It’s quite difficult for me to pin down when I started to write the evoker. The main concepts of the world probably began to formulate in 1999 inspired by the Wheel of Time and Final Fantasy IX. In those days it was called The Gates of Destiny which was later amended to the Scions of Balance, a name inspired by the Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
I recall the original plot being a story about a dethroned prince who also happened to be a chosen one fist to be born with the higher arts in a thousand years. I think the dual approach to magic was inspired by Feist’s Riftwar saga.
When I look back on the Evoker, it is nice to see the references to the other works that I hold to high esteem. The range of inspirations spans books, films, games and people and seems to grow as I experience new things. I think though the biggest impact on it is Final Fantasy XIV, there is something unique in how inspiring that game is to me and this has fed through to the various levels of my novel. Slight easter eggs here and there that I have put to reference various characters, places and concepts.
The Evoker’s plot shifted while I was doing my masters, moving from the battle driven trope of an exiled prince to following his orphaned son trapped in a world which is being consumed inch by inch by the malice of its rulers. The Archonite and its administrators are driven not by the base desire to be evil that drives Sauron in the Lord of the Rings, but rather by the fear that the magic that infusing the world is slowly corrupting and killing them. Through this instability, insanity has taken root, and though they hold the best of intentions. The years of insanity and desperation have worn away their empathy and is slowly consuming them. Though that can only really be said of the Archarchon, and not the others. I have found that stripped of its original plot line, the Evoker as the novel came to be named, has grown into its own organic thing. The beats of its predecessor are still there, and one day I may look at writing Anvaire’s story – as tragic as it is, for now, I will focus on the exploits of his son, and a world that while not facing the end of its time just yet, is unbalanced.