Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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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, October 27, 2013

Chapter 7, Pt. 2

“What’s wrong?” Asked Kade. “Not the people you were hoping to see?”

Silay stepped back. She could almost imagine she heard Jarlen and Riya reminding her of her training. Keep as much distance as possible between yourself and your opponent. That was why Jarlen preferred a sword. A sword! Silay had carried one on her horse ever since she’d started taking lessons from Jarlen. She took another step back, keeping her eyes on the two men, who were watching her carefully.

“What are you doing, girl?”

If you’re frightened, don’t talk. It will only give your fear away. That was Riya. Silay stepped back again, this time feeling for the horse behind her. She slowly stretched her arm along the saddle until she felt her scabbard. Never taking her eyes off her opponents, she drew the sword. The horse shied away, and she almost lost her balance, but managed to stay standing. Always keep the point of your sword pointed at the enemy. They must go through it to get to you. Jarlen again.

Kade laughed, not exactly the response Silay had hoped for. He nodded to Talis beside him. “According to your friend, you could barely even manage a knife a few weeks ago. You expect me to believe you can use a sword now?”

“Silay, please, just put down the sword.” Talis almost sounded like he was pleading. “There’s no need to fight. Jarlen and Riya aren’t able to help you.”

“Listen to him, girl. He’s trying to help you.”

Silay’s eyes flicked from Talis to Kade. Something wasn’t right here.

There was a sound behind her. Silay pivoted around, and slammed into something solid. The sword jerked from her hand, and she fell backward. Her head hit the road, and everything went black. 
From time to time I read lists titled along the lines of "Cliches to Avoid While Writing" or the like. Interestingly enough, none of these have ever included the line "everything went black". Maybe I just read a lot of fantasy (okay, that's almost all I read), but this is a seriously overused phrased (in fact, it's the second time I've used it in this story). Also, I feel like it ignores the important issue of concussions. I'm betting pretty much all heroes in stories have had a concussion at some point, but no one ever addresses this.

Sorry if this post is a little lackluster. The original version was great before my computer ate it. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chapter 7, Pt. 1

They were approaching another intersection between the main road and their path when Silay pulled on her horse's reigns, and was momentarily surprised when he actually stopped. “Did you hear that?” She asked.

Jarlen and Riya circled back to her. “Hear what?”

“It sounded like…” a shout came from the direction of the main road. “…that.”

Riya turned towards the road. “That sounded like a call for help.”

There was a another cry, this one higher pitched. Jarlen frowned. “It sounds like a child.” He looked at Silay. “What should we do?”

Silay was startled. “Why are you asking me?”

“Because this is your unquest. Your mission. You decide what we do. Go on our way or investigate.”

Silay looked back and forth between him and Riya, who were both looking at her expectantly. She wasn't sure she liked this sudden feeling of being in charge. She sighed. “We investigate.”

Silay tried to point her horse towards the main road, but only succeeded in making it take a few steps sideways. Riya had galloped off as soon as Silay had spoken. Jarlen waited to make sure she got her horse pointed in the right direction, then raced after Riya. Silay followed them at a slower pace. She was still nervous about riding the horse at faster speeds.

When Silay reached the intersection, she didn't see anyone. “Riya? Jarlen?” There wasn't an answer. Unable to get the horse to circle around so she could look down the rest road, she dismounted. She couldn't see anyone in any direction. “Hello?” Still no answer. Silay turned to get back on the horse when she heard a noise behind her. She whirled around. “Riya?”

“Guess again.”

From the bushes beside the road, two figures emerged. Talis and Kade. 
Yay! Some old faces are back (less exiting, perhaps, for Silay)
So, I had this post and the next all written, when *poof!* they vanished from my tablet :(. So this is my second version of it. I liked the first better, but it appears to have completely vanished from every location I can think it might have saved to. Also... some insight to my writing environment. While I as planning for Kade's encounter with the group (yes, I do plan...a little), my husband found my list of possible results of the meeting and added his own suggestion: "Kade makes them go fishing and they all eat fish. Fish, fish, fish!" This will not be happening. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chapter 6 Epilogue

"How do they function?"

"Sire?" The scribe looked up from his work to see the king pacing in front of the map again. The map was huge, taking up nearly an entire wall in the scriptorium, and showed the different cities of Ohicink.

"Them!" The king thrust an angry finger against the wall. "How do they function? No king, no ruler, just cities all with their own little laws running amok. It should not work!"

The scribe pushed aside the documents he was working on and joined the king by the map. He was, of course, right. By all accounts, Ohicink should not exist as it is. Other un-unified lands either fought amongst themselves until they were conquered by another country, or one of the cities rose to power over the other. Yet Ohicink had remained unconquered and peaceful for as long as any records showed. Which was, of course, why something had to be done. It just wasn't right, a country like that.

The scribe reminded the king of this. "Give it time. The Magicians say it won't be long now."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chapter 6, Pt. 5

Silay continued to think about Healers, magic and the plague until they stopped to rest the horses and eat.

Riya reached behind Silay's ear and held up her hand, now containing a small coin. "Copper for your thoughts."

Silay smiled and took the coin, vanishing it like she had when she had first met Riya at the inn. "Just thinking about the plague."

"What about it?"

"Well... I was wondering... if it could be magical somehow."

Jarlen looked up at this. "You mean because it can kill the Healers?"

Silay nodded. "I don't know much about magic, but from what you said earlier, it sounds like it just naturally burns up any disease. So if it doesn't..."

"Then something is stopping it. Like another magic." Riya looked at Jarlen. "Is that possible? I haven't exactly studied magic either. It's just something I do."

Jarlen rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I've never heard of such a thing, but I suppose, technically, it would be possible. There is one way we could find out for certain."

"What's that?"

Jarlen looked at Silay. "If, when we get to Dilest, you don't become sick."

Riya raised her eyebrows. "Any other way to find out? Without exposing ourselves to disease?"

Jarlen shrugged. "I'll think about it."

"There's one thing that bothers me about your idea, Silay."

Silay looked at Riya. "Just one?"

"All right, several things. But one more than any other." She paused. "If the plague is magic in nature, then that suggests someone created it." Riya looked at the two startled faces staring at her. "That's what worries me," she said grimly.

End of Chapter 6: Concerning Magic
Check back Wednesday for the Chapter Epilogue

 I've struggled with the plague plot ever since I developed it. How do you make an antagonist out of a disease? And then... Silay started to wonder about the causes of the plague. It's always a little surprising when my characters have better ideas than me. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chapter 6, Pt. 4

It took Riya much longer to meet back up with Jarlen and Silay than they had expected. Silay looked at her with concern when she finally showed up.

"Is everything all right?"

Riya held up the bag of supplies she had gotten. "Mostly. People were glad for the business. It seems all the towns and cities are blocking visitors. I had to prove I had magic before they would let me in, though."

Silay thought about this while they re-packed the supplies and started off down the road. "But you aren't a Healer."

Riya glanced back at her. "Where did that come from?"

"I was just thinking. You said you were safe because you had magic. But I thought only Healers could...well, heal."

Jarlen snorted. "That's what they want people to think. Truth is, anyone with magic can heal themselves. What sets Healers apart is that they can heal others."

Riya nodded in agreement. "My magic burns up any diseases that get inside of me. When a Healer helps someone else, they don't actually burn up the sickness inside the other person. They draw the sickness into themselves, then burn it up inside of them. It takes a lot of training."

"The problem is," Jarlen interjected, "They don't always get all of the disease out of a person. And people get so reliant on them that they don't take basic precautions to prevent themselves from getting sick in the first place."

Silay followed this exchange with interest. Magic had always fascinated her, especially since it didn't seem to affect her. "So, if I got sick..."

Jarlen gave her a smile. "You'd have to come see me. Or another alchemist. A Healer wouldn't be able to help you."

"All right. But here's what I don't understand. One Healer has already died from the plague. And the Seers have seen others dying."

Silence answered her. Finally, Jarlen spoke up. "That's what makes this plague so dangerous."
Some more information on how magic works.