Chakram, the once-glorious capital of the once-glorious kingdom of Sem, was always cold now. Across the Black Moor, a hundred leagues to the South, a great evil was growing in the desert wastes of the land known as Yenrah. For ten years, Paice had devoted his life to fighting this evil, to protecting his country, his king and his family, but even as Paice’s own loss struck a crippling blow to his heart, so had the enemy struck a crippling blow against his kingdom: the weather and the very land itself were betraying the good people of Sem.
First the darkness came. Great clouds of inky blackness rolled out of the South, covering the sky for first days, then weeks at a time, blocking out the sun and draining all life and heat from the land. Crops died, plants and trees withered, and hope was lost. Just the day before, a light snow had fallen. Snow, in the middle of what should have been summer. The world was changing, the tides of battle were turning, and the enemy was winning.
-from the unfinished manuscript "The Tears of Sem / The Shadow of the Wasp"
* * *
Confession: Yenrah is not a person, it's a place. It's the name of a vast, mostly-desert kingdom that appears in several of my epic fantasy novels, stories, and games. (So sue me, I've been doing this for a month and I'm running out of characters).
Yenrah is an old land, and it wasn't always a desert. During the time of the Wasp King
it is bordered by the Black Moor, a swampy, rocky expanse of bogs and hills. By the time of Wilhelm the Liberator
, over 500 years later, the Moors have been swallowed up into the ever-expanding desert.
The cause of the change is the Desolation, a super-heated wasteland of unfathomable horrors south of "modern day" Yenrah. The Desolation has existed for time out of time, and it is said to be the home of all the monsters in the world as well as their dark gods. It is also slowly spreading and has been for millennium - except at some point between the time of Rigel
and the time of Gregory
& Queen Esmiralda
there was a great, rapid expanse that absorbed the Moor bordering Yenrah and turned a once wet and dreary English countryside into a sun-drenched afternoon in the Tunisia. I haven't explored the exact reason for the change, but I'm sure I'll hit at some point during my overly-ambitious-and-sure-to-never-be-finished-saga.
I suppose it is like a character, in some ways. It's a living, breathing, changing thing
, that challenges the heroes and takes on a life and personality of its own. Not to mention I use way more words to describe it than most of my characters.
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