Calterburry Keep 🏰 and a Cover Reveal (kinda)

This is one of my world-famous emails, originally sent Friday, 3 May 2019. Get on the list here!

Calterburry Keep

This week, we’re talking about manufacturing a medieval keep out of thin air. I like to call this professional lying:

  • May’s deals;
  • A Old-Is-New Cover! and
  • Building Calterburry, without any practical skills.

Let’s lift that virtual hammer.

Night’s End

I’ve had Night’s Favor on sale before (it’s my earliest release), and the sequel Night’s Fall too, but probably close-enough-to-never* the series finale, Night’s End. Now you can see how a mismatched, gritty team (including a cop, a reprobate, a soldier, a sorceress, two werewolves, and a non-sparkly vampire) can save the world from Judgment.

Your deals for May are FIS Favor and the finale, End, all bookstores, all over planet Earth:


(or adjusted currency)


(or adjusted currency)

* I may have, but I don’t remember. Is this what aging feels like?

While your eyes are receptive…

…here’s my latest from Rebekah. She’s re-doing all my Tyche covers, and has just one more to go. This is the first time we’ve seen an Ezeroc drone, and now the big bad’s on the cover:

She’s also doing the covers for Tyche’s Fallen, the next trilogy due … well, as soon as she’s finished the third book’s cover. Then it’s onto Tyche’s Crown, the last one needing triage. That will come “inna bit” because, in life-changing news, she’s foaling (I’m apparently allowed to say now, because she’s got to the beachball phase).

I’ll share the Tyche’s Fallen covers … soooon. Here’s a sneak peak of the first book:

And now, let’s be stonemasons

When I first introduced you to Boundless, people wanted to know more about Calterburry and the people. Last week we talked a little about Geneve, so this week I thought I’d showcase the starting town.

Calterburry’s just one location of many. It doesn’t seem like a major place, except for the tiny matter of harboring the wizard scum Meriwether. It’s nestled in a valley, with a river bisecting it. When I build towns, cities, or worlds, I try to make them feel authentic. Not just a name on a map, but a place where people live.

To make this city feel alive, we need to seed it with a few tourist attractions. Sure, there’s a bunch of houses, but who’s in charge? What makes this place seem different from other towns? Who lives here, and why?

To understand that, let’s (briefly) talk about a threat: Ork raiders.

In the world of Boundless, Orks are fearsome ravagers. A brutish, warlike people, they have no love for humanity (or the cat-like Feybrind, but that’s a story for another time). It’s important for the monarchy to have outputs to stop Orks taking root, and Calterburry is one such bastion.

Lord Symonet rules a thousand souls in Queen Morgan’s name. Her pennant flies from the Keep, but that won’t keep heart and soul together. There’s a bustling economy in Calterburry:

  • We’ve seen The Yellow Mug tavern, headed by the diminutive Gylbard.
  • Geneve visits Birdsong Alley; no birds are visible, but it’s filled with their song. Is this an accident of the Three, or leftover magecraft?
  • Elean’s shop abuts the river. It’s an all female stonemasonry. What we don’t know yet (…and I haven’t decided if it’s important!) is that she’s quarrying stone from cursed ruins. That’d suck if it were true.

Because of the threat of Orks, the town huddles within its walls. Buildings are cramped, the roads cobbled, and people jostle for a tiny scrap of room. Church Knights aren’t often seen here, but everyone knows what their black sashes braided with gold lashes mean. The Three are watching.

There’s your brief introduction to Calterburry. The weird thing is, I might not even keep the town in place! A good draft needs substance behind it though, and this is how I build mine.

What do you want to know next? I could talk about the Feybrind (or the Orks). Or, showcase the world map I’m fiddling with. What about showing some writerly tools – how I generate names, or quick maps of cities… What interests you?

Until next time, keep kicking ass.


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