Saturday, April 23, 2016

BOOK OF STONE: Tyche's Temple

For April, Stone is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries detailing the people, places and things of the Stone Soldiers universe.


Description:  Las Vegas Casino

Summary:  Located at the North end of the Strip, a gleaming tower of black glass and steel looms 68 stories into the sky, luring gamblers from far and wide with promises of wealth and fortune...

Tyche was a deity governing fortune and prosperity in ancient cities. The daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus (or Hermes), Tyche was believed to be the source for floods, droughts or frosts by the Greek historian Polybius. 

In 2014, an abandoned hotel construction project on the Strip was bought by an unknown group that quickly renovated the ground floors, turning the massive building into a casino. Construction on the upper levels continued after Tyche's Temple opened, purportedly to expand the building's hotel capabilities from the ground up. But the Temple hid a much darker secret unveiled by Colonel Mark Kenslir of Detachment 1039...

Run by a mysterious lone witch calling herself the Lady Antousa, Tyche's Temple actually hid a factory of sorts--harvesting and torturing the souls of the greedy to boost Antousa's powers. Utilizing a reversed Dante's Inferno theme in the upper levels, the building tormented hapless gamblers before murdering them and imprisoning their souls.

After Antousa's defeat, the hotel was quietly transferred to new owners while the torture chambers were dismantled under careful supervision of the FBI's P-Division. 

Author's Notes: Die Hard was an epic action movie who's contained mayhem formula has been used over and over again. For the Stone Soldiers universe, I wanted to join this copycat flattery train and come up with my own contained-action setting. At the time, my wife was watching the Ocean's Eleven series of movies, again, and inspiration struck... A magical tower, in the heart of Vegas, filled with monsters...

A Lucky Day to Die brought a lot to the series, showing a new way for a witch coven to work, and introducing one of the Deatchment's best weapons to date: the etheric-absorbing Bowie knives. A radical departure from the regular books in the series, where the team is sent on missions from higher ups, this adventure revealed more of Marc Kenslir's past, and put him and members of the team on their own time, without any Detachment support or assistance. And it resolved something I'd been teasing for several books: the birth of Kenslir's son. 

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