— the lands of Ashlora (July 2014 teaser)
“You have been invited to the fantasy domain of my mind.
You have become addicted to the marvelous landscape, the exotic creatures and all the lands of Ashlora. You know the alleyways in Ironheart like you know the back of your hand. There, you are now flying a hundred feet over the town square, past the majestic cathedral of the Lord. You see the Bishop at the balcony and by his side, you see the Inventor. You have roamed with the Illuminati before, you have seen through their quirks like they have seen through yours. You wish to eavesdrop on their conversation, but the wind that carries you refuses to wait.
Soon, you see the landscape changes. From the ashen clouds high atop the river Sane, you narrow your eyes at the blue radiance of the White Citadel. You call Azeth home as you behold the city’s glamours and you dream of a blessing bestowed by His Eminence. You would love to spend a night behind that white limestone wall, in a lovely room overlooking the mountainside drafted golden by Fall. But since you have no silver; and you are new in town; the charitable Common’s Hall will be the place you go.
Oh yes, you realize you have fallen hopelessly in love with Ashlora. However, you are trapped in this wretched world you call “reality”. I offer you an escape, but you must embrace the miracle and accept the magic as it is. I have sent an Angel to guard your body as your soul departs to the other side. I can provide the framework, I will show you the way, and you—only you, brave adventurer—can explore this wonderful land in full details.
Now it is your turn.
Brace yourself! The fishing town of Merlock is your next stop. Find the Witch, she will be your guide. Grab a pen, put on a woolen cap and start your journey here”
The story of White Destiny is set in the fantasy world of Ashlora. In this world, there are three major settlements: Azeth, Merlock and Ironheart.
The citadel city Azeth is explored in Chapter 1, a city of white marble walls, lavish taverns and prosperity. This is also the home of the Archbishop, the unquestionable leader of Azeth both spiritually and politically. The constitutional body of Azeth is the Commons’ Hall. Electorate candidates have been scarce since the Archbishop took reign so the Commons’ Hall is barely functional during the time of White Destiny.
Atop the highest tower of the city is the symbolic Light of Azeth. The Light can be seen in the cover illustration. Hence, the city itself is one of the key locations in the novel, both in White Destiny and Black Existence.
South-east of Azeth is the fishing town Merlock. The town situates on the delta downstream river Sane. While Merlock itself is often considered a part of Azeth kingdom, the town retains a traditional, independent decision-making system. The elders vote in a ballot to make important decisions. Unfortunately, not much details of Merlock is discovered in White Destiny. The town takes up the role of secondary setting even though it is the only gateway to Azeth.
East of Merlock is the city of Ironheart. Ironheart is the oldest settlement of the three. The power structure of the city is more centralized than Azeth; the city is ruled by the Baron, a noble knight with a deep appreciation for knowledge, and no other governmental body, at least on paper. This is also home to the single largest research institution in Ashlora: Silverflow Academy. The Baron allows Silverflow Council to act on his behalf as a pseudo-constitutional body. Council members are elected into the Council from prominent scholars in the Academy based on merits.
West Rufus is a mining district west of Ironheart, neighboring the notorious Dark Forest. In White Destiny, a mysterious plague devastated the region, leaving the area in a state of lawless slump. The Black Witch is sometimes seen visiting an underground market run by outcasts and criminals in West Rufus.
Fa’el situates north west of Ironheart, upstream of river Sane. The city is held together in the clouds by the magic of its guardian dragon. It is the birthplace of Spellweave and its Library of Prism houses the largest collection of magic tomes in Ashlora. In the story of White Destiny, the city was raided and left in ruins as a result of a conquest by the Holy Church from Azeth.