It's more than just the domain name. It is the first book in a (planned) ten book fantasy series. The primary character in the series is Ceaucescu Armitage Turner, Ceau for short, named after two things which I had an interest in at the time I started writing it – the former Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceaucescu and Armitage, a British judge in the Judge Dredd universe, whose cases were serialized in the Judge Dredd Megazine. (For some strange reason, I have a fascination for dictators and serial killers but that's another story altogether.)

The world that the series is set in is a conglomerate of many things. To an extent, it is mostly industrialised, much like the one we live in is, but more colonial in terms of architecture, dress, etc. One could even call it steampunk. The world, rather than having countries, has a number of empires, kingdoms, and city-states. Ceau lives in the Shaunovan Empire, which used to be a collection of separate, independent states, but went through a unification war, becoming the empire that it is when this series starts. Shaunova is a southern hemisphere realm, roughly the size of New South Wales, and shares the land mass with several other territories.

Whilst this world has such luxuries as electricity and refrigeration with significant advances in science and medicine; it does not have items that we take for granted, such as automobiles, jet propulsion, modern automatic firearms, howitzers, guided missiles, etc. Transport, in most built up areas, apart from walking, is mainly trams and horse and carts. Inter-city travel can be made on steam trains, WW1 era airships, and paddle steamers.

But there is magic, quite a lot of it. Not everybody can use it, but there are a few who can. Ceau is one of them. He is in his early twenties, has had a troubled upbringing, but has now found some sort of stability with service in the militia, which acts as a third-line (part-time) defensive formation and provides an alternative option for those needing to fulfill their unemployment requirements.

However, things are about to change. Ceau is going to find out what it is he can do with his special gifts, when an uprising occurs in his home city of Unsworth, a large country city in the North West of the empire. A large group of the empire's malcontents, swelled by members of the local Urienwohner (think Aboriginal) tribes, and aided by the Xur (a semi-nomadic race of forest elves who mostly live in the wilderness) attack the city, fully intent on plunder, rapine and indiscriminate murder.

Sample chapters of the first novel, Blutmunth: Trial by Combat, will be available to download from here at some point.

2 April, 2018