So, you've made it this far, have you? It takes dedication to find this page hidden deep within the Tagonist Knights Website.
As a reward, I present to you five new ways to immerse yourself within this novel. Some of it is insightful, other aspects of it is meant to make you laugh and smile. Hopefully, by the time you're done, you'll be eager to explore the book if you haven't already, or take a moment to read through it once again knowing what you do now.
“Zombies! Why didn’t you start with that? How about, hey, there is an army of dead people about to kill everyone and oh, wait… We also found your friend.” – Nick
Say Hello - The Cast of Arcane Inheritance
“I’m not a hero. I survive situations I’m thrust into, but that doesn’t make me heroic.”
“Come on, we got things to do, dead people to see…”
“I may look differently then you, labeled as a different race, but my ancestors were just as human as yours were.”
“Sometimes in life we are forced to step forward into an unknown world without the safety of a guide to protect our steps.”
“You mages are all wackadoodle weird with your magic stuff.”
“I’ve already lost one arm to this sort of insanity, it should be interesting to see how much of me will become mechanical before I finally kick the bucket.”
“If I am human, as you claim, I am an abomination of nature, one unaccepted by any society.”
“I never admit defeat, for in death I will be more powerful than in life.”
“You’re all a bunch of freaks of nature that should be broken into small pieces to make sure you don’t find some way to come back to life.”
“I’m about three seconds away from having a brain explosion or a heart going clatter clack boom. If I knew the technical medical terms for all of that, I would use it, but I don’t, so there you have it.” – Nick
“Never doubt the power within you and never think that anything is impossible.” – Myrddin
An Old Idea
I had been playing around with the idea of the last descendant of Merlin for a long time, ever since I saw the made for television series: Merlin. I loved the concept they presented and the idea that those events took place in our history was one of many elements that went into creating what eventually became the Human Born series.
A much older version, not attached to this series, involved the basic concepts of the ancestor of Merlin and his shape shifting Jinn. The plot involved his family was murdered. A group dedicated to using them for their own dark purposes was pursuing him. Much of the original cast and elements from it was never used again. However, that cult that worshiped the ancient goddess that remained in the final draft was a reflection of that evil organization bent on hunting him down.
I originally wrote much of the Human Born series years before coming back to it. Acolytes, Emerald Intrigue, Prodigal Son... Which is what this was originally called, and lastly Children of Gaia. I started on a fifth book but never got beyond about one third of the way through before stopping writing what was then a failed series. Of all the books that were salvaged, only this one remained mostly the same. The others went through major re-writes and massive changes.
It was during this novel that I began tackling the larger world concept. The Greek Empire being a reflection of my interest in Greek mythology and history. It also introduced the concept of the European Aliance.
The Ancient Spirit - Mab
Past and Present
Although most of the narrative remained the same, a large portion of text was removed involving a secondary story involving the politics of the Greek Empire. There was a dozen or so characters involved, beginning with the geomancer who reacted to the lion illusion in an early scene. Eventually Clive leaves to be involved with that story arc that essentially added absolutely nothing to the story. Removing it didn't affect anything other than having Clive following the group of mercenaries rather than being involved in the Greek Empire story arc.
Another major change was the ending. It was a heavy
handed wish fulfillment narrative where Geoffrey
fights an army of summoned creatures. At one point, he summons the Lady of the Lake who gives what was then, Ritter, Excalibur to defeat Mordred. It was so horribly cringe worthy that I replaced it all with its final version.
Originally Geoffrey breaks the curse on David's staff and in doing so, unlocks his godlike magical abilities. The strangest part is how Jinx became mortal. In the original, she just did. No explanation given. Making Geoffrey's reaction to a potential threat to his life led to Jinx doing so on his behalf, which was an ideal way to explain how she became human.
In the first draft, Morgan and Revedac escape capture. She scolds him and he summons zombies to take her prisoner. Bringing in Murberec felt an ideal way to resolve this.
“Earn my respect and be worthy of my admiration by treating others who would be your ally in this confrontation against a mutual enemy with the same care and concern as your dearest friend.” – Vincent
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Origin of a Legend
Geoffrey is named after Geoffrey of Monmouth, one of the major figures to help establish the stories of King Author.
Jinx is named after my cat, who was previously named after a court jester and illusionist from a much older story I wrote.
Myrddin Wyllt was the name of the historical figure from legend that is considered the inspiration for Merlin.
Geoffrey being sacrificed to a snake was inspired by a plot element found within the movie: Conan the Barbarian.
The main antagonist, the summoned spirit, was greatly inspired by Mab from the 1998 Merlin Miniseries.
Revedac is the word cadaver spelled backwards. Ideal for a necromancer.
Harrison is named after Harrison Hagan Schmitt, an astronaut and geologist, who set foot on the moon.
Galen derives his name from the letters in the word, Angel, rearranged to make his name.
Genie of the...
On page 28, Jinx speaks of a ring or a lamp, both refer to a genie from the original Alladin story.
The general look of Nick was inspired by the goblins portrayed in Magic: The Gathering.
Jinx refers to Myrddin as "Master" as a homage to the TV series, "I dream of Jeannie".
Morgan is named after Morgan Le Fey, a character from the King Arthur legends.
Athena is named after the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War.
Zagreb is an actual place on the map near the border of what would be the European Alliance and the Greek Empire.
Fight, Fight, Fight!
Mage vs. Mage combat was inspired by the Magic: The Gathering novel: Arena.
The scene set within a labyrinth was inspired by an episode of Batman: The Animated series.
One page 151, Jinx introduces herself as Katherine, the name of my first cat I had as a kid.
On page 163, the sharing of memories was inspired by the movie: The Dark Crystal.
The staff found at Camelot, previously owned by David, is from the novel: Blood Oath.
Kira and Karma, as well as John and Ritter who are mentioned, are featured in the previous book: Blood Oath.
On page 224, Nick says, "Why don't you wiggle your nose?" It is a reference to magic used in the TV series: Bewitched.
Mordred is named after a treacherous knight from the Arthurian legends.
On page 247, the code “Abraham 1897” refers to the publication of Bram (Abraham) Stoker’s Dracula.
The "liquid" human remains Nick trudges through was inspired by an episode of of the show: CSI.
The references to dragons found in New York hints at the events of the novel: Emerald Intrigue.
On page 304, Melody says the word "evoltseraed". This was used in the novel: In a Heartbeat.
In a Dream
Melody's ability to connect to other worlds through her dreams is expanded upon in the novel: Dryad's Dream.
And now... My Favorite.
The final phrasing at the end of the book is a play on something I have included in several books. “Somewhere, sometime, and on some dimension of existence, anything that is fantasy to us, is real to someone else.” I liked the concept of teasing the audience with the existence of the Mattiverse. This is all building up to something much larger. But… As they say, that’s a story for another day.
“The greatest adventures happen when someone is lost and uncertain of where to go next.” - Melody