of Quentaris - Paul Collins
A major component of a shared world scenario is building on the world
as it exists. Only in this way can it evolve, become more colorful
and real. So too with the characters. If every new Quentaris book
created new characters, then the books may as well be set anywhere.
Keeping all this in mind I try to use characters and places already
depicted in previous books.
In Dragonlords of Quentaris I concentrate on the famous rift guide
Rad de La’rel and his fiery partner/booking agent, Tulcia. Other
characters you’ll read more about are Nisha, the fire magician,
and her minstrel friend Tal; Hulk Duelph, the city’s best swordsman,
and Lord Chalm Eftangeny, the Archon of Quentaris. Newcomers to this
particular book are two-headed universal swindlers, the Fendoni, and
the war-mongering race of the dragonlords, and their rebellious victims,
One thing that Quentaris fans love about the series is the action.
I hope there’s enough of that in Dragonlords of Quentaris to
sate the thirstiest of appetites!
Rad de La’rel is about to sign a trade agreement with the devious
Fendonians when he is captured by sky pirates. Sold into slavery,
he becomes a pawn to the all-conquering dragonlords of Udari. When
he returns to Quentaris it has been invaded by the very creatures
Rad has escaped from. Worse – nearly every citizen is wearing
a slave’s neck collar. Can the famous Quentaran rift guide release
his people from the grip of the invaders?
Rad de La’rel looked out over the red slate rooftops of Quentaris.
They had once been his domain. His rooftop days as a watcher on night
vigil had been nothing but work. Although they had been boring, he
did feel a pang of regret that those days were long behind him.
He looked about his new second-storey dwelling that also served as
his office – not that he couldn’t afford a separate dwelling.
It was just that working and living in the same building saved time
travelling to and from work.
He hadn’t done so badly out of his inheritance, Ever since his
great-great-grandmother Nathine’s bracelet had bestowed upon
him the power to guide others through any rift cave of his choosing,
he had become comfortably wealthy in a very short time.
Adventurers from around the world — and from the rifts themselves
— sought his employment. Demand had now exceeded supply, so
Rad had instructed his booking agent, Tulcia, to only accept assignments
from royalty. This at times left a gaping hole in his schedule, but
he no longer needed to work. He did so more out of loyalty to his
ancestor than to feed himself. He was jarred from these lethargic
thoughts when Tulcia barged into the room.
Rad swung his feet down from the table. ‘Tulcia How many times
have I told you to knock? This is a business, now. After hours...’
he shrugged, ‘no door knocking, but – ’
Tulcia bristled. ‘I’ll knock you if you keep that up!’
Rad scowled back at her. Should he remind Tulcia who the boss was
in this relationship and who employed whom? Definitely not a good
idea when she was in one of her moods.
‘Well you’re here now,’ he said. ‘What is
it? The king of some unpronounceable kingdom wishes my guidance to
the most inaccessible rift of all? A prince?’
‘None of that,’ Tulcia cut in sourly. ‘Not even
‘But I’ve told you, Tulcia.’
‘I don’t pay much attention to what you tell me half the
time,’ Tulcia said. ‘If I did, we’d be out on the
streets again. Me mucking out the stables for old Stanas, you sitting
bored witless on the roofs looking hopefully for sky pirates and Zolka.’
‘Not so much of the “hopeful”, Tulcia,’ Rad
said, rankling. ‘You forget that I, and I alone, alerted Quentaris
to the last pirate raid. Fought and defeated one in mortal combat.
They haven’t been seen since!’
Tulcia rolled her eyes. ‘How could I forget? You tell me and
anyone who will listen every second day.’