It’s been about a year since the last time I put out a free story. This one works because it just doesn’t work anywhere else. Seasons Change, the first of my “Othersides” series, is now available on my Patreon.
The rest of this post will contain Otherworld spoilers, so be warned.
Othersides will cover characters, events, and locations not necessarily present in the main series. This first entry focuses on the time of the Altea, the mythical heroes so prominent in the Otherworld saga. They’re in their final era, a time of decline that has seen them grow fewer. Secrets of the old days have been lost. Earth, their Old World home, is but a distant memory.
Apa Nateya is the primary protagonist of this tale. If you’re an Otherworld reader, you’ll recognize him better as Apantei, bringer of writing, but this is the real deal, not the demigod everyone said Sara was descended from. He’s a writer, a historian, and a linguist. His friend and sometimes lover Anye Akih (Aneiki) wishes to leave the underground research facility of Ramo Tolaa (Tecte Viralat) to instruct the local camps and villages of the Perin, the forefathers of the Virissea, in metalworking, effectively kicking off their Bronze Age. Nateya follows along, as he has much more experience dealing with the Perin on their own terms.
Farther down the river, Kiimas Chahin has been investigating a curious pattern in the weather. It’s warmer now, and he can’t figure out why. As the People prefer the cold, this is obviously troubling, and it only becomes more so when he visits Baaloda Town and finds that it is under threat from the Sunborn.
Baaloda Town is, of course, Saalec, the center of Otherworld action. And the Sunborn are the Arassea, who appeared as early as Written in Black and White. Our characters in the present day know that they led to the downfall of the Altea, conquering the lands west of Saalec, but now you get to see how that all began.
This story wasn’t the most fun to write, I’ll admit, but it was one of my favorite to build. The research and the general feel just made it great, and I indulged in the desire to hide a few connections. An astute reader will find them all.
I hope you enjoy Seasons Change, because I’d really like an excuse to write more stories in this vein. Otherworld remains my favorite setting by far, and I want the chance to explore it in greater depth. So pick up the first Othersides story and tell me what you think. And remember: keep reading!