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.
Title of book and/or series:
Tales of Ever After in the Fellowship of Fantasy series. Short story title is “Believing Fairy Tales”, which is set in the same world as William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins (pictured above).
Brief summary of the story:
Four criminals attack Falling Waters Shrine under the cover of darkness, taking the shrine’s attendant Nestor prisoner. The criminals believe an old fairy tale there is a blessed sword hidden in the shrine, a weapon worth a fortune, and they’re willing to kill to get it. But not all fairy tales end happily ever after, and Falling Waters Shrine holds more secrets than the sword.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Falling Waters Shrine is on the world of Other Place, home to many races and fantastic monsters. The shrine is in a mountainous region too rocky for farming, and is next to the Truly Might Jostle River (known to goblins as the Won’t Shut Up River).
If we were to visit Falling Waters Shrine as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Falling Waters Shrine is an ancient pilgrimage site, famous for its statues and collection of religious texts. The area around the shrine is beautiful, but ear protection is necessary for long stays, as the Jostle River includes a waterfall so loud that it can render men deaf if they stay too long.
What dangers should we avoid in Falling Waters?
Monsters occasionally approach the shrine and can be dangerous. Magic wards protect the shrine if it is attacked. Rumors say that there have been several such attacks, all failures.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Falling Waters?
Locals make what they call meal bread, a mix of dried tomatoes, shredded beef, cheese cubes and spices wrapped in bread dough and slowly baked over a low fire. Meal bread travels well and has all a man needs to keep healthy.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Falling Waters?
Falling Waters Shrine is owned by the Brotherhood of the Righteous, a religious organization that prefers to deal with problems through negotiations whenever possible and consider any loss of life a tragedy. On those rare situations when violence is unavoidable, the brotherhood has small teams of heavily armed paladin, be they human, dwarf or ogre, to deal with dire threats. Brotherhood priests are also capable of calling upon divine aid, typically healing, but combat spells are also used.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Falling Waters?
The land around Falling Waters Shrine is so rocky that it was never truly settled, and the river so fast and rough that boat travel isn’t safe. People going to the shrine do so on foot or ride donkeys.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Falling Waters that we don’t see on Earth?
Other Place is home to many intelligent races like men, elves, dwarfs, ogres, harpies, sirens, dragons and more. It also has countless species of monsters, some extremely dangerous.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Other Place? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic exists but is not relied upon. It’s generally easier, faster and cheaper to do a job by hand than to hire a wizard. Monsters are rare in most areas and not to be trifled with. There are a lot of magic items for sale by dwarf corporations, but these items are notoriously unreliable and not under warrantee.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Other Place.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is an enthusiastic supporter of music and sponsors music schools across Other Place.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Other Place? Please describe what it involves.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is similar to the Catholic or Orthodox Christian churches on earth. They favor grandiose architecture and elaborate religious ceremonies. The brotherhood is highly organized and can bring millions of followers and untold treasures to bear when faced with a problem. The brotherhood is also actively spreading to new regions with missionaries and holy men. Not all kingdoms like the brotherhood, because when they are strong in a nation they can make the kings follow the rules.
Competing religions include the Servants of the Cause, elf Temples to the Perfect Way, dwarf Churches of the Great Maker, and the rare elf doomsday cult called The Repentant, who actively sabotage their fellow elves from achieving world domination.
What is the political or government structure in The Brotherhood of the Righteous? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is a hierarchy with a pontiff, followed by cardinals, bishops and priests. The current pontiff is Gregory “Because I Said So” the 8th, who works tirelessly to prevent regional wars by greedy, vengeful and often bigoted kings. Needless to say, it’s a difficult job.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Falling Waters Shrine?
Falling Waters Shrine is open to pilgrims and tourists any day of the week. Donations are accepted, and we ask that visitors please be patient with staff members, as some of them are dealing with personal issues.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I was inspired to create Falling Waters Shrine after visiting Holy Hill basilica in Wisconsin. The grounds around Holy Hill are indeed quite rough with lots of ups and downs, and the basilica is beautiful in ways words can’t fully express.
Arthur Daigle was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He received a degree in biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which sounded like a good idea at the time. This led to work as a zoo intern at Brookfield Zoo, an assistant fisheries biologist at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and a research assistant at Morton Arboretum. Most recently he’s been employed grading high school essay tests and working as a garden associate (yeah, the job market is that bad). In addition to writing, Arthur is an avid gardener and amateur artist.Arthur is the author (no jokes, please, he’s heard them all) of six books. These include William Bradshaw King of the Goblins, William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope, William Bradshaw and War Unending, William Bradshaw and Fool’s Gold, Goblin Stories and Dr. Moratrayas Mad Scientist. These books were almost inevitable given that the author has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since he was old enough to walk. Arthur is also a regular contributor to the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology series. Major influences include the works of the puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson and the British artist Brian Froud. Expect more books in the Will Bradshaw series, as all attempts to stop Arthur from writing have failed.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? Please include links.
All books in the Fellowship of Fantasy series are available as paperbacks and free ebooks on Amazon.com.
Where can readers connect with you online?
“Believing Fairy Tales” is a short story in the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology Tales of Ever After, which is available for FREE! Find out more below.
Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.
The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.
This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Falling Waters Shrine. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
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-Annie Douglass Lima