Today on World Builders 2.0, we enter the world of Rick Heinz, author of The Seventh Age series.
Richard Heinz’ inspiration for The Seventh Age traces back to his history as an electrician, and especially to his love of crawling through the hidden underbelly of a city to uncover its secret wonders—not to mention countless caffeine-driven hours spent playing Diablo. The Seventh Age: Dawn is Rick’s first book, as well as book one in the sprawling urban fantasy epic, The Seventh Age Series.
Now, prepare yourself to enter The Seventh Age Setting!
Geography and Nature: the big picture
Overall geography: It would be a terrible cop-out to simply state: My world is the current world. Huzzah! Easy Blog! But no, I won’t do this. The geography of the Seventh-Age: Dawn book takes place between Chicago (The Second City), and Minneapolis St.-Paul (The Twin Cities). More than that however it takes place between different planes of existence.
The first book covers Purgatory, the land of the dead, and the real world. Purgatory serves as one of the lairs of Hades, or the hells that exist. Within Purgatory, there is no sight, no sound, no smell, no hearing, nothing, of any kind. Unless you happen to be a helldiver, and know the right spells and techniques to take a trip to the other side…
Special features that makes your world unique, exotic, or strange:
The big special feature is a barrier between worlds called the Innocence. In my world, ALL of Humanity collectively put together: Is God. Their collective belief shapes and changes the world around them. The Innocence is that wall of disbelief that separates, physically, different planes of existence from crashing into the standard world. There are spots that are weak of course, where the barriers are thin, where one could cross over into more magical places. Or, something could crawl into our world.
But as far as most people are concerned: Magic is a myth and ghosts aren’t real. Even if you did believe in them, people don’t REALLY think they will actually come face to face with a demon.
Unfortunately for humanity, just beyond that wall, trapped and imprisoned there for centuries are a plethora of forgotten myths and legends, demons and angels, just waiting to cross over.
Magic and how it is defined in your world:
Magic is powered by the blood of the divine in my world. Magic is real, fireballs can be thrown, spells of telekinesis exist, teleportation is possible, and weather control exits. The legends of high-wizardry are very, very, VERY real in the Seventh Age.
All cultures have myths of magic and spellcraft and they all are real. Of course, modern day society says that you can’t utter a chant with a gesture and throw a fireball, and there is truth to this.
While the spells, libraries, and legends exist. They don’t actually do anything without the right fuel: The Blood of the Divine. A highly addictive substance that is required to work even the most basic of spells. Without a single drop of demons blood, all the knowledge of spellcraft in existence won’t do you any good. Once you have it, you can cast a few spells before it runs out. Then you’ll need more.
Getting your hands on demons blood generally means you have to find a demon, which are in rare quantity these days and likely to not give out their blood freely. Become lucky enough to consume a heart of a demon or angel: Then you would be granted untold power and change yourself into a vampire, shapeshifter, or more exotic creatures.
You know what they say. You are what you eat!
Politics and origin: how the world is knit together
What are some of your major nations?
The Seventh Age is less geographical, and more conceptual in terms of politics and world.
The Unification Proclamation: A global organization made up of creatures called Death-Lords. Each of them an aspect of how humans die, Lord of Murder, Lady of Fate, Lord of Heaven’s Wrath, etc. Each Lord rules has major sway over an existing geographical area: Such as the Lady of Fate over Greenland. More importantly: The souls of those who die, instead of being sent to Purgatory, are stolen by one of the lords, provided they meet their requirement.
I.E: A person killed by a demon would fall under the Lord of Heaven’s Wrath, and could be pressed into service of his armies.
How do different nations or territories interact? Are there outstanding disputes? If there is unity, how is it maintained?
The driving force of interaction is the idea that “They will unite the world under one thought, and one order, bringing unity to the heavens.” However, they squabble like chickens. Remember that guy above who was killed by a demon? Well… perhaps that was murder. As the Lord of Murder might argue, or perhaps it was destined to happen as the Lady of Fate might decree. The ruling bodies of the council squabble over who gets what soul and where it falls, each trying to build their ranks.
How does the world economy work?
2 copper coins are equal to 1 soul. All that matters is how many souls or people you rule over. In order to even be considered nobility and granted title to the courts, you have to achieve at least 10,000 people. Living, undead, or very much dead. Once you have this amount, you can start attending the courts at the lowest level of title. After that, it’s less a matter of collecting people individually, but more a matter cutting deals and getting others to swear fealty under your banner.
What is the overall history on which the present world is built?
Well, I draw from myths and legends of many cultures, but I’m going to go with Charon and the inspirations regarding the Greek underworld.
What time period from our own history would you say is most like the time period in your story?
I’m modern Urban Fantasy.
How does your world relate to the real world as we know it?
Extremely! Take our current world and add wonderful things just out of sight to regular humans. Slipping between the shadows where the ignorant would never notice them.
People and groups: social organization in your world
Tell us about the major societies of your world and overall social organization:
There is only one I would like to talk about at this time. The Unification Proclamation. Remember how I mentioned earlier that magic is real and a brief topic about the Death Lords? Well, by maintaining a lockdown on the supply of demons blood, they have managed to get the vast majority of the world’s occult groups to join their ranks and pay service to them.
In exchange for quantities of divine blood to fuel magic.
Is there a dominant society or group?
Within the Unification there are 10 groups that stand out as dominate. Each of them is led by a powerful warlock that oversees a geographical area. While other books in the series will focus on what happens in those territories. The Seventh Age: Dawn focuses on The Society of Deus.
Tell us about organizations or major hierarchies:
The Society of Deus is ruled by Primus Vryce. A six-hundred year old warlock. Above him in ranking, but not power, is Regional Director Charles Walsh. Vryce handles the arcane aspects of the Society, and Walsh serves as the eyes and ears for the Council of the Unification.
The Society of Deus is driven by a ‘might makes right’ philosophy at its core. Combing magical might in a militaristic fashion. Hermetic in nature, title and prestige are determined by ones knowledge and education level within the arts of spellcraft. Boasting some of the world’s largest libraries of alchemical texts, arcane grimoires, and magical artifacts. The Society of Deus is a force to be reckoned with in the world.
What about class systems and social hierarchies?
The social hierarchy of the Unification tends to be dictated by the number of souls or people that fall into your ranks, and which Death-Lord you serve. As long as you can maintain a healthy quantity of demons blood, immortality is assured for yourself. This absolutely creates a system of concentrated power to those at the top. With very little that trickles down.
The poor within the Unification exist in a struggle of addiction and desperation. Doing everything they can to maintain a single drop of demons blood in their system.
What are common attitudes and beliefs in your world?
The prevailing train of thought within the Unification is that God is dying and Humanity needs a shot in the arm to wake back up. That people are slowly falling asleep and need the Unifications guidance from behind the scenes. The desire to remain hidden and in the shadows, is for their own protection. Because while monsters are real, when all of humanity turns against them, they tend to be driven to extinction very quickly.
Do people group together by houses, clans, families? What are some of your outstanding ones?
Grouped more by what occult group you are part of. Such as the Society of Deus, O’Neils Mercs, Order of the Golden Dawn, The Skulls, etc…
I can’t reveal too much about them however, because the fun of the book is uncovering them and the mystery behind the groups. That said, my setting works very well to fan-fiction and incorporating new side stories at any moment since the world itself is brimming with strange cult groups.
Want to know more about Rick’s world? Why not enter it by pre-ordering a copy of his book, The Seventh Age: Dawn.
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Mike Auburn dangles above the city of Chicago from the beams of a half-built skyscraper. He is seconds from plummeting towards the circuit board of buildings and street lights below, but oblivion is not what he seeks—it’s the dead.
Obsessed with discovering evidence of the afterlife, Mike’s death-defying stunts have brought him closer than ever to lifting the veil of reality. However, his ventures to the edge have not gone unnoticed, and a boss within a tenebrous organization by the name “O’Neil” seeks to recruit him to their cause: preparing the city for impending Ragnarok, the end of the world as they know it.
Before long, a world ruled by scientific method and rational thinking is challenged by the supernatural—luring the dead, the damned, and the demons that have long awaited the return of magic, and they will stop at nothing to bring it back for good. Suddenly, Mike is at the centre of a battle between the forces of reason, of good, of evil…and everything in between.
The recorder made a clicking noise as a cassette began its playback. White-gloved hands traced a line along the oaken table with a twitching heart in the middle. “Harvest number twenty-nine. The heart of Mammon. Demon of Greed. Still…reanimates…after three-thousand years with only minor electrical current.” Dr. John C. Daneka leaned back and let out a deep breath. Missing all this time, then you show up sixty years ago with your eyes removed. How fortunate. Placing a silver fork and laying it next to the heart on the table, Daneka held the recorder up. “Twenty-eight harvests have yet to yield the heart of a demon prince. Immortality, mind control, or regeneration? Which will you provide Mammon…?” Dr. John C. Daneka, his hands trembling, sliced into the heart. Raising the first bite to his lips, he licked the sliver of meat. Tastes like a peach. He grinned….
Buy the book!
Connect with Rick Heinz in the following places!
Google Plus: CrankyBolt “at” gmail