Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lentari guest post by Jeffery Poole

The following is an excerpt from an interview that might help an outside reader better understand the magical world of Lentari!

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“So you expect me to believe that this magical kingdom exists?”

The woman sitting before him crossed her arms over her chest and simply stared at him. Both eyebrows were raised as she stared down her nose at the man before her.

“Trust me, I didn’t believe it either, but seeing is believing!”

“Then show me.”

“Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.” The man smirked. “It’s too dangerous for someone like –”

“If you try and say someone like me,” the woman interrupted, her eyes flashing angrily, “then I will personally take that Wii controller over there and shove it up your –”

The man raised both hands in mock surrender. “It doesn’t really matter. I know there’s no way in hell you’ll ever get there, so I have no problems telling you all about it. So what do you want to know?”

“How do you get there?”

“By magic.”

“Care to be more specific?”

“Nope.”

“What’s the name of this kingdom?”

“Lentari.”

“And magic exists there?”

“Yep. And dragons, griffins, dwarves, big nasty bugs, etc.”

“And you expect me to believe that?”

Steve Miller ignited both hands, clasped them together, and rested them on his lap. “If you don’t want to go crazy, then I would suggest it.”

The woman leapt to her feet and stared at Steve’s flaming hands in shock.

“Your hands! They’re on fire! How did – never mind that. Your clothes! They aren’t burning! They aren’t – I mean, doesn’t that –”

“They won’t burn unless I allow it, and no, it doesn’t hurt. It would be counter-productive if I could control and manipulate fire and still be burned by it, wouldn’t it?”

“You can control fire?”

In response, Steve held up a lit hand. A grapefruit-sized fireball appeared. He twirled it on his index finger. After a few seconds the fireball vanished and he lowered his flaming hand once more to his lap and waited.

“Why are you showing me this?”

Steve grinned. “It pains me to say this, but I actually trust you. I want you to believe me. I know you’ll keep this information to yourself. Now, push aside your disbelief at what you just saw. You wanted to know about Lentari. What else would you like to know?”

“Well, how far away is it? How many people live there? Can they all do what you just did?”

“Let’s see. How far away? Unreachable without the aid of magic. How many people? I don’t know. I never asked. Based on what I’ve seen, I’d say about fifty thousand. While there have been several fire throwers, there hasn’t been one for a long time. I’m the first in over two centuries. From what I’m told, anyway. So no, the general populace cannot control fire, but they each have their own unique jhorun, ummm, their own talents.

“But you weren’t born there, were you? How is it you have this power?”

“Both Sarah and I received our jhorun when we –”

“Sarah has a power, too??”

“Damn. I let that slip. Lia, I’m trusting you implicitly here. You have to take this secret to your grave, is that understood?”

Lia nodded fervently. She enjoyed hearing secrets!

“Anyway, we were given our jhorun when we first stepped foot onto Lentari a number of years ago. Surprised the hell out of both of us. Turns out our arrival had been foretold in some ancient prophecy. We became babysitters to the young prince.”

“The local king and queen just gave you their son?” Lia asked, incredulous. “What about doing a background check? How did they know they could trust you?”

“They had been waiting for the Nohrin, that’s Sarah and I, to arrive, ‘cause trouble was brewing. They feared for their son. We arrived, powers in hand, and became this kid’s protectors. Later that same day, a group of thugs literally tried to kidnap him while he was showing us around the castle. We –”

Lia sighed wistfully. “Castles. I love castles!”

“Then you’d love this one. It’s huge. Anyway, long story short, they tried to abduct him, Sarah took the prince to safety, and I blasted the bad guys point blank.”

“You said this happened years ago?”

Steve nodded. “Right. About, oh, five or six years ago.”

“What happened to the prince?”

Steve stared at the woman uncomprehendingly. “What do you mean what happened to him? We had lunch with him earlier today.”

Lia spewed the cherry soda she had just sipped from her uber-ounce Big Gulp. “Mikal? He’s the prince??”

With a smug grin on his face, Steve nodded. “His name, with his title, is ‘Kre’Mikal’, crown prince of Lentari.”

“I thought he was from Nebraska?”

“That’s the cover story Sarah came up with to stave off any intrusive questions.”

“So if he’s here, then that means it is still not safe for him to return?”

“Yes. He stays close to us until we’re given the all-clear from his parents, the king and queen. Consequently, their names are Kri’Entu and Ny’CallĂ©.”

“We’ve been hanging out for several years now and you never once thought to clue me in to all of this?”

“Well, we noticed you were starting to put two and two together. So we figured before you could figure it out first, or else come up to the wrong conclusions, we’d let you know. Shows you how much we trust you.”

“Oh, don’t try and get sappy on me. It won’t work.”

“Yes it will,” Steve argued, giving his friend a smile. “I know you too well.”

Sarah swatted his closest arm. “Jerk. Fine. Just tell me something. What’s it like there?”

“Sarah said the kingdom reminds her of Placerville, in California. It reminds me of Flagstaff, in Arizona, or even Coeur d’Alene. The common denominator there is the greenery. Huge trees, like sequoias, are everywhere. The northern part of the country is heavily forested. For that matter, so is the south. The central part of the kingdom, along the Zylan river, is open grasslands. There are mountains in the north, bordering Ylani, and there are more mountains in the southeast. There are four or five villages. Let’s see if I can name them all. There’s Avin, Donlari, Capily, and Verdayn. Was there another one? Hmmm, I’ll have to think about that. Their capital is R’Tal.”

“How does jhorun work?” Lia asked, pointing back to his hands, which Steve finally extinguished a few minutes ago.

“The best way to explain that,” Steve began, thinking carefully, “is to understand that all humans in Lentari have jhorun inside them. The difference is how the jhorun manifests itself. It might be something simple, like being able to tell where some fish will be the following day, like Kornal, the first Lentarian we met. Then there’s the queen’s jhorun, which happens to be telling the truth. If she’s present then you can’t tell a lie no matter how badly you may want to.”

“Everyone has their own power. How cool!”

“The strength of the jhoruns varies from person to person. I’m told mine is stronger than most. And rare.”

“What other types of jhoruns have you seen?”

“Well, the king’s jhorun makes him what he calls a ‘wyverie’. I had to look that one up. ‘Friend to dragon’ is what I think it translates to. No dragon will do him harm even if it wanted to.”

“That so cool!”

“Isn’t it? I sure think so.”

“I’d love to see a dragon.”

“Suckers are huge.”

“You’ve seen one??”

“Two, actually. Kahvel, dragon liaison to the humans, and his mate, Pryllan.”

“Wow! How exciting! How big are they?”

“Cup your hands together,” Steve instructed, demonstrating for her. “See the size of the area your hands make when they’re like that? Pryllan snagged me from the air and held me in her hands like that. Trust me, there was room to spare.”

“Holy crap!”

“You don’t want to mess with the dragons. None of those fairy tales are accurate. There are no knights slaying dragons in Lentari. A single dragon could dispatch an entire army without really trying.”

“I so want to go there!”

“Lia, that’s not gonna happen.”

“Why not? You’ve been there! Clearly you have some way to get there! Take me with you!”

“Did you not hear the description of the dragon? In Lentari, dragons and humans don’t really get along. Oil and water. They don’t really mix.”

“What about the two you saw?”

“Extenuating circumstances. Besides, they’re friends of mine. Listen, maybe when things calm down there I might be able to get the king and queen to agree to letting some friends visit. I know my dad would personally like to go, but there’s no way in hell I’d let him now. Why do you think Mikal is here? Because it isn’t safe!”

“So whenever you ask me to watch the house, it’s because you’re in Lentari?”

“Not all the times, but most of them, yes.”

“Will you at least promise to try and get permission for me to visit?”

Steve sighed and finally nodded. “I will make no guarantees, but I will at least try.”

“Sweet!!”

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I hope this gives everyone an insight into Lentari! I’m presently working on Bakkian Chronicles, Book III – The Amulet of Aria. Projected release date: summer, 2012. I realize that’s optimistic, but it’s what I’m shooting for. If interested, you can follow the progress on book III on my blog at www.Lentari.com. I usually have all kinds of tidbits there. Thanks for reading this far and putting up with me and my babbling! :)

Jeff

For more info on the world of Lentari and the characters it contains check out the two books Jeff already has released the Bakkian Chroniles Book I Prophecy and Book II Insurrection.

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