The first Sebastion Locke story I ever wrote in audio drama format! Enjoy!
You can also download it here;
The first Sebastion Locke story I ever wrote in audio drama format! Enjoy!
You can also download it here;
I do apologize for not posting last week. I have been a little under the weather lately, and feeling a little overwhelmed with all thats going on in my life. I didn’t get a chance to do anything much this week either, but I thought I would add another page from the graphic novel. Like I said, I’m not posting it all. I think I’ve skipped a fe. Anyway, here it is. Hopefully, I’ll be back on track in the next few weeks.
You all know I have been working on making ‘There Shouldn’t Be Elves In Hammertown’ into a graphic novel, what you didn’t know was that I was also working on turning it into an audio book. I’ve actually done the recording and am adding sound effects and music before I upload it on the web. That being said, as I have been reviewing the sound files, I think I have decided to move bump it up a notch. In stead of just me doing the reading, I think I will do a theatrical production of it. I have voice actors to cover most of the main characters, but I’m still needing some ‘extras’. If any of you are interested, drop me a line at hvymtl_cowboy (@) hotmail.com. The story is still free for download at my smashwords page (www.smashwords.com/books/view/250640) if you want to review it. If no one steps up, I will still publish it as audio, but I would love some help from you all to make it a better production!
I have been working on the first full length ‘Alongrid’ story and I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to do any ‘other’ writing. So I thought I’d share an excerpt from what I have written. Just to set the scene, VanDarn and Locke are sneaking into the Waterworks. They are trying to avoid being seen to keep questions to a minimum. Our favorite gnomish brothers, Jim and Coop Tucker are distracting the security guards.
VanDarn pulled the car over on the side of the road with a hiss of vented steam. We were close to the guard shack, but we would walk the rest of the way to keep the guard from seeing our vehicle. If everything went as planned, the Tucker brothers would have their truck waiting for us.
“We need to hurry. They were only going to distract the guard for half an hour, and that started about ten minutes ago.” I said goodbye to Yon, and accompanied by VanDarn continued on foot down the road. VanDarn gripped my arm as I stumbled, keeping me from tumbling headlong down the embankment as we came in sight of the guard shack. The Tucker brother’s truck waited in the parking lot. It didn’t take us long to creep over and climb up in the back. We ha d just gotten settled down when I heard the two gnomes come out, their voices getting louder as they approached the truck.
“Really? What a beautiful ashtray? What was that?” Coop Tucker was saying.
“Shutup! He was headin’ outside to check on that noise he heard. I kept him from going ta look! Besides, I didn’t hear you coming up with anything better.” Jim Tucker’s voice was deeper than his brother’s, but they still sounded alike.
“I could’ve, but I was too busy trying to keep from laughing at you as you fawned all over that ashtray. Sheesh.”
The truck shifted as the two climbed in.
“We’re here. Just go.” I whispered just loud enough for the two of them to hear. I heard the engine gurgle as the steam from the boiler turned the drive train. The tough construction of the truck made it heavier than a civilian vehicle, so the drive system had to work harder to get all that weight moving. Weight that included an extra dwarf and a human.
“Guys! Guys!” I could hear an out of breath voice calling over the rattling of the engine. It was the guard from the guard shack. “Here.”
“What’s this?” I heard Jim say.
“Well, you liked that ashtray so much I thought I’d just give it to ya.”
“Ya really don’t have to.” I heard Coop stifling a laugh as best as he could.
“It’s no problem really. I got three or four more just like these at home. Real wood. Hand carved.”
“Thanks, Smiley. I don’t know what to say.” This brought another muffled giggle from Coop.
“Don’t mention it. I hope you enjoy it for a long time. You boys be careful now.”
“We will, and thanks again.” The engine cycled up and we started moving. As we pulled away, Coop let out an unrestrained guffaw.
“Here, have this ashtray! “ He chortled. “You don’t even smoke!”
There was a hollow thunk from the cab, and a groan from Coop. It took me a minute to figure out Jim must have hit his brother with his new wooden ashtray.
Alongrid, art, Author, detective, dwarves, elves, fantasy, gnomes, hammertown, hammertown. steam punk, legends, myths, noir, photoshop, pirates, prop pistol, props, sea faring, short stories, Steam punk, steampunk, stories
Okay folks, I usually reserve the blog for all things related to Sebastion or anything having to do with Alongrid in general. This week I am going to stray from that path for a little bit. This week I am going to ask for some help from those of you that read my blogs, my stories and what not. I have a very simple request of all of you all. I am going to post a link to my main web site, my Amazon author page, and my Deviant Art portfolio. If you have enjoyed any of my work, anything that I have shared through this blog or my facebook pages, please follow those links and just look around. You might even click on the ‘like’ button if you are feeling particularly helpful. You see, computers keep up with web traffic and those numbers help a budding author out. When you get high numbers it brings attention to your website. This is a good thing. So please, follow these links, ‘like’ my stuff, ‘share’ these links with your friends and ask them to do the same. Chances are, if you have been watching this blog it will be stuff that you are interested in anyway, and every click helps.
What would they look like? Believe it or not there were actually steam powered cars. Then along came the gasoline engines that ousted them before they managed to get a good following. But what if they had? What would they look like? That was one of my questions when I wrote them into my Hammertown stories, so I drew pictures of one. This is the closest I have come to the image I have in my head of them. Enjoy.
If any of you remember the short stories I was posting on here about Manfred Pennygigg and his faithful manservant, you will remember that we left them in dire straights, trying to come up with a defense against airborne attack from elven dragonriders. I finally managed to write the next scene. It is short. I think the term for it is ‘Flash-Fiction.’ Maybe, eventually I will gather them all up and include them in their own anthology. After all, what is steampunk without dirigibles? Now, witness the birth of a new age in the Dwarven Kingdom. Witness the birth of the age of flight!
Airborne At Last
“But it’s a success, Sir!” Malcom Kennison exclaimed. “You have actually built an airship! His majesty will give you a medal!”
“No, he won’t, Malcom.” Manfred Pennigig glared at his servant. How could the man be so daft! Oh, yes. He was a man, that’s how. “What good is an airship without anyone to fly it? I’ve been trying to find someone willing to fly the thing ever since we started building it, and I haven’t found a single gnome willing to even try. Apparently all but a handful of gnomes suffer from a severe fear of heights, and dwarves are just too heavy. As a result I need to find a crew that’s not scared, that weigh less than dwarves, and are smart enough to be trained in the operation of this thing. On top of all of that, the elves have managed to produce a squad of dragonriders. According to reports they will be using them in combat in less than a month. It’s impossible, I tell you! Impossible.”
“Oh, come now, sir. Not too long ago you were saying an airship was impossible!”
“Well…I sometimes amaze even myself, Malcom. It was nothing really. Any gnome with half a brain could have done it. Maybe I am a little quicker about such things, and maybe I have fewer failures than most…”
“Your humbleness never ceases to astound me, sir.”
“Perhaps I am a little too modest.” Manfred gazed at the boat that hung suspended from the canvas balloon, completely oblivious to the sarcasm that was practically dripping off of Malcom’s statement. The airship wasn’t exactly beautiful. In fact it looked like an oversized dinghy strapped to an extremely large, inflated bed sheet, but it was an actual flying ship. “It is quite the achievement, isn’t it?”
“Quite. You could always pilot it yourself.”
“That would be totally ridiculous. The King would never allow me to risk putting myself within reach of the enemy. My mind is much to valuable here. Besides, I’m afraid I suffer from the same illness as my brethren. Why do you think I hired you? It wasn’t your charm. It was so I would never have to use a stepstool again. Not only is it embarrassing, it’s…high.”
“That kind of leaves you with a problem. Doesn’t it, sir? Perhaps you can automate it somehow. Maybe build some kind of ‘Nixon-control’ unit for it.”
“Of all the ridiculous ideas I have ever heard…” Manfred began, and then stopped. Malcom may not have had many good ideas, but he wasn’t stupid. Manfred eyed Malcom through his bushy white eyebrows. A strange idea was settling in the back of his mind. He shook his head. No, that was just crazy. On the other hand, he had found and trained Malcom to be the perfect man-servant.
“I really don’t like the way you are ogling me, sir.”
Well, almost perfect, he thought. The fact of the matter was, he could be taught. And just looking at him, he probably only weighed a quarter of what a dwarf did. Human bones weren’t as dense, the muscle not as compacted, and Manfred suspected that their skulls was mostly filled with air, but they could be taught. Perhaps that idea wasn’t quite as crazy as he had first thought.
“Malcom, is it true that the best and truest shot come from your race?”
“I think so, sir. My brethren grew up on the sea. It takes a keen focus to be able to fire a weapon accurately while the ocean is swaying underneath you. Why?”
“I think I’ve found my crew.” Manfred circled his manservant, looking him up and down, as if searching for flaws.
“Oh, no you don’t! I am afraid I lack the marksmanship of my brethren. I do have some small skill in that area, but not enough to be one to crew this against dragonriders!”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Malcom. Only under the worst shortage of personnel would I ever dream of lending my own personal manservant to the military. Those buffoons couldn’t possibly utilize your abilities to their fullest. But we could find MEN to fly this ship. And from of the stories I’ve heard they are all probably crazy enough to fly it right down a dragon’s throat.”
Malcom started to protest, but realized that he knew more than a few humans that might actually do just that.
“You would have to offer them something worth the risk,” he said, instead.
“That is the King’s department. I just come up with the brilliant ideas. It’s up to him to bankroll it.”
Okay, we’ve touched on the major races of my steam punk world. Now I want to touch on the magic system. Keep in mind, I am a Christian writer and I try to write my heroes in such a way that they do not go against the teachings of the Bible. That being said, what is a fantasy story without magic? It says in the Bible to avoid magic. You might that kind of causes a problem for a fantasy writer such as me. Not really. What we call magic is not always the magic that we assume. In my stories, the gnomes and dwarves use what they call magic, but it is actually what we would call science. They use the special properties of minerals combined with their own ingenuity to cause magical effects. Their steam-generating boilers are ran by rocks that when brought in contact with one another create intense heat. They call this mineral magic. Humans have water and music as their ‘magic’. Mostly, it is just trade secrets. They train animals to respond to certain melodies in certain ways. When done correctly, it appears magical. But what about the elves and their magic? The elves are the only ones that use real magic in my stories. And once again you have to define magic. The elves use three different types. There is Ghavari, which is divine or soul magic, Keledrii, or blood and sacrificial magic, and Magrii, which is power derived from demons or evil deities. Of the three types, only the first one would be acceptable for a character holding to the values of the Bible to use. But in writing my stories and creating my heroes I also take into account the fallibility of natural creatures. Sometimes we use ‘bad tools’ to bring about acceptable results. So I try to reflect that in my characters. I am not condoning their actions, just trying to make the stories I create more believable. It is a flaw of the world and therefore a flaw that I try to keep in Alongrid. And that is pretty much the ‘magic’ system in Alongrid.
I have really been struggling with trying to find a schedule for this blog. I had originally planned to post here on Fridays, but that apparently isn’t going to happen. So I guess I’ll try posting here on Mondays, since that is the day I post on my other blog. Maybe that will help me keep things straight. Anyway, on with today’s lesson on Alongrid races. Today we study the Arakryll, the spider-people.
The Arakryll of Alongrid
The arakryll are warrior creatures that have the body of a man, but also have the characteristics of spiders. They stand on two legs and have two arms like a man, but that is where the resemblance ends. Their heads are bulbous and their jaws sport mandibles that open vertically instead of horizontally like most intelligent races in Alongrid. In addition to the two ‘human-like’ arms they have two sets of spider-like legs that sprout from their ribcage. These ‘legs’ are strong enough to support them and they use them as weapons when no other tool is handy. Their skin is thick and usually dark in colors to give them additional camouflage in the trees. They are simple, but not primitive. Intelligent, but not really complicated. They work off of a caste system similar to our feudal Japan, with its samurais as the peacekeepers and such. To their warriors, honor is life, although some work more for an appearance of honor than the actuality of it. Most of their weaponry is scavenged from those that they conquer, or made from bone because they live in the trees and have very limited application of fire.
Their cities (like I said) are built in the trees and made from the silk that the arakryll produce from a gland in their mouths. The city itself is constantly changing with the worker crews busily rearranging things as directed by the city architect. The streetsigns are woven right into the streets, and one only need to know what clan the city belongs to in order to read them. They are fierce in battle and usually will fight to the death rather than be captured. Their highly developed sense of honor seems to supercharge the spell-power of the elves, when they manage to capture one for sacrifice.
They live on a series of small islands affectionately referred to as ‘ The Islands of the Skull’. They were rumored to possess an ancient horn that had the power to control the monstrous Kraken, which they used to protect themselves from attack from seafaring enemies.
And that is today’s lesson on Alongrid. I would tell you what next week’s lesson will be, but at the moment I’m not sure myself. There is a plentiful amount to talk about, so I’m sure I’ll think of something.
You may assume the gnomes of Alongrid would be considered second class citizens simply because they live in the ‘Dwarves Kingdom’, but you would be wrong. The dwarves and the gnomes share a symbiotic relationship that works to the benefit of both races. The military and most of its facets are run by the dwarves, while intelligence gathering and scientific progress is covered by the gnomes. This is basically generalizing the roles of the two races, but there are always exceptions, and they are not treated with any difference because of their race. The jobs done by each of them is determined by their intelligence and aptitude for different skill-set. It’s not a foolproof system, but it works well enough most of them time. While the dwarves have a penchant for metallurgy and mining, gnomes are more involved in mineralogy and innovations. I will touch briefly on the magic system here. Just because the characters in the Alongrid stories refer to something as magic doesn’t make it ‘magic’ in the true sense of the word. Gnomes work with natural elements. Two different types of stone when brought together may have a reaction such as generating intense heat or even light. So their magic is not necessarily what we think of as magic. The gnomes study these relationships and use their properties in their inventions. This is what the gnomes and dwarves refer to as their magic. That is a thumbnail sketch of the gnomes of Alongrid. Next week, I will move on to the Humans and their roles.