Lore, Misc Posts

Pride Month 2022

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!


Captain Sen

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!

Ruuda Drybarrel

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.

Taliesin Ostoroth

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 Yolarin

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!


Lore, Thread of Souls

World Ocean Day – Bay of Nailo

We are all about the ocean and preserving it to keep animals and beaches safe and clean. With World Ocean Day on June 8, we’re celebrating by visiting the Bay of Nailo in Thread of Souls!

Bay of Nailo

The Bay of Nailo sits between the pristine and luxurious city of Ocealo and the wilderness of the Southern Kingdoms. It’s part of a major trade route that crosses the entirety of Corventos. Merchants who travel the Bay of Nailo make port at Ocealo to collect fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish before delivering them to other cities on their route.

Silvertongue Hollow rests near the banks of the water. It’s a city of thieves and anyone looking to avoid the law. Any merchants willing to travel up the channel only do so to make a deal with the rulers of the lawless and dark town.

The waters of the bay come from the Ice Cap Inlet way in the north of Corventos. They flow down from the elven capital of Eleste’si and split into the Iron River and the Amakiir River. The Amakiir flows through the small village of Vesper and onwards into the Bay of Nailo.

Life in the Bay

The bay is home to much aquatic life including colorful fish, turtles, crabs, jellyfish, and sharks. It’s even home to a guardian that protects Oceala from harm. The great turtle Majora. The behemoth creature guards the port and prevents anyone from entering unless they offer a great amount of tribute.

Jade’s other Home

Jade’s grandparents govern Ocealo and she will often visit them and explore the city. However, she isn’t fond of the ocean or the bay for one specific reason.

A beautiful gem sitting on the coast. Her family visited it often as she was growing up. She recalled days playing with her brother, Heron, in the shallows of the Bay of Nailo. But that was before she’d realized what could live in the water. Before she understood the great depths of the ocean could hold monstrosities larger than castles. Her grandparents had laughed at her fears and assured her the bay had always been safe. But experiences as children tended to stick with people, and Jade had never quite outgrown her fear of the ocean.

The adventuring party known as the Phantom Five travels in the Bay of Nailo in Thread of Souls Book II: Ash & Thunder.


Lore, Thread of Souls

Character Feature: Ruuda


This month’s character feature is Ruuda Drybarrel, the unblessed dual-wielding dark dwarf that is as pragmatic as she is passionate.

Ruuda was born as the last of twelve children to Clan Drybarrel. Growing up in the industrious city of Balum Guar, Ruuda was surrounded by a culture where worth is determined by productivity in a caste system. Young dark dwarves are taken to the temple of the Forge King to receive a blessing from their god. A priest or priestess will read the runes to determine what that blessing is. It may be woodworking, singing, serving as a soldier, or, as in the case of Clan Drybarrel, brewing beer.

Ruuda, however, found no such blessing. Despite being told she was blessed to do a certain task, she could never do it properly. As a century passed, Ruuda’s parents took her again and again to a priest to find out what her true blessing was. But with each one, she failed.

To escape the shame, Ruuda often took to wandering the outskirts of the city. There she found the gloom stalkers, mercenaries and rangers of the Deep Hollows, in their daily practice. Ruuda observed them and learned their skills, until the day she was spotted by lead gloom stalker Neir Shadowsnare. Impressed by what she had learned from merely observing, Neir took to training Ruuda on his own. But he had to do so in secret, for she was not blessed to be a gloom stalker.

While teaching her how to survive in the Deep Hollows, Ruuda and Neir came across two quag pups, wild animals of the underground. They were sick and had been lost from their pack, so the two decided to keep them. Neir’s quag grew up strong, but Ruuda’s did not survive. The loss of her companion broke her heart.

As Ruuda’s blessings continued to fail, her family accrued debt from her projects left unfinished or with poor quality. Debtors came to collect often, and there was worry that Ruuda would get taken away to be made compliant like other dark dwarves that failed at their blessing. So while on a trade trip to the dark elf city of Berenzia, Ruuda’s family gave her a barrel full of supplies and told her to leave and not return until she figured out what her true blessing was.

Left alone in the Deep Hollows, Ruuda wandered in depression and hopelessness. We meet her in Phantom Five trying to make friends with a pack of quags. Things do not go her way, and she is heavily wounded before being aided by a healer named Taliesin Ostoroth. Both runaways from their homes, the two find common ground to venture out onto the Surface to try and restore what was lost in their lives.

For Ruuda, however, there is one other task she wants to complete. She vows to find the god known as the Forge King, and take vengeance for her unblessing.


Lore

Character Feature: Wash


This month’s character feature is centered on Wash, the former soldier with a dry sense of humor, a strong loyalty to his companions, and grudge against the man who betrayed him.

Wash was born and raised in the coastal city of Sunspire, the City of Ensemble. Raised by a single mother, he knew only a bit about his father. And what he knew he kept closely secret. A traveler from another plane that spent one romantic night with his mother before moving on.

Growing up as an only child, in his adolescence Wash made close friends with a High Elf named Aust Mastralath. He and Aust joined Sunspire’s military together as Solchen guards. One day, however, while on a mission to close interplanar rifts, a sudden change went over Aust. He turned on Wash and attempted to kill him without warning. Wash survived the attack, and Aust vanished.

Disturbed by the events, Wash tried to find his friend and demand answers, but was unsuccessful. It wasn’t until years later that their paths crossed again. Wash was ripped from Sunspire by the magic of a summoning spell. He found himself locked in a circle with strange symbols and languages around it. He was joined by a large spider, fey in nature, summoned from a plane known as the Wilds. Standing before him was his former friend Aust. He had strange strange tattoos running up his forearms and he now wore a mask.

Aust was not in the mood to talk, seeming angry that Wash had appeared in the circle. He said Wash was not the one he intended to summon, and dismissed him back to Sunspire. But Was did not return alone. The strange fey spider was attached to him in spirit. A spider he named Shulva.

Life only got more chaotic for Wash after that day. Not only had he been indirectly involved in an interplanar summoning ritual, but an interplanar creature was attached to him. Magic such as that was illegal by laws of the powerful Citadel, the center for arcane study, research, and regulation. The Citadel sent an Inquisitor by the name of Dorian Aster to hunt him down and bring him in for punishment.

Wash had no plans to allow that to happen. He went on the run. Years passed as he journeyed from one run-down town to another, staying out of sight of the ever-hunting mage Dorian.

When we first meet Wash in the Thread of Souls books, it is in book two, Ash & Thunder. Wash’s travels have taken him to Oceala. Due to its highly guarded nature, he hopes to stay out of the Citadel’s reach. And due to it being a pristine port city, he hopes to find answers about Aust Mastralath, and what happened to his former friend.


Lore

Map Exploration: The Geography of the Expanse


Here is our first map exploration post in what will be many more in the future! For this first one we are doing a deep dive into a location often traveled to in the books: the Expanse. This vast desert exists on the southernmost edge of the Korventine Empire, and it is the southwest corner of Corventos.

Made with Inkarnate.com

The History

The Expanse is famous across Corventos for being the stage for the Day of Sealing. The day in which Corventos was rid of dragons. This all happened around Soleia. While it is a legendary day in history, the king of Soleia has since disappeared, and the city has now fallen to ruin. The only operational city within the Expanse is the port city of Vonkai.

Features

The port city of Vonkai is a colorful and vibrant coastal home. Mostly Humans live there, but there are a variety of other races. About two days north are the ruins of Soleia. It is a road sometimes traveled by camel, and there is a small settlement of people that live around these ruins. To get to these ruins, travelers must cross the Golden Valleys sand dunes, as well as the general wasteland of the Expanse.

Further north past Soleia is the Gates of Remembrance, a site dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the Day of Sealing. Not far from that is the King’s Oasis, named for Vicrum Grodstrum, king over Soleia. That far east, it is the only comfort a traveler will find. If they venture even further east to Pirate’s Coast, they find themselves on the Bay of Thieves and dangerous waters, indeed.

If we look to the western side of the Expanse, there is a marker for the strange pyramid that Brother Zok ran past during the events of Ash & Thunder. Our heroes did not venture further west, for there are no settlements out there. The Celestial Mesas reach high into the blank blue sky, and the Badlands is not a friendly place for any well-meaning traveler or trader.

The Expanse is bordered on the north by the Black Reach Mountains, the place Jade was born and raised. The Millenium Sea borders the western coast, and it was that route that Sen sailed the Scarlet Maiden down during the voyage in Phantom Five.

In Summary

The Expanse is a harsh environment and not much exists within it since Soleia, the City of the Sun, is no more. But Vonkai is a popular port for merchants, and the people there are open and friendly. Only the bravest risk sailing deep into the Bay of Thieves, but otherwise the waters remain good for sea travel. It is a location our heroes traveled to in Phantom Five, seeking answers regarding High Priest Amon’s death. It was also journeyed to again in Ash & Thunder, following rumors of a storm that never moved. While it was not visited in Path of the Spiders, perhaps it will return again in future installments of Thread of Souls!


Lore

International Day of Forests – the Firelit Forest


Tomorrow is the International Day of Forests! To celebrate, we are featuring a key location in the Thread of Souls series, the Firelit Forest.

The Firelit Forest stretches from north to south of Corventos. It serves as the border between the Korventine Empire and the Eleste Lands. This massive expanse of trees is visible for miles. Its name came from the many fireflies that light it up at night.

This forest has been a staging ground for many storylines in the Thread of Souls books. In Ash & Thunder, the Phantom Five travel through the forest on their journey to the capital. They visit Jade’s Druid Circle as well as the hut her late Master Galen lived in. They also have a confrontation with the spellcaster Jenkins in the middle of a ritual.

In Path of the Spiders, Wash, Unolé, Taliesin, and Ruuda flee for safety within the trees while they are being hunted by Dorian Aster of the Citadel. The book ends in a showdown between Wash and Dorian.

Historically speaking, the Firelit Forest plays a role on the grand stage of Corventos. During An’Ock’s Age of Expansion they attempted to settle it, but were unsuccessful against nature. It was decided upon as the border between the Korventine Empire and the Eleste Lands during the War for the World, as well.

Do you have a favorite real-life or fictional forest? Share below!


Lore, Thread of Souls

The Blight Dragon – Insurgent God Lore Feature

The Blight Dragon, also known as Iosis, is one of the most chaotic gods in Thread of Souls. As the goddess of chaos, elements, and destruction, she demands fealty from her acolytes, having them devote themselves to her fully. She was once multiple dragons but a grievous wound from the Holy Dragon destroyed her dragon forms and split her essence. Her cultist found the remaining body parts and stitched them together to form the Stitched Wyrm.

Domains

The Blight Dragon is represented by three domains: chaos, elements, and destruction. Each represents an aspect of her and one that she commands from her cult.

Chaos

Chaos is represented by her animosity. The other gods are never quite sure what Iosis will do next. While her cult and followers work together to further her will, they often can be found arguing amongst one another. This tends to lead to infighting and splintering of cult leaders. She also spreads her chaos by tormenting those who stand against her. Promising them power or pleasure, she uses chaos to tear the person apart and drive those close to them away. Iosis takes much pleasure in both.

Elements

planes

She is associated with the elements as she was known to create them. When it came time for the gods to create the Material plane, the Blight Dragon branched off on her own to construct the elemental planes and the dragons that rule them. She is the reason the fire, water, air, and earth planes exist and why dragons first ruled the world of Thread of Souls.

Destruction

Her domain of destruction is enveloped by both of the others. The might and destructive force of the elements blended with chaos grants her and her cult immense power. They use the magical energy of the elements to form ice barriers, hurl fireballs, create hurricanes, and decimate the land to spread her dominion.


Check out more of Thread of Souls’ Insurgent and Protector god pantheon by reading our blog!

Help support us by buying our Thread of Souls book series here!

Lore

International Women’s Day Character Feature


For International Women’s Day, we are featuring female characters from the world of Thread of Souls, along with art drawn by co-author Ashley! It has always been important to us to bring a world to the table and the books that feels real, diverse, and with characters that have depth. This is a fun opportunity for us to showcase some of these fictional women.

Jade Moontide / Galanodel

Jade is a primary character in Thread of Souls and someone we have followed since the earliest chapters. She is a Druid, a lover of nature, a pragmatic realist, and an insightful observer. As a Wild Elf of 406 years of age, she is driven by her desire to protect her home city from destruction by a great red dragon.

Unolé

The Thread of Souls series opened up with a chapter from Unolé’s POV. This Half-Fiend grew up an orphan and lived on the streets with her little sister. After being taken in by the Shadow Guild, she made a living on theft contracts of valuable items. She is very urban, having lived in the empire’s capital city her whole life. She is materialistic and lying comes easily, but she also has a kind heart that protects her friends at all costs.

Ruuda Drybarrel

Ruuda is a Dark Dwarf that is considered a failure in her culture’s caste system. She never received a Blessing from her god, and so left her home to seek vengeance. She is a dual-wielding warrior as strong as she is fast and agile. When she left home, she was uncertain of herself and had low self-esteem. But across the first three books in the series, she has grown more confident with each monster she vanquishes and challenge she overcomes.

Jasita Yolarin

Jasita is a High Elf mage that currently works as a researcher for the prestigious Citadel. She has a talent for enchantment magic, and spends most of her evenings with a pile of nonfictional books. She is reserved and prefers to keep to herself and pursue her Citadel career. Keenly intelligent with a sharp memory, Jasita always keeps to the rules and takes no shortcuts.

Andraste Ostoroth

Andraste has aspirations of priestesshood, the highest leadership position in her home city Berenzia. Driven on by her mother in this ambition, she is heavily involved in politics. She is also a formidable demon summoner and spellcaster. She has dry humor and a cunning mind. While she can be quite amiable, her choice of career brings out the more ruthless side of her.

Viscera Dante

Viscera is a historical figure of legendary status. She led the strategy that rid Corventos of dragons and ushered in peace. She founded the Citadel and was instrumental in planar research and warding. Her descendent, Leliana Dante, currently leads the Citadel.

Elisi

Elisi, also known as the Grandmother, is the leader of the Shadow Guild. This underground criminal organization resides in the empire’s capital city. Elisi has weaved a web of contacts, favors, and blackmail, making her very feared and very respected.

Lizbeth

Lizbeth is an acolyte for the temple of the Holy Dragon. She reveres her mentors and graciously helps all those who enter the temple. She is soft-spoken and kind. Despite only being an adolescent, the temple’s High Priest sees a bright future ahead for her.

Maiathah Xanphia

High Priestess Maiathah Xanphia leads the city of Berenzia with an iron fist. Only the most foolish cross her, and she has left a trail of blood and death on her ascendency to power. Serving a malevolent goddess, Maiathah carries out her wishes to further the cult.

Quinn

Quinn is a Venator, an elite warrior that protects Citadel mages in the field. She wields a heavy greatsword and speaks little. In Path of the Spiders, we were introduced to Quinn helping to hunt down the fugitive Wash.


We hope you enjoyed this entry for International Women’s Day! Please share your favorite female fictional characters!


Lore

Character Feature: Unolé


This character feature for Thread of Souls is centered on Unolé, the stealthy rogue who loves her little sister, bags of gold, and adventure.

Unolé was raised in An’Ock, the capital city of the Korventine Empire. She grew up in an orphanage with her little sister, Unatchi. Both are Half-Fiends, a race that has a touch of the Hells within them. This presents itself as horns, a tail, sharp incisor teeth, and unusually colored eyes.

When Unolé aged out of the orphange, she and her little sister ended up on the streets. Due to their race, no one would take them in. They learned how to steal, how to deceive, and how to remain out of sight. One day, Unatchi tried to pickpocket a young man named Fade. Fade belonged to the Shadow Guild, an underground organization led by the ruthless and mysterious leader known as the Grandmother. Impressed with their skills, Fade vouched for them to join the Guild.

Unolé’s years in the Shadow Guild were spent learning how to fight, improving her stealth skills, and harnessing the innate magic her Hellish bloodline gave her. She took on multiple thieving and spying contracts for the Shadow Guild, earning a good reputation. But what was most important to her was a stable home for her little sister.

During the prologue of the Phantom Five book, we join Unolé and Unatchi on one such contract just outside of the city. But this contract turns deadly. Unatchi’s body drops, but Unolé can’t be sure if she is lifeless or unconscious before a giant creature swoops from the sky and steals the body away.

Unolé joins together with the wise and calm coatl named Teshuva to track down her sister. The two of them travel the planes, searching for this monster and for answers as to why her little sister was targeted. Unolé will not rest until she can bring her sister back home, and along the way she makes friendships, defeats monsters, and accumulates gold in hopes of one day leaving the Shadow Guild behind.


planes
Lore

The Known Planes – Lore Feature


The known Planes play an integral role in the Thread of Souls stories. From the in-between “white world” Teshuva and Unolé venture to, to the undeath-filled Gloomdwell of Path of the Spiders, there are many diverse locations to explore.

The history of Corventos is built heavily on interplanar fears. Ever since the Day of Sealing, when dragons were sealed away into other planes, planar travel has been deemed illegal. The Citadel closely guards its own research and discoveries about what else is out there beyond the Material Plane.

The Material Plane

This is the plane in which Corventos is. It is called such because of the mortals that live there, as well as the more material state of objects and beings. It was a thriving place for the gods before they left, and was a primary battleground for the Divine Wars.

The Hells

It is not known why the Hells is referred to in a plural sense. Perhaps this plane is unending, perhaps there are many versions of the Hells, or perhaps there are multiple circles of it. This plane is the prison to the deity known as the Hoofed King, although he considers it his home and thrives there. His creatures are the devils that live in the Hells. This plane was visited twice in the books so far. Once in Phantom Five, and once in Ash & Thunder. Devils take on a variety of forms, but any mortals venture into the Hells to make deals, or they are sold as slaves.

The Gloomdwell

The Gloomdwell was a starring location during the events of Path of the Spiders. This is the plane of undeath, where bodies rarely stay at rest. Lady Raven’s Sable Mausoleum is also located somewhere on this plane. The third book in the series saw Unolé, Wash, Ruuda, and Taliesin finding a way to escape the Gloomwell and return to the Material Plane.

planes

The Chasm

Deep within the wastelands of the Gloomdwell lies an entrance into another plane of existence: the Chasm. The home of demons. It is also the prison of the goddess Aranese. It is a terrible place filled with violence, torture, and the monstrous races of demons.

The Wilds

We know very little about the Wilds so far. We know it is a plane of fey creatures and rugged wilderness. During the Second Age the city of Eleste’si traveled back and forth between the Wilds and the Material Plane before the Citadel put a stop to it. In so doing, they trapped part of Eleste’si and its denizens forever within the Wilds.

The Elemental Planes

It is known that there are planes of pure elemental magic that exist, though they have not been visited in the books. These planes were created and refined by the Blight Dragon herself, turning them into chaos.

The Celestial Plane

This is the plane of most of the benevolent deities. While some are scattered across other planes, the majority of them live here. It is said to be a beautiful and peaceful place.

The Spirit Plane

This is more of an in-between rather than an actual plane of existence. It is a realm of passing spirits, ghosts, and those that are teleporting to a different location. Those that travel through it often see themselves in a foggy, unclear version of their own world.