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:Ashley Hodges Bazer
Title of book and/or series: Heralds of the Crown: Poison
Brief summary of the story:
As part of a sect called the Strages, Marcella is ordered to execute fierce assaults on the Logia—gifted believers in the triune deity known as the Crown. After receiving a vision, she begins to question her allegiance and finds herself seeking counsel from a leader in the Logia faith, whom she was sent to annihilate.
When her mentor, Thaed, uncovers her betrayal, he orders her to do the unthinkable—kill the Logia leader who has become her friend. Her choice will result in either the destruction of the Logia or her own death.
The series of Strages attacks call the Logia to prepare for a major battle. In doing so, Gaultier Lassiter is enlisted. When he discovers an unconscious young woman buried in a snowdrift, his world is turned upside down. She has no memory and no ability to speak—only a strange symbol carved into her chest.
The question of her identity leads to a journey of legendary proportions. Between his own personal struggles with his estranged brother, his unmet potential, and the murder of a close friend, Gaultier fights to cling to his faith. And once the mystery is solved, will Gaultier be prepared to face the truth?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The Circeae System is home to many beings, just like us. There’s nothing spectacular or outlandish about them, but they do have space flight technology that allows them to travel the system with relative ease.
Three stars—Vetus, Aevum, and Novus—and seven inhabitable moons surround the heart of the system, the bustling planet Crenet. Each star has its own rotation of planets.
The religious beliefs of the system are widespread, but the focus of the saga is the Logia. They are believers in truth, justice, honor, and good. Their counterparts are the Strages, but little is known of them aside from the fact that they are pure evil. They are apathetic toward humans, and act cruelly and thoughtlessly.
The Logia lead the system in peace and prosperity, culminating in the reign of the Ruler Prince, Ternion. Unrest, however, leads to his deposition, allowing the Progressive Legacy—a powerful and cruel government—to take over the system. This cosmic war also results in a religious holocaust.
If we were to visit the Circeae System as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
On Ossia, you would see the Sunlight Gardens. They are indeed a sight to see. Tersus, the neighboring moon, is where much of the Progressive Legacy’s Elite live. Reveille has an exceptional Zephyr academy, where many Legacy officers have studied. Archet is the primary weapons maker for system. And finally, the shipyards on either side of the system—Atrum or Tzigane—are impressive as well.
What dangers should we avoid in the Circeae System?
The star Vetus is dying. For reasons unknown, its energy is dwindling, leaving most of the surrounding planets uninhabitable. Dark things seem to come from that rotation, given that it is home to the leaders of the Progressive Legacy, the Tribunal.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Circeae System?
Under the rule of the Progressive Legacy, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything but rationed protein paste. But if you know the right people, you can get your hands on a sunberry or a pulpmelon.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Circeae System?
Those who have their minds on the past tend to use swords and daggers. However, as the Legacy grows in strength and number, many more have learned to use a pincer (Plasma Induced by Negatively Charged Elemental Reaction)—a plasma gun. There’s also something that resembles a cattle prod called a stinger, as well as an APL (Activated Projectile Launch ) rifle, which can shoot several different devices, including tracers, immobilizers, and detonators.
What types of vehicles, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Circeae System?
The primary modes of travel between planets and moons are space crafts and shuttles of varying sizes and speeds. Ground transport includes utility vehicles and cruisers.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Circeae System that we don’t see on earth?
On Oresed, legend speaks of a gentle animal called a braeshore that could be ridden. One of the more exciting plants is the subluce tree. When looked at with the right state of mind and heart, the leaves shimmer and glow.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Circeae System? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
There are some who believe in magic, to be sure. However, followers of the Crown know the true source of power comes from the Creator King. Through Him, human beings have the power to physically heal (restoration), mentally or emotionally heal (reconciliation), and use other gifts such as wisdom, strength, leadership, and communication. Of course, there are those who abuse such gifts and learn much darker ways to do “magic.”
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in the Circeae System? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
The technology, much like in Star Wars, is assumed rather than explained. The people of the Circeae System are able to travel through space comfortably and relatively quickly, but I don’t go into details as to the “how”.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in the Circeae System.
A favorite pastime is tossball. Sadly, in the Legacy years, books are forbidden, however a small contingent of folks enjoy reading and re-telling the legends of Kincade the Space Sailor.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Circeae System as on earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes, the Circeae System uses the same time measurements we are familiar with on Earth, however, longer time periods are measured in a different way. The major epochs that span the saga are identified as Coronam Tempus (Crown’s Time—prior to the arrival of the Ruler Prince), Prince’s Reign (the reign of Prince Ternion, the Ruler Prince), and PLR (Progressive Legacy Rule).
Is there a particular religion practiced in the Circeae System? Please describe what it involves.
Two distinct religions stand out and are in a constant struggle. On one side are the Logia. These are benevolent, kind followers of the Crown, the triune god of the Circeae System. They also have supernatural gifts, unlike their counterparts, the Lumen. They, too, follow the Crown and support the Logia. Enemies of the Crown are known as the Strages and the Crepusculum. Like the Logia, the Strages have supernatural abilities, but theirs come from much darker sources. They seek to end the Logia and the glory of the Crown.
What is the political or government structure in the Circeae System? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
At the start of the series, the Logia have a good hold on the system. They anticipate the coming of the Ruler Prince, who will lead the system in peace and prosperity. Great unrest shakes the throne, however, allowing a more sinister force to take control and depose the Ruler Prince. A trio of beings—who can only be described as inhuman—lead the rise of the Progressive Legacy, a military-based government with an iron fist.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the Circeae System?
Several lesser-known breakout religions embrace a few crazy rituals. The Ghosts, a band of freedom fighters, have been known to use such actions to prevent arrest.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Definitely the culture. I am a Christ follower, and I wanted to explore that in a science-fiction setting. I also tend to use names of people or places around me, but slightly distorted. For instance, the first characters I created in this series were Selah and Gray (Valor).Selah is an anagram of my name minus the y, while Gray is an anagram of my husband’s name.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
I touch on a lot of Christian themes, but I avoid getting preachy. You will not find a sermon on forgiveness, but you’ll find a character struggling with that. You won’t get hammered with a message of redemption, but you’ll see the idea woven into the epic storyline.
Ashley Hodges Bazer is the author of Heralds of the Crown: Poison and its following books, Fusion and Reconciliation. She’s often decked out in bellbottoms and grooving out on the lighted dance floor. Okay, not really, but she does have a thing for the BeeGees. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. After earning her bachelor’s degree in theatrical stage management from Arizona State University, she went on to work for Disneyland in that capacity. A love affair with books led her to work for several different bookstores. Currently a producer for an international daily radio program, she’s learning to balance working, writing, and momming duties. Her debut novel, Asylum, was traditionally published by WestBow Press in 2012. When she’s not writing, she’s crocheting or belting out Broadway show tunes. And she’s a real duchess!
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Circeae System. 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 Tanul in Realm Explorers Part XV!