ABOUT THE SERIES
- S.C. Selvyn
"I wanted to create a world so immersive that readers could envision themselves and everyone around them as characters inside their own unique Ildarwood."
Jordana Rohani and Zavanna Tisarro by @lucas_concept_art
Nearly 10,000 years ago, the first of their kind was born - the first who could not just perceive the spectral world, but control it. Banished into the jungles of Ondala by their tribe, eight children were forced to survive out on their own, only to return years later to save their people from a terrible corruption of their souls.
In the millennia since, the Trials have become a tradition for cultures all around the world. On the first day of spring each year, all families must banish their children of age into the nearest Ildarwood forest, and they cannot return home until their Trials are complete. Only once their souls are bound to the Ildarwood can they learn to master their control over one of the powerful spectral elements hidden within.
The Trials of Ildarwood series follows nine children from the quiet town of Ranewood as they leave their families and enter the mysterious forest. Unprepared for the dangers they must face within, they must unlock secrets from the past to save themselves from faceless hunters who were corrupted by Trials past. If they fail, they risk becoming one of the faceless hunters themselves.
Chapter illustration of Ildarbound in front of the Oculum, by David Perez.
THE SPECTRAL ELEMENTS
The nine elemental emblems. 3D images by Dejan Gotić
According to legends, when An'tumbe was just a child, she could never understand why nobody else around her could see the things that she could see, or feel the things that she could feel. Only once her eight children were old enough to talk was she able to confirm that she was not alone in her abilities.
As her children grew up, they came to realize that each of them could perceive and control a specific aspect of the spectral world better than any of their siblings. Spending the rest of their lives mastering their control over those specific elements, their children and grandchildren passed along the abilities of the First through countless generations.
"The Elements of Energy" - Goldenfire, Stormspark, Frostwater
"The Elements of Morality" - Asterlight, Silverblood, Nightsmoke
"The Elements of State" - Spiritstone, Kingswash, Crimsonwind
To this day, whenever a child is born, they nearly always emerge holding an Ildarglass birthstone with a color believed to indicate the spectral alignment they will have when they grow up. Life experiences may change the final results, but one thing is certain - every person with a soul is aligned towards one of these nine elements.
The Trials of Ildarwood series focuses primarily on the experiences of nine children as they leave their families behind and attempt to survive in the Ildarwood.
Some of the main characters include:
Telara Brent, a bright girl who refuses to let anyone stop her from uncovering the Ildarwood's most sinister secrets.
Dustane Dulane, who changed his name after moving to Ranewood in the hopes of leaving his past behind.
Jordana Rohani, who has learned to conceal her true appearance out of fear of what others might think.
Tannus Ambers, who ran away from his parents to take care of his ailing gram in Ranewood, only to be forced to leave her once his Trials begin.
Briyal Legarde, who tries to see the light in everyone, even if they cannot quite see it in themselves.
Aiden Verdani, a smart but strange boy with no real friends and far too many secrets of his own.
Orenna Ozhan, a lonely Eshandi girl who has the ability to see the memories locked within Ildarwood trees.
Jarryn Gricker, a simple boy from a poor farming family who only wants to learn how to heal the Ildarwood.
Willen Osombra, a troublesome boy who has fled a tragic past in Silvermarsh City.
Each chapter focuses on the experiences of at least one of the characters as they struggle to save the Ildarwood, or themselves, before a sinister corruption spreading throughout the forest can take hold.
The Trials of Ildarwood series also includes prologues and epilogues in each book which provide additional perspectives from the parents or Preceptors (administrators of the Trials) to add context to the events of the book.
Briyal Legarde, Jarryn Gricker, and Willen Osombra. Illustration by @izizallart
Telara Brent, Orenna Ozhan, and Jordana Rohani. Illustration by @izizallart
Tannus Ambers, Aiden Verdani, and Dustane Dulane. Illustration by @izizallart
Chapter illustrations of Verdani Manor, the Ildarwood tree at Wisher's Well, Willen at Westwatch, and Ranewood's Astercourt, all by David Perez.
The Trials of Ildarwood series includes detailed illustrations by the talented David Perez to help readers visualize the imaginative world created by S.C. Selvyn.
From Verdani Manor and Ranewood's breathtaking Astercourt to the tower of Westwatch and the eye of the Oculum in the Ildarwood, each illustration highlights a key scene or location from the book.
Pictured here are:
An Ildarhorse carriage in front of Verdani Manor from the Prologue of book one. Ildarhorses are semi-sentient creatures constructed using tangled Ildarwood.
An Ildarwood tree beside Wisher's Well. Ildarwood trees have a crystalline bark with small seeds called "pearls" that glow at night.
Westwatch is Ranewood's first outpost in the Ildarwood. It includes a vast marketplace and the outpost's namesake tower.
Ranewood's Astercourt was constructed nearly fifty year's before book one's events. Within the main dome is housed a massive spectral sun called an Ildarstar that protects the structure and most of the town from various forms of spectral attack.
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TOWN OF RANEWOOD
The Trials of Ildarwood series takes place in the quiet town of Ranewood, where long-kept secrets from the town's troubled past have begun to emerge at last.
Bordered by Lake Ranewood in the west, the Great Silver Lake in the east, and twin rivers to the north and south, the town of Ranewood includes miles of Ildarwood forest that must be patrolled at all hours to keep the Ildarbound within safe.
In the centuries leading up to the book's events, the lands now called Ranewood were sacred to the First Selyrians, who still watch over the vast settlements of the Selyrian Union from afar, but years of war and Blights have left parts of the forest irreparably corrupted, and some of the town's residents, as well.
What long-kept secrets lie in wait within the town's sprawling Ildarwood? Only time will tell.
Map of Ranewood by @chaimscartography
A VAST WORLD OF LORE
The world of the Ildarwood has as its foundation an epic tome of lore spanning nearly 10,000 years.
From the birth of the First until the events of The Trials of Ildarwood, countless civilizations and religions have been founded and crumbled into the ashes of history.
Each book in the series will delve a little bit deeper into the history of the world and the impact of various events on the development of different cultures, faiths, and even the nine spectral elements, themselves.
Over time, the series will expand to include additional works by S.C. Selvyn and other aspiring authors to build upon the world's rich history and provide deeper insights into key events from the past.
Until then, sign-up for our mailing list below to receive periodic updates about the series, as well as access to exclusive short stories and lore from the Ildarwood.
(TOP) "Stronger Than Our Faults" by @lucas_concept_art
(BOTTOM) "Wisdom. Vision. Balance" by @lucas_concept_art