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New chapters in Malicious Designs

Yesterday’s chapter was the last one for book six, Zealots and Ascendants. If you’ve been reading along, I hope you enjoyed it. I had a blast writing this one, and for part of the story at least, I wasn’t sure I could successfully extract everybody from the mess I dropped them in, but it all fell into place in the end. I also learned some new things about how cadres work that I wasn’t expecting.

As a result of this book, I’m also building a much stronger picture of why Ethan stays in Rasan City to help Obdurin, despite everything we know about how much Ethan hates the gods.

The next book, The Mad God’s Playground, starts on Tuesday and picks up Avril’s story a couple of days after we left him at the end of The Bastard Cadre.

In the meantime, I’ve added four new chapters to Malicious Designs (book one) and made some slight tweaks to the rest of the chapters in that book. Even with the new chapters the outcome of the story doesn’t change, and the tweaks are mostly me playing with the language and layering in a new detail about the economics of post-cleansed Rasa. The Cleansing didn’t just kill most of the people in Rasa, it also wiped out the continent’s ability to produce food, and survivors (in the wasteland) survive on packaged food and nutri-vials that were produced before the Cleansing.

The new chapters I added are:

1.13 Any Port in a Storm

1.14 Precautions

1.15 The Job

1.51 Mutually Assured Destruction

The first three occur just after Avril first meets Zin. With the updates Avril assumes Zin’s erratic behavior is due to suns stroke, and, where Zin previously put Avril to sleep as soon as they get into his car, now Avril dodges Zin’s touch and tries to find somewhere safe to leave her. She still puts him to sleep after the new chapters and the story continues as before.

The fourth new chapter occurs just before the final chapter. On re-reading the story, the conclusion felt a little too easy, not quite dues ex machina, but close enough that I wanted to add some wrinkles and make things a bit harder for Avril and his new friends.