Why I wrote Lodestone.
After I finished writing Ferrasium, Book 1 of the Windflowers Trilogy, which is reminiscent of an Ancient Egyptian culture, I wanted to explore a more traditional fantasy setting. A medieval influence with witches, forest, and magical creatures.
The city of Sha’La’Shang was inspired by sacred sects who built their temples among sheer cliffs and mountain tops. Extra-sensory perception and animal shamanism are also explored.
The monks of Sha’La’Shang are targeted for persecution. The Order’s fanatical fervour borders on religious mania. Power, deceit, and corruption are interlinked with yesterday’s so-called saviours morphing into today’s tyrants. The Orders’ power base is built on fear, misinformation, and conformity. The unpredictability of magic undermines their total control.
Inspiration was derived from multiple world events: Nazism, Communism, Medieval Witchcraft and the Inquisition.
To develop the magic system in Lodestone I researched medieval witches, myths, magical and healing practices, and weaved many traditional elements into the story (spells, flying broomsticks pentacles). I stumbled upon ancient healing texts, containing artful illustrations that listed old cures. Bloodletting was common in medieval times as physicians believed this cured many ailments (including toothache, impotence, lust, warts, over-drinking, swelling, poisoning, bell aches… the list is extensive!) Once attached leeches don’t stop until they’ve had their full. One leech can suck in about 15ml of blood. But beware! Leeches entering body openings like mouth, nostril or ears can cause internal bleeding and kill the patient.
I developed new creatures for the different environments, including aquawttrs, cheelings, aerons and vratts. Each one is tailor made for their environs (wetlands, forest, mountain skies, and caves).
My author mind desired an outlet for story-lines with conflicting character motivations and heart wrenching dilemmas. Life is complex and we do not always understand the far reaching consequences of our actions and decisions. Or know if we’ve made the right choices.
In Lodestone, Mistress Florisah sums up this concept. “One thing I’ve learned in my lifetime is that things are very rarely as clear cut as black or white, good or evil, but varying shades of gray depending on which side you view them from.”
Sabrina and Lauren’s tales entwine- linked by blood and magic. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah’s healing school after the destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits. An anti-witchcraft militia is poised on Karthalon’s borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren’s bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone, and restore magic to Valloaria, but the Lodestone is buried deep within the heart of the Order’s headquarters. Sabrina struggles to accept this suicide mission, and is distracted by her inappropriate affection for Micah, a prospect monk. Lauren’s ghost haunts Sabrina’s dreams as her diary reveals the tragic events behind Lauren’s actions. With invasion imminent, Sabrina embarks on her quest armed only with a sliver of the Lodestone, and Lauren’s diary but how can a lone girl prevail against an army?
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