Good morning my wonderful readers
If you have been following my publishing website, Celenic Earth Publications, you would know that fellow writer Dean Clark and I have our first Antreyan novel being launched this weekend. Since we are the creative writing team in Antreya Studios currently developing the main plot quests, side quests and NPC dialogues, we wanted to bring the upcoming fantasy MMORPG to life in narrative form. And to that end, we present Heroes of Antreya: The Journey Begins.
The novel will be available in ebook and paperback form coming this Friday, 15 December 2017, which just happens to be my mother’s birthday too, so a double special day for me.
I want to spend a moment sharing what it was like writing my character, Sernagum, and to give you a bit of faction and race lore so that you aren’t too overwhelmed when you first start reading the book. It really was exciting to try something new like this, but it didn’t come without its challenges.
What is a Minoseun?
Those of you who have not been following the game’s development probably read my opening title and wondered what a Minoseun was. If you looked at the image accompanying the title, you may have already guessed that a Minoseus is the Antreya version of the legendary dwarf race found in the likes of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. When referring to someone of the Minoseus race, we call them a Minoseun.
When working on my Minoseun character, the race lore I had to keep in mind was the following:
The Minoseus people favored the underground and solitude life. While they were sharp with wits, they preferred not to socialize with others. Often keeping to themselves, they spent their time studying magic and history while completing and mastering the manual labor work of digging, mining and building. Their constructions were of statues, often to idolize their idea of what their favored god would look like, and huts big enough to house only one Minoseus. Even though the conflict was low as these people would rather turn a cheek than fight, they are raised with the most fierce battle tactics. The strategies of their fight style is often brutal and unforgiving.
A quick word on the other races in Antreya, the Reyt race are the elf-like beings and the Siopus refers to the humans. Feel free to head on over to the Race page of the Antreyan website to take the test to see which Race you are more aligned with.
What is a Trelys?
When you are introduced to the character I created for Heroes of Antreya: The Journey Begins, you will see the term “Trelys Minoseus”. No, that isn’t a swear word. There are three factions in the world of Antreya, namely Resuin, Vyrocin and Trelys. For the purposes of this article on my character, we will focus on the Trelys faction that my character has chosen. Players of the upcoming game will be able to pick their faction after they complete their faction trials. If you choose Trelys, these will be your favoured characteristics:
The Trelysian people are somber and mysterious. Mostly keeping to themselves, the world of Antreya knows little of them and their culture. What is known is that they have a fond ability with Nature and traits similar to that which is found in Forest and Plain style regions. They are known to perform rituals of unknown nature and have been seen around a “glowing green energy.” While nobody knows what this energy is, what it will or can do, nor how they have gained the ability, one thing is for sure; it’s not of mortal nature.
Feel free to head to the Faction page of the Antreyan website to take a test to see what faction your nature and personality would align to.
When I was first asked by Lead Creative Writer, Dean Clark, to take ownership of the Minosues race in the game development, I at first feared that I would not do the race justice. In retrospect, that fear was unfounded. When writing the epic fantasy trilogy, the Celenic Earth Chronicles, one of the key races that I developed was the dwarf race. I had developed their kingdom in the dwarf mountains along T’Mar’s Scourge and created the alliance with the humans in the Vale of Tigers. The dwarves held the Heart of Tigers, defenders of the only magical key that allowed entrance into the elven forest.
Developing Sernagum for Antreya Chronicles required due diligence though. I had to keep to the Race and Faction lore of my Trelys Minoseus. However, Dean could not have picked a better faction-race combination for me. You will notice that I bolded some words in the Minoseus and Trelys descriptions above. Those are personality traits that are very like myself, and many of my close friends and family that truly know me would be nodding their heads at those portions.
And that’s why writing for Sernagum became easy for me. I could easily relate to my character. I hardly had to refer back to the lore, since many of the key elements were so embedded in my mind that it just came naturally.
Much of the visual description and characteristics I utilised for Sernagum was based on one thought: What would Gimli from Lord of the Rings have been like had he been a growing adolescent in the world of Antreya. I molded that with some of my personal traits and developed a brand new character.
Developing the Minoseuns
Before I could even get into the first line of the novel, one of my key tasks was developing the Minoseus race further. After all, why create a Minoseus character if you have nothing to put him in or no frame of context? This entailed not only describing and developing the Minoseun home city of Ruptis Fargus, but also developing the type of dialogue that would be associated with them.
Much research has gone into the dwarven and scottish manners of speaking (which I’ve utilised as a basis for the language I have created), and I keep a Lexicon handy of all the phrases of speech and dialogue details of the Minoseus race. It’s not too detailed, and you’ll still very much be able to understand what is being said. Yet, in my mind I had to visualise how each piece of dialogue would sound in the game and make sure it sounded consistent throughout. This means being consulted by the Antreyan team to make sure that their dialogue or description matched what I had developed for other Minoseun NPCs or characters.
Putting it all together in Novel form
This is my first official collaboration on a novel, something I always wanted to do but had no idea how I would go about doing it. Luckily, for the Antreyan novel, everything was set out pretty easy. Dean would focus on his Reyt and Siopus chapters, and I would focus on Sernagum chapters. There were chapters where all three characters were present, and Dean and I took turns writing those, with the other just making sure that their character dialogue and behaviour remained consistent with the rest of the sole character chapters.
What made it a lot easier is that the Founder and Developer, Raymond van Beek, and Dean already knew when I joined Antreya what they wanted from the main plot. Whenever I have a guideline for what needs to be done, the writing process goes a lot quicker. What also made it so much more pleasurable was that we got to write the game quests associated with the chapters that will be used as a guideline for game development. I get to see how the pieces all go together and it really is amazing.
Also great is the sense of responsibility that Raymond and Dean have given me. I don’t feel like someone who is simply given a task and then told to write. I was given ownership of the Minoseus race, whether it be for the novel, game development or in-game dialogue. I feel like a strong member of a team that I have grown so close to. My previous film screenwriting collaboration did not go this well, which was why I pulled out of that project earlier this year.
Where to now?
Antreya Studios, Dean and I still have a long road ahead. The release of the novel is but one of many milestones. We still need to develop the rest of the game in terms of inserting the dialogue and main quest pieces, developing side quests, fleshing out the magical and combat abilities progression system, as well as the powers that are aligned to each of the 9 gods of Antreya. Dean and I have been hard at work with all of these, and what you see in the novel is but a fragment of what will presented in the actual game and future Heroes of Antreya novels. Furthermore, we plan to launch something called the Great Library of Antreya (name could change), but I’m not about to spill the beans on that one.
All I can say is, keep a very watchful eye on Antreya Chronicles. This is the start of a beautiful journey.
With Warm Regards
The Count of Celenic Earth