X for Xerarch

My 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge revisits my best posts from the 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

X for Xerarch (2014)

Back in 2013, I wrote a short story about the opposition to a mega-power project, which gave rise to an Indian plotline – and Xerarch. However, for the Challenge in 2014, I focused on the meaning behind the name.

This was another research nugget unearthed while I was creating the game-world for my novel ‘Wyrm Bait’. A game-world that evolved into my post-apocalyptic saga Gossamer Flames. And the research is ongoing – as is my interest in India, specifically Tamil culture.  

Links to my other 2020 A to Z posts can be found here: https://rolandclarke.com/blogging-from-a-to-z/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-2020/

To visit other participants see The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/

X is for Xerarch


X is for Xerarch: Before the apocalypse that creates the world of Gossamer Steel, ambitious plans for an ill-conceived solar energy project in India were opposed by an ecological group called Xerarch. Even post-apocalypse, Xerarch continues to ensure that such actions cannot threaten the world again.

Xerarch or Xerosere is the Ecological Succession that begins on bare rocks or sand. Ecological succession refers to the general metamorphosis of a geographic area to its most stable ecosystem. Primary succession refers to the settlement/establishment of vegetation in an area previously un-colonized by organisms. Organism which first colonize an area are known as pioneer organisms.

Primary succession which occurs on land is termed Xerarch succession. That which occurs from aquatic ecosystems is known as Hydrarch succession. Secondary succession refers to the re-colonization of a geographic area, which had been previously settled, but somehow disrupted.

Some causes of disruption include fire, volcanism, severe weather, agriculture, development. Both processes result in the most stable type of biome given its geographical location. This is called a climax community. However, with an in­creasing realization that the climate keeps changing, the process of succession is often very slow, and the nature of a region’s vegetation is being determined to a greater extent by human activities, ecologists do not consider the concept of “climax vegetation” to be as useful as they once did.

Lava field with path and encroaching vegetation. Note that despite appearances this is loose rock, not ploughed-up soil. ~ By Nevilley at the English language Wikipedia

Lava field with path and encroaching vegetation. Note that despite appearances this is loose rock, not ploughed-up soil. ~ By Nevilley at the English language Wikipedia

X is also for the ex-Xenobiologist behind Xerarch, and xylotomy, a forensic technique used by the investigative team in ‘Wyrm Bait’.


A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling ~ R is for Ragnarök ~ S is for Seiðr ~ T is for Technology ~ U is for Urdu~ V is for Vidda ~ W is forWindsong


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

 A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)