Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

Undestined is on Wattpad!

By the way, posts are shown starting with the most recent. If you want to start at the beginning, you need to use the archives and start with the oldest post. Savvy?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chapter 3, Pt. 1

Riya was hitching a donkey to a bright yellow wagon decorated with green spirals and designs when Silay joined her by the stables. But the most remarkable thing about the scene was the donkey. Silay stared at it for a moment.

"It's yellow".

Riya grinned.

"Did you dye it?"

"Sort of. It's a spell. What do you think?"

"Well, it certainly will get people's attention."

"That's the idea". Riya jerked her head towards the wagon. "You can toss your bag back there. The donkey can't pull the wagon and carry passengers, but a little extra cargo won't hurt."

Silay did as Riya suggested, glad at the thought of not having to carry her bag anymore. "How far are we going today?"

"About 20 miles. There's a stream I like to camp by, and we'll save money not staying at an inn. Can you fish?"

Silay shook her head. "No, but I know how to clean fish".

"That'll do." Riya quickly checked the donkey's harness then gave Silay one her frequent grins. "Ready?"

"Ready." Silay smiled back.

Silay was pleasantly surprised to discover that her blisters from yesterday no longer bothered her. Jarlen may not have magic, but whatever he had done was working well. Today's traveling was going to be much better than yesterday's. Riya didn't say much as they walked, and that suited Silay just fine. She had a lot to think about. Jarlen's comment about children like Hazel dying was bothering her. She knew full well that it was highly unlikely she'd be able to do anything to stop the plague, and yet people -- at least the Healers and seers -- seemed to be expecting her to do something.

The sun was just getting ready to set when Riya led them off the road and a little ways into the woods. They didn't have to go very far before they came to a small clearing along a river bank. Riya unhitched and hobbled the donkey, then disappeared into the wagon, re-emerging with a fishing pole, a bundle of sticks rolled up in a cloth, and a small jar.

She tossed the jar to Silay. "Do you know how to set up wards?"

Silay nodded.

"Good. You set up a ward and build a fire. I'll go catch some fish."

"What about the tent?" Silay looked at the rolled up cloth on the ground.

Riya followed her gaze, then stared at the cloth fiercely, muttering under her breath. Silay had to step back as a small tent gently unfurled itself and popped up.

Riya grinned. "Be back soon!"
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I would like to point out the 20 miles is very reasonable for day's walk, especially on a flat road. I am speaking from experience having once hiked the Cotswold Way at 20 -mile-a-day intervals, over hilly, muddy terrain. Very unlike a certain other fantasy stories where short-legged beings successfully hiked an impossible number of miles a day *ahem* Lord of the Rings *ahem*.

Also, please excuse the funky formatting. I have just gotten an iPad and am still getting used to it. Same goes for the typos.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chapter 2 Epilouge

The Healer was more than a little apprehensive. Ever since word about the plague had been brought to them by the seers, the Healers had taken extra care when treating travelers from across the sea. And now he had been called to treat a small boy who had fallen ill on a ship; a ship on which a Healer had died, after treating the same boy.

When he reached the inn where the family had taken up residence, the Healer was relieved to discover that while the boy was very ill, it was only with an ordinary spotted fever, like the many he had healed over the years. The Healer placed his hands on the boy and called the disease into his own body, where his magic destroyed it, burning it up inside of him.

Both the Healer and the boy took a few days to recover fully, but soon they were both back on their feet. Several miles away, out in the ocean, the scavengers of the sea were busy devouring the remains of the ship's Healer.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chapter 2, pt. 6

The innkeeper greeted Silay at the door. Welis didn’t get many travelers this time of year, so she would be able to have a room to herself. After making arrangements for breakfast the next morning, Silay trudged up the stairs and collapsed gratefully on her bed.
            
Silay managed to rouse herself just as the sun was rising. She stood up and stretched, and was surprised at just how sore her muscles were. Questing, or Un-questing, as Jarlen had called it, was proving to be hard work. And hungry work. Silay’s stomach growled and she realized in her eagerness to get to sleep she had forgotten to eat dinner. She washed herself the best she could in the small basin of water by the bed, then packed her things and headed downstairs to eat.

There was one other traveler already eating at the counter, a woman who looked to be a few years older than her. Silay sat down a few seats away from the woman, then waited for the innkeeper to bring out her breakfast. The other woman gave Silay cursory glance, then returned to her meal. She was just finishing eating when Silay’s food arrived, and, pushing aside her empty bowl, moved down a chair towards her.
            
“Riya.” The woman held out her hand and Silay shook it.
            
“Silay”.
            
“Are you travelling alone, Silay?” Her voice was softer than her muscled build suggested.
            
Silay hesitated, and Riya laughed. “I’ll take your silence as a yes. You don’t lie very well, do you?”
            
“No.” Silay shifted in her seat, suddenly embarrassed. So much for trying to be confident.
            
Riya grinned. “Well, I do, but then that’s how I make a living." She stood up and swept an imaginary cape over her shoulder. “Riya the Wonderful, travelling magician.” She raised her eyebrows at Silay. “And you? What are doing on the road?”
            
Don’t be indecisive. She could hear Jarlen’s voice in her mind. She stood up and copied the magician’s bow. “Silay the Bored. Travelling…wherever.”
            
“Silay of the cold breakfast, if you don’t sit down to eat.” The innkeeper had been watching the exchange, and had little patience for theatrics.
            
The two young woman laughed, and Silay sat back down. “Are you really a magician?”
            
“Mm-hm.” Riya sat next to her. “Nothing really impressive, and some of my best tricks are just sleight-of-hand, not real magic, but there you are.” As she finished her statement, she pulled a coin from behind Silay’s ear.
            
Silay took the coin from her, palmed it, then held up her hands to show they were empty. “Like I said, Silay the Bored. Had a lot of free time to learn useless things.”
            
“Not bad.” Riya closed her eyes for a moment. “Where did you put it?”
            
“I dropped it on my la—” Silay’s voice trailed off as she realized the coin was gone.
            
Riya held out her hand, and the coin appeared in the center of it. “Now that’s magic.”
            
“That it is.” Silay finished her breakfast. “Where are you heading to next?”
            
“Surwas. They’re having a festival in a week. I figure it will take me a few days to get there, and that will leave me some time to settle in before all the visitors arrive.”
            
“Would you mind some company on the road? At least for a little ways?” Surwas was in roughly the same direction Silay wanted to go.  
            
Riya shrugged. “As long as you can pull your weight, I won’t say no. An extra set of eyes is always a good thing.” She stood. “I’ll be out back getting my wagon ready. Come out when you’re ready.”

*End of Chapter 2: The Unquest Begins*
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Ooo! Some real magic. This could get interesting.
Also, did you know that idea of multiple heroes having to act together to achieve their quest is a fairly modern construct? Greek and Roman mythology are very focused on the individual hero. That's why Achilles can get away with sulking behind the ships while the Greeks are losing in the Iliad. (And now someone feels the need to mention Jason and the Argonauts, and I feel the need to point out that's the exception, not the rule.)


Last post for this chapter, so bonus post on Wednesday :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chapter 2, pt. 5

“I know.” They both fell silent for a moment while Jarlen finished treating Silay’s blisters. She spoke first.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

Jarlen shrugged. “It seems to me the Seer’s hope is that just sending you out to track the plague may be enough to stop it, or at least to change it in some way.”

He sat down at the table and gestured for Silay to do the same. When she was seated, he continued. “Have you ever heard the idea about people’s actions being like rocks thrown into a pond?”

“Yes. We were taught that in Scrying at school.”

“Well, imagine that you have a pond, and that everyone’s actions are little rocks that send ripples out, ripples that run into each other and slowly change the surface of the pond.”

Silay looked at Jarlen, wondering where he was going with this. “All right.”

“Then imagine someone takes a large rock, one that wasn’t there before, and throws it right into the center of the pool. What would happen?”

“I guess the splash would erase all the other ripples.”

“Exactly.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Are you saying I’m like a big rock?”

“I’m saying you could be. The problem is, no one can see the ripples that you make, so there’s no way to tell if you’ve changed anything until after the fact.”

“So I just do nothing?”

“So you do nothing. You continue on this un-quest of yours. Keep checking with the seers and Healers. The Seer has told many of us to expect you. It may be your presence is enough, or it may be it takes more than that. Just keep going, and stay ready to act.”

Silay nodded, suddenly feeling very tired. Perhaps it hadn’t been such a bad thing that Hazel had brought her day’s journey to an early end. She stood up. “Thank you. Adelie told me there was an inn here. I’m going to stay there tonight.”

Jarlen pushed back his chair and walked with her to the door. “One last piece of advice, Silay. You would do well to find someone you can trust to travel with.”

“I know how to set up wards,” she protested.

“The problem with wards is that you don’t know you did one wrong until it’s too late.”

Silay didn’t have a response for this, so she bade Jarlen farewell, and made her way to the inn.
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Notes:

"The Hero Cycle"
-Call to adventure: Check
-Crossing the threshold: Check
-Unexpected aid/advice: Check

Also, I'm strangely tickled by the word "un-quest".