Feb 09

Chapter One: Of Whispers and Valedictions VI

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Nebo Terrace wasn’t a large settlement, but its walls were sturdy and had stood the test of dozens of centaurs attacks over the years, or so Halleston was all too eager to chatter about as we arrived. He seemed more and more unnerved by his gruesome cargo and with Baen keeping fairly quiet it was as though he was desperate to fill the air with words. I could sympathise, but it was with some relief when Halleston pulled us to a stop at the gates and he fell silent at the guard’s challenge.

Baen hopped down, waving one of the Seraph guards to the back of the cart and quietly explained an abridged version of what had happened. As she told it, we’d found the bodies on the road and brought them back with us, nothing more. She made no mention of the bandits or our little skirmish. Even if the Seraph went to investigate – and I had my doubts that they would – we’d be long gone and I didn’t think we’d have to worry about being pursued for questions concerning the deaths of a few murderers.

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Feb 08

Chapter Thirteen: Idiots (Part 1)

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I can’t do this on my own.

 

Who ever said that you were alone?

 

I was awaken by the sunlight striking my face, my eyes were immediately blinded by the incandescence. I sat up, trying to put my head back together. I gathered my thoughts and recollected what had happened the night prior. I instantly remembered the fight against Krale, Daniel’s mental collapse, the mission being a failure. I realized that I would have to explain everything to Serenity, that would probably be a disaster. Though I found a more pressing matter once I had come to most of my senses. Daniel was gone.

I shifted my position on the bed, noticing that the human was no longer on it. Remembering that this was his room to begin with I began to take a closer look. It was messy and unorganized, but that was normal for him. What was not normal however, was that he left without so much as a note.

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Feb 06

Missing Dolyak – Kumara – Chapter 3 Part 3

Kumara_3_3Absentmindedly, I gently scratched Thornfang behind his ear as I sat on my bed. Glix’s krewe had managed to empty one of their bedrooms-turned-storerooms so that I had a place to sleep. Sure, there were quite a few crates and bags still piled up in one side of the small room, but I had enough space to crawl onto the bed. Especially now that the only content most of the crates had were the empty sacks.

Two days ago, I had shut down the forge. Oh, yes, there were many things still that needed making, but we no longer had the materials to make them. What was worse, was that the already meager supply of food was dwindling to critical levels, even though I did join Dumm on a scavenging mission yesterday. With nothing to do due to lack of supplies, and an imminent food shortage, tension was at an all-time high. The only one inside this complex who still knew how to smile was Kaya.

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Feb 04

Shards of Memory – Chapter 2, Part 3 – Wayfarer foothills

Norn_Animal_SpiritsWord had spread quickly throughout Hoelbrak of the murderous kodan. By the time it reached Ulfridda’s ears, naturally it had warped into a tale of heroic feats and evil intentions. Ulfridda was old enough to know not to trust rumour. However, the details shocked and frightened her.

She had made her way swiftly across the Might and Main to Knut’s loft, and demanded an audience. There, he had told her the truth as he saw it. Unlike the rumours, blood ceremonies and ritualistic sacrifices over a helpless woman had not occurred, and all they had found was Mara, Meeki and the corrupted wolf dead next to the slumbering kodan. She did not waver upon hearing of Mara’s death. Her anger had not let her be overcome with grief. She consulted with Knut for over an hour before she felt ready to question Koda’s Breath herself.

Not having a jail available for use in Hoelbrak, Knut had ordered Koda’s Breath be kept in the animal cages used for moots just outside the Eastern Watchpost. Ulfridda and Knut arrived quietly, having avoided the main roads and requested the guards step back so they could see the prisoner.

Koda’s Breath looked awful. His fur was matted, blood soaked and dirty. He was sitting with his back turned to the bars, his head between his hands. Rotting vegetables lay around him as proof of the local norn’s disapproval, many of them clearly having been thrown.

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Feb 02

Chapter 5: Part 5 – Covert Investigations

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There’s a knack to finding someone who doesn’t want to be found. With as many layers of deception as someone like Darr employed, you’d think it would be impossible, but there are always hints: people who’ve been sworn to secrecy, supply trails deliberately muddied, coded conversations in the streets. Darr, after all, couldn’t exist in a vacuum, not when he had a whole organisation to run – and that meant I was going to find him.

It had been a wrench leaving Hoelbrak, I’ll admit. It took me by surprise, but in those last few days there, I found a measure of peace. I visited Mikk’s grave several more times as Erin gathered travelling supplies; I talked to people on the terraces about their lives and the places they’d been; I sat and watched the snow fall. There’s a curious calm about Hoelbrak that you’d never find in a place as manic as Rata Sum, and with my heart lighter, I found that calm suffusing me.

When it came to leaving, though, I didn’t have a choice. Erin asked me one day, over a meal, where we were heading. I’d already told her about Darr and our repeated encounters with one another, and this time I made sure to leave nothing out.

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Feb 01

Chapter 9 – Part 3: Rain or Snow

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“He’s fine, just a bit of bad luck with the drakes. Lucky I was there to help him.” Angel, who was carrying cleaned cuts of drake and a few green sticks, answered. She seemed less concerned about it than I would have liked, but she didn’t know his situation like I did.

Ragnvaldr, who had also woken up through the arrival of our friends, began helping Angel with the food and whittling the sticks into skewers. There was a look of concern on his face for Tobih as well. It was so clear to everyone that something had happened and yet Angel was brushing it off as if it were nothing.

“We’ll talk later, but please stay quiet for now.” Tobih whispered softly into my ear as he pretended that he was only moving to rest his head on my shoulder. Ragnvaldr gave me a nod as I looked to him apologetically this time. While I wasn’t sure of the boundaries between what Ragnvaldr considered comfortable friendliness, I knew that right now I just had to comfort my friend in any way possible. I moved my hand to the top of Tobih’s head and ran my fingers gently through his hair, half brushing through it, but mostly in an attempt to comfort.
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Jan 30

Eternal Blade Saga Book 1, Chapter 5: A Search for Answers

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As the sun rose the next morning, I was already packing provisions in my bag for the day’s journey to Divinity’s Reach. I had spent the predawn hours tossing and turning in my bed when I was not suffering from nightmares. Anxiety and guilt plagued my restless sleep. I did not enjoy spinning false tales to the people in this guild, least of all my fellow commanders, but it was for the best. I hoped a visit with Rhys would assuage my fears. Perhaps he could explain the disturbed grave and I could go back to the closest thing I had to a normal life here.

I had chosen to wear my cultural attire as it would be most fitting for the area Rhys resided in. Manor Hill was a community of money and prestige and one of the most important things I had learned in all my years out in the world was the advantage of blending in. If you blended in to the crowd, chances are you would not be memorable and would not draw unwanted attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 28

Shards of Memory- Chapter 2, Part 2 – Wayfarer Foothills

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The frigid cold of the blizzard caused the fire to sputter and die long before the sun rose. Mara and Meeki huddled together for warmth, the bear’s snores echoing off the towers stone walls. Koda’s Breath’s double coat warded away most of the cold. The ceiling of the tower was open slightly, and the snow from the blizzard fell lazily down onto the stone slab floor.

In the dim light of the dawn Koda’s Breath stirred. He peered out into the dimly lit area, and froze.

They were not alone. Mara still slept, and Meeki’s snores confirmed the soft paw-prints in the snow were not his.

Koda’s Breath turned his head slowly, scanning the room. The tinderbox was left open near the fire, and the boxes near the door were in the same position. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. Feeling foolish, he settled back down into his straw bed. Meeki probably woke up in the night to urinate. He had nothing to worry about.

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Jan 26

Chapter One: Of Whispers and Valedictions V

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Stagnation.

Any road, any landscape in any company, becomes dull after a full day. It had now been three since we’d left the monastery, and my nerves were growing more and more raw with every passing mile. The boredom was potentially lethal; instincts dulled, reactions slowed, the mind would become as lethargic as the body. I had never been a prisoner in the literal sense, and journeys like this always reminded me how poor a captive I would make.

Baen and I didn’t have much to say by the end of the first day. The things we could talk about in Halleston’s presence had run out quickly, and my mind was still lingering on too many memories for lies to come easily. For his part, the scholar didn’t seem affected as we were, asking questions to the point of annoyance. Baen and I would answer as reservedly as possible while remaining careful not to appear too secretive. “Nothing attracts attention quite like evasive behaviour,” Elsif had often said. Another lesson the old norn had passed along to us, and one that Baen and I had learned well. It wasn’t difficult, but it was becoming less tolerable the longer it went on and so it was almost with relief that suddenly, barely an hour from what would pass for midday, that the boredom of the road was interrupted.

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Jan 21

Shards Of Memory – Chapter 2, Part 1 – Wayfarer Foothills

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To the norns, the Hunt is a feat of strength, courage, and strategy. It is a time to prove your worth, your skill, and to be noticed as a great hero. For Koda’s Breath, it was an opportunity to ingratiate himself into his adoptive nation. Had he memories of who he was, perhaps his sense of purpose would be more defined. However when your self has been taken away, the act of redefinition is crucial. Without a purpose the mind begins to slip and madness draws ever closer.

Koda’s Breath arrived without fanfare. His deeds were not known and he felt like an outsider amongst these competitive beings. They boasted of their previous feats, and tried to create instability by claiming the ease in which they would fell this new foe. Knut had tracked an Icebrood wolf pack, seemingly controlled by a single master, to the Icesteppes near Twinspur Haven. He suspected that they were the murderous group who had infiltrated the Might and Main, and had sent mail to each participant to be prepared for this unique foe. Eir had excused herself early in the preparations, as she had been called to the Pact base far to the west.

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