First, some housekeeping: Several authors are doing a blog-swap from July 28 to August 10 as a fun exploration of shape shifters and fantasy novels in general for the launch of my novel Gargoyle, which is book four in my Doublesight series. It’s also a standalone in case you haven’t read the other books.
Here’s the blog-swap schedule:
July 28 (Tues.): https://kandijwyatt.wordpress.com/ (Me on Kandi J. Wyatt’s site)
July 29 (Wed.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (Kandi J. Wyatt on my site)
July 30 (Thurs.): http://www.jonathangouldwriter.com/blog/ (Me on Jonathan Gould’s site)
August 1 (Sat.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (Jonathan Gould on my site)
August 2 (Sun.): http://michaelgmunz.com/blog/ (Me on Michael G. Munz’s site)
August 3 (Mon.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (Michael G. Munz on my site)
August 4 (Tue.): http://www.elisestephens.com/(Me on Elise Stephens’ site)
August 5 (Wed.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (Elise Stephens on my site)
August 6 (Thur.): http://davidmcovenant.com/?cat=1(Me on David Covenant’s site)
August 7 (Fri.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (David Covenant on my site)
August 9 (Sun.): http://sexyfantasyfiction.com/(Me on E.S. Tilton’s site)
August 10 (Mon.): http://www.terrypersun.com/#!blog/c23fy (E.S. Tilton on my site)
Join us for ALL THINGS FANTASY
Here’s David Covenant's post about changelings (similar, but not the same as shape shifters). Thank you for joining us. -Terry
by David Covenant
I just perused through Gargoyle this morning to get a feel for the type of beings and world Terry Persun spends time in. It took me a bit to figure out what and how Doublesight works, and I found it a fascinating concept. I’m going to ask him to explain it to me in more detail, so I‘m certain I understand the process correctly. These Doublesighters got me thinking about a group of people in the first world I created as a kid while playing Gary Gygax’s Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, a game that has shared and molded more of my life than any other influence, of which, there are many.
In that world, there are numerous types of beings, from angels to demigods, pegacorns to dragons, and giants to treants. I also have the usual assortment of humanoids: Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes, and the common genre monster races as well. But over the decades, I’ve created many of my own species and hybrids. One of these is similar in some ways to Terry’s Doublesights, they are commonly referred to as Changelings.
The Changelings aren’t themselves a species, but rather, more the result of a birthright or curse, depending on the point of view of the being who’s born with it. It is a random genetic link passed down from a race all but lost from Korrynth’s distant history dating back to the fourth age; an age known only by obscure references in far later texts.
There was a brief period early on when stars fell from the heavens, leaving behind great craters and lakes. For a mere two hundred full turns of Dragonkind, beings referred to only as The Strange Ones, mixed with the indigenous populations, for even back then, elves and dwarves and humans were present. Their offspring possessed amazing abilities and heightened awareness, but many, unable to control themselves, fell to great ruin along with those unlucky enough to have been near them. All of The Strange Ones themselves died quite suddenly, one moment alive, the next turning a chalky white before crumbling into piles of fine blue power. Where each pile rested, a sprout appeared from within it, these became the first of a species of tree later called Bronzewoods, or so the remaining pieces of texts suggest.
Changelings come from every walk of life and every humanoid specie above or below the plane of the world. Their one defining trait, the one thing that unites all changelings regardless, is their natural ability to transform themselves into one other nonhuman species at will—once they have learned to control it. They cannot choose what species they can change into, for that is preordained at conception. Most believe more than eighty percent of them die of one thing or another associated with their inability to control it, or others inability to accept them. The few that manage to discipline themselves remain deeply cautious, never revealing their true nature until meeting another. There is one inherent sense they all share. Oddly similar to elven recognition, it is a distinct variation of true sight. They know another instantly.
And so it came to pass that a group of these changelings decided to make a place in the world they could call their own, a place where all their kind were welcome, safe, and accepted; however, the powers that be, whether dark or light, have no intention of letting that happen.
The beginning of my first novel, Atolovus is set in this place, where Master-wizer Tau faces an impossible task with no one to help him complete it while the antagonist is bent on seeking his master’s destruction and elevating herself in the process. At the moment each attains their goal, their realities change forever, but not at all in the way they expected. Atolovus is currently in editing, and is the first installment of the series, The Arch of Quorydun.
Fantasy is the art of revealing probabilities in time and space of other worlds, and other dimensions, and other cultures and species, each evolving just as we are, learning about their own place in their pool of some distant galaxy. Somewhere, somehow, someone is writing a fantasy or science fiction story about our species, and our cultures, and our lives for the entertainment of their own people, and like us, most of them probably think it utterly false.
“In a distant galaxy on a small blue and white planet circling a yellow star,
a hairy species, called humans, walking upright on two of their
four limbs, were preparing for the last war with
an alien species living within
their moon. . .”