Tag Archives: First Empress

First Empress – End of the Prologue

End of the prologue. A nice little twist.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

So here’s the ending of the prologue to First Empress. Originally the prologue ended with Viarra confronting her uncle at the end of scene 5, but later I had an idea that I hope puts an unexpected twist on Viarra’s character. It’s a short scene that doesn’t even include Viarra, but hopefully it opens up some interesting implications about the novel’s world. As always, any feedback is welcome!


“Come to gloat, General Derron?” Duke Elladan accused as the general dismissed the guard outside his cell.

Derron waited for what Elladan suspected was long enough for the guards to be out of earshot before replying. “No, in fact I came to thank you,” the general replied, tossing a wineskin into the cell. “Believe it or not,” he continued, “you saved me a great deal of time and effort. You did what you saw as necessary for our people, and, despite…

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First Empress Prologue, (scene 5)

We see just how tough Queen Viarra really is.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

Scene Five of the prologue is where I first get to show readers how tough Queen Viarra is. I imply it in scene 2 when Lady Synnis tells Ronnius about how her majesty slew five armed hoplites by herself, but it’s the following scene where I show readers just how freaking tough she is. Critically wounded, Viarra still makes a showy public appearance when her soldiers apprehend her uncle who sent soldiers to murder her brothers. She does this to show her people what she’s suffered while fighting for them. She seeks to inspire them to keep on fighting for their homes and families, despite her uncle’s treachery and the death of their king.

Too, I’m establishing here that while her uncle’s betrayal was the catalyst for her ascension to the throne, he is not one of the primary antagonists in the story. She confronts her uncle, the soldiers side…

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First Empress Prologue (scene 4)

First Empress Prologue Part 4! Queen Viarra and her supporters discuss some of the brutal realities of the world they live in.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

Shoot. So I figured out yesterday that I completely forgot to post the remaining scenes from the First Empress prologue to SSH. Sorry about that. I’ll post the rest today and tomorrow.

So I lied in my intro to scene 1, there’s actually six scenes in the prologue, I just divided them up into five posts. This scene features Queen Viarra talking shop/politics with Ronnius after the physician, Esset, finishes bandaging her. Ronnius was originally one of the characters I’d considered as a significant other to Viarra, before she and Elissa came out to me as lesbians. Instead of Ronnius’s rescue of the title heroine in the prologue leading to an eventual relationship, Queen Viarra rewards Ronnius by making him her kingdom’s steward when she’s away. As always, any feedback is most welcome. (Scenes 1, 2&3)


Ronnius wasn’t sure how long he’d been asleep when Esset quietly…

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Yet another MJ Barros Commission

Another portrait of Dubiousbyhabit’s Queen Viarraluca, from the upcoming fantasy novel First Empress, looking thoroughly awe-inspiring. Portrait is, once again, by MJ Barros, whose skills also remain awe-inspiring.

And I do recommend checking out “Portrait four”. It’s just as NSFW as Dubious warns, but it’s also beautiful.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

Queen Viarraluca

“I’ll admit you’re not at all what I was expecting, your majesty. At worst, I was expecting you to be another intelligent, powerful, ambitious ruler, like myself or Queen Sita: yet another damned rival to vie for power with. Instead you’re something far worse. You’re… power and intelligence made manifest. You’re something neither Sita nor I could hope to attain. And it’s likely I’ll spend the rest of my life praying you never find cause to come south and take my empire from me.”
—Emperor Orvandius, reigning Hegemon of the Empire of Pellastor

So I commissioned the lovely MJ Barros for a fifth portrait from my novel. Portraits 1, 2, and 3, I posted to Sartorially Smart Heroines, but portrait four was a little too NSFW for the blog (MJ posted it here if anyone is interested and not at work or school). MJ gave me two…

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Another MJ Commission

Another beautiful picture of two prominent characters from Sartorially Smart Heroines’s novel First Empress. I think I may need to get in touch with this MJ character.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

zahnia_pella

“These girls have done a great service to the Order; if you have any shred of decency, please see that they are treated fairly and protected from those who would further harm them. Pella, the older girl was dissected and given four arms by her captors, while Zahnia, the smaller girl, has a stone placed next to her heart. These girls have been tortured and violated in ways that none of us can even imagine. I want to ensure that they are loved and protected for the rest of their lives.”
—Professor Ellid, from his final letter to the Order of Dallorn

Zahnia and Pella from my novel First Empress. Both girls sadly were experimented on by madmen—some ancient-world equivalent to mad scientists/evil wizards. Pella was given extra arms by her captors, while Zahnia had a magic stone placed next to her heart that prevents her from aging. Both…

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