The Dispatch Hunters Podcast is now Available

The Dispatch Hunters mini-campaign is a small ttrpg set in the world of the Wilting Blood series. The game uses an early version of a game system created by me and works using a point-buy system to create the stats. Level is an important attribute as well since it directly affects how potent a player’s Magic is.

The purpose of this series is to one, try and give the listeners a peek into the Novel’s setting of Fallende, and two, to allow the game system to be further tested and refined. The story is set in the southernmost Canton of Fallende, Purpleshine, and follows the exploits of the Blut Hunters Midas, and Mikon, as they attempt to deal with the rising threat of a bandit group, Known as the Amythest serpent. With Purpleshine already suffering greatly from the Blut Wars, the Amythest serpent could be the nail in the coffin that sends the Canton into a death spiral.

So far the campaign has been exceeding my expectations and aside from a few audio issues in the first episode (which have been corrected in the second I can confirm) the recording has been going great as well.

The show is currently available on the following platforms:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4l92dm8eS32mVkSFFNoNx2?si=c6153b073e7c4cdf

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0l6hX-mKbQ

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@DiceandEffect:b/Dispatch-Hunters-1-mp:a

Bitchute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/wFhL97wEXvzh/

Thank you,

Tim

Book Review: Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell

Shadowblac is the second book of the Spellslinger series and is a direct sequel to the first book, which is also named Spellslinger. I think that Shadowblck is a good sequel. It expands upon the world of the series and offers the reader a look into the lives and cultures of those who aren’t Jan’tep. It also established the immense Xenophobia of the Jan’tep as something so warped that it would even give the Fallendeans from my Wilting blood series a run for their money. The Jan’tep have no qualms about killing anyone who isn’t one of their own, and it further elaborates on the first book’s point that Kellen’s home culture is repugnant and needs to either be eradicated or rebuilt from the ground up.

The story plays around with the idea of love interests for a bit, which is a very common thing in YA, and also not a trope I’ve ever felt a strong connection to. But I do have fictional romances that I like and this book was starting to build one.

Another plus of the book is its elaboration on the mysterious Argosi and their strange culture. We meet the way of Thorns and Roses in this book and learn that one of the main characters, and Kellen’s mentor Ferius, is also called the Path of the Wild Daisy. The paths are explained as personal philosophies and identities that the Argosi take up while they hunt the world for historic events to paint.

My only real complaint about the story was the speed at which things happen and the sudden introduction and conclusions of certain plotpoints.

My rating, 3.5 worms out of 5

Novel Updates December 2021

The cover for Wilting Blood Red Revival (pictured above) has been completed. Art by Oliviaprodesign on Fivver.

EDITING UPDATE: The editing process has also come to an end recently. The book has been cleaned up and is ready for formatting and after that for its February 11th release.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I am very excited for whatever comes next.

-Tim

Book Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell

    Spellslinger is an excellent young adult novel that does a great job in building its setting. The story follows a boy named Kellen who is a member of a tribe of people called the Jah’tep, who are a group of mages. Their culture values magic so highly that they enslave the members of their clan that can’t perform it. Kellen is dangerously close to becoming one such slave as he is almost 16 and has yet to activate one of the magical tattoos that line his forearms. Kellen’s sister on the other hand is a prodigy so powerful that she can already contend with the clan’s lords at only 13 and is expected to only grow stronger with age.

     Without magic, Kellen has to rely on tricks and the advice of a wandering woman named Ferius to get him through the trials and tribulations of his repugnant culture. After making another unlikely ally in Reichis, who is a breed of intelligent squirrel/bobcat, and sparking his first band (breath). Kellen is revealed to have a horrible demonic curse known as the shadowblack. With this information in toe the three protagonists have to foil a plot to kill Kellen’s sister by a rival house and from there, decide what their fates will be. 

     The story is a pretty quick read but it makes you desperately hope for Kellen to succeed early on by establishing his bullies. Bullies are not an uncommon trope in YA but this book takes it to another level. Kellen is beat to a pulp constantly and is only saved by the high position of his father Ke’heops. His father is a story on its own. The man is completely loyal to the bizarre rituals and traditions of the isolationist mage culture and although he is shown to have some care for his son, he would gladly sacrifice his first child in the name of his daughter’s success. Kellen’s mother is better than his father but is also warped by the culture and would still consign her son to slavery, but would see him their house slave as opposed to a laborer. His sister is the only family member that legitimately loves him and is willing to use her overwhelming power to fight on his behalf but is still too young and naive to realize it won’t work.

My Rating- 3.8 breaths out of 5

Book Review: On Writing by Steven King

     Stephen King is one of the world’s most popular authors. He has lived an interesting life and has filled that life with writing since his very early years. On Writing is one of King’s many publications and differs from his others in a very notable way, it is not a novel but a memoir about his journey with writing and also his explanations and tips to aspiring writers. Whether you love or hate King, his influence and success cannot be denied and giving this book a read is a must for any aspiring author (especially if you are working in similar genres to King as who could give better information on the horror novel industry than its king, King).

     The book talks about King’s life history and ties it in with his writing and writing advice. One of my favorite parts of the book was when King was describing his first experiences with writing. He was a sickly kid and as a result of that, he read a lot. Eventually, he started to rewrite the comics he was reading for some reason and when he told his mother she told him that he could do better than that and he began to try and write his own stories. King goes on to describe the first story he wrote (a children’s tale about magical animals) and later gets into his actual attempts at writing. He wrote and submitted a lot of stories to magazines and publicists. The future professional author racked up quite a collection of rejection letters, and in a detail I quite enjoyed is that he would stick the slips on an old nail until he ran out of room and had to get a bigger nail to put the slips on.

     King has lived an incredibly interesting life and his rags to riches story can be seen as an inspiration to writers everywhere. The man has been hit by a car and struggled with drug addiction yet he’s still here and still writing. His actual writing tips are interesting as well. 

     One such tip is to not touch your first draft for six weeks after writing it and to also give the draft to another person to read during this time and to tell the reader not to tell you their opinion until they are ready. I find this tip to be very interesting and can see the reasoning behind it. I, personally, haven’t done this yet but will consider it the next time I finish a novel.

     King also states that you should only take a short time off from writing in the general sense and should return to it during your six-week break but only for short stories or novellas that are unrelated to your main project. I think that this is a very telling piece of advice and helps explain the efficiency of King and the number of works he has been able to produce.

     His advice regarding the second draft is pretty standard. It tells the reader to polish up the basics of the writing like grammar and spelling when needed and to also try and focus on the big picture ideal of the story and whether or not the story has a greater theme in it or not. After this, he essentially tells the aspiring writer to seek out a group of Beta Readers (which is easier said than done).

     Overall I believe that the book was a very interesting read and gave a wonderful insight into the mind of Stephen King. The tips were interesting and the story of King’s life added a lot of flavor to the book and made it a good read as opposed to something dry and clinical.

4 horror books out of 5