy blonde humans who inhabit the Plains of Terramoth, which was named after them, but they lead simple hard-working lives as farmers, herdsmen and craftsmen. Terramothians treasure good honest hard work and despise greed and corruption. They prefer to trade in their old capital at Feltmore rather than deal with the corruption of other major metropolises. A good number of Terramothians have grown poor working off the land due to increasing aristocratic land grabs, leading them to despise the very rich, city folk and outsiders in general.

Terramothians worked the land in the Plains of Terramoth during the Age of Tribes. Their lives consisted of driving off hostile neighbors, which they succeeded in doing for centuries since their work ethic also made them durable warriors. The Terramothian were eventually conquered by the Buurghast Empire until they were liberated by the forces of Doljinaar. The Terramothians have lived peacefully under Doljinaarian rule ever since, but they still don’t care for city life.
15) Tulestine [tul-es-teen]
Tulestines, or “Tuls” for short, are a clan of hardened hill-men. They are masters of arms and some orders such as the Tulestine Monks even shun weapons for martial arts. Tulestines have long black hair they braid into topknots to display their battle prowess. The phrase, “Never tussle with a Tul’,” is muttered in countless taverns across Doljinaar. This Tul’ is not traditionally dressed, but he is featured in the Adventure Series as the deadliest Mage Hunter alive.

Tulestines warred amongst their own tribes in the early Age of Tribes. Some Tulestine camps bred raiders who preyed on other towns, but many Tulestines built defenses and warded off invaders. The Tulestines united against the Buurghast Empire in the late Age of Tribes. The Buurghast far outnumbered the Tulestine tribes and wiped out three-fourths of the tribe, but the victories came at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Buurghast troops. The last of the Tulestines were able to hold off at Tulus until eventually the Buurghast Empire fell to Doljinaar. Of course, Doljinaarian aide did not curry Tulestine favor, so even Doljinaar itself was forced to lose a devastating number of men in taking Tulus. Tulestine numbers have begun to recover under Doljinaarian rule.

16) Valsharen [val-shar-an]
The Valsharen, or Riverfolk, are a clan of humans who live off the lakes and rivers of Doljinaar. Valsharen are relatively peaceful, but they can spear a would-be thief some forty feet right off the shore. The Riverfolk have strange blue hair they string with beads. They live in complex river towns both ashore and on houseboats. Valsharen are skilled fisherman, boatmen and run a barrel-running service that ferries goods downriver.

The Valsharen were able to avoid conflicts by taking to the waters in the early Age of Tribes. However, as their populations grew they were forced to build on the shores of lakes and rivers. The Valsharen were conquered by the Buurghast Empire and oppressed for decades. The Riverfolk were later liberated by the forces of Doljinaar and they have been faithful citizens ever since.

17) Vespuvian [ves-poo-v-an]
Vespuvians are a clan of seafaring humans that are more at home at sea. They have only a handful of port cites on the coast, but an untold number of other cities in the Vespuviar Depths. Vespuvians have long black hair they typically wear tied back into a ponytail. They are loyal to Doljinaar so long as the kingdom continues to keep their ports secure and the seas open. They’re employed as explorers, deep sea fishermen, whalers, poachers and a growing number have adopted lives of piracy.

Vespuvians accepted Doljinaarian rule without resistance. Vespuvians never saw much value in land anyway and Doljinaarian military strength meant they no longer had to guard their ports. Vespuvians have fallen under criticism for founding unsanctioned cities on deep sea isles. Vespuvians are often resented by Haradrik due to the naval aid they offered Doljinaar in the Icefarer Wars, which brought the Haradrik under Doljinaarian rule.
18) Wickovan [wik-cov-an]
The Wickovan, or Witchmen, are a clan of humans whose ways are steeped in the Black Arts. The Wickovan sprinkle themselves with ash and used to practice their rituals in Fogrim Forest. Though, the Wickovan never openly fought Doljinaar, the kingdom outlawed many Wickovan practices that included human sacrifices. As result, the Wickovan have scattered all over the kingdom hidden away in secret societies that continue their practice the occult.

The Wickovan hid away in Fogrim Forest in the Age of Tribes. Most other nations left them alone, fearing the Wickovan would put a curse on their heads. Doljinaar nearly forgot about the Witchmen, until they were forced investigate the disappearance of many people and livestock in the towns surrounding Fogrim Forest. Authorities later discovered Wickovan were making sacrifices to an ancient evil that granted them powers that some say even rivaled the High Mage Order. Doljinaar forbade Wickovan practices and hunted down practicing Wickovan, but rumors persist that Doljinaar never fully succeeded in putting a stop to their black arts.

Get a preview of more human tribes and fantastic races here:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/races.html

New races will be revealed with every new book! Shade 2: Kingsblood updates coming soon!!!

 

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The Tribes of Men (Part 2 of 3)

Welcome back everyone! Here’s the second list of Covent’s lengthy tribes of men. We do not have art for every clan and some characters have broken a bid away from their cultures, but we’re very thankful for all the art we have blessed with thus far. Most authors don’t get to see their world come to life this early after release, so we are taking nothing for granted.

Let me start by throwing out a plug to the 2 new artists.

Last week we introduced Lona Kamakeeaina who made the Brigorian and the Mixed Blood concepts. This week we’re showing off his concept picture of a Grull, which made me laugh pretty hard the first time I laid eyes on it. Lona has been working on art for over 30 years and is currently attending the Art Institute.  His portfolio can be found here:
http://www.behance.net/lonaKamakeeaina
This week we are also introducing concept art from Néstor Cruz who is a Graphic Design Professor at Columbia College and worked as an art director and graphic artist for many years. He drew the slick Jinto concept designs below. He did a superb job of capturing our clan of circus performers turned coldhearted killers. His portfolio can be found here and he will be featured again next week.
http://nestorcruz.carbonmade.com/

And so, without further ado, the Tribes of Men continued…

7) Durnish [dur-nish]
Durnishmen are a tribe of sturdy, hard-working men.  Durnishmen have short cropped brown hair, tightly trimmed goatees and strange bronze pupils.  The Durnish take pride in all they do and are exceptional craftsmen and builders.  Much of Capital Doljinaar was built with Durnish stonework. Durnishmen are hard-workers and generally despise spongers and beggars.

The Durnish warred with the ancient Doljinn tribe over resources during the Age of Tribes. When the last male heir of Durnia died, High King Doljinn took the Durnian Queen to join the two peoples. The Durnish was the first tribe of men to join Doljinn’s dream of a united kingdom of men.  The hill lands of Old Durnia have been swallowed by the ever expanding captial of Doljinaar. Not a blade of grass remains, as it is all concrete, but the land is now known as the Durnian District of the capital.  The Durnish still call this district home and are very loyal to Doljinaar.

8) Eldorians [el-dor-e–ans]
Eldorians are known for being great thinkers and philosophers. Eldorian men shave their heads and wear wreaths over their shortly cut hair. Their primary passion is for learning and studying the natural world. They are the forefathers of modern thinking and scientific thought. They are valued for their keen minds and many have risen to the higher classes of Doljinaar. Eldorians are sometimes criticized for paganism and hold to a controversial view that the world rose from its own natural processes.

In early human history, when the tribes were violent and warmongering, the Eldorians lived in Stoneweaver’s Canyon. They were forced to constantly defend themselves from Brigorians and other aggressive tribes. Having, little desire of war, the Eldorians eventually retreated into the mountaintops of the Dragontooth Mountains. There they built a mountain peak cloud city called Cloudwithe. It become their city state and they booby trapped the mountain passes to stop raiders. As Doljinaar marched across the west, the Eldorians joined King Doljinn’s dream of a free world and they came under Doljinaar’s protection. Since then Cloudwithe has become a center of modern thinking and learning. Every Doljinn king spends time in Cloudwithe on the path to enlightenment.

9) Grull [grul]
Grulls are huge, hulking men with dirty black unkempt hair, yellow teeth, bad breath and foul body orders.  Grulls bathe so rarely that their hair mats with grease and clumps into dreadlocks.  Grulls are equally notorious for their rude manners and overly-intrusive personality that turns them into overgrown sponging vagabonds.  Some Grulls find employment as bodyguards, bouncers or other brute muscle.  Strangely, Grulls seem to be shrinking forcing them to find honest work.  A plague has broken out back in their old homelands which only spurs on their aimless wandering. See if you can find their lands on the super slick map: http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/map.html

Grulls fought against Doljinaar in the tribal histories. They were feared for their size, but the Doljinn commander quickly outsmarted the Grull chieftains. The Grulls have never rebelled against Doljinaar because they are too dumb to remember they have been conquered. The Grull above is a concept drawing from the Chronicles of Covent video game project. The artist imagined this Grull found a nice suit of armor and put it on his back. Of course, it may have a slight odor because he forgot to take the dead guy out of it. He seems to have let a nasty fungus start growing on his right arm and birds seem to have mistaken him for a big dumb rock.
10) Haradrik (ha-rad-drik)
The Haradrik are a tall, proud Viking-like clan of ice seafarers who stand nearly seven feet tall.  They have long curly blonde hair, long beards and tough skin that adapts well to the cold.  Haradrik live along the southern coasts and brave the arctic sea known as the Haraglace. The Haradrik were conquered by Doljinaar in a bloody conflict known as the Icefarer Wars. Haradrik have taken part in numerous rebellions over the centuries which Doljinaar has put down.

The Haradrik have always been disgruntled living under Doljinaarian rule. A small number of Haradrik, like Captain Aaagren shown in this picture, have grown to accept Doljinaarian life, but most yearn to strike out across the Haraglace to the southern arctic continent where they can build a country of their own. Every year thousands of Haradrian pilgrims sail the treacherous Haraglace in an effort to build settlements. None of them have ever returned…

11) Jinto [gin-toe]
More commonly known as Gypsies, these acrobatic human nomads have made a life of wild living and theatrics.  Gypsies travel in large caravans from town to town where they perform in festivals, fairs and circuses.  Jinto have strange green hair and are short of stature, but astound other races through all manner of acrobatic feats.  Most Jinto have no appetite for war, except for a growing number among their people who secretly despise the passive Jinotoan lifestyle.  Many have joined the ranks of the Shaltearan Brotherhood and are training to become the deadliest of assassins.

In the Age of Tribes, Gypsies did far less travel and hid in Fogrim Forest from raiders. They moved their tents and wagons constantly throughout the forest and were quite deadly in ambushing invaders. The Jinto gladly accepted Doljinaarian rule and their culture evolved into the nomadic circus culture from which most gypsies earn a living. These two Jinto sketches were drawn by Néstor Cruz, another artist doing concept work for the Chronicles of Covent video game project. Both of these Jinto have left the circus lifestyle. One is an accomplished thief and the other a deadly assassin.

12) Mayahoon Indian [may-a-whoon]
The Mayahoon Indians are a fairly dark skinned, dark haired tribe of indians who live in Mizzle Drizzle Forest.  They are great hunters and gatherers who live in the higher elevations of the forest in sea grass huts. They are skilled woodsmen and watermen.  Though the Mayahoon are tough, the dwindling forest, the unpredictability of flood tides and the reckless magic of Trites have caused their numbers to dwindle. Some scholars fear the ancient tribes lies on the brink of extinction.

The Mayahoon have lived a pretty isolated existence in Mizzle Drizzle Forest for centuries.  Most outsiders did not chance the dense rainforest until after the discovery of the vast array of resources that could be had there.  Mizzlewood, rubber, herbs, medicines, furs and other new resources are being discovered every day. Mayahoon used to be hostile to trespassers, but have started to trade with outsiders. Mayahoon find employment as scouts, trackers and guides in their forest home due to the increasing interest in their forest home.

For more great Covent races, don’t forget to explore our website here:
www.chroniclesofcovent.com

 

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The Tribes of Men (Part 1 of 3)

The Tribes of Men (Part 1 of 3)

Over the years we’ve grown into a fan of having distinct human nationalities in fantasy literature. David Eddings first captured our imagination back in the 80s with a brilliantly cultured Elfless/Dwarfless fantasy world. However, during Covent’s early inception we were unwilling to let go of the more fantastical races, given the range of abilities and story-telling possibilities these races created. Granted, pointy-eared, beastly and darker races will always have a place in our world, but we began to realize the importance of pulling humans away from the plain normal vanilla formulas of blacks, whites, blondes, brunettes and so forth. Let me tell you a bit more about what I mean.

I really respected the cultural, skin tone and hair color differences in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In Middle Earth a long blonde haired man is probably a Rider of Rohan or a dark-haired man is a soldier of Gondor fighting on the frontlines of Mordor. I would argue that Tolkien’s decision to embellish the histories of the human clans, gave each human nationality as much character as any of his more fantastical creatures such as Elves, Dwarves, Orcs or Ents. I believe Tolkien realized the importance of culture from the uniqueness of human nationalities and histories in the real world, which is what makes people so fascinating.

It was this kind of deep envisioning that inspired us to think as hard about humans as we did about any of our more fantastical races. This proved to only enhance our original vision of the size, scope and grandeur of mighty Doljinaar. Doljinaar is the united kingdom of men, its power unrivaled during the Age of Crowns. It is very much a Rome of our world and a melting pot for the light-skinned nations. Therefore, we often described the encountering of humans by other races as looking into a racial palette sprinkled with humans of every imaginable size, color and skin tone.

As result, Doljinaar has grown into a monstrously deep nation with as much politics and racial tensions as to be worthy of its comparison to the iconic Roman Empire. This is the first entry in a massive three part blog covering the Tribes of Men. I will cover only the Tribes of Men whom we have introduced in Shade One or will be introduced in Shade Two later this year. I will be showcasing artwork, not just from our illustrator Thom Scott, but some concept work made by other artists who are working on additional Chronicles of Covent projects.

And so without further ado Part One of the Tribes of Men:
1) Braznians [broz-nee-in]
Braznians, “Red Bloods” or “Bloodriders” as they were once feared all over the Plains of Terramoth were one a race of bloodthirsty raiders. Braznians are natural redheads with fiery thrill-seeking personalities. They have a reputation for laughing in the face of danger and for their reckless “Red Blood” behavior. Braznians thrived on pillaging cities in the early histories.

Their city state, Brazelhorn, eventually fell at the hands of Doljinaar. Although this defeat stung their pride, they quickly settled under Doljinaarian rule. They flocked to new battlefields and fresh hotbeds of danger where they continue to live short, reckless but adventure-filled lives. Their exodus from Brazelhorn was so complete that their city was abandoned to ruin.
2) Brigorians [bri-gore-e-an]
Brigorians are a rebellious clan of dark-haired, bearded and hairy barbarians. Brigorians dominated
Karus Forest for most of early human history. Primeval Brigorians emerged from the vast forest to raid towns and slip back into their home forest. They were feared for their brutality, for the razing and complete massacring of settlements and in many cases cannibalism. Doljinaar was forced to nearly wipe them out, putting down Brigorian women and children to what they thought was the last child, but Karus Forest proved too large. Small pockets of Brigorians survived.

Doljinaarian histories are stained with Brigorian uprisings, but as night mortals began to infiltrate Karus Forest over the centuries, Brigorians were forced to defend their own forests. Small waning tribes still inhabit Karus Forest, but increasing numbers of Brigorians have wandered out and become scoundrels in Doljinaar seeing at long last night mortals as the true enemy of mankind.

3) Derve [derve]
The Derves once ruled the great kingdom of Durjezstan, which now lies buried in the Great Waste. It is said that the city and its vast riches still lay lost under the ever blowing sands. Derves are light-brown skinned, similar to Arabs and are very noble and hardworking. They mourn the loss of their lost kingdom and live displaced lives as refugees in northern Doljinaar.

Most Derves have been forced into servitude due to their current low economic status, but some sects have built small societies who live in caves off the Great Waste. They find employment as scouts and treasure hunters in the Great Waste, but many Derves have given up all hope of ever returning to their ancestral homeland and have been forced to begrudgingly accept Doljinaarian life.

4) Doljinn [dole-jin] (mixed blood)
A mixed blood Doljinn is a fairly loose term in Doljinaar. It can be used to describe any human born of mixed nationality. A mixed blood does not have to be related to the original Doljinn tribe to be called Doljinn. Their skin, hair and eye color varies and even their size can range from tribe to tribe. In fact, mixed bloods are becoming so common a sight in Doljinaar that people have started to call them Doljinns. Other races believe that humans interbreed like horses.

Gordwin, the gruff war veteran owner of The Dragon’s Den Inn & Tavern in Jile is a mixed blood. If you asked him about his ancestry he would probably tell you he’s a cross between an Eldorian, a Grull and maybe a really drunk Durnishman because “ale is a lot thicker than blood” as he likes to say.

5) Doljinn [dole-jin] (pure blood)
Pureblooded Doljinns, or Purebloods for short, are becoming a rare sight in Doljinaar. The original dark-haired blue-eyed clan of men that united the human tribes is slowly being bred out of existence, though their dreams of a free world remain. High King Doljinn’s dream of a united kingdom of men spread from his clan to all men of the West and forged the glorious empire of Doljinaar.

The Doljinaarian bloodlines have grown so intermixed that merely being a Pureblood places them in the higher classes. Purebloods usually dedicate themselves to politics or military service. They comprise the most powerful class in Capital Doljinaar, second only to the line of kings and at times the rich and meddlesome Shamites.

6) Doljinn [dole-jin] (thane)
The blood of Doljinaar’s royal line is considered the blood of the purist kind. It was believed that High King Doljinn was born a god incarnate due to the ethereal glowing white eyes which has become the mark of the royal line. Doljinn was given the name of his tribe, the Doljinns, at birth when they recognized he was no ordinary child. High King Doljinn went on to live an extraordinary life leading his people to a dream of a united world of men that put an end to the wars among the human tribes and forged the glorious empire of mighty Doljinaar.

People have come to call Doljinn’s line the Thanes. The Thanes also live up to a thousand years and are believed to ascend into godhood when they die. The Thanes have for the most part maintained their rule in Doljinaar for over several millennia. Thanedom has only been threatened one or two times by usurpers, but few non-Thanes ever sat on Doljinaar’s throne for long. The noteworthy kings and at times queens are worshiped as gods and goddesses and great monuments and temples have been erected in their honor. King Magnus is a Thane and the current reigning king of Doljinaar.

Get a preview of more human tribes and fantastic races here:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/races.html

New races will be revealed with every new book! Shade 2: Kingsblood updates coming soon!!!

 

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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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