By popular demand, we've re-opened our online store! Dragonmount's online store primarily contains WoT jewelry items for both men and women. Items such as Aes Sedai rings, Foxhead medallions, and even coursouvas, are available in a variety of forms. These items are crafted by Badali Jewelry, and are available at the lowest prices anywhere right here on DM. To celebrate the launch of our jewelry store, we'll be giving an extra discount for everyone for the next 10 days. Use the coupon code heartstone to gain an additional 10% off all jewelry items. It expires after April 19th. The other significant item in our store is the return of the Dragonmount Premium Accounts! By purchasing one of these annual subscriptions, you will gain access to the exclusive chat room on DM, as well as gained increased account space for both your Personal Messages (PM's) and online gallery. You'll also get an additional 5% discount on all other store items. If you are a frequent contributor to the social scene here at DM, then this is a must-have. Also, we have a lot of cool plans for the premium account holders coming down the line. New features will be added soon. In celebration of these premium accounts, we're offering a full 40% discount on them for the next few months. Enter the coupon code thechosen to receive this discount. It expires after August 1st. Why we are offering Premium Accounts Some people have questioned why we are offering this. (Fair question!) The reason is that we are regularly asked by people how they can support Dragonmount. Instead of just accepting donations, we felt that we wanted to give something back in return for your kindness. While anybody can buy one of these, they are primarily aimed at the thousands of fans who spend a considerable amount of time on our forums. To visit our online store, click the link in our main menu above, or" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/store/">or just click here.
Would you believe that I had this done and then something hiccuped and I lost everything? So annoying. I had to redo this from scratch in a hurry. But I think I found even better art this time around for you. This week, we're looking at the women of the White Tower. The Aes Sedai are a huge part of Robert Jordan's story. The Tower itself is the backdrop of many plotlines and a good chunk of the female characters are either Aes Sedai, or have trained at some point to be Aes Sedai. First up is this portrait of Leane by Fee-Absinthe. Leane was Siuan's Keeper of the Chronicles until her stilling. Not knowing if she's ever be able to channel again, she turned to being a sexpot for something else to fill her time. It's kind of fun watching a woman who had denied herself sexuality for so long, decide to complete own it. This portrait captures that transition I think. Elaida, by sicilianvalkyrie Elaida is a Sitter for the Reds, who masterminds a coup against Siuan Sanche and becomes Amyrlin herself. The Tower coup is the shattering that sets a good deal of the plot in motion making Elaida a key character. She has now held prisoner by the Seanchan and by all reports, she is NOT a good damane. Ah, Liandrin. She pretty much drips "Black Ajah" from the moment we see her. This is by ravenwing136 And that's all I've got time for today. I'll have to do this theme again and see if I can find some of what I originally used. Speaking of time, I'll be Chairing JordanCon next weekend. I may not have time to write this column ahead of time so it can run while I'm gone. So if you don't hear from me, you know what's going on. And if you'll be at the convention, be sure and say "Hi" to me.
The Dragonmount Fantasy Review The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson Welcome back to Dragonmount's monthly fantasy review. This month's review is on Steven Erikson's epic fantasy series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Don't let the singular use of the word "book" confuse you either, each "tale" in the Malazan world is a book in its own right, and quite a large one at that. The tenth and final novel in the series, The Crippled God, was just released bringing to a close the main sequence series. However, several other novels set within this world are still planned. What is The Malazan Book of the Fallen About? Why Would I Recommend it To Wheel of Time Fans? The Malazan world is the only fantasy world that I've encountered which is larger in scope than that of the Wheel (George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire would also come close, I suppose). The series takes place across six continents, involving empires, nations, city-states, and religious uprisings. There is hundreds of thousands of years of history layered through the story. You have dragons and shape-shifters, and an entire pantheon of selfish gods ready and willing to manipulate mortals. And, moreover, Erikson is ready and willing to show you them all. When armies march, in the Malazan world, you don't ride just behind the eyes of the generals and their small council of worthy notables, you get in deep and dark with the individual marine squads on the front line. You meet the enemy and learn to like them--or not, as the story needs. You get to see the political machinations behind the war, the games of assassins and emissaries. What is the Value in this Style? Well, the writing itself is pretty engaging, if sometimes given to being overly verbose. In my opinion the greatest value in this is that Erikson does the prep-work damned well, and as such when it comes times for the climax, it becomes explosive--when Anomander Rake draws his sword, you will want to jump up and down. When the Bonehunters decide to march on a rival empire, you'll be ready to scream. When High Mage Quick Ben does... well, anything, you'll probably clap, even if it makes you look stupid. Indeed, when it comes to the ending of each of these books you'll have been brought to understand what's at risk, who's at risk, why the characters are risking it--and then you get to watch as Erikson weaves all this neatly together into an ending which explodes off the page. Alright, So What Are The Downsides? Erikson doesn't really ease you into his world--rather he drops you in the ocean at midnight, and then proceeds to whip up a storm. I've compared it to being introduced to the Wheel circa A Crown of Swords, but even that's not entirely accurate as Erikson continues to run--constantly working in more and more elements of the world. I think it was the end of the third novel, Memories of Ice, that I felt I was truly beginning to get a grip on the world. Of course it is not a truly insurmountable problem. The characters are interesting, the plot is gritty and engaging, so the fact that you are filled with a vague sense of confusion over what's what and why things are the way they are doesn't necessarily detract from the enjoyment of the story. But even though you might be a bit confused about it, Erikson is not, and you will come to understand everything. You Didn't Really Answer the Question. What's The Malazan Book of the Fallen About? The series does have an over-arching storyline, though it doesn't become truly apparent until the later books, nor do you realize the ways in which the events of the earlier books are moving toward or supplying for that overlying arc. So in book one, Gardens of the Moon, we have the Malazan invasion of the continent of Genebackis, and all the politics that responds to that. In book two we jump to the continent of Seven Cities with the beginning of the uprising of the cult of Drhyjna the Apocalyptic, and book three were back to Genebackis. Though characters and sub-plots crossover in each of these books they are largely self-contained stories, with their own endings. So yeah, just trust me when I say it's quite a ride. Final Comments To those who enjoy the scope of the world-building within the Wheel of Time, The Malazan Book of the Fallen will blow your mind. Beyond that, the characters and plot--and perhaps more significantly, the key character moments and plot points, are all chock full of awesome. Though it should be warned that this is a somewhat darker series than the Wheel, including far more graphic violence and sexual content. You can purchase the first book, Gardens of the Moon here and support Dragonmount. <div align="center"><iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=dragonmount&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0765322889" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
In this week's Wheel of Time Video News, host Kristen Nedopak discusses the new officially-licensed WoT t-shirts available for purchase. In addition there's info about a contest that ends in less than 24 hours, so get clicking! http://www.youtube.com/embed/XKGV5ed4y_U?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> For the Ta'veren Tees contest, which ends on April 5, all you need to do is place one (1) order (for as many shirts as you wish) from now through April 5 (11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time) and you will be entered to win three shirts of your choosing. For the full contest details, click here.
Orly? Yah rly. This week's Fan Art Friday is all about the lols. Last year, Theoryland started a "Wheel of Time Lolcat" thread that was pretty amazing. The meme migrated it's way to Dragonmount not long after and here I have culled the ones that made me laugh the hardest from both threads. If you like what you see, definitely check out both threads to see what didn't make the cut. Since there won't be much commentary this time, I'll even through in a few extras. Noes!11 They be cleansin may Taint! You really can't go wrong with a classic videogame reference. Mat works strangely well as a cat. Aww. Poor Logain. Hee! And this one is just cute. How about you guys? Any that I missed that you enjoyed?
The 4th Age podcast presents a short news update, looking at and analyzing the popular 2011 Suvudu Cage Match between characters from various fantasy books, and Spencer reveals a heretofore hidden Talent! Andrew, Spencer and Virginia are your hosts for this episode. Check out Dragonmount.com" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com for forums, comments and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world. Also, don’t forget JordanCon is coming soon! April 15-17 in Atlanta, GA – tickets and rooms rates are still available. Check out http://www.ageoflegends.net/" target="_blank">AgeofLegends.net for all the details! ATTENTION! THERE MAY BE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS! Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely! Yes, there will be spoilers for ToM! If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! In this podcast, probably spoilers of other series, too. Did we mention that there will be spoilers….? Links to the current Cage Matches as of 3/30/2011. Vote now! Quick" rel="external nofollow">http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-quick-ben-versus-perrin-aybara.html">Quick Ben vs Perrin Aybara http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-quick-ben-versus-perrin-aybara.html http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-quick-ben-versus-perrin-aybara.html">http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-quick-ben-versus-perrin-aybara.html href="http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-jon-snow-versus-vin.html">Jon Snow vs Vin http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-jon-snow-versus-vin.html Hosts:" rel="external nofollow">http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-jon-snow-versus-vin.html">http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/cage-match-2011-jon-snow-versus-vin.html Hosts: Andrew, Spencer, Virginia Editor: Spencer Download" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-WYSK-003.mp3"> Download this Episode now Music by: Josh Needleman His website is at www.joshneedleman.net" rel="external nofollow">http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/joshneedleman." rel="external nofollow">http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman. It’s title is Floodgate. Thanks, Josh! Download" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-WYSK-003.mp3">Download this Episode now http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/hGE9ef4jEPE" height="1" width="1"/>
There are two intense tournaments raging right now, and both of them feature entries from the Wheel of Time. No, we're not talking about the NCAA March Madness tournament either. Suvudu Cage Match In this year's Suvudu cage match, which pitches various heroes from the fantasy genre against each other, Perrin Aybarra is representing the Wheel of Time series. As of this news article, we're currently in the fourth round of the tournament. Perrin has defeated. Tasslehoff Burrfoot, Paul Atreides, and Martin the Warrior. Currently he's taking on Ben Adaephon Delat (aka "Quick Ben") from the The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Please go vote for Perrin! Last year's tournament champion was Rand al'Thor, who defeated Jaime Lannister from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire in what was surely one of the most exciting showdowns in years. The 4th Annual Audible.com Tournament of Audiobooks The other tournament happening right now is Audible's Audiobook tournament. Celebrating outstanding performances in four categories (Best Sellers, Critically Acclaimed, Customer Favorites, and Editors' Picks), the competition is a bracket-style, single-elimination tournament where customers and fans vote to decide which books advance from week to week. It all leads up to the final week, when the winning book will be crowned Audible's Champion of Audiobooks to stand beside past winners including last year's champion: The Gathering Storm. This year all the excitement began on March 23 and continues until the champion is announced on April 26. Representing the Wheel of Time is Towers of Midnight, one of the bestselling books of 2010. ToM has already made it through the first round and the second round voting goes until April 4. Go here to vote for it! So there you go. Two popular tournaments. The Wheel of Time is the returning champion for both of them. Let's tell the world that our fandom and our favorite series deserve to be #1 again this year.
This week for Fan Art Friday, we're going to take a look at the Black Tower. The Asha'man uniform is a black, high collared coat. As they gain rank, they earn pins that can be worn on the collar. Don't ask whether the Dragon is on the right or the left, because that topic has completely derailed every discussion on men's costuming we've ever attempted at either Dragon*Con or JordanCon. Seriously. But fannish arguments aside, let's take a look at some art: A nice, generic Asha'man by Katerina Borovikov. Note that the Asha'man pin is silver in this piece, instead of the canonical gold and red enameled described in the books. That's something you see in Wheel of Time costuming as well, because the sterling silver version of the Dragon pin that Badali sells is far more affordable than the red and gold version. I love this one. It's pretty simple and to the point. "Asha'man! Explode stuff!" DeviantArt user liruchen describes this as "Saldeaen Asha'man", which explains the mustache. Pretty fabulous use of line and form on this one too. This one is a really nice study of an Asha'man. I think one of the reasons the Black Tower has become so popular in fandom isn't just that you get to dress in black and set fires with your mind, it's the sense of struggle the Asha'man have. To save the world, they have to embrace the part of themselves that's terrible and destructive. They risk madness to learn how to channel. It's a tremendous sacrifice they make. This piece by solitarium captures that feeling. Another juxtaposition you see frequently is Asha'man with sisters of the Red Ajah. The Reds as a whole get a bad reputation in the books. They come off as man haters, even though there are several Reds who enjoy men and one even openly wishes for a Warder. The Reds, however, are the first Aes Sedai to really understand what the Black Tower means and offer to bond them as Warders. This is without knowing that saidin has been cleansed or what might happen to a woman bonded to mad man. It's an incredible act of courage for them to say "Men who can channel are our responsibility" and take that so seriously. Anyways, I'm editorializing and it has very little to do with this picture by gala-maia of Logain with one of the Reds he bonded against her will. I personally prefer the idea of the Reds and the Asha'man standing together against the Shadow, rather than one side victimizing the other.
It's time for another edition of The Wheel of Time video news on Dragonmount. This week our host Kristen Nedopak focuses on JordanCon, the upcoming convention for fans of the Wheel of Time series. http://www.youtube.com/embed/oBflGf5H0OI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> JordanCon takes place in Atlanta, GA April 15-17. Pre-registration is $55 until April 3rd, $65 at the door. Hotel rooms are still available at the convention rate of &107 a night at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia. Guests and featured program participants include David B. Coe, Eugie Foster, Jana Oliver, Jason Denzel, Jennifer Liang, Matt Hatch, Linda Taglieri, Leigh Butler, Maria Simons, Alan Romanczuk, Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal. You can view the tentative schedule online (PDF). Highlights of the convention this year include exclusive panels with Team Jordan, the "Last Theory Panel Ever", and even auditions (Yes, that's right.) for Dragonmount's next Top Secret WoT video project. (Details to come in a future news article about that). The three day event will also feature the annual costume contest, a Darkfriend Ice Cream Social, as well as numerous panels, workshops and discussions exploring the Wheel of Time series and fantasy writing. Simply put, this is the BIGGEST annual event related to the Wheel of Time, and you don't want to miss it.
This week Fan Art Friday we're going to deviate a little bit from strictly fan art and show off some pieces from the Japanese translations of The Wheel of Time. We are, of course, very saddened by the recent earthquake in Sendai and tsunami that affected the Pacific Rim. We hope that any Japanese fans out there reading this are safe and know where their loved ones are. For those who aren't aware, the entire series has been translated into Japanese and published with new covers and interior art by Toshiaki Katou. As is common with translated books, each one has been split into several smaller volumes. The Japanese editions average between four to five volumes per book. The official website for the Japanese editions is hosted by Japan Contents. src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_91/gallery_2_91_40184.jpg' alt='Eye of the World 2' /> This is from the second volume of The Eye of the World. It's Moiraine and Lan, looking spooky and foreboding. I'm sorry that we don't have a better resolution scan of this. The detail on these pieces is incredible. src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_91/gallery_2_91_90182.jpg' alt='The Dragon Reborn 2' /> This is from the second part of The Dragon Reborn. Nynaeve is pretty easy to pick out with her braid, but did you notice that Elayne is rising out of a lily? And her personal sigil is a golden lily? Like I said, attention to detail. I don't know what those feathers around Egwene are supposed to be though. src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_91/gallery_2_91_14624.jpg' alt='A Crown of Swords 7' /> Rand, from towards the end of A Crown of Swords. If I was a guy, I'd totally use this as my forum avatar. FEAR ME! src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_91/gallery_2_91_56080.jpg' alt='A Crown of Swords 5' /> And finally, Moghedian, the Spider. Chilling, huh? Too bad she's such a wussy Forsaken. To see more Japanese covers check out our recently upgraded Art Gallery. And if you'd like to donate money to help fund relief efforts in Japan or the Pacific, the White Tower Social Group has helpfully collected some links. http://american.redc...ainDonateButton http://www.redcross....id=2372&tid=032 The UK red Cross Or you can donate via text message: America - text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 Canada - text ASIA to 30333 to donate $5
Ta'veren Tees, an official endorsed website for purchasing Wheel of Time t-shirts is now open. They currently have a small (but growing!) selection of shirts you can buy in both mens' and womens' sizes. Here's their press release: You can find their selection b visiting www.taverentees.com
This week. let's look at the central figure of the Wheel of Time series: Rand al'Thor. Rand, from the beginning of the series. This is one of the early chapters of The Eye of the World, where he first sees the black rider. It's by James Beveridge, who once had a project to draw an illustration for each chapter of the series. He only got through the early chapters of the first book, but the art was incredible. You can see the whole project here. I wanted to start with this one, because when you Google "Rand al'Thor", pretty much every single picture you see is of the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS Rand. I wanted to see the farm boy from the Two Rivers Rand too. See, this is what I'm talking about. Fire! Explosions! Shirtlessness! Still, I really like this picture by DeviantArt user Dmantz. There's a nice level of detail to it. He's got the wound that never heals, the Dragons on his forearms and everything is nicely textured. It's a good portrait. Another shirtless Rand. This one by fan favorite Seamus Gallagher. The reason I comment so much on the shirtlessness is that I just don't recall Rand wandering around half naked all the time. But according to the fans, he's the Matthew McConaughey of ta'veren. I guess it's like Mat and his green coat, you get described that way once in this series and that becomes your default outfit. Ah, good old Mark Bray. I knew I could count on you to draw some clothes. I also like the detail on his tattoos. And because I've been awfully silly in this update, let's go for broke with this amazing video. http://www.youtube.com/embed/N9Ujp5Ur_i8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Be sure to check out the new and improved DM Gallery!