Monthly Archives: June 2017

Naren – The Parting of the Seers

(( My prompt word was ‘bread’ so I went with three people sharing a meal. ))

Dasturn took his seat between the elf and the human, his short dwarven arms reaching across the table to the bread. Grabbing it, he broke off a piece and placed it on the human’s plate, and another piece he put on the elf’s plate. He placed the middle on his own.

“They’ll have us survive on stale old bread for we do not do as they wish,” Cynerik, the human said while looking at his piece dejectedly.

Erith, the tall, lithe elf with a slight blueish tinge to her skin picked up her bread and bit into it. “They feed us, though I do not know if it is a blessing or a curse.”

“She’s been seeing things she isn’t going to tell us about again.” Dasturn sighed. He always shared what he saw, but Erith liked leaving things a mystery.

“It was a mistake to come here.” Cynerik interjected. “I see that now. We should have kept our gifts a secret.”

“I think we all see that now,” Dasturn nodded. “They only seek control.”

“To spit upon the goddesses’ wishes so blatantly.” Cynerik glowered.

“We were to guide them. We cannot guide those unwilling to follow the guides.” Erith spoke again.

They all nodded, but fell into silence as they ate. Dasturn damned the day he arrived here to the city of the humans. At first it wasn’t bad. As one of the three seers, he had been put up in a fancy room in the palace of the high priest who had been tasked with informing the people of the existence of the seers. The Goddesses had not abandoned their people. They had left the seers to aid them in their absence.

It was Cynerik who interrupted the silence, “Can’t either of you see a way out of here?”

Dasturn shook his head, and glanced at Erith, who seemed to ignore the question.

“Just like always,” Cynerik grumbled. “I thought we were supposed to be stronger together.”

Dasturn shrugged, “I can see more before I tire. Maybe that’s all they meant.”

Cynerik quoted what had been written by the late high priest. “The three corners of the world come together and find their power multiplied.”

Dasturn snorted and added his own thoughts, “And so the people gather us up and demand knowledge and power after deposing the man who told them of it.”

The human nodded, his mouth forming a thin line as they fell into silence again.

It had happened that way. His time in the palace was short lived, and now he lived in a room in a basement stuck with the seer of the past and the seer of the future. As the seer of the present, he could see what was going on in the palace now. There was no talk of letting them out. There was only talk of things getting worse. He glanced at Erith. She must have seen the possibility too.

As he started to look away with the intent to pay more attention to his stale bread, she spoke, “There is a way out.”

Both he and Cynerik looked at her.

“You won’t like it.”

“What is it?” Cynerik asked.

“We stop eating the bread.”

Cynerik blinked at her, “That’s it? Will they let us out and give us more food?”

“No.”

Dasturn narrowed his eyes, “But you said it’s the way out.”

“It is,” she said as she pushed her plate away with the half-eaten bread on it. “We will die. We will be reborn. We must also make a pact.”

“A pact?” Cynerik asked.

“Yes, an agreement.”

“I know what a pact is.”

“We must vow never to come together like this again until it is necessary.”

Cynerik and Dasturn exchanged a glance towards each other.

“I’m not sure I’m very fond of dying in the first place.” Dasturn said, looking back at Erith.

“You know what they plan to do with us. We are already weak from the stale bread diet. We won’t last long if we stop eating what they do give us. We will be free in our next lives. It is the only way we’ll get out.”

“But we won’t be ourselves anymore.” Dasturn frowned.

“We lose our memories of this life, yes,” Erith glanced at Cynerik, “but who we are does carry on, and our abilities will go with us. Cynerik may even remember this conversation sometime once he’s old enough.”

Dasturn eyed Erith warily, “Then how are the two of us going to remember this pact?”

“I have a theory that if we all use our abilities at once, we can make the pact be part of our being. We may not even consciously be aware of it, but we will heed no calls to assemble the seers. If we do happen to meet one of the other seers, we will know to part as soon as possible.”

Dasturn continued question Erith, “Until it’s necessary. You said that. What does that mean?”

“There will come a time when we will be needed. Not for petty squabbles or greed, but for survival of the goddesses’ creations.”

Cynerik put his bread down, and pushed his plate away.

Dasturn turned towards him. His expression searching for answers.

“I’d rather live free in my future lives than live as I do now in every one.” He looked directly at Erith, “Since I am the one most likely to remember this conversation, I will be sure not to let you forget it if it doesn’t work.”

They both looked at Dasturn.

“All right, fine.” Dasturn dropped his bread and pushed it away. “Let’s do this.”

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Warcraft – Aeramin’s Notes

((I’m going to start using the title to tell what universe it is set in, since many of these characters appear in World of Warcraft and in Naren.))

  • We’re having an actual break in classes for the summer. Previous years, we’ve only had a week or two off. Still, I’ve been going and helping out around the school with stuff, which has mostly been Hethurin deciding he needs things moved. Books, desks, tables, chairs, are all going into one of the old practice rooms. He’s also cleaned out another room and put a desk and a chair in there and now he’s calling that my office. I was fine sharing one with Raleth, but I guess it is kind of nice to have my own. I can decorate it the way I want, and now Raleth can decorate his too.
  • I think the old practice room is being turned into a classroom which is good, and I hope I’ll be able to use it, but there’s a possibility that it could be for the general education classes. I suppose I should ask Hethurin. I thought he was going to have another classroom built on next to the room that’s already used for the younger students. There’s going to be a lot of new students coming in over the next few years. I know Raleth’s son is old enough, and Theronil’s son is too. I think Nessna’s son is also. It might be okay for this year, but the year after, there will be even more kids. He’s going to have to get them into a separate class so that they don’t slow down the older kids.
  • Anyway, so there’s that. Summer can be less work, but I would rather be teaching classes all day than pushing furniture around. I guess I technically don’t have to go to the school, but then what would I do all day? Also, most of the students stay there for the summer, and sometimes they come to ask me questions, so I need to be around a bit at least. That and I do like to talk to the two from Murder Row and make sure they’re both doing okay. I see Felarius often for his lessons, which we’ve decided to continue during the break, but I see Irael less. I will have to check in on her and make sure things are all good before I go on vacation.
  • Oh, yes, vacation. It’s been a while since Im and I have had a proper one. He’s sure he can get the time off, and I don’t think Hethurin will have a problem with it if I’m not pushing around furniture for a week.
  • We’ve decided to go to the Outland, mostly to the swamp, I think, and I’ve already started planning. Well I had ideas before this, but now I’m really planning. I think I’ve decided. I’m going to do it. I’m going to propose while we’re on holiday.
  • I already found the ring, and I’m having two made the engagement. One is in his size and one in mine. Coincidently, they are also from Outland. Petrified wood can be found in some places there, so I’m having the rings made out of that.
  • I need to talk to Vaildor about painting something too.
  • I’m really nervous about it. I’ve been engaged before, and obviously, none of them worked out. I want things to work with Im. I had a really good talk with him about what he wants and what I want and all that, and I think it went really well. I’m ready to try being engaged again, and I hope the wedding actually happens this time.

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Clip Clop

(( The prompt word was ‘clip’. I thought of many ways that clip could be used in a story, but in the end, I went with this one.))

*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*

Malwen could hear a horse crossing the small bridge over the stream a small ways from where she sat waiting next to the road. Her tiny hand picked up the blanket she had been sitting on and she moved back around one of the bushes that lined the path.

Never go to the road. Stig’s words echoed in her mind. She had heard them enough, that was for sure. There are people who wish to harm you and to take you away from Oma and me. Malwen frowned. How could she tell? They couldn’t all be bad. Why would anyone want to take her away from her home anyway? She was happy here, but now…

*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*

The horse was moving slow, slow enough that it hadn’t come into view around the turn at the top of the bank yet. Malwen held her breath. She wanted to run back to the safety of the cabin in the woods that she called home. Oma was gone. She had died just the past winter after being sick. Stig had explained how she was going to sleep a long time and come back as someone new. Malwen didn’t quite understand why it was taking her so long. She needed Oma more now than ever.

Stig didn’t know Malwen was by the road, but she was there because of him. He had been chopping firewood when the tree he had been chopping fell upon him. He wasn’t moving when Malwen found him after doing most of her own chores, but he was still breathing. She knew to check for that. She also knew he needed help, and she couldn’t get the tree off him by herself. She had taken him a flask of water and a blanket before leaving him. She took her own blanket to sit on while waiting for help to pass.

*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*

The horse and rider came into view. The horse was large and dark brown with a white diamond on its forehead. The rider wore armor and had long black hair. Did he look like someone who would help? Malwen frowned. How could she tell? She supposed she couldn’t, not just by looking anyway. Would it be safe to talk to him?

*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*
*Clip, clop*

The horse was almost to where she hid now. Stig may have told her to stay away from the road, but he wasn’t hurt when he said that. She stepped out into view.

*Clip, clop, clop, clop*

The horse stopped. Malwen looked up at the man riding the horse, and he looked back at her. He was an elf. That was a good sign, right? Malwen was an elf too. Stig and Oma said that the Gods had blessed them with her, even though they were human.

The elf dismounted. Malwen stepped back. The elf didn’t try to approach her anymore, kneeling instead on one knee so that he was face to face with her. “Hello, my name is Terellion. Are you lost? I don’t know of any houses in this area.”

Terellion seemed nice. “I’m not lost.”

“What is your name?”

“Malwen, and I’ve had seven and a half name days.” Name days had been much more celebrated when Oma was still alive.

“If you’re not lost, what are you doing out here alone, Malwen?”

“I need help. You’re not a bad person, right?”

“I’m not bad. I can try to help you. What do you need help with?”

“It’s Stig. He was cutting a tree and it fell on him. He was still breathing, but he wouldn’t wake up.”

Terellion frowned slightly. “Can you take me to Stig? I’ll see if I can get the tree off him, and get him moved to shelter. You do have a home here?”

Malwen nodded. She showed the way to Terellion, who led his horse off the road and to the trail to the house which was hidden by the bushes near the road. She tried not to run ahead, but found that Terellion could easily keep up with her. Stig and Oma never had been that fast.

Terellion left his horse near the house after they reached it, then told her to run to where Stig was. He would keep up, and he did.

Malwen frowned upon reaching Stig. He looked too pale, and hadn’t woken up to take his water. She sat next to his head. “Stig, wake up! I brought help. He says he’s not bad.”

Terellion knelt next to where Stig lie, and held his wrist. Frowning, he put his hand on Stig’s chest. Malwen watched, fearful of the words he said next.

“I’m sorry, Malwen. We’re too late. Stig is dead.”

“Will he come back as someone else like Oma? I don’t know why, but she hasn’t shown up yet.”

“Some people believe that they come back, yes. I think anything is possible, but the people who believe they’ll come back do not remember who they used to be when the do come back. That’s why Oma hasn’t shown up, and I doubt Stig would know to come back here either. Plus, he’d be a baby. He wouldn’t be able to take care of you like that.”

Malwen started crying.

“Malwen, shh,” Terellion moved closer to hug her. She let him. “I won’t leave you alone to fend for yourself. You know you can’t stay here alone, right?”

Malwen nodded, still crying.

“I’ll work on freeing his body so we can bury him. I want you to go to the house and get the things you want to take with you, okay?”

Malwen nodded again. Terellion wiped away her tears with his shirt. He really wasn’t a bad guy.

“Go on now. I’ll come get you when I’m done. You’ll be able to say goodbye before we go.”

She got up and started shuffling towards the house. She looked back once when she heard the ax hitting the tree. Terellion was using Stig’s ax to cut the tree off of him. Why hadn’t she thought of that? Even if she had, she doubted she’d have the strength to swing it hard enough to cut the tree. Stig would still be dead whether she found help or not.

She turned back around and headed towards the house to get her things.

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A Walk on the Beach

((My prompt word was ‘salt’, so I decided to write a beach story with salty ocean air.))

“A pleasant evening for a walk, Magister Embersun,” the adahi guarding the door said as he unlocked it and held it open for the mage to pass.

Xanaroth did not reply as he passed through the doorway, and was rather perturbed by the fact that the adahi had used his name. He showed his displeasure with a twitch of an ear which ruffled against the inside of his hood, and maintained his silence. Of course he had to identify himself to be able to go past this door, but that didn’t mean he wanted anyone to overhear who he was. He waited for the door to shut behind him before pulling back his hood.

She was already here, of course. Where he preferred to be punctual, she preferred to be early. She claimed it was staying a step ahead, and perhaps she was right. She stood some distance away on the beach, with her back to him while looking out over the waves. The salty air was lighter and fresher out here, where as there was a certain heaviness to it within the building.

Underlings. They could never get anything right.

He approached her, her back was still turned, but she looked exquisite even from behind. Despite his instincts screaming to beware of this one, he had already fallen for her. It was far too late to turn back now. She turned to face him as he neared. A light breeze blew the wisps of dark reddish brown hair that had fallen out of her bun across her face. Her bronze skin contrasted with the pale tan of her robes, and her violet-blue eyes regarded him.

“Good evening,” she said. Xanaroth thought he detected a hint of a smile behind her words.

He smiled genuinely, “Hello, my dear. You look beautiful tonight.”

She raised a brow, “Just tonight?” One corner of her mouth turned up in a mischievous grin.

Good. She’s just playing, but it always pays to be careful. “Every night and every day.”

She kissed his cheek, and took his hand. They began to walk along the beach. Xanaroth spared a glance back at the large, sprawling complex. It was a series of buildings, all connected either by sharing walls, or with halls built between them. This was the only private stretch of beach, located along the back wall of one of the large cafeterias, there were no windows on this side.

She spoke, drawing his attention back to her. How it could have drifted away in the first place? He did not know.

“Did you have any luck?”

Oh. That. “No. I’m afraid you are right. He doesn’t speak.”

“I know I’m right, but do you think he understands what is said, whether he can speak or not?”

“I’m not sure. If he does, he makes effort to avoid letting us in on that fact, which means he’s far more intelligent than the others believe. This was my first time trying to work with him directly. You said he tested positive?”

“Yes. He’s a mage. I saw it myself.”

“But someone uses physical punishment with him, but yet no one has put his hands in irons. Has he not tried to cast anything?”

“That’s the reason his hands aren’t covered. We’re waiting for him to try something. He hasn’t yet.”

Xanaroth shook his head, “Vallindra, it just doesn’t make sense. If he’s smart enough to have the ability to cast, then why doesn’t he?”

“Exactly. We’re stumped. He vocalizes, but nothing sounds like words.”

“Have you tried asking Zaelith to see if he can find any evidence of him casting or speaking in the past?”

“Zaelith doesn’t have the clearance to see him.”

“Maybe we could talk to the others to get that changed.”

“No. I don’t want Zaelith working on this. The more the seer of the past knows someone, the more he can see their past. I do not want him finding out I’m on the council. Besides, I’m pretty sure the rest of the council would say no as well. No seer has ever had that kind of clearance, and I doubt one ever will.”

Xanaroth nodded, “You’re right. I wasn’t thinking.” Every council member had their secrets. None of them would be too eager for their secrets to get out. Bringing the seer of the past to see the subject was out of the question. He could see that now. He decided to change the subject. “How is your research going? It must have been nice having a full day to dedicate to it without having to work with the lucaja.”

“It’s going.” She frowned slightly in the way she always did when she was slightly frustrated with her research. “My brother just left a fortnight ago with his new adahi from Hollowmont, so we know where the sword is, not that we’d ever get the town to give it up. The pyromancer you informed me about does show some promise of being able to recreate the staff. I’ve made a request with the others to grant him an adahi, and it was approved. They’re currently looking into matching an adahi with him. I haven’t had any leads on the others except the wand.”

“The wand? You found it?”

“I haven’t. I received a report from an adahi in Elenduil in which she mentioned her mage’s research, and requested a couple of books. I’m having them copied twice so that I can have my own copy as well. Maybe I’ll be able to beat him to it.”

“Elenduil? Is it Lord Melith’enddare?”

“His son. You’re not supposed to know anything about this, by the way.” She stopped, turning to face him as the waves lapped at the shore. “I only tell you because I like you. You may miss me if I have to go in search of it.”

“I would. So much. Maybe if you have to leave, I could go with you.”

“Magister, you have a class to teach and students who would question if you disappeared suddenly.”

“I could always say a family member was ill, and that I requested a temporary adahi to visit home.” He smiled. It was a common request within the mage city. Temporary adahis were often assigned for visits home, whether a family member was ill or not.

She smiled and put her arms around him. “Maybe you could go with me after all.”

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The Sword, Book 1 of the Knights of Naren

My first book, The Sword, is coming to Kindle on June 9th! I’ve written some short stories set in the same world, and posted a sample chapter last year. It is a gay elf fantasy/romance. The pre-order is up now, and the paperback version will follow a couple of days after the Kindle release.

I’m already working on the second book, The Staff. I’m hoping to have it done early next year. If all goes well, the third book should be following on the second book’s heels.

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Sand

Land. More like sand. Sorias hated the stuff, especially at this port. His pointed purple ears both twitched. Did they remember him from last time? If he was anyone else on the ship, he’d doubt that they would, but Sorias was one of the elves from the Glimarin Forest, and as such, had a distinctive purplish tint to his skin. Again, this wouldn’t be a problem as people in this port were accustomed to visitors from all over Naren— Except elves from the Glimarin Forest, and that was the problem. Sorias was different because he had left. Not that he hadn’t been different before leaving, and that was a contributing factor into why he left in the first place.

The Glimarin elves kept to themselves, rarely venturing outside the forest and away from their precious trees. Sorias wanted to explore. The insular communities of the Glimarin elves gave him little opportunity to do that. He wondered what was over the mountains or across the sea, until the urge to find out became stronger than his urge to stay put. There were other reasons too, but underneath it all, Sorias never felt he fit in with the others.

Not that he fit in very well any where else, and especially not in this port. He walked away from the dock and onto the sand of the beach next to the pier where the ship was. It was just a small stretch of sand to the next pier, but it was quiet. He doubled around under the pier, out of sight of the people above and sat on an old crate that rested half buried in the sand. It would be better if he didn’t go out to explore this town.

The captain, oblivious to the trouble he had caused last time, had insisted he go take the day off. He wasn’t sure which was worse; her ire, or the ire of cheated gamblers. He’d rather deal with sand getting in his shoes and everywhere else than find out, and decided to spend the rest of the day under the pier out of the sun.

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