DREAMS OF THE SCARLET SWORDSWOMAN #5

Shadows crept around the ancient blade. Its destination was a red-haired young woman with a brand of fire and ice. Two armored knights, one a dark twin of the other, created a crescendo of intensity within their shadowy arena. The redhead missed her mark, and the dark twin found its own. The defeated girl fell to her knees. She retreated into silence before the enemy’s blade finished its job.

“This is a dream,” she said. The red woman stood, the twin vanished in smoke. She rubbed her eyes and stared into the void that surrounded her. The environment was a dark gray. Her body looked colorless. Only her fiery hair pierced the drab atmosphere. Her gaze settled on two similar figures in the distance, both holding sharp blades that glittered in the grey air swirling.

Shadows crept around the ancient blade. Its destination was a red-haired young woman with a brand of fire and ice. Two armored knights, one a dark twin of the other, created a crescendo of intensity within their shadowy arena. The redhead missed her mark, and the dark twin found its own. The defeated girl fell to her knees. She retreated into silence before the enemy’s blade finished its job.

“No more, please!” the redhead whimpered. She grunted and staggered backward. She tumbled to the ground, but her fall made no sound. Her eyes gazed upwards at the sky. Two figures danced around the pale clouds.

Shadows crept around the ancient blade. Its destination was a red-haired young woman with a brand of fire and ice. Two armored knights, one a dark twin of the other, created a crescendo of intensity within their shadowy arena. The redhead missed her mark, and the dark twin found its own. The defeated girl fell to her knees. She retreated into silence before the enemy’s blade finished its job.

The girl screamed, holding her head. She shuddered on the amorphous floor. Tears streaked down her cheeks, becoming mirror images of herself. The reflection smirked at the redhead.

“You are already mine, fool. With the power I can offer you, no one will stand in your way. Not Dawnstar or even the Aspects themselves will compare. Tarie Beyworth will be yours alone. You are a fool to reject such a bargain. Now, surrender to me, or I will wreck unspeakable harm upon your soul!”

“I won’t,” the redhead cried out. The tears froze on her cheeks, forming a small scene with two figures carrying swords.

Shadows crept around the ancient blade. Its destination was a red-haired young woman with a brand of fire and ice…

With a final cry, the redhead woke from her torturous state. The dream plane faded into grayscale vision, and all turned to glass.

Ethereal Seals: Part 1 of Dragonsoul; potential pitches

I’ve thought about an ideal pitch for my upcoming book, Ethereal Seals. I’ve little experience with writing pitches, so reader feedback is much appreciated. Below are some I thought of. Keep in mind this is a sci-fi fiction/fantasy novel of average length (120-130k words), not an epic fiction like Wheel of Time, Battlefield Earth, or Game of Thrones; although I do have three parts planned, and may at some point merge them together.

  1. Political and racial tensions abound in the sophisticated world of Atlas. Heroes of old rise from their graves and ancient evils infect kingdoms. The fate of the planet rests on the edge of steel, magic, and science; yet, the legacy of a cursed young farmer’s daughter unfolds–the half-dragon progeny of a war hero.
  2. With naught but an ancient sword and the will of an old hermit, Pepper Slyhart must choose which destiny to save: her planet, Atlas, or her own. Facing foes of battle and romance alike, the half-dragon girl discovers what it truly means to be a bastard knight of Atlas.
  3. A new war seizes a planet called Atlas. Within this mythical land, trouble looms within the Ethereal Seals Gate, a relic that anchors the holy ether and supports the crystal technology within society. Pepper Slyhart, a cursed dragon-bastard, must discover her destiny betwixt battles of steel, science, magic, and romance, all before her own dragon blood betrays her and the world she loves.
  4. Pepper Slyhart’s destiny changes when she and her childhood friend, Tarie Beyworth, discover a legendary sword and its guardian. Through the will of the sword’s steward, Pepper embarks on a journey throughout the technologically bizarre Atlas, seeking the truths to the wanton madness and to the draconic curse that plagues her.
  5. Pepper Slyhart’s life on Atlas takes a turn for the worse when she acquires a mythic sword given to her by a mysterious old hermit. Beset by her inner turmoils as a half-blood dragon, she must unravel the secrets to her draconic nature before her world dissolves into shadow.
  6. On Atlas, crystal technology erodes the doctrines of morality, and racial tensions flare. Pepper Slyhart, a half-dragon bastard, finds herself with her father’s old sword, now doomed to continue his partitioned legacy. Pepper must forge a new destiny with her childhood friend, Tarie Beyworth, or face dire consequences at the hands of an evil goddess and her inner draconic self.

This is what I have so far. Let me know your thoughts below. Thanks for reading. Much love and gratitude to my readers! 🙂

 

On Tarie Beyworth, my OC: the elfin spiritual path

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Tarie Beyworth is a secondary protagonist in Ethereal Seals. He is a short blond youth in his early twenties. As an orphan of a church, Tarie is schooled in the ways of the mind and soul, rather than the body. He is a meek and genial person who supports the main heroine, Pepper Slyhart. Other than his timid nature, his greatest obstacle is acknowledging his dark past and his late parents, though he has yet to forgive and forget his sorrow.

Through the contrasting attributes of Pepper, Tarie accrues wisdom and inner strength. Pepper’s emotional and fierce mien challenges Tarie, invoking his faint childhood memories and spurring growth to his character. The two transition from friends to lovers and the stakes rise higher. Tarie weighs his confined life in the abbey against Pepper, now unsure of his traditional complacencies. Friction develops between home and his love, and Tarie arrives at a crossroads, unable to choose both his adopted family and Pepper.

Tarie comes to a startling realization about the main antagonist and his dead family.  Like Pepper, he inherits a family artifact, which scales in power relative to his ability to accept and forgive himself. His worldview twists around, and he faces the residue inner demons that plague him. Tarie regards Pepper more than a friend and his lover but like his twin soul, destined to help Atlas recover from its morbid age of decay. After traveling with the redhead, Tarie unexpectedly and uncontrollably parts ways with her, facing his own quest and aiding Pepper from afar. He matures into an independent youth later, with his heart forged and renewed, destined to reunite with his love and end the madness on Atlas.

 

Thank you for reading this short reflective essay! I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂


Have a comment or question? Leave it in the feedback section below, thanks.

 

 

Dreams of the Scarlet Swordswoman #4

A red-haired girl lay in a field of flowers. She admired the crimson and blue on the delicate blossoms. The girl sighed at their sweet scent and plucked one of the plants, but noticed its petals now decayed. A foul black mist swirled around the flower, reaching for the girl. She threw it away. To her horror, the entire field twisted into black serpents. Their sharp fangs snapped at the terrified redhead.

She stood as a small girl with jade twin tails pressed against her back. Then appeared a bear with a scar over one eye; there was gray in his grizzled fur. The emerald lass clashed with the encroaching serpents using sharp daggers for arms, her long white and jagged skirt dancing like blades around the misshapen flower field.

“Master, we will protect you,” the jade lass said. The bear roared in agreement and savaged several of the serpents with tooth and claw.

The redhead nodded, cringing behind the defenders. She flushed at her own vulnerability, and her eyes darted over the horde of demonic snakes. Dozens of black serpents lay at their feet, but their caresses vanished into puffs of smoke, only to spawn more. For every one they destroyed, two appeared. The redhead bit her lip until it bled, the liquid forming a snake of its own. She swatted it away, staring at her own body and shaking her head.

She looked up at the overcast sky and noticed a star piercing through the dark heavens. The snakes hissed with irritation and drew back. The brilliance touched down near the girl, its shape akin to a robed cleric. The radiance blinded the shrieking serpents, driving them further back into the shadows with the jade girl and the bear. The golden figure stood before the redhead, his hand outstretched. Her heart leaped with excitement, and she clasped their palms together.

“Pepper, please wake up,” he said.

“I am awake.”

“No, this is the astral realm, where your dreams and nightmares become a reality. Please, wake up, everyone is worried.”

“I will try. But, it’s so hard!”

“Keep trying.”

“I see it now,” the girl cried.

She raised her clenched fist. Green tendrils shot from the girl. The black snakes evaporated to mist. The earth trembled and the skies sundered. The symphony of battle faded, and all turned to glass. 

On Pepper Slyhart, my OC: the warrior-woman path

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Pepper Slyhart is the main protagonist of my series, Ethereal Seals. She’s a young red-haired woman in her early twenties. With her sheltered lifestyle, Pepper begins as naive and short-tempered. As a farmer’s daughter, Pepper is athletic and physically capable of holding her own. She is a robust and reasonable woman who ventures into a broad world of mystery and danger. Her greatest opponents are her emotions, reflected by her draconic curse.

The warrior-woman story is one less visited. It is different and challenging because it twists the typical narrative of gender roles. I created Tarie Beyworth, her traveling companion, a secondary protagonist, and Pepper’s love interest. Instead of the man driving the story, I reversed the roles. While Pepper is emotional and insecure, Tarie is moderate and self-assured. Their polar opposites complement each other and allow both characters to grow from the other.

As the story progresses, Pepper learns more about the spiritual path from Tarie and her spiritual guides. This is symbolic of both the divine masculine with the divine feminine, going by new age terms. Pepper cultivates humility, patience, love, and gratitude as she grows. She treats her foes differently, gracing them with words of compassion and the steel of her sword if need be. 

Tarie also discovers his own inner insights, but that’s an essay for another time. 🙂

As a male author, developing Pepper on this path has been a challenge. I can safely say I know little about it, but I continuously strive to improve her and Tarie, with feedback from both men and women alike. Although I feel I should have been born a female myself, this gives me a chance to have my own children in a fictional sense, with Pepper as my daughter, but I digress.

 I hope you enjoyed this short reflective article. Thank you for reading. 🙂

Dreams of the Scarlet Swordswoman #3

A red-haired girl lay at ease, scrubbing herself with the nourishing forest water. She felt the liquid tickle at her supple hips and round breasts. A single drop caressed her navel, as soft as a lover’s kiss. She sighed long as the tension left her tired body. She glimpsed up at the rising morning stars and smiled.

Water splashed behind her. She turned to meet the newcomer. It was a blond youth, unclothed as she. He moved forward with a determined grace, as his long golden locks swung around his symmetrical body and concealed his skin. The redhead shrunk back and gaped with astonishment.

“My love,” the youth said, “I’ve longed for this moment.” He came closer. She hesitated before taking a step back. “Please, my love, join with me. My body aches for you. I would sooner die than continue my existence without.” Tears welled up in the girl’s eyes. She flung herself into his embrace. Their bodies merged as one. The redhead cried with joy, tugging at the Nymph’s body and him at hers.

“Yes, join with me,” he said, his voice now guttural and deep. The red-haired girl fell back. She stared at a twisted reflection of herself.

“You are mine,” the demented doppelganger said, “you will always be mine, dragon slave.” The evil copy cackled with delight. Teeth shone from the demon’s mouth, a river of black flame within.

The girl stumbled away from her tormentor, as a small girl in jade twintails and a pointy silvery dress appeared betwixt. The newcomer bared her hands, acute like blades.

“Master, please run!” the jade girl cried.

“You cannot protect her from me,” the evil twin said.

The redhead dashed into the woods. The laughter of the dark twin followed her. The trees mutated into grotesque forms and reached for her. Tears fell from her cheeks, forming puddles of blood that came sickeningly viscous to her bare feet. Her lungs burned and she collapsed as a chill seeped into her. The pungent stench of corruption enveloped her nostrils, threatening to infect her.

Soft hands graced her cheeks. It was the blond youth again. The young man hugged her close.

“It’s okay. I won’t let Her get you,” he said.

The redhead embraced the warmth of his slender body combat the chill, yet she pulled slightly away, afraid for the evil’s return.

The youth brought her face to his. “This is a dream. Remember who you are. Wake up, Pepper!”

A short synopsis of Ethereal Seals

Sup everyone, thanks for stopping by to check out my content! I’ve considered my pitching cover for my book. After another revision, I may have what I feel to be a closer, more concise variant of the original. Have a look:

As the cycles pass so too does the turning of the etheric cosmic clock. Many have lapsed since a great and terrible war seized a planet called Atlas. Within this mythical land, trouble looms again within the Ethereal Seals Gate, an ancient relic designed to anchor the holy ether around the planet. 

In the modern era, political and racial tensions abound on Atlas. Heroes of old rise from their graves and ancient evils infect kingdoms. The fate of the planet rests on the edge of steel, magic, and science; yet, the legacy of a cursed young farmer’s daughter unfolds, the half-breed progeny of a war hero. 

With naught but an old sword and the will of an elderly hermit, the girl must choose which destiny she hopes to save: the planet, or her own. The doomed girl gathers a company of old friends and odd mercenaries. Together, they struggle against the growing perils of Atlas, a reflection of their own inner turmoil. Facing foes of battle and romance alike, the girl discovers what it truly means to be a bastard knight of Atlas.

I may have to shorten it for more conciseness, but this definitely comes as an improvement to the original. Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Legacy of Atlas: A Short Poem

A short poem regarding the world of Ethereal Seals:

Atlas, mother of all, throughout the years watched us grow tall.

Long did Tiamat rule the land, her draconic legacy spreading like sand.

In the heavens a star shone, erupting chaos from Tiamat’s throne.

Ronald came to face the beast, but Tiamat gave the last laugh, not in the least.

Long have we witnessed the ravages of war; demons, giants, ogres, and more.

The greedy take, who leave neither peace nor wisdom in their wake.

We plenty have much to repair, lest calamity once more brings her care.

The Ethereal will see us through, or break us until we relearn what we knew.

Guide us, divine Aspects; show us the way, for only through ourselves will harmony stay.

Plenty would Ronald’s avatar wail, only to observe the strength of Tiamat’s renewed tail.

Still, she claws at the heart with her call; through humans, dragons, and bastards most of all.

Now darkness gathers around, priming for lost hope to be found.

Yet a hero may rise to meet the temptress, to foil curse, shadow, pride, but not while defenseless.

A divine blade will shine free, guiding the one towards destiny’s tree.

Guide us, divine Aspects; brightened the past, for only through peace will the future last.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Dreams of the scarlet swordswoman #2

A girl of red lay in darkness. Her body floated in an ocean of black fog and stars. An icy cold burned on her flesh, and her mind screamed. The girl struggled to break from the frigid darkness but to no avail.

A glowing wolf approached her, its body muscular yet aged, golden fur tingled with grey. Licking its paws, the beast marked her cheek with its mitt. Letting out a low howl, the animal vanished in a trail of smoke. She cried out the wolf’s unsaid name, but he did not heed it.

Once more, she was alone and afraid. Her body froze with unknown terror, and tears fell from her cheeks, forming bright white stones out of her reach. Phantoms danced about, taunting her in the shapes of demons and dragons. She tried to scream, but fetters of darkness held her voice. An inferno of pain surged through her forehead and spine.

Amidst her struggle, she noticed a blond youth in white cloth–alone in the darkness as she–not more than a few yards away. The young man shivered violently as she did, unable to obtain the heat he sought. A newfound pain burst in the red girl’s heart. She cried out again, this time with all her strength. The fetters around her exploded to dust. She stood, and noticed a small girl next to her with long jade twintails, clothed in a pointy glimmering dress. Her earrings were the shape of swords, and her silver eyes equally as sharp. Her hands curved to sharp points, the flesh gleaming like metal.

“Master, please go to him,” the little girl pleaded, clasping her blade hands. She took a knee, gesturing to the blond youth.

The scarlet woman approached the trembling monk, brushing away the ocean of gloom. Her hand caressed his pale face. He smiled back at her and drew close. The warmth of his body melted the icy shell around her heart. She gasped with relief and dug her fingers into his robes, savoring his body. She paused as an ominous shadow formed behind him. The image of a draconic beast grabbed the startled monk, drawing him away from the girl. She cried in vain, watching the sizeable shadowy dragon devour him amidst his screams of agony.