Before I go any further, I need to thank my artist, Dmitry Belozerov (Artstation; Instigram; DeviantArt) for working with me; the art he has created is dazzling and has really brought my ideas to life. 

The above and lower right in the left-hand side are a clockwork men, the workforce of the Eltheiri Empire.  Yet they aren’t just machines, but also receptacles for spirit creatures called Gon to inhabit and operate.  As of the story’s present, clockwork men were the pinnacle of technology several decades back, but now act as everything from bodyguards to firemen.

 

The upper two on the left are what is called an agitopede (moving foot) and they are the primary mode of transportation.  Due to the differing effects of gravity (they have a gas giant where we have a moon) wheels are not quite as reliable.  Personal agitopedes are generally relegated to nobles and the upper class, but some operate like taxis.  The one pictured is a retired military transport previously used by a general and his guard.

 

Next on the lower left is a Küffregren, a little mechanical nightmare that turns unarmored foes in into gore and slurry.  They are primarily used to augment troops to better deal with large numbers of unarmored targets, but they also serve in a seek and destroy capacity.

 

Finally, and perhaps my favorite piece, is the Eldar, which is shown below.  I will not reveal too much because of spoilers, but suffice to say they are formidable.  I originally had a more elven concept in mind, but Dmitry's more dwarven take on my description had me, the author, sold.

The Law of Seven has a strange history—one that began during my masters.  I wrote a short little nothing of a story and one of the professors commented that I was supposed to write something new, rather than turn in something polished; I knew I had struck gold.  Over the course of the next three years, I toyed around with the concept, spent some time maturing it, used it as my thesis, and finished a polished draft that does the story justice.   

 

The world is a peculiar one—the first steampunk piece I have ever encountered that uses some of the tropes of the subgenre for practical reasons, rather than fancy.  Steam, for instance, is used in the Eltheiri Empire because powerful interference with the gas giant the planet it orbits creates too much electromagnetic interference for electronics.  Likewise, said interference generates powerful electrical storms with lightning bright enough to blind; tinted goggles, therefore, are an essential accessory.  

 

Yet, departing from the typical tenants of steampunk, there are trees that attract the lightning.  Their veins are silver, which is the best natural conductor.  They are also encrusted with diamonds, which serve as an excellent heat conductors.  Finally, brightfruit, a symbiotic electroluminescent alga, live in the branches, consuming the electricity and producing light.  The result, diamond encrusted, silver veined trees, that glow, all whilst respecting botany and physics.

 

I thought that was a nice little nod to Lothlórien, save silver, instead of gold, and was always tickled by the idea of the trees actually being plausable.

STEAM AND STORMS

THE LAW OF SEVEN

This day of mine sees falling night,

lo, darkness rots away my heart!

For though I knew death’s final toll,

could it not come for someone old?

—where winter’s grey his mane unmade?

—where golden locks won’t tempt me splayed,

calling to my hands:

lose yourselves within?

ART IN MOTION

Agitopede, Agitopede, Küffregren, and Clockwork Man

(Art by Dmitry Belozerov)

Clockwork Man

(Art by Dmitry Belozerov)

Map of the Eltheiri Empire

(Art by me)

The Eldar

(Art by Dmitry Belozerov)

BLOOD WALKER

Blood Walker is the first book in the Law of Seven series and follows a group thrown into a situation where little is known. 

 

Someone or something is murdering prostitutes of the Scarlet Guild.  Many suspect this is the aftermath of the emperor’s recent death, he fond of them, but something stirs beneath the surface. 

 

Future Emperor Djord and Inquisitor Kadir seek information and justice.  Illeara and her bodyguard Rhone try to find their way through their own problems, meeting and befriending an animate skeleton.  Meanwhile Den, Illeara’s brother and prodigy mechanic, adjusts to Rin and San, orphans left from the latest murders. 

 

Yet things only complicate from there, demons take to the streets, wearing warped corpses.  Storms rage in the sky, lightning powerful enough to blind.  All-out war erupts as the one behind it all is finally unmasked, the fate of nations resting on the final few actions.

Yet there is also light in the darkness.  Hearts soften and love beings to take root, perspectives changing and growing.  Personal problems are addressed and resolved, exposed to the inferno of trying times.  And, in the midst of it all, there is an adorable little dancing spider that—despite being the size of a softball—somehow manages to steal the show; I didn’t plan it that way—trust me­—but Goot is just unadulterated in his sheer lovability.

Blood Walker is the first in a traditional series and one where the whole of it is considered.  I have names and plots of the next eight books in the series, as The Law of Seven is intended to be a long, sweeping series like some of the great fantasy epics.

 

It’s a long, dark road and no one is safe.

Guild Emblems

(Art by me)

© 2017-2018 by Matthew J. Mimnaugh.  All rights reserved

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