As any regular reader of this random spray of thoughts I call my blog already knows, I am working on a novel. I’ve been talking it up for a while, but I haven’t really talked about it much.
I went with the tentative title, "Omega Mage." That’s not quite right, since the character isn’t the last one (or is he? hell, I dunno) but I haven’t come up with anything better yet – so there sits the title, mocking me in it’s not-quite-rightness. I think my muse had something to do with that. (Muse: "Who, me?" Cue look of feigned innocence.)
Note: all of these names are subject to violent change.
The focus of my story is a middle-aged cobbler named Kail, who resides in a city called Ocrinost. Ocrinost is a ramshackle collection of stone and mortar buildings, surrounded by a high wall; beyond the wall lies a desert wasteland. Ocrinost is a two-tier society. The citizens of Ocrinost work, raise crops, and struggle to survive. The rulers of the city are the Warlocks – hooded magicians shrouded in mystery – and their enforcers, the soldier-like Magistrates. Magic is genetic and strictly regulated; unauthorized use is controlled through a use of detection and technology, with violators soundly punished. Authorized uses are subject to ruinous taxes, that some must pay simply to survive in a world of routine acid rains, where conventional locks are illegal, and a myriad of other troubles. It is commonly knowledge among the commoners that the world is dying, but those few who speak out about it are rounded up by the Magistrates, who always seems to be listening.
Kail’s own son was determined to have the magic in his blood and was torn away from his family when very young, and turned over to the Warlocks. Kail has never lost sight of that fact and schemes desperately to find his son and escape from the world as it breathes its last gasps.
Kail has found a way to circumvent the Warlocks’ restrictions. Thanks to some tutelage from his murderous father and a cache of hidden treasures, Kail is able to invoke the spells of the ancient race that occuiped the world before the rise of the Warlocks. He lives in constant fear and paranoia that his magic use might be sensed or uncovered. Worse, a new faction – the Guilds – has arisen in Ocrinost. Bullying and vicious, the Guilds force workers of alike stripe (cobblers, smiths, tailors, etc.) into their organization, working in large houses, with no privacy and little rest – and don’t take no for an answer. Kail’s window shrinks as the Guilds, Magistrates, and Warlocks seem to close in around him.
Then he finds his son – along with something else that he did not expect.
And suddenly, his personal quest becomes a small facet of a greater struggle – one that has further reaching implications than he ever dared imagine.
Does that sound good to you? I hope so.
(Muse: Less writing about the book, more actually writing the book.)
All right, all right….