Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Empires Falling, Cover Art

The first of the three novels in the series is still months away from being published. I have complete control over when the short stories are published, but the novels are still being edited. If I had to offer a guess I would say that the first book will be out in all possible formats before December first. Missing the holiday season with any product is not a good thing. 

Right now I am looking over the first of the possible book covers. In the end I will be the one to make the final choice of covers.  The problem with posting the covers now would be that they would act as spoilers for a few of the short stories coming online soon. 

Here is a portion of the cover for the second book.

I can say this much about the story as a whole, it will show a health respect for magic and the supernatural. Readers, I hope, will be reminded of Arthur and his Knights of the Round table at times. Those amazing stories were firmly grounded in reality, but managed to introduce magic and the supernatural without breaking away from that reality. 

I have hinted at in previous post and will go over again that this is going to be a world of three empires that are fated to clash. Empires that will resemble those that existed at different times on our world.
The Western Empire mirrors the Roman Empire and it like Rome will depend heavily on its armed forces. They trust to the sword more than magic.  The Eastern Empire mirrors in some ways that of ancient China and feudal Japan. Myths and legends are part of everyday life. The island empires, the empire of the wilderness. The Empire of those called Lurkers resemble the Vikings and the Goths. They seem like barbarians to outsiders, but have laws and rules of conduct that are sometimes move civilized than those of the other kingdoms. The Lurkers depend upon magic and worship of ancient gods more than the other Empires. They are most likely to die willing in battle in the name of their gods or by the urging of their priest. In their society the high priest is almost equal to an Emperor.

Okay that is it for this post. I would like you to share this site on Stumbleupon and visit our facebook page by  clicking here.   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Story Excerpt, Empires Falling - Land of The Khan

First I would like to show you guys a first look at our Logo for the series. In weeks to come I will show the cover for the first of the books.

Next I have been asked for an excerpt from one of the stories and since this is going to be the next to be published, two weeks from today on iTunes and Kindle I will give you guys a first chance to meet the most important character in the Eastern Empire. Her name is Kiylah Khan.


Land Of The Khan

(An Empires Falling Story)


Rodney Cannon

Chapter One.

It was called in the old tongue the Walk of fire, a seemingly endless corridor that circled and circled beneath the palace city of the Khan. The keepers of this place called it what it would have been called in most places, the hall of records.

The man who had been in charge of this place for the better part of thirty years had spent the first sixteen years of the job occupied by the daily routine and dealing with those who came and went from service down here amongst the corridors and the lanterns. Then came the season of the red star. A blood red star gleaming in the night sky for two months while all awaited two of the emperor’s wives to give birth. One wife, Kushi, gave birth to twin boys. Twins were very rare and both of them being boys was even more so. The fact that Kushi had died while giving birth was consider even more of a omen of good fortune for the two boys. They had enter the world by taking a life.

The other birth had been to the emperor’s first wife, Bayarmaa, a woman past the age of thirty having a child was as impressive as the fact that a man who had twenty two wives at the time still laid with the first one. The child was a girl and the night that she came into the world a day after the boys were born the star turned white and became a part of the night skies. Three months later one of the boys died just before his naming day. In other lands children were named at birth, but here it was tradition to do so on the first day of the forth month. The boy that lived was named Bataar which meant in the old tongue land slayer. The girl was given the name Kiylah, which meant fire serpent.

Chuluun, the keeper, knew all of this because it had been his job to file this information in the stroll library and to have it painted on the stone walk that covered the center of the path that himself along with his workers were forbidden to walk upon unless repairs need to be made to the walk or images added. No one in living memory had walked the painted images expect the visitor who appeared for the first time nine years ago.

The sound of scampering feet had proceeded the arrival of the beautiful child who had almost run into him at midnight those many years ago. The child had been born five years before and when he saw the gold bands in the shape of thorns that held her long oil dark hair in place he knew who she was. The exception to the rules down here was that any member of the Khan’s family could walk the path. After all they were the path.

Kiylah had been followed close behind by a tall dark skinned boy who wore the pale blue uniform of a Kulahan, a horse soldier. He would soon learn that the young man was named Zed son of Zed the Wind axe. The boy, exactly ten years older than the young princess was her hand chosen protector and only friend. She had wanted to know the stories of her blood and Zed had taken her to the place where she could learn them all. That begun a four year run of visits from the girl and her protector. Arriving always long after all of the other workers had gone home one the first day of each week the three of them would walk the path and Chuluun would tell the stories of each emperor’s rule and the times that he or rarely she lived through. Zed would sometimes ask question concerning battles and how they were won and lost. The princess was interested in the political aspects. Concerning herself most with the two times during the last two hundred years that the city fell into enemy hands. How the people were treated. Well he had to tell the truth even to a seven year old at the time. He told her that both times they were brutalized. Many were killed enslaved and of course the women were raped. The palace was sacked and the hall that she visited only survived because the place had a natural defense. If it was threatened then it could be flooded with sand, in sections or completely. The last time it happened it took almost a year for a small army of slaves to carry off all the sand.

Their time together as a trio ended shortly after Kiylah reached the age of nine. One of Kiylah’s fifteen older brothers got in an argument with her. He decided that the best way to win that argument was to choke her to death. Being twice her age and twice her size he would have been successful in not for Zed, who if the reports of the slaves who were close by could be believed, had ripped the brother’s right hand off and used it to choke him to death with it.

The rest of it only three living people could tell of. The princess Kiylah and Zed had fled to these halls. Once there Kiylah had asked, not order, but asked Chuluun to help Zed to escape the palace city.

An order would have protected him better if someone discovered any of what would happen, but he was pleased that her highness respected him enough to ask. Rules who asked rather than ordered were destined for long rules.

Chuluun stood in the shadows while the young people said good byes that did not give him the sense that it would truly be their last words to each other.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is This Story Set OnEarth.

Is Empires Falling Set on Earth.  

Empires in this story will resemble those on earth at different points in its history.
The world where this story is set is not our earth although it may be an earth. An Earth
that still walks the line between stark reality and magic. Magic is as much a part of every
day life as science. They are both accepted facts.

Every court has a Mage or a wizard present. None are completely trusted but all are needed to defend against others. Magical forces are the equal to stealth weapons in their world. The most commonly used magical device on their version of earth is a whispering orb. A small crystal ball that can be used to send messages over a great distance. Each orb has one or two mates that they are bonded to. These balls allow one to speak a message into one and have it heard through the other. If the mates are destroyed then the remaining orb goes dim. (Note, the only time in recorded history that the dim orbs came back to life was during the last night of the flaming star, when all of them burned fire red like the star and whispered a single word before they went dead again, that word was Kassar. translated from the first tongue means Fire God.)  

Magic has rarely been used to cause death and only the rarest form of white magic can restore life.

There are three standing empires on this world and one growing on when the story begins.

The central and most powerful one is the Mycen Empire. It mostly resembles ancient Rome and has been ruled for over fifteen years by Empire Gassus Cato as the story begins. His empire possesses the largest standing army ever assembled and controls the entire western corner of the world. It is border to the north by frozen wastelands where mountain tribes and a once powerful kingdom that carved its palaces out of crystal and ice once existed. At it eastern borders is a vast sea and beyond that sea is the great eastern empire.

The Eastern Empire. This is the Empire of the Khan. Once this empire controlled all the eastern lands and parts of the western territories as well. Now after over a hundred years of in fighting and neglect this empire is ripe for the picking. Kingdoms that it once ruled now plot against the Empire's capital and the family that has ruled for over five hundred years. At the time the story begins Nabartar Khan sits the throne. A reluctant warrior king who would rather negotiate with his enemy than crush them.

To the north there are a series of islands that have become over populated by hundreds of tribes the rest. These tribes share a common language and are called by those living in the western and eastern empires Lurkers. They are forever lurking near docks and water ways. They would resemble the ancient Goths. Brave and enduring they are looked upon as barbarians by those who do not understand their ways.

There are whispers of a forth kingdom to the north, but a desert of ice coated sand has kept the truth of what waits there hidden for centuries. It will not be until book two that any of what waits there is revealed.

These Empires will clash in an epic struggle that is driven by greed, survival, hunger and blinding ambition. A struggle that will cost countless lives and crown a ruler of a united world empire.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What is Empires Falling

Empires Falling is a dark fantasy epic that will be told over three full length novels and twelve short stories. This central character of this saga will be introduced in five short stories to be published in the ebook format. The first novel of three will follow there after. The title of the first novel in the series is What Lurks In The Wilderness.

This blog will cover many things not covered by the books or short stories. It will give you a history of the main characters and offer excerpts from the books and short stories.

Let us begin with the most important character. This is the time of Empires and of course of emperors. As the saga begins the Emperor is Gallus Cato.

Gallus Cato is a man who won the throne through force of arms. As the highest ranking general of the former Emperor's legions he seized power from a sickly ruler almost fifteen years before the telling of this story begins. He assumed the throne at the age of thirty two and quickly consolidated absolute power over an empire in turmoil by marrying his sister off to a cruel hearted rival. Cato practices a policy of never allowing his armies to become weak by constantly sending them off to invade and claim new territories. Being the same kind of emperor that he was as a general he shares the wealth of conquest with his officers. The emperor does not have a wife or an heir. Six years into his rule he married for political advantage a woman who would die while giving birth to a child who also died shortly there after. Since then he has relations with servant women around the palace and enjoys the spoils of battle during the times he can get away to lead his arms. War is the only place that has ever felt like home to him.

Closest to the Emperor is his younger sister Julia Cato, formerly Julia Cato Praxus. She is twelve years younger than her brother. She was once a great beauty in her youth, but marriage to a man that brutalized her in every way possible left her bitter, cold hearted and unable to bare children. Despite being the one who sentenced her to a marriage that turned out to be a living hell, Julia loves her brother and is his most fierce protector. She knows that she can never rule the empire, but wants to be the Hand.

There are two other members of the Cato family. Cousins, one serves in the legions and the other as the governor of a small frontier trading outpost. They will be introduced in book one of the series.

       EXCERPT from the short story Hunting The Hand: (available now at iTunes and Amazon)

The death cry was so short and sharp that only the few birds that took flight
and Tresaha took notices of it. She stumbled with Varia leaning on her as they ran, but she regained her pace and kept going. If Varia had heard it then their race would have been done. Her father meant everything to the girl. Protecting Varia was now the only thing that mattered. She could not fail Halen in this regard. The sound of running water was near. The smell of it was in the air and a direct line through the woods would have been the best way to go, but Varia was not going to be able to handle that run so they stuck to what looked like a deer trail.

They were east of the imperial palace which meant that the river would be taking anything that fell into it toward the palace and the guard stations that watched the water way. She had seen that river from bridges and balconies, and it was wide and rapid. Tresaha had gone bone bare swimming with Varia last summer and the girl was such a good swimmer than she had not only swum circles around Tresaha but had disappeared beneath the water for the better part of two minutes before resurfacing with a giggle. Tresaha doubted if there would be any laughing today.

The woods had suddenly gone quiet. The sound of life had been all around them when they entered these woods, but the only sound that Tresaha could hear now was the sound of their own run. Twigs and branches being broken as they moved and then in the distance there was something else. A tree branch broke and then sets of racing feet coming their way. Halen had not been enough. The emperor's hand was the target, but there could be no witnesses left to what happened to him. Common assassins could have been sent, but men talked. When black magic was involved only the one who conjured it could tell. Those creatures were going to tear them apart if the river was not enough to save them. Tresaha had been told countless stories about evil spirits and most of them involved the fact that they could not enter holy places and could not cross running water.

Forever, it was breathing, stumbling and pulling along someone who was proving to be stronger than Tresaha thought possible. Varia was from many generations of wealth and privilege and there should not have been any wells of strength and determination to dip into, but Varia was finding strength from some source and forcing herself to go on. When something maybe a hundred yards behind them howled so hard that it rattled leaves from the trees overhead Varia did not hesitate or even seem to take notice at all.

Ahead was the sound of running water.

Behind was the sound of creatures leaping and flowing along a path a quickly as if they were composed of nothing more substantial than air.

A broken series of branches and there it was a river racing along faster than Tresaha remembered it. Under other circumstances she would have been afraid to ride that river if she had been dead center of a long oared boat. The clearing was smooth and down hill toward the river. They broke free into the open and Tresaha reached for the dagger than she wore in a sheath along her right thigh. Her slingshot would have been a better weapon, but there was no way she could pull it along with a ball then load and fire without being taken out by the second or third animal that was chasing them. That was if her sling would have had any affect on the animal. The guards that came with Varia had swords and it seemed that these creatures had gone through them.



Tearing up chunks of earth as the chase became desperate from creatures that did not fatigue or lose the smell of their prey. Someone watching from a distance would have seen the two girls running stride for stride along side each other with a matching of each others movements that seemed rehearsed over many years together rather than born minutes before from desperation. The two huge black beasts that at a distance certainly looked like dogs, but moved with a perfectly repeating motion that would have put to mind the movements of a man-made machine. They seemed to be driven by moving parts rather than muscle and pounding organs.

It seemed as if the girls would be caught and ripped to pieces about five paces from the river, but the dogs slowed down as if afraid to get too close to the water and that gave the two girls just enough time to dive toward the river. With one of the dogs snapping at Varia and tearing away a long strip from her gown.

The relief of going airborne toward the following water was short lived when the coldest substance that Tresaha had ever felt in her life swallowed her whole, twisted her around and spat her back to the surface. The ice cold current took her and flailing around with both hands she grasped something that felt like cloth beneath the surface of the water and yanking hard Varia surfaced with an ear piercing screaming. The cloth had turned out to be a fist full of Varia's hair. Tresaha exchanged her fist full of hair for a fist full of shoulder cloth. They could not lose each other in this churning water. She let the water spin her as Varia tugged at her collar. The spin was enough to see the shore line and the two dogs were trotting along the bank after them. The speed of the water was enough to put some distance between them and as long as they did not come out on that side of the river maybe their escape would be successful. Then again Tresaha was treading water as hard as she could, but every few yards the water rose up over their heads and they were beneath the surface of the ice cold river. Making matters worst they were getting heavier. Water was weighing down their clothes. It was going to sink Varia like a stone if they could not get rid of some of the girl’s garments, but at the moment all she could do was hang onto Varia and try to time the waves.

Available at iTunes And Amazon