Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Staff

(( Still working on old prompts! This one is from the July 24 prompt – Write a story about a magical object. I chose a not quite magical object, but one that was in the process of becoming so. ))

Karuna Firewind slammed his text shut. Dragons. Everything pointed to them being the final piece in the creation of the staff. He grumbled as he stepped down the spiral stairs of his small tower, and brushed his long red curls back over his shoulder with his hand as to watch his step. It wasn’t much of a tower and the staircase was narrow and steep. However, most mages who lived outside Thril Gandir had one, and he refused to be out of style. His meager tower was better than being stuck in Thril Gandir at any rate.

His human adahi, Carl Foxrun, spoke before he even reached the bottom of the stairs. “Karuna, you look tired.” Leave it to Carl to point out the obvious.

“Start packing. We’re going south.”

The adahi raised a brow, “Where south? It’s quiet here, but much of the land is at war, Karuna.”

Karuna rolled his eyes and flicked one of his elven ears as he grabbed his staff. It was incomplete in that it hadn’t been enchanted yet, but now that he had figured out just the right ingredients and conditions for the enchantment spell, that would soon change. That is, if Carl didn’t stop him. As Karuna’s protector, he could very well do so. He turned to face his adahi, “I very well know the dangers, Mr. Foxrun, but we are going.”

“Have you told her yet?”

Her. Karuna knew he was referencing the girl in town who had taken a liking to visiting the tower. “Why? Are you jealous?”

Carl shrugged, “No.”

Karuna shook his head. He knew better. The way Carl looked away as he said no left no doubt in Karuna’s mind that he was definitely jealous.

“Maybe she’s been coming to see you.” Karuna grinned at the obvious lie. “Anyway, I can’t sit around and wait until her next visit. We have to leave now before the fighting gets worse. She’ll figure out we’re gone.” He tossed a couple of robes into his bag. He wouldn’t need much for the trip. Carl was always the practical one, bringing everything they would need.

“I’ll leave her a note then.”

Karuna rolled his eyes again, but remained silent as his adahi stopped packing and started scribbling a note. He was glad that Carl hadn’t decided to focus on his comment about the fighting getting worse. It would get worse, and that’s why there was such a rush to go now. He had waited long enough, making sure that his theories would hold when the time came to actually do the enchantment. While he wasn’t 100% sure, he was confident enough that it would work. The time to go was now.

The latest news was that armies were gathering in the woods at the base of the mountains, and readying to march North. It would greatly mess up his plans to find himself in the middle of a war, but the mountains were where he needed to go. The dragons there held the secrets he needed. Carl wasn’t going to like the details at all.

He glanced at his adahi who had finished writing and had begun packing. It was best to head out before he shared the details, and best to let Carl pack in peace before he started questioning. “I’ll go get the horses ready. If we leave now we can make it to the next town before nightfall.” Karuna said as he walked towards the door. Carl grunted in response. Perhaps he knew Karuna was escaping before any details could be discussed. Perhaps he didn’t, and Karuna wasn’t going to stick around to find out. He hurried out towards the stable to ready the horses. With any luck, they would be far away before Carl pressed for details.

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The Song

(( This story goes back to the July 3rd prompt for a story that features a song or poem. I didn’t pick an actual song or poem, and I’m not confident enough with my poetry skills to start now, so I wrote a story that has music sorta featured in it. This is set in Naren, and happens after book 1 but before Isturon is featured in his own book. ))

Isturon Lightmist sighed as he sat down at the table in the inn. It was a long trip from Elal’s Fork to Hollowmont. He wasn’t even sure of the name of the town they had stopped at for the night. He was too old for this, but he wanted to get away. He couldn’t stay in Elal’s Fork anymore. Well, he could have, if Verisna had left, but no. She flaunted her new lover in front of everyone, taking walks through the center of town while holding his arm, and kissing him when he left her at the door to the home.

OUR home. No. It wasn’t his anymore. He had left, and he had mostly forgiven her, though he couldn’t shake his own feeling of shame. Things had been difficult for him ever since most of the family was held prisoner in Moressley.

A waitress approached his table and asked, “Anything I can get you? We have imported drinks from all over to satisfy the thirst of many travelers. We also have a varied menu if you’re hungry.” She pointed at the board where the drinks and dishes were listed.

“Just a glass of water and a bowl of vegetable soup, thank you.”

She quickly trotted off to the kitchen, leaving Isturon to his thoughts once more.

Up on the small stage set up in one corner, a girl started playing a song on a lute. Isturon listened as his thoughts wandered.

His son had offered him a room in his home until he was feeling better. He was grateful that his children didn’t harbor any ill-feelings towards him after their ordeal. His wife— No, his ex-wife, blamed him. It was true he could have fought back while they were held prisoner, but that would have also revealed him as being a mage to any who saw. Though his specialty was healing magic, he knew enough offensive spells that he could have used them. He still didn’t think it would be enough to fight off all the guards in the castle they had been kept in. He had managed to pass undetected throughout his entire life. Two of his children were mages, but no one ever questioned him. Getting caught while trying to escape would have just ended with him in more trouble than before, and possibly trouble for his children as well, even if they were trained at Thril Gandir.

The song was sad and slow, and Isturon found himself wishing that the girl would play something more lively. The waitress returned with the water and soup, leaving it on the table in front of him, as Isturon started listening to the lyrics. The girl had a heavy accent, but Isturon couldn’t place it. He understood most of the words anyway. The tune was, at it’s core, about missed opportunities and regret, but the refrain stated that there was always a brighter tomorrow. Isturon’s ear twitched. He’d lived long enough to not fall into that trap. The missed opportunities and regrets would always be there. Good times and bad times would both continue to happen. The next day was not always brighter.

He started eating his soup. Tomorrow was definitely not going to be brighter. Today’s leg of the journey had them passing under bright skies, but just as they stopped the wagon at the town, dark clouds started rolling in.

Tomorrow promised to be absolutely miserable.

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