Eric Klein Author

Interview Deston J. Munden

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This week we are joined by Deston J. Munden here to tell us about his series the Dargath Chronicles Tavern (Book 1 of the Dargath Chronicles) and the upcoming Duke’s Brand (Book 2 of the Dargath Chronicles).

 

Can you describe your world or setting?  

The world of Dargath is a diverse world of deeply rooted magic, diverse fantasy races, and whimsical fantasy settings. The best way I could describe it for everyone is that it’s built more like a dungeons and dragons world. There are so many different pieces that come together to make these communities and cultures that build up to a rich history from race to race.

How did you build this concept, what research did you do?

It’s been a long time coming. I built this concept when I was young and kept building on it as time went on. The more I learned and read about different fantasy worlds, the more I developed pieces of mine. Dargath is interesting because it doesn’t land in one real-life culture. I’ve taken inspiration of thousands of cultures I’ve found interesting and folded them into a world where I would want to live in a fantasy world. It just took a lot of time and a lot of research on specific things that I wanted to implement in Dargath.

Why did you choose this setting?

Fantasy has always been my favorite thing. Ever since I was young, I wanted to live in a fantasy world. From Final Fantasy to Warcraft, I’ve always been really attached to worlds where I could be something or someone else. So I made a world myself.

What’s unique about your world? Two things: there are technically no humans in my world and everyone has magic.

The closest things to humans in this world are magical shifters named magi, magical people who has a soul beast they take features of as they get more powerful. From there are sky dwarves, the orc tribes, dark elves, high elves, otamo (golems), goroi (demon priest), and levia (dragon people). I wanted a world where normal humans aren’t even a consideration and the fantasy races are front and center.

But more importantly, magic is everywhere. Everyone is born with magic.  I’ll explain a bit more of that in the next question.

How do you explain the science or magic in your world?

Everyone in Dargath is born with a rune. This rune is your magical prowess and everyone has one. This could be from elemental magic, to enhancement, to illusions and summonings, to an innate magical knack for creation. There are certain rules in place and you can only do magic equal to the amount of aether your own body can possess (which you can train, but some races just have more aether than others). The main takeaway from this is that everyone has one and magic is a normal thing.

What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

While writing the sequel, I had to do a lot of research on mental health and how that would be handled in my world. The main character of the next book is on the autism spectrum so I wanted to be careful in representing this character to the world. These made to evaluate how certain races view mental health issues. For example, the magi, though accepting of most physical disabilities are wary of mental health issues while some of the orc tribes are the reverse. It took some research on both autism and the social impact of neurodivergence to get the book to feel correct.

How do you handle the food in your world?

Food in Dargath is a huge part, mainly because I love to cook and learning about food is a past-time of mine. Each culture has its own type of food and flavor profiles. Even with the races themselves, specific subraces have a knack for certain foods. Sky dwarves enjoy very lofty and extravagant meals where the nobles find cooking as a treasured skill while orcs and dark elves are more hardy hunters. Orcs are probably my favorite types of meals because I tried to make them feel like food is a community thing and it’s something that I would want to eat. I’ve been told time and time again that Tavern made my readers hungry.

Do you have a recipe that you could share, maybe one that our readers could try, based on the food in your world?

I would love someone to try to take some of the orcish meals. There’s a meat and potatoes stew in the orcish cuisine that appears to be gross and gory, but it delicious and savory with red meats and pinkish potatoes, seasoned with a bit of spice.

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech or magic behind it? 

There’s a small magical box in Duke’s Brand that serves as a major point for the main character’s need to keep his hands busy. It’s like a Rubik’s cube where you get a different puzzle if you complete it. I think it’s a nice little touch to the character.

What did you include that you wish was real today?

The magic. I wish that I could just be in this world. There are parts where the history is scary and the world isn’t perfect. Yet, the magic is something that I would get lost in. Learning more and more about my rune would take over my life.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Just a tip. When you’re making your world, if you can explain it, you can put it in your world. Try things. Learn how your world works. Give yourself some wiggle room and suspend your own disbelief for the sake of the story. I’ve seen so many people try to be like, well, does this make sense. You can be realistic in your world while also giving yourself some space. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Also, if you can, please check out Tavern and Dusk Mountain Blues, available on Kindle Unlimited!

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