Sunday, November 16, 2014

Realm Explorers Part XXIII: Visit the World of Greyhawk with Chris Martineau

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  

Author’s name:

Chris Martineau

Title of book and/or series:
The Soul Throne Chronicles:  Book 1 – Darkmind Awakened

Brief summary of the story:
There haven't been any dragons in the skies above the World of Greyhawk for over 200 years.
Three unlikely adventurers awaken in the cells of a burning slave galleon with no memories of their previous lives.  Tenji - a spell slinging, spear wielding human woman, Leon - a silver tongued, scar faced rogue archer, and Skadi -a 7 foot tall northern barbarian woman with golden eyes, strange pearlescent skin and inhuman strength.

Together with a group of orphaned pirates called the Castaway Rats (led by Longknife - a dual wielding swordswoman from the race of feline peoples called the bastett) and Bulwark - a brawling dwarven cleric of Pelor;  they set sail on an epic fantasy adventure to regain their memories, reawaken the sleeping dragons and stop the armies the rogue necromancer Kyshon.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Based in the old TSR – Dungeons and Dragons:  World of Greyhawk

If we were to visit The World of Greyhawk as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Spend a few days relaxing in the tropical village of Rivershell.  If you enjoy big city life, a try a rousing game of “shields” in Slatergern’s  Tavern or shopping  the northern  city Eru Tovar.  If cold weather sports are more your thing then mountain village of Sto-laat snows pretty much all year round and features easy access to the jagged peaks of the Griff Mountains.

What dangers should we avoid in The World of Greyhawk?
The usual:  Kyshon’s undead armies, reaving bands of troll and ogre nomads, and the yellow sashed slaver pirates of Draga’s Dragoons.  Avoid shipwrecks and hidden shrines as well.  Large beasties with lots of teeth and heads tend to lurk there.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in The World of Greyhawk?
If you can find it, and know who to ask, there is a honey made in the lands of Eru Tovar from a field of lavender and roses, which is known for it’s curative effects, unusual taste and its properties for making legendary mead.  For seafood fans, The half ogre cook Doc Tiny aboard the Phantom’s Wail is known for his fish stew, and if you are on the go with Iron Company and Elyon’ Hunters:  Tinker the dwarven cook and blacksmith makes a devilishly good barbequed venison seasoned with garlic and sweet basil.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in The World of Greyhawk?
The monks of the Scarlet brotherhood are known for their legendary unarmed combat skills.  Various regions feature numerous martial disciplines, but when it comes time to battle against the forces of evil - Swords and armor are forged of steel, iron or brass and wielded by battle hardened medieval style warriors and archers.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to The World of Greyhawk?
Sleek galleons, horses, wagons, or perhaps a giant dire tiger???

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in The World of Greyhawk  that we don’t see on earth?
Elves, dwarves, halflings and gnomes.  You might also encounter the feline bastett people, the wolven people known as fenrir, or the half angel, half elven Devans.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in The World of Greyhawk?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic comes in three forms: 
·      Divine (granted by the gods) very rare and powerful.  It is practiced by clerics to bring healing or travail to their followers, depending upon the type of God they worship
·      Shamanic (also known as druidic, which is granted by the totem spirits of nature) practiced mainly by the wood elves, a select few human druids, and also by the martial monks of the Scarlet Brotherhood
·      Arcane which is practiced by mages. Raw mana (magical energy) evoked and manipulated by the caster and mastered by years of study and practice.  It is tightly regulated by a ruling council of mages called:  The Society of the Seven.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in The World of Greyhawk.
There are always gambling and games of skill and chance happening in most taverns.  But if you happen to be in the city of Highport -  you might also find one of the company participating in the fight pits at Armand’s arena.  (Bet on the dwarf…)

Is there a particular religion practiced in Greyhawk?  Please describe what it involves.
The world of Greyhawk is polytheistic.  Each of the races has their own mythos.  Humans are likely to worship Heroneis (The god of war), Obad Hai (The god of the harvest) Ehlona – the goddess of nature and the forests, or Pelor – the God of healing, depending on what region and culture they live in.

What is the political or government structure in Greyhawk?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Mostly small feudal towns and villages and local protectorates.  There is also a ruling body of mages called The Society of the Seven which overseas the practice and practitioners of magic.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Greyhawk?
It varies from region to region.  Keep your purse close and your blade closer if you are a stranger to the town, because you might become a target of the local Thieve’s guild.  Slavery is still legal in many of the port cities and villages along the Azure Sea.  Haggling and barter is an art form at your local market place.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976.  My stories are based on my personal interpretation of the old World of Greyhawk map first released in 1978.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Slavery, a bit of political intrigue, and very strong, independent female lead warriors and characters.


Author Autobiography:
Chris Martineau is a former Navy Corpsman living in Hampton Roads Virginia with his family.  He is a Norfolk State University graduate, an award winning Christian small business entrepreneur, volunteer financial instructor at the Salvation Army, and does freelance sales force training and motivation, marketing, small business start up consulting, and is the founding director of a homeless ministry which delivers food and blankets to the homeless who can't get into the shelters at night.


Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  

Where can readers connect with you online? 
Facebook:  Chris Martineau Author



I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the World of Greyhawk.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the Kingdom of the Goblins in Realm Explorers Part XXIV!
-Annie Douglass Lima


Are you an author who would like your world to appear on Realm Explorers?  Click here to download the instructions and interview form, or email me at AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com for more information.

3 comments:

Jeffrey said...

How did you get permission to publish a novel in a trademarked world?

Chris Cassidy said...

That's a great question. The World of Greyhawk was developed by TSR back in the earl 70's (over 30 years ago) and much of their material from those times is now mostly registered as public domain. When Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR they set up a system where you can contact them and get permission to use names places, etc. So I contacted them via their website, let them know what I wanted to do. They gave me an online form / questionaire to fill out. It took them about 2 weeks to review, but they gave me the the go ahead. Any writer / world builder can do this. They are actually very cool about it.

Chris Cassidy said...

because there are a number of other authors who write in that world, I made sure to just reference land mark names on the old greyhawk map from the 70's that aren;t used in other stories by other authors - but the races, people, characters, political backdrops, local histories and local mythologies etc. are all originals.

When you jump into an open / public shared world like that it's polite to make sure you aren't writing over someone else's work.