Every dynasty should have a proper resting place for the entire family. In my fantasy series, the current family who rules Gradaia have such a place inside of the Imperial Palace. I have taken inspiration from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. There is even a unique custom of how an Imperial funeral is held. Whenever a member of the Imperial Dynasty dies, their body is publicly and ceremonially cremated before being poured into a vat of molten gold. The ashes are mixed with the gold and molded into a statue in the deceased’s idealized likeness. Then the statue is placed in the mausoleum with the others with their name plastered underneath it. So the mausoleum is a combination between a tomb and an art gallery.


Like all civilizations, Gradaia has its own religion and holy orders who serve it. Gradaia’s religion is based on five nameless Elemental Gods: light, earth, fire, air, and water. There is also a sixth god, the god of darkness, who is shunned from the pantheon. As a result, he is referred to as the False God and worshipping him is considered taboo. The temples worshipping these gods resemble a collection of five pyramids (one for each god). In rare cases, some temples even have an underground inverted pyramid that is dedicated to the False God. These temples operate like tabernacles and the religion’s ideology is similar to Old Testament Christianity. The priests who serve this religion are known as Sages. They can be both men and women and they are considered equals. Sages can be distinguished from their snow-white robes and ceremonial silver helmets. In addition to serving the Elemental Gods, Sages are known to record and safeguard all the world’s knowledge, much like how monks did during the Dark Ages. Due to their extensive education, Sages often serve as healers, advisors, and scribes wherever they go. One of the characters in Numen the Slayer is one of these Sages.



What would you do if you could own a dragon? How would you take care of it? Where would you keep it? Personally, I would keep a dragon on a cattle farm in Australia. It may sound strange at first, but there is a reason to my madness. First of all, like snakes, dragons keep growing for the rest of their lives so they would need a lot of wide open spaces for them to roam. In Australia, there are cattle farms that are millions of acres and can house thousands of cows. All that land would give the dragon enough room to maneuver and it will be filled with enough beef to last until the end of its days. Also, there would be rivers that would provide plenty of water as well as crocodiles for extra sustenance. The Australian Outback used to be home to thirty-foot long monitor lizards in the Ice Age so it would make sense that it would be suited for a dragon. How about you?



I am thinking of including a magnificent dragon in my second fantasy book. This dragon will have gold and bronze scales with eyes that are colored copper. Also, his great wings will have membranes that glitter like diamonds and as big as galley sails. In terms of size, this dragon will be as tall as a three-story mansion when standing at his full height and teeth as long as short sword blades. I am thinking of naming him after a Mesopotamian god.


Allow me to share a folk song in Numen the Slayer, The Gold Phoenix Rises:

The Skull, Ox, and Stars stand with pride, for their shame they can never hide.
Wounded by grief, the last Phoenix flew,
Its flock all but through.

With flames of vengeance, the Phoenix soared. To his enemies below, he fiercely
roared. One after another, the strongholds fell for they had been sent to Hell.

Then the False God laughs with malice as he claims his prize. The Skull, Ox, and Stars all meet their demise. They cry out for salvation, but cannot escape their damnation.

The Gold Phoenix rises through blood and fire, for all will feel his ire. All beasts of the north kneel to their new master out of fear of grim disaster.



A type of high quality metal in Numen the Slayer is Aetherian Steel. Aetherian Steel is made from the cosmic ore from meteorites and creates armor and weapons that are stronger, lighter, and sharper than castle forged steel. Due to the quality it produces, Aetherian Steel is worth three times its weight in gold. The coloration it comes in range from black that glitters silver to silver that glitters white. Such items are a rarity because meteorites land in random locations, which makes it even harder to find them because they could be on top of the highest mountain, at the bottom of the sea, or in the middle of a monster infested wilderness. Because of its rarity, only the various kings and emperors in the Empire in the form of their ancestral swords. The kings and emperors are the only ones that have the gold to buy and forge it or the muscle to take the steel if they want it bad enough. I named it “Aetherian” Steel because aether is the blood of the gods in some aspects of mythology and since this metal comes from the heavens (which is where gods live) I thought it fit it like a slipper.



On Sunday, my family and I had a classy day. We went to the 70th floor of the tallest building in Los Angeles, just a few floors shy of the top. We were over one thousand feet in the air and we hardly felt anything as we went up the elevator. Once we were in the lounge, we had the fanciest desserts we ever had in a while: chocolate cake that was sprinkled with gold leaf. In terms of inspiration, I got plenty for my fantasy book series from this experience. For instance, the building was as tall as the Imperial Palace in Chrysos so I got to have a firsthand look at the world from that height. Also, I took a sample of gold leaf and combined it with a sip of red wine. The reason I did this was because Henry VIII drank wine that was flavored with gold and I wanted to get a taste of what it is like for future works. The resulting mixture was a healthy balance sweet, sour, and spicy, but I could not taste the gold because it disintegrated the instant it touched my tongue. To make the experience more exciting, it was Emmy night and we were two blocks away from the Emmys and had multiple unidentified celebrities above us who were gathering for a dinner party before the Red Carpet. Sadly, we didn’t get to see them or get their autograph because my family and I are just lowly peasants. Still, the entire day was bliss and my family and I are thinking of making it our new Sunday routine.