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Realm Explorers Part LII: Visit Terramara with Michael Eash
Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:
Michael Eash
Title of book:
The Living Light
Brief summary of the story:
A rebellion long planned by the King’s top adviser begins to take shape. As the villain builds his army in secret and forges alliances with old enemies, his experiments open a portal toour world. With Terrmara’s unique resources and technology from the earth, he plans to rule his world and take his rightful place as King.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Terramara is the western most continent of my fantasy world. It’s covered mostly in rolling hills and towering mountains. However, a large peninsula juts out from the mainland and is entirely covered in woods.
If we were to visit Terramara as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
A trip to the King’s city, Atlantia, would be worth your while. It’s the largest gathering of peoples in the world. Inside the city, the citadel of the King is a must see. It’s shaped like a five-pointed star and painted in colors of the sunset. A golden tower rises above the city to give visitors a view of the Great Western Ocean.
The Wooded Peninsula is worth a long stroll as the sunlight filters through the evergreens. Both the tree-top village of Yamara (think Star Wars) and the fabled Elvish city Lena lie within its borders.      
What dangers should we avoid in Terramara?
If you made it in before the war, you would need to be on the lookout for Rogues. Rogues are a highly organized group of thieves, bandits, and pirates. Many were drivenout when the continent was first settled,but enough remain to threaten the unprepared traveler.
If you arrived during the war, Antlatia and Lena would be the only 100% safe places. Anywhere else you’d risk detainment or being caught in the middle of a battle. Natas is ruthless in his war against the King and will kill you out of spite. 
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Terramara?
Not necessarily. The common folk eat homegrown fruits and vegetables and purchase grain and wild game when they can. The deer living in the Wooded Peninsula are highly prized by hunters.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Terramara?
Most elves and men carry some kind of blade. The wealthy customize their swords to their fighting styles. The Prince, hated enemy of Natas, wields a katana-like sword. The elves of the Wooded Peninsula prefer a good bow but will use knives and daggers in a pinch. The giant men from the mountains are the only ones to use war axes, but the most uncommon weapons are wielded by the elves of the flame. This sect of the elvish race fights with claw-like weapons attached to their wrists, freeing their hands to use their unique abilities.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Terramara?
The original settlers sailed to Terramara across the Ocean and kept their ships to defend against Rogues. The Rogues also maintain a fleet on the southern coasts. Elves and their allies are the only ones that ride Griffins, the intelligent creatures have sided with the King. Riding bareback is an experienceunlike anything you can imagine. 
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Terramara that we don’t see on Earth?
Plant life is relatively similar to Earth thanks to the environment, but there are many sentient races spread across the continent. Elves are the most common species in Terramara. Five separate cultures have arisen over the years.
Light Elves are what you would find in a Lord of the Rings world and inhabit villages and towns alongside humans. Wood elves are an offshoot of the Light Elves that live on the peninsula and prefer the long bow to the sword.
Twilight Elves are the most ancient elven races and migrated later to Terramara after escaping a bloody civil war in their homeland. Their hair turns a silvery-gray before adolescents and their eyes carry a violet pigment, allowing them better night vision. Older Twilight Elves, most of them veterans of war, are the best warriors to be found.
The Elves of the Flame are a mysterious group. They are blessed with a magic that enables them to call fire to their hands and control it. Their ancestors came from the Twilight Elves' homeland.
The last group are the Dark Elves, those who’ve joined Natas and been corrupted by his power. Natas is a Dark Elf.
One other race populates Terramara.The Chromes usually stick to their vast, underground caverns. They migrated around the same time as the Twilight Elves and settled in the mountains. They are a strong, dark-skinnedrace of enormous proportions. Some stand as high as nine feet though the average is closer to seven. They are hardy miners and make powerful soldiers should the need arise.  
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Terramara?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
The Elves of the Flame are born with their abilities to call fire to their aid. The only other aspects I would deem ‘magical’ are the swords of The King and The Prince. They give off a wholesome, living light that can tell if a person is a faithful follower or a traitor sided with Natas.
As far as the supernatural, this whole story is an allegory waiting to be discovered by the reader. It’s not so over the head that a typical reader couldn’t ignore it if they wanted to, but it’s there for a reader to find.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Terramara?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Several crystalline elements exist in Terramara that don’t exist on Earth. It is unknown whether their properties are magical, chemical or both. These stones are used to propel small, flat-bottom boats at high speeds.
Natas has found a way to utilize these in combination with Earth's projectile weapons. The results are devastating.    
What is the political or government structure in Terramara?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Terramara is divided into four primary regions. The southernmost islands are dominated by the Rogues and their fleet. The Mountain Ranges just north of the islands belong to the Chromes.Their capital is the underground fortress-city of Argonum. Light Elves and Humans inhabit towns and villages scattered near the coasts and rivers. Each city oversees its villages and is ruled by a governor answerable to the King. The remaining Elvish races live in homesteadsscattered thorugout the Wooded Peninsula. Lena is a central meeting place known only to the elves. It is used as a hidden refuge in times of trouble and Natas, the leader of the rebellion, will do anything to burn it out of existence.
The King is the ultimate authority and is like no other being in Terramara. Light purer than the sun radiates from him at all times and inspires courage in his followers and dread in his enemies. No warrior can match his skill with the blade or his compassion. The King and his son are central figures in the fight for Terramara.         
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Terramara?
 Last names were invented by the elves and most humans don't have one yet.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

The Wooded Peninsula came from my love of Washington State's evergreens. Even when the skies are gray,the trees are still full of life and color. Beyond that, both the Bible and the Tolkien's Lord of The Rings influenced Terramara's creation. 
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
I touch slightly on the moral issues of killing in war, but only as is appropriate for Middle School or Young Adult audiences. 

Author Autobiography:

This is my third year of serious writing. I published The Living Light at seventeen and haven’t stopped writing since. Currently, I’m working my way through my college degree while tweaking the second short-story in my Sci-fi/superhero series. I love Christian Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Sci-fi, and all the related genres) and think it’s a great way to reach an entertainment-hungry generation searching for direction.    
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book? 
Where can readers connect with you online?
I’m still working on building my blog/website.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Terramara.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Lauramore, in Realm Explorers Part LIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima


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