Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Three Lands Trilogy

     One of the more ambitious proposals I worked on with artist Jeff Austin was a project called The Three Lands Trilogy.  The overall epic concerns the co-existence of Earth, Heaven and Hell all occupying the same dimensional space with time existing as a constant on a spiritual level.
     The only beings who traverse the Three Lands are angels, both Heavenly and Fallen (Lucifer and his minions), the Love Wraiths (dead members of the Family Stone whose duties are to protect their portion of dimensional space and usher the dead souls into the afterlife) and the cursed (Efriem Merritt, for example).

     The trilogy has three separate storylines set in three separate time periods which collide into a grand scale conclusion.  All of the stories were written so they could be stand-alone, a series, a mini-series or packaged as the entire epic.  The entire trilogy involved quite a commitment from a publisher and an offer was made to us for a partnership contract in sharing the cost and profits.  We dissented, as we figured we may as well self-publish in that case.

     The trilogy consisted of these three storylines:


     This story was also pre-titled, "Weird South Presents."  It is the tale of a Confederate soldier killed in battle who is resurrected along with his horse (a combined amalgam of two men and several animals and insect species who also perished with the horse being the dominant form) after reclaiming his soul from a Love Wraith after a Fallen angel escapes Hell and possesses the body of the Rebel's fallen friend.

     Returning home to scorched lands and a scattered family, Efriem sets off with a ex-slave and a woman (who changes to a wolf at night-fall) in search of his fiance, Abigail, who has been taken by his comrade, now possessed by the transformed Fallen angel into a vampiric demon lord.

     The story is part Catch-22 and part morality play as Efriem finds the price for his soul is that he can never kill-even though he must slay the demon lord to regain the souls of his friends (trapped in the horse, Gabriel) and attain their rightful place in the afterlife.

     This series contains strong historical, supernatural and ethical elements that set into play a vivid background for tight character continuity and reader identification.  It is also an exploration into the experience of a changing culture and belief system and of maintaining loyalty and honor to oneself and others.

     Included in the three Weird South posts below are character profiles, plot synopsis, script pages and the first four pages of the story by artist, Jeff Austin.


     The second series features the main character of Paige Stone, a stripper and the last heir of her family bloodline.  Set in 1972, she discovers her family heritage-the Stone descendants (mostly male) have been the spiritually directed Trackers on Earth of Lucifer Morningstar.  Once every generation, Satan walks a predestined path across the Earth in human form, directing evil across the globe which culminates in terrible consequences.

     The Trackers hunt Lucifer in attempts to trap and kill the current manifestation of the Beast, often with tragic outcomes.  Paige learns of her destiny from her uncle, who is killed as she has her first confrontations with Lucifer.  She travels with a disillusioned priest-sorceror who is addicted to sniffing the dust of the ground bones of angels, which incites powers, visions and near possessions.

     With the state of the world crumbling, social decay and creatures of the night everywhere, Paige must fulfill her destiny and also leave the Earth an heir to ensure its future.  Included in the Ministry of Frost post below are the first two pages of artwork and a plot synopsis with characters.


     This story is the third in the trilogy and spins the tale of the Love Wraiths-from their origins to their counter-parts in Hell and their many forms.  The day the Love Wraiths all unite to sing in unison from their different locations and time periods will herald the end of the Three Lands and the time of Revelation or Convergence.

     Only this description and reference was included in the proposal to round out the plan for the entire trilogy.  The following posts as referred to above form the basis for the project.  Enjoy!

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