A Saga Reborn
Genesis of Oblivion Synopsis:
In a world left shattered after the War of Power—an inferno that created the Great Darkness that came close to ending all life on Talic Nauth—chance ensnares the lives of a few select souls. And while these events have faded into legend, and those legends have dissolved into fragmented tales used to scare children, society rebuilds. Yet from the shadows, the Twelve Gods of Man bide their time, the desire for ultimate control burning in their veins. They whisper into the ears of those who shape the kingdoms and control the religions of a world teeming with underground societies, secret wars, and ancient magic hidden in long forgotten ruins.
Today, the world of Talic Nauth vibrates in the aftershock of that ancient conflict. Yet for the inhabitants, life marches on as if this was the way things have always been. And while the people toil away in their mundane realities, struggling against their own personal dilemmas and desires, they are oblivious to the fact they are mere pawns in a celestial game that could doom their world forever.
Meet Arderi Cor, a farmer boy who dreams of breaking free from the mundane life he was born to. When the tantalizing adventure of mercenary life ensnares him, he finds himself thrust into a clandestine conflict that has been raging since the War of Power. Oblivious to his true potential, he walks a dangerous path, hunted by forces beyond his comprehension. Can Arderi uncover these truths as he delves deeper into a life filled with blood, betrayal, and arcane mysteries, or will he fall to the shadowy forces stalking him?
Arderi’s scholarly brother, Malant, finds his life hanging by a thread held by the mysterious Elmor’Antiens. As he grows in skill, his love for a woman battles his thirst to embrace magic, each desperate to win his affection. But every choice he makes leads him closer to a fate that could alter the very fabric of the Essence itself. Is Malant in pursuit of knowledge and power that will lead him to enlightenment, or will the darkness in his soul pull him into an abyss from which there is no escape?
Clytus Rillion is a seasoned mercenary captain and a soldier in a mysterious organization fighting to save an ignorant world. However, he is weighed down by a heart that aches like a fresh wound. His only son, Cyril, lies in bed writing in pain, death creeping closer with each passing day. When a precarious path is revealed that could lead to his son’s survival, his resolve hardens into a steel that even the gods could never break. Yet fate is a cruel mistress. As he prepares to seek this rare component needed by the Healers, his enemies wrap their fingers tighter around his throat. In the end, will his oath of servitude to an enigmatic war outweigh the fading breaths of his beloved child?
A lionman enslaved since birth and known only as the Beast fights in the Grand Coliseum—his life-or-death dance a bloody spectacle for the amusement of the crowd. Each clash in the arena echoes in his mind, a cruel reminder of his bondage. When a mysterious benefactor purchases his freedom, he is pushed into a world that scorns his very existence. Can he seize this fragile thread of liberty, or have his shackles merged so deep into his very fiber that they've become inseparable from his soul?
Elith, a strange being not of this world, knows only one thing: killing. But when fragmented memories and unbidden emotions ambush her mind, she is left pondering what twisted God has inflicted her with such weaknesses. Will she be able to quell the tumultuous emotions threatening to unmoor her, or will her internal struggle shipwreck the last remnants of her sanity?
Each of our heroes wrestles with their own private torments, battling demons that threaten to consume them. Yet through the background of it all, a mysterious refrain weaves through the very fabric of their lives—a haunting, melodious undertone sung from the dark recesses of a forgotten past. The Goddess of Wisdom, Saphanthia, her ethereal whisper comforting them with words of salvation if they would but seek her out in an ancient ruin untouched for eons. To each, she promises a gift that will end their suffering. But is the Goddess a beacon of pure altruism, or does her siren call cloak insidious designs veiled in a guise of benevolence?
As these five souls converge, their decisions will not only impact their own futures and those they love, but the futures of every living being on Talic Nauth. Are these heroes the architects of salvation, or the harbingers of destruction?
Join the adventure and unearth a realm teeming with blood-soaked conflicts, arcane magic, hidden powers, and characters who are more than what they seem. In the world of Talic Nauth, history is no idle tale—it's a living breathing chronicle etched into ancient ruins, whispered through the remnants of fallen civilizations, and woven by the whims of the Twelve Gods of Man.
Critics and Fans Rave
An Award-Winning Epic Fantasy Saga
Moonbeam Young Adult Fantasy Award Winner for Excellence in Literature
Dragonroots Magazine Best New Fantasy Saga Award Winner
Las Vegas Review Journal:
The characters in “Farmers & Mercenaries” are well-developed. Their stories are told in alternating chapters, and readers easily become invested in the fate of each. The pace of the book is quick and the story lines solid. Readers will turn pages late into the night just to find out what will happen next.
Drake’s thrilling adventure inspires readers to root for their favorite hero or hope for a villain’s demise. The diverse and dangerous world of Talic’Nauth captures the imagination, transporting readers to a land they might not want to leave.
The Genesis of Oblivion Saga gives fans of the fantasy genre have another group of characters to get to know and love. I can't wait for the next in the series.
Drake is a master storyteller, crafting an amazingly organic tale. I put the book down and wanted to dive right into the sequel. Why should you read this book? Why shouldn’t you is the better question. This novel is a compelling start to an epic series that I will be following devoutly until its completion; a story rich with originality and wonder, whose characters have vast untapped potential. The plot flows with natural, well-crafted rhythm and the vibrant world yearns to be further explored. The Genesis of Oblivion Saga is a completely mesmerizing tale.
The way that this novel ends blew me away. It confirmed the suspicions that I had early on in the novel, yet the reveal isn’t blatantly obvious—and there are quite a few things that shocked me. I became emotionally invested in the characters and cared about their actions. A certain pivotal scene for a character made me gasp and quickly re-read to make sure what I saw was true, thinking, “What the hell just happened?” But it happened, and the character acted accordingly in a feat of seamless storytelling. This is a magnificent addition to the Genesis of Oblivion series, and one that begs for additional sequels. The richly developed world leaves me wanting more, just as the first novel did. I can’t wait to return to Talic’Nauth!
The deeper you read, the more drawn into the story and characters you will become. Genesis of Oblivion is great. I am looking forward to more books by Maxwell Alexander Drake
I truly enjoyed reading the second book in the Genesis of Oblivion Saga. I was pulled into each scene. The descriptions written by Drake are detailed and strong, drawing the reader into the story. The pace of the story and the storyline is well thought out.
Pornokitsch.com Underground Reading Review:
The Genesis of Oblivion Saga is a well-structured adventure that does a solid job of establishing the ground rules for the rest of the series. The bare bones of a patented Great Adventure have been set in place...
Drake comes through with banners snapping in the breeze from raised lances. Overall, I am impressed by this first outing and look forward to seeing where this story goes over the next several books. I gave this book a rating of four out of five stars.
…by the end I was mesmerized so that I could not put it down till I had finished it. Drake does a good job of developing the characters and melding their paths throughout the book. The ending was a good set up for book two so I can hardly wait to see how the story continues.
I have just finished reading book one of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga and I have to say that I am very much impressed by the writing of Maxwell Alexander Drake. At first I thought it was going to be a little difficult getting into the book but after a few pages I started feeling more and more involved with the book. Drake breathes new life into the fantasy genre with this first book.
Amazon.com customer Mary Elizabeth Gibson:
I loved this book, it is refreshing to read a book where it starts you right into the story. At times I had to put the book down, and blink a couple of times to make sure I was in the real world. It immerses you with the characters and their feelings and struggles. Can't wait until book Two.
Amazon.com customer Lystra Pitts:
I am an unabashed Fantasy junkie. I love great epic fantasy; it is by far my favorite Genre, when done well. Sadly it hasn't been done well by a new author in a long, long time. In a market full of old favorites and dull imitators Drake emerges as a fresh new voice with a great new world and series. His characters are well developed, his world rich and detailed and the plot intriguing and exciting. I cannot describe to you my joy at finally finding a new fantasy author who has the talent and storytelling ability of the old masters without being forced to copy their work. I loved this book and I can't wait for the next book in the series. You need to start reading this series now, because I guarantee you will be re-reading it for years.
Amazon.com customer Bryan McAffee:
This series, starting with Book One, is a great new series. In many ways the author's style reminds me of Brandon Sanderson. I would rate this right up there with the Way of Kings or The Warded Man. The world that is created is new and not a tired cliche found in the fantasy genre. All I can say is give me more!
Barnesandnoble.com customer Michael Gibson:
I love the writing style of world and character introductions. The characters are described in such a way that it paints a picture of who they are and what they look in the minds eye without distracting from the story. When you read this book it really places you in the world and makes you feel a part of it. I had a hard time putting it down once I started.
Barnesandnoble.com customer G.A. Mcbride:
Drake has done it again! The story he started in book 1 has exploded into non-stop action in book 2. The plot thickens & new characters/villains & unknowns are introduced. A real page turner that has me very much looking forward to the next in the series!
Goodreads.com member Debbie:
It's a wonderful, layered saga with different narratives weaved together in a way that makes it difficult to put down. Maxwell Alexander Drake has created a richly complex and dramatic world filled with unforgettable characters. I highly recommend it and can't wait for the next in the series to come out.
Goodreads.com member Paul:
I read a lot of fantasy and Mr. Drake definitely has talent. He creates an interesting, deep world with a great magic system. I especially liked the characters of Elith and Arderi and I am looking forward to reading more of their adventures.
The History of the Saga
Why a Complete Rewrite?
Way back in the year of our lord twenty ought eight, life was pretty good for me. It was a year so promising it almost convinced me I'd stumbled into glory. Farmers & Mercenaries—the first, fragile stepping-stone in the Genesis of Oblivion Saga—hit the shelves. As you can tell from the above accolades, critics and readers erupted in cheers. Not just the polite golf-clap kind of praise, mind you. More in a raucous, fireworks-on-the-Fourth-of-July sort of way. I was a rising star. Flattery, you ethereal temptress, you swept me off my feet. Yet humility tethered me to the ground. A paradox, really.
Fast-forward to 2010, and Mortals & Deities sashayed onto the literary stage. Those lovable misfits that had been introduced in Book One now saw their lives spiraling further into chaos. Stakes rose to even greater heights and tension thickening like a pot of simmering stew left on the stove too long. The applause was deafening, and who was I to challenge the praise?
2012 should have been the year that saw Dreams & Nightmares unfurl its dark wings. (That joke would make more sense if you knew what the cover to that book looks like.) Poised to fly, you might say? But you would be wrong. You see, I had signed with a small-press publisher, a tiny ship in a turbulent sea of literature. Genesis was the company's beacon. Its guiding star. Yet even stars falter. A singular hit can dazzle, but one shouldn't expect it to fuel the engines of an entire publishing enterprise. So, just as Dreams & Nightmares readied its grand entrance, the curtain fell. Not with a dramatic thud but with the creaking finality of a locked door. The publisher went belly-up. My series put on hold. How did I feel about it? Somewhere between a shrug and an existential crisis, depending on the second of the day.
Ah, but there was a plot twist. Sony, that digital titan, came knocking on my door. They dangled before me the title of Lead Fiction Writer for EverQuest Next—a $650 million budgeted behemoth MMORPG. Tempting? Try irresistible. I was a mindless beast of burden, and they had a very large carrot on a stick. Who wouldn't drool at such a succulent lure? Especially with a twenty-million-strong fan base behind the EverQuest IP. But every choice has its toll. I knew if I answered their siren's call, I'd be forced to consign the Genesis Saga to the theater’s dim margins, watching wistfully as EQNext stood in the spotlight of my attention.
Now, I did spare a thought for the patient, long-suffering fans of the Genesis Saga. However, with my creativity captured, and the day having but 24 miserly hours, hunting for a new publishing haven fell by the wayside. Sure, Dreams & Nightmares was penned. Locked and loaded and ready to be consumed by my starving fans. But I honestly wasn’t worried. I mean, with EQNext's colossal might serving as my bulwark, it seemed just a matter of time before someone, somewhere would scoop up my orphaned, award-winning series. A comforting thought, but alas, a delusional one. To this day, that third book languishes in the digital catacombs of my PC, a phantom waiting resurrection.
But I had entered the Sony years of my career, and joy sang in my heart. It was a passionate tryst with a tantalizing muse, and I churned out adventure tales with the flair of a master chef concocting gourmet dishes. Tales of glory, epic in scope. And yet, their brilliance is locked away in a vault, keys thrown into the abyss, to be read by no one.
You see, while I labored away, sweat glistening on my brow, Sony was skulking in dark alleyways with naught but evil in her heart. Unbeknownst to me, the digital whore was busy hawking its PC game division like a street vendor selling knock-off watches. In 2015, the dastardly deed was done. Daybreak dawned, a new player on the scene of online PC games.
And when Daybreak, fresh off burning through their coffers to acquire Sony Online Entertainment, gazed upon our humble abode of EverQuest Next, they saw naught but half-finished tapestries and looming deadlines. They eyed the massive 325-million-dollar mountain of cash still needed to see our hard work come to market like Ebenezer Scrooge himself reborn. Their verdict? Bah, humbug! No encore for us. It was like getting halfway through a jaw-dropping novel, only to find the remaining pages blank. A crime, I say. But what could be done about it?
I bade farewell to my Sony family, mournful and somber, broken by the loss of the sanctuary that had become my creative crucible for three long years. My bright future crushed but not forgotten, yet still a graveyard of digital phantasms, none the less.
I found myself in 2015; the year that would become the crucible of my undoing. I fell into a hole so dark, I nearly forgot what the sun even looked like. In 2008 I'd been a go-getter. A deadline-slayer. And now I had morphed into someone unrecognizable. Deadlines slipped through my fingers like grains of sand. Motivation became a scarce commodity, rarer than a blue moon. And my focus as a writer vanished into mist.
On paper, it all made sense of course. The EverQuest Next ship had sunk, its crew cut and dispersed. Would not your own morale be swimming with the sharks? I chalked it up to the gut-punch that was EQNext's demise. I told myself this funk was a product of those grim days, and nothing more. Surely, my spirits would lift, and I'd return to normal once I distanced myself from this disaster. Time heals all wounds, does it not?
Apparently in my case: no it doesn't.
For me, the spiral didn't stop. I kept sinking, plunging into abyssal depths I'd never known. Depression, you might think. Yet those who know me would rebut such a diagnosis. I'm the guy who spews infectiously optimistic one-liners that make others want to puke. I say sickening things like, “I’ve never failed at anything in my life. I’ve simply had thousands of opportunities to learn how not to do something.” Yet here I was, in the eye of a storm I couldn't wish away.
The years stretched on, each more indistinguishable from the last. 2015 turned into 2016 which rolled into 2017 and before I knew it, it was 2018… and I had written nothing. My creative well had run dry. Oh sure, I penned the first two books in my Brutal Writing Advice series. But that's like a chef saying he cooked when all he did was reheat yesterday's meatloaf. These weren't the rich tapestries of fiction I was used to weaving; they were cut-and-paste pieces of advice I'd been spouting for over a decade. Critically acclaimed advice, to be sure. But my heart belongs to fiction, and these tributes to the world left me unfulfilled. I did manage to write a handful of short stories during this time. Torturous slogs through creative quicksand. Months-long battles for a few measly thousand words. A grim shadow of my past prolific 60,000-word months.
I hated to do it, but eventually I had to admit I was grappling with the black dog of chronic depression. But let me peel back another layer of this onion that is the bearing of my very soul for your pleasure. I'm straight-edged. A guy who sidesteps any substance that clouds the mind. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, I'll pass. But there is one thing I fear far above any of those vices: Anti-depressants. In high school I had a best friend, an honor roll student, video game geek, and D&D nerd. A man after my own heart. When he was sixteen, his overzealous mother put him on meds for some absurd reason. I think he might have smirked at her the wrong way one day and she freaked out thinking he’d become the next Jack the Ripper. My younger self watched in horror as my friend transform. He lost his spark, his intelligence, his sanity. It was like witnessing a slow-motion train wreck with bodies being ripped apart like rag dolls. A jarring spectacle that left deep scars on my impressionable young psyche.
Last I heard, he'd checked himself into a mental facility. Again.
Which is why I couldn't force myself to seek the help I so clearly needed. I was too much the coward. Besides, I was raised in the “rub some dirt on it and you’ll be fine” era. If I just sucked it up and pushed through, I'd be fine.
Yeah… how’d that work out for me?
And then it happened.
The wake-up call punched me in the face in 2019. A convention dialed me up, offering the limelight as their Author Guest of Honor. Flattered, I said yes. Yet, as the line went dead, a biting truth gnawed at my mind. My neighbor, a man whose vocation is selling used cars, could fill that honored seat as aptly as me. I mean, his novel output matched mine, did it not. Zilch, nada, zero. Nothing since 2015. Nay! I had to be honest. Naught since Mortals & Deities in 2010, as far as my fans knew! What a damning scorecard.
So, there it was. The slap in the face I needed, urging me to make a move. I mulled over the dreaded anti-depressants and realized, if they did turn my brain into mush, what did it matter? As painful as the reality was, I had to face the facts: I was no longer a novelist. My career had died and I simply refused to come to terms with it.
And here we reach the mid ACT II climax, changing the course of the adventure. Turns out I wasn't depressed at all. Not in the textbook sense, at least. What I assumed was a bout of chronic depression was something more tangible. My body had decided to clock out on hormone production. Yes, those unsung heroes of biological balance had exited stage left. Important little critters, as it happens. Who would've guessed? Not me.
Testosterone was my main nemesis. That elusive elixir governing the male brain, it appears, can make or break a man's mental health. An absence of it and your memory drifts into a fog, your focus dissolves, and along with it, your basic will to live. It's why I refer to the years between 2015 and 2019 as my "waking coma" years. They are little more than a gray haze of memories and milestones. Half-a-decade of eroded joy, dismantling the core of who I was. The most painful part of that era was not the death of my career, however. It was the fact that I’d been an absent father to my children, my wife a widow even as she slept next to the shell of a man she’d married. Years I’ll never recover.
Just so you have a factual account, let me give you the numbers. A young lad in his 20s boasts a testosterone level ranging from 700 to 900. Reach my vintage age and for most, that number dwindles to a still respectable 500 to 600. However, cross the threshold below 300, and it's time for supplementation lest you suffer the consequences. Descend to a paltry 150, and you've hit the ominous realm of "chronically low." For perspective, women, who naturally have less of the stuff, average between 30 and 60.
My count was not chronically low, but virtually nonexistent. How much so?
Yes. My endocrine system had essentially taken a sabbatical, leaving me a hollow husk navigating a discolored world through a veil of muted apathy.
The why behind my hormone plunge remains elusive. A scientific blind spot, if you will. While the medical world has lavished billions in the attempt to understand the labyrinthine maze that is women's hormones. Deserved, no doubt. The study of men's hormones remains an underfunded wasteland of ignorance.
And yet the miracle of modern medicine prevails.
A weekly jab in the ass and voilà! My muse returned. Not meekly but in a blazing spectacle. My mind resurrected, words once again flowed from me like a river breaking through a dam. But it wasn't just prose that was summoned to my keyboard; creativity burst forth in manifold ways. A TV series inked, an award-winning children's script penned, another guide into the treacherous realm of creative writing available to hungry fans. Each a feather in my suddenly not-so-sluggish cap.
Yet through it all, my gaze returned to my first love—my Genesis Saga. The title now more ironic than ever. But that still doesn't answer the question posed in the title of this essay so long, long ago. Why have I done a complete rewrite of an award-winning novel?
While I had no ability to write fiction during this time, I still taught creative writing all over the world. And though the drive to produce was beyond my grasp, my mind toiled on the subject endlessly. And time doesn't just age wine and cheese; it hones skills, sharpens instincts. My first book is now little more than a youthful endeavor to me, filled with passion but lacking the finesse of years spent wrestling with prose. I had no desire to put a roof on such a weak foundation, award-winning or not!
So, I tore it down to its bones and began anew, breathing life into something familiar yet profoundly changed. For I was not the same man I was then, either.
As my momentum gathered beneath the wings of creativity, each keystroke sounded like a hymn from a celestial choir. A story reborn, almost doubled in volume. I was adding entirely new landscapes to the world I'd already created. Additional and expanded chapters, reworked plot elements, even a new character arc, deep and conflicted, found their voice and role within my epic. A story once capped at 136,000 words now sprawled across 240,000—an expansive canvas of nuance, tension, and renewed vigor.
I morphed into a whirlwind of creation, like a god intoxicated by the very act of world-building. Words flowed, stories became enriched, and plots honed to razor sharpness. As I toiled to bring the manuscript to new heights, it became a symphony nearing its crescendo, each note precisely where it needed to be.
But just when the ink should have been drying on my new chapter of triumph, I was reminded that before the climax of a story, the hero must pass through the ultimate darkness: the all hope is lost moment. The period at the end of a sentence no one wants to write. Just one word, yet it demanded to be included in my story.
The treatment was a journey through desolate lands, where pain reigned, and resilience wavered on a knife's edge. Every ounce of poison that invaded my veins spoke of a deadly gamble—a bet on which killer would claim victory first, the one within or the one administered from without. Months of this uncertainty built an odd cadence, each treatment a morbid stanza in an epic poem.
In a twist of ironic sweetness, they injected me with radioactive sugar. A bitter confection, soaked in uncertainty and strained thought a piercing needle. The narrow tube used for discovery became a tunnel to an undefined future, a tight passage through the eye of fate's storm.
Each radioactive beam shot into my body was like some cruel brush wielded by a madman painting a grotesque caricature of a human being. The tableau was paradoxical; this alchemy that aimed to heal my illness was killing me day by day.
Weight vanished from my body like leaves torn from a once robust tree, shedding with each passing season of chemotherapy and radiation. The scale ticked ever downward—190, 180, 170, more. A dwindling series until it halted at a ghostly 140. Emaciation wore my form like a macabre cloak. But in the end, I remained... the tumor did not.
Recovery has been no small hill to climb, but my body inches back. Life clawing its way through the mud of misery. Through it all, my optimistic demeanor never flickered out. Each new, horrific experience became less a scar and more a tapestry of life's intricate complexities. A dark thread woven into a greater narrative, adding depth and breadth to my understanding of what it means to be human.
And now, on the other side of this crucible, I stand holding a Genesis Saga reborn, as if it had walked through the fires of refinement alongside its creator. Polished, expanded, and infinitely richer. Just like the person who typed each word—a man familiar with the taste of life's bitterness but seasoned by it, now savoring the far sweeter taste of survival and creation.
If the years between 2015 and 2019 were a waking coma, then the years that have followed have become an awakening. A second act. The drama of existence and the will to craft something beautiful from the rawest of life's materials. This is more than a fresh edition of an old tale; it is a testament to human resilience.
Will you take my hand and return with me to the lands of Talic Nauth?
The Future of Genesis
Where am I going now?
As you’ve learned, the metamorphosis of Farmers & Mercenaries was no mere touch-up. I didn’t just slap a new coat of paint on an old rusty rain barrel. I did a complete overhaul. A re-imagining. Book One of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga has blossomed with new life and intricate detail, the page count fattening like a holiday turkey. I birthed at least a dozen new chapters, each a fresh tendril on a revitalized tree. I held nothing sacred. While the main trunk of the story remains solid, every branch, every leaf, is refined and reshaped.
And while many a fan loved this story as originally written, after fifteen years of growth in my craft, I am less thrilled by my contribution. Think of it this way; is there anything you do now that you didn’t do as good in your past? Absolutely.
In an intricate world replete with capricious gods with dubious morals, even the creator can lose his way. Not this time. This trip through the ancient halls of prose, I meticulously scrutinized every twist and turn of the plot. I corrected errors created unknowingly from the ignorance of my youth. Like an errant flame, I snuffed out inconsistencies that had irritated me for over a decade. I fine-tuned each character arc to within a hair's breadth of perfection. To my eye, at least. To me, the original manuscript was little more than a sketch. Now it’s a master painting.
I’ve also gone to great lengths to improve this Director’s Cut version not just in word, but in substance.
A budding yet talented young artist returned unexpectedly into my life. Last I’d seen Reade, she was but a toddler casting flower peddles for my bride-to-be to tread upon down the isle of our nuptial. Now all grown up and pursuing her own passions, she has created illustrations that breathe visual life into the narrative, ink and imagination in sublime harmony. I have given you a preview above. I hope you will welcome her into the fold as she takes her first tentative step as a professional illustrator.
Maps, those arcane keepers of lore, got a fresh cartographic flair as well thanks to a new cartographer I have enlisted to my cause. Each contour Miquel draws, each river, each boundary contributes to a deeper understanding of a world already dense with detail.
The union of visual grandeur and narrative depth of the cover artwork continues with the illustrious work of Magic the Gathering artist Lars Grant West. A virtuoso in the arcane art of fantasy illustration, I am both humbled and honored that he has remained a loyal and steadfast partner in this endeavor. The original three covers he created—those mesmerizing canvases that beckon readers into a realm of high stakes and higher magic—retain their coveted spots. Too opulent to discard, these works are odes to the skill and vision of an artist at the apex of his craft.
Of the subsequent tomes—volumes four and five—these will usher in an era of renewed collaboration. A chance for Lars to delve even deeper into the visual lexicon of a world that has grown in complexity and scope. I do not see him as a mere cover artist; he is my co-creator of the saga's visual ethos. The wizard who transmutes the ineffable into the tangible, adding another rich layer to an already multifaceted tapestry. Financially demanding? Certainly. Yet I put value not in physical currency but in the intangible wealth of emotional and artistic resonance.
And yet, the energies and riches I’m pouring into this phoenix-like revival scarcely hint at the grand design yet to be unfurled.
For those who answer the call of a true fan, I have been in deep consultation with my printer. (What? Doesn’t everyone have their own printer?) This time, the planned Collector's Edition shall be a veritable treasure trove of tactile pleasures. Like the original version, it will have the warm allure of colored endsheets and the functional elegance of a silk bookmark sewn into its spine. Yet, that's the floor, not the ceiling. I don’t want this new edition to simply sit on the shoulders of its predecessor; I aim for it to soar above. Ideas germinate, prototypes take shape, and each conversation with my printer becomes a colloquium on potential marvels.
I have staked out a small fiefdom in the realm of this very website. A digital gathering place for those who crave a more personal audience with me, or those who simply wish to claim the title of Patron, and grace me the coin I require to focus wholly upon my divine calling. Inside this member’s only area, the veil between author and audience grows thin. Early drafts shimmer like morning mist before the blazing sun of scrutiny. It’s a place where your words, your insights, might very well become the alchemy that transmutes this very tale into legend. Ah, the intoxicating possibility that your whispers might echo through my fevered imagination. What seeds might you plant in this fertile ground, and what strange succulent fruit will they bear? Click the Medallion of Cultus Draco if you dare to find out.
I commissioned 3D modeler, Alain Viesca, a sorcerer in his own right. He has shaped digital clay and breathed life into the static art of Lars, forging an artifact worthy of legend.
The picture shown is a 72mm version of that which I speak—a prelude to a grander creation looming on the horizon. For an impressive marvel awaits to be born; one that shall tower to the height of about twelve inches. One that I, myself, will paint with my own unworthy hands.
And the recipient of this artifact shall be one of you. For this will be the grand prize offered in a hoard of riches I’ve put together to entice those brave and true to join me on this quest prior to its launch.
Yet my machinations do not end there! In the coming months, the ethers of YouTube shall play host to 'Genesis Unveiled: The Secret Histories'. A compendium of hidden lore and arcane truths I generated about the world of Talic Nauth. Things I cannot include in the novels themselves. Not for lack of relevance, but for the depth of their complexity. Fear not, I have done my due diligence to avoid spoilers whenever possible. But this will be a chance for curious souls to delve deeper into my sprawling world, with me as your personal guide, of course. I shall show you glories heretofore whispered only in the clandestine meetings of those who are my closest allies. Ah, what splendors and enigmas await the inquisitive?
More wonders shall be revealed the closer we come to the launch, but for now, your appetite should be sated.
And that, my faithful friend, brings us to the end of this terribly long and drawn-out series of essays. I have laid bare my soul for you, and you have all the relevant facts with which to stand in judgement of me.
While I know my excuses for why this series is so late are simply that, excuses. (Though, I mean… cancer is a tad bit better than “my dog ate my homework.”) I acknowledge the years stretch long into the past. A painful time to all who began this journey with me some decade-and-a-half gone.
Regardless the reasons and circumstances, please know the weight of regret presses upon my heart. I desire nothing more than mending the torn threads of expectation I have created. If you can find the will, please indulge this reincarnated bard the opportunity for redemption. For only by your grace shall this tale emerge, phoenix-like, from the ashes of its past.
Your humble scribe,