Stories from Mennistriam
An old herbwoman faces a choice between her responsibilities and a lifelong suppressed dream when her fellow villagers turn against her dearest friend, a travelling centaur.
A scalekin gets the chance to prove that he is who he, deep down, knows he is… provided he survives the ice-cold winter night.
Through an unusual job, a swordswoman finally comes across a clue to her unknown origins, linked somehow to the dragons that were eradicated long ago, but first she has to find a way to escape her client’s power over her.
The herbwoman, the scalekin and the swordswoman are the protagonists of what will be a novella, a short story, and a series of novels respectively. All three take place in the kingdom of Mennistriam, a fantasy setting that I’ve been working on for years. It is a country where the influence of dragons, eradicated centuries ago, is still noticeable in many aspects of the culture, where magical talent is an unexplained and feared phenomenon, and where it’s said that the souls of the deceased can influence life in myriad ways if honoured properly. It is also a country of inequality: between the ruling nobility and the peasant population, but also between humans and less successful peoples like the centaurs and scalekin, because everyone that isn’t human is at best distrusted and at worst viewed as nothing more than vermin.
With its history and cultures growing ever richer, the world of Mennistriam is a never-ending source of stories for me. It started years ago with the story of swordswoman Thaoryn, at the time in a barely furnished medieval fantasy setting. Mennistriam gradually evolved along the needs of the story into the world living in my head now, and it isn’t done growing yet. When new characters with slightly less epic stories appeared from the setting, I decided to use them to both practice my writing skills and work on the world in manageable chunks. It will still be some time before the first of these stories is available to read, but until then you can find previews and a look behind the scenes (in Dutch) on the Facebook page. The stories themselves will initially be written in Dutch, too, but I do plan to eventually have English translations.