My novel series is called “Journey to Chaos”. It takes place in the world of Tariatla and follows the adventures of Eric Watley, a mage for the Dragon’s Lair mercenary guild. The stories consist of his missions for the guild, the mischief that Tasio the Trickster sends his way, and clashes with the enemies that he meets and makes
What makes your world special or different?
It is a world that is both modern and magical. I noticed in a lot of the books and shows etc. that I was enjoying before I started writing the series that magic, magical creatures, etc. were only an open and acknowledged part of the world in settings that took place in pre-modern societies, typically in or based on medieval Europe. In modern/21st century stories, there was always a masquerade in place. Everything magical was hidden; anything that did not exist in real life was concealed. The reasons for this were vague at best, basically handwaves.
I thought it would be fun to create a modern society that had magic as a stable element. For instance, cities are powered by magical energy instead of electricity and humans go to public school with elves and mermaids.
The tagline for the series ties into this: “welcome to a world where magic and monsters are as a common as homework and hotdogs.
Is there a system of magic?
Yes, there is a system of magic in Tariatla. In fact, there are several. The most commonly used is called either Three Law Magic or magecraft. This is because three things are necessary for its use: mana (energy), knowledge of how spells work and the will power to force mana into the shape desired by the mage.
Mana comes from the mage’s soul and from nature. It flows into both from outside the multi-verse known as a “world fruit” and orginates in the Sea of Chaos at the roots of Noitearc, the Great Tree that Supports the Worlds. After a mage uses mana for spells, it departs the local world fruit and returns to the Sea of Chaos.
Magecraft can do many things but it has limits. This is because it is the most diluted form of chaos energy and it was chaos energy that created worlds, souls and gods. It has less potency and thus less capability. It’s also much safer to use.
What are the people who inhabit your world like?
I tried to base the society of Tariatla on life as I knew it personally but with the addition of in-universe touches. I suppose that means it is based on urban America but the main country, Ataidar, has only vague influence if any. There is a clearer and more direct example in a side country from book 3: Mana Mutation Menace.
As for systems of government, it was fun to be diverse. Each country is slightly different. As for Ataidar, it is a theocratic limited monarchy. This means that the monarch is held be to be divine in nature and tie into the state’s official religion but is limited in their actions by other sections of the government, namely, the Common Council (commoners elected by commoners) and the Noble Coucil (hereditary position of nobles). I try to depict it as the monarch handling the day-to-day running of the country with the two councils involved in the making of laws and big decisions like declaring war.
Are there any magical creatures?
There are lots of magical creatures in Tariatla. They all orginate in mana mutation, which is when something is transformed by exposure to high degrees of mana. Out of mana mutation come monsters which are the classic Always Chaotic Evil mobs that players kill in RPGs. I wanted a mechanism to show how they respawn and also to explain why Tariatla has monsters and Threa (i.e. “Earth”) does not. There are also intelligent magical creatures such as elves, beastfolk, orcs; a Fantasy Kitchen Sink as the trope is named. There are also demons.
A “demon” in my series is not a hellish creature but a intelligent monster.
The name is derived from the fact that monsters are mindless and thus unable to act with malice; an intelligent monster is thus something with the power of a monster and the capacity for cruelty of a sapient.
Is there anything special, precious, or unique about your world’s geography or its place in the universe?
There’s nothing special about Tariatla’s place in in Noitrearc (the omniverse, basically). It is just one more world that the Powers That Be (Chaos and Order in this case) fight each other over. As for the planet’s geography, there is something special, but not “precious”. It is the Necrohol of Siduban. A tremendous amount of chaotic energy exploded there pre-series and transformed it into an eldritch pit of monsters. It is referred to as the single most dangerous place in the world.
How does the landscape or geography of your world affect the plot or theme of the story?
The physical landscape is basically flavor text or an additional obstacle during long distance missions. It is the magical landscape that is important. Tariatla has a Background Magic Field that enables the use of magic and the existence of monsters, and it is stronger or weaker in certain areas. The Yacian Caverns, for instance, have a higher concentration of mana and this means stronger monsters live there. The island nation of Ceiha doesn’t have any mana and thus magic is really difficult there and the locals can’t do it at all. The entire country of Latrot is, in a nutshell, possessed by the god Order which means he can control everyone and everything there.
Is there a religious system in place?
There are numerous religions in on Tariatla that I created in the process of world building. There is the Church of Chaos and its numerous sub-divisions, the singular Order Orthodoxy, Ataidar’s state religion, Fire’s Faithful and others. However, most play small roles for the first three books of the Journey to Chaos series. In the third book, “Mana Mutation Menace”, there is greater focus on Annala’s religion, worship of Lady Chaos as the Grandmother of Elves. It stresses the importance of personal freedom, being creative in whatever it is that you do, and a learning new things through your life. Following these tenants leads Annala to challenge Prince Lunas Latrot in the proper way of solving the mana mutation problem: perserving freedom and treating the condition when it happens vs submitting to Order to prevent the condition from happening in the first place.
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