Author’s notes: Why is it that in stories we always see some deserving scumbag get his/her just desserts? Why is it that we don’t get tired of seeing this play out over and over again? I’ll tell you why: Because we love it. Chapter 5 deals with themes of organized religion and fanaticism but largely, it’s a chance to read about some righteous ass-beating. The violence here is pretty basic and unrefined, and I wanted to keep it that way to illustrate Atriya’s character. As I said before, I believe in “progression of action,” or the layering of exciting sequences on top of the other, each pushing it further than the last. So I’m starting out at the ground level here, but I still think it’s exciting and dynamic. For those of you who’ve studied martial arts to a certain degree, you start realizing that the environment you fight in starts defining your strategy. By that I mean if you’re wearing pads/sparring you automatically have a host of restrictions imposed on you. Even if you step into a cage you are still fighting within a restricted environment; it’s one-on-one, no eye-gouging, genital ripping, throat jabbing, etc. If you read about self-defense within the context of predatory assault than you see that the largest amount of training is dedicated towards awareness and proper mentality; the fancy mess-as Bruce Lee might say-is reduced and streamlined to what will actually work. That being said, there are moves that I’ve always wanted to try, but never been in the situation to. That happens to anybody doing martial arts who wants to keep pushing to the next level; they start being really tempted to see how their knowledge would play out in the real world. In chapter 5 I’ve decided to let that play out in the fantasy world; these are all things I’ve wanted to see in effect at one time or another.
The Jurors and their rings is a direct commentary on organized religion and fanaticism. Do I believe there is good in organized religion? Absolutely-if the practitioners are spiritual first. By spiritual I mean they are in touch with what is beyond their specific religious aesthetics and rituals, that which inspired those rituals in the first place. When somebody places the ritual above the thing that inspired it, that’s when I believe trouble starts. Atriya’s comment on Thucydides is a direct parallel, showing that he worships the warrior lifestyle of being hard and cruel as opposed to the one of religious fanaticism.
Anyways, I think tomorrow I’ll be ready to announce links to actually buying the first volume. To all you writers, I wish you inspired drafting and insightful editing!