Shine Cycle Outline: Second Arc, Part 3

The second arc of the outline of the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation, continues (see the first and second parts of the arc), with one more main-series planned novel and a subseries and additional novel planned to cover in more detail events it will only mention.

The Longest War: After peace is imposed in the end of Universe, it stands uneasily for a few decades. About a decade after the end of the last war, the Shine and Wild Empire invents an application of the spider-ships to warfare, the Spider-Bombardier. With this new invention it gains the ability to enforce one of the terms of the peace, a decree prohibiting the Dragon Empire from producing or using certain military technologies, and from avoiding proving its compliance. This decree, and the military might enforcing it, is challenged a few times, but the peace holds, except for the “unicorn incident” (below). Eventually the Dragon Empire moves the space station that holds its headquarters, and when the Bombardiers monitoring it move along with it, the Dragon Empire starts the war.

The war is the Second Interuniversal War, but the (tentative) book title was chosen because the war is so long. The Dragon Empire, as usual, attacks and besieges isolated targets all over, including New Herculanaeum, a major planet in the New Roman Empire, and the APOGAL headquarters. Brilliant maneuvers directed by Cadwallader, who happened to be passing through, lift the siege of New Herculanaeum, and he leads the New Roman space navy to lift the siege of his allies’ headquarters. In what becomes known as the “Battle of Lightning,” he turns that siege into a siege of his enemies’ headquarters in little more than the time it takes to traverse that distance. Soon thereafter, Gondolor, the Dragon Empire’s second-in-command is captured, but he escapes; repeated captures and escapes underlie succeeding events but are covered in detail elsewhere (again, see below). A few times the Dragon Empire pulls its forces together and makes a stand, only to be scattered; those are called the Battles of High Powers. After that, the story intertwines for a while with the end of Earth’s history—my idea of how that might play out is under a great deal of flux at present. But the final defeat of the forces there allied to the Dragon Empire allows the Shine and Wild Empire and its allies to impose peace again.

In the “unicorn incident,” the Dragon Empire makes its usual attack-by-proxy on unicorn country. The Shine and Wild Empire objects, but as the Dragon Empire disclaims responsibility, intervenes in force. The Dragon Empire then objects, but is reminded of its earlier denial of involvement. In a short war, the colony of evil dragons is finally wiped out.

Gondolor’s repeated escapes from captivity and recapture form a subseries tentatively called The Game of Life. (The conceit that explained that title will almost certainly not end up in the final story, so I need a better title.) Most of the times he escapes, he heads for Earth, where he tries in various ways to make trouble—in the first planned novel, The Invasion, for example, he steals the just-completed research to adapt humans into something approximating werewolves, builds a force of them, and tries to conquer Earth. This is the First Battle of Earth. There are ten such “battles” in all, each given its own planned novel; I’ll describe them in more detail in a separate post.

The Battles of High Powers may also be described in more detail as separate stories; I originally intended them to end up as a collection of short stories, but I don’t think I can do anything that short very well. (We’ll see.)

The next segment of the outline concludes the second arc.


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