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Who are the Xaggoth?

Who are the Xaggoth?

Who are the Xaggoth?

In book 3 of Shadyia Ascendant, you were introduced to the Matriarch. She is a timeless entity who exists in a sunken city below the Agathe Sea. She is Xaggoth. But what are the Xaggoth?

What are the Xaggoth?

Luun, the Vaskar and Shadyia’s foremother, described the Xaggoth as parasites. Most mortals who look upon a Xaggoth are driven insane. The Xaggoth are a name given to a space-dwelling race of beings that travel from world to word and destroy all life until that world is barren. They then leave their spawn on the barren world. The spawn eventually mature, become travellers themselves and seek worlds of their own to absorb.

In the Shadyia Ascendant series, the Xaggoth came to the world when the races of Vaskar and Ashkhan were mortal. At first, these races were nearly exterminated. The Xaggoth were (and still are) timeless beings of immense power, some so large they could devour the sun. Some are not necessarily evil—they are like blue whales feeding on krill—but others have a malevolent nature. They pervert and corrupt ‘lesser’ races for a sinister purpose. For this reason, there was a resistance to the Xaggoth from an unnamed ancient race who created the Valenji.

The Valenji Resistance

The Valenji are celestial warriors that travel to the worlds being (or about to be) ravished by the Xaggoth, and teach the natives how to fight and defeat them. This happened on the world where the Shadyia Ascendant series takes place, ages before humans came to live there. (How we ended up on that world will be covered in another blog. It’s a fascinating story.)

Under the guidance of the Valenji, The Vaskar and Ashkhan not only defeated the Xaggoth, but became immortal beings themselves in the process. They even destroyed the mate of the Matriarch with a weapon created by the Xaggoth. That weapon, a dagger, was then cast into Abysm (the eternal void between dimensions) as it was viewed as too terrible a temptation for even the Vaskar and Ashkhan to possess. In book 3, Sundered Journey, the Ashkhans Mareli and Sindavash recover the dagger. They intend to use it to slay Shadyia, as they believe she possesses some supernatural power that kills Ashkhan (she doesn’t, really.)

Little do the Vaskar and Ashkhan realize, the Xaggoth they defeated were not destroyed, but driven deep into the earth. As the eons passed and humanity came to live on the world, the Xaggoth were all but forgotten. Until now. They are on the rise again, but this time there are no Ashkhan or Vaskar in any significant amounts to oppose them. There may, however, be a Valenji. In book four, Shadyia is asked by Gaia (the spirit of all life you met in book 3) to find this celestial warrior. Unfortunately, Shadyia is distracted with problems of her own.

Writer’s influence

As any who love the heroic fantasy genre will point out, I am greatly influenced by the immortal Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890–March 15, 1937). I stand in the shadow of Him Who is Often Named with many writers, both known and unknown. Lovecraft’s genius, which is so hard to duplicate, was to create cosmic horrors that mankind had as much chance to comprehend (let alone defeat) as krill have against a blue whale. The temptation of writers that followed HP Lovecraft was to make his eternal entities into monsters that could be understood and destroyed. The wiser of these Lovecraftian descendants used corrupted humans to be the antagonists, but kept the Great Old Ones indifferent and aloof.

By introducing the Valenji, I realize that I run the risk of reducing my Xaggoth to a level in the same league as us mere mortals. In my universe, there is a cosmic balance—an anti-virus—that keeps the domination of the Xaggoth in check. I am willing to risk the loss of total helplessness and despair (which are awesome literary tools) that mankind has no chance against the extraterrestrial terrors, for the existence of a lone warrior that can stand against them. I find that fascinating. Will Shadyia find the Valenji before the Xaggoth return and consume the world? Even if she does, how will such a warrior defeat these eternal entities?

Read on to find out!

T.S. Adrian

Lord Dunstan: the villain that needed to die

Lord Dunstan: the villain that needed to die

Lord Dunstan: the villain that needed to die

Why did Shadyia kill Lord Dunstan Mienhard?

On the surface, it was a heroic act to kill Lord Dunstan. Three men came to the Silver Rose to rape and beat Shadyia. She kills them rather than submit. In hind sight, this was the first Domino to fall that ultimately led to the destruction of Anderholm and a lot of bad things—maybe even the annihilation of all humanity. Does that make Shadyia’s act less heroic? Maybe if she had allowed herself to be beaten and raped by Dunstan’s men—take one for the team, so to speak—maybe that would be more heroic. Killing an enemy is easy. Allowing horrid men do evil for the greater good, in this case to protect the sisterhood, is far more difficult.

Impulsive Shadyia

If Shadyia were standing before you, and you were to ask these questions, she would tell you that she is no seer. She acts on the moment. If a house is burning down, you save who you can and then grab a bucket and run to the well. You don’t debate whether or not the house burning down would be for the greater good, nor if one of the persons trapped inside might someday become an evil overlord that slaughters millions.

A far more appealing reason

But there is a far more appealing reason, from a writer’s perspective, for Shadyia sending those men to the next life. It displayed her flaws for the reader to see. She is rash, prideful, and vicious toward her enemies. The night she killed those three men, she went to bed worried she might be dismissed from the Silver Rose. That’s all. There was no guilt or anxiety. She opened the throats of two men, got squirted with their blood, and skewered a third. She is no Mary Sue, and that is a good thing.

Ah, the Mary Sue. Readers hate them and amateur authors adore them. “What wrong with perfection?” the Newb author asks. “This is fantasy. Magic and dragons and swords and stuff. Don’t we want larger-than-life characters?”

Flawed Characters

No. Readers want flawed characters that overcome a series of near-impossible odds to achieve a worthwhile goal. As I stated in the dedication of Penance of Pride, Shadyia went through many changes from concept to final print. In her original form, she was the very definition of a Mary Sue; perfect in every way. I created Shadyia for an online computer game (Age of Conan, if you must know.) She could wade into a band of bloodthirsty pirates and kill them all without getting a scratch on her perfect skin. She was as beautiful as a Luis Royo heroine, wore her bikini armor with pride and carried a sword that would take three strong men to lift off the ground. Worse, she was devoid of personality. Then I met someone and we created stories together, and some of those stories have made it into the books—and some have yet to be told. From these stories came a personality. Bold, serious, prideful, passionate, reckless, easy to enrage and slow to forgive.

Shadyia was not a heroine

I had a test-reader tell me she hated the fact that Shadyia killed Lord Dunstan. Shadyia was not a heroine, she argued. Lord Dunstan was at her mercy. Yes, he was an asshole, but when the hero has a villain hanging by his fingers off the cliff, the hero doesn’t stomp on said fingers; s/he offers the villain a hand. I was puzzled by that criticism. For me, Shadyia butchering Lord Dunstan felt as natural as her putting on boots. She even offered him a chance to surrender, and he spit on her face. After that, it was time for Dunstan shish kabob. But, I had to take all criticism seriously. If one person felt this way, many others might as well. Fortunately, Dunstan remained Dunstan the Dead; his slaying not only helped define Shadyia (the for mentioned reckless, prideful, etc) but was the first Domino that set off a chain reaction that led to Aaron’s house and eventually into taking on Verthandi. If she had spared Dunstan, he would have gone back to his horse, rode to his estate and returned that night with twenty Wolfguard. Would Deresi still have fallen in love with Shadyia? It’s impossible to say, even for me. When she and Caprasia bathed Shadyia after the sisters had staged Dunstan’s death in the forest, Deresi was smitten. As I wrote in Penance of Pride:

Shadyia slaying those despicable men had much impressed her, but only until she had touched Shadyia’s body and looked into those blue eyes had she truly fallen. On that night, Deresi had discovered a woman possessing the strength and dignity to take on the world and never lose heart. This was who she loved. Not the slayer. Not even the friend. The hero.

Not killing Dunstan?

If Shadyia had let Dunstan live, and he had returned with twenty men, she would have been dead. If Shadyia had killed those twenty men in her nightgown, I would have created a Mary Sue. Either way, the story would have ended there. Shadyia’s flaws would continue to haunt her. She could not save Anderholm or her sisters. In book three, she kills bandits with no thought of the consequences. In book four (currently a work in progress) that flaw becomes a steamroller that crushes everyone and everything in its path.

The Mary Sue mistake

The Mary Sue (and the male version of this called the Gary Stu) is one of the worst mistakes an author can make. A Mary-Sue is never humanized by struggle or failure. A character who can swordfight while walking on a tightrope, quoting Shakespeare and casting fireballs, only to cut the rope and—as the villain falls—save him by suddenly sprouting angelic wings and flying him to the other side of the cliff—such a character becomes invincible, and nothing is more dull than invincible. Without danger, without risk, what’s the point? No one can stare too long at the sun.

Read On!

Write on!

Sorrow and Rage United



If you want to see how I translate this into my work,  Download my free short story here!

How Shadyia found her Story Teller – T.S. Adrian

How Shadyia found her Story Teller – T.S. Adrian

How Shadyia found her Story Teller – Interview with T.S. Adrian

T.S. Adrian talks to Shadyia

And so it came to be that Shadyia, a traveler, sought someone to tell her story. One night, she was drawn to the ruins of castle Krzyżtopór in Poland. There she did find a person reading a book aloud to the spirits of that tragic place. That person’s name was T.S. Adrian

Could this be the one she sought?

Shadyia: You there, why do you read to these ghosts of this palace?

T.S. Adrian: Someone must tell them the crimes done here were not forgotten.

Shadyia: What do you read them?

T.S. Adrian: This is Poland by James Michener. He dedicated an entire chapter about this castle.

Shadyia: Interesting. You read; do you also write?

T.S: I do. Stories.

Shadyia: What type of stories?

T.S: Heroic fantasy, mostly.

Shadyia: Ah, elves and dwarves and dragons and wizards?

T.S.: Those things can be nice, but are not needed. True heroic fantasy is about taking control of your life through adventure. Of picking up a sword and going where angels fear to tread.

Shadyia: Angels? What are angels?

T.S.: Powerful creatures that men worship as gods.

Shadyia: Ah, now this I understand. But you speak as if picking up a sword and finding adventure were a rare thing. Can you not do this on this world?

T.S.: Not anymore. That’s why people enjoy reading about it.

Shadyia: I see. Well, I come from a world where what you describe is still possible. I have a story to tell, and I am looking for one to write it. Will you be that person?

T.S.: I would be honored, my lady.

Shadyia: Then, let’s begin. It started on a clear night, when the bells of the Silver Rose rang without warning…

Read on!

I’m Shadyia and my Website is Live!

I’m Shadyia and my Website is Live!

I’m Shadyia and my Website is Live!

It’s my absolute pleasure to meet you all; I’m Shadyia, a courtesan at the Silver Rose and this is my story.

I’m the heroine of a book Series called Shadyia Ascendant that you can find on Amazon as Kindle ebooks or paperbacks. My story is one of courage, dedication to my friends and to justice. I am a proud woman and I enter the war Order and Chaos.fight since generations.

I will use this communication medium to share information with you, my fans and keep you updated when new free or paid content becomes available.

My literary parent is T.S. Adrian and I’m living my life through T.S.’s eyes. It’s a generous parent that gives me adventures, love stories, powers and a fun life to live.

Enjoy my stories and please don’t hesitate to start with my free introduction ebook on the main page!


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