The epic fantasy novel Born of Water races across the world and cultures of Myrrah. Learn more about these intriguing and unique places in this Novel Companion. Details on the various races, cities, elemental abilities – including the forbidden gift of magic – as well as “Day Before” stories for the main characters are contained within the Companion.
Born of Water‘s sequel, Rule of Fire and Spirit of Life, will continue the journey of Ria, Ty, Niri, and Lavinia along with their new companions Darag and Zhao. New lands will be visited and some places from the first novel will be revisited as the saga continues.
The Born of Water Novel Companion is available on Kindle by clicking here.
Inside the Companion you will find the history of Myrrah, which is full of strange times and forgotten wars, such as:
This was the period when the skills were defined: a time of great discovery into Mhyrah’s gifts that came as threads of turbulence began. As the protectors of the spheres united and the solitary skilled took on apprentices, the secrecy of the gifts fell away. Those with the strongest abilities knew each other and came together or corresponded. It was accepted that the skills matched the spheres: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. But there was another power that did not fit with the spheres or the creation of Myrrah. This was dubbed magic. It allowed the user to transform shapes and perform great feats unexplainable to those who were beginning to understand the spheres. Where magic came from was unknowable, just as the other skills of the elements had been in the Time of Isolation.
It was the masters with their apprentices in the cities that began to gather a new sort of power. As the cities grew, so did their governance. Those, who in the time of isolation sought the intervention of the skilled, began to be held in their sway. Some of the powerful no longer hid behind masks, but were known for their great abilities. The most aggressive took control of cities for themselves. The most devious manipulated the plots of governments and councils of elders from the shadows. Rumors surfaced that greater power could be gained from killing another with skill and that skills could be captured with magic talismans, even by those who were ungifted. A time of treachery and blood arose.
The most powerful in the skills of the elements created weapons to protect themselves. People without magic or elemental abilities sought out these weapons as well, the wealthy paying for customized swords, shields, bows and arrows, boats, or walls. Real and fake objects were stolen, bought, and transported across Myrrah. This was a time of battles and war. Great heroes and warriors, whose names were renowned for decades, lived and fought during this time: heroes with power and those without. These were the Forgotten Wars when deceit and death were never far.
The cultures of Myrrah are as unique as the land that has shaped them. Learn about the Northern Sarkethians such as Ria all the way to the legends of the Ashanti, the desert tribe, in the Companion with many stops in-between:
The Northern Sarkethians
The Northern Sarkethians, who refer to themselves as Sarkethians, live along the northern shore of the Sea Sarketh from the Archipelago of Bellaia to the edge of the Coast of Storms. This is a land of warmth and rich soil. Seasonal rains come when the strong storms sweeping from the western coast of Sarketh to the islands of the Archipelago move northward. Where there is no access to rivers, only hardy, drought resistant crops can be grown, as the Sea is too salty to use for irrigating plants.
Oranges, olives, almonds, figs, and vineyards line the upland shores. The lowlands along the few great rivers grow bounties of vegetables and sweet fruits. Many of the Northern Sarkethians are also fisher folk, bringing in great harvests with their nets. Celebrations around the seasons and times of plenty, or need, are common to these people, who live close to the land and sea.
The folk here are light in complexion, though the skin of those who work outdoors is often tanned. Hair color ranges from flaxen to raven-dark and eyes can match an array of gemstones – green, grey, blue, and hazel the most common. The language of Trade used throughout Myrrah for commerce is originally a mix of Northern Sarkethian and Bellaian. Trade is now spoken as the primary language, though some local dialects include remnant words from older times.
Gifts of any elemental skill are possible. Earth and Water are the most common for these people of the sea and farm. Air and Fire are more rare, but a potential. In olden times there were those gifted with magic: Masters who took on apprentices. They hid their power amid the people in the cities. Despite the Church’s best efforts, this taint is still found by Priests and Priestesses on occasion. It has been noted the gift most often runs in families, though it has been found amid those with no history of this family curse of magic or any Elemental gifts.
The towns have strong central governments. Originally comprised of Elders, in recent times councils are made up of the wisest and wealthiest of the old families. Fathers pass on official positions to sons when trade and farming duties have been sufficiently delegated to the youngest generation to allow the time council seats require. The Church has found it easy to work closely with these governments, as they are organized and have a history with the Orders and hence the Church.
Wealthy cities have grown upon the best ports and harbors. Large markets are the center of trade with merchant ships bringing goods from across Myrrah. Families that have established themselves in a trade are known as Houses. The business passes down between generations, sons and daughters taking part. Youth of this area are also apprenticed for two years, beginning at the age of seventeen. This is considered the age of adulthood. When the apprenticeship is over, the returning youth takes an active part in family business or may set up commerce of their own.
The buildings along the northern shore are rarely remarkable for their beauty. Most homes are stucco, often tinted a light color. Some of the oldest homes or government centers are marble, usually built in a style copied from the Archipelago. Roofs are red tile, nearly the color of the soil. These thick walled homes are practical for keeping out the heat, but the small windows are unexemplary. Only the windows and balconies to the north, or those shaded, are wide and arched, letting in the cooling breezes from the Sea. Kyrron is the largest port along these shores. Dion, Nolta, and Golanna are also known for their markets and vibrant cities, though the latter two are far smaller than either Dion or Kyrron.
Valain: Eastern Archipelago
The Valain, so called after their largest town of Valin, live along the northeastern arm of the Archipelago on the shores of the Ocean of Iliyia. To the north are the closed borders of the Kith and the depths of the Forest of Falin. The bustling port cities of the Archipelago with their crossroads of commerce lie to their south. The Valain care not. They keep to themselves and their ways, which have not changed for multitudes of generations.
Their lands are treeless, rolling moss-covered lands of stone. There is a legend that they once cut the wood of the forests without asking permission from the Kith, and so the Kith took the forest away from their land. Without wood, they cut houses into the stony earth and support them from timbers washed up by the tide. Roofs are made of cut sod. Peat is used to fuel cooking fires.
The Valain have great knowledge of the ocean and can navigate by the stars, so they must have once been a great seafaring people. Now they keep only narrow canoes, often built of delicate strips of wood and covered with the hide of strange beasts from lands as far away as the Northern Plain of Lakes. A few marvelous wooden boats of ancient heritage and design have been handed down through the strongest families.
There is a rite of passage for the young men and women of this land. When they are of age to begin households of their own, they must first prove themselves as true Valains. They journey northwest using sleds assembled like the light framed canoes, which are pulled by tamed wolves or caribou, and travel far inland during the frozen months. There they hunt the great northern beasts to return up to a year later with grand hides and tusks. Sometimes, they never return at all.
They are a race small in stature, but not stocky. Fair haired with eyes the color of grass or the sky, the Valain are a fine-featured people. Surprisingly with their hard lives and tough ways, they are great musicians. Many play a variety of instruments from harp to flute to hand drum. Few outsiders are aware of this pastime, since the Valain do not welcome many. But like the Archipelago, some Priestesses and Priest reside on these difficult shores yearlong.
Air and Earth, even occasionally Fire, Elementals are born here. Often they show potential for powerful gifts. Sometimes the taint of magic is found here as well with the same prevalence for strong ability. Between the borders of the hostile and adept Kith to the north and the gifted children born to the Valain, the Church must keep a watchful eye here, despite a lifestyle a far cry to that offered within the Temple or along the fingers of the Archipelago.
What defines the Elemental gifts versus Magic? What was Ria’s life like the day before the Solstice ceremony that set her life on end? These stories are found in the Companion as well! And best, it is free at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, and iTunes!