Oct 04

Chapter 2.1: Finding Zinn

Chapter 2, part 1: Finding Zinn

Half asleep and chewing on a crust of dried bread, Penny descended the stairs from her apartment to the shop. The old wood creaked and groaned beneath her, like it did every morning, and like every morning, she didn’t notice or care. It was one of the many benefits of a solitary life: no one to bother and no one to bother her about it. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and yawned, stretching for anyone outside the window to see.

Behind her, on the counter, was the contract she and Sigmund had signed the night before. She picked it up and read it over again. Six turrets at a gold apiece. She smiled just like she had when she put it down eight hours before. With expenses the way they’d been of late, that sale alone would keep things running for the next two seasons, freeing up all other income to go toward her eventual purchase of the shop from Maurice, her landlord. She popped the last bit of crust into her mouth and swallowed it triumphantly before slipping the contract into a drawer behind the counter and turning on her bare heels toward the workspace behind the curtain. But, as she pulled the curtain aside, her face fell. In the course of the night’s business deal, she’d forgotten all about the golem project that had lately given her so much grief. Now she was once again face to face with it, the problem that refused to be solved.

“Oh, great,” she groaned. “You again.”

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Sep 28

Chapter 1.3: A Little Help

Chapter 1, part 3: A Little Help

Penny leaned back, plopping herself on a crate against the wall. “So you’re looking for some kind of local technology for your sister?” She flipped a small wrench back and forth between her knuckles. “Well,” she said, pointing at the golem head-casing on the counter, “I’ve got that piece of crap. I’d almost pay you to take it at this point, but I guess it’s not very interesting to you.”

Minkus stood on a box and leaned against the counter that was now at elbow-level. “I was meaning to ask, do you practice golemancy?”

 

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Sep 21

The Eternal Blade Saga Book 2, Chapter 11: Making Amends

“Balthazar take this blasted snow!”

Our conversation suddenly interrupted, I cursed under my breath and turned from Rugnar’s bar to find two, warmly and well-dressed figures standing in the steading’s entryway. They shook the snow from their long, fur-lined coats, paying no mind as it collected all around them on the floor. I hoped Rugnar would ignore them and return to his story about what had been plaguing the supply caravans, but his attention was now intently focused on the two strangers. Much to my dismay, the story would have to wait.

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Sep 20

Chapter 1.2: The Toymaker

Chapter 1, part 2: The Toymaker

By the time Minkus rose the next day, the sun was already high, beaming down on the ground just inside the window, which told him he’d missed most of the morning already. Of course, the sounds of traffic and trade outside the inn helped convey the time as well. It was unusual for him to have slept so long, but as he sat up, rubbing his hazy eyes with the heels of his palms, he remembered the new friends who’d kept him up so late the night before, and suddenly his groggy scowl rose into a grin. It was an utterly worthwhile reason to begin the day a little out of sorts.He fell more than slid out of the large human bed and readied himself for the day, washing his face and ears, beating the dust out of his crimson tunic, and gargling saltwater before he headed out the door. A couple of days before, he’d found a quiet corner of the central gardens, where he could focus without interruption, so that was where he headed as he stepped past the threshold of the inn. Having gotten such a late start, though, he held his daily training to an hour and then continued with his day. There were two things on Minkus’ agenda: beer and gifts.

 

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Sep 17

Chapter Twenty Seven: Heartless

Daniel and I ran through the darkened halls, he held on to my hand and led the way. We had dispatched the two who were guarding the cells, but it was only a matter of time before their bodies were discovered.

“So where are we?” I asked.

“Dry Top,” said Daniel. “Mostly a temporary base that Salus set up, but this is where they receive orders from the main headquarters. The actual headquarters is deep in the Crystal Desert.”

“So you know where they are?” I asked. “Where they run everything? Their leader?”

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