Arms races have always served a significant role in the formation of governments and escalation of wars. In medieval times, there was an arms race between arrows and armor in which armor technology continually advanced to counter arrows. When nuclear weapons were first created, there was an arms race between the United States and Soviet Union that lasted for decades and almost created World War III. I am thinking of featuring an arms race in my second fantasy book. Before the events of Numen the Slayer, dragon warfare did not exist, which made them the ultimate weapon of mass destruction in Gradaia. Therefore, this arms race will involve ways to counter dragons. It will be an arms race between dragons, blood magic, human engineering, and dark alchemy. I already have ideas in mind of what this arms race will produce and it is going to be an epic clash between man, beast, and sorcery.
One of the most common and most darkly brutal aspects of the Middle Ages was the usage of torture. It was often a form of punishment and interrogation. The methods that were employed were quite diverse and gruesomely imaginative. Several of them would be considered human rights violations in the modern world. For example, you could burn a person’s eyeballs out of their skull with a white-hot iron, you could flay them, you could stretch them on a rack until their bodies are torn limb from limb, or you could seal the victim in a coffin that has an interior laced with spikes. I am thinking of portraying torture in my third volume, but I will be adding my own personal twist to it with magic. For example, you could cut a person’s toe or finger off then use magic to grow it back. Here’s the twist, even though you would regenerate the injury quickly, you do have the option of regenerating it incorrectly, which would cause severe nerve damage that leaves the victim in a state of constant debilitating pain. With this method, you could keep the victim alive a lot longer and make them feel a lot more physical and psychological pain than you would with conventional methods of torture. There will be scenes in which an assassin is punished in this manner in the third volume of my fantasy series and it will show a dark side to a major character.
In Numen the Slayer, there is a prophecy that is hinted throughout the story. After the devastation of the Dark Death plague, the last of the Druids foretold the coming of a Golden Age that would be brought upon by a “golden beast”. When this “Golden Age” will come and what the “golden beast” symbolizes is unknown, but it will serve as a theme in throughout the trilogy. What do you think is the “Golden Age” and the “golden beast” that will bring it? Share your thoughts.
Gramfyre is the weapon of choice for Numen Magnus. I named it after Gram, which was the sword the Norse hero Sigurd used to slay the dragon Fafnir. I also drew inspiration from Excalibur from Arthurian Legend and the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings. Just as Excalibur and the One Ring answer to no one except King Arthur and Sauron respectively, Gramfyre answers only to the descendants of its creator, Vaegar Dragonsteel or Vaegar the Mad. Instead of having Gramfyre in a stone like Excalibur, I had it in something else that rhymes with “stone”. Like the One Ring, Gramfyre has the ability to influence the mind of its wielder in order to fulfill its desires. While the One Ring influenced its bearers to return to Sauron, Gramfyre influences its wielders to satisfy its desire for conquest. As a result of this influence, Numen’s personality tends to shift from his normal personality to one of an ambitious and ruthless conqueror, often on a subconscious level.
In terms of appearance, Gramfyre is a hand-and-a-half sword that was forged from the organic metallic ore of a dragon scale. Its blade is pitch black with ancient runes engraved along the fuller. Its crossguard is cruciform in structure, made of gold, and decorated with rubies. The grip is made from polished ivory from dragon bones. Finally, the pommel resembles that of Narsil from The Lord of the Rings except it is made of gold and has a big ruby embedded in the center. Despite its size, the sword is so light that it feels like it’s not even there, which gives it a scary nature, yet it is virtually indestructible and sharp enough to cut through castle-forged steel like a hot knife through butter.
When wielding Gramfyre, its master tends to perform deeds that would be considered impossible by most. Most of the time, Gramfyre constantly influences fate so that its wielder could achieve its desire for conquest. In combat situations, it grants its master the strength, speed, and fury of ten men as well as a high tolerance to physical pain. The only drawback of these abilities is that Gramfyre requires the life force of its wielder in order to fuel its magic. The Civil Folk call Gramfyre the Sword of Power while the Welts refer to it as the Sword of Miracles. Overall, Gramfyre is a selfish, bloodthirsty, and capricious sword that is both a benefit and a liability.
I heard an interesting theory regarding Bran Stark and the Night King. Some people think that Bran Stark and the Night King are one and the same, which sounds insane, but I think I know how that can happen. When Bran Stark became the three-eyed raven, he became all-seeing and all-knowing with the power to not only see the past, present, and future, but also the ability to insert his presence throughout time. While training with the original three-eyed raven (Bloodraven AKA Brynden Rivers), Bran was warned if he wandered too long in time he would never return. What if Bran some time does this in the Dawn Age long before the Long Night and his essence became trapped in the past? He would have then been captured by the Children of the Forest, who could have sensed his presence due to their own greenseers. They would then turn him into a weapon against the First Men: the first White Walker and future Night King. By turning Bran into a White Walker, the Children would inadvertently amplify his magic. Because Bran can see the past, present, and future, he would come to realize that Westeros would be doomed to a constant state of war, conquest, and corruption. To solve this problem, Bran would turn himself into a common enemy for the people of Westeros to unite against. If this is so, Bran’s methods may seem cruel and questionable, but there is long-term thinking behind his cold madness. To make the Long Night even worse, if Bran and the Night King are one and the same then the people of Westeros are up against an enemy that not only controls cold, darkness, and death, but also knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. The original three-eyed raven said Bran would fly and I think the Night King riding an undead dragon is the culmination of that prophecy. I hope we will get a clear answer to this theory next season.
Here is the cover of my fantasy book, Numen the Slayer!
Easily one of the darkest forms of magic is blood magic. As its name suggests this sorcery is fueled by blood. The more blood you sacrifice the more powerful the magic becomes. In order to truly master blood magic, you need blood from someone you love, blood from someone you hate, and blood from yourself. I will be featuring blood magic in my fantasy series and it will be used to perform unnatural and unholy feats.