The Bones of the Past Cover Image

The Night Guard walk the streets of the old kingdom of Bialta seeking out threats that are beyond the abilities of the common soldier.

Nial is one such threat―a girl changed into something “other” and on the hunt for human souls.

Salt, a sailor recently rescued by the Night Guard, has been inducted into their ranks. He’s a quick study, but as new threats multiply all around them, will he have what it takes to survive?

Bialta is not alone in its woes. Sacral, a city that vanished in the distant past, has reappeared where it once stood at the heart of the Wastes. Like many of Sacral’s people, Maura is content living a quiet life, ignoring the outside world. But she finds herself desperately fighting to save her home as war comes to the city returned.

Meanwhile, across the Great Desert, creatures are stirring. Carver, the last living master of the magic known as fleshcarving, has won the support of the tyrant of Tolrahk Esal. Together they will unleash his twisted creations to sweep across the land and forever disrupt the balance of power.

In this epic tale, there is no good and evil. Armies march, demons feed, and deities unleash their powers on a world that will never be the same.

craig munro map (final)

What makes your world special or different?

I have taken a very long view to the creation of my world. I wrote a wide range of (sometimes) cataclysmic events spanning several millennia that reshaped or devastated some areas. While most of these events are just background or legends for the events of the story, they contributed to shaping the final form of the landmasses, politics, and geography while establishing a rich background.

Is there a system of magic?

Magic is a semi-scientific system – energy can be manipulated in various ways but it has to come from somewhere and go somewhere. Mages create ‘weaves’ from their magic that are used to give the energy shape or to create the desired effect.

Beyond this ‘mortal’ magic are the powers of the various divinities. Their powers still follow the same basic structure, but are generally on a far grander scale. Many deities also use their powers to reshape their followers or endow them with abilities beyond those they might have been born with.

If a priest or priestess calls on their god or goddess, it is the deity performing the magical effect (though in a very distracted way, guided by the will of the person calling on their favor).

The third group of magic endowed individuals are Chosen. These individuals have increased physical abilities due to a more instinctive control of innate or endowed magical abilities. They are generally subdivided into Warchosen – those who were born to their abilities, and Godchosen – those who were gifted with physical power by a deity.

What are the people who inhabit your world like?

The various countries and peoples of my world are very much inspired by real world cultures and political systems, though I do take great liberties with all of them and add in a healthy dose of my own imagination.

Segments of the story were written while I was living in South Korea, others were inspired by visits to Cambodia, Yemen, Vietnam, Bahrain…

The British museum and its equivalents elsewhere have always been great at kickstarting my imagination as well!

The resulting world is extremely varied (much like the world we live on!) with dictatorships, theocracies, and even the odd well-meaning monarch governing populations that are every bit as culturally different from one another as the people I’ve met on my travels.

Are there any magical creatures?

Beyond some undead hiding in the shadows, demons are fairly common in most ‘civilized’ countries. Mages of all descriptions frequently bind them to their will in a variety of ways. Unlike most other types of magical servants that they might create, demons all have some level of intelligence which allows them to perform more complex tasks for their masters. This does come with a significant risk of course, as all demons hunger for power and souls.

DSC00487Another race I created that could certainly be called magical are the Dreth. In reality, they are the antithesis of magic. Their power negates most sorcery and they are mostly famed for their weaponcraft. Blue skinned, and extremely long lived, they are the most inhuman of the races I created.

Is there a religious system in place?

The religious aspect of this world is also fairly complex. Each civilization has their own pantheon of gods they worship which tends to evolve over time as groups mix and different deities fall into or out of favor. Many of these ‘local’ divinities are ascended mortals. Then there are greater gods who are far stronger and (generally) older, but are also much more remote and less likely to get involved directly in events.

Examples of ascended deities would include Bernolk – the human god of wealth, and Helual, the god of science and medicine. And a greater god would be – The Silent God (the god/goddesses of death who, true to his/her name, never answers any prayers directly and is therefore known by many different titles).

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Twitter: @BonesofthePast