It’s June, but I don’t have a lot to update with. Book three is still sitting with me, book four is starting to get a more extensive revision, I still have not come up with a name I love for book three (I know) and I still don’t have an ETA on when the book can visit the editor.
I have a favor to ask anyone who is reading these updates. If you are following my website, if you are reading and enjoying the series, please tell your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, family, essentially anyone you know, who you feel might like the series. And, if you’re up for it, please leave a review. A lot goes into publishing (especially self-publishing since I am paying for everything and trying to then do almost everything) and I am unsure book three will make it into the wild at this time.
Right now, I am actually out of the country visiting my sister in Spain, but I brought all my current works in progress with me so I could continue to work on them despite the fact their fate is up in the air. So, I’m still working, and I’m trying to stay semi-consistent on updates, but I am uncertain if anyone is curious to know even the most basic of things. But, on to a happier note: the talent system of Z’s world in more depth. This is going to be a lengthy post…my apologies.
Talents: You’ve seen this word several times, mostly in reference to Zimliya’s talent in languages and weapons. Nivaradros helpfully explained things briefly in When the Kingdom Falls, but I had to fine tune his explanation so he didn’t overwhelm anyone. Here is a more lengthy explanation with tie-ins from our world to make it, in theory, easier to understand.
Talents are a person’s inborn magical skills that do not correspond to magic in any other fashion than it is the magic of the world that has…amplified the person’s ability. So, in Zimliya’s case, even if she didn’t have her magic she’d still be able to use her language talent, she’d still be just as skilled with her weapons, and she’d still be able to use her other talents (such as the healing one she’s crippled). Talents are what you are skilled in, so to apply them to our world.
If you are an incredible singer – you have a talent for singing. If you’re talented in composing music, you have a talent there. Practically everything you are good at is due to having a talent on some level in that skill including cooking, building things of any kind, if you’re exceptional at computers and lived in a world like Z’s you’d have a talent in computers. Being a good teacher, however, is not a talent, but it derives from having a talent in what you teach. Also as a general rule, you enjoy what you excel in. So, if you love to draw, compose, write, build things, whatever, it’s because you have a strong talent in that area.
There are, therefore, levels of talents. Z, for example, has three very strong talents. One in languages, one in fighting/weapons, and one in magic (which, for the record, is where you get your mages). She knows languages instantly upon hearing them and her fighting style just needs to be tuned and her skills learned before she’s able to apply them. She’ll learn a new weapon/style far quicker than most. Her seeing/healing talents are slighter weaker but still stronger than average. I’ll go into her magic talent below in a bit.
She has a very light talent in music of all things. Which means she can carry a tune easily, has a good voice, but doesn’t love singing so she generally avoids it. She does not, however, have even a hint of a talent in cooking; Z is a disaster with all things meal prepping other than killing something.
Everyone more than one talent. Four is the common number of stronger talents to pocess with an average of three lesser or minor talents. Talents, as a rule, follow family lines though they may skip one or seven generations with ease, and their level is not defined by previous talents in the family. Someone with a very minor talent in singing, for example, could easily pass on the strongest singer talent to have been seen. Having one major and one minor is not unheard of, but it is far rarer to have fewer talents than it is to see someone like Z with several very, very strong talents and several minor ones.
As an Arbais mage, however, Z is a bit rare. Her two strongest regular talents are at a level only seen once before with languages, and it is uncertain anyone has had her weapon/fighting talent at that level before, though there have certainly been people close. Those two talents together at that level or close to it though has never been recorded. But, her talent in magic is what makes her an Arbais. Magic has its own set of talents: elemental as a whole, specific elements, illusion, and any other magical ability are all talents of magic. Z, as an Arbais, has talents in everything magical. Most of her skills are equal across the board though she does have a few areas where she is weaker. However, most of an Arbais mage’s weakness is self-created as opposed to magical inapt. It is why Arbais mages are feared. Though they are rare, it is suspected most of them perish by their own power at a young age, though there are several reports of hunts to eliminate suspected Arbais mages. Z is also a rarity in the fact her skill level is known; most Arbais mages spend their lives downplaying and hiding their power.
I will, at some point, go into more depth on the history of Arbais mages, and why they are possible at all, but this post is quite lengthy, and that would open up another can of worms.