Welcome to the Dharakmeni Empire! (Writing Roundup, July 2020)

Important tomes in any adventurer’s library.

A few months ago, I had an idea. I wanted to create a freebie I could give away as a gift for subscribing to my newsletter group. But I also wanted it to include things that would appeal to both new and regular readers of my work, AND I wanted something that would provide an introduction to each of the series I write, across both the fantasy and crime fiction genres, to encourage people to dip their toes into each to see what they like.

This ended up morphing into the Back Story Sampler Collection.

The introductions to my World of Lasniniar epic fantasy series and Kira Brightwell crime fiction series were easy–I had introductory short stories that were already a perfect fit. And to provide something for existing readers, I added a bonus epilogue for each (that isn’t available anywhere else), as well as reading guides, and threw in some cool coupon codes for good measure.

But my Fatal Empire Quartet was a bit of a tricky one to figure out. I’ve only published the first volume in the fantasy series so far (Keeper of Secrets), but the others are coming out later this year, so I wanted to include some kind of representation of that world in the sampler (which will continue to grow as I sprawl out into new series).

Keeper of Secrets begins during Raziel’s childhood (the main character), so there really isn’t any room to fit in some kind of introductory short story for him. I could write one about his mother or foster-father (and I still might), but it would be difficult to pull off at this point without creating any spoilers for the forthcoming books in the series.

Then I remembered these guides I used to get with one of my favorite PC adventure RPG series, Quest for Glory (which I still have, because I’m a nerd like that). They included volumes from the fictitious Famous Adventurer’s Correspondence School, as well as an issue of Hero magazine, complete with made-up articles and ads that relate to the world of the game.

These guides were written in the voice of the Famous Adventurer, who would tell you all the spells you needed to know, cultural faux-pas to avoid in each area, and so on, often backsliding into tangents about his own questionable quests. (…A familiar RPG trope to those who have met Rixx from Lands of Lore, or Volo from the Forgotten Realms. These are the guys who have supposedly been everywhere, done everything, and would LOVE to tell you all about it, if you show so much as a passing interest.)

…And so, Yarden the Wanderer’s Guide to the Dharakmeni Empire was born. The empire is a dangerous place (and quite different from my existing world of Lasniniar), so I figured creating an introduction to the customs and culture in the voice of Yarden (the Shining Kingdom’s most renowned adventurer) while hinting at the deadly undercurrent of intrigue, was a spoiler-free way of creating an entry to the series.

And of course what I thought would only be a very short, easy project, similar to the brief guides from Quest for Glory, kept expanding as Yarden found more insights about the empire to expound upon. (It’s hard to stop him once he gets going.) I ended up with a decent-sized, short-story-length volume by the time I was finished, filled with Yarden’s asides and wry humor.

This fun guide is only available as part of the Back Story Sampler Collection, which again, is free when you sign up for my newsletter group. So if you haven’t checked out Keeper of Secrets yet, this is a good place to dive into Fatal Empire, and if you have read Keeper of Secrets, this guide will be new to you as well. Either way, now is the time to get into this world, since there will be at least three additional volumes in the series coming out this year. 😉

Guide details:

Yarden the Wanderer Presents: A Visitor’s Guide to the Dharakmeni Empire

Visitor's Guide to the Dharakmeni Empire cover

Assassins, danger, intrigue… The Dharakmeni Empire does not welcome the faint at heart. (Or anyone else, for that matter.)

But fear not, dear reader! The Shining Kingdom’s foremost adventurer, Yarden the Wanderer, knows all the ins (inns?) and outs of the continent’s most reclusive (and reviled) region.

Let Yarden guide you—as only he can—on a journey through the empire’s customs, caste system, and cuisine. Explore esoteric temples dedicated to the endless expressions of the goddess. Meander your way through a myriad of marketplaces. Impress the locals with your nebulous, newfound knowledge!

…Learn just enough to become an adventurer in your own right with this exclusive guide, funded by the Temple of the Keeper of Wonder, and recorded by award-winning scribe, Jacquelyn Smith.

Please note: Yarden the Wanderer and the Temple of the Keeper of Wonder in no way claim responsibility for any harm or mishap that befalls visitors of the Dharakmeni Empire before or after reading this guide—including, but not limited to death or enslavement.

Get this book for FREE


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Posted by Jacquelyn

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