Friday, May 7, 2010


Oh man, I haven't posted to this thing in forever. Such is life in grad school I guess.

Anyway, I've been working a lot on my new backstory, and I think I finally have one that I feel really really good about. So, this is what will appear in the front of the book:

"If you are reading this, it means you have found my notebooks. Most likely, I am no longer of this world, or any world for that matter. These books are my research journals. They chronicle my discoveries, indeed our discoveries, along with the rise and downfall of Illeria. What happened on this island must never be forgotten.

Though I hardly believe it myself, ten short years ago. King Paris ruled Avon, there was peace, and all was right with the world. Back then magic was a purely esoteric subject. It was an art, just as music or history are arts. It was never of practical use. Why learn to make fire with your fingers, when a flint and tinder are easier to learn? King Paris hired us to be scholars of magic, because he so enjoyed learning, and because we entertained him.

His death left a power vacuum, and lead to a bloody war of succession. His youngest son, Balthazar, rose to power by being the meanest and scariest of the litter. Though the war took its toll on him. A near death from an assassin’s bullet left him with a profound sense of paranoia, and shaped many of his future policies. He began rounding up those that he mistrusted, and established forced labor camps to put them in. It should be no surprise that a small faction, still loyal to his dead brother Montano, soon rebelled.

The Battle of the Roses will forever be a day that changed the world. As Balthazar’s army closed in, a small regiment of men-at-arms came to stop them. Thinking the battle would not last an hour, Balthazar’s generals sent their forces in, only to discover that the men-at-arms were supported by a group of wizards. As arrows turned around to shoot their owners, horses became spooked and kicked off their masters, and bolts of energy spat from the ground, the armies of Balthazar became panicked and fled. Magic had officially left the ivory tower. This victory turned the entire tide of the war, and sealed our fate.

Before I knew what was happening, large men appeared at my door, tied me up, and placed a bag over my head. When it was removed, I found myself on the prison island of Illeria, surrounded by a dozen or so fellow wizards. A man with a large sword told us that King Balthazar now wanted us to take what we knew of magic, and use it to develop weapons for his generals. He said that any who refused to cooperate would be drowned in the ocean. And thus, we began spending day after day, slaving away in our makeshift labs and our makeshift libraries. Conditions were not always safe, and we soon found ourselves setting fire to our laboratories, and unleashing monsters on the land. We turned an art made for creating knowledge into a tool made for inflicting human misery.

At night they kept us locked away with the other prisoners. At first I thought I would be skinned alive, but soon came to realize that the thugs on this island were profoundly superstitious, and that we instilled fear into them. Though the common law prisoners had previously terrorized and ruled the political prisoners, that they would not touch us. The other wizards and I leveraged this power, We brought peace and community to where there was once fighting.

But still, we continued to study the art of magic. We discovered many things; how to heal wounds, how to call animals from nothing, and how to make steel walk on its own. Many of them are written within these pages. Our greatest discovery, however, was when we learned of the Spirit World. The Spirit World is a world unlike ours. The laws which govern our world seem not to apply there. It’s like a dream that you never awake from. You discover that you have a second soul, and it is through this soul that you are able to traverse the Spirit World.

Though every other discovery was eventually taught to Balthazar’s guards and generals, the Spirit World remained a secret. It was so easily hidden, and so miraculous and beautiful, that we never wanted to see it become a weapon. Little did we know what was to come.

As rumors began floating that Balthazar had crushed the rebellion, the political prisoners became nervous as to what would happen to everyone. Soon, we began plotting to overthrow the guards and claim Illeria as our own. Knowing we would be useless without weapons, the other wizards and I began teaching our fellow inmates how to use magic. We even showed them the spirit world, and how to tap into its great source of power. When the uprising came, the guards did not stand a chance.

Before the uprising, plans had been made for a new government, and a new way of life on the island. But as soon as the guards were gone, we realized just how little food and supplies there were on the island. All our noble goals for a new society crumbled, and we began fighting amongst ourselves. What’s worse, now that the common law prisoners had learned to use magic, they no longer feared it, and the prison gangs of old began to reform. Soon, there was nothing but anarchy and death."

What do you think?


“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” – George Bernard Shaw

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