First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting updates recently; but honestly, I should just put that as a blanket statement at the top of the site because I don’t post updates all that often. Secondly, an update about the status of the audiobook version of The Kanta Chronicles: it’s being recorded and should hopefully be complete by the end of January, to be released to the public by mid-February if all goes well. I can’t wait until everyone gets to hear it, the narrator does a great job of bringing everyone to life, and it’s a weird experience to hear your words brought to life in such a professional manner.
Lastly, I wanted to give you all a bit of a lore update about holidays in the world of Bolfodier. Since we are in the Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/Solstice season (sorry if I missed your specific holiday, but let me know for next year/future updates), I thought it would be an appropriate time to let you all in on the secret that Bolfodier does have holidays that every country celebrates. These four days are known as the Element Days, and are the days in which Bolfodier honours the elements that make up all living things: earth, wind, water and fire. On the days after the solstices and equinoxes, each element is honoured, and large feasts are shared among communities as a whole. Water is honoured in the summer, Earth in autumn, Wind in spring and Fire in winter. Depending on the time of year, the feasts will feature different types of foods that are associated with the honoured element. While Lilith, Hados, Nina and Korena aren’t associated with any of these days (although, they probably should be, as there’s one god(dess) for each Element Day), a general sacrifice to them is made by way of an offering given to the honoured element of that day. In winter, a portion of food is burned in the communal fires; summer sees the drowning of the symbolic representation of a month’s fasting (similar to Lent, people give something up for a month and then throw a representation of said thing into a local water source); in spring people write a wish for the year on a piece of paper and go to the highest place in the area and throw the paper into the wind; and during the autumn they bury a sin/greatest shame from the past year (also written on a piece of paper).
Ok, so recently (as in my recent posts, not time because we all know how lacking I am in being punctual online) I’ve mentioned some of the tropes/connections between my two latest stories (The Kanta Chronicles and Lucifer & Lilith). And today, I’d like to give you guys some more of these so that you can always recognize my writings in the future. And while all of these aspects won’t always be in the story I’m writing, there’s sure to be a few.
Now, I’ve already mentioned how I use twins, and how the elder is usually the female and she’s more powerful than her younger brother. I’ve also said how I’ll usually take a name of a character in one story and give it to another; this is something that a lot of authors do I find and I’m just another practitioner of this hallowed tradition. Another thing that I constantly find myself doing is taking parts of stories from other authors and using them in my own while putting my own spin on it. This is what I did with Cadel Thymab in The Kanta Chronicles (for the full story there, there’s a early post about it). Another hallowed tradition that I fully subject my writing to is making allusions to other works that influence me. I do this usually a bit more stealthily in my humble opinion, than my previous point, but for more details, check out some of my earliest post here.
Finally, I’d like to discuss the Language of Darkness. It’s something that is present in both L&L and The Kanta Chronicles and hope to find a way to incorporate it into all my future works. In essence, the Language or Tongue of Darkness is a string of gurgling and grunting that only those born with the ability to can understand. And for someone to be able to understand it, and not be born to a parent/parents that can, is extremely rare. In The Kanta Chronicles, only Ladies of the Night can understand it; and in L&L only the angels of the Pit and their offspring can understand it. The exception to this is Lilith who when she first met Tartarus ate a special but rare crystal that allowed her to do so. And while Kara can understand thanks to the mental connection she shares with both her parents, her twin brother Shien cannot. And since that ties so nicely into my first point, I think that is where I will stop.
Surprisingly, I was able to finish writing Lucifer & Lilith ahead of the latest schedule I had made for myself the last time I posted here a few weeks ago, so YAY to me! So, in order to boost interest in that story, I’m going to be releasing some background info on minor points brought up in that story for the next couple of updates. Hopefully, there won’t be weeks/months between those posts. I’m going to be taking the time between now and the new year to go through that story to ensure it’s ready to send to publishers so that I can hopefully publish it on a wider scale than what The Kanta Chronicles got.
Towards the end of L&L I introduced the events known as the Raping of the Fallen. And in the penultimate chapter, I mention a Mixling by the name of Cadel, daughter of Sif and angel of the Pit Disruptar. All of these characters are minor (Cadel and her father Disruptar are first introduced in this chapter), but even minor characters can be intriguing and have an interesting backstory. While Cadel, is an obvious homage to the character of the same name in The Kanta Chronicles (one of many connections the stories share), it’s her parents’ stories that I’d like to explore.
Sif is named after the Norse goddess. In all honesty, I don’t know much about her mythology outside the fact that she’s Thor’s wife; I think she might be a Valkyrie but I’m not sure. In regards to L&L, Sif is one of the fallen angels from Lucifer’s rebellion; she’s a warrior, but not part of the boarder garrisons. And all though she’s only been in the Pit a short time before the first Raping took place, in that time she had developed an attraction to an angel of the Pit named Nirnasha. Before the Raping, Sif had even hinted that she’d be open to a relationship with him. But, when during the first Raping, Nirnasha was raping Sif’s friend Selene, Sif was devastated.
Even worse was when she was attacked during the second Raping by an angel of the Pit she absolutely hated: Disruptar. For his part, Disruptar hates Sif too, and his raping of her was meant to show this. But despite the fact that they hate each other, Sif and Disruptar are actually quite similar. Both are warriors, unbound to any sect or garrison, both vie for their daughter’s allegiance over the other (using similar tactics of lies, manipulation and threats). But in all honesty, these similarities shouldn’t come as a surprise since Heolstor used bits of the remnants that God used when creating Sif to create Disruptar.
And if anyone wishes to get a more in-depth celestial/chthonic flow chart/family tree I’d be happy to give it to them.
While anyone with the barest of knowledge of Greek mythology can see that Hados is Bolfodier’s version of Hades (their names are only one letter apart), most might not realize that there’s more connections between the myths of our world and the underworld of Bolfodier. Similarly to Ancient Greece’s view of the afterlife, Bolfodier’s is a sprawling vastness that’s divided into three parts. The Gates are basically Elysian Fields (a Heaven-esque place for heroes and demigods and the truly worthy of mortals); the Fields are equivalent to the Grecian Asphodel Meadows (a.k.a. the Fields of Asphodel, and the place where most people would go after they died); and the Pits are Tartarus (the deepest part of the underworld where the cursed and truly evil individuals spent their afterlife in torment, similar to Hell). But the deepest cut into Greek mythology comes in the naming of Korena. In the myths, the wife of Hades was Persephone, who occasionally went by the name Kore, and was routinely brought back to earth to appease her mother to ensure the harvest. Similarly but in reverse, Korena and Hados are cursed to only spend one day on Bolfodier every 25 years by Lilith. The second half of Korena’s name comes from the Greek goddess Athena, virgin goddess of wisdom and strategy. I thought this fit in well with Korena’s introduction as Empress Annabelle, a man hating immortal who declares war on the protagonists. And the final bit of Greek influence on Bolfodier’s underworld comes from Zotz, the underworld’s guardian that barely gets mentioned. Zotz was supposed to be the equivalent to Cerberus, the infamous three-headed dog that kept the spirits of the dead in the underworld and kept out the living. But his name actually comes from Mayan mythology in the form of Camazotz, the giant bat god of death. And as a creature that is described as sounding like “a dragon trying to howl like a wolf”, isn’t a giant bat a perfect mixture of the two and a much more fearsome guardian than a dog with three heads?
While it wasn’t on the top of her list of priorities upon her return to Terang (at the end of the second part of the book), Iselda was determined to have Braria’s currency shift away from gold and towards silver after hearing of the death of Nina. And while her friends and family were equally outraged by the tale of the goddess’ death, and supported her motion to make gold worthless, the idea is ultimately decided against because of gold’s importance to the greater Bolfodier community. Pan and Sabrina both bring up the point to truly have the average citizen disregard gold would be next to impossible without telling them why she was trying to have gold left by the wayside; something everyone realizes is a very dangerous secret that should not be revealed if they wish to keep Hados, Lilith and Korena safe. So, with a heavy heart and a tearful prayer to Korena, Iselda admits defeat on the issue, while resolving to try and have as much gold exchanged from Braria as she can in the remaining years of her reign.
So awhile back I hinted at a special announcement due to come out soon. Well, today is that day. Today, I’m officially launching what I’m calling the Write It Forward Event; a chance for anyone and everyone interested in adding their own spin on the world of Bolfodier and potentially have it become canon. Full details are on the new Write It Forward page here on bolfodier.ca. This is me handing one of the reins of creative control over to my readership, as well as a desperate bid to get some attention outside of those who know me personally. So please, let all those creative types you know know about this event.
Ok, so I know I’ve been a little behind on giving my weekly updates recently (as in only 3 since the end of June) and I’m completely sorry for that, and hope to make it up to you all in the coming weeks when I hopefully return to my normal schedule. As with most things, my laziness is to blame and you should all know that I can procrastinate with the best of them (see my bio for full details), but I’m here to get back into the groove, by revealing yet another secret to the world of Bolfodier that is not found in the book. And for those of you still waiting for that special announcement I mentioned in my last post, don’t worry I’m adding some last minute stuff to hopefully get it the attention it deserves and it will be made by the end of September.
Now, for today’s topic, I’d like to look at a few of the supporting characters from The Kanta Chronicles and reveal to you all their hidden connection. The characters in question on Gideon Vanto, and Remus and Romulus Shaw. As is stated in the book, Remus is Romulus’ father, but something that isn’t said in the book is that Vanto is Remus’ father. Yes, although neither of them know this truth, they are actually father and son; but with Remus having a even mix of both of his parents’ looks it isn’t as clear as Pan and Leo or Iselda and Shade and Nikki that they’re related. But seeing as Vanto only had romantic relations with 2 woman in his life (both being one night stands) he never considered the possibility of fatherhood. But this isn’t to say that the two didn’t end up having a close relationship. Vanto took a special interest in Remus when he first joined the Brarian army (as seen by his bringing him on the journey to Vagala). Over the years, the two became very close friends to the point that where Romulus came to view Vanto as a grandfather/uncle/mentor. And when Vanto retired from service (during the 3 year time gap in part three of the book), he strongly urged and recommended Remus to replace him as General. And while everyone thought that Remus would make a great General, he vehemently refused the post saying he didn’t want the responsibility of the nation’s security on his shoulders, but that he was humbled by the offer and recommendations of his friend and mentor (and secret father).
While I didn’t start writing the second section of the book until I was in my second year of university, I actually created the character of the immortal Empress of Toxai back in high school during a creative writing exercise. As with any character, the initial spark of creation is not what the flame becomes; and Annabelle is no different as she was originally fully grown and much more tyrannical than how she appears in the book. But one thing that never changed was how the Buddhist interpretation of reincarnation, and specifically that of the Dali Lama, influenced how Annabelle achieved immortality.
Though I’m sure I’m wrong about this in reality, as I learned the broadest of strokes about Buddhism, learning that the spirit of the Dali Lama seemed to take over that of the child who will become the next Dali Lama was an interesting concept to me. Though I’ve since learned that the child is born with this spirit within them and it slowly emerges over time (similar to the show Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra), the thought of this possession-esque really intrigued me as a way a world leader would work. As I do with everything that influences me, I bastardized this into what we see in the book in a much more Supernatural possession rather than true reincarnation.
But that isn’t where the influences stopped. There’s also the way in which those who rule in Annabelle’s place as she finds her new body determine the child coming to the palace is indeed the real Annabelle. Buddhist monks show a variety of objects to the potential Dali Lama, and depending on what they choose is a how they determine the real reincarnation from those who are not. Annabelle, and by extension Toxai, takes a less likely to be influenced by chance approach to proving her identity. Before she dies, Annabelle would take her three most trusted advisers and servants and tell them secrets about herself that no other people would know about her. Talking to each individually, Annabelle would tell them each different things and they would then devise questions that one of the others would ask and report her answers back to the question inventor. She would also hide her most prized possession, the Eternal As We Are ring, during one of these private conversations and only retrieve it when being questioned by the person she was talking to when she hid it. Correct answers to the questions, along with knowing the location to the ring, are what help determine that she is indeed the returned Empress.
Since this Sunday is Father’s Day, I thought this week’s post would be about how Pan’s decision influenced the way in which his children’s magic worked. And that decision is when Iselda offers him to hold Nikki or Shade first. By his choosing Nikki, Pan created a bond between himself and his daughter (and by extension between his wife and son) that would last until his death. When the four of them first discuss Shade and Nikki’s powers at the end of the second third of the book, the twins mention that Shade has a stronger connection to his mother while Nikki has a stronger one to her father. And that is the direct effect of Pan’s decision to hold Nikki before Shade on the day they were born. Another way this decision influences the magic of the twins is by the strength of its influence. While it might not be directly stated in the book (I’d have to double check, but don’t have the time right now), Nikki’s power is able to read a greater number of people, whereas Shade affects people more strongly with his power.
Here’s some more secrets from the world of Bolfodier, including characters, locations and events mentioned in The Kanta Chronicles.
Though it is regarded as one of the five Romantic Wonders of Bolfodier, Lullaby Falls has a dark past. At the start of time, it was simply a stream that passed through Wealtez into Metalia; but when the man who ripped out Nina’s heart with a gold dagger stumbled upon it and tried to wash the dried blood on his hands in the waters, he unleashed the wrath of Lilith, Hados and Korena. The earth ripped and the waters rushed into their current condition, creating the waterfall and scaring the man away. But after Korena had killed him, she returned to the falls and washed his blood off her hands. As the blood mixed with the water, the harshness with which the water fell stilled until it became the peaceful falls it is today. The red and pink the water turns is not a trick of the light, but the blood of Nina and her killer and the love the god and goddesses of Bolfodier had for Nina.
The time of the Taint was a great source of loss to the world of Bolfodier. Not only did many creatures of magic die (some becoming extinct), but also a great many people gifted with magic, lost this gift. Magic was nearly drained from the world, leaving only a select few with the gift of magic. But the source of what caused this catastrophe is hidden to even the most knowledgeable on the subject. It actually was the hero who sacrificed himself to fix the Taint. When he was just a boy he came across the Cave of Hagan. The Cave of Hagan is a legendary place, similar to the Temple of the Goddess, which was said to have naturally forming restrained magic. And it was two of these that the boy accidentally activated; one that turned the earth into a giant chunk of quillum, and one that froze him in time for nearly half the time of the Taint. Upon his release from the time stop and realizing what he had done, the boy dedicated his life to trying to figure out how he could fix it. It took him about twenty-five years, but he was able to undo all that he could.
Though it is not even hinted at in the book, Pan has a middle name. Besides Pan himself, there is only one person who even knows that he has a middle name, his best friend Shade. His middle name is Griff, and had Shade and Marina’s child been a boy that would have been his name.