Thank you.

I've said it. I mean it. This wouldn't have happened without any of you. You, the reader, play a greater part in the creation of a piece of work than you know. Sure, the author writes the story, puts the words on paper, and dictates what happens in the plot, but the important part goes to all of you. You believe. These words and names and emotions that I attempt to attach to lines and shapes on my monitor, that's where you come in. None of them would be worth a second glance if you didn't believe in not only my storytelling ability, but the story itself. I can't write something successful without any of you. As the late Robert Bolt once said; "Belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind." Thank you again, for helping me, in the way readers do, with this work.

That broad and well-deserved thank you is not enough, though. There are individuals who, though dialogue or actions, played a more hands on role with this piece of work than simply reading it. This is a short list, but the thanks I owe them is greater than they know.

Solemn Coyote, who attempted to help me sort through the madness that is an idea being born. Through events that could not be stopped, however, he wasn't around to see the idea being presented to the world. He has only recently returned, and has been a huge help- providing much needed fresh eyes as the time of editing and revisions approaches.

Burnt Bread, who, despite the misleading name, is actually a human being, was a barometer of what was and wasn't working. Listing his favorite parts or ideas within his review helped me gauge what I was doing right and what wasn't working like I had hoped.

Ranger of the North, who acted in much the same stead as Bread. I'm not sure if they coordinated it, but they never repeated what one another said. I am grateful and thankful to both of the for what they did to help shape this story, even if they don't know it.

On a note, both have been silent for some time now. If you are both still following along at home, I would love to continue to hear from you.

Kitsune, who, despite being an enigma, provided useful and constant reviewing advice.

Erinshadow, who appears to be a constant around my writing, much like gravity is a force one would expect to find around this planet Earth. She always has useful information to share, be it praise or criticism.

Awaking Kills the Dream, for being a steady and reliable reviewer, someone I counted on for both reassurance and criticism.

Sabreael, who despite not turning in any physical evidence of her contributions, gives advice that it always welcome, though not always agreed with. Such comes with the job, I suppose, and cannot be avoided. Regardless of what gets changed or not, the avenues opened in my mind after a conversation about my writing with her continue to speak to me long after our talk is over.

Lyharii, who appeared to be the first to sample the waters, so to speak, and then headed for parts unknown.

If I missed you, do not worry. The list you're on is long and distinguished, and would include such people as professors or mine, friends who don't read my writing, or even icons and people in history. Consider the company your in to be your reward.

Thanks has been distributed, and I'd like to reveal some of my thoughts on this, if I may.

This project originally started fairly humbly, if I may say so myself. Solemn Coyote and I were discussing something, the details of which I do not remember, and the idea of a Hogwarts for other occupations arose. For bards, for warriors, for archers. Finally, assassins came up. The idea struck me, what sort of bond could be formed by people who learned nothing but how to kill other people.

With that in my mind, I worked on it for several days, before bringing it up again. The idea at this time was to write about the school- the interactions of the students and faculty, how the surround nobles took to the place, and what classes could also possibly be taught. I designed three characters (yes, three) and began to put the school together in my mind.

The story jumps back a year or so now, to when I was writing Nocturne. I had created a system of magic, tied to the emotions and psyche of the user, that was restrictive in a sense that you couldn't grow more powerful until you mastered who you were- and your introspection into who you are increased what you could do with your magical power. But since there was no magic in Nocturne, I set it aside for use later. However, the ability to turn my new assassins into something that had an ancient and mystical feel appealed to me, and I took it out of mothballs and set to work tuning it to fit this world.

My mind changed again. I no longer liked the idea of children in a school. It felt so confining, and the focus would have to continue to drastically change between time at study and time socialized. That was my major problem with the Harry Potter novels- school is getting less and less important in them, even though that's the overarching theme that ties each book together. So I decided to get rid of my young characters and create older, mature students. Two of the three names were kept (the third character was kept, and was in the class, but wasn't named or elaborated on. She might rear her head later, though) though the personalities and identities of Erynn and Lysander became completely different. Instead of just a school, I had a world to create, populate, and explore.

That's how this begin, in case you wondered. Now to talk about the middle section- the story itself.

For the most part, I am very pleased with how it turned out. This isn't a boast or an ego trip, this is my personal thought.

Lysander couldn't have turned out better, in my mind. I was worried he would teeter on the cusp of being uninteresting and unrelateable. Doesn't seem to be the case. My other characters turned out well, in my eyes, too.

Some main complaints I got:

The beginning. Every story has to have one. I feel bad for dropping people right into a world without any background or history, but that's the way life is. First day in a new school- you have no idea who everyone is or where things are or why stuff happens like it does. You can apply some of the old rules, but not all. But here's the thing- if you stick with it, you will catch on. I don't leave people out to dry very long, I hope. This was a fairly concise story, and I think I had everyone on the same page, knowledgeable, by the end of chapter 4.

Umbriss: Infodump. These sections didn't come out as well as I had hoped. I needed to get his back story out, and he seemed the kind of character very into confessing. Next time, I won't do it that way, lesson learned here.

Schooling Blurbs. Too few. Too useless. Stuff like that. As I said before, I dropped schooling out as a big thing to concentrate on because I wanted to get the story on its feet and moving. I put in what was important, and I promise all of you who wanted more- this isn't the last we've seen of Umbriss.

The future!

The third part of this story, I guess, is what lies ahead. Clearly, the story has ended. Ended, but not been finished. This saga, of Lysander, for lack of a better subject, has two more parts, both of which I intend to tell.

There are other things on my agenda, though. There is a little thing I've been working on and mulling over, which will be posted as soon as I begin to put it on the computer. It's related to the world Assassin's Creed takes place on, so if you liked the story, check back for it.

That will be the immediate next thing. As the summer winds down, I intend to begin work on The Coriolis Effect again, as this project was merely a diversion from it in the first place. For those of you who haven't given it a glance, I encourage you to do so. Also, I intend to begin a cooperative work with Solemn Coyote beginning in September, as school starts back up. I'll keep everyone posted on that as well.

One more thing before I end this lengthy Author's Final Thoughts.

There will be two more parts, as I said, for this series. I had an interesting idea a few days back. The first part was seen through Lysander's POV. The last part will be, as well. The middle part, however, I would like you all to vote on whom you want it to follow. The same story will be told no matter whom is chosen; just you'll witness the actions of the other characters through the character you pick. If you wish to be a part of this vote, please let me know, by review or email, who you want to see the next part follow. Because Lysander is guaranteed the final spot, he is not going to be a part of this vote. Your choices are Erynn, Caeryn, Conner and Priam, or Rannel.

If you do vote, please give me a little why, as well. If there isn't as big a turnout for this as I am expecting, I will just choose one myself.

Thanks again for reading, feel free to contact me, and until next time,

Locus