Y’all know about “The Tower and The Eye” by now. I won’t bore you with any more from that particular book, but the world is a different matter.
I expanded the world map of Quargard recently, while I was writing “The Ballad of Pigsnout the Wanderer”, and needed to look at the area that Pigsnout habitually roamed around in.
This is the original map –
Pigsnout’s adventure takes place at the bottom of this particular map – in Giranath and the Southern Isles. So I had to expand the whole Quargard World map in order to see who the characters would be talking about…
And this is the result:
As you can see, The Heart Kingdoms are a relatively small section in the centre of Quargard… stories are already occurring to me, set in the other kingdoms shown, but for the moment, I need to finished the story that The Nightbringer started.
So I began writing the sequel to TTATE just before Christmas. I thought that as today is Sneak Peek Sunday, you might want to see a little of what I’ve written so far…
* * * *
“One of my girls,” she let her voice caress the word ‘Girls’, “has informed me that there is a prohibition on them using weapons. How am I supposed to decide if any of the children are worth Tyr’s effort to train in his Temple, if all I can give them to train with is sticks?”
“Weaponry is not for those of the feminine persuasion.” Hengrin said.
Loriel frowned. “Your accent sounds familiar… do you come from Northern Sirlaya by any chance?”
He waved the question away. “Train the boys all you would like; in fact, we shall bring Sir Handen in to aid you, but the girls are to be occupied in classes on Healing, Baking and other gentle pursuits.”
Loriel laughed. She let her laughter roll around the room like a Poison Demon’s fart, coating every person there in its derision. When she decided they’d had enough, she stopped.
“I’ll be sure to pass that onto Ser Kalytia when I next see her.” She drawled.
Merely the mention of the Hero of Galivor made the Mayor pale. “You know… her?”
“Of course I do. Every female warrior such as myself knows her. She trains us you know.” Loriel said. I have no idea if what I am saying is true or not…
“I didn’t think…” Hengrin said.
“That much is clear.” Mirsheir grinned at him. “How else would female warriors be created if they are not trained by someone outside the forest? Even Sir Handen admitted that he had trained alongside women, the last time I spoke to him.”
Loriel flashed a smile at the blacksmith. “I’ve not heard of this Sir Handen, but there are thousands of warriors in the Heart Kingdoms, male and female.”
The mayor took a deep breath. “I am the mayor of this village. I have been for nearly thirty years and I make the policy. No woman born of this village will touch a weapon, not even a practice weapon, while I am mayor.”
Loriel sighed Maybe Confrontation is the only way to sort this out? In a flash she was behind the mayor, knife to his throat. “Then perhaps we should remove you as mayor.”
The mayor squeaked.
“Lady Recruiter, you may be correct in your summation, but terrifying Mayor Hengrin into losing control of his bowel function will not solve the problem you put before us.” Mirsheir said, catching her gaze with his.
She pressed the edge to the mayor’s throat for a second longer, then put the dagger away and stepped back.
“You are right, Ser Blacksmith. I shall away to my superiors to inform them that Black Forest village is no longer amenable to recruiting from Lord Tyr and therefore not requiring the dowry that I am instructed to pay for each trainee I recruit.” She strode toward the door.