The Tower in the Mist
Mages vs. Amazons vs. Giant Badger vs. Tyranny
Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.
Charles often tells us how his Legends of Windemere series got its start as a role-playing game while he was in college. I am here to confess that I, too, wrote my book because of a game.
In my case, it was the video game Dragon Age. I have all three of the series, and I played them back-to-back-to-back-to back from September, 2017 to the end of March, 2018. Okay, maybe I was a little obsessed.
The series is heavily focused on a core conflict between Mages and Templars. As in many fantasy settings, mages are feared by the public who do not have magic. The solution was that the main church, or Chantry, decreed that all mages should be imprisoned in Circle Towers. There they are guarded by Templar warriors who have absolute power over them. The potential for abuse is obvious, and the violence between Mages and Templars is a theme throughout the games.
Much as the games riveted me, I was frustrated by the false binary of Dragon Age. My characters were always arguing for more options than life-in-prison vs. mages-running-amok. Surely there was a better way! The Tower in the Mist was born from that frustration.
During my intense immersion in Dragon Age, I virtually stopped writing. Every inch of my writing mind was jammed with Dragon Age. There were times when I was afraid that my career was over. But, guess what? My writing career didn’t come to an end. Six weeks after I finished my playthrough and took a break, I started a novella. As a matter of fact, it’s this very novella, The Tower in the Mist.
In it, I share my own interpretation of Mages vs. Templars. Now, I want to make it clear that this isn’t Dragon Age fan fiction or any sort of licensed tie-in. I’m a novelist. I can do my own world-building. I created the land of Skaythe, where evil mages oppress the commoners, and I created the Minstrels who try to change their world through alternatives to violence. But if I hadn’t played Dragon Age first, I’m sure I would be working on different projects today.
If you like Dragon Age, swords and sorcery, or epic fantasy with a heart, I hope you’ll venture forth to find The Tower in the Mist.
Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000. Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, released by Sky Warrior in 2015. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International (SCBWI).