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Audio Version of ‘The Rhine’ is Up!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

So excited!  The audio version of Harmony Book 1: The Rhine, is live.  Narrated by Mike Luoma from Glow in the Dark Radio!

The Rhine Amazon Link

Thank you everyone for your support!

- RL

Ylva, the Wolfmaiden

The eldest daugther of King Arbren of Valenkept, and his deceased wife Adolphina, Ylva is the quintessential barbarian Princess.

CAMP OF THE DEAD
Through dialogue we learn that Ylva’s mother founded an order of female warriors called the Wolfmaidens, and at her passing Ylva became their leader.  We don’t know the circumstances that led to her decision to lead her warriors deep into Beldenkept territory, but the result was almost fatal for the princess.

Patrin and Xadik, on their trek north, skirt the fortress city of Beldenkept, only to stumble upon a camp of dead female warriors in wolf headdresses.  Patrin finds the half dead Ylva amidst the carnage.  Against Xadik’s will, they rescue her.

VALENKEPT
With her Wolfmaiden’s dead, and bearing the shame of being rescued by lowlanders, we have Patrin’s observations to tell us that in the late evenings Ylva was busy in the barracks of her former warriors.  She was instrumental in Patrin’s discussion of treason with her father.

THE SIEGE OF BELDENKEPT
Ylva sees the assault on Beldenkept as a natural course of action.  Patrin and Xadik follow her through wintry lands that seem untouched by man.  Arriving at the massive citadel the trio are forced to battle their way through the dungeon like corridors, only to find themselves severely outnumbered at the end of their search.

Lordingport, Northwestern Denion

Map
Situated on the southeastern shores of the Low Lake, the former capital of Denion is the final destination for the northern logging industry. Denite logging crews on the trail all the way from Silva, float their logs down river, called the Cut, from the High Lake..

Lordingport is also the domain of Lord Marshal Astolin, commander of the city’s garrison, and a central figure in the conspiracy to place Galin back on the throne of the kingdom.

By the end of Greater Things than Thou it is evident that there is a ‘mole’ within the conspiracy, and Patrin becomes increasingly distrustful of Astolin, despite Garret’s assurances that whoever the rat maybe, it’s not him.

In All Things Ruin, while Patrin and Xadik follow the northern logging trail, intent on reaching Valenkept, Garret and Astolin search for the traitor among them..

Emondford, Northwestern Denion

Map
On the northwestern side of The Grandwood and on the banks of the Vis River lies the township of Emondford.  Almost seventy percent of the population is made up of itinerant hunters and trappers.  Merchant caravans carry exotic furs and salted meats south, to the Jewel Cities of Denion’s coast, and some as far as the port cities of the Falias.

Emondford was the site that Baler intended to initiate Patrin into the bloody business of raiding, thieving, and killing.  But, Gil had other plans.  The cruel knife fighter resented Baler for forcing him to ‘care’ for Patrin during those early years, and he saw a chance to vent his anger by murdering Patrin and leaving his body to burn.

Garret, the Warden …

A veteran soldier in Denion’s army, Garret was appointed by King Yulin as the Sergeant Warden over his oldest son and heir, Prince Galin.  Possessed of a soldier’s single-mindedness and his own practical nature, Garret was a strong influence in the prince’s life.

We know by ‘old man’ Patrin’s diary entries that Garret had a son named Tellen, who drowned sometime after his passing.  His grandson, Hefft, fell into Patrin’s care and left with him on his final mission, but was later abandoned in Portis Doha because Patrin didn’t believe he was strong enough to face the challenges ahead.  Though, it is possible that Patrin did this in consideration of Hefft’s young son, whom was traveling with them and hadn’t fared well on the long journey south through the Grandwood.

Garret appears to be have been a simple soldier, with nothing notable beyond his skill as a swordsman.  It is not know why King Yulin specifically chose him to be Galin’s guardian, but there is some speculation that they were former acquaintances.  Because of his age it is possible that Garret was involved in the Second Boar War, but we do not know the dates of his service and in his diary Patrin never provides much detail on Garret’s life prior to meeting him.

During younger Prince Halin’s bid for the throne Garret proved his loyalty to be incorruptible.  He was with Galin during the entirety of his exile, and remained with him once they returned in secret to Denion and became a conspirator to place him back on the throne.  We have Patrin’s diary notes showing that he was trained by Garret in swordsmanship, and while it’s never implicitly stated it seems obvious that he trained Xadik and others that Galin found useful.  He is also a skilled woodsman, often teaching Patrin about surviving in the wilderness.

Author’s note: I’ve always seen Garret as being more moral than Galin, but his devotion to the prince and his loyalty to the now dead King Yulin will always win over his better judgement.

Xadik, the farmer …

Not much is know about Xadik’s life prior to Greater Things than Thou.  He was the son of a poor farmer, and while Patrin’s narration is never precise his family farm was somewhere on the north side of the Grandwood, probably near Woodpoint.  It’s not certain when he became part of Galin’s network of agents in Northern Denion, but it’s reasonable to assume he was recruited prior to Garret’s rescue of Patrin at Emondford.  We know that he was at Idra’s home in the Grandwood previous to Patrin’s stay.

WHITEFIELD
Xadik’s first appearance is in Whitefield, where Patrin meets him on Elsina’s estate.  His cybernetic package makes him incredibly strong and durable and Galin has sent him to be Patrin’s ’secondman’, or shieldman, for the final portion of his mission.  He was present with Patrin at Brenit, and at the palace wall.

THE TOWER
As there was no reasonable way for Serin to include Xadik in Patrin’s summons to the tower his role was relegated to ensuring that Patrin would be able to escape from the palace, and continue on out of the city.  This proved disastrous.

Patrin, faced with the Sentinels, the sixteen traditional guardsmen of the King, was sorely pressed to complete his mission.  In a desperate attempt to ensure Patrin’s survival, Xadik single-handedly withstood Asaul and his men at the palace’s sally port.

LIFE LONG FRIENDS …
Xadik was a large part of Patrin’s life in those early years as Galin’s agents in securing the kingdom.  Their’s was a friendship that transcended the ‘job’ and in reflection as he writes he laments Xadik’s eventual death.  At some point we know that Patrin visits Xadik’s farm, where he finds it long abandoned and fallen to ruin.  This maybe the reason he titles the second volume of his story All Things Ruin.

Brenit, Northeastern Denion

Map
Several days ride northeast of Whitefield lies the town of Brenit. It is a land of flowing green hills and pastel skies. Further east is the short, heavily wooded mountain range of the Pikes, the boundary between Denion and the Yeoman States.

Brenit is the hereditary domain of Elsina’s maid, Lena, where she is referred to as ‘the young Lady Lena’. Lena’s father, Sir Brenit is famous for breeding horses. Patrin’s steed, Patience, is Brenit bred.

While in Elsina’s care in Whitefield, Patrin was once charged with escorting Lena to Brenit for a family visit that ended in brutal tragedy