I want to take this time to thank my fanbase for their devotion to reading all twelve volumes of my fantasy series, The Winds of Westerwhere Saga. I am now excited to share that volume thirteen, A Thorn of Jagged Daggers, will be out very soon. But I also want to address concerns that some of you among my devoted fanbase have had over the years about a key world-building element in Westerwhere—the nature and use of Purple Manna.
As you have pointed out, I first introduced Purple Manna in book eight, A Waltz of Wyverns, as a way of accounting for the reappearance of Lord Beltenfray, who was impaled by a javelin in book three, The Path of Talons, shortly before melted iron was poured on his head to ensure his death was absolute. I made it very clear in a passing comment by the minotaur archer Tyrocyrus that Purple Manna was the explanation for why Lord Beltenfray could exist beyond his very certain death.
In books nine and ten, other characters reveal through exposition how Purple Manna exists as a kind of foundational material for the land of Westerwhere, an ether from which all things were made by the seventeen gods. It can also reverse the memories of various characters as needed. And in book eleven, it is revealed that Purple Manna is also the reason why the Themmus River can flow North, in the direction of Emoth’s Peak, which is at a higher elevation than Emond’s Mill, thus defying gravity.
Let me include here an excerpt from my companion book, A Westerwhere Compendium, which should be coming out next year:
Purple Manna, rather than an actual definable or measurable substance, has been conceived of by the ancient wisdoms as more of an occurrence, one that flows in and out of time as the weaver of tales wills it. Purple Manna is not accountable to anyone, nor is the weaver of tales.
I hope this passage is sufficient to explain to my loyal readers why so many well-planned plot developments can sometimes appear as palpable inconsistencies, abrupt changes in character motivations, or failure to account for basic physics. For example, how did the Knight of Runes make it to the Dead Forest by nightfall after his horse died in battle? Why, if dwarves are naturally incapable of betrayal, did Grond the Grave push his cousin into the Pit of Woes? And how is it that the distinct dialects of Northern and Southern faeries are entirely forgotten by book seven?
I didn’t want to give it away, but the answer has to do with the mysteries of Purple Manna.
I wanted to allow readers to think of Purple Manna as a metaphor for all our dreams and fantasies, which don’t always mimic reality, or even uphold any sense of logic within the realm the writer concisely constructed by page 473. Purple Manna allows us to iron out wrinkles, fabricate new realities, excuse a lapse in punctuation, or even ignore the accusation that chapter 37 is just plain missing because the manuscript was rushed to publication. As the ancient wisdoms have said, some of the scrolls of time, due to Purple Manna, have simply become the void.
And don’t be surprised if, in my next volume, Purple Manna evolves the ability to reset the timeline altogether. It certainly has the power to ignite a toxic fanbase. The weaver of tales, canonically speaking, does not regard their insults. But for those who have stuck with me, I hope that you find your own Purple Manna, whether or not all of your questions are answered at the next Q&A session I do at WesterCon.