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Rated: 13+ · Book · Fantasy · #2082336
The lives of three ordinary people in an extraordinary world.

Firstly, I apologise if the description is a little vague. I've never managed to work out an elevator pitch for this. I kinda like that I don't have a simplistic concept, but there are times when it proves awkward. Maybe I'll find a solution at some point.

Anyway, here's a slightly more in-depth premise: 'The Fourth Age' is a fantasy trilogy, with each book composed of three loosely-connected novellas. Each of the nine stories is about, essentially, a 'normal' person, some of the uncounted many who don't get involved in the usual destiny-shaking fantasy plots. It's in the same kind of vein as Terry Pratchett's 'Discworld' series, except without his emphasis on satire. Those novels aside, I think NPCs are a fairly unexplored area, and I hope you find this more...'down to earth', I guess, look at fantasy settings to be as interesting as it is to me.

There's a further element to this trilogy, one that won't be that apparent in this first batch of stories, but is still worth making a note of at this early point. Each book is set three centuries after the previous one, and between them they'll form a picture of a fantasy world going through an industrial revolution, eventually passing into something equivalent to our own modern age. This first book takes place in a typical late-Medieval-esque setting, though on the cusp of major changes, and the second and third books will advance into an Age of Sail variant, and then into a post-industrial, digital-led world. Again, this is an aspect of fantasy that I think is under-explored, most likely going back to Tolkien's 'nature good - industry bad' worldview. It's a belief I share, to an extent, but maybe there's something to be said for incorporating a more Elightenment-like outlook into the genre.

One final point before I let you get started: each of the three novellas in this book are intended to be published without chapter breaks. However, for the sake of ease, I'm going to post various sections as chapter-equivalents, although without titles or any of the other usual indicators.

Okay, that's enough from me. On with the show. I hope you enjoy it, and if you don't, please feel free to tell me what I've done wrong.

(Author's Note #1: as standard for fantasy, I've drawn a few maps to accompany the series. So far, there's only two, for the overall setting and the location of the first novella, but I'll add others once they become relevant. As I don't have and can't afford Premium membership, they're available on my profile, listed as "The Fourth Age: Planitis and "The Fourth Age: Southern Epernay . I'm not much of an artist, so excuse the shoddy penmanship.)

(Author's Note #2: the second novella, "Homecoming, already exists in short story form. I intend to substantially rework it once I get that far, but it should give you a good idea of what's coming.)
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