The Book of Taliesin

A big thank you to Lawrence Miles for allowing me to keep the Faction Paradox and War references in the fiction, thus allowing me to keep this series of at least marginal interest to Doctor Who fans.

The First Cycle: "Bard" - Created by Helen Fayle

Book One: Unknown Origins�

Nine Queens: Inspired by "Alien Bodies" by Lawrence Miles, but now more apocryphal than "canon", this was the story that started it all...

Listen, Learn, Read On: A new beginning? A re-written version of this will appear in "The Hunting of the Hart". Taliesin makes someone an offer she can't refuse.

The Hunting of the Hart - (in progress) The Hunt always begins with the protagonists suddenly finding themselves in strange territory, not knowing where they are or what lies in store - and for Vivienne and Taliesin, their arrival on Gwynedd is exactly that. Two strangers, an exiled prince, and a world on the brink of civil war... and through it all, the Norns are watching, waiting. But who will be bound upon the boughs of Yggdrasil to gain its power?

The Seige Perilous. In the great hall of Caer Tagel, lies the Round Table, cut from the heart of Yggdrasil itself, by Merlin. But now the table is cut, to make room for an obsidian throne, created my Morgaine to allow her to partake of the table's oracular powers. To sit in the throne is to invite death or madness - or both. But to take the throne as High King, this is exactly what Elphin must do...

In the Blood - Faint heart never won fair maiden... Elphin's bride is about to arrive at Caer Tagel for their wedding, and he's nervous. The bride to be is having last minute jitters, Vivienne has argued bitterly with Tal, the four premier bards in the Alliance are arriving and something is killing off the Caer's guests one by one, in a horribly familiar fashion.

Regenesis - An old menace from another dimension has been summoned to the Thirteen Worlds. Published on "The Day of the Daleks" convention website, January 2001. Yes, enjoy it whilst it lasts, people: this is the only time I will ever play the "It's got daleks in it" card.

~~~

Book Two: "Dragons and other Fell Beasts"

"Here be Dragons" - First published in Perfect Timing 2, November 1999. Taliesin spins a fireside tale.

The Shape of Fire - To be published in Eye of Orion issues 7 & 8, Summer/Autumn 2001. (Thanks to Simon Bucher-Jones for allowing me to play with his version of what the "Enemy" might have been.)

The Birth of Kastchei the Deathless(A Legend�E

Firebird - Tal and Vivienne are separated on a hostile planet ruled by legendary sorcerer Kastchei Bess- Mertny, "The Undying". With Taliesin facing talking wolves and the mysterious crone Baba Yaga, Vivienne is faced with the sorcerer and his enigmatic wife, Alianora Marevna, whilst waiting to choose her new companion is the legendary fire serpent - Merlin's "Dragon"...

The Invisible City - With Breceliande's / Skazki's long Winter now moving into Summer, the balance of power is changing. Taliesin, Vivienne and Kastchei are caught up in a struggle that could destroy the Alliance of Worlds�E

Maskirovka - The Giants' Dance: a massive station comprised of dozens of asteroids, created by Merlin, now a haven for the underworld of the 13 Worlds, becomes the setting for a showdown. Kastchei's past catches up with his present, as the consequences of old mistakes - and a familiar face - come back to haunt him. Kai returns with a whole new parcel of trouble on board the Prydwen, and the one-eyed Lord of the Dance, Alex Korday promises to give our heroes a bucketload of trouble even as his own demons come home to roost...

Zugzwang - Marius and Taliesin are in a world of trouble on Orcadia, and it seems only one man can get them out of it! Pirate, mercenary, reluctant hero - Alex Korday. Who's already got enough on his plate, since his ship's out for blood - Kai and The Prydwen's

Gaiden: (Side stories relating to "Maskirovka" and "ZugZwang") (Forthcoming)

  1. "Flame of the Glittering Heath" - centuries before the time of Arthur, Dragonborn warriors prowled the spaceways of Midgarth - and none fiercer than the man they called "The Flame of Xanten" - Sigmund Volsungrson. Betrayed by the lords of the House of Hunding, his brothers slaughtered, his twin sister abducted, his vengeance will be a long time in the making, and lead him into the darkest places in the universe in the process...
  2. "Wolves in Hallowed Places" - Sigmund and his nephew Sinfjotli Siggeirson are the "Wolves of Odin" - outlawed from every world in Midgarth, forced into exile amongst the thousand planetisimils of the Arcadian Union. But Sin's father is still in need of killing, and there's still the prize of the Hunding world's to be claimed by a man strong enough to take them - and hold them. If Sigmund can find an army to back him...
  3. "The Counteance of Terror" - Sigurdr Sigmundson's story. Raised as a thrall to Alberich, high lord of Vanaheim, abused and betrayed, an angry young Sigurdr finds a home with the mysterious mercenary Technomancer who calls himself "Regin" - a man whose true name and purpose, when revealed, will set in motion events that will eventually destroy three systems, and spawn a legend that will be remembered for a thousand years...
  4. "The Lords of the Ransom" - Takes up the story from the "death" of Sigurdr to the final reckoning of the sons of Gjuki in the halls of the Hunding warlord, Atli...
  5. "Sehnsucht" (fills the gap between the end of "Lords of the Ransom" and the events mentioned in "Maskirovka" relating to "Accolon's" rebellion, the ascension of the Korday family, and the return of the Einherjar...
  6. ~~~

    Book 3: The Summer Stars

    Who Pays the Ferryman? Tal is made an offer he CAN refuse... First published in "Tales of the Solar System", 2000.

    And after this, our exile... Kastchei, solo (TBA)

    Arabesques. Sheherazade had it easy... Following a lead to a new world that might enter into an Alliance with the increasingly beseiged 13 worlds, Taliesin finds out that not everything found in a bottle is drinkable...

    Crown of Thorns. As the civil war finally reaches Gwynedd's home system, battle is joined from the battlements of Terrabil and Tagel. The Einherjar - now under the command of Kastchei's son Nick Korday and his ship Erebos - might be the Alliance's only hope...

    Ashes to Ashes - With Caer Tagel in ruins, Elphin missing and a coronation for a usurper being prepared, the Alliance is in chaos - while for Kastchei, Alex and Taliesin, time is fast running out as they make a last ditch attempt to save the world they know - a mission which will cost one of them dearly...

    The Second Cycle: "Warrior"

    (Stories TBA)

    The Third Cycle: "Druid"

    (Stories TBA)

    Related Tales:

    "Thorns" - Morgaine reflects on her life... (Printed in Walking in Eternity, published May 2001) "Shadows" - In the End is the Beginning, and in the Beginning the End.�

    Unrelated Tales: Being the outpourings of a deranged mind that has spent far too long researching Arthur, the Grail and Garter Knights...

    "The Sixty Day War" aka: The True and Certain History of Lord Stanley's Chalice...

    Other Fiction:

    The Award Winning "Dark Labyrinth" - a novel length sequel to the David Bowie film "Labyrinth". This early effort swept the awards online in the Labyrinth community three years ago, and now has a permanent home on this site, some revisions pending.

    Feedback? Drop me a line!

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