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The Rangers of Laerean are the protectors of the people, the heroes of Hir. Their exploits are legendary and their great deeds recounted in tales across the ages.

The stories in this series revolve around a legendary group of warriors known as the Rangers of Laerean. For five hundred years, the Rangers have protected the human lands to the north from the demonic Manenase and their goblin-like Morok minions. The tales of the Rangers adventures encourage and teach, they are exemplary models of courage and honor among all races in Hir.

The series currently consists of a trilogy that tells the tale of the greatest Ranger, Baric; his dream of a destiny and how part of that destiny is fulfilled (though there is more to come). Baric is a huge man with a huge heart and a sincere compassion for all people, regardless of race. His tale in the trilogy involves dealing with the world of shadows, known as the World Between Worlds, and the evil Dragon Spirit, Narwyrm, whose manipulations and interference threaten all Hir.

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Is there a system of magic? If so, please tell us about it. Or tell us about the technology of your world.

Exactly when magic was learned by the civilized races of Hir is unknown, but early in the Fourth Era, men as well as Zumarians and Vaar’da, learned to use the magic arts. By 1000 F.E., it had become apparent that a ruling hierarchy was needed to facilitate order among the growing number of magicians in Hir. In 1237 F.E., the Order of Magicians was founded and the first schools of learning for the magic arts began to appear in Mandabar.

To this day, Mandabar has been considered the center of learning for almost all skills, and Candahar has become the home of the renowned School of Magic, which was founded in 1262 F.E. This school teaches and trains magicians from all races, is the headquarters for the Order of Magicians, and is maintained as the ultimate authority of magic in Hir.

There are five ranks of magicians, and each has a unique robe color to identify their rank.

The wearing of such robes is only required when enrolled in the School of Magic, so it’s not uncommon to find magicians dressed in other colors or styles outside of the school.

Magician Rankings
Initiate (Green)
Scribe (Blue)
Scholar (Brown)
Master (Red)
Wizard (Gold)

The types of magic are not truly set in stone, and magic of one type can be blended with magic of another type, creating an infinite number of possible combinations. While some magicians deal with only one type of magic, many will learn magic of all types, becoming masters of none, but having a wide range of spells to choose from.

General Types of Magic
Natural Magic/Elemental Magic
Invocation/Summoning
Shadow/Illusion
Enchanting/Talismans
Alteration/Healing
Divination/Augury

Initiates are those who are just beginning to learn their craft and are taught the basics of their chosen magic type. Scribes are students who have advanced to the higher skills of their chosen type of magic. Scholars are those who have excelled in more than one type of magic. Masters have achieved Scholar ranking in at least three types of magic and can be established as teachers in the School of Magic.

The final level of magician, the Wizard, has reached Master ranking in no less than four magic types. They are highly sought after by the rulers of Hir, and used as advisors and councilors.

To face a Wizard in combat is a foolish thing, as they can dole out massive destruction, generally, against large groups of combatants at once.

It is common for spells that are taught for one type of magic to be combined with another type. For example, in the School of Magic, the classes for Shadow Magic, especially in advanced classes, may teach spells that perform an Augury type of magic combined with the Shadow type, such as the art of Dream Walking, which uses the Shadow Realm to transport one’s consciousness to another time or place in the real world, or the art of Shadow Walking, which uses a combination of Shadow and Alteration types of magic to transport the caster from one place to another.

The use of magic is powered by one’s own willpower, and when spells are cast or magic is used, it will put a drain upon the magician.

The stronger a magician’s will, the stronger and more powerful their magic can be.

For basic magical skills, this drain is small, but the more powerful the magic, the more energy is drained from the magician. After a significant amount of such drain, a magician must rest and recuperate to regain the lost energy. Even when using talismans or enchanted items to perform magic, there is a drain upon the user as if the user had cast the magic themselves.

What are the people who inhabit your world like? Are they based on real-world cultures? What systems of government are in place?

Hir could be compared to a medieval world, though there are many differences. As the first book of the series begins, there are no actual kingdoms, but regions. Borders are not clearly defined, especially in the north, where the humans and Draldur have known peace for over five hundred years. There is free trade between the regions.

The only animosity that exists in the current day is between the Vaar’da and the Zumarians, who despise each other, in general. No one knows exactly why, but they have never been able to reconcile in the known and recorded history of Hir, which is less than half of the time-period of the Fourth Era. Almost nothing is known of the previous Eras. At present, a fragile truce exists between Vaar’da and Zumar, and a small amount of trading is allowed, though not encouraged between the two races.

Gothic style Dome of Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Each region has a monarch. In the human lands, they are called Kings. In Zumar, the ruler is a Pasha, and a Mikado rules in Vaar’da. Each has their own hierarchal system on how they rule, cities generally have a ruler under the reigning monarch, and towns and villages with whatever system they establish among themselves. As the series begins, trade is done freely between all regions. However, the economic and political landscape changes as the series progresses, with clearly defined borders and kingdoms the result by the end of the trilogy.

Are there any non-human characters?

As indicated, there are non-human races. The Draldur live alongside humans, and are mainly found in the trading and mining professions, usually motivated by greed, they still have honor and morals like those of the humans.

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The Vaar’da are a small people, usually around four to five feet in height, they are dark-skinned with almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears. They are an aloof race, generally considering themselves superior to other races, and all but hating the beast-like Zumarians. They mostly keep to themselves, though it’s not unusual to see some lone travelers in the other regions of Hir, mostly to the north. They make extensive use of bambu for construction, as well as mud bricks.

The Zumarians are a lion-like race, covered in fur and having cat-like ears and cleft upper lips, though they don’t have cat whiskers or tails.

More humanoid in shape and appearance, but a little larger than humans, they have a culture like the middle east of Earth. They are skilled and formidable warriors and favor honor over material gain. A Zumarians promise is as good as gold. Zumarians can be found all over Hir, most commonly as mercenaries for hire.

The Manenase are not considered a people by the other races, instead considered demons, and purely evil. They have the appearance of demons, with red skin, yellow eyes, horns and sharp teeth, and they are highly skilled with magic. The Manenase live underground, beneath the great volcano, Mount Scorch and the Boiling Sea, along with their Morok minions, that are mainly goblin-like in appearance. Both races share a yellow, sulfuric blood, and the Boiling Sea is tainted heavily with sulfur. They are the reason the Rangers were established, often raiding north into the human lands, killing farmers and stealing crops and livestock.

There is another group of magical creatures that have a significant importance in my series, but these are revealed within the story the trilogy tells. They are called the Mythica, and are not a race, but a specific kind of creature. The origin and story behind the Mythica is revealed in the trilogy, as they were unknown until the time of Baric’s destined journeys.

Huascaran snowcapped peak Andes Huaraz Peru

There are giant eagles that live high in the Frostfel Mountains, and rumors of sea serpents and other deadly sea creatures that keep most sailors within eyesight of the shores of Hir, fearing to sail further into the unending seas. Also, in previous Eras, unknown to those now living in the current Era, were other magical beings and creatures. These tales will be told in more detail in later stories from the series.

Is there anything special, precious, or unique about your world’s geography or its place in the universe?

Two thousand years ago, an explosion of unfathomable power destroyed almost all life on the continent, ending the Third Era of Hir. The explosion created a crater hundreds of miles wide in the center of the land and pushed land up towards the Skyhaven mountain peaks. The result of this devastation was a sheer, three hundred-foot high escapement that stretches across the entire continent, and a massive volcanic eruption that spewed lava, flowing across hundreds of miles.

It took a thousand years before signs of civilization began to one again emerge, and a new race, the Humans, was discovered. Over time, the crater filled with water and is now the gigantic Boiling Sea, with the volcano, Mount Scorch, at its center. Today, two thousand years later, this area, and the Lava Plains to the west of it, are populated by the demons called the Manenase, and the Moroks. It is called The Great Divide, as it divides the continent of Hir in two, with the northern part called Lower Hir (due to the escarpment facing the north), and the southern half is called Upper Hir.

The Great Divide is a place men fear to travel, and the only safe passage between Upper Hir and Lower Hir is by ship, going around the deadly area.

Scholars of the present time don’t know what caused the explosion, which is today known as the Great Disruption, but they can still see the effects that such a holocaust had on their world.

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What are the two most interesting facts or features of your world?

One, I would say, is the Great Divide, which plays a direct role in the story told in my trilogy. It is the source of many things that plague the world of Hir. The Manenase and the Moroks, as well as the wolf-like worriks, originate from this area. It is also where the great, incorporeal dragon, Doomrage, is held captive, until a series of circumstances in the book, A Whisper in the Shadows, releases him from his infernal prison.

Also, while not part of my trilogy, but something that will be detailed in a future story, is something called a Dread Winter, which occurs every 69 years. This is caused by the tilt of this world’s axis and its elliptical orbit around the sun.

During a Dread Winter, the ice pack from the Frozen Sea in the north will advance almost to the very northern shore of Hir, creating an ice bridge between Hir and the northern glacial region where dwells the Frost Giants. In the past, giants have raided the northern regions of Hir, killing many and stealing livestock and food.

With so many years between Dread Winters, most forget about the phenomenon. Only the oldest among humans can remember the previous episode. Such time lapse leaves most unprepared for the raids by the Frost Giants. A future story in my series will deal with this subject, when the next Dread Winter comes, in 2035 F.E.

Is there a religious system in place? If so, please describe the basic tenants of its tenants and how they impact the characters or story.

The Vaar’da, in general, worship two deities, whose actual origins among the aloof people are unknown. They worship Thornwen, the god of the earth, and his mate Danil, goddess of the sky. They believe these gods created their race, but have no explanation for how the other races came to be.

The Zumarians consider Ramura, the Lord of the Lions, as the father of their race. While some claim to have seen the gigantic white lion, no evidence is ever found, and most consider such claims exaggerations or tales of fancy. Though, most Zumarians revere Ramura as their deity, but not in the kind of religious fervor that Vaar’da show for their gods.

The Draldur mostly adhere to the same deity the humans proclaim, though a few revere their ancestors above any other gods. The humans worship a single, all-powerful creator who has no name. They refer to their god as “He who knows all things”. Not a title, but only a reference to the one they believe created all things, who sees all, knows all, and contains all power. Theirs is a true God.

He who knows all things, in the beginning, created the twelve Spirits of Creation.

These twelve Spirits were his agents in the creation of the world of Hir, and all the creatures and races that dwell within. He created also all the heavens and the Crux of Creation, where those who have passed on go, if they are worthy.

In the First Era of Hir, the greatest of the twelve Spirits, Narwyrm, the Spirit of the Dragon, deemed himself worthy to be a god, greater than his own creator, and due to his evil was expelled from the Crux of Creation and cast into the realm of shadows, the World Between Worlds. Four other Spirits joined with him in his rebellion, and they too were cast out. They became the Spirits of Destruction, and while they cannot directly interfere with the physical world, they, as well as the now Seven Spirits of Creation, can appear in dreams and visions, and influence the races and creatures in Hir indirectly.

As revealed in the trilogy of my series, these Spirits, on both sides, are at work, some to destroy, and others to protect, as indicated by the final book of the trilogy, The Shadow of Narwyrm.

 

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