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Imagine if your child had been stolen by vampires who were going to train their innocent minds to become living weapons. Gain greater insight into these unique individuals through quotes from the novel. Read about a fan favorite scene found in the pages of the book. Explore this fascinating world with related artwork and memes meant to entertain. Delve into the complicated path that it took from rough draft to final version with a multitude of years separating the two. Lastly, explore the myriad of hidden Easter Eggs throughout the book.
“I don’t feel like being a mage is all that special at the moment considering I’m staring at a dragon right now.” – Max
A scene selected from the book.
Max and Jenna are transporting the third mysterious item to a buyer only to realize that they are being directed to a location that is an abandoned wasteland. That's when they hear a strange noise coming from the back of the truck. They meet with Elizabeth who doesn't know why she's there or what is going on with the object they are delivering. As the three talk, the truck begins shaking back and forth before toppling over onto its side. Something bursts out, the pair of friends panic and try to get into Elizabeth's car. Just when they argue over going back for the woman that they had just met, something large crashes onto the hood, crushing the front. Suddenly, they are staring into the eyes of a dragon.
“Creating something takes time and being careful to do it right requires a focused mind. Destroying something is easy. All it takes is brute force and no care or concern for what is being taken away from the world.” – Nick
“The ancient world is filled with stories, folklore, mysteries, and mythology. I’m living proof that many of those narratives told over a warm fire for entertainment of others, were rooted in truth, although such details have been largely exaggerated and misunderstood.” – Jinx
In college, the author wrote the first of what was to be a mash up of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, with a semi-contemporary setting of Earth set into the future. This was the first of those novels. The original concept was that people would leave in the middle of the story and someone could pick up another novel to see where that story went. That... Was confusing. Originally Erik was going to escape with one of the dragon eggs, moving onto a story that plans for were created but never fully developed called Sanctuary. So, him leaving in the middle of the book had to be adjusted which fortunately led to the need for someone to stop him. The idea of introducing Emmanuelle would forever alter the course of the story as well as the future of what would become the Human Born series.
Despite starting this story first, the author didn't finish it. He was drawn into what originally called Acolytes, later renamed into Blood Oath. That, of course, becoming the first of the series. Then came Prodigal Son, which developed into Arcane Inheritance and finally he returned to this novel. The original draft that he wrote several years prior to the final version, was a radically different concept that went through several major re-writes before publication.
"Twinkie?" That is how the story first began, Max finding an old, gross looking pastry in the depths far below the city. Originally, Max, Jenna, and Liz were thieves. They were the ones who originally broke into Silvermane's complex and stole what was originally four eggs. They entered, connected with an artificial intelligence running the facility that had gained consciousness and was tired of working for the vampire nation. Somehow Liz was able to download this A.I. Into her computerized brain after it helped them succeed with the theft.
In an early draft, Silvermane is the one who originally stole the eggs from the dragons. The final version, he essentially gifted the items by a mysterious third party that is revealed as to who orchestrated the entire event at the end of the book. Then, Delora is the one who arranges for Daniel to steal the eggs for her, not knowing how many there are. How she found out was never explained. Daniel, playing the role of the middle man, hires the three thieves who somehow, without any proper explination as to how they were able to do so, break into a high security location and escape with four large objects.
In the original draft, dragons were born to lizards, and developed human level intelligence. One of the most significant changes was to make dragons one of the human born races. The parents born as humans to a human lineage.
The confrontation between Silvermane and Emmanuelle, as well as her capture remained the same between the original and the final version of the story. In an early draft, Emerald transforms into a human male who behaves more like an adult mage than a newborn baby. One of many elements that was eliminated.
The geomancer and winged man from Arcane Inheritance was in an early draft. It felt forced and there was a need to reduce the large cast so they were not included in the major re-write. With Liz no longer connected to Jenna and Max, linking her to Nick allowed for him and Jinx to be a part of this narrative. There was a sub-plot involving Silvermane hiring a group of mercenaries, Murdoc being the only one to make it into the final version. The cast of the first draft was enormous, dozens of individuals throughout a six hundred page long book.
Let's Try That Again
There was another sub-plot involving Aturez, Azul's brother, dealing with the woman who in the original draft of Blood Oath, had helped kill and take over Azul's position on the council. Of course, in the re-write of the first book, none of that happened. Toliver's sister was written out of the story. So, in the first attempt to salvage the original story, the author removed this completely.
Next on the chopping block? The A.I. that was in Liz, talking to her like a voice in her head. He was eventually downloaded into and android body. That concept felt too much like Parallax from the Sunfire Chronicles so he was removed.
The group of mercenaries which involved a series of scenes as to their involvement, fate, including Greven from the first book was also eliminated. It was an overly complex mess involving too many character with little to no development for any one individual, which finally led to a massive re-write.
The author was sitting at a table at his day job, writing down notes on what he wanted to keep and how to restructure the novel from the ground up. He knew that he wanted to keep Liz, Jenna, and Max. He liked Nick and Jinx but found a reason why their friends were not involved. He kept the elf and dwarf since they were too vital to the plot but made them as buyers. Lastly, the number of eggs were reduced from four down to three to streamline the story.
Portions of the original book survived, certain scenes were kept but altered slightly. An example of this was Lyuben replacing "Tarot", a man who could see in to the future, to maintain certain scenes and plot elements from the original.
The author had some experience with the three act structure ever since the novel, Dearly Beloved. His new approach was to introduce the majority of the main cast and have the eggs handed off. The end of the first 100 pages would be Emerald emerging from his egg. The original concept of his shapeshifting abilities and mage like magical powers was replaced with a limitation of two forms. This accented that he was Human Born like his parents, which was another change from the original. He along with his two sisters are limited by their age, being babies in their human form and puppy like behavior as dragons.
The second act or 100 pages would involve eliminating the three buyers and focusing on the mother, Emmanuelle, collecting her children and being captured. The last third would be the resolution to what occurred. Originally Kaida was a male dragon that shapeshifted into a female, the abilities of dragons to take any form was unlimited in an early draft. However, in the scene where he approaches Emmanuelle as a prisoner, instead of changing into a male body, the author thought, "No... Keep her as is. This is a female/female couple." That's what led to the introduction of the first lesbian couple featured in one of his novels.
Working Murberec into the storyline helped resolve a wide variety of plot hole issues concerning the theft of the eggs, taken from Silvermane's secure vault. He was someone who had the resources, knowledge, and a capability to forcefully take something from Silvermane. This allowed a twist ending in an early draft where it's revealed that it was Murdoc's daughter fulfilling the role of the mercenary after her father's death. That worked out well in bringing in Murberec's daughter from the first book back to add to his collection of allies.
“Congratulations, you’ve proven your point. We are in a room full of psychopaths, murderers, and people as crazy as you are. No wonder you like this place.” – Derek
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
When the author first started writing, the first non-fanfic story involved an illusionist, a type of court jester named Jinx. Later, he would adopt a cat and named her after this character. When he first wrote Arcane Inheritance, he named the jinn after his cat Jinx. At the end of this book, the woman makes a reference to the author's cat, who had sadly passed away before completing the re-write of Emerald Intrigue. In memory of his special kitty, the final thing Jinx the jinn says is a nick name he had given his cat. Backwards, of course. She says, "Long live Jinxi-poo-honey-bear."
“Thing is, you get to be sad. You get to feel bad about your situation. Just because something else, maybe worse, maybe just a different kind of pain happened to someone else, doesn’t make yours any less valuable.” – Nick