The Spiral of Worlds is breaking.

For generations, the Wyr of Onus saw, in their visions, the corrosion of the Chain that binds all worlds together. They saw the coming of the Rot and the beginning of the dark times. Then, one by one, their vision was snuffed out–they died, leaving none to see the vagaries of the future.

Discover the secrets of the Spiralchain…

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A Cast of Thousands

The story of the Spiralchain is a tale about a group of complex, ornery main characters that are surrounded on all sides by a frankly ridiculous number of supporting cast members. The cast got so big that popular demand forced a Cast of Characters list into the front of each book starting with Volume 4 (Fatewaker), and those lists have gotten bigger with each book. I’ll be honest–I don’t expect that trend to slow down in Book 7 either.

While a cast of such prodigious size can be intimidating to those thinking of jumping in to the series for the first time, you have to remember that it took us years to get to this point! Each of the 8 worlds of the Spiral has its own cast of crazy, interesting, troubling, and charming women and men, and it is only as we draw closer to the end that all of those casts start to interact and collide in fun ways.

The hardest part about maintaining the Cast of Characters lists at the front of each book is deciding how much information to give about characters who appear for the first time in that book. Back in Fatewaker, major characters had a brief descriptive blurb. That has gone by the wayside now in favor of more objective, factual information.

As a rule, the Cast listing will tell you if a character is a member of any special order or organization and it will tell you if they are notably related to anyone else in the cast. And, of course, it will tell you what world each character is from.*

For those wondering, the word used to describe a person from each of the eight worlds is…

  • Nurian
  • From Core (there is no fancy word for people from Core, though if forced to give one, it would be Coreborn)
  • Depalese
  • Onusborn
  • Arctosian
  • Murrodite
  • Reik
  • Pithysian

One of these days, the Cast of Characters lists for each book (maybe even ones for the first books that lack them) will be housed here on Spiralchain.net. Until then, you can browse the names, affiliations, relationships, and origins of our entire cast, one book at a time, at the front of Fatewaker, Shadowbender, or Boltsender. And, in less than a year, Bloodmender will join that list with the penultimate chapter of our eight book journey across parallel worlds and perilous prophecies.

* The reason that the Fatewaker Cast of Characters does not list the origin point of the characters is to preserve a critical revelation from that book. I agonized over what to do about that for WEEKS!


Cover Evolution: 2017 Update

With only a few short days left before Boltsender is loose in the world, it seemed like a fine time to take a look at the artistic process that the Spiralchain graphic designer, Andrew J. Aguirre, has employed to give our series covers both a sense of continuity and a continuous forward motion.

SC-GM-Cover-KindleSpiralchain: Gatemaker

The cover to Gatemaker started everything. Most of the design elements seen in the Shadowbender cover got their origin story with this design. For this cover, Andrew designed the now-famous 8 orbs of the Spiral, and we used a flare (or “lit”) state to indicate which worlds the book would be focused upon–in this case, Core, Onus, and Murrod. The color of the energy field surrounding the orbs–the chain, or what Andrew calls the galaxy–is in the red family. Each book has a distinctive color–a color used to determine its slipcase cover, for those that have purchased the deluxe editions from our annual Kickstarters. The color for Gatemaker is red.

Mindshaper_Front_FinalSpiralchain: Mindshaper

The cover to Mindshaper began the use of a new graphic element–the creeping shadow, or rot, that extends up from Nur towards subsequent worlds in the Spiral. Note that as of this book, the rot is now visibly embracing Core, indicating that Core is vulnerable to Obliviate incursions when Spiralgates are opened to and from it. Also take notice of the change in lit status on the orbs–while Core and Onus remain active, Murrod has gone dark and been replaced with a lit version of Rettik. The chain field is much brighter and more cohesive on this cover–showing that more power is required by the chain in order to keep the Spiral whole. The color for this book is white.

Metalbreaker_hardcover_revised_ebookSpiralchain: Metalbreaker

Things are really starting to happen on the cover to Metalbreaker. The lit orbs have shifted again (now it is Onus, Arctos, and Murrod), but look at the depth of shadow on the Rot extending to Core. The danger to Core is greater than ever before in this image… but it isn’t the most terrifying change we see. Note that the pink orb, Rettik, has started to drift out of formation–a consequence of events described in Mindshaper. Also see the way the chain field has grown in intensity–it is fighting as hard as it can to hold it all together, but that is getting almost impossible to do. The color for Metalbreaker is green.

Fatewaker ePUB CoverSpiralchain: Fatewaker

The cover to Fatewaker really clearly depicts the events of the book. Now lit are Depal, Onus, and Murrod, and note the sinister curling of the rot up from Core to brush against Depal. This incursion into the violet world also accounts for the vastly diminished flow of energy making up the chain field. While the galaxy pattern is still there, it is faded and worn out, now that the pink orb, Rettik, has completely left alignment. The force that protects the Spiral of Worlds from decay has been stretched past the breaking point, and the worlds seem all the darker for it. The color of Fatewaker is violet.

coverSpiralchain: Shadowbender

Shadowbender starts the second half of the series, and its cover brings two new elements to the table. First of all, there is the terrific sense of movement as the stars around the spiral fly past us. Events in the series are rapidly escalating, and you can feel that on this cover. Note the lit orbs are now Nur, Core, and Rettik–this is the first book that doesn’t have Onus lit! And the chain field has been stripped bare to reveal the DNA-like lattice underneath–reflecting Jara’s understanding of the universe. The rot creeps now towards Onus–an ominous sign–and the signature lightning in the eyes of the Obliviates appears in that grasping shadow for the first time. Also note that Rettik has broken completely free of the structure of the Spiral–the ramifications of this will be felt in this very book. The color of Shadowbender is black.

Boltsender - KindleSpiralchain: Boltsender

Boltsender obviously represents a stark contrast from where we have been before. The sheathing energy of the Chain has exploded away, leaving only the naked lattice of the inner Chain to hold the worlds together. The almost void-like background speaks to the terror of our ultimate enemy, revealed at last in this book: the Absence. Note the lit orbs are now Nur, Arctos, and Pithysia–after 7 years of writing, the final world of the Spiral is finally revealed! Notice the gorgeous definition on the chain strands–the intricate interlocking of all of those tiny rings of metallic energy is all that stands between the Spiral and oblivion… well, that and our intrepid heroes. The rot now reaches past Onus towards Arctos, and the signature lightning in the eyes of the Rotkin has escalated dramatically (as one would expect in a book about the electrically-inclined Vols). Poor Rettik remains out of alignment, but it has not drifted any further thanks to events depicted in this book! The color of Boltsender is blue.

I don’t know about you… but I can’t wait to see how the cover to the next book evolves!


New Story… and New Novel!

Check out the Downloads page for the newest Spiralchain short story, Sun Setter! This tale, set ten years after the Ban on World Travel, is a bit of slice-of-life story aout the world of Pithysia, but it takes a sharp turn quickly and intriduces some of the many-layered mysteries of the farthest world in the Spiral.

This story was created as a reward for the Kickstarter campaign that funded the publication of Spiralchain: Shadowbender.

Speaking of Kickstarters… it is that time again! On October 1st, the Kickstarter for Book 6, Boltsender, will go live! Stay tuned here, on our Facebook page, and (most importantly) on Kickstarter for all kinds of awesome news in the month ahead.

I am especially excited for the special series of video updates that I am planning for Backers Only… an awesome peek inside the 8 worlds of the Spiral and inside the minds of our principle characters.


Cover Evolution

With only a few short days left before Shadowbender is loose in the world, it seemed like a fine time to take a look at the artistic process that the Spiralchain graphic designer, Andrew J. Aguirre, has employed to give our series covers both a sense of continuity and a continuous forward motion.

SC-GM-Cover-KindleSpiralchain: Gatemaker

The cover to Gatemaker started everything. Most of the design elements seen in the Shadowbender cover got their origin story with this design. For this cover, Andrew designed the now-famous 8 orbs of the Spiral, and we used a flare (or “lit”) state to indicate which worlds the book would be focused upon–in this case, Core, Onus, and Murrod. The color of the energy field surrounding the orbs–the chain, or what Andrew calls the galaxy–is in the red family. Each book has a distinctive color–a color used to determine its slipcase cover, for those that have purchased the deluxe editions from our annual Kickstarters. The color for Gatemaker is red.

Mindshaper_Front_FinalSpiralchain: Mindshaper

The cover to Mindshaper began the use of a new graphic element–the creeping shadow, or rot, that extends up from Nur towards subsequent worlds in the Spiral. Note that as of this book, the rot is now visibly embracing Core, indicating that Core is vulnerable to Obliviate incursions when Spiralgates are opened to and from it. Also take notice of the change in lit status on the orbs–while Core and Onus remain active, Murrod has gone dark and been replaced with a lit version of Rettik. The chain field is much brighter and more cohesive on this cover–showing that more power is required by the chain in order to keep the Spiral whole. The color for this book is white.

Metalbreaker_hardcover_revised_ebookSpiralchain: Metalbreaker

Things are really starting to happen on the cover to Metalbreaker. The lit orbs have shifted again (now it is Onus, Arctos, and Murrod), but look at the depth of shadow on the Rot extending to Core. The danger to Core is greater than ever before in this image… but it isn’t the most terrifying change we see. Note that the pink orb, Rettik, has started to drift out of formation–a consequence of events described in Mindshaper. Also see the way the chain field has grown in intensity–it is fighting as hard as it can to hold it all together, but that is getting almost impossible to do. The color for Metalbreaker is green.

Fatewaker ePUB CoverSpiralchain: Fatewaker

The cover to Fatewaker really clearly depicts the events of the book. Now lit are Depal, Onus, and Murrod, and note the sinister curling of the rot up from Core to brush against Depal. This incursion into the violet world also accounts for the vastly diminished flow of energy making up the chain field. While the galaxy pattern is still there, it is faded and worn out, now that the pink orb, Rettik, has completely left alignment. The force that protects the spiral of worlds from decay has been stretched past the breaking point, and the worlds seem all the darker for it. The color of Fatewaker is violet.

coverSpiralchain: Shadowbender

Shadowbender starts the second half of the series, and its cover brings two new elements to the table. First of all, there is the terrific sense of movement as the stars around the spiral fly past us. Events in the series are rapidly escalating, and you can feel that on this cover. Note the lit orbs are now Nur, Core, and Rettik–this is the first book that doesn’t have Onus lit! And the chain field has been stripped bare to reveal the DNA-like lattice underneath–reflecting Jara’s understanding of the universe. The rot creeps now towards Onus–an ominous sign–and the signature lightning in the eyes of the Obliviate apears in that grasping shadow for the first time. Also note that Rettik has broken completely free of the structure of the spiral–the ramifications of this will be felt in this very book. The color of Shadowbender is black.

I don’t know about you… but I can’t wait to see how the cover to the next book evolves!


War Dancer and Final Days

A brand new Spiralchain short story, War Dancer, is now available in the Downloads section! This story was produced as a stretch goal for the Fatewaker Kickstarter campaign and tells a story of Jara’s father, the Duchess Rura, and a small but powerful political secret known only to a handful of people on all of Onus.

In other news, the Kickstarter pre-order campaign for the fifth book in the Spiralchain, Shadowbender has about a week left! Head over to Kickstarter to get your copy of Shadowbender and help unlock additional exciting projects and rewards!

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Book 5 Kickstarter is Live

The latest book in the Spiralchain, SHADOWBENDER, is now live on Kickstarter for pre-order!

shadowbender-cover-art

What happens when everything you believe about your Purpose comes apart at the seams? Steven Mollison has been many things—he’s been a student, a soldier, a police officer, and even a mystical shaper of shadows. But with the door between worlds slammed shut in his face, he and all of the other Children of the Line must consider the possibility that their future is not the grand adventure that was prophesied. After months of living mundane lives back home, the glimmering possibility emerges of a way back once more into the Spiral of Worlds. But what perils await along this new road, and what discoveries lurk in the shadows that will test Steven and his friends? When all the forces of destiny have been turned aside, what choices will be made by these young people as the darkness of the Rot closes its grip on the eight worlds? The battle to turn back the Foreverot begins here, and Steven stands at its center. 

Shadowbender picks up right after the shattering conclusion of Fatewaker, and you can get your copy in e-book, paperback, hardcover, or deluxe hardcover (along with copies of the rest of the books in the series) now through the end of October by clicking over to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1152299265/spiralchain-shadowbender

And stay tuned in the next week or two for a new short story, set between Metalbreaker and Fatewaker, in our Downloads section!


Convention Appearance

Spiralchain books will be available directly from the author at the 2016 Wizard World Des Moines comic book convention! Work on Book 5 begins in earnest this month, now that the outline has come together–and more news about the short story anthology (including a title!) is coming in June! Here’s the great poster that series artist Andrew J. Aguirre made for the show!

Spiralchain-Poster

Stop by booth C28 if you are at the convention and get any books from the series you are missing and an exclusive Spiralchain bookmark! This convention is also the debut of Jeremiah L. Schwennen’s new series, The Omnigenos Chronicles… which just may contain a few secrets of the Spiralchain!