A visit to the quaint town of Cove

Location profile: Cove

Character profile

Greetings and salutations. Dawn Blair here, your multi-dimensional, time-traveling tour guide. Are you ready for a sight-seeing adventure?

I often wondered why Arlyn took Sim and Lucinia to Cove after the disaster in Whalston. Was there something there that he knew more about? I decided that I needed to take a trip over to Cove, a place several miles southwest of New Lilinar.

About the only thing that I knew about Cove was that it was a quaint little port city. I wasn’t even quite sure how it had gotten its name, so I was really excited to see it.

I headed from New Lilinar, choosing to go west straight through the forest rather than taking Travelers’ Road. The forest at night can be spooky, so I headed out in the morning and kept the pace quick, trying to get there before nightfall.

Knowing that Lilinar and New Lilinar sit within a deep valley, a part of me expected some elevation gain like you get as your heading south to Whalston. That wasn’t really the case here. In fact, with the way that the forest thins out and seems to be of newer trees, at least in comparison to those around Dubinshire, I had to wonder if at some point this hadn’t been underwater.

I dismounted my horse and began to dig a little bit to see if there was any validation of my theory. The land does in fact seem to be a bit more sandy and I found a few traces of shell. I wonder if the ocean did once spill all the way into Lilinar valley. Ipson Creek, when it is flowing, usually provides the water for the lake which surrounds the Temple. But ocean water could have very well the reason for the initial forming of the lake.

I passed a few wagons carrying barrels of salted fish, the main export of Cove. Some of the drivers didn’t bother to even look at me as I went by but a few gave me a kindly smile. Bricks of white sandstone greeted me as I entered the city.

Late afternoon sunlight poured through the cobblestone streets, which started before I even got into the city guided me in. An elaborate wrought iron arch stretched high across the entryway. Vines grow over the surroundings sandstone wall with tiny purple flowers blooming within the interwoven branches. Between the street and the sidewalks were these flower pots which are overrun with plants. As I had expected, the humidity is high being so close to the sea.

While it was instantly apparent that Cove was a city of wealth and there was a certain prestige about the place, it’s obvious that the residents of this city also take honor in it too. Many people were out caring for the plants near the street.

While New Lilinar has a beauty growing out of tragic history which gives it in ancient feel, Cove feels more like a modern city. Not modern is in the way we know it and think of it on earth, but modern for this world. It was fresh, clean, quiet, and incredibly beautiful.

A part of me that wondered what Steigan’s reaction would be if he walked down the streets of Cove. Would he even think the same thoughts that I’m thinking now? There are times when I think that Steigan has blinders on and the city of Cove would be lost on him.

Flowers bloomed everywhere. The wide streets have such an open feel to them that I just kept turning my horse around and around in the street trying to take it all in. I decided that I must see the port itself before nightfall and continued on through the city. The houses on the outer edge started to give way to businesses. Here, it looked a lot like New Lilinar, except that businesses were sandstone and matched all of the surroundings, unlike in New Lilinar where the quick rebuilding had left a mismatch between buildings. I could see now just how hard the breaking was on New Lilinar. The difference in what the town was when it was Lilinar to when it became New Lilinar was a stark contrast especially as I stand in Cove.

As I got closer to the beach, I saw that the buildings become more aged. Repairs had been made, but the salty ocean air continued to take its toll and age these buildings. They looked smoother, more worn with moisture and wind. There was also, of course, the smell of fish in the air.

I dismounted and tied my horse before proceeding down toward the beach. A strange black sight caught my eye and I smiled as I realized what I was looking at. There were sea lions all lined up along the water’s edge, letting the waves come in and splash over them.

I moved so that I wouldn’t disturb the sea lions as I walked toward the docks that I could now see. There’s a small marina, smaller than I would have thought. I could see several boats out on the ocean. By the time I reached the docks, I discovered how Cove had acquired its name. There was a rock face which had stairs running along the outside and linking several caves.

I pretty much had to get to the docks to be able to see it because it was pushed back into the landscape and hidden in a little cove. There was a part of me that really wanted to go explore the caves and I wondered if it would be permitted. Sometimes people didn’t always like to let me go where I would like to go.

I really wanted to know what was in the caves. My curiosity had me now. However, I knew this wasn’t the time. It would probably take more equipment than I had with me, especially considering that I had left my pack on my horse. I hadn’t really intended on being gone that long. It would be dark soon. Still, I wanted to see if the caves were somewhere that I would have a access to if I did decide to come back.

I continued down the beach toward that weird staircase that went between caves in the cliff walls until a freshfaced kid yelled out at me.

“Hey, you. I need you to stop.”

At first I seemed appalled that this young kid was yelling at me. Then, about the same time that I realized that he was very similar to Steigan’s age, I also noticed that he had armor on. Red and gold armor. I found myself staring at it as he ran up to me. The hand on his hilt kept his sword stable while he jogged along. He caught up to me and, when he did, gave me a big smile. I guess I didn’t look very threatening to him.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you any closer to the caves,” he said.

“So I take it they’re not open to the public?”

His face wrinkled in curiosity. I laughed at myself. There I go, once again being an earthling. “I mean, I take it that just anyone can go into the caves. How can someone gain access?”

He now seemed to catch my meaning. “That’s holy ground. The saperes don’t let anyone up there.”

“Holy ground? What makes it so special?”

“I can’t say. I’m not allowed to. Besides, even thought I guard it, I’ve never seen it.”

It? I really had to know what he meant: the caves or something inside the caves. I wondered what my chances were of Holy Sapere Martias giving me permission to go inside the caves. I wondered briefly if Sapere Laurient had authorization that he could provide me.

Since I wasn’t ready to make the trek right now anyway, it didn’t really matter. Besides that, I could always come back to an earlier time period, say several cycles ago, and talk to Adonid. Or wait and see how things were after things settled down now that Martias is Holy Sapere. Maybe I could even find out when this ground became holy. That might be a fun story to tell. I would definitely have to research that further.

Since my little adventure had been put on temporary hold for now, I pointed to the boy’s armor. “Are you a Dominus?”

He shook his head, but stood tall and put his fist over his heart in salute. “Knight Captain,” he announced happily.

“Seriously? I didn’t know that the title of Knight Captain was still in use.”

His grin broadened. “Cove is a special place, ma’am,” he said in a tone that almost made me laugh.

I held it back because I didn’t want him to think that I was mocking him. “I see that.”

“I best be getting back to my post now,” he told me. He saluted once more before turning and walking away.

I watch the Knight Captain go. Why would Cove keep an old title from Gohaldinest? Why were the caves considered holy ground? So the city of prestige, which seemed so modern and so removed from all of the history of this world, was not quite so.

I turned back, ready to go get my horse. A night in Cove sounded like an interesting idea. Obviously there were stories here to tell. I just had to go find them.




Progress – May 21, 2018

Oh, shiny!

That describes this week. At least partially.

I started off pretty good. Then I read a blog and it’s accompanying comments that irritated me. It was a writer’s blog by someone I respect, and even though my name wasn’t mentioned I felt as if this writer was taking a shot right at me and some of the things I’ve been saying on my blog lately. I felt as if I was being told that I was completely wrong, I’d never make it as a professional writer, and I might as well give up and quit wasting my time.

I really wanted to fire back with venom, but I listened to the wise little voice inside me which said not to, that I shouldn’t take on this battle, especially since who knows what inspired that writer to start taking fire. Did I really want to play Whack-A-Mole? No, best not to pop up my head.

Let’s face it: I’m probably not even a blip on this writer’s radar. Why take it so personally?

But my irritation stayed with me all day. Later that evening, still unable to shake it, I sat down with one of my oracle card decks and asked why I needed to have that experience.

I got two cards. The first said to remember that Love was the best teacher. The second said to view the situation with Love and see what it was trying to teach. So I did just that. I asked myself why I had to get angry over the lesson being spoken in this blog. Why was it hard for me to accept? Did I view it as true but I couldn’t admit it to myself?

I got an interesting answer.

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Investigating Cauldron Fred

Greetings and salutations. Dawn Blair here, your multi-dimensional, time-traveling tour guide, and today I’m adventuring out to learn more about Cauldron Fred and the flying hatchets of death. Mentioned twice in the Quest for the Three Books, we never get to see Cauldron Fred to learn who he is. Obviously this man had an impact on the lives of Dominus Steigan and Sapere Martias, but in what way?

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I traveled today to New Lilinar with the sole purpose of learning the answer to that question. Of course, I didn’t have a scheduled an appointment, so I couldn’t get in to see Holy Sapere Martias. Apparently if I wasn’t the person delivering his daily muffin, he didn’t have time for me. When I was told that it would be several weeks of waiting before I could get an appointment with the Holy Sapere, I decided that I would just take this into my own hands.

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Progress – March 26, 2018

skl1 fb promoAside from Prince of the Ruined Land being blown to bits and having to rebuild it, this week was decent. I was tired, but I had fun.

My youngest son was home for spring break. He tore my story apart (in a good way – grin), but considering he’s been helping me plot and work on this book since he was 12, he’s forgiven. He knows the story almost as well as I do even though he’s only read the first book. I hope someday he’ll read the others.

But it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of that I don’t have to worry about spoiling the story for. It lets me be very open about what I “know” about the story as well as explore other avenues.

As I said above, I was also very tired. I think the time change finally caught up to me and shook me like my dog with his toy. Not fun for me.

The boys and I went to see Black Panther last weekend. Not as life-altering as the Sailor Moon musical, but a good story nevertheless.

I’ll speak to a few certain things as I go through the numbers for this week, but since I want to keep this short, let’s get to those numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 4,869 words – all of this has been on Prince of the Ruined Land. I did have several thoughts about Onesong and Elliot’s story (that’s the prequel to Onesong —  I seem to write stories in reverse).  This next week will see me making sure that Prince is coherent. I absolutely must have it done by next Sunday if I want to have a print version done close to the ebook. I will say that I’m glad that I’ve switched to Vellum for my ebooks. That makes that job so much simpler.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,876 words

Writing month to date total:  22,521 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 12 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 89,289 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 hours working on Weblinks. I also started looking at some of work I did on Quest for the Three Books many years ago. While I don’t want to draw the whole thing as a graphic novel, I am thinking about an illustrated version of the novel. I think it’d be a lot of fun to add in some extras. I didn’t get started on; just thinking about it right now.

Audio: I spent 5 and a half hours editing audio. I’m currently on chapter 20 of Quest for the Three Books. Yes, my Sacred Knight series has been on my mind all this week in one form or another.

Onesong – Chapter 19

“So, you’re posting the next chapter on Wednesday, right?” I got questioned this week.

Why yes! I am posting the next chapter.

I know several readers are enjoying this. Thank you for letting me know. Thank you to those of you who continue to share the story and remind their friends to keep reading as well. Remind those who haven’t started that they can get started now by reading the summary. Better late than never.

Well, on the flip side of this blog, I’m busy writing and working on Onesong and Prince of the Ruined Land, so I want to get back to that. This, therefore, will be short. Let’s get you to the story.

P.S. May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t just fill your belly, but fill your imagination as well. (grin)

Onesong is an epic fantasy story filled with action, adventure, and sword and sorcery. Chapter 19 is available for 1 week only! Then, it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear! 

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by Dawn Blair

Chapter 19

This chapter of Onesong was available for one week only and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

BUT WAIT! If the story is still running on my blog, my Patreon subscribers can still read it while the story is active on my blog. Some stories will remain up for even longer. Plus, leveled-up subscribers get the chapter a day before everyone else. Check it out now at www.Patreon.com/dawnblair.


The Three Books has officially been given a new title. If you enjoyed Onesong, make sure to check out Quest for the Three Books now.

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Onesong – copyright © 2017 Dawn Blair

Published by Morning Sky Studios
Cover and layout copyright © 2017 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art “Looking Toward Yesterday” copyright © Dawn Blair

Progress – November 20, 2017

This has been a week where I feel like I’ve been busy but I can’t say that I’ve been productive. There is a difference and I generally try to stay away from busy work to do productive work. Yet, this week I’m not sure it was a success.

I promised myself that I would take my time in getting Quest for the Three Books up as the replacement for The Three Books. Yeah, well, it hijacked my life and I had to get it done. After all, how could I put out another book (Space Ninjas Aren’t Real on 11/21) listing The Three Books and having one more book I will have to correct? That is

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Progress – November 13, 2017

It’s only taken a couple of weeks, but I feel like I’m finally getting myself back together and gotten back to my productive groove.

I spent most of the week just writing. Chapter 17 of Onesong really had me stuck in a cycle of debate. When I sat back and trusted the process of writing, I knew that it was the right part of the book for the scene, but it has been the reaction that has me thrown off. Earlier in the week, I felt as if I’d taken a shotgun and blasted the story to bits. I had its tattered remains lying all over the place. But that was all I could do: fight with the story and try to get the scenes rearranged where they needed to go. If something didn’t work out, stop and think about it some more. I’m glad to say that after a hard won week, I’m now three chapters further and feeling good about the direction of the story. Granted, it is rapidly approaching 100,000 words, but then again I figured it probably would be about 120,000. I knew the first round of the manuscript was too short at it’s 88,000 or so. So you can see that it has grown.

Unfortunately, that meant that I completely forgot about working on my updated Legendary Hero Comics website. I haven’t touched it in a week and I really had hoped to have it completed by now. Oh, well. It will come together when it’s ready. It can remain unpublished for a bit longer.

However (grin) I did update my Zibbet site this weekend. I actually have book covers that fit into their thumbnail space. Thank you, Canva. I should do the same with my paintings, but I wasn’t going to invest that much time on the store for right now. I had to get it together with new things added for my newsletter that’s coming out later this week. You are signed up for that, right? Hint: there’s a discount code coming out in my newsletter this week if you subscribe. See the sidebar to the right to do that now.

I also gave in and decided that I needed to retitle the first book in the Sacred Knight series. Argh! Do you have any idea what a pain that is going to be? Frustration, be thy name! (Suck it up, Cupcake. Get back to the desk and do it!)

Here’s a look at the updated cover. I haven’t put it on anything yet, so don’t expect to see it popping up on my websites and distributors yet.

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Yeah, can you say that there’s a lot of work to be done to get these two words added to the cover? I should have done it years ago. I might go mad getting it done now. And people thought I had an edge of insanity to me before! Mahahahahaha!

(Quit your whining, Cupcake!)

Yeah, guess what? I still love writing. Does it matter if I mess up a title and have to fix it years after the fact? (Maybe I need to fix Stardust now too!)  No, it doesn’t really matter. Brave new world that we live in. It’s the storytelling that matters. I love being in my worlds with noble characters who have the heart to change the living circumstances around them. I may whine and whimper under the stresses their stories give me, but I hear them shouting at me to stand tall and face the obstacles.

I also got Prince of the Ruined Land back from the first reader. I do have some scenes to add and plump up, but nothing terrible. That’ll probably make me forget about working on the Legendary Hero Comics website for another week. (grin)

Also, all my audiobooks except one were uploaded to another distribution platform this weekend that should allow them to go out to libraries. How exciting is that?

So, like I said, an overall productive week.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 7,857 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1.849 words

Writing month to date total:  16,444 words

Writing year to date total: 332,885 words

Drawing/painting last week: Some sketching. I’ve been working on some design ideas for one of the kid’s books I want to draw next year.

Audio: 5.5 hours editing audio. Things are really starting to click along on the audio for The Three Books. Glad I haven’t recorded the intro for it now that I need to change it to Quest for the Three Books. Imagine how mad I’d be if I’d gotten this audio up before I changed the title!