By Grant Smuts

I’ve been away for some time, working on the sequel. It should be ready before the end of the year.

I’ve given some thought to the rest of the stories I’d like to tell about Amarith when the trilogy is completed.

One is set in Sunara, its story inspired by the Warring States periods of both Japan and China, based on three factions – the current Imperial House, the warlords under its domain planning an insurrection – (and splintering further into separate factions) – and a rebellion of peasants adhering to a dangerous new religion, led by a mage espousing a dangerous philosophy.

I’d wanted to write something like that for the longest time, but I lacked the confidence to attempt something with such scope – the Sunaran story arc is currently three books long, but I get the feeling it’s going to be much, much longer – planning alone has led to the development of forty characters with their own motivations and battles to fight, with no way to streamline it at the moment.

The events of that story take place at more or less the same time as the Eternal Dream Trilogy reaches its conclusion, and the after-effects of it will sweep into Sunara. Quite literally, at that.
But anything more would be spoilers.

Another story which is rather further along at the moment is set in the distant future, long after the events of both the Eternal Dream and the Sunaran War. It’s set beyond Valharrow’s shore, in the nation of Nothrond, and follows the tale of an immortal necromancer by the name of Mara Ragno.

In the distant future, the world has shaken off the tyranny of race known as the Melechi. In their wake, four noble families rose and claimed artifacts of particularly powerful Melechi lords, the magic bonding to them and making them immortal. The people, desperate for saviours and lords to lead them to the safety of a new golden age, turn to these men and women, now known as the Archons.

Forneus Black, bearer of the holy crystal known as the Incanta, capable of giving form to illusions, sets up a league of adventurers and knight errants known as the havarr in homage to the (now ancient) Knights of Saint Audren.

Regor Valefur takes up the Benigrast’s Bloodwhip and binds dragons and wyverns to his service, becoming, by acclaim, the immortal king of Ignassus.

Maris Eligor finds the Orb of Bael and communes with the leviathans of the deep waters, and learns to command both sea and storms.

And Mara… Mara was never meant to find the Ring of Saramas, being but a child at the time. However, the Ragno family faced the fiercest holdouts of the great Melechi Empire, and the bloody coup that was meant to end in their victory resulted in the nearly absolute destruction of both sides. The House of Ragno was all but extirpated, except for the youngest daughter – Mara. She walked into the throne room when all was done and pried from the finger of the dead Tyrant a small silver ring. And in that moment, the power of life and death flowed into her body, binding itself to her one wish – to have her family back.

For a moment, she got exactly what she wanted. But only for a moment. Her mind, untrained and fragile, could not bind her family’s souls, and they fell down dead, again.

Broken by sorrow, she dedicated her life to the study of necromancy. Despite the lesser forms that existed before, she was certain that the artefact that made her an Archon would lead her to the secrets of true resurrection. In the course of her studies, she uncovers the mystery of a hidden race of spiders, whose arcana are closely bound to an ancient goddess of death.

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Beyond this, she also has to deal with the stigma surrounding necromancy – a fear so great that it has inspired a generations-long vendetta between her and a family of monster-hunters.

I’m personally very excited for this particular story, as it’ll allow me to get extremely stuck into the mythos and cosmology of Amarith… There’s a lot to do, but this and the Sunaran War will be my magnum opus.

I used to be concerned about whether I’d be a great writer or not. But the truth is, I really just want to write. And these stories are the kinds of stories I want to have my name on them.
So stay tuned after the Eternal Dream.
A necromancer draws near.

Special thanks to Ernest Peter DeWet for the artwork.

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