Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chapter 8, Pt. 3


Riya looked down at the table and rubbed her temples. "I'm not sure what you want to talk about. We've already told you everything we know."

"Yes, but now I want to know what you plan to do with what you know. Silay!"

Silay sat up straight in her chair, having flashbacks to being called out by teachers at school. "Yes, ma'am?"

"What do you plan to do?"

"I-- I don't know. They Seer just sent me out to see if I can change anything."

The Healer waved this comment away with her hand. "That's why you left. Now that you know what you know, what do plan to do?"

Silay fell silent for a moment, thinking. "Can you come back to me?"

Aibas nodded. "Riya?"

"The plague is magic. I'm a magician. If I had my powers, maybe I could do something. But..." She shrugged.

"I had hoped you all might be a little more optimistic." Aibas turned to her former pupil. "Jarlen, I'm sure you at least had some idea of what you would do when you left." Before Jarlen could answer, a thought seemed to occur to her. "Silay, out of curiosity, has Jarlen asked to look at your blood?"

"What?!" The question startled Silay out of her thoughts.

Even Riya looked up in surprise. "What would Jarlen want with blood? He's not a magician, and besides, blood magic is dangerous. And usually bad."

"More than usually." The Healer looked at Riya. "I've never known of a blood spell that ended well for both parties involved."

"As Riya has pointed out, I am not a magician." Jarlen's voice broke the silence that had followed the brief exchange. "My interest in blood has nothing to do with magic. The reason it's powerful in spells is because it gives life to the body. Which is why it is also useful for alchemy. If their is something in Silay's blood that makes her immune to the plague, then it might be possible to give whatever it is to others and make them immune too."

"I still don't like it."

"It's not your choice,  Riya."

"No, it's mine." Silay interrupted what looked like it could be the start of a fight. "And at the moment, we don't know if I'm immune to the plague, so it isn't really important." She looked at Aibas. "You asked what I think we should do? Well, here it is. We stop trying to find what is causing the plague, and try to find who."

The Healer nodded. "That is what I think too. And you shouldn't delay. I'll pack supplies for you, and you can be on the road in an hour."
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Enough talking. How about some action?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chapter 8, Pt. 2


Silay couldn't remember the last time she had woken up and not been sore and tired. Sleeping outside, under the stars, had always sounded so, well, glamorous in stories. But the truth of the matter was that the ground was just not a comfortable place to sleep. No matter where you set up your sleeping roll there would inevitably be a root poking you in the back. Of course, thought Silay, the balm Healer Aibas had given her to rub on her muscles had probably helped too.

Aibas, Jarlen, and Silay were in the midst of quietly making breakfast when Riya finally woke up. There were dark circles under her eyes, and her face was pale. Whatever Aibas had given her to ease the pain of the collar had clearly worn off.
"Good morning!" If there was one thing Silay had learned about her friend, it was that she didn't like pity. "You look terrible!" She added cheerfully.

Riya stuck her tongue out at Silay. "You're no morning flower yourself."

"Now, now, ladies, no need to fight for my attention."

The notion was so astounding that for a moment, all Silay and Riya could do was stare at Jarlen incredulously. He laughed, and Riya punched him softly in the arm, a gesture of familiarity that startled Silay. It occurred to her that her friends probably hadn't been sleeping any better than she had during their journey.

"Is there any tea?"

The Healer nodded and poured hot water over a mug she had already prepared before handing it to Riya.

Riya took a sip and grimaced. "Willowbark?"

"It will help with the headache."

"Yes, but what will help with the taste?"

Aibas smiled, and passed her a pot of honey. Riya sat down at the table where they had eaten the night before, and Jarlen and Silay followed, Jarlen carrying a pot of porridge, and Silay bearing a bowl of fruit.

There was very little conversation as the four of them set about the important business of eating breakfast. Once Aibas was satisfied that her guests were well-fed, she cleared away the food and re-joined them at the table.

"Now," she looked around at three travel-worn faces, "let's talk about this plague."
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Look! Riya and Jarlen can get along! Just no "'shipping" them, okay? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chapter 8, Pt. 1


Silay leaned back in her chair, slowly sipping the strong tea the Healer had made for all of them. Once Healer Aibas had seen that they were all exhausted and hurt, she had refused to let them tell her their story until she had seen to their injures and everyone had eaten a simple, but good meal. The small group was seated around her table, and Silay was happy to let Jarlen fill his old teacher in on what had been happening.

The Healer's brow furrowed as Jarlen finished explaining. "So, someone is behind this?"
The three travelers nodded, and Aibas shook her head sadly. "I just can't imagine. So many people..." She broke off, unable to finish the thought in all their minds. So many people sick. So many people who would die. "And you say it is magical." She looked at Riya this time, who bobbed her head in acknowledgment. Aibas had tried some general release spells to get the collar off her, but none had worked. She had finally settled for giving Riya something to help lessen her headache. The Healer sighed. "I think the rest of this discussion can wait until morning. Sleep is the best healer, after all."

Jarlen nodded in agreement, but before anyone stood to leave the table, Silay asked the question that had been on her mind since Aibas had invited them into her home.

"Why was Jarlen your worst student?"

Healer Aibas laughed. "Because he had the audacity to apply to be a Healer's apprentice, and him with no healing power!" She gave her former pupil a fond smile. "So I took him on, of course. I was a bit rebellious in those days." She shook her head in mock disappointment. "He never did become a Healer. He couldn't manage even the simplest of spells."

Silay grinned at this. "I can see where that might be a problem."

Jarlen rolled his eyes and stood up from the table. "The two of you are worse than my sisters. So, if you are done making fun of me..." The rest of sentence was swallowed in a yawn. This set all three women to laughing, and a moment later, Jarlen's low chuckle joined them.

Healer Aibas rose from the table. "I've always said it is best to go to bed happy. Let me go get some blankets and pillows and see if we can't make you all comfortable."

It was the closest to sleeping in beds any of them had come to in weeks. Exhausted from the last few days, the Healer's three guests were asleep in a matter of moments. But sleep came much more slowly for Aibas herself, her head filled with worries about the magical plague and who could be behind it.
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Ah, sleep. Truly the best healer of all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chapter 7 Epilogue


"Sire?"

"Hmmm?" The king looked up from the tax report on his desk.

"I have the information you wanted." The scribe paused, waiting for a response. When he didn't get one, he continued. "About the girl? And the people traveling with her?"

"Ah, yes." The king moved the tax report aside. "Tell  me."

The scribe, who was, in fact, considerably more than a scribe, shrugged his shoulders. "There isn't much to tell. My contact says they're harmless. The Seers just think the girl is special because they couldn't see her future. Magical anomalies like that are rare, but they happen. And the medicine man has no magic. He just deals with herbs and such."

"What about the magician?"

"No more of a threat than any other magician. Just to sure, my contact had her collared."

"Good, good." The king nodded. "No point in taking risks. You've done well. You can tell your contact that."
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The plot thickens... and Jarlen gets called the "medicine man". I bet he'd love that.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chapter 7, Pt. 7


They'd been watching the small house for nearly half an hour. "I think it should be Silay." Riya's voice was low, just above a whisper. "Are you all right with that?"

Silay nodded. She still felt that this whole situation was her fault, so although she was nervous, she was willing to do what she needed to get them out of it. The room she had been tied up in had turned out to be in an abandoned building, well out of sight from any roads or paths. After wandering around, she, Jarlen, and Riya had manged to find a small spring. They'd drunk their fill, then followed it until it led them to this house. Now they were debating whether or not it was safe to approach it, and who would be the best person to do so.

"Well, here I go." Silay looked at her companions. "Luck?"

Jarlen nodded. "It will be fine."

"I'd go but..." Riya gave a rueful shrug.

"I understand." Lots of people were uneasy around magic, and the collar clearly marked Riya as a magician, even if a currently useless one. And Jarlen, tall as he was, might frighten whoever lived in the house.

Silay stepped out of the woods and approached the house. She hesitated a moment, then knocked on the door. There was clearly a fire burning inside, but no one answered. She knocked again, louder.
"Go away!"

"But..."

"I said, go away!" It was a woman's voice, gruff with age.

"Please. I-- We need help. We were attacked on the road."

"And I open the door and you'll attack me! Go before I call my dogs."

"Please!" Silay was surprised by how desperate her voice sounded. There was no response. She started to walk away, then thought of something. She turned back to the door. "My name is Silay Gallegis. I'm traveling with Jarlen, the alchemist, and Riya. The Seer of Dagrosa sent us. Maybe you've heard about us? We're trying to stop the plague."

Again, there was no response. Silay had just stepped off the front step when the voice spoke up, softer this time.

"Did you say Jarlen the alchemist?"

"Yes."

"Let me speak with him."

Silay waved Jarlen and Riya out of the woods.

"She wants to speak with you," she told Jarlen, when he reached her.

Jarlen shrugged and faced the door. "Hello?"

"Jarlen?"

"Yes."

"What is the danger of mixing of poppy oil with nutmeg?"

Jarlen blinked, taken aback. Then a grin spread across his face. "Healer Aibas?"

The door opened, revealing an old women with a small, though muscular, frame. "Well, if it isn't my worst student. What have you gotten yourself into this time?"

End of Chapter Seven: The Strange Magician.
Check in Wednesday for the Chapter Epilogue. 
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What is the danger of combing poppy oil and nutmeg? I have no idea, but it's probably not good. Placeholder herbs until I can do research on herb-lore. Also, I could not for the life of me come up with a name for Healer Aibas...then I saw a bandaid on my desk. Can you see what I did?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chapter 7, Pt. 6


Silay woke the next morning cold and stiff. Even worse, she was thirsty. More thirsty than she had ever been in her life. Carefully, she stood and slowly flexed her muscles. Jarlen was awake, sitting with his back against the wall. He nodded in greeting, dark circles under his eyes suggesting he hadn't slept at all. Riya was still asleep, curled up in a corner like a cat. Her face was pale.

Quietly, so she didn't wake Riya, Silay went through the stretches she had been taught. Once her muscles were warmed up, she did a few of Riya’s drills. Jarlen eventually stood up and joined her. After they had gone through two rounds of drills, he stopped. “We should wake her up.” He nodded towards the corner. “We need to find water, and food.”

Silay followed his gaze. “Is she all right?”

Jarlen shrugged. “The collar hurts her. And though she’s tried to hide it, I think she got injured in the fight.”

“Fight?”

“We were attacked when we reached the road. You didn't think we had wander off and abandoned you, did you?”

Silay shook her head. “I was attacked too. I just didn't…” she trailed off. “Well, there wasn't really much of a fight.”

Jarlen chuckled softly “You don’t become a swordmaster overnight.”

“Or even over a few years.”

Startled, Silay and Jarlen turned to face Riya.

“You’re awake!”

Riya gave Silay a small smile. “I noticed.” Yawning, she slowly climbed to her feet, leaning against the wall for support. “We need to find water.”

“We've already established that.” Jarlen crossed the room and grasped Riya's hand, helping to pull her upright. “Let’s go see what we can find.”

Wondered what happened to Jarlen and Riya?

 Check out the Alt. Perspectives tab to find out!