Monday, April 9, 2018

Book of Stone: Carrie Huston


A lower-level witch cast out of her coven, Carrie Huston turned to researching the past to find a way to exact revenge on her peers. During the course of her studies, she stumbled across an ancient secret of the Chrysanthemum throne: Jigoku No Shima, a prison for the supernatural monsters of Japan.

After months of study. Huston managed to determine the location of the island and set out to reach it and use the many demons imprisoned there against the witches who betrayed her. Manipulating the flight crew of a passenger bound for Australia, Huston crashed the plane on Jigoku No Shima, intending to use the souls of the passengers to provide her the power she needed to enslave the demons trapped on the island.

Huston’s plans were ultimately derailed by the magical safeguards of the island, its prisoners, and Detachment 1039.


Read more about Carrie Huston and Jigoku No Shima in Spectral Ops #3, Island of the Damned, coming Fall 2018. 

Book of Stone: Gunpowder



First appearing in the American Southwest in early 1990, the drug gunpowder—so-called for its black coloration—originated in South America. The highly potent drug proved to be highly addictive and briefly threatened to overtake the emerging crack cocaine in illicit sales. Gunpowder’s appearance in the United States abruptly came to an end less than a year after it first appeared. Experts believed that the drug’s source was eliminated by U.S. interdiction efforts, with the remaining stockpiles smuggle din gradually used up and replaced by other more common drugs.

Behind the Scenes: Gunpowder was produced in the nation of Acre, in South America. Blended with human blood, Gunpowder was produced by alchemical means and actually linked the user with other users and the creator of the drug: the First Born Fell, son of Inti, Huayna Cuyochi. Linked, users of gunpowder could be drained of their lifeforce slowly, over time, or have their thoughts and memories read. The drug also allowed Inti to channel lifeforce into his users, giving them superhuman strengths and resistances to injury. Inti’s human underlings could further dilute the drug by adding their own blood to it, allowing the to siphon the lifeforce of those below them on the drug chain.

Gunpowder’s production was brought to a halt when Huayna was eliminated by Detachment 1039 in 1990



Read more about Gunpowder, Acre, and Huayna Cuyochi in Dark Powder, coming this Fall. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Book of Stone: First Born Fell



There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
--Genesis 6:4



They are a race of bastard creatures, part-man, part Fallen Angel, possessing great powers and an appetite for violence. Known in the bible as the Nephilim , or giants, these supernatural beings today are officially classified by the U.S. Military as Species-2 (which also includes their offspring, the Fell), but are more commonly referred to as "First Born Fell" or simply "First Born". 

First Born vary in appearance from individual to individual. Ancient records document man instances of twelve-fingered, twelve-toed giants, with double rows of teeth and a taste or human flesh. Less humanoid appearance have been depicted as well, including a variety of creatures from mythologies around the world. 

In modern times, the earliest declassified termination of a First Born occurred in Southeast Asia in 1962. At the time, the First Born was found to be bound to the service of a Chinese sorcerer aiding the Communist forces of the North Vietnamese Army. Both the sorcerer and his supernatural servant were eliminated. 

Distinguishing a First Born from its Fell descendants can be particularly difficult and as yet is not clearly defined by any military standard.

Research into the First Born has revealed that the First Born have walked the Earth for millennia, interbreeding among themselves and with mortal mankind. As generations have passed, the creatures' genes have been passed on, each successive generation becoming weaker and weaker (in modern man, it is estimated nearly twelve percent of the world's population carry dormant, recessive Fell genes).

While most known First Born have been slain during the past ten centuries, there still remain an alarming number of the creatures still at large, on and off-Earth. Even more disturbing is the discovery that First Born have bred amongst themselves, creating a super-human race whose powers are only barely diminished from generation to generation.

Study of these beings ha indicated that most of the world's pantheons of non-Christian religions were in fact headed by First Born or their direct descendants. 

As the progenitors of the Fell on Earth, First Born possess great powers and a nearly unlimited stamina thanks to their inherent ability to draw etheric energy from the very fabric of the universe. First Born are considered extremely dangerous and engagement with hostile First Borns is strictly prohibited by U.S. Armed forces, with the exception of Detachment 1039. 

While considered nearly unstoppable, First Born are not unkillable. The first recorded death of a member of Species-2 occurred in the 19th Century in the American West, although the details and names of those involved in this encounter have been sealed under Presidential Order until the year 2399. 

In 2016, Dr. [REDACTED] theorized that no Fallen Angel has walked the earth for the past two thousand years. This theory was based on the discovery of at least one Fallen Angel in the Surtr solar system. If Dr. [REDACTED]'s theory is true, the number of Species-2 appearing on Earth might be diminishing at an ever increasing rate and is believed to be completely extinguishable with adequate monitoring of extraterrestrial and extra dimensional travelers.




Thursday, April 5, 2018

Book of Stone: Equus



A prehistoric man in ancient Greece, Equus was cursed by Zeus and transformed into a Centaur. He roamed the Earth, immortal, for centuries, until he finally challenged the riverman, Charon, in hopes of dying. Instead, Charon possessed Equus and used his body until the modern era, killing innocents  to reap their souls, which were imprisoned in his dark weapon, a dark object that could assume multiple shapes. Equus was finally put to rest in 2014, SS09: Pale Horseman.


NOTES: 

Equus-Charon marks the first instance where a true Centaur appeared in the Stone Soldiers universe. In Greek mythology,  Centaurus was the father of all centaurs (also called Ixionidae). Half-man, half horse, with the torso of a man extending where the neck of a horse should be, Centaurs were said to be wild, savage, and lustful. But the man who would become Centaurus was not born a hybrid--he was cursed by the First Born Fell, Zeus. 

Centaurus himself was the son of the cloud-being Nephele and the cursed Greek man Ixion--a hideous being who fled from humanity and allegedly mated with the horses of Mount Pelion. 

Most historians believe that the mythology of Centaurs actually arises from the advent of horsemen in ancient times--that those who hadn't learned to master riding equines were terrified to see their new enemy approach and created the myth. 

For Stone Soldiers, the Pale Horseman is a blending of the Grim Reaper and Centaur myths with the Horsemen prophecy of the Book of Revelations.

The nephilim/demon Charon further allowed for the final step in the Josie Winters story arc of the Stone Soldiers series. Possessing Josie, Charon used her body, unlocking her full psychic abilities to reap more souls--which, stored in his dark weapon, provided him a nearly limitless power source. After defeating Charon, Winters retained the memory of how to use all her psychic powers. This was foreshadowed in Stone Soldiers #5, Black Knight Down, when Jimmy Kane was also possessed by a witch who inadvertently showed him how to trigger, and control, the werewolf curse he carried, allowing Kane to become werewolf whenever he chooses. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Book of Stone: Draco Sapiens

Designated Species 6 by the U.S. Military, draco sapiens are a Fellish subspecies of man, not native to the planet Earth, and more commonly called "reptilians" by members of the civilian populace. 

In 2018, it was discovered that Dracos originate from an alternate reality Earth ruled by the Fallen Angel Long-El. This alternate Earth, dubbed Lóng shìjiè ("Long Shi") by the enslaved humans lured there, is connected to Earth by means of a wyrmhole portal in Nevada. However, Dracos utilize thaumatological technology to travel back and forth between the two worlds at will, at any point on the two globes. 

Dracos are bipedal beings, with to arms and legs, covered with a greenish-tinged, scaly skin that is theorized to be an advanced mutation of icthyosis all are born with. Dracos have wide set eyes and sunken nasal passages, creating the reptile-like appearance of their faces. Dracos file their teeth at puberty, similar to the tradition of African tribes. 

Dracos worship and served the Fallen Angel Longshi, serving as masters, and in some cases the abductors of the slave population of humans on Perdition. 

In addition to their uses of thaumatological devices, Dracos possesses advanced psychokinetic and extrasensory abilities and are capable of projecting mental images into the minds of targets. This allows the to alter the perception of humans, creating illusions or masking their appearance or presence. This ability has been used for many centuries in the abduction of humans to add to the slave population of Perdition. 




(Read more about he Dracos and the world of Lóng shìjiè in Perdition's Shadow, coming Winter 2018)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Book of Stone: Charon





CHARON

A demon (First Born Fell, or nephilim) from prehistoric times, Charon roamed the Earth for millennia, killing innocents and imprisoning their spirits in his enchanted/dark weapon. Charon moved from the body of champion to champion, always looking for new abilities and powers. As such, he could shapechange into any previous form at will. In 2014, Charon was using the body of the centaur Equus and came to America (SS09: Pale Horseman). He eventually, briefly, possessed Josie Winters before being pulled from her body and bound to his staff once more without a host.

For ages, Charon's staff-weapon was his prison. He is anchored to it, and never able  to move more than a  few feet away from it. In a mortal body--gained when someone touches the staff--Charon had the full range of his powers. Without a body, he is limited and ethereal--tied to the staff and only able to move, as an non-corporeal being, a short distance from it. Charon was able to break free of his staff weapon when it was broken by Mark Kenslir, who misunderstood the weapons purpose and used his own powers to negate the binding magic of the staff. Charon was eventually rebound to the staff by Detachment 1039, and the ancient, arcane artifact was buried in the Inferno vault in Nevada. 




Monday, April 2, 2018

Book of Stone: KJ Bowling


Mentioned by several characters in Detachment 1039, Mary Cobbler and the Secret of Frogwarts is a popular middle-grade children's book about a twelve year old witch-in-training who solves mysteries while attending a prestigious wizarding school in England. What most of the Stone Soldiers world doesn’t know is that Kristina “KJ” Bowling actually based the stories in her books on her own experiences as a child—something that very nearly cost her life in the year 2000.

Not long after Mary Cobbler was released in print, the coven of witches running the Blackmoor Academy discovered that the book contained a number of their secrets—all thinly veiled under pseudonyms and parodies. A check of their records revealed that Bowling had herself been a student at Blackmoor, until she was expelled. The coven and their allies set out to immediately quiet Bowling, attempting to assassinate her on multiple occasions until they themselves were eliminated by Detachment 1039 (see Magician of Interest, Shadow Detachment #11, coming Fall of 2018).



Today, Bowling lives in extreme seclusion, carefully watched by the United States military, to whom she continues to feed secrets about Blackmoor and the circle of covens that established it—while also continuing the adventures of her beloved characters in a series of novels that continue to sell around the world.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Book of Stone: Acre




The tiny rainforest nation of Acre lies in the center of South America, bordered by Brazil to the east, Peru to the west, and Bolivia to the southeast. Since the nineteenth century, the small nation has been the territory of all three larger nations and is today still unrecognized by its neighbors.

After decades of conflict, in 1909, a treaty was signed and the territory was made part of the nation of Brazil. In 1980, Acre declared its independence and successfully repelled Brazilian armed forces sent to quell the latest uprising. Today, Acre remains a contested region, but somehow manages to avoid being invaded by occupational forces from any other nation. The borders of the tiny country are heavily patrolled and despite its small size, Acre’s semi-organized militia forces have eliminated all smuggling into or out of the country.

Rumors from the Amazon region abound that Acre is controlled by shamans given power by a supernatural entity that claim is none other than the Incan god Inti. Successful drug and rubber plantations within the borders of Acre have secured significant financial reserves for the country and it is generally accepted the tiny nation preserves its unrecognized-yet-sovereign status through bribes and financial manipulation of its surrounding nations.

Several financial and economic experts in academia have pointed out the drug and rubber trade of the late 20th Century—the former eradicated by combined United States and Bolivian armed forces—could not account for the tremendous wealth of the tiny nation. This has led to further speculation that the long-lost treasure of the Incan Empire was hidden in Acre and is now used by the rebel government there to preserve the peace. As virtually no outsider journeying into Acre ever returns, the true nature of the country officially remains a mystery.


Look for Acre in Dark Powder, Shadow Detachment #9, releasing the Summer of 2018. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

NEWEST RELEASE: Shadow Detachment, Volumes 1-5


A compilation of Books 1-5 in the Shadow Detachment series, available now on Kindle, and coming soon in print!


The forces of darkness conspire to eradicate mankind, even into the modern era. Standing against them are soldiers possessing abilities beyond that of normal men. Follow the adventures of Detachment 1039 through three decades of preternatural combat around the world in this compilation of the first five Shadow Detachment stories. From 1950 Korea to 1974 Morocco, America's best fight fire with fire, as supernatural soldiers cross paths with fearsome beasts. 

Includes:

Shadow Detachment
Dark Invaders
Stone Soldier
Spellbreaker
Blood Traitor

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

COLLABORATION 2018

They say that two heads are better than one, and when it comes to Action and Adventure, that definitely holds true. 

The greatest action-adventure series of all time, the Destroyer, was created and written by two amazing authors: Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy. Over the years, these two giants of two-fisted action churned out dozens of novels. Following Mr. Sapir's untimely passing, Warren Murphy continued the series, partnering with ghost writers like Will Murray, Jim Mullaney, and Gerald Welch. Five decades and over one-hundred-and-fifty novels later, the Destroyer keeps on kicking butt and dispensing justice. 

For 2018, The Stone Soldiers of Detachment 1039 are doing the same. Starting with the oldest Detachment story, "Shadow Detachment", all the Stone Soldiers series are being combined into one, numbered chronologically, re-edited, revised and re-released with the help of ghost writers under an all new author name: Martin Stryker

And the revolution has already begun. 

Beginning in December 2017, the Shadow Detachment series has begun re-releasing revised editions once a week, revealing the origins of the magic-and-monster-fighting unit in 1950 (Shadow Detachment) and continuing through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s. By Summer 2018, the Stone Soldiers stories readers have enjoyed will be re-released as well, continuing the decades-long battle against the forces of darkness both on an off-world. 

Look for new releases weekly, including compilations of the shorter novellas, in their proper reading order, with a handful of all-new stories added in:

RED MAGIK, a tale of 1980s espionage that sees Mark Kenslir slipping behind the Iron Curtain to steal the head of Medusa from Soviet Sorcerers before they can unlock its ancient secrets

DARK POWDER, a tale of 1990s drug interdiction set in South America as the Detachment fights a Cartel relying on supernatural forces to seize control of not only the drug trade but of the minds and souls of addicts around the world.

MAGICIAN OF INTEREST, an early 2000s adventure that puts Colonel Mark Kenslir on the side of evil, protecting a renegade witch-turned best-selling author as her former peers seek to silence her tell-all books before the world-at-large learns their deepest secrets. 

And finally, 

ISLAND OF THE DAMNED, the delayed third installment of the Spectral Ops story arc that finds the Detachment fighting armies of the dead being raised around the world. In this installment, a mysterious island in the mid-Pacific is inadvertently discovered when a passenger jet crashes, turning survivors into prisoners in a paranormal penal colony built centuries go and now home to the greatest monsters of the ancient Japanese empire. Can Detachment 1039 rescue the civilians of Flight 618, or will America's greatest supernatural soldiers become the newest inmates of the Island of the Damned?

But just who is the other half of Martin Stryker, willing to join C.E. Martin in 2018? Check back soon for more on the anonymous, mysterious ghost writer-half of the Martin Stryker team....