So, one question that gets brought up every once in a while from readers is along the lines of “how does money work in the world of Beyond the Western Deep?” It’s a good question, and one that I’ve weirdly never really gotten around to explaining in the fiction (even when the protagonists are out eating at a tavern in chapter one!) so I decided there’d be certain elements of that tied into Song of the Eastern Sands, both to help build out the world a bit more for readers, but also because stories that revolve around money tend to have some interesting twists. What kinds of twists, you ask? Well, I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks!


The gist of the currency question was to come up with something unique to each kingdom. The Four Kingdoms ain’t exactly the European Union — they wouldn’t have a central currency and bank. I mean, would YOU trust a bunch of cats with your hard-earned cash? Or squirrels? Or foxes? No, no, and no!

Anyway, the Tamian amber drop was actually the first currency we created, along with an elaborate backstory for how they’re created (harvested from special trees, graded, then carefully made into uniform pieces by high-ranking Tamian craftsmen who have no doubt been in the same trade for generations). We’ll learn about other types of currency later on in the story, don’t you worry!

This week for guest art, Jerijune sent in a wonderfully appropriate piece of the main cast of Song of the Eastern Sands (plus Cain and Yurk) taking a group selfie!


This is making a pretty strong case for me to retcon in cell phones. Look at them! LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE THEY ALL ARE! I also love that the title image is their “last photo taken” in the corner there. I’ve no idea how she took the picture of it, but since she features so prominently in it, I’d have to imagine she’s a big fan. Maybe it’s her phone background! That’s not narcissistic or anything!

A little BONUS guest submission, by the by! As some of you may have heard, Elson Wong (aka Darkspeeds) is putting together a “comic audio drama” that encompasses all completed volumes of Beyond the Western Deep (the Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2). Rachel and I have been very impressed by what we’ve seen so far, and Elson has linked me to a short teaser pulled from Chapter 1!

Love the little “addition” at the end there, Elson X)