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Sunday 19 August 2018

Works in progress (2) - Floreskand: Prophecy

For many years the mythical land of Floreskand has been developed and expanded upon by its creator, Gordon Faulkner. He began during an extended stay in hospital, markedly influenced by Oriental culture, especially Chinese. In the late 1960s he started training in Oriental martial arts and after joining the RAF in the early 1970s, during his off-duty time he specialised in Chinese martial arts and Daoist philosophy. During his 22 year career in the RAF, he was one of the founders and General Secretary of the RAF Martial Arts Federation, a post he held until his retirement from military service, when he became a full-time Daoist Arts teacher. This resulted in extensive travel within Europe and North America where he was invited to run seminars and give lectures.


Gordon met me in Malta, where I was based with the Royal Navy. We both were involved in martial arts training, though Gordon was considerably more advanced than me! 

Me martial arts training in Malta, 1975
When he mentioned his mythical Floreskand, its characters, coinage, history, geology, religion and myths, I became intrigued.  So, in 1974 we decided to work on a series of novels set in this colourfully imagined land, and we settled on the pen-name Morton Faulkner. Not long afterwards, Gordon was re-posted back to UK.
These were the pre-computer days. I typed out the story on a portable Remington, with a carbon copy. We communicated by post. I’d write the story and Gordon would supply hand-written (and sometimes typed) background information. Out of this grew a 106,000-word fantasy novel, Wings of the Overlord, which had a few near-misses with a handful of publishers over the years...
Finally, in 2014 we found a publisher willing to take on the series, The Chronicles of Floreskand. Sadly, although we supplied the second installment on time, there were delays and problems in getting it published, so we amicably severed our ties. At this point, both by now getting a little long in the tooth, we determined to go it alone and self-publish. The first volume was revised and published as Floreskand: Wings and we promptly followed it with Floreskand:King, both in 2017.  This year, we completed the third book, Floreskand:Madurava and published it in May (in Floreskand, a madurava is a compass though it possesses arcane qualities too). We are now working on the fourth installment, Floreskand: Prophecy.
There are a number of recurring characters in the series. There’s Ulran, the mystical innman, Ranell his son, the despot King Saurosen, the Underpeople, also known as the Ratava, the wormlike schwarm, good and bad wizards and mages, ordinary soldiers, workers, tradesmen, generals, Aurelan Crossis, a soldier on a quest of vengeance, queens and powerful women, including Lorar, the kidnapped girlfriend of Ranell, destined for subjugation and humiliation at the hands of her tormentor, Epal Danorr… And of course there are maps – plenty of maps – and comprehensive glossaries.
Wings - Three disparate adventurers set out from Lornwater on a quest, Ulran, Courdour Alomar and Cobrora Fhord. Plagued by assassins, forces of nature and magic, they cross the plains of Floreskand, combat Baronculer hordes, scale snow-clad Sonalume Mountains and penetrate the dark heart of Arisa. Here they uncover truth, evil and find pain and death.
King - Lornwater city was ripe for rebellion against King Saurosen. Subterfuge, betrayal, conspiracy, greed, revenge and thirst for power motivate rich and poor alike. Muddying the fight are the Sardan mystics. At stake is the Black Sword, the powerful symbol that entitles the holder to take the throne of Lornwater.
Madurava - Lornwater's Madurava House signifies a change in the alignment of the sacred compass – pointing to the dunsaron. Also heading in that direction are the Ratava, the schwarm, Lord Tanellor, the daughter of Arqitor, Charja Nev, First-commander Nimentan Pellas, and almaturge Rait Falo, all destined for conflict... And we meet again Ulran, Ranell, Lorar, Epal Danorr and Watchman Dep.
The blurb for Prophecy reads:
As the events in Madurava unfold, Lornwater’s Madurava House undergoes a significant alteration in the alignment of its spirit statues, signifying the prophet is coming! Though it is not clear from which direction…
If there is any truth in the prophecy, then many of the city kingdoms of Floreskand will be shaken to their core.
Barely recovered from his ordeal in King, Aurelan Crossis sets out on a journey of vengeance against the deposed king Saurosen, which takes him into the midst of pilgrims heading for the Sacred Hills, where he will be sorely tested.
Bindar, a survivor of the strife in Wings, now trains mountain troops in Arion. In the Vale of Belet he comes into contact with the Haram Sect as well as a powerful fugitive from his past.
The ordeal for Lorar worsens as she is taken by her tormentor Danorr to Arisa…
The emperor of Tarakanda is faced with heightened political and religious tensions that threaten to destabilise the empire.
And Lornwater is still recovering from the civil strife, where factions of Remainers continue to threaten the life of the rightful king. Watchman Welde Dep finds his investigations bring him closer to Queen Tantian, risking the jealousy and enmity of the king.
The saga of Floreskand continues…
We hope to complete Prophecy this year (2018) and even move on to its successor, tentatively entitled Tarakanda.
Maybe writers who have hit proverbial brick walls with their works will be consoled by our experience. Many traits are required of a writer – and among them are perseverance and self-belief. Never give up!

More about Gordon:
He is a member of the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. In 1990 he had the first of what was to eventually become annual trips to China. These trips take students to study at the Beijing University of Physical Education (BUPE) and visit various research establishments, hospitals, temples, markets, bars, etc. He is the Principal Instructor of the Chanquanshu School of Daoist Arts which he founded in 1983; it now has in excess of 300 registered students. At a ceremony held at BUPE he became Ru Shi Dizi (an outstanding and close disciple) of Professor Zhang Guangde, the creator of Daoyin Yangsheng Gong which is a part of the Chinese National Fitness Program. And at a Ba Shi ceremony in a temple on Mount Wudang, Central China, he was initiated as a 15th generation Wudang Boxing disciple of Daoist Master You Xuande. He is the author of Managing Stress with Qigong. Gordon and his wife, Maria have two children and six grandchildren and live in the Scottish Highlands.

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