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.
“What you’re asking is for me to advise a strategy to destroy an immortal being of nearly unlimited power with an army whose size could be anywhere from a few hundred to millions accumulated over the countless decades.” – Adam
Say Hello - The Cast of Silhouette of the Moon
“Destiny may guide us towards a given path, but it is up to each of us to decide where our lives take us.”
Con Artist Thief
“You’re not defeated until you are dead and even then, I like to believe that death can be reasoned with.”
Con Artist Thief
“Lay a hand on me, and I’ll cut it from the rest of your body along with your forked tongue.”
“You are all that remains to keep me from the abyss. I had hoped one day you would be the one to bring me into the light.”
“Not optimism. I think of it more so as a fierce determination to live to see what the future will bring.”
“By your side, failure or success, life or death, I will follow you to wherever you guide my footsteps.”
“You’re not going to find the spark of light in the depths of darkness by adding to the empty void.” – Leandra
“I said it was a plan, I never once said it was a good plan.” - Adam
In the beginning...
After completing Eclipse of the Sun, I immediately began work on its sequel. I knew I wanted to write them one after to the other so that if I discovered anything I wanted to change in the original book, I can fix it in editing. Essentially wanting both books ready at the same time before the first was published.
The origins of Vincintius, the Witch, and Leandra was rooted in a card game I used to play, Magic: The Gathering. One of their card sets was named Homelands where we are introduced to Baron Sengir, Grandmother Sengir, and Irini Sengir. None of the three were actually related. Irini being a dwarf with magic capabilities who was kidnapped and brainwashed to do the bidding of the baron.
The original draft of Eclipse of the Sun involved the vampire lord of the north, a kidnapped girl with strong magical capabilities who was being trained by an evil mummy like woman dubbed "grandmother". In the first version the vampires were traditional blood sucking types, the lord of the north being essentially Dracula. The Witch helped train him and guide him but was more of an adviser than a powerful threat. Leandra more along the lines of a trapped princess being taught how to wield her magical abilities by her "grandmother". At one point she summons a small demon that bites off one of the older woman's fingers. Also, there was a scene where the grandmother tosses a skull onto a giant mound of bones.
Like the Phoenix
I knew I wanted to take a new approach with practically everything from the original draft. The first was a concept of, "What if Dracula was trying to be a protagonist?" This placed the Witch/grandmother as the ultimate evil in the story. She was the one behind his creation, who had helped take over the northern lands, and was the one responsible for cultivating this darkness inside of him that he is resisting.
Secondly, Leandra was no longer this helpless princess, but a powerful warrior woman. In the original draft, Adam was this mannequin type. Tall, slender, rudimentary android using wood and metal. I liked the idea of making it a mystery as to who was within this heavy armor and made him smaller. His personality, the snarky commentary was the comedic relief needed for such a serious character that she was. I absolutely loved writing his dialogue.
After introducing the magically created beings from the south, the idea that many escaped to other lands opened up the possibility of these beings having created lives for themselves. That allowed me to introduce Orenda and Sabrina to fill out the cast.
The last major change was that I wanted a different kind of vampire. Yes, Vincintius and Leandra still looked human for the most part, but I wanted them to be mutations of the true vampire. What were they like though?
I remember being on a forty minute drive, no clue what to do with the story or what these vampires would look like. Then it hit me, a bolt of inspiration. What if they were completely inhuman and they fed off memories and thought, not blood. Over time they would transform their victims into more of these abominations. I was inspired by this terrible movie called "Legion". I hated the movie, but there was this scene where an ice cream man turns into this spider like walking humanoid. That's where I got the idea of these vampires skittering across the ground on all four. Add in that their heads are fused to their bodies, no eyes, mouth, or ears, it became one of my favorite horror creatures I ever introduced.
When the winged warrior brings Nathaniel to the castle, there was originally an entire chapter that breaks away from the present day and tells the story of the origins of the four guardians introducing a princess, a soldier, this drunk who was friends with the emperor, and the brother of the Witch all set in the ancient past. Then it is those four, not our main cast of protagonists, that defeats the Witch. It was a terrible idea in shifting gears away from the main story and cast that it had to go.
HOWEVER! It did lead to the concept for an origin story, a prequel to the Age of Shadows books that will tell the story of the Age of Empire and the origins of the four guardians as well as the Witch's tragic beginnings.
“Should we be honored or horrified?” – Adam
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Vincentius is a Roman name derived from the Latin word, Vincere, which means to conquer.
Orenda is from an Iroquois, American Indian tribe, name for spiritual energy inherent in people and their environment.
A Mother's Blessing
Leandra’s mother is named Aonani, which means beautiful light in the Hawaiian language.
On page 95, a baker named Marice is mentioned. This is a reference to the opening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, where someone says, “Maurice! Get the baggets!”
So it's agreed?
Adam says, “Do we have an accord?” The use of the word, accord, was inspired by the movie: Pirates of the Caribbean.
Vlad the Impaler
Cardalu, the father of Vincentius, is the rearranged letters that make up the name, Dracula.
Sun and Moon
The gods, Sol and Lun are named after solar and lunar, references to the sun and the moon.
And now... My Favorite.
The ending involves an elder man telling the story of the events of the Age of Shadows books. I was inspired by the mini-series, Merlin, where he is telling of the events of his life. That mini-series has been a major influence for other books like Arcane Inheritance and the Primordial Quaternity series.
“Let us be off, our imminent death is awaiting us all.” – Adam