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A to Z Challenge 2019: U is for Unclaimed Lands

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 aftermath of the Cataclysm

Once the high mages stopped the raging magic and killed the demon who unleashed it on Zemarion, people of Kaighal got see the aftermath of it. Where once fields and meadows stretched lay a vast desert of rock and sand.

At first, they suspected a mirage or other sort of trickery, but as the search for survivors continued, the extent of the destruction became clear, and even though no scholar nor mage so far can explain how the desert was created, it was every bit real.

No man’s desert

Shortly after the Cataclysm voices rose to reclaim the lost lands, whether with high mages’ help or by hard work. They argued that since the desert was not natural, under the sands could still lie the fertile soil and many of Zemarion’s artifacts. Yet, first attempts made it clear there was more than a thin layer of it, and any reclamation would require much more effort than previously anticipated.

More so, much to many people’s disappointment, high mages weren’t too eager about participation in this endeavor, despite their sudden rise to power and spectacular magic. Then, Kaighal had to survive three consecutive sieges, by Tivarashan, Western Kingdom, and then Tivarashan again. With all the resources and magic focused on the defense effort, reclaiming the lands under the desert became less important, and after the battle dust finally settled, all the inhabitants of Kaighal was a little bit of peace. The plans got postponed, and as time passed, less and less people were interested in the grand goal, especially that it was already cleared that no cities or people survived the Cataclysm.

The desert remains unclaimed, and only explorers and travelers set out into it.

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 || Nightflies & Other Creatures || Origins of the Idea || Politics || Qinyalarethe || Religion || Suzhaul || Tivarashan || Unclaimed Lands ||

Joanna Maciejewska

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.

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