I've organized much of my planned ideas for future novels and stories around three phases related to a world war that marks the passage of Fedran from a world of magic to one of industry and steampunk.
Phase one are the stories that happen before the battle that heralds the world war, the The Betrayal of Kosòbyo. This is the battle hinted by in Sand and Bone and will be written in more detail in Desert Child. All of my stories at this point, including Second-Hand Dresses are phase one.
Phase two are the events during the war itself, up to and including the point where things settle down.
The last phase, which is technically phase zero, are stories that don't really have a place in the world war. I suspect most of them will be placed in one of the other phases.
Now, one of the things with both my style and my interests is that the world war is not going to be “pretty”. I'm not sure how far I go, but there were will be scenes that show the horror of battle, much like I write about the damage abuse can do in my more recent stories.
This poem is related to the phase two stories.
Burnt Hills and Embers
Stench of burnt wood Scorched centuries of growth Crumbling away in burning winds. The sharp taste of melted wood Still glowing cherry red Inside ruined forges. The gamy scent of burning leather From the mountain of books Now only ashes in a pile. Sweet and savory corpses Mothers reaching for the children And children clutching toys. The salty sting of tears As I walk among the carnage On my way to kill the murderers.