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.
“Spirits of the dead, giant wolves, and demons born from the depths of a realm of nightmares? It can’t be all that bad.” - Sebastian
Say Hello - The Cast of Eclipse of the Sun
"This city claims to be a realm of virtue! All I see is corruption, greed, and the angered wrath of a select few in power!"
Con Artist Thief
“I never thought I would live to see the day when the threat of being incinerated by a dragon will be the least of my problems.”
Con Artist Thief
“I took down a wolf in human form and blinded a dragon that was about to kill me. I think I can handle anything the lands to the east have to offer.”
“Nice to know that on the list of things an evil dead sorcerer hates, we’re not a priority. I don’t suppose we’re in the top three on the list? I would be a little insulted if I’m not somewhere in the top ten.” - Sebastian
“The last memory I had in life was my father driving his sword into my chest.” - Yulia
Origin Story: A Card Game
Long before I wrote the story, I was involved with a game called Magic: The Gathering. There was a set that was released called "Homelands". It involved five main realms, representing two combinations of colors. One being the realm of Baron Sengir, a vampire lord. Alongside him was an evil "Grandmother" Sengir and a kidnapped dwarven princess manipulated into thinking she belonged in this bizarre family called Irini Sengir. Another character in this set was called "Ishan's Shade", essentially a paladin that is cursed in death. The original concept for the story was a fan fiction narrative loosely inspired by these characters.
I wanted five realms, four of them surrounding a central "City of Light" which was surrounded on all sides by a high wall. The main protagonists would travel the world, explore each realm, fix things as they go along, generic fantasy quest storyline. However, writing the first book, I got to a full length novel and had only traveled to two of these realms. That's it. So, I knew I had to make a sequel but wanted it directly connected to the first. Thus the two part concept that came into existence.
A lot changed from the original concept. According to my original designs, each realm had a "of light" specialized structure. The city in the center being the City of Light. The Kingdom of Light being to the west. A Temple of Light was to the south and a Tower of Light to the east. Each becoming corrupted by evil, turning into an abomination of its former self. Of that concept, only the term "City of Light" survived into the final version. The kingdom existed, but was never referred to as a place "of light".
The Sengir "Family"
Sebastian and Nathaniel
A Failed Attempt
I finished the first book years ago before coming back to the concept. At the time, I thought it was great. When I pulled up the old files, I thought, not much work here needed. Just need to do some minor editing and work on writing the sequel when I started, but didn't get far into it beyond some general ideas.
Where to begin with everything that went wrong with the original draft? To begin with, Nathaniel was about as generic "I'm the hero" type character. I wish I was making this up. He had almost no personality other than "I'm a hero, I'm going to save the day". Meanwhile, Sebastian was a "yes man". Kind of whiney too, "But Nathaniel, are you sure we should do this? I don't know about this..." He was a weak, agreeable, sidekick to Nathaniel. I hated everything about it when I read through that old draft thinking to myself, what??? Why??? Of the original, general ideas were kept and maybe two scenes, one involved Ferot meeting with the king.
I had to throw out nearly everything and start over. My approach was that Nathaniel and Sebastian would be equal to one another. I was greatly inspired by the quick witted back and forth interaction between Tulio and Miguel from the movie: Road to El Dorado. A scene involving them planning the theft that gets them to the gallows was my first attempt at a re-write but was thrown out to just jump right into them being hung.
A Terrible First Draft
The original book began with a newborn baby being blessed by his grandfather. He says something about how "it has been prophesized, that the new dawn will be brought about by him..." The mother rejects this idea, since others who claimed such a thing had been killed by evil forces. So, that set up Nathaniel as being "the chosen one". So cliché that I found the idea painful.
As I said earlier, Sebastian was the whiny, tag along, sidekick. Which I hate characters like that. It gets worse... Zoe was a hardcore fighter as she is in the final version, but guess what? Yup. Love interest for "the chosen one". By the end of the first book, her final line is a whispered, "My love..." Yeah, it was horrible wish fulfillment.
Most of the first half structure and plot remained. The younger wolf was killed by the griffin, not the soldier. The second half of the book involved two factions. These intelligent "demons" that were summoned beings like in the final version. There was this set of twins magically created beings that seemed to know about everything. There was a set of brother and sister albino wolves that end up helping Ferot at the end to track down the humans who are heading into the Eastern realm at the end of the book. There was an agent of the "lord of the north", a vampiric woman. There was "Angelica and Demona", set of twins (see a theme?) that were an all white and all black version of the same woman who was split in half, becoming an evil and good side. It was bad, I told you. All of that extra stuff was tossed out completely.
The original titles were "Bringer of the Dawn" and the sequel being, "Dawn of a New Age". The two together would be, "Bringer of the Dawn of a New Age". Avoiding the cliché "chosen one" approach, I wanted a new design. The sun and the moon being an interesting approach in my mind and that's how those two titles worked out.
As I began writing about Sebastian and Nathaniel, they sprung to life for me. They would often take over the story and getting them to do what was needed, became an ongoing headache for me. That's why often I had to create reasons why they did this or that. The enchanted swords, Zoe being in a trance approaching the castle, Dirgum (who was originally the blue genie from Aladdin essentially... I know, it was one of many problems in the original draft.) transporting them into a no win situation where they had to fight for survival, all methods to force these two guys who wanted nothing to do with heroism, to be the protagonists of my narrative. It is later explained all of this occurred because of the influence of the two gods "Sol" and "Lun" who is revealed in the second book.
In the second half, there was a sub-plot of this evil created being woman in charge of sanctuary who wanted to use the protagonists to her twisted end and her second in command had to stop her. I cut her out and kept the second in command as the leader of Sanctuary from the beginning. Also, at one point Nathaniel was disintegrated in the vortex of magic and somehow returned.
So Many Changes
As I said, a lot of changes were made form the original. A multitude of characters were eliminated and those that remained were changed. The dead king, Yulia, and Ferot remained essentially the same. Zoe remained the same except I cut the "love interest" aspect of her character making her more independent individual and gave her a better background than just wanting to protect "the boys".
Originally Caravac was not destroyed, but transformed back into a sorcerer and was meant to be the main antagonist against them in the first half of the second book. Originally there was a conclave of evil sorcerers that had to abandon the south and had taken over the "tower of light" to the east. The idea of the City of Shadows was in my mind but hadn't been developed much. The conclave leader was in communication with the vampiric lord to the north who was evil. Straight up, pure evil, and was introduced in the first book, not the second. Also, Leandera and Adam were introduced and escape the northern realm and the evil vampire lord that kept her prisoner at the end of the first book.
More on this in the Silhouette of the Moon page.
What began as a fanfiction, inspired by a storyline from Homelands of Magic: the Gathering card game, became a terribly written "chosen one" overly cliché storyline with terrible stereotypical characters. Years later that would inspire a complete rewrite of the original material, adding humor to a dark, twisted realm, and dealing with the most frustrating two individuals that refused to be heroes when I needed them to save the day.
However, I wouldn't change a thing. I loved writing about this trio of Sebastian, Nathaniel, and Zoe.
“The world is not filled with certainties, for we risk much in everything we do with our lives.” - Vurian
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Yulia Ivana Zahod is derived from noble family names from the royal line of Russia.
Vurian's son is named after Isaac Newton, an English physicist,
mathematician, and astronomer.
Mimicry of the Original
Obsessed with perfection and a twisted version of Isaac, Isacasi is Isaac as a palindrome.
Just Like Merlin
Vurian packing up his room via magic was inspired by Disney's Sword in the Stone.
On page 238, Isacasi refers to "clicks". This is an increment of time in the Sunfire Chronicles.
Notwen is a magical clone of Vurian's son, Newton. It is his named spelled backwards.
I Won't Tell a Lie
Ochio was named after Pinochio, his body parts are fabricated, much like the wooden boy.
The concept for Ochio was greatly inspired by a tiny alien in the Men in Black movie.
Isaac being replaced by his doubleganger and then imprisoned is inspired by the story: The Man in the Iron Mask.
And now... My Favorite.
Dargom says, "Do you honestly think I’m just a servant, summoned from a magical bottle, ring, or lamp to do the bidding of my master?"
This refers to the original Alladin story where there was a genie in a ring and a second one in a lamp. Also, in the television show, "I Dream of Jeannie", she lives in a bottle. Lastly, he was originally designed to look like Disney's blue genie.
“In war, victory does not exist. All that remains are survivors who mourn what has been stolen from us, who must endure the nightmares of these tragic events, and attempt to rebuild our world from the scars etched into its memories.” – Isaac