New Media Project Uses Elves And Centaurs To Explore The Roots Of Relative Value Systems Through Stories, Games, and Websites

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Taking advantage of current interest in myths, legends, and imagination, two authors propose to explore social and political mores through creative contributions to the popular media. Their unique cosmic model invites adventurous speculation outside the constraining boundaries of everyday reality.

In October of 2005, two fifty-something Southern California scientists launched a Fantasy-Genre Books/Games Project, DayONETM, in order to present a unique analysis of the impact of unexpected opportunity and un-directed personal ethos on an individual’s path through life. Their serialized novels, Ivory Sword, and its soon-to-be released sequel in the series, Bronze Sword, examine a group of young nobles whose thoughts, actions, and ideas reflect the internal attributes of each individual in the absence of any universally accepted imperatives.

The questions that the coauthors address are, “what happens to a society with no external ethical imperatives,” and “Can individuals find a path to integrity on their own, or do circumstances alone dictate their success?’

“We have a manufactured a cosmic system where each of six universal personality types is incorporated into various life-forms. The creators are non-physical Messengers who emerged from a perfectly empty point which represents the intersection of existence and non-existence,” one of the authors explained. “This allows us to charge them with discovering the true meaning of existence, which can accomplish only by creating intelligent life forms whom they can study. As they study their elves, humans, centaurs, an others, our readers can also study them as well. Each individual, whether a young elfin prince or a naive young human princess, must overcome challenges without benefit of an external source of ethics, beauty, truth, or understanding. What happens when individuals must fend for themselves while the impersonal universe observes their reactions to unpredictable challenges?”

In the absence of extra-natural directives to guide the behavior, young individuals must seek fulfillment of their personal focus. In these tales, the individuals are further challenged by loss, for a variety of reasons, of their own families’ guidance or mentoring. In the first book, for example, the protagonist is an adolescent elfin prince who must decide whether to fight for his family’s throne or avoid a potential conflict with his own twin brother. Other key characters include a flying female warrior, a naive human woman, a centaur, and a dwarf, each of whom must make daily decisions. None have any thought of finding extra-natural or secular help; they seek only military, political, and/or economic support from various groups on the basis of mutual self-interest alone. The Ivory Sword itself is something of a mystery that continually influences events in unexpected ways. It represents the interventions in our lives that come and go with seeming indiscretion, but are often driven by forces or ideas beyond the scope of our mundane thinking.

Alan Vekich, M.S. is a chemist with a penchant for history and literature, especially science fiction and fantasy. Art Kessner, Ph.D. is a tutor and teacher with an interest in religion and religious philosophy. Vekich is of Serbian descent, while Kessner has a Jewish background. These two authors from disparate cultural and religious backgrounds have sprinkled the book with allusions to their respective cultures to provide insights into the nature of the ethics of leadership, and to provide touches of humor to their tale of the political and military history of an Elfin Empire. Thus, their experimental project uses familiar folk-images of elves, centaurs, and other well-known stereotypical creatures, modified significantly to populate a unique cosmos.

The books make no mention of any of the classical markers related to religion or ethical philosophy. That is, words like “heaven,” “hell,” “gods,” “evil,” or “good” are completely absent. The only explicative used anywhere is, “Azazel,” a term borrowed from Hebrew subtitles of verbally explicit American action movies. Thus, there are no explicit discussions or patronizing situations with embedded moral messages. The stories and games speak for themselves, but represent a “blank tablet” on which characters, players, or readers can inscribe their own observations or beliefs.

The DayONETM project consists of a series of books, short stories, and games being developed by ShrewGamesTM in Orange County, California. The first book of the DayONE series, Ivory Sword, was released in October of 2005 under the pen name A. A. Wolfner to reflect the collaborative authorship of the 542-page novel.

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