“There are people who want me dead for no other reason than they’d rather be in charge themselves. Every decision I make, no matter how fair and just, will result in someone I’ve never met praying nightly to the gods for my death simply because I did not decide in their favor. If any of these people believed they could destroy me, they would not hesitate to do so. There is an aphorism in warfare that ‘true safety lies not in counting on your enemy not to attack, but by making your position unassailable.’ This applies in politics as well as combat. By destroying the men behind this attempt on my life, it discourages others who may want me dead from making similar attempts. This was never about revenge or justice. It was about prudence.” –Queen Viarra
So, I’m taking another stab at the 50,000-word challenge for National Novel Writing month. Instead of starting a new project like I’d initially intended, I’m going to start ‘Book II’ of First Empress. This isn’t a sequel, so much as the second ‘act’ in the story. My plan all along was to divide the story into three or four sections, each ‘book’ skipping a number of years in Viarra’s rule. This gives me a handy opportunity to get some major work done on the story. Then, after November is over, I’ll go back in and write the missing chapters from Book I. Here’s a handy link to my previous posts about the story.
Here’s the synopsis I posted for my NaNoWriMo entry:
It is three winters since Queen Viarraluca’s conquest of the northern hegemony of Andivel. Her reign has brought stability to the beleaguered northern Tollesian city-states, creating economic and cultural growth throughout the region. With the barbarian tribes beaten back into the highlands, the young queen looks to fortifying her borders against their incursions. In the south, however, the decades-old feud between the empires of Pellastor and Illarra threatens to drag Viarra’s recovering hegemony into their viper pit of back-stabbings and cold-war politics.
Far away, the girls Zahnia and Pella come to discover that the people who’d once saved them from imprisonment do not have their best interests in mind. Fleeing north, they travel with their caretaker, Nimus, to join the Order of Dallorn’s efforts to establish places of arcane learning among the Tollesian-speaking cities. But even as they arrive at this haven of knowledge and understanding, it becomes increasingly apparent that Dallorn’s children’s motives may not be as altruistic as originally perceived.