Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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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.
“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*
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 :)

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    “Riya.” the (The)
    “Silay”. (.")
    slight-of-hand, (sleight)
    set of eyes are (is)