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Welcome to the City of Shadows where everything can be bartered with, an ideal setting for Sebastian and Nathaniel. Meanwhile, Vincentius begins a journey for the redemption of his cursed soul. Learn more about those involved by through quotes from the book. Explore the world and be entertained with related artwork. Discover hidden treasures shrouded in darkness in the Easter Egg section. Learn how the book came to be in a behind the scenes exploration of how the story began and the multitude of changes that led to the final draft.
“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
A scene selected from the book.
Leandra, Adam, and Zoe find themselves in the middle of an empty city. At least, for the moment. Soon a wave of these horrific looking creatures, former humans, mutated into vampiric abominations begin to swarm towards them. Leandra teleports in close, fighting an entire army by herself. Meanwhile, Adam's commentary with Zoe about what is occurring is highly entertaining. Eventually a few escapes revealing the magical gifts given to Zoe by the objects that Sebastian had been collecting. Although she does well in holding off hundreds of these creatures, eventually Leandra admits defeat and says they're leaving. Adam's closing line about a "strategic retreat" is so perfect for his character.
“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, the author immediately began work on its sequel. He knew that he wanted to write them one after to the other so that if he discovered anything he wanted to change in the original book, he would be able to fix it in editing to avoid any continuity issues between the books. Before either novel was published, a final version of both had to be completed
The origins of Vincintius, the Witch, and Leandra was rooted in a card game that the author used to play called Magic: The Gathering. One of their card sets was named Homelands where the audience is introduced to Baron Sengir, Grandmother Sengir, and Irini Sengir. None of the three were actually related. Irini was a dwarf with magic capabilities who had kidnapped and brainwashed by the vampire lord to do his bidding. It was the original spark of an idea.
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 was essentially the Dracula of this reality. The Witch helped guide him but was more of an adviser than a powerful threat. Leandra was like 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 elder woman's fingers.
There was a deleted scene where a vampire questions the strength of the lord and he tears its head off. He hands it to the grandmother. She cuts off the outer layer of muscle and skin, then tosses the skull onto a mound of bones.
Like the Phoenix
After re-writing the first book, Eclipse of the Sun, the author knew he 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 a helpless princess, but a powerful warrior woman. In the original draft, Adam was more like a tall mannequin. He was tall, slender, and a kind of rudimentary android made out of wood and metal. It was obvious from the beginning as to what he was without any mystery involved. The author liked the idea of making it unknown as to who was within his heavy armor and made him smaller. His personality, the snarky commentary was the comedic relief needed for such a serious character that vampire mutant was. The writer of the book absolutely loved his dialogue in response to what her.
After introducing the magically created beings from the southern realm, the idea that many escaped to other lands opened up the possibility of these types of beings having created lives for themselves. That allowed for the introduction of Orenda and Sabrina to fill out the cast in which the story would involve.
The last major change was that the author wanted a different kind of vampire. He had already written about the more traditional vampires in the Human Born series. Yes, Vincintius and Leandra still looked human for the most part, but he wanted them to be mutations of a vampire. What were they like though?
The author was on a forty five minute long drive as he headed from his day job with no clue as to what to do with the story or what these mysterious new vampires would look like. Then it hit him, 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. Similar to the transformation that affected Schmiegel, changing him into Gollum. He drew inspiration from movie called "Legion". Although the author hated the movie, there was this scene where an ice cream man turns into this spider like walking humanoid. That's where he had the idea of 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 his favorite horror creatures that he 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, a drunk who was formally 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 abruptly shifted away from the main story and cast. Not only was this distracting from the main flow of the narrative, but it brought in a group of strangers that resolved the largest threat in the story? It was removed.
HOWEVER! It did lead to the concept for an origin story, a prequel to the Age of Shadows books that will tell the tale of the Age of Empire and how the four guardians first came into existence as well as the Witch's tragic beginnings.
“You're not defeated until you are dead and even then, I like to believe that death can be reasoned with.” – Sebastian
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
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.
“By your side, failure of success, life or death, I will follow your to wherever you guide my footsteps.” – Adam