The god of dreams has fallen silent; the goddess of nightmares ravages Egira. Her spawn, the towering, indigo-skinned Vleth, conquer the land and pervert its culture. Women wield exclusive power and men are slaves. Those who worship the god of dreams await death, entombed in underground catacombs.
Joran, the leader of a small resistance group, discovers the Vleth plan to murder hundreds of prisoners in a fiery ritual. He races against time to prevent the massacre. But the Vleth hunt down and kill his followers, until he has only a desperate young woman, a naïve ambassador and the beautiful but unreliable seer Taeja to help him. The Vleth command a ruthless army and are backed by the goddess herself…
Goddess Fire is based on a Dungeons & Dragons adventure I created for my friends Sandy Tomc and Nicola Nixon in 1999. Although none of the novel’s main characters except for Luryza appeared in that dungeon, the setting, culture and races were all the same, as was the premise. The Vleth had conquered Egira, created the New Order in which women ruled and imprisoned the Sylvani (although they were elves in the D&D version.) Sandy’s character in the dungeon was a dissenter who watched her contact die much as Nys does in the novel. Nicola played a supporter of the New Order, which created an interesting dynamic!
Elements of the novel that did not exist in the dungeon include the two deities, the characters in the catacombs and Taeja, the seer. In the dungeon, I used the Greek gods, my standard pantheon.
I’ve designed dozens of adventures; some campaigns have lasted for years. In every instance, my goal has been to place the players in terrifying predicaments, which they must overcome using their wits, skills and, of course, magic. Sandy, Nicola and I joke that the only true goal for players in an adventure is “to save the world as they know it.” In this instance, it was more a matter of saving the world as they used to know it, which is much the same for the dissenters in the novel.
In both the dungeon and the novel, I wanted to explore the dynamic which seems to arise under repressive totalitarian regimes. Why do people suffer gross injustice? How are they so easily be brainwashed into turning against their friends and neighbours? Why does any one group/race ever desire to exterminate another? These are themes that are all too present in the world today.