Along with genre and characters, setting can be a deciding factor—or a deal breaker—when it comes to buying a book.

Oftentimes, location goes hand-in-hand with the other two. For example, if I’m writing space opera, one might expect to find characters of one or more alien species among the cast. Correspondingly, the setting would probably be an interstellar locale, perhaps a foreign planet or spacefaring vessel.

But over the centuries, genres have birthed myriad subgenres. So while a traditional Western would most likely be set in a specific region of North America within a set timeframe, science fiction can happen anywhere and (arguably) anytime.

Regarding The Renegade Chronicles—my almost-published (read: practically published) sword-and-sorcery fantasy series—I’ve already told you a little about what the books are about and whom they are about. Today, I’d like to give you a quick tour of a mysterious island in an unfamiliar world.

Map of Capricon

It wouldn’t be epic fantasy without a map, right? Huge thanks to Jake Weiss for scanning in my sketch and then making it look awesome! (Click to enlarge.)

Welcome to Capricon. No, not Capricorn. Just one R.

Where did the name come from? Following a bitter war between the human nations of Superius and Glenning, the Superian king (posthumously known as the Gambler King) decided to seal the sudden alliance by purchasing the island for Superius. It was a capricious maneuver to be sure—hence, the name.

But the Glenningers weren’t the first people to call the island home. The Knights of Eaglehand won it after a bloody crusade against the seafaring and bloodthirsty dwarves who lived there. Before the dwarves, elves called the island home, though nobody can seem to remember when or why they left.

There are also rumors of other inhabitants—vile, mythical creatures that disappeared eras ago…

At the time of The Renegade Chronicles, the island of Capricon is considered a province of Continae, a confederacy of human nations that includes both Superius and Glenning.

Confused? Don’t worry. All you really need to know is that Capricon is populated mostly by humans and is chiefly defended by the Knights of Superius.

Which is not to say there isn’t more to the island than meets the eye…

Readers of The Renegade Chronicles will travel the breadth of Capricon, from the west coast to the east and with plenty of detours in between. Here are just a few of the locations the rebels will encounter throughout the trilogy:

  • Port Town — Site of the magnificent Cathedral of Aladon, Port Town is ruled by ironfisted Crofton Beryl, whose own daughter leads the local rebels. A bit of advice: stay out of the sewers.
  • Temple of Mystel — The healers at the homey Temple of Mystel will help anyone who needs their aid, including Renegades, which doesn’t always sit well with the Knights of nearby Fort Miloásterôn.
  • Port of Stone — Once a thriving port in central Capricon, the Port of Stone was destroyed during the Thanatan Conflict years ago. It holds the answer the riddle “What is big and yellow and keeps out the rain?”
  • Wizard’s Mountain — The tallest of the Rocky Crags, Wizard’s Mountain harbors secrets both ancient and new, such as why has a would-be surgeon claimed it as his own and forbade everyone else from trespassing?
  • Fort Faith — The Knights of Superius have repopulated Fort Faith to curb Renegade activity in the area. Its young commander will face no shortage of challenges at what was supposed to be a sleepy assignment.
  • Rydah — Ruled by Lord Magnes Minus, the capital city of Rydah is a bustling center for culture and trade. It’s the perfect place to lose oneself among the crowds—and the perfect target for a foreign invasion.

As for the world itself, Altaerra is home to many different races, including humans, elves, dwarves, ogres, and a few other (expected) creatures. There are a few other species, however, that are native to Altaerra alone, such as the dreaded midge.

For which every other planet should be exceedingly grateful!

The Renegade Chronicles will be available in paperback and digital editions on March 31, 2016.