LynMiller has handed the blog post over to me this week. I’m taking a break from doing illustrations for Book2 of the Adamadas Chronicles (North of Himal), which follows the adventures of Kanan and introduces more creatures, characters and new places to turn into images. We hope North of Himal will be e-published in September. LynMiller is busy working on Book4.
This week I attended a special event – my friend Marilyn Wilson’s book launch for her work, Walking on Eggshells (http://www.yourchoicepublishing.com) which is about recognising emotional/psychological abuse in women, who are the major victims (70%) of this violence; physical abuse may also be connected to this crime. Marilyn is a counsellor with many years’ experience and she found that the accepted counselling methods simply ‘didn’t work’ in these circumstances. Through a series of enlightening events she discovered what did work and felt compelled to write about it in an easily understood and non-academic way that anyone can understand.
In LynMiller’s Adamadas Chronicles, abuse is part of the trials that its characters need to overcome in order to grow and attain their full potential. Abuse can never be dismissed or tolerated. It is a coward’s way to control others and is not limited to abuse against women and children; men can also be victims, usually in the workplace but also by women; children can abuse other children and some abuse their parents or other adults; some run in gangs and abuse those who cannot defend themselves. Abusers are very unlikely to change, though some can, and do. Many simply pretend for a little while – for victims it’s a bit like living as a piece of elastic that gets stretched and released so often that they lose all their vitality. It is the victim who must resist, escape and stop the abuse.
I highly recommend this little book. Yes, I drew the cartoons Marilyn wanted for it, but it is her insight and the real life anecdotes she uses (well camouflaged to preserve client confidentiality) that teach the reader to recognise warning signs in relationships. If you are ‘walking on eggshells’ around your guy, find a better guy! The same goes for guys trapped in relationships that cause them to ‘walk on eggshells’. Friends: support each other; don’t gossip or laugh it off. Be real friends.
Under Chaya’s rule, before the EndWar, Adamadan nations were thickly muddied waters. In some new nations, immigrants overwhelmed indigenous tribes and built new new social structures, and governments were based on law and order with at least a token adherence to ElWay. As they, refugees moved across tribal borders in their millions, seeking relief from poverty, disease and repression; each group had its own agenda, ones often incompatible with the culture of the nation they were entering. As those once prosperous nations buckled under the onslaught of increasingly divergent needs and demands, as cultures and tribes blended into a sort of grey, pluralist soup and wars broke out between nations, factions and beliefs, major powers desperately sought a united compromise that would offend no individual nations rights or feelings – a simplistic and naïve approach, doomed to failure. So they turned to global government with enforced cultural, economic and political standards, which offended everyone. The EndWar quickly followed.
Afterwards, with the population of Adamadas reduced from ten billion souls to less than a tenth of that, with Chaya’s rule ended and only the Tchata’as left to test those who would go on to eternity or to the dust towers in space, the El’b’ith of Adamadas moved the nations back to their designated lands. With much genetic mixing among the initial settlers, this was a time of angst and confusion yet they found their colours again and the vibrant cultures of their forgotten histories. Each tribe rediscovered its own glorious attributes and nations prospered and bloomed and respected one another.
By the time that Asha became Servant to the nation of Blue, Adamadan society, in general, was transformed. Each nation’s attributes delivered good to the whole planet. Cooperation replaced competition. ElWay replaced a plethora of unworkable human government systems. In peace El prospered each nation – deserts became productive, mountains were made habitable, forests grew and cleaned the air that ChayaWay had polluted, the vast oceans and the lakes and rivers and groundwater were cleansed. People lived as El had designed, in their own places that accommodated families and provided an inheritance for future generations, each one building on, not destroying, the work of their forefathers. Cities stayed small and productive. Nobody built wall-to-wall. Farms did not expand into monoculture but into diversity. Science was true and not dependent on agenda-funding. Medicine became a diminished profession, treating accidents instead of disease, but grew in educating people about health and healing. As Asha discovered, building and healing are far more satisfying, far more joyful, than ambition for power that causes deprivation and destruction.
Before Asha’s era, Adamadas had convulsed through centanos of turmoil and conflict. The pre-EndWar anos were filled with tyrants, greed and suffering and everything man tried to do to make their planet a better place failed because they followed the wrong spirit. Most would tell you, and they believed this themselves, that they followed only logic and reason but these were flawed because there were only two premises for thought on Adamadas – El or Chaya; human reason ignored El and was inevitably seduced by Chaya; very few chose El, though many thought they had… However they did not believe what he said but they believed the lies that Chaya skilfully inserted into their beliefs. And after him, the t’chata’a continued the deception. El allowed this in order to test those who claimed to follow him… if they were true they would never be deceived.
Before believing anything, the base or premise of our belief must itself be true. If we mix what is dirty with what is clean, the clean becomes dirty; dirt is never made clean except by completely removing it. Asha’s era was far cleaner than any era before it but still there were those who chose their own limited understanding over the wisdom of El and so corrupted those who were weak and brought war to The Land and to other nations. But El desires all humanity to be restored to his way and gives even the cruel and abhorrent time and opportunity to change, to choose life instead of death. In the end, El wins the hearts and minds of most Adamadans, but the journey is not easy.
The amalfa of Adamadas would be recognisable to people of Earth in this age. Many features are similar. Amalfa are the land animals of the planet. Like Earth’s animals, amalfa generally have four legs and two eyes. However, it is usual for them to have four ears and three nares or nostrils. Predators such as hanthas wear their nares stacked vertically along the nasal structure; herbivores such as jhepe have theirs arranged side-by-side at the tip of the nose; omnivores will exhibit a combination of both arrangements. Another feature of many amalfa is the rump flare which is used primarily for attraction display. Although the flare appears sharp and rigid when raised the filaments are lymph-filled sheaths, like enlarged hairs, and are soft to the touch; they can be emptied and lowered to form long, flattened, triangular ‘scales’ that lie neatly over the top of the rump. Some amalfa, such as the hari of Redlands (which you will meet in Book 3) have a crest, instead of a flare, that begins on the head and continues along the spine to the start of the tail. This display is for threat rather than attraction.
Colouration tends to be more vibrant than what we are generally used to in Earth animals with green, blue, purple and red not uncommon. Stripes, spots and combinations of both are also common. The famed Shuzh’Altira have a metallic look to their hides which makes them highly prized as riding amalfa. Shuzh’Arbs include a black variety with gold-orange stripes and white accents (manes, tails, flares) and these, too, are a popular breed.
RellimNyl began gathering information on the characters in the Adamadas Chronicles while working as a history research assistant at Alkebula University in K’nyika-Zambwe, the university headed by Kabaka Kalen who Asha meets at the Tenanoal Conference at The Edj when she is seventeen. RellimNyl’s careful research uncovered the stories behind the Chronicles and the maps and other graphics on this website which he gleaned from old school material, notably by Petya (Book 2, North of Himal, yet to be published at time of this writing) the daughter of Orien, Ganna Sh’rath of Zhahar in The Zhrebat. It is RellimNyl’s sketches and slides that illustrator Mavis Stucci has used to portay the creatures and characters of Adamadas.
Book 1 of the Adamadas Chronicles is available for purchase at Amazon, Kobo and Google Play. See Purchase page for links.