Welcome to my A to Z Challenge 2019 posts. This year I’ll be writing about the world of Kinyal which is the setting of my epic fantasy novels and short stories. These posts offer insights into the world’s history, locations, and factions, but do not spoil any of the events or secrets from the novel.
You don’t need to read them in order, and as the challenge progresses, I’ll do my best to add links to related topics for each post.
The opportunity in destruction
Before the Cataclysm, Kaighal was nothing more but a border city, and a convenient stop for Zemarioni merchants traveling north to Tivarashan, and a point of resupply for both kingdoms’ ships. It was also the seat of high mages who, having found a new school of magic, sought to loosen their ties with the prominent in Zemarion arcane magic.
Then, a demon summoning resulted in a Cataclysm, but Kaighal didn’t suffer the fate of the rest of the kingdom. The northernmost city survived, not without the help of high mages who shielded the city from the raging magic and killed Veranesh before the destruction could spread.
In the aftermath, the inhabitants of Kaighal found themselves at the edge of a desert, spreading south where the lush lands of Zemarion used to be. The city council sent expeditions, searching for answers and anyone alive, but they found neither. In the meantime, high mages solidified their power, and within week, with help of their suddenly powerful magic, built their new school, the High Towers.
Freedom paid with blood
As much as the tragedy affected people shortly after the Cataclysm and many gave into despair, other saw opportunities. With Zemarion gone, and northern Tivarashan ports unavailable due to seasonal storms, it became clear that Kaighal had a chance to become the center of trade in Tyorane, being the only city on the continent that could receive ships from Devanshari (a kingdom on the other continent, Juamha) all year long.
Yet, a lone city without a kingdom to protect it was also an opportunity for others… Not giving Kaighal time to recover, Tivarashan queen marched her armies to claim the orphaned place. The siege lasted two weeks before high mages, working with the adepts from the fledling Gildya Magna, pushed the enemy away.
Two more times Kaighal suffered through enemy attacks, as Tivarashan made second attempt several years later, shortly after another the Western Kingdom’s soldiers retreated from a failed siege. Historians believe that Tivarashan hoped to see Kaighal’s defenders weakened by the Western Kingdom’s siege, but they met with fierce defense and were once more force to retreat.
After those sieges, Kaighal proclaimed itself a Free City and offered both Tivarashan and Western Kingdom profitable trade agreements in exchange for recognizing Kaighal’s status.
The Desert Rose
Enjoying peace and prosperity, Kaighal has outgrown its old wall, and as the city expanded, two more rings of battlement were constructed, and people from all over the continent call it home.
Officially, the city council runs Kaighal, collecting taxes and maintaining the streets, but the true control lies in the hands of high mages and adepts from Gildya Magna who remain in a delicate balance between competing with each other and sharing the influence.
Yet, despite of the centuries of peace, many people in Kaighal still look toward north and west with wariness, unsure whether the powerful kingdoms had truly given up the desire for conquer, or whether they simply lie in wait for the next opportune moment.
If you’d like a taste of the world, my free collection contains two of the stories from my free short story collection are set in Kinyal. The Arcanist and the Mage Killer and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades tell of the early adventures of Kamira and Veelk, the main protagonists of the upcoming novel.
You can get the collection by signing up to my newsletter.
All posts in this year’s challenge (links updated with new posts):
Arcane Magic || Barriers and Circles || The Cataclysm || Devanshari || Essence || Free City of Kaighal || Gildya Magna || High Magic || Imbued Stones || Juamha || Kamira Altrainne || Languages || Mage Killers ||
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.