Affinity Tour: Groundbreaker

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As part of the Affinity Blog Tour created by the Air Awakens Goodreads Fan Club I will be posting a special blog about each affinity in the Air Awakens world. Anyone can join the Affinity Blog Tour and late posts are welcome! The schedule is:

Windwalker (October 16-17)
Waterrunner (October 18-19)
Firebearer (October 20-21)
Groundbreaker (October 22-23)

Click here to learn more about the blog tour

Read what some awesome book bloggers would do if they were a Groundbreaker for a day:

Books and Ladders


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Air Awakens Firebearer(s): Elecia Ci’Dan

Overview:
From clerical efforts to functional warriors, Groundbreakers have found themselves essential throughout the ages.

Interestingly, most Commons have likely interacted with a Groundbreaker, or at least the potions they produce. A Groundbreaker’s innate knowledge of the earth and its plants enables most to find a steady living by producing clerical potions. Groundbreakers often times function as the clerics themselves, increasing the potency of their medicines by adding magic once ingested – should the patient be willing.

On the other end of the spectrum, Groundbreakers make coveted poison masters and soldiers. With the ability to turn their skin to stone, expensive and heavy armor isn’t required. Many Groundbreakers augment this ability by picking up close-combat weaponry, fearless of everything from small cuts to mortal wounds.

Magic:
The magic of Groundbreakers is control over earth.

Groundbreakers have a mastery over natural formations. They can create new structures out of raw earth and prompt plants to grow. Clerical potions and salves are more effective on Groundbreakers, being attune with them, and nearly all poisons are ineffective, as they cannot be harmed by their own element (unless the poison was crafted by a more powerful sorcerer).

The stone skin of the Groundbreaker cannot be penetrated by normal measures. It takes a sorcerer with magic of greater skill to burn or cut through (with an ice dagger) their hardened flesh. With stone skin, their only weak spot is their open eyes.

The Groundbreaker’s Affinity of the Self is one of healing. While nearly all Groundbreakers can make effective clerics, some possess skill far beyond natural talent. These talented few can treat bones like stones, mending and hardening them, or mend flesh as easily as they would a torn leaf.

Home of the Groundbreaker:

Most Groundbreakers come from Shaldan, what the Empire has begun calling “the North.”

Shaldan and Mhashan share their year-round heat, but that’s where the similarities end. Shaldan is noted for their dense jungles, humid air, and towering trees with trunks larger than six men around – fingertips to fingertips. Throughout history, Shaldan has remained fairly reclusive from the rest of the main continent.

In the early 100s they engaged in trade with Mhashan and Cyven, but it was mostly through nomadic merchant clans that lived on the ground by the borders. The majority of Shaldan’s clans made their homes in sprawling sky cities, connected by magically formed natural paths and rope-ways.

The capital of Shaldan, Soricium, sits fairly central to the nation geographically and culturally. Shaldan’s lore says Soricum is the birthplace of the world and that the forest contains the primordial trees the old gods made first. The head clan of the nation that lives here is said to have descended from the original peoples, dating back to the beginning of time.

A Notable Groundbreaker: Dia the Forest Star

The legend of Dia the Forest Star is well known to all the clans of Shaldan.

Dia was born when a falling star was caught in the boughs of the tallest tree in Soricum. As she fell, the branches swayed and shook, bestowing life and a mortal form on her. Her skin was made of the bark of the tree, and her hair shone with the godly stardust still captured within it.

She healed the sick and taught the first clerics in Soricium how to use the earth to make salves, potions, and poisons with the knowledge the gods blessed her with. She showed how to craft the first sky cities, cutting through the branches with a magic axe bestowed on her by the Goddess Yargen and rebuilding them effortlessly. She carved Lake Io, the reservoir for all of the North’s fresh water.

However, as time went on, Dia began to feel distanced from the changing people.

Their magic was far less potent than hers, and some were born without it at all. Dia vowed to find a way to ensure the magic of her people remained. Before she wandered into the jungles of Shaldan in search of the wisdom of the gods, she left behind two things to her people.

The first was her daughter, born of what was now known as the Mother Tree just as Dia had been.

The second was her axe. When Dia departed, her daughter sealed the axe away, vowing that none were of pure enough body and mind to use it other than Dia herself.

Some say that Dia truly found the wisdom of the gods in the jungles and she continues to wander them to this day. That her power was so great she found the antidote to life’s greatest poison: death.

The last time someone claimed to see the healer, Dia looked no older than any prior time. The stars still shone in her hair, her skin remained firm and weathered like the bark of the tree she came from.


Interested in Air Awakens? New readers and those who have already enjoyed the first book are welcome to join the Pre- Fire Falling Read-Along! The read-along will have discussions, questions, teasers, deleted scenes, giveaways and more! All starting on October 25th.

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