Greetings, Loyal Reader!
I can finally reveal the “Secret Project” I’ve been working on all year. Magicka: The Ninth Element is a short novel set in the world of the Paradox Interactive game Magicka. Magicka is “an action-adventure game set in the fantasy world of Midgård, where elemental magic rules the land, goblins and trolls are perfectly harmless – well, perhaps not entirely, and all the villagers are wise-cracking smart alecks.”
Magicka is a third-person shooter style game in which one to four player control Wizard character and launch a huge variety of destructive spells at enemy necromancers, orcs, and other terrible foes.
Here is more about the game:
The story begins amidst a great crisis, and an urgent quest falls to you, Wizards of the Order of Magick. It would seem that the capital city of Hávindr is under siege! So alas, you must leave your comfortable castle filled with delicious hot dogs and fancy cheeses, and hurry to the aid of the King.
In your travels you will fight your way through 13 levels, each more fiendish than the last. You shall draw upon the aid of magickal spells, freely combined from the eight elements. As you progress, you will learn the delicate art of annihilating your enemies with the awesome powers of ancient Magicks. As if that’s not enough, you can also test your skills in the various challenge modes, and duel your friends (or enemies) in player vs player battle mode.
The game is a blast and there are several extra levels, sequels and prequels that expand and extend the original storyline and offer more opportunities for magickal mayhem.
This where I come in.
Last year, Paradox approached me about authoring a tie-in novel. Magicka‘s tongue-in-cheek tone is similar, though not quite the same, as my comical Jason Cosmo fantasy adventure series. It sounded fun, so I signed up — and soon learned writing a story set in someone else’s fictional world presents certain … challenges. It was an enjoyable experience, yet very different than being able to write and run with whatever crazy idea pops into my head.
Trying to capture the feel of a game that is more based on action and blowing stuff up than on deep character moments (not that I would know much about that … ) was also a challenge. I experimented with things like using comic book sound effects, lean descriptions (do I really need to describe a fireball spell in detail?) and other tricks to keep things moving.
I also got to add to Magicka lore. Often the answer to my questions about some bit of in-world history or “fact” was “Make something up.” So I did! (Often getting a response of … “Odin’s onions, no! You can’t do that!”) So I was thrilled and excited to contribute in a small way to the development of Midgård.
The result is Magicka: The Ninth Element, in which four young Wizards are sent on a quest to pursue the mysterious Purple Wizard who has stolen a powerful artifact from the Order of Magick.
Which powerful artifact? No one is quite sure (for reasons explained in the story).
What does it do? Again, unclear. But it can’t be good.
Thus our heroes Davlo, Grimnir, Fafnir and Tuonetar set out on their quest — and promptly go off the map. (I’m not even kidding. The Midgård map in the front of the book will of little use to you. But it’s pretty!)
Will they survive the dangers of the Unmapped Lands? Will they catch the Purple Wizard in time? Will they save the world? Read the book to find out!
I’ll have more to share about Magicka: The Ninth Element soon. Today I’m just pleased that Loyal Readers can finally get your hands on it!