OK, here you are, a shiny new thread. Go over to Closed Circle and download Gold In Arderin, a .pdf file. If you have any problem with .pdfs, let me know. Since prepping all those formats takes 4 hours, I opted to use just the one format on this one, which will see many (I hope) changes and revisions, and I don’t want to spend 4 brain-bending hours on each change. [Legal note, which is in case somebody ever wants to raise the issue: Obviously this is my story, and any ideas of yours that happen to pop up in here are donated to me free of charge, by virtue of your putting them here, so you acquire no claim on the story or any version of it ever to exist. And it is my copyrighted story, second point: my name is on it. 😉 I’ll add some nice legal language, just to say the requisite legal words and make sure everybody who may ever arrive here understands the situation.]

Now. Have some fun. Read the story. So where do YOU think it’s going? Got an opinion?


  1. bostonmargy

    Interesting story. I got caught up in it and particularly enjoyed the interplay between personal security and mental manipulation. The Master manipulates Casim via Casim’s own needs and desires. Then Casim turns the tables and does the same back to the Master. The story has a bit of “The Thief of Baghdad” to it, a rags to riches inclination. I get the impression Casim is going to end up on top. What if you threw in something to counter this expectation? What if the story does NOT turn out the way we think it will? Just a thought!

  2. tyr

    It just ended and now we don’t know what’s coming next
    except for tantalizing hints. (ver 2)

  3. rollingstone

    As always, I’m running behind everyone else in throwing in my two cents–apologies! I was also surprised that Casim was as old as he was–10 or 11 seems more appropriate to his relative innocence. And he has some nice morals which seem to contradict being raised in a brothel, although certainly some of the prostitutes would have taken a motherly interest in teaching him his manners. I don’t agree that a love interest is needed–doesn’t seem like that kind of story, and the poor boy has enough to contend with. Given his current age, though, his hormones are in the ascendent and likely to be a factor at some point. As for point of view, I would like to see some of Master’s internal dialogue. We could certainly get some background history out of that as well as learning more of Master’s true character–without revealing his ultimate motives. I rather like stories with several points of view, otherwise it gets a bit claustrophic. For story development, I can see the boy Casim having a variety of adventures, of course, as well as a lot of self-doubt (of course!). It seems like a coming-of-age story, insofar as his personal growth into resposibility and manhood. I think he has to master whatever magic he holds within before he can become who he truly is. Seems like the Dukedom, in that case, would be just a stepping stone toward magicianship and he’d be looking to install an heir as soon as possible. Perhaps in the end, the story would come full circle and Casim would be lurking in basements, practicing wizardry and seeking out an heir to his throne! (I jest . . . )

  4. purple_reading_giraffe

    I read both versions. I liked the first version better in most places, though that could be because I read it first. Casim seemed less innocent in the second, a bit less honest; I think the first version reminded me more of ‘new’ Tristen, perhaps. In that case, making Casim more different might be better (that is, the second version). I do think I preferred the ‘badness’ of the Duke being less obvious at the beginning, though.

    I find the story very interesting and look forward to more. I would truly enjoy more fantasy by you. I do hope half the 4 grandfathers get a sex change in the meantime, though 😉

  5. rollingstone

    I think the story has potential, that’s for sure. (No, Purple, I’m not following you around–it just seems that way!)

  6. kiloecho

    I am really wanting something new and different from Cj Cherryh, so I hope this project gets a green light from SOME publisher! A new fantasy would be REALLY great.

  7. CJ

    Thank you—and check out Seeking North, where we have several of us in one sandbox.

  8. kiloecho

    I just had a few thoughts. It’s amazing how often this story keeps coming up in my mind.
    As readers we seem to be heavily invested in Casim. Is this going to be a true bildungsroman, or much more of a straight-forward adventure? If Casim dies, does the story end? Perhaps, he is the one on which Master is pinning his plan of overthrow. I think it would be super interesting to have a trilogy where book 1 is written from Casim’s POV, book 2 from Das’ POV, book 3 from Master’s POV. At the climax of the story we get to see the final confrontation of Master & Casim versus the Duke and snake-priests through the eyes of Master, more secrets revealed through his thoughts. That could be really cool.
    There has to be some other writer that has some something similar without resorting to the George RR Martin style of a bazillion POVs.

  9. gk werner

    What a Johnny-come-lately I am! Thoroughly enjoyed the story. Is there more now? Hope to purchase the book soon.

    What if across town another pair (snake-priests) are preparing another youngster (a girl — her POV?) to replace the duke once they eliminate him? And they are thoroughly convinced she’s the only true heir. Maybe she is and in the end she rules and Casim is her magician/counselor. They could evolve as enemies/friends/co-conspirators/lovers. Or maybe they’re siblings.

    Thank you for years of wonderful storytelling — three bookshelves full!

  10. Robert Carroll

    Neat. I’ll check it out.
    (This is also my first post as a new member)

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