Sand and Blood 14, Flight of the Scions 20, and being weaker

I like writing stories about weak characters. Not characters who start weak and get stronger, but ones that have limitations that pull them back throughout their lives. My main characters are not the Chosen One in the slightest bit, they aren't going to wave their hand and make their enemies go away.

One of my favorite struggles is the jealousy of those more powerful. I like to see people struggle to become more, or struggle to accept what they are not. It is a hard one that I don't see frequently in fantasy novels. When it does show up in fantasy, then it is usually a couple chapters away from the characters bypassing the source of their jealousy.

Rutejìmo will always be the weakest. Kanéko will never have magic. The difference is while Rutejìmo never exceeds his limitations, Kanéko will eventually thrive in them.

Sand and Blood 14: Coming Back

In some aspects, I pull a lot of this novel from samurai dramas. I like the idea of honor in the desert. The language, the reactions, the expectations are all part of something I find fascinating. For my world, it is tied into the clans and the desperation to survive that permeates their culture.

The idea of a fifteen year old offering his life to someone in apology comes from those stories also. Rutejìmo knows that he did the unforgivable by leaving an injured clan member, so he needed more than a simple “I'm sorry” to make amends.

Likewise, Chimípu accepting his life says a lot about how people grow up in this world. Could she cut the throat or kill a boy who she grew up with? Would she take his offered life and end it? These aren't questions we normally think about, but at the same time, they are questions that come up across the world. Not everyone gets a sweet, simply childhood where the most terrifying thing is finding out which car they get when they graduate.

This culture keep children on the edge of innocence right up to the point of their passage, but then expect them to be instantly grown up when it happens. There are reasons (education makes it harder to manifest powers) but it also has some interesting consequences.

Read Sand and Blood 14: Coming Back at

Flight of the Scions 20: Landslide

This chapter has so much packed into it. It ties into the idea of stress creates magic. Actually, this is the first scene where I realized that my world would have this concept of “threat creates power.” The more powerful the threat, the more powerful and useful the magic. It ties into the safety of civilization creates weaker magic.

When Maris falls during the landslide, she knew that she would probably die. There was no question, she knew it was coming, so that single point of time determined how much power she would have. There is also natural talent involved also, not everyone becomes powerful mages just because they fall off a cliff. In her case, falling off the cliff resulted in her gaining air powers (which I think is the most unrepresented “elemental” magic).

This chapter also shows Ruben's power and shows another aspect of Kanéko's mental strength. It is a precusor to explaining how telepathy works in my world. It also ties into Kanéko's talent in visualization and creativity, which I consider a very powerful skill. Just not a magical one.

More importantly, this is the first introduction to one of the two Big Bads in this novel, Damagar. I'll talk about him later, but right now, big glowing eyes is bad.

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