Tzalaran's favorite hangout, hence it is the name of my blog on the web. Here i'll talk about the writing of "Scales of the Assassin", working title of the start of Tzalaran's saga, and give background information on the world Tzal lives in.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just finished the rough draft of Scales of the Assassin

i need to still draft the last paragraph or so, because i had the perfect ending but then i lost it. so now i'm waiting for that train of thought to come back to me. should finalize those words tomorrow or friday.

This is the culmination of a long, long process for me. started writing this with no clue about anything, and feel that i've grown so much as a novelist during the past few months that i just kept my fingers to the keyboard and typed.

So share a shot of zarzn with me, or better yet get your own. Now i get to start on the sequel to SotA, Scales of Karat-Sizan. Where SotA is mostly about Tzalaran's hunt for a necromancer, SoKS is the story of Tzal starting a war with the lords and nobles of the city who are in league with Axius. this was initially going to be the end of SotA, but due to publishable word length, i've moved those plotlines into a second novel. SoKS is the first novel i will attempt to get representation for, as SotA has some major issues due to how it got cut for word length. i currently am too close to give it the surgery it needs, and i'm hoping that after writing the sequel i'll be up for editing the first.

i'm happy tonight, and hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Del-Krazeen, the city under Karat-Sizan

on the home stretch to finish SotA, so all my words have been going to work or my draft. my goal date is the 25th, but i might not finish until the 30th...


The central Del city during the rise of their civilization, after the rise of the fiends it was relegated to a Zaranzim stronghold. Del-Triel legends say that this was the reason their people left, as they saw the evil motives in moving the seat of government to one of the newer undercities that had been shaped through their connection with the lower planes.

Today, Del-Krazeen is a rarely remembered name. Known locally as the pit, the only path into the city comes from a shaft connected to the Horned Devil. The uppermost level that connects to the Devil has been cleared of most denizens, and is used as a training ground for the local toughs and street gangs of the city. They wager against one another, placing the coins into a bag that is placed by runners who work for Kruz-Alzeen. One gang goes down and gets a 10 minute head start, and the goal is to retrieve the bag and return to the Devil before your opponents. It rarely happens that way, as the gangs generally fight upon seeing one another, and few of the Tillians don't engage in these contests for the combat.

Below the uppermost level, little is known that isn't rumor or tall tales. Rumors of a thriving town in the deeps persist, despite the attempts to crush the tales. No one living has been to the ancient city of the Del, moved here during the breaking, but there are areas of the upper levels that acted like suburbs that have preserved many artifacts from the Del crafters. According to Del-Triel legends, Del-Krazeen was home to the great pool of Karzuldorn, their chief deity believed to be the spirit of the world itself. Another legend is that the Zaranzim leader still prowls Del-Krazeen, defending it from the fiends until the end of time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Karat-Sizan - Popular establishments 2

been busy so this post came a bit later than i intended... anyway, back to more of the notable businesses of the city.

Dernal's Wares

Hidden in a back alley off Aldana street in the Palace district, this merchant carries many of the odd items that are useful to the sailors, adventurers, and rogues of the city. Clothing, rations, lamps, lanterns, candles, and other essentials can usually be found here. The shelves are not as well stocked as when Dernal was younger, and the old Moglith is more eager to tell tales of his youth when sailing the sea.

Many Valok captains still come here to talk with the old sea dog, and rumor has it that he acts as a fence between them and the Tillians they prefer not to deal with. Odd items purchased from the far reaches of the world can sometimes be found here, but there are other shops where these items are more consistent. Dernal has no problem adjusting his prices based on how much he likes the person he is dealing with, and many Tillians simply stop shopping here because of his dislike for them.

Zaranzar's Fine Weapons

The Moglith owner, Zaranzar, is a huge Tillian. He is forced to duck in order to use the main door, and usually turns sideways in order to avoid slamming his shoulders into the frame. The weapons here are more expensive than anywhere else in the city, but that doesn't prevent him from doing business at all. The weapons found here have the highest craftsmanship in all of Tillia, and carrying a Zaranzar weapon is a status symbol outside the city.

The main room of the shop holds racks of weapons for sale, and Zaranzar watches the room like a hawk. There is a door that leads to the smithy, but no patron has ever been allowed to enter that room because Zaranzar guards his crafting secrets closer than his coin till. Rumors abound regarding the reason for this, but Zaranzar will never answer questions about his smithy, and any rogue who has attempted to sneak in has been left lying dead in front of the main door for the street cleaning crews to dispose of.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Karat-Sizan - Popular establishments

These are primary areas of interest in Scales, along with some of me rambling about the city.

The Horned Devil

The most prominent establishment is the Horned Devil. located on the corner just northeast of the main south gate, the wide cobblestone streets help to ensure that traffic in the area can travel quickly. Although it is a long walk from the docks, the Sailors often travel to this establishment to bet their wages with their friends and the tables devoted to dice and cards.

There are drinks and meals available for purchase, and although the fare isn't known for its high quality it is consumed in large quantities. Krabuz is the owner, and even though he has gone to pasture for twenty years, he is still a formidable Dal-Shiz. He is a known contact for muscle, and many of the current bodyguards of Kruz Alzeen have gotten their positions by impressing Krabuz. He treats his people fairly, and is very protective of his patrons, allowing no fighting in the establishment. That's what the pit is for anyway.

The pit is what caused Krabuz to buy the building in the first place, and during his youth he explored the depths with his old friends. From there, he made enough money to purchase the building, and most of the block. How much he knows of the depths no one has ever heard, save perhaps his old adventuring companions when they talk about the old times. With help of hired muscle, Krabuz and Kruz have made the uppermost level relatively clear of creatures native to the ancient underground city. Here many street gangs come to test their strength and skill against one another, forming another gambling operation that Kruz runs with Krabuz's permission. There are strange things found in the lower levels, and the ones who laugh at tales of the Del and their magic don't laugh upon coming out from a trek into the depths, when they come out at all.

The staff is hard working and friendly for Tillians, treating their customers with courtesy as long as they don't get out of line. There is an old priest of Zilanon who has taken up residence in one of the booths at Krabuz's request, and he treats the wounded who return from the depths in exchange for a healthy tithe for his temple. He has recently taken on an apprentice, a small Moglith youth who has yet to grow his tusks. The apprentice seems to be a quick learner, and has been very helpful and eager to ease the hurts of the Tillians who emerge from the pit.

The Taste of Paradise

A converted wharehouse, this brothel has become the highest class establishment of its kind in the city. The proprietor, Miss Amber, has provided a safe environment for her girls. The head of security, Tienken, is rumored to be one of Krabuz's old adventuring companions, and is an imposing Feznar known for his abnormal intelligence and cunning. He is rumored to have connections to the lords, and provides them with hitmen and muscle when they need it.

Attached to the north of the main stage is an exotic shop. trinkets and odd items from far away lands line the shelves, and fine silks and other expensive goods can also be found here. The Valok sailors seem to have an agreement with Amber to bring her interesting things from the places they sail. There are also a few books to be found lining the shelves, one of a handful of places where written works may be found in the city.

The stage shows here are quite impressive, and draw many patrons who are willing to pay more for their drinks in order to watch the ladies performing on the stage. Their is a chef who's children assist her in the kitchen to feed the staff, but they rarely feed the patrons except during festivals and a few other holidays. There are many rooms which house the staff on the upper floor, and the girls are allowed the most extravagant furnishings that can be found to their desires.

well, next time i'll talk more about some of the other highlights of the city. Plixant's Tomes, Zaranzar's smithy, some of the taverns and inns near the palace, the apothecary's shop, Tower Shields the armory, the leathermaster. still have to talk about the palace, coliseum, bathhouses, mines, the different districts and their lords.

might take a few weeks to get through. kinda nice to have an easily accessible atlas/encyclopedia of the world though. one of these days i'll have to see if i can actually give it a good name...