One of the people I’ve reached out to about editing my book asked if I could provide a synopsis of the story, which is something I immediately realized I have never done. So without further ado, for those of you who haven’t had the time to read the whole book, here is a 3,000-word synopsis of The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation, for your appetite-whetting pleasure.
Be warned: it is a complete synopsis, and gives away everything. Bear that in mind, please.
Part I: Tales by the Fire
Chapter 1: We Are Introduced to Erâth
The protagonist is born. The moment he is born, the house burns down around him, killing both of his parents. He is taken in by his grandfather, Reuel Tolkaï, who names him Brandyé Dui-Erâth, which means “Born from fire into the darkness of the world.” His grandfather lives in a town called Burrowdown, which is in the north of the land of Consolation. The people of Burrowdown are afraid of Brandyé because of the circumstances of his birth, and are wary of his grandfather, who left the land of Consolation in his youth – something unheard of.
Chapter 2: An Odd Journey
Reuel tells Brandyé the history of the world of Erâth, of which Consolation forms only a very small part. In the early days of the world there were seven races of power that lived alongside men. With the aid of these races the world of men grew fast and far – too far too fast, and subsequently fell into darkness and despair. The old world of men is long-lost and forgotten, and the races of power are gone. With the fall of men came the rise of Darkness, which now covers all of Erâth – except for Consolation.
That evening Brandyé is transported to a long-derelict city without understanding how, where he sees a decaying statue portraying seven great figures, and an ocean that tumbles off the edge of the world.
Chapter 3: A Tale of Blood and Battle
Reuel visits the local inn, The Burrow Wayde, with Brandyé, and is called upon to tell a tale to settle a dispute between two men. He tells the inn the story of the great war of Darkness, where the armies of Darkness from the west pitted themselves against the armies of Light from the east, who were nearly slaughtered by their might. The armies of Darkness had in their power great monsters and beasts, including terrible wolves that stood as high as a man, and were lorded over by the Demon Lord, whose blade could kill with but a scratch. The tale is dismissed by the inn’s patrons as fantasy, and Brandyé learns that not all of his grandfather’s stories are entirely true.
Chapter 4: The Wolf in the Distance
During a day playing in the moors behind their home, Brandyé sees a creature in the distance that frightens him greatly. Though at first he thinks it might be just a stray horse, he realizes that it is in fact one of the demon wolves from his grandfather’s tales, a fantasy made real just as he had imagined it. The wolf leaves him be, but his grandfather confirms his fears: he has seen a fierund – a beast-wolf of Darkness.
Chapter 5: Fever
Brandyé becomes ill from the cold of the day he saw the fierund. Despite Reuel’s care his fever becomes ever worse, and culminates in terrifying visions of fierundé. In the height of his illness Brandyé finds himself once more taken mysteriously away from his home, this time to a forest where he is beset by seven fierundé, and rescued by a terrible woman clad in black, who speaks to him in a language he does not understand.
Part II: Consolation
Chapter 6: Sonora
Elven begins to spend time with his best friend, Elven, in exploring the lands around Burrowdown, and they are secretly followed by Elven’s younger sister, Sonora. One day she is attacked by a group of vicious boys who are abusing a young falcon. She is rescued at the last moment by Brandyé and Elven, who suffer greatly at the boys’ hands. The falcon, however, is saved, and the two boys name it Sonora after the young girl.
Chapter 7: The Fortunaé
Elven and Brandyé heal the falcon, who had suffered a broken wing, and learn that together they are capable of things they would not have imagined possible. Not long after rumor spreads that the Fortunaé, the lords of the land, are to arrive in Burrowdown, and much preparation is made. However, when the Lord Garâth, head of the Fortuna household, arrives, it is with the company of his son – the leader of the boys who had attacked Sonora. The Lord Garâth is prepared to bring retribution upon Brandyé for harming his son, but is halted at the last moment by Reuel, who spooks his horses and sends them fleeing from the town.
Chapter 8: Elven Begins His Apprenticeship
In response to his humiliation, the Lord Garâth raises the taxes upon the town eight-fold, and the villagers begin to hate the Tolkaïs for their impudence with the lord. Reuel and Brandyé are forced to spend the winter in isolation for the town will have nothing to do with them. Brandyé learns during this time how to fend for himself, and Reuel teaches him to hunt with a crossbow.
When spring arrives again Brandyé ventures to Elven’s home, only to find that his friend has been apprenticed to a healer in the land’s capital of Daevàr’s Hut, many miles from their home, and he will not see him again for many years.
Chapter 9: The Road to Daevàr’s Hut
During Elven’s absence, Brandyé begins to spend time with Sonora instead, and together the two of them learn much of the world around them through exploration and experimentation. Finally after almost two years Reuel tells Brandyé that he has business in Daevàr’s Hut, and the two prepare to make the journey by coach to the great town. During the ride Brandyé learns more of the cruelty of the Fortunaé from the coach driver.
Chapter 10: Daevàr’s Hut
Upon arriving in Daevàr’s Hut, Reuel and Brandyé make their way to a small inn, where Brandyé learns that even in a town so many miles away he is known by some of the locals. Discouraged, he sets out into the town, and spends the day wandering the great market there. He is finally drawn to a knife-monger, where he finds a dagger of a deep black color, and is inexplicably drawn to it. As he is about to purchase it he is discovered by Elven, who encourages him to buy the knife if he wants it. The knife-monger is not happy about it, telling Brandyé that it is a “bad blade,” but allows Brandyé to take it.
Part III: Whispers in the Dark
Chapter 11: The Scythe’s Blood
Brandyé discovers that in his time in Daevàr’s Hut, Elven has become involved in a secretive group known as the Scythe’s Blood, who are plotting the downfall of the Fortunaé and the end of their cruelty. Persuaded by the stories he hears, and his own experience of the Fortunaé, Brandyé is convinced to join them, and plans to take their plot back to Burrowdown with him.
Chapter 12: Burrowdown in Darkness
Soon after Brandyé and Reuel return to Burrowdown the skies become clouded, and do not clear. At the request of Aiden, the leader of the Scythe’s Blood, Brandyé begins secretly painting their mark – an upraised scythe – on walls and doorposts around Burrowdown in the hope of inspiring some of the folk to begin to question the markings, the Fortunaé and their own safety. He also confides in Sonora, who joins him in his missions. One night they decide to leave a mark larger than any they had made previously, but are attacked by a pack of wolves whilst doing so. They are rescued by Farmer Tar, who to their surprise joins them.
Chapter 13: A Message from Elven
The Scythe’s Blood of Burrowdown, with the help of Farmer Tar, soon grows in number, but other than a common dislike of the Fortunaé, there is little more for them to do. Brandyé begins to visit The Burrow Wayde on his own, for Reuel has become tired and no longer ventures forth from their home. However, he finds it difficult to be accepted by the rest of the town, and often finds himself in fights with the local boys, now grown tall and mean. One night after a particularly nasty fight Brandyé receives a letter from Elven, borne by his falcon, Sonora, that he should join him in Daevàr’s Hut as swiftly as possible.
Chapter 14: The Constabulary of the Fortunaé
Brandyé discusses Elven’s message with Farmer Tar, who encourages him to visit his friend. Brandyé borows a horse and sets out, but is ambushed by Sonora, who is angry that he did not ask her to come with him. Reluctantly he allows her to come, and together they make the journey to Daevàr’s Hut. To his astonishment, when they arrive the town has been encircled by a great stone wall, and the constabulary, formerly little more than police, now appear to verily be soldiers at the defense of the town, and refuse them entry.
Chapter 15: The Scythe’s Plot
Brandyé and Sonora manage to sneak into the town without the constabulary’s knowledge, and make their way to Elven’s home with the healer, Sörhend. Elven is astonished but pleased to learn that Sonora is with his friend, and the following morning he leads them to a meeting of the Scythe’s Blood. Here, Brandyé learns that the previous leader, Aiden, is dead, and a new man – Eldridge – is in control, and appears to be more willing to condone violence. An innocent man, Faevre, is due to be tortured and exiled, and Eldridge outlines a plan to assassinate the Lord Garâth’s son during the trial, thus saving Faevre and ending the line of the Fortunaé in one blow. To his own shock, Brandyé lays forth his crossbow and volunteers to be the one to cast the fatal blow.
Part IV: Loss
Chapter 16: On the Eve of Death
Brandyé spends several days among the Scythe’s Blood, learning of how the plan will unfold and what role each member of the Scythe’s Blood is to play. He is to hide among the crowd, and at the moment he fires upon the lord’s son the rest of the Scythe’s Blood will cause a great commotion, distracting the lord from the fall of his son and the trial, thus allowing a moment both for Faevre to be freed, and for Brandyé to escape. Brandyé becomes ever more filled with dread at the thought of this upcoming murder, but remains resolute nonetheless, for he believes that Consolation cannot remain under the rule of such cruel people.
The evening before the trial, Brandyé is yet again taken far from his land, this time to a terrible, black place where he once more meets the woman in black. She shows him a great, dark tower set against black mountains and surrounded by rivers of fire, and speaks to him once more in a language of old that he does not understand.
Chapter 17: The Great Tragedy
On the morning of the trial Brandyé proceeds to the great square and witnesses the construction of the stage on which Faevre will be tried and tortured. He finds a vantage point on some steps high above the stage, but as the trial begins he is struck by horror: Faevre is shamed, stoned and branded with the Mark of the Outcast – a symbol inextricably linked for Brandyé to the Demon Lord from his grandfather’s tales of Darkness. Too late, he looses his arrow – and misses. The bolt plunges into the crowd, and in a moment of horror Brandyé sees that it did indeed strike someone: Sonora, who had snuck to the trial against her brother’s orders.
Chapter 18: Brandyé’s Retreat
Struck numb with horror and grief, Brandyé finds himself abandoned by Elven and the Scythe’s Blood, and alone in a town that is now hunting him as a murderer. Desperately, he seeks to flee, sneaking back out through the same tunnels he and Sonora had used to enter the town. To his relief Farmer Tar’s horse, Isabella, is still waiting for him, but as he begins to ride from the town, he sees to his horror that he is now being pursued by four fierundé. With his last arrows he manages to bring one of them down, and they allow him to escape.
Chapter 19: Reuel’s Departure
Upon returning to Burrowdown, Brandyé discovers that Reuel has taken ill. This is more grief than Brandyé can cope with and refuses to believe that Reuel might die, though Reuel himself appears at peace with this fact. Before his passing, Reuel tells Brandyé one last story: a tale of a man and woman long ago who loved each other deeply: something that no longer exists in all of Erâth. As Reuel breathes his final breaths, Brandyé realises that he loves Reuel, and that he loved Sonora, and that he is now utterly alone in all of the world.
Chapter 20: The Room Upstairs
Now that Reuel’s home is his own, Brandyé discovers a room that had hitherto been kept closed to him: his grandfather’s study. Within it he finds hundreds of documents, scrolls and maps, and several that his grandfather had laid out purposefully for him to read. One of these is a letter to him, explaining the purpose of this room; another is the story of how Reuel met his wife, Éalora. A third is a brief description of the influence of Darkness on the world outside of Consolation, and the final document is a letter from Éalora to Reuel, describing the wonders of her homeland beyond the borders of Consolation.
Part V: Banishment
Chapter 21: A Traitor is Pursued
Brandyé begins to settle into a solitary life in the home of his grandfather, keeping his distance from everyone and everything around him, until one day he receives an unsettling message from Elven: They are coming. As happy as he is to receive this from his friend, he is scared that he will be hunted down by the Fortunaé. He summons the courage to ask Farmer Tar to warn him if any of the constabulary appear in Burrowdown, and indeed not long after, they arrive on his doorstep. Brandyé escapes only just in time, and meets Farmer Tar some way from the town where he gives him a parting gift: Isabella, who can bear him to safety.
Chapter 22: Brandyé’s Trial
Brandyé rides into the woods far from Burrowdown, but it is too late: he is pursued, and captured. He is injured in the process, and survives the journey back to Daevàr’s Hut only with the aid of a healer in a local town on the way. For days he is tortured in the Fortunaé’s dungeons, before suffering the same trial that befell Faevre: shaming, stoning, and branding.
Chapter 23: Elven’s Last Words
Following his trial, Brandyé is put on display in a cage in the center of Daevàr’s Hut – a further shaming before his final banishment. Here he is tortured and abused by the townsfolk themselves, but on the final evening before his exile he receives a surprise visit from Elven. Elven’s words are comforting: though he cannot forgive him for the death of his sister, he would still consider Brandyé a friend.
Chapter 24: Exile
The day of his exile, Brandyé learns that he is not to be set loose outside the walls of Daevàr’s Hut like other criminals, but will be set afloat on the river Tuiraeth and sent out of the land of Consolation entirely. For this purpose he is tied fast to a boat, and with final ill words from the Lord Garâth he is cast off, set to float to his doom. That evening Brandyé makes a fourth and final inexplicable journey from Consolation, this time to a miserable plain by the edge of a black sea, where a great, broken bridge stretches out into the poisonous waters. Here he meets the woman in black again, but with her is a woman in white: Elỳn. Elỳn is able to speak to him, and translates for the woman in black: her name is Schaera, and she represents Death. They bring to him words of hope that he cannot bear to hear, and tell him that he will live, and he will be strong.
Chapter 25: The Ending of the Burrow
Brandyé passes onward along the Tuiraeth, past the point where the river Burrow (that which passes through Burrowdown) meets it, and onward into the gorges of the Perneck. Here, before passing from Consolation entirely, waits for him one, last terrifying sight: row upon row of fierundé, howling and wishing him the worst on his journey into Darkness and despair. Brandyé passes into the gorges, over the rapids and falls; his boat is smashed, and he finds himself stranded, alone on a gray beach by a black ocean, with nothing but loneliness and despair before him.