Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NEW Chapter 3 part A

Okay so chapter 3 is done. I just thought I'd be evil and make it into two parts, making you wait another day to see the next part. Plus, its also almost 13 pages long (don't ask how that happened) so I figured I wouldn't post one enromous post, but two smaller ones instead.

So, things to pay attention to, or be looking for, are:

Deeper story
Detailed settings
Rounder characters
Difference in main character personalities

Chapter 3

Small padded paws beat the hard pine needles into soft forest floor. The animal was running as hard as it could, its tongue hanging from its mouth as it panted. Then as it broke into a clearing, there was a bright flash of golden light and where the panting animal had been a golden eagle had suddenly taken off, her long large wings flapping through the clearing and past the canopy of evergreen branches. It soared higher and higher, scanning the ground below, looking for the mists.


“Bella!” called Sahrina as the black owl beat its wings to fly away with the young girl.

Time seemed to move slower as Nicholas looked to the archers to bring the bird down. But he knew that they couldn’t risk hitting Bella. Then he saw a dark blur shooting through the sky like an arrow. It was Sahrina. She landed on the bird’s back and wrapped her legs around its neck. Then like an acrobat, she swung down and began wrestling Bella free from the Styx’ claws.

As soon as Bella was free, Sahrina made a jerking motion with her legs and a loud ‘crack’ echoed from the birds neck. As the creature’s eyes rolled back in its head, Sahrina swung Bella and herself upward onto its back as it began crashing down towards the golden grass. At the very second when the Styx would have impacted the ground, Sahrina hoped off and rolled in the grass, keeping Bella safe in her arms.

“Bella! Sahrina! Are you two alright?!” called Nicholas as he ran up to them.

“We’re fine.” said Sahrina with the fierce light from before in her eyes, “We need to find shelter fast!”

The last few Styx had been brought down by the archers and soon the line was moving again. As they trudged along the children all chatted excitedly about the Styx and more about their giftings they had discovered.

“That was incredible!” said one Matvian boy, “I could feel them pushing against our shield, but it didn’t work. We won!”

“That’s because we could sense where they were!” said one Lucian girl, “Our power is so much better than yours!”

“Please! Yours is almost as useless at the Janesians!” cried another as they trotted along.

“It’s thanks to the Janesians we know where we’re going right now. I’d be a bit more polite if I were you.” said the Archer walking alongside them.

“But what about the girls from Marek? What’s their gifting?” said one girl.

“What?! You must have been on the other side of the circle. I saw it all. She was incredible. She jumped on a Styx and broke its neck with her legs!” yelled one boy excitedly. “Obviously their gifting is amazing fighting skills!”

The Archer walking with them said nothing. She only looked back pensively at the two girls coming up close to the rear. She had her doubts and theories but the Leader had refused to answer any questions about them. There was no way of knowing for sure. All she knew was that every Marecian she had ever met only had the gifting of predicting the weather. These girls were no ordinary Marecians.


“Noooo!!! Fools!!! Complete and utter imbeciles!!! We had her!!!” yelled the figure in armor in the ruins of Luca.

“My master.” said one unlucky servant, who was quickly slammed into the blue sky by the mace of the figure.

“Incompetent fools! I don’t want to hear excuses! I want at least one idiot who can do as they’re told! Now! Send out all the Styx!! Send our best riders! I don’t care what you have to do! Find them! And bring it to me!” the ranting anger of the armored one continued.

“What of the guardians and the children?” asked another unfortunate slave.

“Let me give you an idea of what I want done to the rest.” the tone was flat and dangerous as the armored figure’s shadow fell upon the slave.


“Wait. Stop.” said the one in the scarlet robe, as they stopped in front of a tavern.

She got off of Stultius and quickly walked inside. At first muffled words and bellowing laughter was heard inside. Then there were a few angry shouts followed by a popping sounds and screams of terror. The scarlet robed one walked out, rats skittering across her feet as she walked out with a small pouch.

“Hmm. Maybe that will teach you to be more generous.” she said scowling at the rats.

Stultius watched with amazement as she brought forth three gold coins and laid them down in the dust. In one swift movement she grabbed a passing rat, flicked out a sharp dagger, and sliced it unemotionally across the rat’s back. Then she dipped one of the coins in its blood. Next she brought forth a large mug of water and dipped the second in it. Then holding all three in her hands, she closed her hands tightly about them as if praying, muttered under her breath, and threw the coins into the air. They landed with small dull thuds in the dirt road.

“Hmm.” She said as she examined the positions of the three coins. “So, it is as I thought, we lost it again. I guess its back to the original plan”

Stultius looked at her puzzled, but she just rolled her eyes at the stupid horse. She brought her forehead against his and as their eyes met he felt as if he was getting very dizzy and the world was spinning around them. His muscles ached and contracted and he felt a tingling prickling sensation like goosebumps running across his whole body. He gasped as he suddenly sat down hard on his hindquarters.

“I have restored you as best as I could. It seems we still have need of you Stultius. For now. Be a good little man and maybe I won’t kill you. I may even reward you beyond your highest dreams.”

Stultius tried to answer but as the fat man spoke a loud neigh and a winy was all that came out. He looked down and saw the rough horse hair still on his arms and felt the scraggily beard it left across his face. And then he felt a strange movement beneath him as his mangy tale popped out.

“Like I said, this is the best I could restore you. Don’t worry. You’ll gradually change back to your old putrid self. Personally I prefer a stinky horse to a revolting man. In a few days you’ll be fine. Unless you disappoint me. Then you’ll be dead.”


“Well?” asked the Leader urgently as he watched Leland and his young apprentice at work.

“He’s doing fine. I’m glad we caught him. He may have slipped through our notice if we hadn’t needed someone so badly. He actually has the gift very strongly. I’ll recommend him to the Academy myself once this is all over.”

“Careful Leland. This boy may be special but there is something much more special that apparently needs more guarding than I thought. Don’t lead us on any elaborate trail. Just enough twist and turns to make them loose our scent.”

“Yes sir. But about our… special cargo. It needs more guarding, that’s for sure. The only problem is who’s gonna guard it? It seems that we’re tightly stretched as is. Besides, until we go beyond the pass, it really won’t be that difficult a job and pulling someone away from the defenses seems illogical.”

“Well, there is someone I had in mind. Someone who will need a little practice.” the Leader said as he looked back on the line.

“You mean the boy? The ones who’s joining us?” Leland asked skeptically.

“I don’t know why Leland. It’s like with your prodigy here. I just… I feel like its fate. Like I couldn’t go against it even if I tried.”

“Careful there. Your starting to scare me, pardon my saying so.”

“No. You’re right. I’m scaring myself too. Well, we’ll see. He can guard them until we reach the pass at least.”

“Hey, you’re the boss. What ever you say.” Leland said as he brought his attention back to Ivan and his navigating through the misty golden fields.


The eagle had been flying for hours and dropped down wearily for a snack. It snatched a large salmon right out of the stream below and tore hungrily at the juicy meat. It dropped down on a branch to finish its meal. As the last bite of fish went down its beak the eagle saw it. There next to the stream was a small dark blue piece of cloth halfway in the water. The eagle gave a startled cry and in a flash the eagle was gone and a large russet bloodhound was splashing through the creek water. As it neared the cloth, it sniffed eagerly. Then with a sad look it gave a direful howl of disappointment and in a flash rose in the skies as an eagle again. Mentally it chided itself for getting distracted. It had one mission and one alone right now. Its personal matters would have to wait.


The evening sky was beginning to color the perpetual mist darker and darker as the sun lowered on the horizon. The line of children had slowed from a run, to a jog, to a walk, and finally to a wearisome plod. The Leader walked down the line as he surveyed the condition of his guardians and children. When he reached the end where Bella, Sahrina, and Nicholas were, he pulled Nicholas aside to speak with the boy.

“Alright Nicholas. If you were serious about your commitment to our group, we have our first order for you. You are to be a special guardian.”

“A special guardian?”

“Yes, while we are all guarding the line, you will be charged with guarding someone very special.”


“You see those two girls form Marek? The small one. Bella. We need you to make sure she’s safe and keep her from harm while we’re moving. Think you can do that?”

“Sure.” Nicholas said, slightly disappointed that his first task was so small.

“Good. Now, get back over there to your charge.”

“Yes sir!”

As Nicholas ran back, the Leader smiled to himself. He turned and jogged back along the line as he checked once more on everyone. When he reached the front he and Leland began talking in low voices. Ivan who was acting as if he was still concentrating hard on navigating eavesdropped as they all walked on through the tall golden grass.

“They’re exhausted Leland. We can’t go much further.”

“Well it seems our options are getting limited.”

“How’s Ivan doing?”

“Very good. Poor boy is gonna exhaust himself if he keeps putting so much effort into it though.”

“How long do you think it will be until we reach the end of this mists?”

“Probably by night fall. He sensed the end of the mist this afternoon.”

“Then we’re close.” He gulped.

Leland nodded, “To both of them.”

“The pass and the… the woods. Is there a place nearby we can make camp. I don’t want a repeat of this morning. And I would prefer to be as far away from the woods as possible.”

“There is a place. We’ll reach it in an hour or so.”

“Good. I’ll pass the word along, an hour before we make camp. Oh, and Ivan…,” The Leader said turning to the boy, “Make sure that when you eavesdrop you don’t stop breathing like that. It’s usually a dead give away that you’re listening. Check your baring. I’m no navigator but I think we’re beginning to get a little of course.”

Ivan blushed deeply as they kept walking. He corrected the error on their way. The Leader went to Sato and whispered something in his ear. Then Sato left and talked with the Archer at the back using his hand motions. The Archer notched her bow, and Ivan became aware that all the guardians had their weapons at the ready.


The two were back at the docks, the sun beginning to dip into the frozen ocean. Oily albatrosses called harshly overhead as they wheeled in the changing breeze. Soon the evening tide would begin to move out towards the sea. The woman in the scarlet cape moved fluidly over the stones of the docks towards a large vessel that look rusty and worn.

“I will be right back.” she more threatened than said.

Stultius sat on the cold wet ground and waited. As he did, he felt a painful cramp in his hindquarters and back, and the next moment became painfully aware that his was tail retracting into his spine. He was yelling and cursing on the ground, writhing in pain, when she returned.

“Hmph. Well, it seems you have completed your reversion. Just in time too. Now, get on board! You will take this vessel to the first port it pulls into. There, buy yourself a slave. You’ll know which to buy. Trust me. From there, you will follow the path through the forest toward Alexandria. Now get going!” She said coldly.

Stultius walked slowly and deliberately up the gangplank. He felt a nervous twitch in his eye as he tried not to let his hands tremble. This was it. If he could get away from them now he could escape, change his name, and never use magic again. It was the perfect plan.

“Oh, and Stultius darling, don’t be a fool. We will be watching you of course. If you make one wrong move you will feel how quickly I will wrap my fingers around your heart and quench your miserable existence.” Her tone carried across her seriousness.

He didn’t even acknowledge her. He just kept walking. He walked up the plank, and onto the ship. Soon they had set sail over the choppy, icy, sea as the last light of the sun blushed faintly across the horizon. Stultius did not notice. He was in his dark cabin, alone with his fears eating at his soul.


Night found the children and the guardians camped underneath a large rocky outcrop that was a part of the tall mountain towering over them. The ground sloped down gentle from there they sat to a tan winding road covered in rocks. And beyond the road, a stone’s throw away from it, was the woods.

“Alright! Lets get them cooking fires lit! Nothing like some grub to cheer up a place and put a smile on yer face!” called the fat cook as he ordered children and gaurdian’s alike to gather firewood and stones.

Soon several fires were going, the smoke carried to the top of the rocky overhang and out a side crack like a natural chimney. The children were all eating hungrily at the soup of wild hair and leek the cook had come up with. As they sat eating, the Leader sat crouched and ready at the very top of the hill, continually scanning the skies and the road. His nervous gaze kept returning to the evergreen woods before them.

“You need to eat!” said the Archer as she walked up to him with a bowl of soup.

“Thanks, but I’m really not hungry right now.” He was still watching the woods.

“Calm down. Nothing’s going to happen. At least nothing that wasn’t already planned.” She said sitting down next to him, slinging her bow off and testing its tension as she spoke, “Haven’t you been getting that feeling today? The feeling that everything that’s happening couldn’t just be chance?”

“What, you believe we were suppose to end up here?” he said even more nervous at the thought. “Why? It’s not the agreed on time yet. There are still at the very least seven years left before anything is suppose to happen.”

“Plans change. They may need ‘it’ sooner than they thought.” The Archer said looking to the woods as well.

“It’s been a long time since you’ve been home.” He said as he noticed her far off look.

“Eight years, seven weeks, and three days.” She said softly.

“Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe it is time. Maybe its time we all went back there.” He said sighing as he looked to the forest. “Once the children are safely in the glade, we’ll taker ‘it’ to them.”


Far across the plains of golden grass, where the other mountain rose up, a large cloud of dust rose into the air. At the head of the column was an elaborate steel chariot. And in the chariot was the armored figure. The mists on the golden plains parted as the chariot pulled by the armored horses drew near. In the air behind it large swarms of Styx were flying, while strange shadowy shapes moved in the darkness of the mist and dust cloud.


And there you go! So, hopefully you're seeing some of those changes already. Part B goes up tomorow morning super early ( I may even post it after midnight tonight, so watch out :D) Please comment b/c as an author I live on comments as my only source of sustenance. You wouldn't want me to starve to death. ;) Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. I can totally see the differences and it is amazing! It must be frustrating to go back and rewrite it but I think it will be well worth your time and effort! I am also still very anxious to see how it ties back into the old story! ... so hurry up and post part B! ;)