What is the Dark Realm's motivation, in your world?
The battle between the good Alliance and evil Dark Realm lands of Dragonspeir has endured for centuries, as far back as the eight-hundred-year recorded history of the Alliance.
While Dark Realm power is black magic, relying heavily upon the methods of alchemy, the source of Alliance power is astral energies. Those external powers correspond to the natural elements of air, earth, fire, and water. Each Alliance magical being gains his/her unique tendencies from the star sign of nature under which he or she is born. Individuals may appeal to their star to gain or modify their magic in times of need. More importantly, the Alliance, as a collective, gained magical power by using a powerful device that channeled astral energy. The continuous influx of energy maintained Alliance superiority over the Dark Realm.
Centuries ago, the Dark Realm stole the keystones needed to operate that channeling device, hoping to weaken their opposition. The forces of evil quickly overtook and nearly decimated the Alliance…until the coming of the lineage of Scribes. The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become the fifth of a line of strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1,200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications which empowers the Alliance in new ways.
Is this a case of nature or nurture? Could it have gone another way?
It is probably an extended case of nurture. The struggle between the two lands spans a history of eight hundred years, so it is difficult to analyze the origin. However, two alchemists who are very influential in the struggle tend to waver in allegiance between the opposing sides. This indicates that shades of gray do exist, that there are both some good and some evil qualities to be found in each land.
If the Dark Realm wins, what do they plan to do?
If the Dark Realm wins, the Alliance’s astral source of energy will cease to exist. All magicals of the Alliance will lose power. Those who advanced to the highest levels of magical ability have been able to use astral powers to remain alive for hundreds of years, incapable of being killed by ordinary means. Without Alliance power, those individuals will perish…including the Imperial Sorcerer, Cullen, who is the heroine Lyra’s beloved.
Without the magicals to protect them, the residents of the Alliance will be tortured, killed, or forced into slavery, as the Dark Realm’s Black Dragon has promised.
Being part mortal and part magical, Lyra would survive takeover by the Dark Realm. However, she has recently gained the master power of quintessence. Quintessence is a real alchemical term, referring to the fifth essence or element, ether, the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies. The other four natural elements are air, fire, earth, and water. This fifth element is superior to the others. It is the divine spark hidden in all things, the reflection of the Celestial Fire. Quintessence is formed by the perfect balance of the four natural elements. The harmony of the fifth power is an exalted state.
Upon realizing Lyra has gained control of her quintessence, the evil alchemist, Eburscon, schemes and plots to steal that power so he may rule all of Dragonspeir. As one of the most learned men in the land, he is a formidable adversary. If Eburscon succeeds in taking Lyra’s quintessence for his own use, Lyra will be left comatose without her aura, unable to fight for her beloved Cullen, the Alliance Guardians, and residents.
In Quintessence, Lyra finds herself in a compromised situation at the Qumeli tribe’s encampment on the edge of Dark Realm land. In her attempt to escape the tribespeople and their extreme black magic, she encounters a flock of wild pseudodragons.
Throughout the series, we’ve come to know and love the pseudodragon Noba who is Cullen’s wizard’s familiar. Pseudodragons are much smaller than true dragons, being only three feet long, including their tails. Noba has a heart of gold that melts people. However, he surprises everyone when Cullen and Lyra travel into the mysterious underground world of Terza. There, the lovable and naïve little dragon becomes a real star. Pseudodragons originated in that strange land, and Noba discovers the incredible strength of his heritage. He isn’t just a sweet pseudodragon wizard’s familiar, but also a powerful Matan, capable of altering the use of all magic in his presence.
This flock of wild pseudodragons behaved much differently than Noba. They remained distant and cautious, perching and chattering in trees like monkeys as they watched Lyra. She tried everything to gain their help. It was only when they caught a whiff of Noba’s scent on her did they offer their assistance. Pseudodragons, wild or tame, were definitely among the most interesting dragons in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends.
What's up next for you?
After the super-interwoven plot of a 5-part, high fantasy epic series, I’m looking forward to shifting gears a bit. I’m excited to be working on a few magical realism books, a slightly different fantasy subgenre. The next release will be a paranormal mystery set in a yoga studio. I’m eager to work with new parameters of magical realism—a more character driven plot than I’ve done before. It will be a wonderful new experience for me!
Quintessence: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Five
by Marsha A. Moore
Description:Barbaric Dark Realm warfare threatens to overtake all Dragonspeir lands, including the Alliance. Lyra McCauley, the fifth Scribe of the Alliance, finds herself in a desperate competition to gather four missing keystones. Those amulets of the four natural elements guarantee victory for the side possessing them. The Dark Realm’s alchemist, Eburscon, beats her to finding the water gem, the Pearl of Pendola. Three more keystones remain: the fluorite containing earth energy, the moonstone of the sky, and the fiery, dangerous Emtori Ruby.
The powerful gems, stolen centuries ago, channel astral energies and can restore much-needed Alliance power—the last hope. The wizard, Cullen, who is Lyra’s beloved, relies on Alliance magic for his immortality and will perish if the land falls to the Dark Realm.
Lyra uses her rare magical energies of quintessence and the Staurolite, governor of the four natural elements, to guide her to the hidden keystones. However, greed and power drive opponents, who challenge her in close pursuit, planning to destroy the Alliance, or to claim the power of quintessence for themselves.
The Dark Realm captures the ten-year-old Alliance seer, Kessa. Her abilities can give them information about the locations of the keystones, complicating Lyra’s plans. Will her love, allegiance, and quintessence allow her to save Cullen, Kessa, and the Alliance before the Dark Realm claims all of Dragonspeir?
The Enchanted Bookstore series on sale at Amazon
Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One • Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two • Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three • Staurolite: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Four • Quintessence: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Five