Latest News

Thought I should give a quick update on what’s been happening with the book in the last week or so.

My brilliant editor has been working her way through the manuscript, making my words read better and asking me lots of intelligent questions which have prompted me to explain things better for the reader. One of the things I’ve come to realise in writing Parsantium for publication is that while it might be crystal clear in my head, that does not necessarily mean it’s clear to the person reading my words for the first time! The first chapter (of six) is done and editing is well underway on Chapter Two.

Joe Shawcross has nearly finished the cover and it looks amazing! He has one more little tweak to do and then it will be done. I hope to be able to share it here towards the end of next week.

Marc Radle has sent me his initial head sketches of several important NPCs. These are looking good and will become even better inked black & white drawings. As a sneak preview, here’s his initial sketch of Tapasranjan, Master of Southern Magic and head of the Esoteric Order of the Blue Lotus. The Grand Master is a vanara who likes to do his thinking while levitating in the lotus position.

sketch by Marc Radle

That’s about it for now. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you want to hear more about in future updates.

Oh, and one more thing…. how does Forgesmoke sound as the name for the dwarven homeland? Or do you have a better suggestion?


19 thoughts on “Latest News

  1. Dont take this the wrong way, but I can only think of the librarian at Unseen University in Discworld:-) Very good sketch though. Forgesmoke sound to me like the capital of the dwarven homeland, but not like the name of a country. I dont have any ideas for another name, could you tell which if any specific inspiration you used for the dwarves in the setting?


    • LOL, he’s a monkey, not an ape but fair enough!

      Yeah, Forgesmoke does sound like a city. I need to come up with a name for the dwarven mountain homeland but it’s not really described in the book.


  2. I played with the name ‘Hammersmith’ as a city name for a while before realizing it didn’t really work for the superhero world I was creating. It sounds like the sister city to Foresmoke.


    • Cheers Bill! Hammersmith is a well-known part of London so would sound odd to British readers. I might come up with a dwarven-sounding kingdom named beginning with the syllable “Khaz” or “Khuz” and have Forgestroke as its capital.


      • That’s true. The time that I broke it out for a game (in America) the one player who recognized the name as the Canadian Rock band.


  3. The Khaz syllable screams WoW 🙂 We dont want WoW in Parsantium do we?
    What about this: To the far north where the mountains are high and inhospitable, this area is called the fastness (because that is a good name Graham :-)) in this maze of almost unassailable mountains is an area where the dwarves have fortified for centuries, this is their homeland Grimnirs Hold with Forgesmoke as the central city and industrial powerhouse.
    Where the king rules from his palace of crystal, that one was for you 🙂


    • Fair point re WoW but I think Tolkien was there first (Khazad-Dum, Khuzdul etc) 😉

      I do like “Fastness” – will give it some thought. It’s just going to be a sentence or two in the dwarven racial description (which is pretty short).

      Took me a while to get the CPFC reference – cheers!


  4. TSR used to sprinkle in-jokes in their products. A Hammersmith-related name might not be a bad idea, but perhaps a bit of camouflage would be better. How about “The Smith’s Hammer” as the name of a dwarven tavern owned by someone that came to Parsantium from Forgesmoke? The tavern could be built by someone that used to run a blacksmith’s business and some of the tools of their former career (and miscellaneous metalwork objects like horse shoes) could be hung from the ceiling beams as objects to interest customers. A large hammer could hang behind the bar, both as a decoration and as something that the landlord can use if he ever needs to defend himself.

    I love the idea of a Palace of Crystal. I wonder if you could create Arabian dwarves that mine some sort of “ice stone” and construct an Arabian palace that has translucent walls that allow the light in. If Islamic-like shapes were carved into the stones, that could make for a palace that is covered with pictures of light.

    I remember seeing some pictures made of sellotape once. They looked like nothing much, but when looked at through a polarised filter the different layers each created different colours of the rainbow. So if the dwarves had access to some sort of ice crystals that could be cut to create every colour of the rainbow, that could make for a palace that has the same sort of properties of a stained glass window.

    As for the actual name for a dwarven homeland, I think that depends on the terrain and the culture. The name needs to sell that to the readers.


    • Great ideas!

      We went on a trip to Andalucia many years ago and visited a lot of Moorish palaces – some had ceilings decorated with glistening white marble stalactite/icicle like shapes. I think it might have been in the Alhambra (Granada) where we saw these – lovely and would look at home in the Palace of Crystal 😉


  5. Perhaps a sentence like: the dwarven homeland licated in the Fastness region of xxxx mountains far north of Parsantium. That way you mention the dwarves but are vague about the rest leaving the area to be fleshed out in: Forgesmoke; a dwarven supplement to Parsantium 🙂
    We probably should stay away from football humor, apart from CPFC, we dont want the Aston family in their grand Villa or the dreaded dungeon containing the pool of livers…where no man should walk alone:-) I will stop now but the first part was serious:-)


  6. Yes, something like that. The wider world is mentioned in so far as it affects the city but I want Parsantium to be useful to DMs who want to place it in their own or a published campaign setting.

    The Pool of Livers sounds revolting – no wonder no man should walk alone there 😉


    • I think the Palace of Crystal should be approached along the Hollow Way 😉
      Now you have me thinking about a whole background based on bad football puns. The Arsenal, ruled by a blind foreign wizard known only as The Professor, who kidnaps talented youngsters from across the realms and bends them to his will; the Fortress of Man, where the Unity faction once lorded it over the Citizens, till the Citizens rose up in revolt, aided by financial assistance from disguised demon sultans; the Foresters, fugitive woodsman descendants of a people who under the brilliant but crazed kenku general, Byron the Chough, briefly ruled the world… No, stop!


  7. I can already see the adventure: The Curse of the Crystal Palace
    Why was the area in the deep southern desert abandonned?
    What will be found at the palace after a sandstorm unearthed it after centuries beneath the sands?
    What treasures are to be found?
    What lurks in the crystal rooms and the catacombs beneath the palace?
    Who really built it in the first place, and did they ever leave?


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