"Take only memories, leave only footprints" - Chief Seattle
Nothing is created in a vacuum for us humans. Everything rides on the shoulders of those who have come before us. Even when we don’t realize it, the zeitgeist of the human story carries a weave that ties binds us and manifests similar stories. Fairy tale’s are a prime example of this. Despite the barriers of culture, language, and space, those stories are eerily similar. Personally, I believe it is that the human soul has similar wants, needs, and understandings that manifest similarly into the lexicon.
It is no surprise then that Ascendant has many inspirations, some formed in history, other tales, and places. In 2018 my wife and I took an amazing trip through Europe. We played in Iceland, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, and the UK. All of these places had something extra special about them but it was Iceland that captured my imagination. From the northern lights to the hair-raising taste of Hakral—fermented shark—my imagination was awed. That trip led to my patronage of the History channels, Vikings, stirring the pot, and inspiring Ascendant: Saga of Valor.
We arrived in Reykjavik at 5 am and our Airbnb check-in wasn’t until 2 pm.
My wife and I made the best of it, finding a breakfast spot to hit the chow, and exploring what we could.
But our flight had been long and it wasn’t long before we passed out on a park bench
The next few days really allowed us to explore. The surrounding area that time of year (fall) is quite gray, with its rocky shores, and lapping northern waters—the city, however, is anything but dull.
The buildings are vibrant, pastel colors bringing life to the city.
We tried Harkral—it was offered and I think because the locals thought it would be funny—and I thought I might die. That stuff is no joke. It is an acquired taste. I don’t understand how one can acquire a love for the flavor of ammonia that you can feel in your toes but some obviously do.
We haggled for clothes and made many friends
At the time I had no idea that this place would capture my imagination but it did. I think it had something to do with the landscape and water. Iceland feels a bit like a ghostly land, empty and yet full of wonder. I think, subconsciously, I wanted Hasbal to feel a bit like this. A ghostly place where the past can thrive in the actual geography—like an echo, in a manner. But also a place where immense beauty can also exist in the togetherness such a land calls for its inhabitants in order to survive.
Also for fun. . . a few more photos inspiring Ascendant: Saga of Valor
That's it, now you know the places inspiring Ascendant: Saga of Valor and subsequent books.
Have questions or want to chat? You can reach out to me at email@example.com
Live long, and May the Force be with you!
P.S. That saying is purposefully wrong ;)
Learn more about Izaic and his work at izaicyorks.com where fantastical tales can be consumed and other goodies await your discovery