New work, next book, and another story elsewhere

It’s been a while. 2014 got a little too chaotic and troublesome and I ended up hiding out in Iceland at the start of 2015. Seemed like a fantastic opportunity to research relations between their native alfen and the kaffar.

I ruled that there’s more than natural beauty and a love of dairy products in common between Icelandic and Archon elves, but you’ll just have to wait to learn more.

The most important news is probably that book two will be split into two separate volumes, “Above the Sun” as originally planned, following Sol’s father, Shaan and other members of the group[s] to which he’s aligned, and “Out of the Trench”, following Sol and the group he selects to refine his training. To some extent, both books will tell the same tale from different perspectives: things come to a head between the Archon and Ilu empires as twisted power plays threaten both sides from within.

Unfortunately, the previously mentioned “troubles” that ended 2014 have led to a push back on the release date for both books. We will however have Tribes related artwork and more at Sakura Con and Cherry City Comic Con. [run by this page for more info]

On the sort of up side, I have a short, odd little story [“Low Hanging Fruit”] in this anthology by Gamin Publications. I can speak for the brilliance of many of the other authors, as I have done live readings with several, and guarantee the volume will be worth it.

Thanks for checking in. :)

Posted in General Tagged with: , , , , , ,

I’d like to say something really insightful or productive, or even give a firm print date for “Above the Sun”, but I keep scrapping cover art and well… uh… we’re off to the Strait tomorrow. See some of you there?

Posted in General

Arthropod Power: A Joint Effort?

We here at the Archon Embassy, in particular the 7th Tribe Representatives, would like to declare our solidarity with John & Mary’s Insect Army

Bacon stands up for the Insect Army

To learn more and see why the Genadri and I may feel this is important, please kindly head to the blog of John Scalzi and read: Join the Insect Army


Posted in General

From the frozen wastes of Ruahanu

Returned not too long ago from a reading at the lovely Jade Lounge in Portland OR (the reading series is known as “The Hour That Stretches”, check it out if you find yourself in the area on the first Tuesday of any given month). It is a freezing icy waste here in Olympia WA!

You can check out the story Koi read at Hour #8 here: Mortality (short story)

A quick note: This story is written from the points of view of two scouts of the Kourhonoi Holy Armed Forces. These are humans from a society that sees the kaffir and especially haki as degenerates. When “the slums” are brought up, they are referring to grim, often walled-off neighborhoods wherein kaffir dwell as second-class citizens. “Kav” is a word from the Ravasich language which refers to a destructive forest spirit; English speakers may equate it with “goblin”.

We apologize for the format but our pdf conversion remains kaput. Your helpful suggestions are not and we are not interested. THANK YOU!

*Parthenos would like everyone to know he thinks the title of this post is in poor taste.

Posted in General

The Ranks and Roles of Star Assault

At the moment this one’s pretty basic. Information will be added by request!

In ascending order of pay scale and training levels, Star Assault’s “tracks”** are:

Enlisted paratrooper
Retriever (note: Retriever pay is held in trust during term of service)
Quartermaster (note: a knight who becomes a Quartermaster is paid as a Sentinel)
Unknighted Officer/Squire
Knighted Officer up to Major
Sentinel and Commander (A captain with a sentinel or wing command position makes more than a major who lacks such roles)
Knighted Command (Colonel, Brigadier)
Holy Command (Imperial Guild, Haarnsvaar; while near the top of command for the Archon Military, the Haarnsvaar technically make less than enlisted paratroopers in terms of a personal stipend, but their room and board is covered for life in the Imperial Palace, and they are exempt from airline/starline fees if seats are available; they have eminent quartering privileges as well, although are rarely known to abuse said)

this is also a fairly accurate order for authority, although the power of any given Sentinel and Commander aboard a Kimetj vessel is dependent on location and situation based on his specific role.

Enlisted positions (paratroopers and technicians) follow a ranking system similar to that of the US Air Force. Specialized training is rarely sacrificed on Airmen. Exceptionally skilled or intelligent ones are usually pulled into knight training if they agree with the initiation process (note: a young man who is found particularly attractive by a knight may be initiated solely for this reason and such unfortunate souls are referred to by a plethora of grim and insulting nicknames). The best hope for an enlisted technician is to be good enough at his job and unoffensive enough to be placed into a position of Sentinelship; thus he makes a high pay rate while having largely bypassed the most dangerous jobs. Keep in mind, the “less” dangerous jobs may include standing near a fusion reactor*** or cleaning some part of a pulse cannon during active combat.

***When ships need protein feedings, it is the job of knights-in-training or retrievers to cut and sort the meat; technicians do not feed the ship.

The path of knighthood uses the following system of honorifics:
Astrum (Squire)
Solarum (Lieutenant; a Squire who has seen combat)
Novus (Captain, a true Knight)
Master Novus (Major)
Grand Novus (Colonel)
Haaje-Novum (Holy Knight, outside SA rank but not above SA respect)*
Novus Ultima/Haaje-Kalean (Brigadier General; extremely rare in contemporary usage; the Haarnsvaar Commander, if he was Haarkijietj, is also to be referred to as Haaja-Kalean or Ultima, however Brin was only ever a Marine and a Guildsman and is resentfully only ever referred to as “Commander Brin”)

*Haarnsvaar, the Queen’s personal guard, trained by the Imperial Guild, are considered the highest level of knights (Haaje-novum) but not all Haarnsvaar are obviously Star Assault alumni, and not all Haaje-novum are Haarnsvaar. Some convolutions of hierarchy have historically occurred when a non-SA man is the Supreme Commander; religiously speaking, Brin falls below the Brigadier and the Khia – highest degree combat priest – of Leviathan in relative respect/power. If the current Soul of Aur – invariably an active or former SA officer – is a Haarnsvaar he technically has more control over Star Assault than the Commander if the Queen’s not watching. Unfortunately, the Soul has not made himself publicly known in some time, and only high level members of Aur can identify him (via his bioluminescent tattoos).

Sentinel and Wing Command positions are awarded by seniority, skill, and merit; the jobs can be applied for but applicants will often sit for a long period unselected while acquiring the necessary experience to perform in that position. Arguably, the “easiest” Sentinel position to learn is that of the hive; an aptitude for paperwork, strong organizational skills, and a love of bugs are the primary requirements. Medical positions are usually the most complicated, requiring training in appropriate schools as well as field experience. Wing Command requires at least emergency medical training on top of a minimum rank of captain, a certain number of years as a pilot, and an equivalent of priesthood degree in any of the three main combative temples.

What is a Retriever and How Does One Get That Job? Retriever is a role that may be assigned at any time by the Major Prime, Disciplinary Sentinel, Colonel, Brigadier, or Haarnsvaar. Retrievers take a mandatory vow of isolation and silence and are trained and assigned to the task of removing sensitive or classified materials or persons from the aftermath of combat. They usually serve less than two years but often become “casualties of clearance” and the money held in trust is turned over to the will entity they selected at sentencing.

Posted in General

Holiday note and Release Update

Happy Harbor Festival or whatever it is you non-Archons celebrate! Parthenos here with the less-regular-than-I’d-prefer regular update!

First off, I’d like to apologize for the delay on “Above the Sun”; Koi had to move (the workshop and office) across town in the middle of other major events and is only now getting back to projects. We all became “elves on the shelves”, as it were.

We’re pretty excited for the Roman New Year though as it will not only bring “Above the Sun” to press finally, but Koi and some other folks will be bringing “Honor and Sacrifice” to life as a podcast reading. I’m fine with Koi doing my voice, but Jady and Wyvern wanted some gent by the dubious name of “Tom Hiddleston” and got a firm “no”. Apparently Earthly financial institutions are still not accepting Universal Credits. Our bosses say “we cannot excuse an invasion of that two bit backwater meat bar just for the sake of your performance standards”. Don’t blame me; I’m just quoting. Wanna go to war with us? We only have two tiny invasion cruisers…

[Jady interjects the fact that those cruisers ONLY have six guns each! JUST SIX! You can TOTALLY TAKE US!]

Anyway, Koi wanted to share some holiday joy with everyone; it’s a bit old and it’s all guys from the 89th (boy does that need to change; I think the only comic appearances I’ve had I’m getting scrubbed for lice… heeeeeeeeeeeey…)

Holiday Special Comic Part 1

Holiday Special Comic Part 2

Peace for all … except the saurtzek! See you all in 2014!

[opinions expressed by Major P may not reflect opinions of other SA or Catalyst Studios staff]

Posted in General

Return of the Rain

Sorry for the lack of updates; Koi is working on a gallery show at the moment.

October will see us at the Zompire festival in Portland OR (first weekend, Clinton Street theater) and Mourning Market in Seattle (Oct 13). November, Koi will be reading at the Jade Lounge, Portland OR (unreleased material!) on November 5th, then will appear in the vendor hall at Orycon 35 (11/8-11/10, with Sigh Co/Arkham Bazaar). Print editions of “Honor & Sacrifice” will be available at the reading and at Orycon, but probably not before then (you can still order them – or the Kindle version – from

Relevant links:

Zompire, The Undead Film Festival
Mourning Market
Orycon 35
Tribes of Heaven, “Honor & Sacrifice” on Amazon

Check in for more announcements next week.

Posted in General

Necronomicon and on and on

Well, Providence, here we come.

It took me two days, not counting the 12 ragey hours with Photoshop, to build this flier. My general inclination is to just say, “This is a book about angry space elves on drugs, with guns, and bugs, and there are spaceships, and people explode. You should buy it.”

But this blurb by Ed Morris is pretty fantastic. Tzjdt!

I suck mad balls at these things

Promotional flier.

See everyone in Providence.

Probably be loading some new – really awesome! – fan and concept art to the gallery soon. With some exciting news accompanying that at some point. And things. A’ight, come at me with your tentacles, brah!

Posted in General

New Gallery Art!

For those unaware, we have a fan art section here on the Tribes website… someone finally sent something in specifically for it! YAY!

And it’s our (literally?) star-crossed colonels, so don’t mind if I sit here and SQUEE for a bit.

Ferrox and Kiertus

You Look Like Trouble

Look at all those details… including the terrapod! We love you, N23!

Posted in General

Alphabetical guide to characters (with pronunciation)

This is not quite everyone from book 1 and 2 but I am getting there.

Format: Family name, Given name [Pronunc] – any alternates here. Call sign. Division/unit. (rank and specialty if known). Symbiotic companion and/or special notes.

Aphoisia [Ah-fo-ee-see-ah] Previous queen of the Archon Empire. Was a civilian fire fighter prior to involving herself in politics; highly active on civil issues and negotiations with the Ilu. Dug the Empire a debt hole and theoretically got Archos into the first Mior War, but was popular anyway.

Aukaldir Grithalan [Oh-call-deer Greet-ahl-an]. Call sign: “Holiday”. 17th Star Assault (Lieutenant). Bug: Linda.

Bacharanzin Jhaedreni. [Bah-ka-rahn-zin Jhay’dreh-nee; the ‘ indicates a slight pause]; Goes by “Bachi” (Bah-key). Call sign: “Wildfire”. 17th Star Assault (Astrum Genova to Parthenos, former D-7 combat pilot). Bug: Rocket.

Baylenja Saullan. [By-len-juh Sau-lahn]. Call sign “Toughluck”. 89th Star Assault. Bug: Ashley.

Brinsanjin Sangriel [Brin-sahn-jeen San-gree-el]. Commander of the Haarnsvaar. Former ICSM.

Chelmauritzen “Cheldyne” Yndel [Chel-more-its-zen In-dell, Chel-dine]. Call sign “Serum”. 17th Star Assault (Hive Sentinel). Bug: Curly.

Draumietj Lucien [Draw-mee-etch or Drow-mee-edge Loo-see-en]. Call sign: “Blackout”. 89th Star Assault (Graft surgeon). Bug: Muranda.

Dromarka Athaaresh [Dro-mar-kuh Ah-they-ar-esh] Note: his family name is old Shandrian, “Dro’mr’kaal” [Da-ro’ah-mrr-kay-all, with the “mrr” being the noise Gen make] this spells out awkwardly in Ryzaan characters and ends up being pronounced “Drool-more-kale” on a sight reading so he Ryzaanized it for his sanity. He usually goes by the nickname “Ash” among his friends. Call sign: “Flashpoint”. 17th Star Assault (Arms Sentinel; former Paratroop captain. Transferred to the 23rd to avoid Parthenos, transferred back in time for the Tohdo Gate Incident). Bug: None.

Enkashen Liekke [En-ka-shen Lee-eh-key], goes by “Enki” (en-key). Call sign “Wisp”. 23rd Star Assault (Captain; Scout, retraining as medic). Bug: Fiendskin.

Eskasian Ythaarin [Eh-skah-zi-en Eeth-yair-in] Arin to his friends; Skasi to his students. Call sign: “Nutloose”. 17th Star Assault, Port/Aux Wing Commander; Air Defense trainer (fire combat specialty; he is a former assault unit flame thrower and a Mior vet). Bug: Malachite.

Eumelje [You-mell-jee] Call sign: “Shard”. Fangs (General; Top level bioarmor operator).

Ferrox Yamiro [Fair-rox Yah-mir-oh]. Call sign “Heartbreaker”. 89th Star Assault (Colonel; CO of the ISC Esimar; double black due to multiple charges of murder and cannibalism). Bug: Harmony. Additional bonded pet: A terrapod that responds to “Pogo”. Note: “Ferrox Yamiro” is not his birth name, which vanished with his trial and supposed ‘execution’. He was a popular Marine captain and a candidate for Haarnsvaar Commander prior to his bizarre crime spree.

Gavrin Tjimas [Gahv-reen Tjee-mahs]. Call sign: “Tempest”. 89th Star Assault (Hive Sentinel of the Esimar; double black for smuggling and piracy of civilian vessels). Bug: Ruby, a red Omyoi 3 who has been the Hive Alpha of the Esimar a very long time; Gavrin is her second bond.

Gronney [Grahn-nee] Call sign: “Sharps”. 17th Star Assault (pharmacist, field research). Transferred from IGN for the pay raise. Dubious fit for the team. No bug due to attitude issues.

Hanajiel [Hah-nah-jee-el] Call sign “Spearhead”.

Honsad Celita [Hahn-sad Sell-eet-ah] Ministry of Propaganda translator, Theocratic States of Kourhos.

Honsad Vittair [Hahn-sad Vit-tay-er] Ministry of Defense representative, Theocratic States of Kourhos.

Iekierpin [Ee-eh-key-ear-pin] Goes by “Eek”. Call sign, “Windsheer”. 17th Star Assault (D-7 combat pilot).

Ilzyatar [Eel-zee-yah-tar] 89th Star Assault (Wing Commander). Call sign: “Shortdeck”. Known for having an off-duty drug abuse problem, excessive even by standards of SA, but does not use most of his flight drugs on the job and is considered by most terminally insane. Bug: Chasme, a hyperdrone who enjoys comic books and routinely removes Ilzyatar from dangerous, usually self-created, situations.

Imhaar [Im-hay-air] Former commander of the Haarnsvaar. Believed to have committed suicide when Marsura took the throne.

Izzaryu [Iz-zah-ry-oo]. Call sign … ? Ilu renegade. Wanted in multiple systems, by Archos and the Ilu.

Jaahyden Illoquar [Jay-ahi-den Eel-lo-quarr; “Jady” is fine]. Call sign “Trauma”. 17th Star Assault (Port Wing Commander; talents unknown). Bug: Tracers [“Tracy”].

Jiinisar Saraxi [Jeen-ah-sahr Sa-rag-shee] Call sign “Solid”. 89th Star Assault (Captain, Quartermaster/Commissary Sentinel). Bug: Datura. Considered a living detail catalog aboard the Esimaar as he has served aboard longer than the current colonel. Jiin performed as lead muscle in an organized drug operation in the colonies for nearly 20 years, but a power struggle cost him the boss he liked and lacking desire to take control, he turned himself in directly to the Haarnsvaar to avoid further trouble.

Johnesqua [Joh-nes-ka] 55th Armored (General). High priestess of one branch of the Order of Maalek. An overt materialist with a bad reputation even among Sun adherents but particularly among Order of Leviathan members.

Kiertus Sheriden [Key-air-tus Share-ih-den] note: family name at birth ‘Curtis’, difficult to spell in Archon characters. Call sign “Gunsmoke”. 17th Star Assault (Colonel, CO of the ISC Sanjeera; weapons specialist). Bug: Nova.

Kvatchkiir Meshaan [K’vatch-keyer Me-shy-an]. Prefers “Shaan”. Call sign: “Ropetrick”. 89th Star Assault (Arms Sentinel, former H-Division Operative for Rim Patrol). Bug: Faith.

Laathas Eshonji [Layth-es Esh-ohn-jee] Call sign: “Bonesaw”. 17th Star Assault (Chief Surgeon). Bug: Minerva.

Ledrido Telykki [Led-ree-doh Teh-lee-key] – goes by “Ledo”. Call sign: “Rattle”. 89th Star Assault. Bug: Trigger. Kourhonoi Haki, a member of the anti-Theocratic revolutionary (“kaffir liberation”) organization “Gold Moon”. Arrested somewhat reluctantly by Operative Kvatchkiir.

Liesh’leyen Vahaily [Lee-esh (pause) leh-yen Vah-hy-lee]; goes by “Liesh” [Leesh]. Call sign: “Wrasse”. 89th Star Assault (Captain; External operative, Guild courier). Bug: None.

Marsura [Mar-soo-rah]. Current queen of the Archon Empire. Former IGN who used exemptions not to fight in the first Mior War, then apparently caused two more.

Myentrios Hyrshaanziir [Me-yen-tree-ahs Here-shy-ahn-zeer] Call sign: ?? Infamous Ruhn member of 23rd Star Assault. Apparently deceased.

Myshkor Syvashikki [Meesh-kore See-vah-shee-key]. Call sign “Bonespur”. 17th Star Assault (Captain; ??). Bug: Lianna.

Nabaragi [Nah-bah-rah-gee]. Call sign: ?? 23rd Star Assault (Sentinel; Chief Security at Orminos Station).

Okallin Teshkanzin [Oh-kahl-lin Tesh-kan-zin]. Call sign “Whisper”. 23rd Star Assault (Major, Base Sentinel of Avenaur; former Brigadier General of Star Assault and XO of the ISC Ishulya). Bug: unmentioned.

Onzillora [On-zeel-loh-rah]. Call sign: “Glimmer”. 23rd Star Assault (Regimental Quartermaster at Orminos Station). Bug: Bacon.

Parthenos Aurgaia [Parth-en-ohs Or-guy-uh]. Call sign “Checkmate”. 17th Star Assault (Major, XO of the ISC Sanjeera; acute target elimination; Tetrarch of Leviathan). Bug: Joyelle (deceased).

Pherrinai [Fair-ih-nye]. Call sign ?. 17th Star Assault (Lieutenant). Bug: ??

Ratyaniel Iakshetsin [Rah-tee-yahn-yel Ee-ahk-shet-seen]; goes by “Ratya” [Raht-cha]. Call sign: “Sunshine”. 98th Star Assault (Stripped captain, now Lt, but is a Novum Genadri; double black, convicted murderer). Bug: Lucretia, deceased.

Rygiel [Rye-gee-yell] A prince of the Ilu, in direct line for the throne.

Salda [Sal-dah] Call sign: ?? 23rd Star Assault (Former wing commander of the Ishulya, now chief tech sentinel of the Avenaur Air Base).

Samsvargyr [Sahms-var-gear] Fangs (Captain; internal dispute resolution/legal dept; Eumelje’s chief admin and right-hand man)

Schenjaar Tuonandrir [The first consonant sound is pronounced from the front of the mouth, using the fangs; try “Shjen” or “Schen”, apologize for being human, and accept “Shen-jay-ar Too-own-ahn-dreer“]; Tuoni [Too-owe-nee] is his nickname. Call sign: ?? 23rd Star Assault (Master Sergeant; Disciplinary Officer, Avenaur Air Base). Bug: ??

Sheavelle [Shey-ah-vell or veel] A tanker in Captain Tauverius’s “resolution” unit.

Solvreyil Niarri [Solv-ray-ell Nee-ahr-ree] Call sign “Torchsong”. Served in various units and crews; now retired? Mother of two.

Solvreyil Yenraziir [Solv-ray-ell Yen-ra-zee-yer, but even Archons screw this, so everyone calls him “Sol”]. Call sign “Echo”. 17th Star Assault (Astrum Genova, specialty undecided; double black due to High Tension Syndrome). Bug: Ozlietsin or “Ozzie”

Sterzinchy Sylryr [Ster-zin-chee Seal-rear]; Sterz or Sterzin to everyone. Call sign “Thunder”. 89th Star Assault (Captain; disciplinary officer for the Esimar). Bug: Alga (short for Algadya, the name of the heroic princess in the romantic fiction novel series he loves)

Syavrasky Kahner [See-ah-vraz-key Con-ner]. Call sign “Hotshot”. 23rd Star Assault, Sentinel/Quartermaster at Pachar (transfers to 17th to be Arms Sentinel). Bug: None at time of joining 17th.

Tauverius Ulkhorii [Tau-vair-ee-us Ool-khor-yee] Call sign: “Acolyte”. Fangs (Captain). Note: Third son of a famous, wealthy Shandrian land owner.

Thielassian Zhemier [Thee-eh-lass-ee-en Jhe-mee-air; “Zhemier” also bears the acceptable pronunciation of “Shem-hire”]; goes by “Thiel” (Teal or Theel). Call sign: “Wraith”. Officer of the Harnsvaar in command of covert units. Bug: Has a hyperdrone whose name is unknown in book 1.

Toshogar [Toh-shoh-gar] or “Toshi” [Tow-she]. Call sign: “Songbird”. 17th Star Assault (Communications; training as paratrooper due to shortage).

Trazaal [Trah-zay-all] Call sign: “Gargoyle”. 17th Star Assault (Sergeant). Bug: Poppy.

Tyrnan Avenkiir [Tear-nahn Ah-ven-key-ear] Goes by Ven or Tyr usually. Call sign: “Glacier”. 89th Star Assault (Captain, pilot; formerly of the 17th). Bug: Hope.

Tzanshidi [tsan-shee-dee]. Call sign: ?? 23rd Star Assault (Major; 2nd in command of Avenaur Air Base, Hive Sentinel) Bug: Cassie, short for “Cassiopeia”

Ulissarian Mavaraki [Oo-lis-sair-ee-en Mah-vah-rah-key]. Call sign: “Stormcrow”. 89th Star Assault (Major Prime of ISC Esimar; former prisoner of war of the Ilu; expert on Ilu language and tactics). Bug: Ruth (Ruthless Red-knees); twin sister of Ruby, Gavrin’s bug.

Valdieren Karshimziel [Val-dee-ir-en Kar-shim-zee-el]. Prefers “Val”, even from subordinates. Call sign “Bootstrap”. 17th Star Assault (Captain, trainer). Bug: Squeak.

Vanden [Van-den]. Call sign: 214; becomes “Lunchbox”. 17th Star Assault (recently recruited airman). No bug yet.

Wyvern [Why-vern]; actual name unknown. Call sign “Wyvern”. 17th Star Assault (Starboard Wing Commander; ma’at shi specialist??). Has recurrent symbiote issues.

Ymavye Lillinar [Ee-mah-vyeh Lih-lih-nahr]. Call sign “Sideshow”. 89th Star Assault, formerly 17th. (Lieutenant, currently, see “Above the Sun” for the story of his fall) Bug: Mae.

Posted in General