I originally posted this article in February, 2012, when I thought Meleena’s Adventures – Treasure Of The Umbrunna was going to be published by my former publisher. A lot of time has passed and I’m now signed with Inkwell Publications. With the manuscript well into the editorial process, I feel more confident than ever that it’s going to be available to the public soon, so it’s time to rekindle my introduction to Meleena’s world. No better place to start than to introduce the main character herself.
This first installment in my sword and sorcery fantasy series is told entirely in her point of view (with the exception of one small spot at the very end). It takes place on the continent of Gallin and starts in the town of Bug Flat.
To put it bluntly, Meleena’s a brat. At twenty-three years old, she lives by her quick wits, and quicker fingers. She begins the story with no moral compass. She’s bedded more men than she can count and has an aversion to attachment. They’re simply tools to satisfy a need.
She’s the type of person that’ll drop a hornet’s nest in a crowd, run for cover and watch the mayhem with glee. It’s not unusual for her to start a fight between two or more people (or creatures), step back and watch the fun.
Her earliest memories are fuzzy. She wandered the streets where she eventually ended up at the home of her “Aunt” Leena. Leena gave her the name Meleena, or “my Leena”. She has no idea if Leena was a true blood relation.
Early on, Leena realized the young girl had unusual abilities. With her brown eyes centered with silver pupils, she seemed to be able to read people’s minds. What Meleena could really do was speak any language, even if she wasn’t old enough to understand the context of the words. That “mind reading” stare Leena noticed was Meleena translating different languages in her head. Her only limitation was her vocal cords. Once Leena figured this out, she realized her young niece was very special, and in an extremely dangerous position.
One of the few pieces of advice Meleena listened to was Leena’s warnings about keeping her abilities with languages to herself, especially when she discovered she could also read and write any language.
When she was ten, Leena tried to get her interested in school. By then, Meleena had read hundreds of books on her own, some from curiosity, but often as not, to research an angle for a con. She couldn’t help but learn things along the way. As a result, she found what the teachers offered simple and boring. Meleena had a lot more fun causing trouble. During the one school session she “sort-of” attended, she met some boys almost instigated a war between Bug Flat and a local tribe of Snorgs, a race of half-pig half-gorillas.
Fed up with her young ward’s shenanigans, Leena called in a woman to try and turn Meleena into a regular lady. When Meleena overheard the conversation, she packed her meager belongings and hit the streets (see my short story Don’t Mess With A Snorg on the Fantasy page).
Two years later, she was captured, raped and imprisoned. That unpleasant experience never jaded her toward men, but taught her how to kill when she finally escaped and found her rapist. Killing someone never bothered her one way or the other. It was a task that had to be done, in this case to right a wrong.
CHIT CHIT AND THE PIG SPLAT
One day, she found the Pig Splat, a former Esveen chapel (the local religion), converted into a bar. The owner, Chit Chit, was a half human, half insect with four eyes, mandibles, green skin, thin wings, an otherwise human face, hands and feet. He became like a brother and best friend. The Pig Splat became her base of operations. Chit Chit was always there for her, no matter what.
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
The story starts with Meleena coasting right along, partying and causing mayhem until she hears about this extremely valuable pearl that could bring her fame and fortune… well, at least fortune. When she decides to go after it, being a loner isn’t going to work. Reluctantly she has to accept the help of others. Along the way, she’s going to have to make a moral decision that will change the course of her life. Will she do the right thing? Will she change her ways? Meleena’s Adventures – Treasure Of The Umbrunna takes you on a wild adventure to find out.
Later on I’ll detail more about Meleena’s world and some of the other characters and creatures in it.