Saturday, October 29, 2011

End of the World segment 1/7

by S. A. Archer

Chapter One

“The world as we have known it ends this day.” The warriors, men and women both, needed to hear him speak. The grit and determination in his voice carried as much emphasis as the words themselves. Many cut uncertain glances his way, the deep-seated beliefs ground into them over the centuries nearly as much a part of them as their skin and their magic. Lugh patrolled the top of the castle wall, watching the courtyard below. The elaborate breastplate strapped to him served more as a status symbol than actual protection, even with the magicraft worked into the polished leather. He was the Champion of the Sidhe, even for the Sidhe who would sooner slit his throat than call him their champion. It mattered not. He protected his people regardless, most especially from themselves.

The Sidhe and lesser fey warriors of the Seelie Court spaced themselves at intervals of less than a full arm span. Wood elves, dwarves, selkies, and even a stout-hearted fairy held the line for this final watch, bows, spears, and magic at the ready. Although the technology-embracing world beyond the Mounds  long ago abandoned the grace of the bow for guns and other modern weaponry, the long-lived fey of the Mounds shunned such graceless devices.

“Keep a sharp eye on the barrier.” The canopy of magic reached just beyond the courtyard wall, preventing Glamour or teleportation within the castle grounds. If any fey dreamed to raid the stronghold of the Seelie Court this day, they faced more than simply this entire cadre of fey warriors. They would have to best the Champion of the Sidhe, a near impossible task. For greater than a thousand years, only a handful had ever crossed purposes with Lugh and bested him. A few of these skilled warriors manned the line with Lugh now. Others, such as the greatest of the Unseelie guard, had yet to breach the courtyard threshold. His heart harbored no doubts that at least one would challenge Lugh’s mettle and resolve.

Lugh cast a proprietary glance across the outer wall to the fey town in the protective shadow of the castle. The hills rolled into the distance. The internal measure of the Mounds roughly equated to Ireland in width and length. Lugh knew every tree, every step of every path. Twice he held the Seelie crown. Since he was a much younger Sidhe, Lugh held the mantle of Champion. He earned it. The very sunlight in the sky was his gift to the Mounds. The Celts once worshipped Lugh as the god of the sun, for in that lay the aspect of Lugh’s unique magic. All the life that grew and prospered in the Mounds did so by the very power of his love for this place and these fey. He would defend it, and them, until his final breath.

With a great explosion of shattering wood, a boulder crashed though the courtyard gate. No such boulder had been transported though the city beyond the castle. This one had been ripped from the ground and flung with a magic only one Sidhe possessed.

“Jhaer!” Lugh growled, “Bring me your rage, Elite.” With his spear, Lugh pole-vaulted the low parapet and dropped the twenty feet into the courtyard. Using the grace of the fey, he hit and rolled, then came back up to his feet in a charge for the Unseelie intruder.

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Part 2/7 of "End of the World" coming on 11/4/11!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Countdown to Launch

Things are falling into place and we are on track to launch by November 1st. Putting the final touches on the website and setting up the mailing list this week. The initial stories in the series are going to be converted into ebooks this weekend. I've seen the covers and they are awesome! I can't wait to finally share The Sidhe with everyone.

Watch this blog for free fiction! Segments will be posted weekly.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Concerning Fey

(This article is an excerpt from the Chronicles of the Seelie and written by Lugh, Champion of the Sidhe and former King of the Seelie Court. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of all Sidhe, in particular the Unseelie.)

Concerning Fey

There has been little accurate information written about the various races of fey that have survived to present times. I believe this is partly because most fey don’t feel inclined to create a written record which might be used to against them, and partly because fey are playful and often find a near truth… or a half truth… or a could-be truth… close enough to truth to present it as such.

There are, in fact, innumerable races of fey. The noble elves, or Sidhe, are elfin in appearance and usually tall and beautiful. Many of the Celtic gods and goddess that the humans worshiped are, in fact, not deities but Sidhe. The Sidhe's magic is strong and usually narrow in focus. Such that a Sidhe whose focus is equine in nature might be able to speak with horses and take the shape of a horse.

One magic in common with all Sidhe is the Sidhe Touch. Among the Sidhe the magic of two or more can co-mingle. It is a very intimate communion and is soothing and bonding to the Sidhe. Skin contact is required for the Touch to pass from a Sidhe to another individual. While other races of fey can not duplicate the Touch, they can experience the Touch given to them by a Sidhe without any ill-effects. The Sidhe Touch is extremely addictive to humans, and should be avoided. A human who is addicted to the Touch will forever long for the Touch, and without benefit of regular Touch can even die from the longing of it. Human cultures who have had regular Sidhe contact know of the Touch, and regard it as a curse. Less scrupulous Sidhe have even used the Touch to enslave humans to their will.

All other races of fey are known as ‘lesser fey,’ at least to the aristocratic Sidhe. The lesser fey include a variety of so called ‘fantasy’ races. This would include other races of elves, pixies, fairies, red caps, changelings, goblins, incubus, succubus, mermaids, ect. Creatures such as dragons and unicorns have fey blood and can also be classified as fey.

Among the fey there tends to be two general alignments. The Sidhe call these the two courts. There is the Seelie court and the Unseelie court. The Seelie are, for the most part, lawful in nature. They have clear morals of what is right and wrong, and will side most often on what is right. The Seelie align themselves with the lighter side of magic. The Unseelie are more likely to consider how they can personally benefit before taking a course of action. The Unseelie often align themselves with the darker side of magic.

All fey are highly adept with Glamour. Glamour is a type of magic that can be used to hide in plain sight. With Glamour a fey can appear as something he or she is not, such as human. It can also be used to completely hide from sight, seeming to melt into the shadows. Those with the eyes to see magic may be able to see partially or completely through the Glamour.

Most fey also possess at least a limited ability to teleport. A fey's teleportation range varies based on age, experience and strength of magic.

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