A few weeks ago I posted a short summary of the main plot of the Shine Cycle. That brief outline is too general for any real understanding, so I’ll go into more detail now, organizing the history primarily by the novels I plan to write. The first arc, the subject of this post, is mainly a series of wars between the Dragon Empire and Vaynaheim.
(The titles are links to more extensive treatments of my plans for the books in question, written much later than this post.)
Vayna: This book is about the beginning of the universe’s history, which is primarily what is called the War of the Rebellion. It begins with that universe’s sort-of-equivalent of angels; several of them, led by Tashere, rebel and fight a war against the remainder, the Vaynar, in which both sides use nature itself as their weapon.
When they can no longer fight, the rebels occupy a large section of the western continent, which becomes the Dragon Empire, and the Vaynar build a country, Vaynaheim, on the western edge of the world, where there is the Gate to their Master’s Halls. Over the next few years, humans colonize the continents (coming from the east and through portals from other worlds).
Given the subject matter of this book, and that I do not have the right tone (as Tolkien had) to do it justice “straight,” my current idea for it is to make it a story that a street musician is telling sometime later on in the future. Perhaps making some or all of it in verse. We’ll see.
The Dragon Wars: I plan for this novel to cover two wars, the First and Second Wars of the Dragon. The Dragon Empire invades Vaynaheim, destroying its primary defense but retreating when the Vaynar counter by invading the Dragon Empire. In the interlude, two Vaynar are sent to what becomes the Sunshine Kingdom in preparation for much later events.
The Dragon Empire invades Vaynaheim again, stirring up the nomadic tribes in the “barbarian country” to its north to complicate matters, and besieges the capital of Vaynaheim, but is again forced to retreat when the Vaynar and some of the nations of Men (and other races) again invade the Dragon Empire. The Vaynar form an alliance with those other countries, and the alliance occupies the island to the south of the Dragon Empire that controls its main harbor. After the Dragon Empire fails to break that siege, there is peace of a sort for several years. In the peace, the Sunshine Kingdom is formed when a Vayna named Lord Royal gives it a Charter.
Anarchy: Not everyone in the Sunshine Kingdom is happy with the government given by the Charter, and various malcontents form the Revolutionary League, dedicated to overthrowing the government. They bomb the Parliament Building; the League is declared illegal, and a short war between the League and the Kingdom’s government ensues. Unfortunately, the League is not utterly destroyed, and it will crop up at inconvenient moments in future books.
The Dragon Returns: This novel will deal with the Third War of the Dragon. The Dragon Empire, having built up its strength again (and developed a few other harbors), invades Vaynaheim again—or tries to. It makes unsuccessful assaults on each of Vaynaheim’s main defenses, and then settles down in a siege around the whole country. The Sunshine Kingdom and the rest of Vaynaheim’s allies go to Vaynaheim and force the Dragon Empire to lift the siege, but after retreating from there the Dragon Empire besieges Capitol, the capital (and primary seaport) of the Sunshine Kingdom. The allied armies return and relieve the city, but the king of Sunshine Kingdom, Sir the Good, is killed in battle. The Dragon Empire’s army retreats, but on reaching its own ground it stands and holds, and there is uneasy peace for a decade or so. A new king of Sunshine Kingdom, Herald the First, is elected according to the Charter, but for the next decade his descendants merely take his place without elections, as tension with the Dragon Empire grows.
Alternate Universes: Jon Royal, the protagonist of Sunshine Civil War, is knighted near the middle of the uneasy peace and for his required period of questing leaves the world entirely; this series of stories and perhaps novels tells the tales of his various quests. This series is where I can put all the stories I want to write about “what if such-and-such historical event happened like so-and-so instead?”, or set in some other author’s world.
Sunshine Civil War: Herald the Fourth, rightly called “the Evil,” the third king of Sunshine Kingdom to ascend without election, is impeached and removed from office but refuses to give up power, forcing a civil war. Worse, he invites the Dragon Empire to send troops to support him.
Until this point, Vaynaheim has been the primary opponent of the Dragon Empire, and the Sunshine Kingdom has been merely a supporting member of the coalition; after it stands almost alone against a large force from the Dragon Empire in this war the Sunshine Kingdom takes Vaynaheim’s place, marking the transition to the next arc.