Home     The Story     Characters     Series Overview     Chapters     About the Author     First Printing and Errata     Contact the Author     Links and Site Credits      


Adventurers of the Carotian Union was conceived as a series of interconnected stories, each of which is a complete adventure in itself.  Each may be enjoyed independently, yet each moves the questors toward their final overarching goal, the rescue of Eliander, the Lost Prince of Thalas.  If you were a Tom Baker Dr. Who fan, the stories relate to one another in the same way the stories in the Key to Time series did.

 

Like all the stories in the series, The Chalice of Life is an ensemble piece. Mistra, the heroine, is more a first among equals than a main character. Although the series features some fairly intricate plotting, the development of the characters and their interrelationships is extremely important: in many ways, Adventurers is telling their stories as much as the story of the quest itself. Figuratively and literally, these seven extraordinary beings become the progenitors of the "new race of sentientkind" it will take to make the Union thrive.  I like to think the answer to the question "Are the stories plot-driven or character-driven?" is yes.

 

In each adventure, the questors set some injustice to rights, thus saving everything from a single soul to an entire civilization. (This is what heroes are supposed to do, right?) Tackling each task set before them strengthens and perfects the questors both individually and as a unit. More importantly, in each adventure, the questors are given an opportunity to secure a piece of the magical grid into which the artifact that will free Eliander must be set before its power can be released.



Published Works

 

Book One

In The Chalice of Life, we meet the questors and see them assemble at their rendezvous point in the enchanted wood of Tuhl, the most ancient sage in the Union. They are engaged in a diversity of pursuits when they first notice the presence of the Stag of Minissa: Habie is looting a fabric stall in the local marketplace, while Alla is celebrating the Summer Solstice in solitude. During their short sojourn in Tuhl's enchanted wood, the questors first confront Syndycyr, the mysterious figure who will become the quest's nemesis. Like Eliander, he resides on a plane outside normal space-time; this single glimpse tells them that magic may be the least of his tools.

 

The plot of The Chalice of Life appears on the "The Story" page.  Going on from there:


Book Two

Tapestry of Enchantment finds the questors on Mosaia's home world many years in the past during a period whose history remains shrouded in mystery: the few existing records of the time are strictly guarded in Mosaia's day by the authorities of the planet's mainstream church. The questors must rescue one of Mosaia's forebears from an evil magician by reassembling the physical component of the spell that led to her capture: a fantastic tapestry. Present-day Falidian culture eschews magic as the work of the Fiend, the spellcasters in the party have little experience with physical magic, and the component parts of the tapestry are scattered about the magician's well-guarded lair. To compound these problems, a critical few pieces will only manifest when the adventurers solve certain puzzles—whose solutions cause them to start disappearing one by one.




Works to Be Published by Dragon Moon Press


Book Three

The Lamp of Truth lands the little company on the elemental plane of air, where they tangle with several warring tribes of djinni and other air elementals. They cannot pass the next Portal till they succeed in "healing the harms of this land," a task which involves them with political intrigue, corruption in the highest echelons of elemental society, and a vase whose dwimmer permits its owner to generate an army of automatons.


Book Four 

The Life of the Smith whisks the party to mythical Greece, where they are swept up in a how-catch-'em murder mystery with a twist: the witnesses and the judge for their case are the gods themselves. An innocent man has been executed for the murder, and it is up to the questors to prove to the satisfaction of the god Hades both the victim's innocence and the guilt of the murderers. The search for the truth involves the questors with most of the Greek pantheon, a bemused but helpful prefect of the Athenian police, a set of very strange Grecian urns, an elaborate plot for revenge, a slick bit of subterfuge and entrapment, and the very fabric of Greek cosmology.

 
Book Five

In The Floodwaters of Redemption, the company finds it has remained on Earth but has gone back in time even farther. They find themselves on Mu roughly a week before it is destined to perish. Using Native American mythology, the story tells of the last days of a culture gone morally bankrupt through succumbing to the lure of the terrible Black Jaguar cult, and of the way the goddess Spider Woman works through the adventurers to save the body of the faithful before disaster strikes.


Book Six 

It takes the questors most of the story to figure out where The Treasure of Mobius even takes place. They know only that they have landed in a world so internally inconsistent that it should only exist in someone's imagination—which is precisely the case. Its creator, a powerful projective telepath, is just creating the place as an adventure milieu for his friends when the questors come barreling through their Portal, entering the scenario and pulling the telepath with them. His well-designed characters come to life and suddenly have free agency. Four warring crime families and a band of pirates are out to solve the problem of who will run the place by participating in a fiendish road rally designed by Mobius' governor-general—and they demand that the governor-general force the questors to help! Despite the action, this story is heavily character-driven, and we get a peek into the psyches of the main characters, what motivates them, and what they most fear.


Book Seven 

Dwellers of the Underdark is the last of the adventures the company should have had to face. The Portal lies within the realm of the Azhur, a race of demonspawn into whose hands the questors are betrayed by their human hosts. The questors are split up so there seems to be little chance of communication or escape — till the services of a powerful sorceress are required to lift a curse placed on the Azhur Crown Prince. Mistra's idea of bartering her services for their freedom backfires when her friends are sold into slavery: their new masters, the Otapatua, are another subterranean race as nasty as the Azhur. When the Prince learns of the way Mistra's trust was betrayed, he goes with her to the Otapatua kingdom to secure her friends' release. They must work against time to free the captives and fathom the relationship of the chief Otapatuan nobles to one another and to the Priest-king who rules them (and to the Azhur) before the local earth goddess gets sufficiently fed up with evil subterranean races that she moves to destroy them.


Book Eight 

In The King That Will Be, Syndycyr finally succeeds in luring Mistra to his stronghold with the intention of forcing her to work the magic of the artifact to free him rather than Eliander. In an adventure that involves Mosaia, Habie, and the High King of the Carotian Union as well as Mistra, his plan is thwarted, and the questors arrive safely on the plane where Eliander lies sleeping. Here their real work begins, for Eliander's mind was separated from his body and kept in trust by a band of otherworldly healers till those sent by the Carotian Pantheon came to free him. His mind must not only be reintegrated, it must be retrained in all of the skills the questors possess in abundance, by the questors.

 

Eliander turns out to be skilled, gracious, kind, bright, and powerful as both warrior and mage—in short, he is the king out of legend for whom the entire Union has been hoping. The one source of friction between him and the others is his insistence that the gods have willed that Mistra be his wife, that the two share a connection that reaches back to the dawn of time. This is, in fact, true, but Mistra has finally given her heart completely to Mosaia and accepted his proposal of marriage. But this loose end as well as a number of others are tied up by the end of the book, and Eliander is crowned in a glorious ceremony that is attended by commoners and royalty from the Union, well-wishers from other systems, and the gods themselves.