Monthly Archives: August 2012

Religion on Zaria

Author’s Aside: Harry Vossen, creator of A Way With Worlds, has been very helpful and supportive of The Cerberus Rebellion, so I thought I would repay the favor. He’s running an IndieGoGo campaign to develop the funding for his novel, Under a Burning Sky, to be self-published in paperback, hardcover and special edition. You can find his post here. Stop by!

Religion on Zaria

This post was inspired by several posts over at A Way With Worlds covering the topic of Religion in Worldbuilding.

I have a particularly special insight into the matter of Religion. I was exposed to a great deal of study into the various major religions and their off-shoots; how those religions interacted with each other and what they believed. I’ve used that insight to help develop the various religions of my world.

Since The Cerberus Rebellion primarily deals with the nations of Ansgar and Kerberos, I think that I’ll limit myself to discussing the two major religions of these nations, how they affect their followers and interact with each other.


The Kerberosi, as descendants of Nordahr, have continued to follow the Nordahrian religion.

The Nordahrian religion is polytheistic: they believe in several primary gods and several major deities. Each of these gods has a different role within their religion: God of War, Goddess of Charisma, God of Justice. There are distinct priesthoods for each of the major gods and important deities; the people pray to whichever gods they think will aid them in whatever endeavor they seek.

While the religion is widespread throughout Kerberos, outsiders are tolerated but not given the respect that a follower would.

I based this religion on a conglomeration of the Ancient Greek and Roman Pantheons: belief that their gods will affect their lives through prayer and sacrifices, a pantheon that consists of gods that are able to take physical form, and various other minor aspects.


The Ansgari Religion is also polytheistic, but I based this religion slightly more on the Norse pantheon and rites.  The Ansgari heaven includes a special place for heroes, their tradition is passed on through ballads, holy books and oral tradition. This religion is not only followed in Ansgar, but was carried there by colonists from Welos.

While the Ansgari religion is similar to the Nordahrian in that the majority of the citizens of the nation believe in it and follow its tenets, the Ansgari discriminate severely against those that chose not to follow the religion. Some of the religion’s deadly sins include apostasy and faithlessness. The largest effect of this is that when Kerberos was invaded, subdued and annexed by Ansgar, laws were put into effect banning the open worship and the Nordahrian language in any form.

My major characters aren’t particularly devote in their worship of the religion, but they do follow the general tents of it.

These are only two of more than a dozen different religions worshipped on the world of Zaria. As more of these come into focus, I’ll do more posts on those religions.

5 Weeks In…

So as of Monday, The Cerberus Rebellion (available here) has been on the market for 5 weeks. And, as of writing this, I’ve had 13 Sales of The Cerberus Rebellion and have sold approximately 20 total units of my 3 short stories.

Quite a few of my friends, family and co-workers know that I’ve published through Amazon (an at least a handful of them have purchased one or the other, which I appreciate!) and recently some have asked how my sales are doing. When I tell them how I’m doing, I’m always sure to temper my reports with the fact that I’m a new author with only one novel available but inside, I’m thrilled that I’ve done so well in only a month.

I had a revelation/exciting moment recently: I have several co-workers that have said they were going to pick up my novel (I’ve been pretty low-key about IRL promo since I don’t want to push them away). So when I had a sale of Cerberus show up this week, I asked a few of them if they had picked it up and none of them had. I made the comment that I didn’t know who bought that copy and one of my co-workers brought it to my attention that getting sales from complete strangers was kind of the point. It made me feel kind of silly and giddy at the same time.

So now that I’ve been on the market for than a month and have passed 10 sales, and very nearly passed 500 Free-load copies during my KDP Select promotion a few weeks ago, my goal is to get a few reviews under my belt (a member of the Guild of Dreams blog, Bruce Blake, had a good post about how reviews affect Indie authors especially here).

So if you bought or downloaded Cerberus, and liked it, please consider going back to Amazon and leaving a review!

Meanwhile, work on The Hydra Offensive continues; you can track the progress with the Word Count tracker on the right sidebar. Currently, I’ve just passed 13.7K words! More than15% complete.

Politics in Fantasy

I recently did a post for Guild of Dreams (here) that discussed the differences in my writing. One of the things that I think really separates my writing from the rest of the Fantasy floating around is the blending of technology and politics with standard fantasy fare.

Politics can take many different forms and can be present in any government system that you decide to use: from a clan where everyone is vying for the favor of the Chief, to an aristocracy where the Nobility fight amongst themselves for power, and a Republic or  Democracy where government officials fight for both power within the government and the favor of the voters.

Political interactions can be used for many things in your world, or not at all. For myself, I really enjoy building and tinkering with political systems and writing the interactions between different parts of the government.  In many of the Space Opera novels that I have waiting for a proper write-up, I use the Political Interactions to drive plots and sub-plots.

From a major character’s entire occupation and their driving factor, to secondary plots that drive minor aspects of the story, to back-plots that are mentioned or foreshadowed, but don’t come to the foreground until they are ready to hatch.

In the Griffins & Gunpowder universe, with the nation of Ansgar in a Civil War, politics become a major player.  And that’s one of the things that sets my universe apart from others.

As an example, two of the main characters in The Cerberus Rebellion are siblings; one inherited their family lands from their father and has worked to continue to grow the influence of the family. The other brother has taken over a neighboring Barony when the former Lord died without an heir. His brother, in order to avoid conflict with the rest of the nobility, arranges for his younger brother to inherit the territory.

The elder brother is focused, one may say obsessed, with expanding the family influence and this leads to actions and events that involve the politics of alliances, betrayal and double-crossing.

Guest Post on Magic for A Way with Worlds

I did a guest post over at A Way With Worlds touching on magic and some of the aspects of any magic system.


Guest Post: Joshua K. Johnson on Magic.