Stephan J. Hahn

Father by Day. Author by Night.

The Last Chapter

I wrote the first chapter to the second book in the Pearls of Solus series last night, and then a curious thing happened. I went and wrote the last chapter of the final book. I am not a huge fan of doing this, but I felt for this kind of story, I needed to visualize the ending to be able to build up to it. Usually I leave the ending for, well, the end. I mean I know where it is going, and a version of how it ends, but not the exact ending. The difference in writing a series, as I have come to find out is that there are many more moving parts that a traditional novel. The characters and plot lines wind up looking like my three-year-old daughter’s coloring project or her hair in the morning before it has been brushed. 

The truth is, there seemed to be a sort of finality to writing the last chapter, probably more so because I am not yet halfway done with the series. I have been working on this series in my head for the better part of the last decade, and now I am finally putting pen to paper. I am putting fingers to keys and writing the story that I have been thinking about for way too long. It never seemed real, though. It seems to have been going on for so long that it didn’t feel like I would ever finish. Now that the first book is written, it is beginning to edge closer to completion. Yet until I finished that last chapter, it didn’t seem tangible, and now it does. 

It seems that this isn’t just a theme for my book. It has been a year full of changes. I finally closed the book on college. I graduated in May with a bachelor degree in business. I can’t wait to put that to use in my writing career (he said sarcastically). I also decided that I want to be a writer. Now, at a first look it may seem that I have self-published two different books, so that must make me a writer. Right? 

Wrong. To me the idea of writing is not something that I merely want to do between projects or in my down time. I don’t want it to be a hobby, or something that I am afraid to get out. I was teetering on the edge of a cliff. I didn’t know whether I wanted to fall on either side. The main catalyst? My website was coming due for renewal. This may seem like a silly thing, but it’s the truth. I felt as though if I was going to invest in something, I had better make it worth my while. In a basic sense I am a writer, furthermore, an author, but as with my book I didn’t feel like one. When I decided to take the plunge off the cliff, that is when it became real to me. I now feel like an author, and it feels great. 

You see, the only way to truly do something, is to go all in. I think that is why many people fail at things in life, myself included. There are many times that we do something half way and then say it is good enough. Then later you get that feeling where you know you cut corners and didn’t do your best work. Not anymore. I decided to completely commit to being and author and giving out my best work. Maybe one day I will begin to see the dividends of all of the things I have been preparing, but at this moment I don’t care. Right now, I plan on putting my head down and being the best that I can be. However hard, or whatever that may entail, I fully plan to be the best version of myself.

What have you done lately to be the best version of yourself?


The elves were the first of the races in Runa. In the year 2121 of the First Age it is said that Vega himself, lord and creator of the elven race, found him wandering in the wild. Vega led him deep into Dendrel Forest, and they spoke for a long time. He gave him the name Elthiol, and told him he would one day be the father of all the elves of Runa. Vega instructed him in all the ways of Runa, but especially in all the ways of the forest. He spoke of the rivers and the trees, and of the power and comfort he could find in them. He spent many years at his side, ensuring to impart as much knowledge on Elthiol as he could. As soon as he had told all he would, Vega departed, and was last seen striding into the western sunset. 

After his going, the elven king long wandered in the forest alone. He embraced nature and learned much from the birds and the animals. It was even said that he spoke with them on occasion. When Elthiol had learned for himself all he could from the forest, he went in search of others who he could lead with his wisdom. Coming to the banks of the Iron River, which flowed from the north and into the center of Dendrel Forest, he knelt to drink. As he lowered his eyes, they met those of another on the opposite bank. Long, they gazed into each other’s eyes, both enamored by the other. At long last Elthiol rose and began to wade towards her through the stream. He was not yet halfway across before she rose and began to run. Long he chased her ere he caught her in the deep north of Dendrel. At last, seeing that he meant her no harm she came to him and for the first time spoke. She told him she was Aerian, and she was named and led into the forest by a great lord of the trees. This filled Elthiol with much wonder, and he realized that she could only be speaking of Vega. Elthiol sat with her and they spoke for many hours of the forest and the trees. 

Before long they were joined together as husband and wife, and to this day are still known as the father and mother of all of the elves in Runa. They set forth, scouring every last edge of the forest, until they had gathered all of the elven folk to them in the north. Together, they built the mighty city of Dendrelfin, which was built upon the very tops of the highest trees. It was raised in the north of the forest, in the exact place where Elthiol and Aerian had first met. Their city grew and became rich in trade and grew fairer as the long years progressed. The elves of Dendrelfin were most renowned for their knowledge, and they were great teachers and counselors in times of need. They seldom left the woods, unless in great need or duress. 

Dendrelfin is located in the northwest of Dendrel Forest with the Iron River to the east, and the Northern Pass to the west. Green and full of life, it never saw winter, and remained in an everlasting spring. The rushing rivers broke off into quieter streams that coursed throughout the forest as veins, bringing life to every corner. Animals were free to roam, and it remained feared to most that were not of elven race. This fear came not from the elves actions, but in the form of awe and amazement. Although the elves of Dendrelfin were not aggressive, they were found to be more mysterious than all other elves. The forest was thick and borderless. There were some small worn paths where many elves had tread over the years, but the quickest way was through the trees. 



The Kingdom of Delborish

Established by Toros the Bear in the year 1526 of the Third Age, the Kingdom of Delborish has long stood as a symbol of strength to all of Runa. It is said that Toros the Bear was the first of the race of men to come into the northwest of Runa. There he was espied by Arktouros, the creator of men, who had long waited for them to come into being. When Arktouros came upon him, he was found to be wrestling an enormous bear in a small dell full of Delborish Oaks. As Arktouros watched Toros fighting, he was enamored by his strength and resilience.  

Toros, after many hours in battle, slayed the beast with a limb torn from the largest of the Delborish Oak trees. He then picked up and carried the massive beast to the very center of the dell, and it was there that the stones were first set for the foundations of his castle. From that point on, a bear became the symbol and surname of all the lords of Delborish. He was named Toros the Bear, but later his house became known as the House of the Bear. In the ensuing years, the surname of Beran was adopted, and used. It is said however that they would always be the House of the Bear, and there would always be a Beran on the thrown in Delborish. 

Toros was tall and strong, and his features rough and menacing. He wore the symbol of the bear claw on his right breast and he was known throughout the land as mighty. He set about to gather to him all the other families who were also wandering in the wild. Once he had found all he could, and gathered them together, they began to build a castle and in turn a small village which surrounded it. After the castle was built, Toros also sailed to Kingsdell, an island just off the western coast of his kingdom. There they set up a small store of food and arms, as a safe haven in case trouble were to arise. It became more of a second home to the royal family, a quiet and wild island reminding them of the years before.  

The castle itself was not far from the sea, on the western coast of Runa. It was said you could hear it clearly from the tower of the keep. Toros ruled as king, and many other houses fell in under his command. Some of those would come to include the House of the Falcon, whom are mighty scouts and woodsmen. Also, the House of the Stallion, who are master trainers and very learned in animal husbandry. They heads of these houses were wise and strong, and they served Delborish no matter the cost. 

Even though the Elves and Iads had been in Runa for many thousands of years before men, they did not reveal themselves. For a very long time men kept to themselves, and their Kingdom began to grow rapidly. The Dwarves were the first to notice the might of men, and quickly offered their masonry and stonework talents. It was the Dwarves who brought mighty stones down from the Tungol Mountains and help build the great castle. In turn, the men of Delborish fought beside them and helped to protect them during their travels in the north. After seeing the strength of men and their ability to work with those different than them, interest moved quickly throughout Runa, and the Elves and Iads soon after offered themselves as allies and trade partners. 

The Kingdom of Delborish is located in the very northwest corner of Runa. It runs from the sea east to the Ebony Woods and south along the Toros River until it meets Dendrel Forest. It has mild seasons, and the majority of the year is spent in spring. There can be harsh winters depending on the winds that come out of the mountains from the east. There are rolling hills and streams, and many trees cover the landscape. Its mild climate allows for dense forests and lush vegetation. Much of the northern part of the kingdom is open fields with rich soil, allowing for farming.