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The World

Night’s Masque is set in an alternate history version of sixteenth-century Earth. In this world, the Europeans have been unable to make headway in their intended conquest of the New World, owing to an alliance between the Native Americans and a second sentient species, the hurraqeth, known to the English as skraylings.

Sadly this is not the way our own history ran. My books are just a thought experiment, nothing more. If the history, and future, of our world concerns you, you might want to do something practical about it. I myself support the Beaver Lake Cree in their fight to preserve their land against destruction by mining for toxic fossil fuels, but there are plenty of other tribes out there equally in need of support. It won’t make the past go away, but as the old saying goes, “if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

An alternate history of the Americas

The skraylings evolved in the Americas at about the same time that humans did in Africa, and for millennia the two species went about their separate ways. Even when humans did reach America, their numbers were too few to have any impact on the equally small populations of skraylings. Then, about fourteen thousand years ago, a mass extinction event wiped out many of the largest mammalian species; only a few skraylings and their domesticated horses survived.

Shortly afterwards, a new influx of humans arrived in North America via the Bering Straits and gradually spread southwards. Under pressure of competition for hunting territories, the skraylings retreated eastwards. The situation eventually stabilised, and skrayling numbers began to increase. This time they did not hide from the humans, and both peoples prospered.

(to be continued…)