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Andrew Shields
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I am an RPG game designer and artist.
I am an RPG game designer and artist.

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Saint Suran, Factuals attested to Inspector Flywin, Bridge Tower Station, winter 846

He didn’t grow up on the streets, he grew up in the back workrooms of Ink Lane shops. He devoured the sensational and lurid accounts of criminals and their philosophies, worshiping powerful figures who could rise above and beyond the law. He was one of those well-fed and plump-faced kids who would talk in awe about The Life and Crimes, if you know what I mean. He ached to be cool, to grow into the image.

Sometime around puberty he got the biography of Lye, the Iruvian assassin—I think it was called Lye and Truth. For a whole month he reverently recounted this story from the book to everyone he met. Lye was talking to an Inspector who was grilling him about a murder weapon during Lye’s music lesson, and Lye insisted that he didn’t care about the weapon; anything could kill if you become a weapon. The Inspector scoffed at him, so Lye jammed his piccolo through the lawman’s eye socket.

Bored with the brat’s lust for shock value, his uncle said he could be a murder weapon—he could be a piccolo. It stuck because the kid adopted it, all “hell yeah I’m a piccolo murder weapon.” This was an early example of his stubborn refusal to let people shame or praise him; that’s the core of his character, and the reason I let him into my crew. If he lives, I think he could really make something of himself.

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From “Deadly Ideas and their Echoes” by Dr. Nuss Tyvaria

Violent rebellion needs thinkers to give shape to the dissatisfaction of the people. One of the great inflammatory ideologies was ‘excessive dependency,’ provided by Dr. Hope Brahdell. In this view of history, humans were optimized to be independent with chosen dependencies. Civilization built on trading independence for safety and comfort forced humans to overspecialize and be plunged into dependence on their rulers and experts for survival.

During the Smorton Uprising of 618, saboteurs intent on forcing citizens to revert to prime dependency blew up the lightning wall generators around Nightmarket. A tide of ghosts rushed in, drawn by the hot blood of the living. The slaughter underscored the helplessness of the modern individual bereft of technology, specialists, or aristocratic protection. At the time, Nightmarket had become the last stop of the desperate, and the district was overcrowded with starving paupers. We will never know how many thousands died.

What we do know is that incident revealed a growing endorsement of ‘excessive dependency’ among the cruelest aristocrats, who adapted the idea to suggest that those who could not provide a level of independence through offering value should be exterminated. And so the horrific question lingers; was the Smorton Uprising triggered by rebels trying to issue a wake-up call to a slave population? Or was it a purge of the city’s neediest parasites by the aristocrats?

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Hey, here's a free look at the first chapter of the third Doskvol novel! I just started it.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/third-novel-24112625

The first novel is out there for sale (except trying to fix a glitch so the ebook will work.) The second novel is going through editing and will be out in a couple short months. And I'm started on the third.

This first chapter takes a quick look into the heroic life of a young Inspector determined to bring a brutal crew of scoundrels to justice. How do you like his odds?

From “The Bruised Tide” by Arlen Slane

The wide-spread misconception that the Bluecoats work for the Inspectors is understandable. They are housed together, they both stop criminals, and they are both funded by the city. The most prominent trait they share is that they will brook no disrespect. If they cannot punish the insolent with the law, they will handle matters otherwise and hide behind the law.

Still, their difference is foundational and pervasive. In the end, the Bluecoats are charged with keeping the peace and protecting the wealthy. The Inspectors are charged with solving crimes and punishing law-breakers. Only a fool would confuse the two mandates.

So I'm looking at potential titles for my next novel, and just for a giggle I put in "Stabs and Stitches."

What?!

Nothing?!?

"Stitches and Stabs."

HOW HAS THIS NOT BEEN USED YET!?!
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Silk and Silver is the first novel set in Doskvol. A raid on the Grinders gets greedy and goes sideways, splitting the River Stallions crew. Can Saint, their leader, forestall a gang war with the Skovs? How far will he go to protect his crew?

This novel unpacks how Blades in the Dark looks from a fictional perspective, echoing the rules and inviting you in as a tourist with a front-row seat for skullduggery in Silkshore.

“I built the anvil and stoked the fire, but Andrew has drafted and forged his own blade here, and it is a keen one.” - John Harper, creator of Blades in the Dark.

You can get it today in paperback or hardcover, and there are Lulu coupons: LKAB317CD for 15% off and ONESHIP for free ground shipping. They stack together!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/andrew-shields/silk-and-silver/paperback/product-23886339.html

http://www.lulu.com/shop/andrew-shields/silk-and-silver/hardcover/product-23886627.html

Mirror and Bone is the second novel, and its first draft is completed and available to my patrons. This month, I'll start the third novel. So, this is a great time and a great way to slip into the shadows and see some rogues at work.

https://www.patreon.com/andrewshields

https://wordpress.com/view/shieldsuppublishing.wordpress.com
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Silk and Silver is the first novel set in Doskvol. A raid on the Grinders gets greedy and goes sideways, splitting the River Stallions crew. Can Saint, their leader, forestall a gang war with the Skovs? How far will he go to protect his crew?

This novel unpacks how Blades in the Dark looks from a fictional perspective, echoing the rules and inviting you in as a tourist with a front-row seat for skullduggery in Silkshore.

“I built the anvil and stoked the fire, but Andrew has drafted and forged his own blade here, and it is a keen one.” - John Harper, creator of Blades in the Dark.

You can get it today in paperback or hardcover, and there are Lulu coupons: LKAB317CD for 15% off and ONESHIP for free ground shipping. They stack together!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/andrew-shields/silk-and-silver/paperback/product-23886339.html

http://www.lulu.com/shop/andrew-shields/silk-and-silver/hardcover/product-23886627.html

Mirror and Bone is the second novel, and its first draft is completed and available to my patrons. This month, I'll start the third novel. So, this is a great time and a great way to slip into the shadows and see some rogues at work.

https://www.patreon.com/andrewshields

I feel like this is pretty good exposition for a closing chapter.

From “Six Essential Techniques for the Indispensable Tutor” by Professor Ara Dalaasia

History lends a veneer of inevitability to the past. Education is a large part of this, as we are taught in a context of getting answers correct, memorizing key facts that mattered about the outcome, and naming influential figures. As I prepare young minds for politics, I present history across two sides; what could have happened, and what did, in the end, occur. I feel it is critical for the minds that will shape our future to understand that the swirling mass of successes and failures upon which decisive events rest could have produced other outcomes that would seem equally unavoidable. I teach them to distrust certainty, interrogate inevitability, and consider alternatives. Only then can the news of the day connect with interpretation of the past—only through the diaphanous veil of ‘what could have been.’

From “Disambiguating Scholarly Speculation in Akorosian Linguistics” by Professor Lativan Smek

Look, if you don’t have an academic theory to push or an image as a proper grown-up expert to defend, it is perfectly reasonable to accept the common understanding of how Doskvol got its name. The Skov kingdom built the mine and called it “The Skov’s Coal” and that translates to “Doskovol.” The extra “o” in the middle was dropped along the way to common usage.

Pinning down the origin of the nickname “Duskwall” is even simpler, as it stems from a single point of misunderstanding compounded by lack of correction. In the 380s, the Dagger Isles were expanding their trade routes in lock step with their improved shipping hulls and rigging schemes. Under the Sail Sultan, Lord Masaath, a daring cartographer named Sirinaav Kraylatha was given a golden statue with the dimensions and likeness of each of his family members in exchange for an authoritative map of the Void Sea and its interruptions. His occult charting techniques were fiercely accurate, in contrast to his grasp of Akorosian. He wanted the Dagger Isles charts to be unique, so he bypassed the Akorosian name for the port (North Hook) and penned in “Duskwall.”

People normalizing that nickname are signaling that they were influenced by the criminal underclasses. The nickname only got purchase among those who dealt extensively with Dagger Isles nautical types, and the main reason to do that was the smuggling of luxury items.


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