Questions about a character or place??
for all the answers.
hat, as we in the business so clichely say, is that.
The book, which you now so fervently hold in your eager hands, is the last of
the eight part series (a notification for those who haven't been paying
attention to the covers), but fret not, dear reader. The fat lady had not
yet sung. The curtain has not gone down the final time. In short, it
ain't over yet, but there are some changes that are coming in issue nine for
which you should be prepared.
The first, but not foremost (yet, probably the one that'll
generate the most unhappy mail) is the ending of the "Historia Parveriae"
as a regular backup strip in the book. With the closing of "Maldren's
Tale", or rather the continuation of it into the first part of "The
Culmination" (a cheap but effective way to get people to reread the story),
there simply wasn't any more to be told as history. Understandably, there
are still a few loose ends to be tied. The final disposition of Ergo
and Egbert, Maldren and Elesa's impending relationship, and
Eric's inheritance (by the way, he never does become Duke of
Westmoor, Boohoohahaha!). They all will get answered, I
promise, and happily, too, but at a much later date, and in the main story.
That isn't to say that I won't someday run short on an issue (like maybe around
number twelve, ahem) and supplement it with a single part Historia,
concerning the origin/background of one of the other major characters. So,
put the nooses on hold; you didn't really loose anything here, honest.
The second (and also not foremost but should generate enough
mail, good or bad, to give the postman a hernia) is one of which you've already
been made aware, that crime of crimes, having the companions leave Carlson
behind. Believe me, it was never my intention to (temporarily or
otherwise) write him out of the story. In the original script for "The
Culmination", he went with them on the back of the flying horse, and he was
still "in" right up until I started the first draft of "The Pentecost King",
when I quickly realized what a fifth wheel he was in the story. Don't get
me wrong; I like Carlson, but his personality came off as just a rerun
amalgam of Valerian and Faraniar. So, I made him stay home,
but fear not, dear reader. We have not seen the last of our red-haired
Captain of the Guard. I promise (that's three times now, you'd think I was
running for office).
The third (and probably the most inconsequential) concerns
this section of the book specifically. No, the FTWWTK will not end
with this installment (at least I hope not, if you know what I mean). And,
no, it will not become the sort of column where I tell you which celebrities I
think are cool or total poop heads or which worthy cause I think you should
dedicate your entire lives to if you really enjoy my magazine (a fate worse than
you-know-what). It will, however, continue to offer insightful background
information to the creation of the story and art, but in a somewhat different
vein. If that has you completely perplexed and confused, good. At
least you aren't worrying, and I didn't have to promise anything.
Lastly, is the big changeroo to a new storyline, entitled:
(as those who read the rest of the book first, as instructed, already know) "The
Pentecost King". This new adventure begins only a few days after "The
Culmination" ends, and, despite the title, has very little to do with
religious stuff (okay, maybe I did do an incredible amount of research to write
the script, but, hey, I'm no Frank Herbert). It simply occurs
between the holidays of Boxing Day and Pentecost, and, in the end,
someone (I'm not saying who) becomes king. I'm not going to reveal any
more about the plot, because everyone knows how I hate to ruin surprises (no,
I'm serious, he doesn't ever get to be Duke). However, if you want to wear
your special decoder ring, the clues are already there to figure it our for
yourself. To make it easier, they are as follows: Amlawdd the
Protector, his wife, Gwenydd, and their five daughters (they really
only had four), from the land of Cambria; the Princess' aunt,
Igraine (Ygerne) and her husband Gorlois, the Duke (yes, he's a Duke)
of Cornwall in Dumnonia; and the fact that the companions are
flying to Britain. With these selected tidbits of information, the rest
should be easy. Still nothing, huh? Well, fair reader, rest assured
that the next tale is going to be a bigee, with lots of action and adventure
(and maybe a little plot, too), with, believe it or not, a lady spectacular
enough to be a love interest for Faraniar, and one ill-humored enough to
attach herself to Valerian (or rather vice-versa the other way around),
and a cast, literally, of thousands (thanks again Mr. Writer). For
those fictional history buffs who did figure out the basis for the new story,
don't be too smug. I bet there still will be at least a couple of curves
you won't see coming. But I'm not promising anybody anything, and that has
Aw, if you bought all that, two for flinching.
So until next time,
PS. Yes, that is
Stegmund's helmet that Maldren found in the stream in "Beyond
the Borderlands". and the things up around the rim of Cabal Rote's
throne room are the critters that were dropping rocks on the castle.