Mordeland is a country that has been ruled for 470 years by the Morde Dynasty. Jacub Morde, the current Elect, rules through the Council of Morde, which is known simply as The Trilogy. The name is derived from the three pillars of ruling offices: The Office of the Land, the Office of Military and Enforcement, and the Office of Trade.

Over time, four Councils have evolved to support matters not well attended to by the big three, namely the Councils of Science, Education, People, and Magical Law. No one has sought to update the government’s name.

The nation is affluent and enjoys a predominantly peaceful existence. The Council of Magical Law sets the rules for how magic is used and taught by the mages within Mordeland. These mages are revered for their magical innovations that enhance the country’s prosperity yet feared for their formidable power.

The story begins in Haxley, a bustling market town experiencing growth in both prosperity and influence. Haxley is home to the headstrong Brylee Plainhand, a successful merchant and farmer who harbours a terrible secret.

The Mobi’dern

The Mobi’dern are a fierce group of female warriors who, for the most part, live in isolation from the rest of society. They mix with the outside world only to supplement their livelihood by hiring out their warriors in areas that need additional security.

To become a Mobi’dern warrior, clan members must pass four challenges to demonstrate their prowess with weapons and their physical endurance. They then need to bond with a prida—an animal companion with whom they can communicate and join forces in battle. Those who do not become warriors serve the clan through other efforts such as foraging, weapon making, and hunting.

Previously nomadic, the Mobi’dern settled in Mobi, a desert area that was unoccupied due to the harsh climate.

The Magic System

Some folks are content when a room illuminates at the flick of a switch, while others are curious about the electrical circuits behind it. Similarly, some readers adore magic that happens…well, magically, while others appreciate the underlying ‘science.’ I admit it, I like to peek behind the curtain, which is why Strands of Time and Magic began as much a magical concept as a plot. If you are a magic nerd like me, read on.

We do not meet a god in Book One, but the magical premise is that gods create a by-product when they perform their godly activities. This by-product, called naether, needs to be expelled from their space to ensure it doesn’t irritate the gods. Long ago, they created a process where naether is siphoned away as a raw material that is used to create worlds, and everything in them. Once these worlds are established, the continuing flow of naether becomes the energy of time, stretching from the world’s creation to push ‘now’ further and further forward. This river of time splits at the ‘now’ point into countless strands of time, each linking to a plant, animal, or person, to provide their life energy. As life forms burn this energy to survive, the pesky naether is finally dissipated and the gods’ problem solved.

Most people receive just enough naether in its energy form to fuel their survival, but a small number, with wider links, draw a little extra. With training, these few can use this surplus to perform magic themselves. A well-trained person is a mage. An untrained person with a small link is called a charmer.

As everything in the world is made from naether, an act of magic is an act of imposing one’s will on the naether in its energy form as it flows through you, to transform the naether already within the world in physical form into something else, by influencing its physical properties.

A first-of-its-kind rooftop pub , the Crow’s Nest is a popular location for visitors and residents of Haxley to gather. Unparalleled views, excellent fare, and the warmth created as a byproduct of the evercold in the warehouse below are a draw few can resist.