Gods and Goddesses: Leander

Realm of Leander, God of Death

A muted sun shone down on the white, rocky landscape of the Netherworld. Opaque peaks protruded from the ground, casting shimmering blue and yellow shadows over the ground. The air felt frozen with the lack of life—still and unforgiving. Few sacrifices made it longer than a week before asking to move on.

The front side of the largest mountain was a castle made entirely of opal. With delicate carvings and pointed towers, it was something one would expect from a storybook. Inside, were sweeping staircases, detailed ceilings, and elegant archways. While no decorations hung on the glimmering walls, each room was covered in rich area rugs and comfortable furniture. A warm, green fire burned without kindling in Leander’s private fireplaces. Living alone, he never bothered to light the others.

The backside of the mountain held a more ominous purpose. A wide, black river cut Leander’s realm in half, keeping the waiting souls on their side of the realm. Leander was able to walk across the surface untouched to reach the dead, but if one of the crystalline souls tried to cross, they would be forever trapped beneath the swirling water with all of Drea’s failed, monstrous creations.

On the opposite shore, onyx pillars stretched up between two mountains on the other side, showing the souls what they most wanted to see. While they were usually calm while waiting, albeit confused, a riot sometimes broke out if the shore became overcrowded. Leander did his best to usher the souls through the looming archway to the afterlife in an orderly fashion, but it was particularly difficult in times of war.

Gods and Goddesses: Brisa

Realm of Brisa, Goddess of the Sea

Against every myth ever told about Brisa’s queendom, it was not at the bottom of the sea. The stories, however, were right about it being a palace of glass. The exterior was made of a million panes held together with bronzed metal. A fountain at its front fed a lake around the building. The water filled the inside of the glass enclosure, mirroring the walls and ceiling. Interior walls offered privacy and kept out unwanted moisture. Bright white pillars held the solid structure up at its center. Hallways branched off the circular common room, providing rooms to Brisa and her household—now less than fifty men and women.

A rectangular slate temple with a curved roof stood nearby. Cattails sprung up along the white pebbles scatted around the perimeter. Inside, gleaming blue tile scrolled across the walls, forming wave after wave. A banner of pearls and shells covered the altar across from the sacrificial pit. Two semicircle railings stood on either side of the pit, leaving a straight line of site through to the glass entryway.

Most of Brisa’s queendom was covered in sprawling fields and gentle, rocky hills. Small ponds dotted the land, but a single river flowed through the property. The riverbed spilt in two; one branch of the river fed the Black River in Death’s kingdom, and the other dropped off into a waterfall at the edge of the War God’s kingdom.

Patreon: Literary Magazines

RCP has recently set up a patreon to direct more funding to our literary magazines Helios Quarterly and Selene Quarterly (launching in September). Since RCP will be publishing two literary magazines with similar budgets and goals, we’ve put them under the same banner to make it easier to access. We’re following the model of more established literary magazines and will also be seeking a publicist to help drive physical and digital sales for Helios Quarterly in particular. More updates will be posted once Volume 2, Issue 1 is released.

 

Gods and Goddesses: Drea

Realm of Drea, Goddess of Life

The realm of the Goddess of Life was home to all manner of living things. Insects hummed over flowers surrounding a large stone cabin, and birds sang in the sweeping trees. Thin vines crept along the mortar, turning the exterior walls into a maze of gray and green. Lily pads floated above fish and frogs in clear pools. Further from the house, the neatly designed gardens gave way to a sea of trees where rabbits and deer roamed freely along with other herbivores.

With only fifteen rooms in the cabin, Drea’s one hundred sacrifices lived in a row of smaller stone houses behind the main garden. There, the women kept a vegetable garden and small orchards for their personal use. Domesticated animals were also permitted as long they hurt nothing and no one. Sacrificial husbands stayed in the main house, but the last one asked to pass on years ago. A new husband hadn’t been offered in decades.

The round temple hadn’t been used for more than Drea’s passing to the mortal realm or visiting her siblings for almost thirty years. Behind the stained glass door, ferns spread along the walls. Climbing flowers curled along the floral designs carved into green granite walls. Her altar was hidden beneath the overgrown roots of the tree planted behind. Mice now nested in the flower boxes hanging outside the windows, and birds in the eaves. With the lack of prayer, Drea had no intention of destroying thriving life to honor her connection to the mortals.

Gods and Goddesses: Ebris 

Amber R. Duell’s novel Fragile Chaos‘ release date is July 11th of this year! Bi-weekly blurbs about the Realm of the Gods and Goddesses within the novel by Tiphaine, a French artist and cartographer, will be posted here with more chances to win prizes along the way. The second map fragment, The Realm of Drea, will be posted on January 15th.


Realm of Ebris, King of the Gods

While the brilliance of Ebris’ earthly temples had diminished greatly, the one mirrored in the realm of the King of the Gods’ was as pristine as it did the day it was created.

Ribbed pillars surrounded a smooth marble exterior. Light shone into the temple through an enormous domed skylight, and the gold walls gleamed as brightly as the sun.

The walk from the temple to the eight hundred room castle led through elaborately designed shrubbery, manicured lawns, and gardens brimming with colorful flora. A symmetrical courtyard boasted a dozen fountains with a gazebo showcased at the center.

Inside the castle, gold mosaics covered every ceiling, spreading down the walls to meet with embedded diamonds. The windows in the wing leading to the throne room comprised of stained glass. The sunlight used the reds, yellows, and blues to paint a vivid design on the opposite wall, continuing into the throne room with twenty foot ceilings.

Nearly five hundred wives still remained in Ebris’ realm along with over two thousand servants. The male servants slept six to a room while the wives slept two. There were exceptions of course; four favorite wives had their own chambers, and the six lead servants only had to share with one other person. One hundred rooms were set aside for recreational purposes—a ballroom, painting rooms, libraries—while a dozen rooms were off limits to anyone other than Ebris.

Everyone was encouraged to associate with each other as they saw fit as long as no one ever forgot who was in charge.

Fragile Chaos: The World of Huvaria by Amber R. Duell

Asgya and Volkana

Tensions between Asgya and Volkana had always been high. Before the International Committee of Warfare was formed, the Volks made several attempts to invade Asgya with little success. Recently, Asgya was forced to accept assistance offered by Volkana out of desperation when the famine tighten its grip. It didn’t take long for the Volks to use their foothold to further their true agenda. The Asgyans were starving, and the government seemed to be incapable of finding a solution. The Volks were seen saviors for the first time. So, when they exerted their influence over the Asgyan people, it seemed like a good thing. The Asgyan government wasn’t fooled, however. They knew what the Volks were doing, but with nothing to fall back on, they were forced to seek clandestine backing to cast the Volks from their nation.

Kisk and Asgya

When Asgya granted Kisk their independence sixty years ago, they also promised to back Kisk against any international threats. Neither of them expected Asgya to need Kisk’s help, but the Kisken government knew their freedom depended on Asgya’s. With a military force approximately 100,000 strong, there wasn’t much Kisk could do to defend or defeat either of their neighbors. The help had to come secretly using a highly-trained special task force. If Volkana learned Kisk was supplying extra food, sabotaging Volk propaganda, or contributing to Asgya’s intelligence, they would no longer be dealing with a quiet takeover, but a full-fledged war.

Volkana and Kisk

Previously protected against raids under Asgyan rule, and currently protected by International Warfare laws, Kisk was safe unless they provoked hostility with Volkana. When Kisk agreed to help Asgya, they underestimated Volkana’s network of informants. Volkana moved quickly to spin the situation to their advantage. Soon, the world thought Kisk helped Asgya instigate a war against them—however irrational it seemed. The first Volk attack seized a Kisken prison under the pretense of rescuing false-POWs, and the country fell to ruins within a year.

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Spotlight: Rebecca Lee

Introducing Rebecca Lee who will be releasing a limited print run of her novelette Object Relations with RCP!  Here’s your chance to get to know Rebecca before it comes out.


Synopsis:

Object Relations Theory: A form of psychoanalytic theory postulating that people relate to others in order to develop themselves.

Through long divisions of interpretation, words sectioned into sentences. Uncomfortable, they bunched together, worried their independence was lost.Together, all the words decided they should be bound in unison forever. Their books stained the beliefs that we continue to hold.

1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I could pick up a pen, I’ve been glued to various notebooks. I love the sensation of hiding my words behind paper. It feels like I’m telling a secret to myself.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your writing?

I like to believe that everything has a perspective. If two people can look at the same thing and come up with several different stories, that means it exists and is therefore writing-worthy.

3.RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?

I think the word ‘ordinary’ is really fascinating. Even a word that is supposed to mean common, has a million different definitions depending on who you are talking to. With every object that is fictionalized in my book, I try to show a side that may not have been previously thought about. That way ‘normal’ can have several representations.

4. What made you start a blog? Has it influenced your writing in general? How did Object Relations come about?

I’ve been writing in a blog since I was 14. At first it influenced my writing because I wrote for friends. Descriptions I would have poured out in my journal, transformed into stories that I thought friends might find amusing. Object Relations came about early on. When I was a child I would write about object’s personified. I guess I always hung onto it because I could shape something that wasn’t real into anything I wanted.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

That’s a very difficult question to answer. I’ve been writing almost my whole life, so I can’t imagine what I (or my life) would be like without it. I’d like to say it’s made me take chances and risks I might not have otherwise taken, but I have no idea. It’s my brain. For better or worse, it’s always a part of me.

6. What are you most excited to share when it comes to Object Relations? Ex). A particular vignette or object?

There are many sides to the same coin. (Bad pun I know)

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring writers out there, especially women?

Write every day. Whether you’re a woman or a man, dedication and discipline are a lasting marriage.