Building Thalazar: the norrgel by E E Montgomery + Giveaway

October 3, 2016

Building Thalazar

Welcome to release day for Warrior Pledge. It’s a fantasy story set on a world I created piece by piece when I needed a place for my Mafdeti to live.

When I was first planning the world for Warrior Pledge, I made a list of the types of things a world would contain. There would be land and oceans, mountains and valleys, rivers, swamps and plains, jungles and deserts. The climate would change depending on where on the world you were. I decided that, like Earth, Thalazar would have cold poles and a hot equator. That made a lot of things quite easy. I had native peoples and invaders, although only one of each. Then I thought about the animals, insects and birds and tried to decide how many of each I would need to make the world at once recognisable yet different to Earth.

I made pages and pages of notes of different animals that a farming community would need to have, like cows and sheep, possibly dogs, cats, hens, bees, flies, wasps, worms. Then I got stuck on what to call them. Everything I came up with sounded made up and ridiculous, so I backtracked. I started asking myself different questions.

How important were these creatures were to the story? Yes, Rim came from a farming valley, but he wasn’t a farmer. He was the leader so his interactions with animals would be different. Then I took it a step further and decided that Rim wasn’t the main character anyway, so it didn’t matter how he interacted with farm animals.

So what animal/bird/insect on Thalazar was unique to the planet and was also important to the story? It had to be a native to the planet and had to impact on every living thing. The original inhabitants of the planet would be wary of it but also comfortable in its existence. It would be wide ranging and a threat to everything it came across. I decided it was a bird.

Have you looked closely at straw-necked ibis? They’re freaky. They have hard beady eyes and thready feathers around their necks like they’ve been dragged backwards through a wormhole. They could easily be descendents of some alien invader from the past. That’s where my thoughts for the norrgel originally began. The norrgel look a little like an ibis and a cormorant have mated with a penny whistle and a gothic haberdashery shop. These are my original sketches of the norrgel with behavioural annotations. They changed a little during the course of writing the book, but not a lot.

You might notice on my notes that the trailing threads have fine hairs that secrete a poison. That was my next inquiry.

When I was a child my mother told me a story about a young man she nursed. He had tetanus and the slightest sound set off the most violent spasms in his body. The muscular spasms were so strong they broke bones. He used to scream with the pain but the noise of the screaming only made the spasms worse. It was vicious. It was also perfect for my norrgel.

The norrgel hunt in flocks. When they sight prey they dive, one after the other, and whip the threads trailing from their wings and tails against their target. The whipping raises welts where the skin thins and allows the tiny hairs left behind to penetrate. The skin splits and the poison rushes in. The effect of the poison is immediate, the muscles go into spasm. The pain is excruciating, not just because of the spasming muscles but because the combination of the spasms and the poison liquefies the muscles, bones, sinews and tendons.

Everything dissolves.

While they’re still alive.

The poison works its way inwards so things like the brain, heart and lungs are impacted last. The victim is aware of what’s happening every step of the way. It’s brutal and horrifying. Anyone who experiences the thrash of norrgel threads is dead within two hours. Anyone who sees a death by norrgel is changed forever.

The Mafdeti and the Imperials live under a norrgel sky. Their lives are lived around norrgel breeding season, when the birds are more active, and sunlight—norrgel hunt during daylight hours. They have norrgel watch set every day and hides to retreat to when the cry of ‘wings up’ is heard. The hides are large enough to shelter small flocks of farm animals. Once the hunting flock passes over, they emerge to continue their work.

The norrgel have one natural predator but they haven’t been seen for a thousand years. The people of Thalazar have stopped wishing for their return. Their lives now include daily watchfulness and regular deaths by norrgel.

Now we get to the fun part. Think back to my description of the straw-necked ibis. I’d love to hear about an animal/bird/insect you look at and think ‘that’s an alien’. I’ll pick two as winners who will have a choice of any ebook from my backlist.

 

Check out Warrior Pledge today!

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Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
ARe

Blurb

When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.

Author Bio

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

You can contact E E Montgomery at eemontgomery11@gmail.com; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery; on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1; or at her web site: http://www.eemontgomery.com/ and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/blog.

7 Responses to “Building Thalazar: the norrgel by E E Montgomery + Giveaway”

  1. H.B. says:

    Insects I really hate them. I was monitoring the cameras at work during my lunch hour and I think a spider or something crawled across the lens. It was a bit blurred on screen. It looked like something not of this earth and actually freaked me out a bit.

  2. Alison says:

    It sounds fascinating. I love stories set on fully-imagined worlds. Can’t wait to read it!

  3. HB: I love spiders for exactly that reason. They are really odd when you look at them close up–all those little hairs moving individually. Thanks for reminding me of them. I’ll have to use something like that in the next book.

  4. Hi Alison. I hope you enjoy it when you do read it. I’ve certainly enjoyed creating the world and writing the story.

  5. Trix says:

    The lamprey looks like just one of the planet Koozebane Muppets!

  6. Trix: They’re awful, aren’t they. I just googled them and looked at some photos. Horrific. My mind is buzzing with ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Trix: Congratulations. Your lamprey eels have won you an ebook from my back list. Check out my author page here https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/e-e-montgomery-159 and choose any one of my books published before Warrior Pledge. Email me via my website http://www.eemontgomery.com and I’ll arrange for the book to get to you.

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