Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chapter 9, Pt. 2

Jarlen took the stone from Silay, they looked at Talis. "Whom did you contact?"

"I didn't call anyone."

"No?" Jarlen raised his eyebrows. "Do you expect me to believe that?"

"He's telling the truth." Jarlen and Riya looked at Silay, surprised by her claim. Ignoring them, she continue. "You are, aren't you? You didn't call anyone. I think you meant it, about wanting help, I mean. But someone called you."

Talis dropped his chin to his chest. "Wrigcyn. Things...are changing. That's all he said. That, and to come meet him."

"Did he say where?" Jarlen's voice was gruff.

"No." Talis shook his head. "I was just to get away from you, then contact him to find out where I should go. I told him you had caught me and were holding me captive."

"Well, that's certainly the case now," Riya pointed out. "Good job making your lie come true."

"But I didn't want to!" He looked at Silay desperately. "I didn't want any of this to happen! But he has my blood! I had to do what he said!"

Despite her defense of Talis just a moment ago, his plea struck a wrong chord with Silay. Something about blood magic. Not what he was saying now, but something he had said earlier. Suddenly, it clicked.

"Talis, when you found us two nights ago, when you first asked for help... what was it you said?"

"What I just said. That Wrigcyn has my blood."

"Not that." Silay chose her next words carefully, reasoning through what she was about to say. "You said Wrigcyn also has my blood?”

“Look, I said I was sorry—”

“But it doesn’t matter, does it? That Wrigcyn has my blood. He didn’t track us with it, because magic doesn’t work on me.”

Talis frowned. “Fine, yes. I left that part out to scare you. Wrigcyn has your  blood, but he isn’t able to do anything with it.  He tried. I didn’t think you would help me otherwise.”

“How did he track us then?”

Talis didn’t answer.

“Answer the question,” Jarlen commanded.

“Or what?” Talis met the man’s eyes. “You’ll hurt me? I doubt it. Promise to help me, and I’ll help you. Until then, I’m done talking.”

Jarlen and Silay exchanged glances. Neither of them trusted Talis, but he was also right that none of them were willing to hurt him to get information.

“I—” Riya’s voice trailed off, and Silay and Jarlen turned to look at her.

“Riya! Are you all right?” Silay had never seen her so pale.

The magician shook her head. “I…I don’t feel so good.” She started to tip forward, and Jarlen stepped over and caught her arm.

“Careful there.” He caught Silay’s eye. “Help me?”

Silay darted forward and placed Riya’s arm over her shoulder.

“I’m sorry. I just feel weak all of a sudden.”

Jarlen took charge. “Silay, take Riya into the closest house and see if you can find a place for her to sit or lie down. I’ll go get our packs.”

Silay nodded and turned toward the house, surprised by how much of Riya’s weight she was having to support.

“What about me?”

Jarlen glared at Talis. “You’re fine just where you are. We’ll decide what to do with you later.” He lingered long enough to make sure Silay was able to support Riya, then headed for the gate where they had left their packs.
Thank you all for your patience while I dealt with family things. Life is getting back to normal now, and so are my posts. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chapter 9, Pt. 1

All her anger, at Talis, at the plague, suddenly found an outlet. As did Riya's training. Talis had learned sword fighting. He hadn't been taught the down and dirty fighting Riya had shown Silay. The minute the two of them hit the ground, Silay drew up her knee and slammed it into Talis' stomach. He gasped as the air was driven out of his lungs and fell back on the ground. Silay threw her leg over his body, and sat straddling his chest, wishing desperately she still had her dagger. Instead, she pressed her hand against his throat. "Don't move."

He didn't. Either she had kneed him harder than she'd thought, or he was just too surprised to react. Whatever the case, she didn't have to hold him down long. Running footsteps marked the approach of Riya, followed closely by Jarlen. They helped Silay pull Talis to his feet, and tie and him up. After checking his bonds were secure, they stepped away to discuss what to do next.

"I, for one, would like to vote for punching him in the nose."

Jarlen gave Silay a half smile. "I'm inclined to agree with you."

"I think you're missing the point." Riya looked between the two. "Why the change? He came to us for help. Just yesterday he was showing you how to fence properly. It doesn't make sense."

Jarlen nodded thoughtfully. "I wonder if he knows something we don't."

"We didn't tie him up last night," Silay pointed out. "Maybe he met up with someone."

Riya shook her head. "He couldn't have left the camp. We shared the watches between the three of us."

Silay shrugged. "Then he couldn't have contacted someone. Unless-"

"Unless what?"

Instead of answering, Silay walked over to Talis. What Riya had said made sense. For Talis to switch from helping them to attacking Jarlen, something must have made him change his mind. And if he hadn't left the camp, there was only one way someone could have contacted him.

"Where is it?" She nudged him gently with her foot, but Talis flinched as if she'd kicked him. It seemed he wasn't as brave as he had been acting. He also didn't need to ask Silay what she was looking for.

"The bottom hem of my left pant leg."

Silay ran her hand along the seam until she found what she was looking for. Wriggling the object from its small pocket, she turned and held up her prize so Jarlen and Riya could see. Between her thumb and forefinger she was holding a Farstone. 
duh, duh, dahhh! Wonder what message Talis received last night?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chapter 8 Epilogue

When the Farstone emitted the faint blue glow that meant someone was trying to contact her, the Seer jumped out of her chair. It had been nearly a week since she had heard from Silay. And while she could occasionally See glimpses of her companions, because of their proximity to Silay what she Saw was vague and distorted. But she knew enough to tell they had been in some sort of trouble.

She picked up the Fartsone, but to her disappointment, the mind at the other end was not Jarlen.


"Greetings, Seer."

"Who is this?" The Seer felt a wave of amusement from the stone. People always seemed amused that she didn't know everything. It was frustrating, but she had grown accustomed to it over time.

"My name is Wrigcyn."

In an instant, the Seer's mind filled in the information, pulling from visions of the future. "You are a magician. From S'vael".

"Indeed. And I know where Silay is. Do you?"

As the man spoke, the Seer could feel the future shifting, changing. She pushed the vision aside for the moment; she would look at it later.

"How could you know that?"

The magician laughed. "I am not limited by Sight, as are you."

There was a puzzle there, but now wasn't the time to solve it. "Why are you contacting me?"

"I thought your little oddity was harmless, but now she is involved in things she should not be. Call your pet back home, or there will be consequences."

"All actions have consequences." It was the oldest tenant of all seers.

"Bad consequences."

"Why should I believe you?"

"You see the future. Look there."

The stone stopped glowing, and the Seer sighed and set it down. Rising, she walked to the cabinet that held her Seeing crystal. She gently lifted the crystal from its case and set it on the table.

The future had changed. The plague was still there, still a possibility, but it was no longer the overpowering future. She grabbed the Farstone again. She had to warn the other cities. There, in the crystal, was the possibility of war.
This is actually the second epilogue I wrote for chapter 8. In the first one, Healer Aibas had tracked down a Farstone and was using it to call the Seer and fill her in what Silay and co. had figured out. But that didn't feel right. So this is where I decided to go instead.

Also, my husband has asked that I credit him for finally giving a name to the kingdom responsible for the plague. He says it's a combination of 'hades' and 'evil'. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chapter 8, Pt. 9

Exploring was put aside in favor of finding shelter before the last remnants of light disappeared behind the horizon. Nobody wanted to spend the night in the abandoned town, especially since they didn't know why it had been abandoned. So instead, they pitched their camp a little ways off the road outside of town. As a gesture of goodwill, they left Talis untied. The next morning, even Riya was up early. Though apprehensive, all of them wanted to figure out what had happened.

Jarlen was the first through the gate. "I think we should split up. Riya and Silay can explore along the wall starting on the left. Talis and I will follow the wall to the right. When we meet up, we'll move down the main street together." Riya and Silay nodded their consent. Talis scowled, but didn't object, so the two groups separated.

Silay and Riya followed their part of wall in a comfortable silence. Silay was startled to find that she missed the days when it had been just her and Riay traveling, back before Talis' attack, and their later arrest. Back when this unquest had been more of an adventure, an escape from Dagrosa and the people there. Before the plague had truly started.

"Copper for your thoughts."

Silay shook her head, trying to clear her mind. "When I first started out, the plan was for me to reach Dilest before the plague began. Now it's too late for that."

Riya snorted.

"What?" Silay demanded. "That wasn't meant to be funny. The Seer thought I might be able to figure out how the plague was spreading and help the Healers stop it!"

"Sorry," Riya gave a sympathetic smile. "It's just that I was asking about your thoughts about what happened here." She glanced at Silay. "This is really bothering you, isn't it?"

Silay nodded. "Not that I ever really thought I could help. It's just now it feels like I've failed."

"I don't think that. We actually have a pretty good idea about what started the plague, now."

"Which we discovered by accident, when I led us into an ambush."


Silay stopped and glared at Riya. "That does not make me feel better."

"No, I mean..." Riya tried to gather her thoughts. "The whole point of sending you was because your future is unknown, right? So if you hadn't gone, you wouldn't have been ambushed, and we wouldn't know what we know now. So it did work. Now we just need to work out what to do with that knowledge."

Before Silay could answer, there was a shout off to their right. The two women exchanged glances then took off running towards the sound. 

They found Jarlen slumped against a wall. He pointed back towards the gate, at the retreating figure of Talis. Without pausing, or thinking, Silay pivoted and took off after him. He hadn't expected pursuit and so hadn't been moving at his full speed. Consequently, it wasn't until he heard Silay's footsteps behind him that he picked up his pace. By then, it was too late. With a shout, Silay jumped forward and slammed into him, throwing both of them to the ground.
End of Chapter 8: An Unexpected Encounter
Check in Wednesday for the Chapter Epilogue!