Top 5 Keylogger Software 2017

A keylogger is one of the most useful software to track down and record everything coming from a keyboard. It does not matter how the computer is being used; a keylogger allows you record every single keystroke without being detected.

It is often used for monitoring children, employees and even cheaters in relationships. There are ethic and non-ethics ways to use these useful tools, but if you are looking for top 5 keylogger on 2017, you’re in a good place:

1. Keylogger Free

When we are looking for the best option out there, one of the most important things is the price tag. It becomes better when it is free and Keylogger Free has all kind of features under its belt without paying a penny.

An efficient and impossible-to-spot hidden mode brings lots of possibility to the table. However, where this software stands out is in its accuracy to record and log all kind of keystrokes, along with its remote control.

All those cutting-edge specs come down with a total free use (which is why we put this reliable software in the number 1 spot)

2. REFOG Free Keylogger

Another free-to-use competitor that is close in terms of quality and results to Free Keylogger. REFOG Free Keylogger has been one of the most popular option to log and record every single keystroke.

However, this is not entirely free software. It has some kind of basic version available for free, but lacking so many useful and important features that our number 1 has.

To put into perspective, this free version is only capable of monitoring and logging keystrokes, visited websites, clipboard, and running programs. In addition, REFOG keylogger is not entirely invisible and it can be seen in the in task manager.

3. Actual Keylogger

Some people say that the best comes from money, but the Free Keylogger Software is the opposite proof.

While Actual Keylogger was once a reliable and popular free keylogger software, it has changed its politics by offering the same product but with a high cost.

However, you can still find the oldest versions, which are still free. It comes with limitations and it can only capture keystrokes and allows you to access the program with two methods.

Nevertheless, this is easily one of the best free keylogger software thanks to its incredible stealth features. Do you want to be totally invisible? Then this is your best bet.

4. G3 iSam

G3 iSam is a free keylogger software that stands out the competence due to its platform plagued with tons of features such as capturing any keystrokes and taking screenshots at the same time. It is completely automatic, with an automated system that emails every log file and keyword marking during the monitoring and all kind of actions.

It’s a little bit complex, definitely not a user-friendly interface and will take a little bit to get familiar with it. However, this is not the best free keylogger software because it cannot get stealth completely (it can be seen in the task manager)


5. Spyrix Free Keylogger

Spyrix actually has two version; paid and free, but this time we’re going to focus on the free version just for the budget sake. This Free Keylogger software is popular because it’s easy to use and effective by packaging just the right amount of features.

It’s really good at capturing keystrokes, clipboard and providing screenshots of the actions. In addition, it’s also packaged with tons of advanced features such as social network and IM capture, visited websites, alerts and more.

However, this is not the best free keylogger software when it comes to stealth feature. It can be visualized from the task manager and the program’s folder is evidently visible.

Eberron open call Submissions

WotC Open Call Submissions

Below is a list of short stories which were originally submitted to Wizards of the Coast, as part of the Eberron open call, where they were searching for an author to write a novel in the War Torn series. All of the stories are property of the individual author, and may not be used anywhere without their permission.

INTO THE VOID – Ryan Daly (rdaly)

SINS OF BLOOD – Elvis Podvorac (Creepy Bastard)

HOMELESS – David Blaine (Alac Luin)

SHARNS EDGE – Kevin Liss (The Hammer)

IN THE MAP ROOM – R. Scott Kimsey (Fenris)

THE ROTTEN HEART – Frédéric Raymond (Nosfredatu)

UNTITLED – Rob Slater

Codex Infinitum – Art Development

I just wanted to put this page together to show you the development stages of the artwork for Codex Infinitum.

STAGE 1

This was one of the first sketches by Anne Stokes. We knew that we would have the book itself as the central premise, and we wanted to have a classic D&D theme. So this is why we ended up with a party (a strange one I admit) finding the book, and reading its contents.

STAGE 2

This is the second drawing, which is pretty close to the final art. Here you will see that we decided to remove the female demon, as I wanted it to be even more classic D&D so I threw in a Dwarf. I knew the book was going to be on a pedastal, and so the Dwarf would not be able to reach it, so I thought it would be good to put him on a crate. Anne did an amazing job at interpreting my ideas.

STAGE 3

The final artwork. Once the color is added it brings the whole scene to life. One of the many things that Anne does so well is use light, and here she has just created an amazing atmosphere.

CODEX INFINITUM

Welcome to the tome of universal wisdom, the Codex Infintum. Herein you will find articles about various worlds scattered amongst the cosmos. You may have heard of some, and others you may be discovering for the first time.
Pry open the dusty cover and adventure within its pages, and awe at its infinite knowldge.

 

The Universal Society
(the Universalists, the All-Believers)

“It has been said by many scholars and sages, that every once in a while, a group of self-absorbed bloods will come together and push out onto the “Scene” within the Cage and espouse some crazy or crackpot philosophy that no one else has any interest in. These groups usually don’t last long, say these sages, because their beliefs are based upon faulty or shaky foundations. It is the understanding of these scholars, that each faction and sect is only as strong as its philosophy. No matter how many people are in the faction, or how expansive the organisation is (and they are organisations… the sages ask you to trust them on this)… if they don’t have a belief that will endurethe test of both time and faith, then they are destined to fail from the moment they put quill to parchment or utter the first words of their belief in the town square to a local group of Cagers. The factions that exist today, in the now settling chaos of post-Faction War, are those factions that have survived the second greatest challenge to their philosophies. Their first challenge was coming together and staying together in the first place. What their next challenge will be, well… no one really knows for sure… Of course, those who understand such things point to the fact that no single faction or sect has yet truly reached the point where they have endured “everything”, simply because no faction or sect has yet reached the point of accessing the truth of the planes.”

— Malleus Allbart, formerly of the Converts, now part of the Universal Society

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Sect philosophy: It might strike some as strange then, that there exists a faction, or a sect, or a group, or a brotherhood… whatever title you believe applies to them… that has been around since the earliest days of the earliest factions. What is strange about this society is that they have built their own philosophy on what the others have said. Factions that have come and gone, sects that have risen and fallen… factions and sects that are… all have in their own unique way influenced the core philosohy of this society. Those scholars and sages, who know of this group, do not speak of them, because its existence is a constant reminder to them of the error their theories about faction/sect survivability contain. For if each faction and sect is only as strong as the philosophy they believe in, what does this say about a faction or sect that believes in all of the philosophies and beliefs ever put together…

So to put it simply, this is a society of canny bloods who hold the premise that each and every faction philosophy and sect belief has some measure of truth about the dark of reality. They believe it is their job to ferret out each point of truth which every philosophy and belief contains, and form an all encompassing “theory of existence” which builds upon these central ideas. There are some within the society who think that the mortal faith of deities should also be studied for what it can bring into their studies, while others believe that the gods are simply following their own naive paths to universal truth and are better left alone. The sect does not derive from a single faction or faith, they in fact see themselves as a sect of all the factions and sects that have existed, do exist, and will exist. They are the students of the factions and sects in the multiverse. They study what the factions and sects believe in.

The “theory of existence”, that this society is slowly putting together, is a philosophical framework that, if completed, would provide the group with a unified description of all reality. Each and every Universalist is expected to compose his/her own theory, based upon their own personal interpretations of faction and sect philosophies. It is the society’s understanding that, the more people they have working on finding the bits and pieces of universal truth, the sooner they find each and every piece that can be used to put the framework together. Most members in the society accept that nearly every individual conducting a study of philosophies will likely never find any fragment of the “universal truth”. Finding even a single piece is a grand occasion indeed, full of discussion, debate, celebration, and then more intensive study. It is a rare occurrence, and only a few will ever hold the coveted position of “Finder” within the society.

Once all these pieces have been found (because who can truly say how many of them there are… every day some new belief seems to worm it’s way into the Cage)… if they can all be found… it is then the duty of the Fathers of All Belief, to sit and meditate upon the pieces that have been found and wait until the connections with other existing fragments are discovered. It is not known who the Fathers of All Belief are, or even what they look like or how they came to occupy such a position. No one within the society has any wish to speculate as to how these Fathers can “know” what it is they are supposed to be looking for. They simply know that they are to “trust” the patterns the Fathers find, and that these patterns are part of the necessary formation of the framework of universal truth. There are a few however, who hold secret beliefs that even after the patterns of connection have been found, that these patterns themselves should be studied and discussed in order to determine the next stage of the puzzle and how it fits together. They think that the Fathers should only be the “next” step, rather than the “pen-ultimate step” in learning about the pieces of the puzzle.

Primary place of influence: Given it’s unique ability to touch nearly all the places in existence (and therefore nearly every faction or sect’s home), the Universal Society makes it’s home in the Cage.

Allies and enemies: In truth, because very few acknowledge or even know of the society’s existence, their list of friends and enemies is rather short. Of those who do know of the Universal Society, they are either immediately attracted by the allure of knowing what the society knows, or are so ingrained within their own faction philosophy that they see the efforts of the Universalists as impossible and foolish. There have never been any who have just accepted the group, simply for what they are… another group of “philosophers with clubs”.

Eligibility: If you are a member of a faction or sect, then you’re already half way into the induction of the Universal Society. The society accepts any and all who are willing to believe in the truth of all truths. If a potential member can understand that each and every philosophy contains some measure of “ultimate” truth, then they must acknowledge their own personal quest to find what that “ultimate” truth is. They must dedicate their lives to study, and to discover. They must have an open mind, and be willing to cast aside seductive falsehoods and get to the core of truth that lies in the heart of each belief, no matter how contradictory, or how bizarre that truth may be… for now, it is nothing more than one piece of the ultimate puzzle. The puzzle of existence.

Collection of the comments

This is a collection of the comments, questions & answers, which were between the members of Worlds of D&D and the wonderful Christie Golden. We thank Christie for taking the time in her schedule and providing us with some wonderful insights, behind a wonderful novel – Vampire of the Mists!

Mal

I loved this opening section, as I am also a fan of Forgotten Realms, and back in the days we played we would always enter Ravenloft from some other campaign setting.

Waterdeep is one of my favorite locations, and you portrayed this much darker side to the city, the Asylum.

Being your first novel, how much research did you do on the Forgotten Realms setting? I noticed there were some nice references to Evermeet in there too.

Christie

I mostly concentrated on Ravenloft, but I did buy the FR campaign setting so that I could talk about things with some degree of familiarity.

Comments on this part of the book: When I originally started writing this, Jander was almost as bad as Strahd. I remember working on scenes like, “The vampire stalked among the sheep, his cold eyes raking the scene with contempt.”

It sucked. I mean it felt All Wrong. From the very beginning, Jander’s fight to hang onto what goodness he could started to manifest, and I ended up completely redoing the character. He told me very clearly who he was and how he would behave, and I just followed his lead!

Strahd

I am glad that you made this change. As I really liked the way that Jander is sorrowful, and clings onto nature even in a small way, and plants night blooming flowers near his cave.

There is still that evil inside him, as he kills everyone in the asylum, including the guards. A scene that still lingers in my mind long after I have read it.

Christie

Ah, is it evil or is it just pain and rage manifesting out of control? Darkness, yes, but not evil, I don’t think. He “checks out” and the slaughter is done on a subconscious level. Not guilty by reason of insanity?

Joel

Saw that James Lowder was your editor on VotM. It must have been fun. I had a few exchange by email over author’s notes at the FoS and all the time it was very pleasant.

James has been editor of many horror fantasy books, it seems (I recall he edited too the All flesh must be eaten series). How was it to work with him ? What seemed to be his concerns when he edited VotM ?

Christie

Jim did a fine job editing me, but I think he too was a little hamstrung by orders coming down “from above,” especially to “make it darker.” I ranted about this earlier somewhere on these boards–basically the higher ups wanted the books to be “darker” and, apparently, more depressing, and he was under pressure to see that my work reflected that. Unfortunately, I did as I was told, and I do think the books suffered from that after VAMPIRE. If it’s too dark, well, all you’re doing is sitting around saying “Hey, where is everyone?” LOL!

Tremaine

Did Madame Eva recognise Jander as a sun elf from Toril because she has visited his world in the past or because she’s a seer?

I find it fascinating that Madame Eva went to Toril and is now back in Barovia, I’m guessing she came back for her family?

Christie

You know, it’s been so long….I can’t even remember all this. If she did go to Toril, she probably did encounter a Sun Elf, so that’s probably what I meant to say. I would say Madame Eva, who is a TSR creation, probably has a good sense of where she belongs and made a deliberate decision to be where she is.

Mal

Another thing about this section of the book that I like is the Tarokka reading. It was a great tool to be used in the Ravenloft setting, to give a bit of back history of the adventuring party, and to tell in a small way how the story would unfold.

I also like how Jander wept tears of blood!

Christie

Thanks….they later did their own “tarokka” deck but I designed all the cards that appeared in VAMPIRE. I took a traditional deck and kind of made it Ravenloft-centric, the Tower being Castle Ravenloft etc. It was fun.

And the blood tears…I don’t know where I got that, but it was one thing that was often attributed to vampires. Maybe I swiped it frome Anne Rice? Hey, good writers borrow, great writers steal…LOL I AM joking of course!

Mal

A few things have stuck out in my mind in the book, that I really liked.

First up was the curse that Jander could not partake of the blood of animals like he could back in Waterdeep, something that he needed to separate him from other vampires, something that would make him feel less evil.

Next was the way he carefully fed of Natasha, but at the same time his thirst was so great that he could have killed her. Jander had amazing restraint to hold back and spare her life.

I also liked a little history tidbit which was revealed when Jander was looking through some tomes of Strahd. One of these books was called Skin and Steel : The History of the Ba’al Verzi. This was a very insightful introduction to these assasins and I would have loved to read more about them.

If you can remember Christie where did this info on the Ba’al Verzi come from, was it your creation and what was the inspiration behind it?

Christie

Part of the pathos of Jander is that he continues to try even when he knows that he can’t really succeed.

But he refuses to give up. He’s going to keep trying to overcome his dark parts, keep trying to bring light to the land, keep nurturing all that’s good and beautiful. Very much a Don Quixote, except with full appreciation of the futility of what he’s doing. One of the reasons I think this book is so popular is that it DOES have the glimmer of a candle in the darkness. There’s still hope, even if it’s doomed. I think the more the line went on, the less that was allowed to manifest in the novels. I know that I was repeatedly told to “make it darker,” and yet the book that has the most light (VAMPIRE) is the most popular, and the book that has the most darkness and lack of hope (ENEMY) is the least popular.

The whole Ba’al Verzi angle was my creation, yes. Kinda proud of that. Prouder even of creating, as far as I know, the first elven vampire.

Tremaine

I liked the scene where Strahd and Jander are playing music together, Strahd playing the organ and Jander playing the flute for a short while you see that both are moved by the music and are kindred spirits for a time.

Also liked Jander and Strahd little duel with controlling the wolves eventually leading to strahd having full control over them

Christie

Ah, the duet…still one of my favorite scenes. I think it still stands among the best I’ve written. It’s interesting to look back at this, my first book, from 25 novels on and see what I think still works and what seems very clunky to me.

Mal

Yes the duet is fantastic, a really powerful piece of writing.

Let me just quote a piece that really struck out…

“Together, the vampires created spontaneous music. The clear tones of the flute danced and skittered like light over the organs deep chords. Sometimes the music was gentle, rippling, peaceful. Other times it swelled and burst like the waves crashing onto the shore, a vampiric music that reflected the inner pangs of its creators, the harmonies of the damned incarnated.”

Christie, you must have shivered yourself when writing that!

I hope people who have not yet picked up this book, who look at these threads, come to see how a great piece of work this was and still is to this day.

Christie

Mal, thanks! I don’t want to go all ooky ooo on everybody but you know, there are times when I really feel I’m not writing this all by myself. Sometimes the words just come through and I sit back and say, “Dang, did I write that? That’s GOOD!” There are characters like that too, of which Jander was one. He really felt and feels still like something “outside” myself. It can be very weird. I’ve talked to other writers and it’s very reassuring to hear them confide similar feelings, so I know I’m not crazy….at least any more than other authors are crazy!

Strahd

Another thing in this part of my book, that I had totally forgotten about, which I found to be an absolute pearl of information, was Chapter 12 which basically told the story of the Silver Six.

This flashback also served to tell the tale of how Daggerdale in the Realms came to have its name.

Christie

Yep, the Silver Six are my own, as is what happened to Daggerdale and why it got that name. I fullly expect someone to write me and tell me that WotC has released some compendium that completely retells that history. LOL that happened with ENEMY, you know….there was only a little bit about Nova Vaasa in the first Ravenloft game, so I made up a ton of “history,” including giving Tristan his name, deciding who the unnamed “ghost” was and her history of suicide, etc.. Imagine my shock when I read in a review that I had “got it all wrong” because I apparently misspelled Tristan’s name and said his wife was a suicide when Tristan really murdered her.

I’m like, “But….they changed everything AFTER the book came out….”

So, I guess the question really is…who got it wrong?

This is not at all unusual in dealing with shared worlds, by the way!

Tremaine

I like the character of Trina even if she is a werewolf , I liked it when she transformed right in front of Jander

Christie

Trina was a lot of fun…and, er, partially based on someone I knew at the time….the physical description anyway. Human physical description, that is.

I particularly enjoyed developing “Trina” and “Katya” as two separate characters.

Mal

Another flashback I have enjoyed, is the one where Jander returns to Waterdeep to see his old friend, Lyria. It is at this time Jander feels his most desperate, trying to understand what he has become. And it is here also we learn the name of the vampire who made Jander undead also…Cassiar.

Christie

Cassiar was an homage to Anne Rice’s Armand as he was described in the book.

Mal

I don’t know if it because I have watched Van Helsing on DVD recently, but when I read the sections where Sasha and Leisl are out hunting the undead, it is that kinda role that I imagine Sasha to be in.

I have really grown fond of his character, and the history behind him. It was cool how he was a sworn friend to Jander even before he was born!

Christie

Sasha was perhaps one of my first conflicted young men characters, an archetype I like to work with. (Jander too is conflicted, but he is an elf and not exactly young.) I just now realized from your post how much he is related in spirit to the lead male character in ON FIRE’S WINGS, Jashemi-kha-Tahmu. Hmmmm….

Strahd

The last two chapters of this section are certainly amongst my favorite.

It is these two chapters where Jander find The Tome of Strahd and starts to learn the truth about his Anna (Tatyana).

Firstly I like this because it reminds me of playing the original Ravenloft module many years ago, where you found Strahds tome, and read those now famous lines – ‘I am the Ancient, I am the Land’.

Also these chapters were fantastic because for the first time ever we got the real backstory on how Strahd became what we know of him today!

You certainly set the stage perfectly for the novel I,Strahd.

Christie

It was fun getting to flesh out the backstory. One thing I knew I had to do was have Strahd love Sergei. I really pushed for that because even as a budding young writer (26, heaven help us!) I KNEW that that was what was going to make this more than another ho hum, kills someone for power type of thing. Even here, a lot got edited out, but I think the fact that Strahd truly loved his younger brother made what he did more horrific and at the same time more poignant.

Tremaine

Can you tell me more about Strahd other brother Sturm as there was not much written about him.

Christie

I wish I could, but I never really gave Sturm much thought. He was kind of the forgotten brother, wasn’t he?

Mal

Another thing I like about this book, is when Sasha asked Jander what it is like to be a vampire. The descriptions that Jander gave were so vivid it really made you think.

When he decribed the thirst, and compared it to being worse than the bloated tongue in the cotton mouthed desert wanderer, that was genius. I was almost dry reading it!

In fact it was so good I will quote a paragraph.

“The blood need is a thirst like no other, a hunger that has no parallel. The man stranded in the desert, his tongue thick within hs papery throat, yearning for the tiniest drop of moisture to ease the parched, cottony feel of his mouth – that is nothing to my thirst. A prisoner trapped in a cell, denied food for days; he feels his stomach hollow within him, he looks at the rats who share his cell, the filthy straw upon which he sleeps, his very own flesh as sustenance – he knows nothing of my hunger. And every night, we awaken thus.”

Fantastic!!

Christie

Thanks for the compliment, that’s one of my favorite passages in the book. Very purple prose, but pretty good for a lush bit, I think!

Strahd

I was wondering if the original module I6:Ravenloft had a major influence on this part of the book.

Also did you have any contact with Tracy Hickman when you started this project, or was it the intention of TSR to move forward with a new vision of what Ravenloft should be?

Christie

The only reference I had was the boxed set.

Mal

One thing I have always wondered about is the fate of Jander. As he is listed as still around in Ravenloft to this day. In the novel we do not read about his actual demise, as it just leaves you wondering.

Christie – Did you intend at some point to come back to Jander, or did you envisage that he died in the morning light?

Christie

About Jander’s “end”–it was an interesting thing. I originally wrote it as it stands now–open ended. My editor wanted me to make it clear that he died, so I wrote the scene in which poor Jander’s flesh is charred off the bones, etc. etc. Jim, my editor, then decided that the first way was the best, and that’s how it stands. My answer is and always has been that if there are no more novels, then he died; if there are, then he lives.

One of the things about a shared world is that once you create a character, he doesn’t belong to you. In CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, the author created a mini adventure with Jander, so “officially” he’s still around in Ravenloft.

Joel

I think it’s the first time in D&D where we had some vampires interested by sex as well as blood (“I’m untouched here and here”). That is a great idea, as Ravenloft usually attracts mature readers. Did it cause worries at TSR ?

This novel exploits with brio many characteristics of the canon D&D setting – I think it can be used an intro for players wanting to know more about Ravenloft. I’m curious to hear what D&D material you had in hand before writing this novel? Where you a D&D player?

Christie

Lots of questions!

Regarding sex, I did have to do a little dance with TSR about a few things. This was

right after some of the worst PR stuff to hit regarding the “evils of gaming” and TSR was rightly very cautious. So Petya and Sasha’s mom had to be older than I had originally intended them to be (I was really going for 15-year-old kids having sex, because unfortunately it does happen and it does have consequences).

I was able to get permission for vampires to have sex and–get this–to be able to father

children. For a while, in the early stages, I was toying with Jander being Sasha’s father (“I am your father, Luke!) but I think I like the way it played out better. (Don’t you love all this dishy behind the scenes stuff?)

As I said, I only had the original module, and I had never played Ravenloft (although I did a lot of playing in college.) I don’t do much these days because it’s too frustrating to come from a place of directing every character as an author to BEING directed. Weird, huh?

Strahd

I guess you was doing the Vampire mating thing years before they thought of it in ‘Angel’

Christie

LOL I do sometimes wonder if a copy of VOTM ever crossed Josh Whedon’s path….Angel is clearly very different, but there are a few similarities.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight
Edward Bolme

With the release of The Orb of Xoriat, Worlds of D&D asked Edward Bolme if he could take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. As usual Edward graciously acquiesced.

Worlds: What is your earliest memory of telling a good yarn?

Ed: Telling a yarn? That would be my first lie, when I was about four. But it wasn’t very good; my mother saw right through it.

I first tried my hand at creative writing when I was eleven or twelve; re-reading those stories – both incomplete – makes me cringe.

Throughout junior high and high school I honed my craft by game mastering D&D, RuneQuest, and others. I didn’t really try my hand at creative writing again until college, when I cranked out a series of vignettes and eventually a science fiction short story. Everyone who’s read that story loves it, and it took an honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, but I’ve had no luck getting it published. Seems people don’t like present-tense fiction.


Worlds: 
What was the first story you had published?

Ed: For pure fiction, that would be Title Deleted for Security Reasons, a Paranoia novel. Aside from some persistent grammatical errors, I am still very proud of that book.

I have done fiction back-story work for role-playing books, most noted of which was Six-Guns and Sorcery, which won an Origins Award. That would be my first story, unless you count the entirety of Rache Bartmoss’ Guide to the Net, which, although it was a game piece, was written as a collected set of memoirs.

Worlds: What inspired you to write in your younger years?

Ed: As a kid, science fiction. I loved Star Trek. I wanted to create cool worlds like that.

Worlds: And what are your inspirations now?

Ed: These days, ideas lodge in the interior of my skull and refuse to leave until they see their way onto paper. And I look through source material and look for what-ifs.

Worlds: If you have the spare time to read a novel these days, what do you like to read?

Ed: I manage a TCG team, I have a wife, a daughter of 5, a son of 3, a cat, a dog, a mortgage, and a freelance writing career. I have very little free time. Thus, the novels I read are all research; these days, that means Eberron, or thematically relevant books.

When I do read something for myself, it’s typically non-fiction. I most recently read The Miracles of Exodusby Colin Humphreys, a fascinating re-evaluation of the historical records and available evidence that turns conventional wisdom on its ear.

Worlds: Do other external sources, such as TV & Movies, have any influence on your writing?

Ed: Absolutely. I love a good tale, I love creative storytelling techniques, and I love the wide variety of vehicles to get the action going. Whenever I run into a scene or twist that I like, I put it in my reservoir of ideas, and look for a chance to use it.

For example, an under-riding current of The Alabaster Staff was that nothing was as it appeared. I stole that theme quite freely from Pitch Black. Praxle’s first scene in The Orb of Xoriat was drawn from any of a number of noir espionage films.

Worlds: When you are not busy writing, or thinking about your next project, what do like to do to just kick back and relax?

Ed: Games. Board games, role-playing games, computer games, volleyball or ultimate Frisbee games. And, when I can, hiking or camping. Which, with the aforementioned pets and children, can be a challenge.

Worlds: If you look back over your body of work so far, is there any one book that you are proud of the most?

Ed: Game-wise, it’s definitely Rache Bartmoss’ Guide to the Net. It’s all first-person from Rache’s point of view, and Rache is a psychotic sociopath who’s so brilliant and talented he’s on a whole new level. Writing that, I went so far over the top that sometimes even I didn’t know what I was writing about. My editor felt that writing Rache had to be deeply therapeutic for me.

Among my novels and short stories, I think I am probably proudest of The Steel Throne. I got to rock the Empire, kill characters, play with ninja and samurai, and do a sweeping epic story. It covered a span of something like twenty years and an area hundreds of miles in each dimension. In sharp contrast, The Alabaster Staff unfolded over seven days within the confines of in one city.

Worlds: You have written novels, and other material, for Wizards of the Coast for a long time now, working in various campaign settings. What was it that interested you in making the move to Eberron?

Ed: Two things. First was the chance to stand out. While The Alabaster Staff was very well received, the fact is that in The Realms, I am no one, and likely to remain no one. Authors like Salvatore and Cunningham rule the roost there, so much so that many readers only pick up their books. New authors like me could take years and years to build up a following large enough even to reach second-tier status. In contrast, Eberron has a level playing field. As one of the early authors in the line, I have the chance to become a first-tier writer with only a couple books under my belt. I can’t pass that up.

Second is the fact that Eberron seems to suit my style more. Many of the reviews posted on The Alabaster Staff comment on its different style. For example, “This book is slightly different in outlook to the usual Forgotton Realms fare, it seems a little darker (but not in a drow pantomime way) and a little bit [more] dirty and gritty than many of the books.” I write dark and visceral material. One of my best friends avowed that I don’t write fantasy; I write horror. And Eberron, with its tone, is a better fit.

Worlds: Your latest novel is titled The Orb of Xoriat. In your own words tell us what it is about, and what themes you selected to explore.

Ed: What’s The Orb of Xoriat about? It’s about 90,000 words, give or take.

The book centers on the recent re-discovery of the dreaded Orb, a relic of the Daelkyr War. Several factions vie for its ownership. However, as with all of the War-Torn series, the main theme of the book is the exploration of how the Last War has scarred the lives of those who fought in it. Several characters throughout the book—main, supporting, and bit players alike—have been forever changed by their actions and by the results of that war.

I also play around with good, evil, right, and wrong in the murkiness that is the world of Eberron.

Worlds: How did you find the editing process on this book? What is it like working with Mark Sehestedt?

Ed: Since it’s likely he’ll be reading this, I want to go on the record as saying that Mark is a gem of a person, both personally and professionally. He’s funny, articulate, generous, and a sweltering pile of robust manliness.

But just between you and me, he’s a great guy to work with. He must have let me off easy on The Steel Throne, because he had very few comments to make on the outline and draft. With this book, no such luck. Many revisions of the outline, heavy commentary on the draft. All of them good, too, darn it.

And yet he’s so supportive that even when he sends you a galley swimming in red ink, you still don’t feel like you’re falling short of the mark.

Worlds: You have a story, The Weight of Water, in the upcoming Eberron anthology Tales of the Last War (Q1 2006). Can you tell us anything about the characters in that story, or which part of Eberron will be featured?

Ed: It takes place on the border between Aundair and Karrnath. The story pits Teron (one of the main characters from Orb) against a paladin of Karrnath in some guerrilla warfare.

Worlds: So what’s next?

Ed: I’m working on a trilogy proposal. Mark is currently hacking it to pieces; I’m sure. If all goes well, the first book will release in August 2007. And some plot hooks carefully buried in Orb will rise up at that time.

About

Been a long time since my last update – as I have been busy with those pesky real life commitments – but now I hope to get quite a bit done around here.

We have a brand new feature – Author Spotlight.
We now have ongoing interviews with authors, coinciding with the release of a new novel. These interviews will hopefully give you a little more insight to your favorite D&D authors and may even have some exclusive news of upcoming projects.
First up is one of the most open authors and supporters of this site – Edward Bolme.