"...And then up, slowly, then completely, they saw it all: winged, scaled, harsh beaked and coiling serpent neck - writhing and whip tail; hot breath - the dragon. From its mouth a ball of fire fell, down to the black waters, and then the whole pool lit up all in flame..." So goes one of the great perils Rudwin and his companions must face as they wage their quest into the heart of the Grogos Marsh; meeting dwarfs and roanes, evading giants, battling beasts - a journey through bleak woods and forbidding darkness, and all to find the Staff of Necramor, and return it to the sacred Vault on the Island of Ruin. But there is more to the quest than it first seems, and every step of the way they are watched by dark and baleful eyes...
That's how the blurb goes, but really, there's much more to it than that. A small piece of writing on the back only describes so much.
It says - 10 years in the making - and though that does sound a bit far-fetched, I can assure you it is no mad over exaggeration. But it has been a good ten years, and I have enjoyed writing the book! It's been a good jolly old journey, and I am just sad its over...
The History of the Legend
How it all began...
Why did I invent a fantasy world? Well, why not! I say. I know what you are thinking. Good grief! This particular genre is packed to the brim with invented worlds. I know, I have read my far share of fantasy novels, and I know there are plenty of good books of this sort out and about ready to be read.
But I don't think there should be an end to fantasy, and so here we have my contribution to this finest and most ancient and beloved field of story telling.
I was thirteen when I started fleshing out a fantasy world. And I can tell you now, with great confidence, it is still being fleshed out. Maps and history - it's all there, and still being worked on after all these years. It is a work that doesn't stop.
In 2000, or there about, The Legend of Rudwin was called - The Way of the Roads.
The hero of the story was the intrepid Yomo Milgun, who set out on a perilous journey across the land. It was one of the early attempts, on my behalf, to put all the ideas had created in the 90's into a story with true structure. I had invented a world, and now I had to have characters to roam it, and live in it, and discover it.
Even though the story was rightly criticized by friends and family, The Way of the Roads was published in 2005 - but when I looked back on that five year old story I realised that it was no good. It was written by an inexperienced hand, and I knew the writer had improved so much since those days, so I made the decision to scrap it... I withdraw the book from shops, and now it no longer exists! You might find scars of it in places on the internet, I believe it is mentioned somewhere on Amazon.co and com. But the Way of the Roads is no more!
The Legend of Rudwin had begun.
The Road to the Legend
When Rudwin met Hobbleweed...
In 2006 I totally re-wrote the Way of the Roads, word for word. It was basically the same story, but with an improved modern writing style, replacing the childish naive verse form I had used in the 90's period. I scrapped the re-written version, despite being over two hundred pages long, and it now now rests somewhere on my documents...
So I re-wrote it again! This time Yomo went through many of his great name changes - now he was called Robbin!
This strange new 2007 version of the way of the Roads featured the aptly named Robbin with a new set of fresh characters, not featured before, and this was the first time The Elurger made an appearance. The Elurger is an old 1990 character I invented in the old days, who I resurrected and reinvented. In the old days he was an odd peasant type character who never really did that much... But now he was a great fighter and leader, and leads the way of many great adventures. I also transformed Bolderdof, another old character from the 90s, from a typical "we've seen it all before" magician type character, into a wily reneged - and he would stay that way to present times!
Anyway, this 2007 version was immediately scrapped upon completion because I felt it was too serious, too long, and too descriptive. In 2008 I started again, and this was the first time we had the character, Hobbleweed. Hobbleweed was my attempt to add humour to what was otherwise a very serious and very dark tale. He's character would grow in the consequent years, but unlike Bolderdof and the Elurger, he is a relatively new character, and cannot be found in any of my pre 2000 work. This version was never completed, but when I began fresh work in 09, I re-used scraps from this forgotten 08 story. Robbin's named was changed to Rudwin (Rudwin was originally going to be a star of a different set of stories I started in 07 and then scrapped because they were rubbish) and I have stuck with this name to this day.
The book was finish at the end of 2009. It was called - The Way of the Roads - but in 2010 to avoid confusion with old published 2005 book, I changed it forever to The Legend of Rudwin. From 2010 to 11 I spent weeks journeying back into the story, cutting things out and adding things and amending any rough edges that I had overlooked. Virtually every word in the final version of the Legend has been considered. None of it is random, or placed in for padding. I like to maintain a fast pace, and will never use needless padding to make a book artificially larger.
I am writing a direct sequel to the Legend of Rudwin... But when it will be finished I cannot say!! I will not rush it, that is for certain; but I do know its title.
It will be called:
The Trials of Rudwin
The Sequel that Never Was
The Last King...
For those of you who kindly bought and read my 2005 Way of the Road Book, may remember, on the second page, mentioning of a sequel - The Last King. So, where is the sequel, you ask?
It is a sad business. With my fearsome removal of the Way of the Roads all production on the sequel nullified - in other words, came to a stop. The sequel, the last king, now rests in my draw, fully completed but in manuscript form. And it will stay that way, forever. But do not worry, you are certainly not missing out on anything... The Last King was a load of bunkum anyway.
Thank you for reading!