Tag Archives: Ancient Vestiges

Short Story: The Hammer

This week’s short story—The Hammer—has just been released!

Aerona Harkan stands at her father’s side as they possess the cargo of a Trechtian trading cog. When they return to the islands to sell the goods to the Appraiser—an old man who seems to have endless wealth—they realize that their lives of piracy must end, ere the tides of fate drowns them.

View all the Ancient Vestiges short stories here.

Weekly Update: Debut short story on Patreon; Thank you to purchasers of Darkness Rising

Hello readers!

I am pleased to announce that the first short story on Patreon (debuting Monday May 29) will be titled King’s Blood. Tristifer Marcanas will be the perspective character, and it takes place three years before the events of Darkness Rising. A brief synopsis:

Prince Tristifer Marcanas–eldest of the three children of the king–stands beside the Lion Throne as King Marcus Marcanas stands in judgment of Prince Adreyu Marcanas–the Cleaver Prince–who has returned to the kingdom defeated and ashamed.  The king is cold and hard, continuing down a path that divides the nobility and knights. Tristifer soon discovers that he must make a choice: loyalty to his brother or his king.

I am intending for these short stories to be available on all E-Book devices. I will also have a link for those who wish to read via a website. Full details on an update on Monday May 29.


I would like to give a heartfelt thank you for every reader who has purchased a copy of the second edition of Darkness Rising. The sales have been tremendous. I do hope you all are enjoying the first adventure into the Eastern Lands.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

-Brenden Christopher Gardner


WBU: Chains of Fate Progress & Synopsis

Hello all!

I am pleased to reveal that the first draft of Daemon Lord — the first book of Chains of Fate — has been completed. This is more than merely passing a checkpoint a third of the way to the finish line. Daemon Lord is the largest book I have ever written, and perhaps ever will. It constitutes nearly half of the planned story for Chains of Fate.

Now that nearly half of the novel is complete, I feel very comfortable sharing changes that I made from Darkness Rising.

The number of character perspectives has been decreased.

There are four main perspectives in Chains of Fate: Aerona, Daniel, Tristifer, and Joshua. There are other characters who will have perspective chapters, but they will be interwoven with the above four. I wanted to focus very heavily on a smaller group of characters in order to make individual story lines stronger.

The narrator is much more personal.

I have made a much more concerted effort to focus on the minutiae of a characters experiences through the narrator. I have done this by describing how the character feels in the cold, rather than revealing it is cold; by interjecting more feelings and internal character dialogue in my dialogue heavy pieces; and by focusing more on the journey than simply placing characters at landmarks.

The chapters are substantively longer.

The word count for chapters in Darkness Rising ranged from 3,000 to 4,500 words. In Chains of Fate they average at 5,000 words. This may look like a substantive jump — it is less consequential than you might think — and it allows me to  reveal more about the characters and their journeys.

Now for a spoiler-free first synopsis for Chains of Fate. It is entirely dialogue from an existing character. I will not share who (though if you have read Darkness Rising you should be able to piece together who it is). Enjoy the first plot teaser!

“What good did it do? We sacrificed so much. I, I cannot sleep at night, knowing what I have done. The innocent, they come to me for guidance and wisdom. I smile down at them, give them meaningless coin, and assure them that all will be made whole.

“For seven years I lied to them; and now it all comes to pass.

“I know he is still out there, waiting. The elder told me that I should fear him — and I did. I took every advice and counsel, did I not? Still he lingers, waiting. He is almost here. He will not wait much longer.

“That man — he will lead legions against us. We heard about them as children, to scare us to obedience. Oh, but they are not stories. They are not fables. I saw them. In the dark. Through those eyes.

“I cannot look at those poor, piteous souls any longer and tell lies. I must lead them. I must stand up and fight against the encroaching dark.

“For if that door should open, the Calamity will be like a pebble in the great ocean, while he — that cursed daemon — will flood the realm in chaos and darkness.

“It is time to break the chains of servitude and forge our own fate. The Great Fate be cursed.”

Have a great week all!

Ancient Vestiges: Darkness Rising is now available to buy!

It has been a long, hard road, but Ancient Vestiges: Darkness Rising is now for sale!

You can purchase a physical book from my E-Store or from Amazon.

The Kindle version is still available on Amazon. (For Canadian and International readers: take the redirect on Amazon buy page to your local website).

Thank you so much everyone for your support!

Enjoy the book!


Hey everyone!

Small update today. This is the first draft of the synopsis for Ancient Vestiges: Darkness Rising.

The Great Fate churns once again.

A disgraced knight is tormented by endless nightmares. A young priestess sits the Crystal Throne of Mother God, lost in a murky mire. Smugglers and pirates reap and pillage every shore; the realm a battleground for their debauchery. A resentful and battle hardened imperator is tempted by a power he does not understand. All the while savants and seers are wracked by visions of a cold and desolate future.

The pieces are upon the board, and the immortals are moving the subservient to their will.

A recurrence has come again. The Time of Ascendance is at hand.

Yet, will it unfold as it has for centuries? Or, is there some sliver of hope to challenge what was ordained long ago?

Whatever comes to pass, it is a time of change and upheaval, of secrets and trysts, of swords and fell sorcery.

The Darkness Rising is coming, but so are the Children of the Dawn.

Darkness Rising manuscript complete!

I am pleased to announce that I have completed the manuscript for Ancient Vestiges: Darkness Rising. I am solely in the process now of revising and making the final passes (which I will do until midnight of November 22nd). I will be putting every effort into refining and shaping the novel to be in the best possible form for consumption in late November.

So what’s next besides my ceaseless revision?

Over the next couple of months I am going to work on promotion and teasing characters, the world, mythology, and some plot (none of it is in spoiler territory). Maybe some book excerpts too! Any and all shares and re-tweets will be very much appreciated.

Oh and I will do that first tease later this week.

This ride is about to get fun! 🙂

A Single Volume

Hello all!

I would like to start off with mentioning another work that means a lot to me: the Lord of the Rings.

Despite often being called a trilogy, the culmination of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary work is a novel split into six books (often times published in either a single hardcover volume or three paperback books). It makes sense when you think about the tale the professor told, how sequential it is, and the common thread woven through the entire narrative.

I see a similar thread woven through my own work.

There are so many characters in Ancient Vestiges — some are emphasized and de-emphasized in particular books — but it really is a collective whole. The plot, themes, and message from start to finish is also cohesive. In essence, I do not believe my debut work is much a trilogy as it is one long novel.

So it shall be.

When I publish this November, I will be offering all three novellas in a single volume, and it will be listed as a novel. It will publish under the title Ancient Vestiges: Darkness Rising. When you pick up your copy for the first time, you will see the novel split into three parts (or books): Awakening, Sea of Storms, and Heart of the Sand. Readers who have been following my work since the beginning will notice two of the three as existing novella titles. That is on purpose. They serve really well as guiding points or spring boards.

This will also be the last time I will use the word ‘novella’ to describe my work. It is a novel.

That is all I have for today.