♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Talk about the setting of your book. Is it entirely
imaginary or is it based on a real-life place?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
The settings of my first two books are real places, even if places lost to time. The Vermont countryside north of Montpelier is a short car ride from where I live. Just so, one may visit the sites of World War II, including Boston or New York. So when it came time to write The Trailokya Trilogy, all of that mostly became history too. If you refer to a post written at this blog’s inception, you’ll start to notice something quite different from my historical fiction roots.
The divergence was actually a return to the unknown roots in my pre-published history, when I was trying to figure out what kind of writer I would become. Back then, I wrote very long winded high-fantasies. The practice was a lot of fun. The historical and the fantasy were always intertwined for me. That is something true from my childhood reading to today’s writing.
What I really loved about settings in The Trailokya Trilogy was that I could do both. This privilege has allowed me to create some really stunning artwork to go along with my writing. You’ll find characters as well as landscapes, and those can be viewed here.
The first book begins in the alternate reality of Zion, which is known as the homeworld of our true selves. It’s a rich world, forever stretching onward to accommodate the myriad souls and duta living there. To build is to use one’s mind, so the creation of things come from one’s ability to be creative and focused, a land of mental projection. Of course, to accomplish this, there is consensus among the inhabitants about the appearance of common grounds, such as the White City. Those with the strongest mental abilities, those who are older–it is their city as they saw it created. The inhabitants since, create within and extend it if they are strong enough to do so. One may think that this a formula for chaos, but when beings are in harmony, there is a gentle give and take of respect. And only those in harmony can exist within Zion.
There are 7 landscapes, so to speak, included within the book: Nirvana, Zion, Avernus, Astral, Samsara, Jahannam, and Oblivion. Nirvana is the creation point, and no one in the books knows it except the King of Zion. Avernus is a gate plane. It exists to protect the other planes from one another. It is the space in between, where nothing and everything exists. Avernus is not the opposite of Oblivion, as Nirvana is. Instead, the realm is what I term a chaos realm, where things are broken into basic parts, striped away, mixed, and jumbled. Nothing, however, is destroyed. Matter and energy are simply in utter chaos. Thus, when a gate opens on that realm, it will overtake everything and scatter it. This prevents the danava and marditavya of Jahannam from attacking Zion directly. They simply cannot reach it, and that is likely because the greatest amount of order is nearest to Zion, so the chaos is stronger at that border, whereas it is much weaker at the fringe of Samsara and Jahannam. The gate is still strong, however. Danava expend a great deal of energy an ingenuity to break through to the lower realms and have so far reached as far as Astral.
Astral is uniquely positioned in close proximity to the Samsaran plane. Its landscape is also one of mental acuity, but it is so tightly wrapped with Avernus that the chaos seeps through, and without that sharpness, one could be lost forever wandering the interminable breadth of that world. It is what you dream it to be. Astral can also be manipulated into telling historical details, or opening gates into other realms below it. It is also very easily accessible from Zion.
Samsara is the universe of which we are familiar. This is where Earth rotates about its sun and humans live out their lives. It is the home of the history and reality we know. However, this land is locked into strict parameters woven into its creation. Although strange things can occur in Samsara, they are aberrations of otherworldly influence. In the series, you will find real places–you could visit any one of the places Dominic travels to in The Shadow Soul, within reason (because specific homes and shops don’t actually exist nor do they belong to the individuals occupying them). There are Ferries across the Channel, trains, France, German, Hungary, Budapest, and Esztergom. Ah, Esztergom. That’s a real Basilica! You could go there, and used to be able to go up on the roof where Maiel has her battle against Morgentus. You could look down and see gate of Jahannam opening below you as the skys stormily open to Zion and the second Conflict threatens to destroy everything.
The places you cannot visit in Samsara, however, are the worlds beyond Earth. There are many races out there, so distant. They inspired myths and legends on Earth, as their inhabitants are remembered, despite the masking, by some souls who wrote down fantastic tales. Alien worlds are yet beyond our reach and are of course written in fiction. That said, some of these other worlds reflect things we know or used to believe at one time about non-human intelligent life.
The next setting is the hellscape of Jahannam. Well, it is hell, but in this series it goes by its Islamic name. This is a dark, sunless world, barren but not lifeless. It is a prison, caked with the dust of the burning. When the conflict failed to gain certain factions the power they sought, they were cast out of Zion and denied the perpetual light that sustains all. A very faint glimmer, something on the level of moonlight is all that is spared them from a crack in the rock firmament. In this darkness, the danava partitioned their lands into provinces over which the leaders of the insurrection named themselves princes and bicker among each other, still attempting to fight the war they lost so long ago. They are are culture of utter darkness and evil. Psychopathy is their normal, and thus the terrain and the dwellings all reflect this. Those dwellings being the remnants of their Zionic creations, cast out with them upon sentencing.
Beyond Jahannam is the plane called Oblivion. It is as unknown as Nirvana, if not moreso. Nothing is believed to ever return from Oblivion. It is the undoing realm. This is the place atman (beings) fall to when there is no other recourse as to protecting all other beings from them. When a being is this terrible, and keep in mind that Lucifer is merely encased in an ice prison in the depths of Jahannam with the worst of his legions, it makes a great deal of sense. That particular attman cannot be healed, cannot be turned back to the light, cannot be staved off from wreaking havoc. It is what they are. Thus, they are cast into Oblivion to be unmade.
There is nothing in the realm of Oblivion. It is nothingness itself. Though this may seem quite similar to Avernus, one must keep in mind that in Avernus things are just in chaos but they can be brought back to their whole state prior to entering into the plane. There is no gate into Oblivion, either. It is only accessible by the jñanasattva (those like the king of Zion, who came there from Nirvana).
If you want to learn more about these worlds and what real places and fantastical places there are inside them, you will have to check out the series. This tiny blog post can hardly do it justice. There is a richness of detail that only story can impart.
Be sure to check out the places and worlds the other authors have written about for their part of the hop. Click on their links below…