Posts tagged: Side Quests

Symposium #3

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By , June 22, 2014

The final issue of Symposium has been released. The secret origin of the OMVI lies in Ancient Greece, and this tale by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko sets the stage for everything that comes after.

symposium_03_cover

Our heroes, seeking to realize the idea offered to them by the philosopher Plato, leave Athens and travel to Delphi with hope of visiting the oracle. They have a dream to found a city of their own, and they desire insight from the oracle as to their question. But their skills—both as warriors and as thinking men—will be tested by adversaries they do not even know they have.

You can get your copy of issue #3 here.

Dead God #3

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By , April 12, 2014

The concluding chapter of The Dead God SideQuest is now available. Eadhild, Coll, and Valens face their final and deadliest trial in their quest for the lost head of the sky god Yvrnn.

deadgod3_cover

Written by Erik Bear and illustrated by Haiwei Hou, the Dead God is a three-part tale of swords and sorcery, in an age of myth and mist—a tale of brave warriors plunged into an adventure beyond anything they could have imagined.

Comics!

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By , March 18, 2014

Foreworld stories have jumped formats, and we’re now reaching out to the comic book and graphic novel folks. While the third and final issue of Symposium is still in the works, our second graphic story, The Dead God is underway. Written by Erik Bear and illustrated by Haiwei Hou, this three-part story tells of the adventures of Eadhild, Coll, and Valens as they search for the lost head of a dead god in a land wreathed in Myth and Magic.

The first and second issues are both available NOW! The third issue shows up in just a few weeks. Queue on up for these as they’re coming fast.

The Dead God, issue #1

The Dead God, issue #2

Blood And Ashes is out!

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By , March 14, 2014

Blood and Ashes by Scott James Magner is out!

Scott takes us back to the heady days of Pompeii for a little bit of gladiator and zombie action, as well as a reveal of some of the underlying conflict between the Shield-Brethren and them—you know, the bad guys. Though in this era, they weren’t quite so bad. Not yet . . .

It’s getting great reviews on Amazon, and dare I go so far as to say that it more entertaining than a recently released film that might take place on the same weekend in history? I do dare! I do! Plus as an e-novella, it is much cheaper than a film ticket. Just noting.

My favorite review of it so far is this one: “Once you get past the cover art (oiled up hairy chested dude) you discover an amazing story.” (Thank you, K. Stewart for your honesty.)

Blood and Ashes

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By , December 21, 2013

Our last SideQuest in this current round of releases is Blood and Ashes by Scott James Magner. Scott takes us back to the heady days of Pompeii for a little bit of gladiator and zombie action, as well as a reveal of some of the underlying conflict between the Shield-Brethren and them—you know, the bad guys. Though in this era, they weren’t quite so bad. Not yet . . .

As Mt. Vesuvius rumbles ominously, Pompeiian Councilor Valerius needs assistance in performing rituals to protect the city from the wrath of the fire-god, Vulcan. But his agenda is far from benevolent, as he cares less about quieting the volcano than taming it and taking the power for himself.

Now it’s up to Horatius, a former legionnaire and gladiator, to prevent Valerius’s sinister rites from coming to fruition. But with Vesuvius looming over the city—and the dead rising to defend the corrupt councilor—the warrior might have fled a troubled past only to have entered a doomed future . . .

Blood and Ashes will be out late February from 47North.

Marshal vs the Assassins

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By , November 21, 2013

In 1197, the Marshal—Sir William the Marshal—stormed a French castle single-handed. He was fifty years old.
 
A respected commander, past his best as a combatant, the Marshal had stood by and watched while King Richard Lionheart hurled his men at the ramparts. Two knightly storming parties weathered a rain of arrows, stones, lumps of wood, hauled themselves to the top of their ladders, took on the flails, forks and spears of the defenders. One of the ladders broke. Thousands of pounds of men and maille thudded into the ditch.
 
The other party retreated, all except for Sir Guy de la Bruyere, trapped at the top of the ladder—the defenders had him hooked by his maille. He could only keep his shield up while they hammered at him with flails, and archers peppered his armour.
 
The Marshal draws his sword, leaps down into the ditch, slithers through the mud. Shafts buzz past, ping off his helm. Long-limbed, he takes the ladder like an iron-skinned spider.
 
King Richard—the man who led the beach assault at Jaffa, crossbow in one hand, Danish axe in the other—wants to go after him. His advisors hold him back; Leave the crazy old knight to his fate, they tell him. We need to regroup and attack properly, or not at all.
 
The Marshal reaches Sir Guy, climbs over him, vaults onto the battlements. A single greybeard, outnumbered, out-of-puff, surrounded by a mob of men with spears and flails. How will this end?
 
Badly for the defenders.
 
The Marshal strikes to the left and the right, clears the parapet. He stands in the midst of the carnage, gasping for breath. He’s too old for this game.
 
Sir William de Monceaux, the young constable of the castle, sees his chance to win fame.  He charges over the blood-slick wall walk and lays into the greybeard. The Marshal cleaves his helmet with a single blow. The blade passes through the maille and padding beneath, shears into the scalp, throws the young knight unconscious to the stones.
 
Tired now, the Marshal sits on the downed man and waits for the rest of the army to join him.
 
#
 
And that was the Marshal at the age of fifty. At seventy he led the charge into Lincoln, carved his way through the bodyguard of the French captain. What must he have been like in his thirties when he went to the Holy Land?
 
More to the point, what did he get up to while he was there?
 
His rollicking contemporary biography, The History of William Marshal gives us a blow-by-blow account of his career. He’s pretty much a posh William Thatcher from the movie Knight’s Tale, working his way up from nothing via the tournament circuit (only with more fatality and less Rock and Roll). Then in 1183 his patron died, and the Marshal took ship for the Holy Land. All the History tells us is that he stayed there for a couple of years and did great deeds.
 
What great deeds?
 
The Marshal arrived too late for the main 1183 campaign—no glorious battles, that one anyway. By 1187, he’d been home for at least a year, so was not there when the Crusaders rode out to their doom at the Horns of Hattin.
 
However, we have a record of one feat of arms for the very end of 1183. It was the kind of crazy stunt only the Marshal could have pulled off, and therein lies the genesis of M. Harold Page’s new SideQuest, Marshal vs the Assassins.

This standalone SideQuest is out now via 47North.

Tyr’s Hammer

By , October 25, 2013

This is the time of year for spooky stories, and the medieval version of the camp fire story was always tales of the Wild Hunt. Michael “Tinker” Pearce and Linda Pearce return to Foreworld SideQuests with Tyr’s Hammer, a story about the origins of the cold fortress in the north.

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In this quick-witted and action-packed addition to The Foreworld Saga series, the leader of the Shield-Brethren has dispatched two of his men northward to secure land for a new citadel. When Tyr and his companion come upon the perfect spot, they discover that it is owned by Voldrun, a northern king with a questionable sense of justice. Although he welcomes the travelers, the king’s true motives eventually become clear. Determined to be compensated for his hospitality, Voldrun subjects the duo to several challenges, culminating in a game more dangerous than either warrior could ever have imagined. Steadfast and brave to the end, Tyr must draw upon all of his considerable skill and cunning as he endeavors to outwit the sly Voldrun and strives to secure a bright future for the order.

You can get yours here.

Symposium

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By , October 24, 2013

Did we mention we’re getting into comics? We are. The Amazon publishing team has launched a comic book imprint called Jet City Comics, and we’re happy to note that the first of several Foreworld Saga serials is available for your digital comic reading. There will be a trade edition bind-up later, for those (like myself) who like to put things on shelves.

The first serial is called Symposium and it is written by Christian Cameron and illustrated by Dmitri Bondarenko. Both hail from Toronto and have extensive backgrounds in the Western martial arts, though as you’ll see from the story, these two go back a ways from the Middle Ages. Symposium is the origin story of the Shield-Brethren, and it takes place in the 5th century BC when a group of disenchanted soldiers, having returned from Xenophon’s long march, start to talk of founding their own city . . .

symposium01_cover

ISSUE 1: As the soldiers of Greece return from war with Persia, they are greeted not as heroes but merely more mouths to feed. Athens is overflowing with the poor and desperate. For some of the former soldiers, this life is not why they fought. They crave adventure. They need money. More than anything, though, they long for purpose. One man may hold the answer: Plato. Not only is he versed in the art of philosophy, but he is no stranger to the art of martial combat. He believes there is a way to combine the two arts, creating a new way of life for the former soldiers.

symposium02_cover

ISSUE 2: While the conservative ruling powers of decadent Athens arrange to have them watched, four young men go to a dinner party with Plato—Xenophon, the king of Macedon; a pair of Spartans; and the most beautiful woman in Athens. The question on everyone’s mind: What form would an ideal city take?

The answer is a quest, and a dream . . .

Issues #1 and #2 are out now, and issue #3 will be out later this winter.

Katabasis – Coming Soon

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By , June 11, 2013

We’ve turned in Katabasis, and given that it has a product page on Amazon now, I guess I can stop writing the name in all caps (the standard format for books that are still in code name status). And yes, it looks like Katabasis will be the title. I’m very pleased about this. I know it’s not exactly a word that rolls off the tongue, but we wanted something a little different. Katabasis, which will be the fourth volume of the Medieval Cycle of the Foreworld Saga, will out in time for Halloween this year.

Prior to that, the first volume of the SideQuest Adventurs will be out (late August, in fact). It collects three of the Foreworld SideQuests: The Lion in Chains, The Shield-Maiden, and The Beast of Calatrava. This will be the paperback version (though there will be an ebook edition too), which means those who have been waiting for the SideQuests to come out in print will be able to get a Foreworld fix prior to Katabasis in the fall.

There is one more volume scheduled for the Medieval Cycle, and it will land early next year. We have a number of other SideQuests still scheduled, and one more media type to launch this summer. Discussions continue with other media types, in the endless sort of fashion that they do. We’ll keep you posted.

Hearts of Iron released!

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By , May 15, 2013

It is the summer of 1035 AD and three sons of Tancred de Hauteville are in ambivalent service to Guimar, Prince of Salerno. The three men, who have been trained by their father in the art of war since childhood, spend the sweltering afternoons practicing swordplay, trading barbs, and thinking of how many men they would need to take the prince’s poorly fortified castle for themselves.

But when a mysterious agent asks the prince for the brothers’ services in obtaining a gilded chest, eldest brother William sees an opportunity to strengthen the Hauteville legacy. When he assembles a crew of skilled mercenaries, loyalties are tested and truths revealed. Among the group, there is a traitor, a spy, and the carrier of a long-held secret. The trust William places in each of his men will decide the future of his family.

Written by Scott James Magner, HEARTS OF IRON shows a different side of the middle ages, but with all the deft-sword play, historical accuracy, and political intrigue you would expect from the series that brought you The Mongoliad.

Hearts of Iron is out now from 47North. Get your copy here.

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