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What’s the difference between a pilgrimage and a quest? A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place. A quest is a search. As I plan more of this story out, I’m beginning to think that it is a little bit of both.

I’ve been delving into the depths of my mind, and coming up with more characters. These men and women will be part of the initial caravan across the Sand Sea from Dhe’skuva to Dhe’laza. As I reflect more on it, I like the idea of Arsus and Rime traveling as part of a very large group at first. This merry band of pilgrims will quickly prove overwhelming for both of them, and they will set out on their own, only to be followed by a handful of other characters who will join them on their journey the remainder of the way across the desert. I’ve actually come up with the name (again, tentatively speaking) of one of the other characters. A female city guard from Dhe’skuva by the name of Landara. She will join the pilgrimage ostensibly to flee some gambling debts in the city. Along with her will be a character partially inspired by the legendary Harry Bailey, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and partially inspired by a good friend of mine. If there’s going to be a pilgrimage, there needs to be a fat, borderline alcoholic innkeeper who goes along for shits and giggles. Also, his inn may or may not be destroyed in some of the chaos that will inevitably ensue before our heroes set out for the desert. So what has he got to lose? Rounding out the main cast will be another female character. If Landara is the strong, independent woman, there needs to be an initially more timid female character who learns from her, and eventually finds her own courage. She’ll have her own reasons for joining the pilgrimage as well, but I won’t go into those here tonight. Let it suffice to say that her growth as a character will potentially rival that of Arsus and Rime.

I think I’ve got the opening lines worked out now, too. The biggest difficulty I faced here was deciding which character in the story (if any that the reader sees) would be the narrator. I’ve not come up with a name for him yet, but I think he’ll provide a pretty unique perspective on things going on throughout the novel.

On an unrelated note, Randall Munroe is a genius. An evil genius, but a genius nonetheless.

As most of my readership is already aware, the literary world was struck by tragedy last week, when British author Brian Jacques passed away. Jacques was best known for creating the bestselling young adult Redwall series, though he also wrote several collections of short stories that took place in a more modern Britain. Jacques will be greatly missed. I consider myself quite lucky to have had the honor of meeting Mr. Jacques when I was in the 5th grade. I feel as though a large part of my childhood is now missing. Jacques wrote an incredible world. I am quite happy to have been able to spend as much time in Mossflower as I have. Quite frankly, I plan to share these books with my own children some day, perhaps as a stepping stone between the Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Rest in peace, Brian. You will be greatly missed.


  1. Pilgrimage/quest stories are my favorite kind, I can’t wait to meet the rest of the party!

    Also, RIP, Brian Jacques. Wish I could have met you, but thank you for showing me the way to Redwall.

  2. Is a search FOR a holy place a quelgrimage?

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