It is time for the second chapter of Sand and Ash.
This chapter has a lot of things, including the introduction of Desòchu, Rutejìmo's brother. In Sand and Blood, it was a while before I introduced characters mainly because of the accented names, but I made the assumption that a reader may be more comfortable with them now so they are showing up in the novel rapidly.
There are new characters too. Probably the biggest is the introduction of significant women in the clan, Kiríshi and Faríhyo. These are the wives of Rutejìmo's friends but they didn't have any role in Sand and Blood. This was actually one of the things I regretted when I wrote the first book. I wanted to keep Sand and Blood focused on Rutejìmo's revelations and growth. And his relationship with Desòchu, Hyonèku, and Gemènyo framed the beginning and the ending of that story. I also wanted to get them out of the valley as fast as possible without overwhelming the readers with the accented names.
The card game they created was one of the fun parts of world-building. It is a deck of five cards with a mixture of gin and a few other games. I actually wrote up the rules, but I haven't play-tested or polished them. I'm planning on writing up the rules as part of Journals of Fedran #2 which is focused on games.
You may notice if you go to the chapter on the main site, I've done some cleanup and expansion on the page. There are download links for the EPUB, MOBI, and PDF versions of the story. Also, every chapter has a metadata block which lists the locations, characters, and some other information about the chapter. These are linked to the world site which has spoilers for this and the previous book.
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