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Full Version: New novel. Swords and sorcery style. The Tilted Towers.
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It's a working title and that may change.  Wink

I'm back in a writing mood and my fingers are cooperating, mostly. I have to spell check a little more than I used to, but they sort of work the way they are supposed to.

I'm not getting back on twitter for a while longer and not going back to re-writing the zombie book just yet. Once I get settled back into a writing routine, maybe I'll finish up with the zombie novels on wattpad.

I'm hooked into a new project right now.

Yes, I can tell you about it. I already have the basic character list made, some notes, a chapter guide, and a couple of maps for it. It's a fantasy novel. Swords, sorcery, elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins. Oh My.

I didn't want to write one but I can't get it out of my head. I wanted to get into the haunted house horror story first. Such is life though. The haunted house stuff is murky now and the fantasy novel is right up there, front and center.

Yes, there will be naughty bits. I'll put those in spoilers so you can open it if you want. People will be people and it always annoyed me when none of that was ever mentioned in fantasy novels. Some of the more 'puritanical' ones never even mentioned marriage much less people behaving like people. There won't actually be much in the way of naughty stuff but it'll be in there. Maybe just a few scenes total.

Another warning, my Libertarian is going to show. I will not try to tuck that back in. It has a mind of it's own.  Yeah3

You won't have to wait too long for it either. I should have the first chapter written and edited by Friday. Saturday at the latest. I'm planning on 22-25 chapters. Probably between 3,000 and 6,000 words per chapter. 66,000 to 150,000 overall. It will probably be somewhere just over 100,000 words considering I'm doing some world building. Maybe more. We'll see how it goes.

I'm planning this as a stand alone book but we all know how that goes. Don't we.  Chuckle

Next post: What I've already done. There are some new faces around and some who haven't been here when I do this. The Fringe members get first run at reading the raw and barely edited versions of the books and stories. I post it here while I try and figure out how to find some beta-readers who will critique me into tears.
Short stories can be found by clicking the 'website' button under my name. I've posted them here but that was billions of pages into the pre-history of the C&B thread.

https://drinkthecoffeewritethewords.wordpress.com/

The books started with a zombie novel based on this thread:

https://the-fringe.com/thread-welcome_to...ppers_club

A standard info dump thread on the topic, but I was goofing in another thread and people conned me into doing some serious writing. What I came up with was this:

https://the-fringe.com/thread-zap_club_n...1_complete

I was in the process of re-writing it and putting it on Wattpad when the health issues forced me to take a break.

I do have the wrap up for that series:

https://the-fringe.com/thread-zombie_apo...2_finished

Then I went sci-fi for a genre.

https://the-fringe.com/thread-science_fi..._completed

https://the-fringe.com/thread-abyss_situ...s_finished

After that, it was urban fantasy.

https://the-fringe.com/thread-new_book_t...e_finished

https://the-fringe.com/thread-the_pack_l...o_finished

https://the-fringe.com/thread-new_book_t...g_i_wanted

Keep in mind that these are all very rough draft. From my Libre Writer, to Grammarly, then here. Very little editing work has been done to any of these books.

All of them need some serious edit work and maybe a complete re-write. I've only been doing this sort of thing for a couple of years. Previously, it was essays and info dumps in the CT scene based on research and not anything speculative or fictional. The sci-fi stuff is in particular need of work. Some of the plot points are out of order and it's actually 3 books compressed into 2.
Maps? You betcha bottom bottom I got maps. Not the best ones but they'll give you an idea on what's going on.

North and East of the Empire.

[Image: Z5BZMjx.jpg]

Hearthcliff area. Where most of the action takes place. The place is called the Glia Canyon. and there are 3 villages and a military outpost.

[Image: iemC0V0.jpg]

A standard Hearthcliff block.

[Image: HXkMp1A.jpg]

A standard home dug into the mountain side.

[Image: bhPB6gc.jpg]

All of them are the same. Hearthcliff has 16 known levels. The bottom level has 16 blocks, each level above drops by one block to the top level where there is only one block. This equals 136 known blocks of 5 houses and 3 stand alone buildings. 680 'houses' and 408 stand alone buildings total. Very few have moved into houses above the fifth level and only a few of the stand alone buildings are in use. Most of those are used as businesses such as blacksmith shops, general markets, taverns/inns, and etc.

There is running water in the homes. This goes into one of 2 reservoirs, one cold and one that can be heated. Both tanks are available to either the kitchen or the bathing room. Think Japanese style baths. Wash and rinse on a stool and then have a soak in a tub of heated water.

Hearthcliff: Population (military but primarily farming and crafting): 416 Adults, Races: Human (336); Halfling (38); Dwarf (12); Gnome (8); Half Elf (26)

Lakespell (primarily fishing and farming): Population: 400 Adults, Races: Human (312); Halfling (16); Elf (20); Half Elf (52)

Carbopond: Population (primarily ranching): 364, Adults, Races:Human (288) Elf (28) Half Elf (48)

Tilted Towers (military with some limited farming and ranching): Population: 48 Adults, Races: Human (28) Elf (6) Half Elf (14)

Winter storms blow through the The Savage Prairie in the north.

Summer storms come from the Blythenan Swamp in the east.

The middle 3 months of winter are well below freezing with frequent heavy snows.

The middle 2 months of summer are sweltering hot with high humidity.
Time:

60 seconds = 1 minute
60 minutes = 1 hour
24 hours = 1 day
8 days = 1 week
3 weeks = 1 month
15 months = 1 year
360 days per year

Days of the week:

Muotzday (Monday)
Xeheusday (Tuesday)
Xelenesday (Wednesday)
Vemrusday (Thursday)
Agunasday (Friday)
Bresentasday (Saturday)
Ritunasday (Sunday)
Hatarrday (Resting Day)

Seasons, the dieties, and the months:

Spring 3 months (first planting after 1st month)
Summer 4 months
Fall 3 months (harvest in second month)
Winter 5 months

Avotl, Goddess of Spring
Ynnia, God of Fertility (spring/planting)
Nanera, Goddess of Fertility (spring/planting)

Eysus, God of Nature (summer)
Gakris, Goddess of Nature (summer)
Rhuther, God of Nature (summer)
Mitune, Goddess of Nature (summer)

Krytia, Goddess of Autumn
Rhohzotl, God of Harvest
Metrix, Goddess of Harvest

Xenruer, God of Storms
Enera, Goddess of Winter
Akemis, God of the Dark
Munthys, Goddess of Winter
Kutris, Goddess of Thunder

The rest of the pantheon of the Kingdoms:

Xeheus, God of Life and Death
Muotz, Goddess of Life and Death

Vemrus, God of Creation (smiths, leatherworkers)
Xelene, Goddess of Creation (pottery, glass, etc.)
Bresenta, Goddess of Birth
Aguna, Goddess of the Hearth

Gonjun, God of the Sun
Rytune, Goddess of the White Moon
Ortia, Goddess of the Blue Moon
Cyotl, Goddess of the Green Moon

Ciara, Goddess of War
Iagi, God of Battle
Hogtarr, God of Strategy
Zisius, God of Victory

Aone, Goddess of Justice
Heton, God of Honor
Xomis, Goddess of Mercy
Qita, Goddess of Freedom
Phohra, Goddess of Honesty

Imsyn, Goddess of the Hunt
Ohlo, God of Animals

Hatarr, God of Knowledge
Rituna, Goddess of Wisdom
Dulphine, Goddess of Medicine
Zuzona, Goddess of Law
Vysoi, Goddess of Governance
Xootz, God of Commerce
Vetris, God of Logic
Guldona, Goddess of Science

Ojun, God of Wonders
Krisoi, Goddess of Magic
Amona, Goddess of Oracles
Ootl, Goddess of Dreams

Dorneas, God of Wine
Qhezdite, Goddess of Beer
Tuxuna, Goddess of Tricks
Toaris, Goddess of Music
Ersoi, Goddess of Poetry

There are gods and goddesses that are woshiped who's names polite company does not mention. Evil, hatred, assasination, murder, and etc. are their dominions
Currency Converter:

5 small coppers = 1 large copper 78,125 5
5 large coppers = 1 small silver 15,625 25
5 small silvers = 1 large silver 3,125 125
5 large silvers = 1 small gold 625 625
5 small gold = 1 large gold 125 3125
5 large gold = 1 sm platinum 25 15625
5 small platinum = 1 large platinum 5 78125

1 small copper is good for a small loaf of day old bread or a small piece of candy.
1 small silver will buy a decent short sword.
1 large silver will buy a good set of harded leather armor.
1 large platinum is good for a nicely appointed reasonably sized house in the capitals of the various kingdoms and the Empire.

1 small CP= Kina
1 large CP= Rili
1 small SP= Rupi
1 large SP= Inti
1 small GP= Talon
1 large GP= Eagle
1 small PP= Ducat
1 large PP= Imperial

Race: Lifespan:

Wood Elf 150 years
Plains Elf 150 years
Grey (common) Elf 200 years
High Elf 250 years
Hill Dwarf 100 years
Mountain Dwarf 150 years
Hill Gnome 90 years
Mountain Gnome 150 years
Halfling 110 years
Tabaxi (cat people) 75 years
Caninikai (dog people) 75 years
Human 100 years
The Tilted Towers. Chapter 1:

"It looks like the pogrom the Empire is conducting is effective. Ain't much trade up here with most of the people gone. I'm not sure how most will be feeding themselves come mid-winter." Glancing over at my dwarven companion, I shake my head and look around to see if anyone heard him. "Not here Narrak. Wait until we are on the trail again. Too many ears for that sort of talk." Giving me a baleful look, Narrak subsides into grumbles about flighty elves and eventually silence again and concentrates on his ale and the bowl of stew in front of him.

The gorgeous elf sitting by my side leans in and whispers in my ear, "Elduin my love, don't you think that was a little harsh? The only ones in this inn are our trading caravan." I glance around again. My wife is right, but I know the Empire better than they do. Whispering back just loud enough for Narrak and our human partner and trade master Yuszel to hear also, "My darling Imra, the Empire has ears and eyes everywhere and where we are is not one of their favorite protectorates. The Ceskean clans have issues with the complete submission that the Empire requires. That's why the population is so drained. Most of them are considered indentured servants if not outright sold for slavery. They are harsh with the locals and with any that they consider sympathetic to them. We needs to be very careful of our actions and words while on the highlands."

That brings a sullen silence to the table. Yuszel eventually asks "What is the next town and how far is it?" Narrak pulls out our map and spreads it on the table. "We're here at this inn. The next town is Highmoor and is a half a day's hard walk away. At the pace of our caravan, we should get to it shortly before the Blue Moon's rising." About 3 hours after sun fall then. That is if we leave soon. "All right. Let's get this on the move and see if we can't get a better turn of speed out of the oxen. I'd like to get there before the Green Moon comes up."

Narrak looks at me oddly. "Why not push for White Moon rise then?" Yuszel asks "Do you think we can move that quickly?" "I doubt it, but it wouldn't hurt to try. I'm in an odd sort of mood now, and my feet are itching. I get the sense that we should be moving, and quickly." Narrak nods, "A hunch? Some foresight?" "Maybe brother. Maybe." Imra is looking concerned now. It hasn't been an easy trip for either her or our young daughter Eirina. Instructional, but not easy. "Let's get on the road. I'll settle with the innkeeper." Everyone rises and hustles to move the caravan members back to their wagons and horses. Soon the inn is empty, and the bill squared away.

Between the road conditions and a broken wagon wheel, we do not make Highmoor before Blue Moonrise. We are still on the road and thinking about stopping when our guard master Oncith pulls his mount alongside us. "One of my scouts spotted fire ahead. The other is holding position while Mardin reports." "Fire? What sort of fire?" "Not a campfire. Bigger. It's from the Highmoor area. We should be nearing it. Another half hour for the wagons." "That's not good my friend." "No, it's not. There is a turn off that heads east. It'll eventually take us to the Thousand Kingdoms."

"Good thinking. Have the wagons hold at that turn. Gather a dozen or so steady guards. We'll see what is happening in Highmoor. If it's just an out of control fire, we'll pitch in for a bucket brigade. If we don't like the looks of things, we can take the turn and run for it." "The oxen are getting tired Elduin. There is a place to stop a mile or so down the east road." "Good thinking but let's wait and see what's at Highmoor first. Everyone else can rest while we check this out." "Fair enough. I'll gather a few men and have a word with the rest."

Narrak adjusts his sword and pulls his shield from his horse's withers. "Well, battle brother. Do you think we'll wet our blades this night?" I roll my eyes. Dwarves. "I hope not Narrak. I hope it's just a barn blaze that got a little out of control. We can help the locals and put them in a good frame of mind for trade tomorrow. They make some excellent swords up here, four and five-fold blades that are strong and flexible. If we can barter our way into a few dozen more of them, then our profits are assured. The market for those in the Kingdom of Groesia is excellent."

Narrak gives me a dirty look. "I know that. That's why we've been traipsing all over these hills and moors. We have a wagon full." "Yes, brother we do. But the reputation in this town is for a superior weapon even in comparison to the other Highland clans. The MacLeod blades are rumored to never rust and hold an edge even with hard use."

Narrak shrugs as we move our mounts forward to where Oncith is gathering his men. "Remember to stay with your shield brother. Pairs only. No one goes wandering alone. We go in and see what there is to be seen. Wait for instructions from either myself or those two." He points at us, and I adjust my shield. "No Heroics. No throwing yourself into danger. If you see anything that you don't think you can handle, shout the alarm and fall back to the gates." I jump in "There are no gates. The Empire made it illegal for any of the Clans to wall their towns. Shout the alarm, and we'll rally back to the road in." Oncith nods "You heard the man. In pairs now, line up and we'll get this over with."

After a short ride past the turn-off, we come to the bend where the scout is still waiting. Oncith speaks to him briefly, and he falls into the rear of the column. We can all see the firelight now. It's not looking very good. "That's more than just a barn, Elduin. That looks more like half the village is ablaze." "Yes. It does. This does not bode well."

Slowing my horse slightly, I lean back and order a pair of guardsmen. "Head back to the caravan. Tell them to take the east road and stop at the camping site about a mile down. There should be fresh water. They can water and feed the animals. Nose bags only. Do not take the oxen out of the harness. We may not be stopping there depending on what we find ahead." The guards salute and ease out of line as I move back even with my dwarven companion. Oncith nods in approval at the decision and then returns his attention to the front.

The lead elements reign up, and one leans back. "Body on the road Captain. Arrow shot from behind." Oncith nods and loosens his sword in the sheath. "Caution everyone. Whoever did this may still be here. Remember, pairs and rally back here if there is any trouble." Everyone settles their armor and loosens blades before we start riding again. Oncith starts detailing pairs to head in from different directions, and we head straight up the road.

Narrak grunts "At least half the houses are on fire or have been damaged." I grunt back, not much to say to that considering the evidence before our eyes. More bodies are on the ground, and Narrak pulls up and dismounts. He flips a body over and snarls "Orcs." Oncith, the guard, and I all draw steel and look around. No one and nothing is moving as Narrak mounts back up. "Let's keep moving. We'll clear the area of hostiles and then see what else we can find."

As we continue edging into the village, I hear voices behind me that I did not want to hear. Eirina asks "What happened here, mother?" And Imra responds "It seems that orcs attacked the village. Keep that arrow knocked and do not be afraid to loose it if you see one." Narrak and I share a disbelieving look, and we turn in our saddles. "What in the name of Tuxuna Goddess of Tricks are you two doing here? You should be with the caravan."

Imra sighs and says "Eirina was Pulled, husband. It seems Ootl, Goddess of Dreams, sent her a sign." Eirina ducks her head. "I knew when we came to the turn off to the east that I had to keep going straight. Then it was the dream again when we saw the body in the road with the arrows in it. Another forty or fifty yards and on the left there is a smithy. I need to find it. It's important."

Narrak snorts in disgust. "Magic and Gods. Would that we could live without that interference." Imra snorts a laugh, and Eirina mumbles "You don't fool anyone with the gruff old dwarf act Uncle Narrak." All right. Enough of this. "In case you forgot, there are orc bodies mixed with the humans laying about. We might want to save the religious discussion for later and keep our eyes open, so we don't ride into some living examples." The guard is the only one that did keep his eyes moving snorts a laugh, and we get back into movement. This time with the ladies in the middle of our party. Tuxana must be having a right and proper laugh at all of this.

Crossing a road coming through the middle of the village, Oncith slows to a stop. "Dismount here. We can tie the horses off at the rail there in front of what is left of the trading post. The smithy looks to be that other building several up and directly ahead of us. I want to come in there on foot for mobility. There seems to be a pile of bodies in front of it, and I do not trust that." Good call. Everyone dismounts and ties off their horses. Narrak, Oncith and I form a front line with Imra and Eirina in the middle and the guard bringing up the rear.

Getting closer to the front of the building, we see upwards of twenty bodies sprawled out in the road or a pile in front of the door. Narrak stops us short of the first of them. "There's something odd about these bodies besides the numbers." Looking a little closer, I don't see what he's talking about. Oncith does though and points. "Bar stock. Look at that one there. Someone took a piece of bar stock and ran it through shield and armor. The orc bled out as he staggered back."

Now that he mentions it, I can see what he's talking about and Narrak grunts "That takes some strength. The blood trail is only a few feet though. This rod was thrown like a spear." Narrak sheaths his sword and grunts as he pulls the bar out. "Not sharpened. What are we dealing with here? Some form of demon?" Narrak drops the bar and draws his sword again. We pace a little closer. Not all of the orcs have bar stock rammed into them. Some look like they were hit with the Hammer of Vemrus, God of smiths. I can hear some gagging from behind me at the destruction around us.

Oncith starts circling to the front of the door when we hear a bestial roar, and he staggers. Backpedaling quickly, Oncith starts cursing and as we get out of sight of whatever that was we see a piece of bar stock stuck in his shield. It hit with such force that his arm is now hanging limp. Narrak sheathes his sword and helps him back further. Oncith groans "I think it's broken." Narrak starts cursing under his breath "It is. That was a powerful blow. If it had hit straight on, it would have gone right through you."

Imra and Narrak begin helping Oncith with the guard and I keeping watch in each direction. "I suppose we should rally the guards here and see about some bows. I do not want to lose men to whatever is in that smithy." I note movement from the corner of my eye and drop my sword to grab Eirina by the quiver and bark "What do you think you are doing?" She gives me a wounded look and says "This is why I was given that dream father. I need some light to work with. If you can ask mother to cast a spell for us, we can see what is in there."

Aye, that's right Tuxana, laugh your trickster self into hiccups. "Let's wait until they are finished tending Uncle Oncith, and we have rallied the others." Speaking of, I turn to the guard without letting go of the little trickster demon my beloved wife birthed. "Find and rally the rest to here. I think if there were orcs still in this village, we would have heard or seen a sign of it. We'll take reports on what the rest have found while we figure what to do about this." The guard nods and jogs off using one of our recall whistles. A rock wren call to the others and their understanding of orders by issuing a starjay's angry call. Good enough.

Looking over the site of our looming battle with whatever is inside that smithy, I am not encouraged. There seems to be just one way in and that is a double door that is broken wide open. The building is made of stone with a slate roof which is probably why it was spared the fires of its neighboring buildings. Guards ride up and dismount, tying off their steeds where we did and rallying around. The reports are bleak. Bodies had been found everywhere. There have been no signs of life at all. Not even dogs or goats.

One of them asks "Where are the fighting age men? I haven't seen a single one." Another responds "This is the Empire. They've probably been wasted in spear levies for feuds between lords." A third quips "That and the fighting pits in the Golden City of the Emperor. That's the usual fate for trouble makers, and the highlands are full of those." A fourth guard notes "We've only found grathers and younglings for men, m'lord. Some women and children too, but not as many as you would think for a village this size. Even some of the children died with a blade in hand. I found one under an orc she had stabbed to death. She was cut down doing it, but she went out fighting and took her enemy with her." Well, no one can fault the Clans of the Highlands for bravery. They have that in abundance.

"The orcs must have found themselves some slaves to take with them. They paid a dear price for this raid though. Just on this straight road, I counted fifteen, and that does not include what is in front of the smithy." The guards start comparing numbers. If what I am hearing is correct, then at least half the fighting force of the tribe that did this are laying in the streets, and they probably took very few captives.

Imra and Narrak come over. Imra starts "His shoulder was dislocated and the wrist broken. We have that back in and his wrist splinted. It's not a serious injury, and he should be fine in a few weeks." Narrak still looks concerned. "That was a powerful blow battle brother. I do not think an arm alone would suffice. Whatever is in there is strong, but it would be my guess that whoever that is, is using an atlatl. It's the only explanation for what we saw." I nod at that.

"All right. Spread out carefully people. I do not want to give that thing any room to run but do not give it a clear shot. I do not want anyone else hurt. Imra, can you cast some light so that we can see what we are dealing with?" Imra nods and begins chanting as guards move off in pairs to circle other buildings and get into position. Shortly everyone is in place, and there is a light glowing in the middle of the road casting its glow into the building.

We begin easing in from all directions, and we hear that bestial roar again. Another bar comes hurling out and slams through the top corner of a shield staggering but not hurting the guard. Narrak shouts "Get ready to rush him, keep those shields slanted."

In sight of the doorway now, we see a man wearing a smiths apron and holding an atlatl and another bar. He's not tall, but he is healthy looking. He has a half dozen cuts, some still bleeding, and several arrows broke off in him. Smooth shaved with close-cropped hair but seaming almost rabid with little sense left in his eyes.

Narrak mumbles "Great. A berzerker just what we need. I think I'd rather face a demon. This will cost us, brother." I grunt at that. "Not if we ply him with a few arrows to add to the ones he's already collected. We could just let him bleed out. I don't think he's far from it with that gash his side. Not when you add it to the cut on his leg and the puddle of blood he's dancing in." Narrak grunts thoughtfully. The man is panting like he just ran a dozen miles with his weight on his back. He's not going to last much longer either way.

Imra shouts "Eirina, no." Eirina comes into sight in my peripheral vision but is too far for me to grab easily. "He's young mother. Near my age. He's not more than a dozen years for all of his size." "Eirina, come here." "It's ok mother. He's not going to hurt me." Damned trickster sprite doesn't even have a knife on her. "Switch to bows. If he even blinks at her wrong, stick him full of arrows and bolts."

I hear everyone else doing exactly what I am. Sheathing sword and hanging shield and stringing bows. Arrows are knocked as we watch Eirina slowly move toward the open door and her inevitable doom. She stops about five feet from this demon, and they stare at each other. It's all I can do to keep from drawing and loosing. Or wetting myself in terror for my only child. I can hear Imra whimpering in fear behind me. She's close enough for a quick lung and swipe with that sword stock or the atlatl in his hands. We are going to have words later if she survives this.

The tension lasts for hours. Or seconds. It seems like weeks. Xeheus and Muatz, God and Goddess of life and death, please spare my impetuous daughter's life. Protect her from her rash acts. Keep her safe. She's too young to go to your care just yet.

Looking closely, I realize my daughter is right. This is a boy standing in that doorway. A large and well-formed one that shows the musculature of having worked in the smithy for a few years. But still a boy. Maybe she's right about exactly how old he is too. He can't be older than fourteen years. He's still just standing there with that wild look in his eyes and panting breaths like a bellows. There is no waver in his arms despite the blood loss and the now apparent signs of exhaustion. It must have been him that killed those orcs littering the roadway. How many hours has that poor child defended the smithy?

Quietly, my daughter says "You can put those down now. No one is going to hurt you anymore." The boy grunts but calmly says "I can't. My sisters and some of the other children are in the stock room. I can't let the orcs through to them. I can't let them do to them what they did to the rest of the village." Narrak snorts in disbelief. That was entirely too rational and calm of a statement considering the wild look in this boy's eyes.

Eirina takes a few slow steps closer and gently lays a hand on his arm. "It's ok. They are gone now. It's just my family and some caravan guards here." He nods, but his eyes are still full of bezerker fury and motion. "What's your name?" He doesn't seem to hear her, but a voice from further in calls out "His name is Altair MacLeod." Eirina asks "Who are you?" "I'm his cousin Waswalla. I'm surprised he's letting you touch him." A girl child edges out of the room. She's even bigger than the boy Altair is. It looks like she worked the forge and bellows alongside him. "I'm Eirina Kelrona. That's my father, mother, and some uncles out there."

We can see a few more faces in the door to the stock rooms now. All female and young. Some others start easing their way into the door after them. Boys and girls. All young. Even a couple of babies in the arms of the older children.

Waswalla nods and looks around. "You aren't going to calm him just yet. I'm surprised you managed to get that close to him. Ox boy is usually very mild until provoked. Then he rages until it's out of his system. I don't know how long that will last considering the past few hours. He's been seriously provoked lately."

Eirina looks thoughtfully up into the boy's eyes and squeezes his arm to get his attention. When the boy looks down at her, she whispers "It's ok Altair. The orcs are gone. Do you want to meet my mother?" Those crazed bezerker eyes seem entranced by Eirina's eyes, and he nods. Waving back at us, we wait, and I soon see my Imra easing past us. Slowly and steadily, unarmed and making no sudden moves. She's soon standing just behind Eirina and resting a hand on her shoulder.

"Altair, I'd like you to meet my mother, Imra Kelrona. Mother, I'd like you to meet Altair. He stood guard over others and protected his family from evil." The boy blinks at that and looks up into Imra's eyes. Xeheus and Muatz, God and Goddes of life and death, please aid this boy to see reason so that the green eyes of my wife and daughter do not close forever.

It seems to be working because the bar stock and atlatl ease down until the ends are resting on the smithy floor. The boy looks back down and asks "It's really over?" Eirina nods. "How many others survived?" Her eyes water and she shakes her head. "We haven't found anyone else yet. We haven't looked too hard though. We were making sure there were no more orcs in the village before doing that."

The poor boy. That bezerker fury is still in his eyes, but he looks so tired. "You're sure they are gone?" Eirina nods again, and my darling Imra says "You and the rest are welcome to come with us. How many did you save?" Altair blinks at her and shrugs. Waswalla mumbles "Twenty three out of the four hundred that lived here. That is including Altair. None of us over sixteen years and most much younger than that." I hear one of the guardsmen sob at that. The two other girls come out of the stock room, and all three of them look like they've been in a fight. They also bear a resemblance to the boy.

That seems to be the breaking point. Altair drops the bar stock and atlatl and falls to his knees sobbing. Huge racking heaves that sound like he's trying to tear himself apart with grief. Eirina pulls his head to her and gently holds him as he wraps his arms around her and bawls. Imra holds both children as the others come and rest their hands on his shoulders. It doesn't last long. I don't think he has the strength. In a few minutes, he's quiet again, but Eirina doesn't let him go.

I hear a deep sigh as Imra stands and wipes her eyes. "We'll need to see about your wounds Altair. It can't wait much longer." Eirina is gently stroking his head and says "I'll be right there with you. You won't be alone." Altair nods but doesn't move.

That's my cue. "All right gentlemen and ladies. Start a house to house search. If there is anyone else in this village, I want them found and brought here. Narrak, I need you to take Oncith and a couple of men and head to the caravan. Shift the loads around and bring an empty wagon back here. Leave Oncith with the others, and he can get them ready to move. We take the east road, and we get into the Thousand Kingdoms as fast as we can. We do not stop for anyone or anything until we are in Mage Falls. Bring back that healer that Yuzel plans to marry. I think we'll need potions to keep this boy alive."

Narrak smiles as he wipes his eyes and rushes off. I turn my attention back to the scene in front of me. The boy didn't stop crying. He's still at it. It's just not those bone breaking and wrenching sobs of before. Imra opens a small bottle and drips a couple of drops into a travel cup before pouring in some wine. "Drink this Altair. We're going to have to sew you up and remove some arrowheads. You're too strong to handle if you thrash about, so we need to dose you with something for the pain and to help you relax." Altair turns his head and lets Eirina help him to drink the cup dry. She goes back to holding him and gently stroking her hand through his hair, and he doesn't seem ready to quit holding her. Nor does she seem inclined to release him.

Imra walks over and whispers "Bonded." "What? Are you sure? That was fast. Now we do have to save his life, or she'll be miserable forever." "We Bonded that fast my love." "I know Imra. The first sight of your emerald eyes and my heart and soul were yours. Are you sure about them? I have never heard of this happening with a human. Or so young, she's only fourteen years." Imra nods but is smiling.

Tuxana is having quite the night. So many tricks have been played that I can almost hear Her laughter on the wind.
(11-23-2018, 02:03 PM)Angry Red Man Wrote: [ -> ]It's a working title and that may change.  Wink

I'm back in a writing mood and my fingers are cooperating, mostly. I have to spell check a little more than I used to, but they sort of work the way they are supposed to.

I'm not getting back on twitter for a while longer and not going back to re-writing the zombie book just yet. Once I get settled back into a writing routine, maybe I'll finish up with the zombie novels on wattpad.

I'm hooked into a new project right now.

Yes, I can tell you about it. I already have the basic character list made, some notes, a chapter guide, and a couple of maps for it. It's a fantasy novel. Swords, sorcery, elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins. Oh My.

I didn't want to write one but I can't get it out of my head. I wanted to get into the haunted house horror story first. Such is life though. The haunted house stuff is murky now and the fantasy novel is right up there, front and center.

Yes, there will be naughty bits. I'll put those in spoilers so you can open it if you want. People will be people and it always annoyed me when none of that was ever mentioned in fantasy novels. Some of the more 'puritanical' ones never even mentioned marriage much less people behaving like people. There won't actually be much in the way of naughty stuff but it'll be in there. Maybe just a few scenes total.

Another warning, my Libertarian is going to show. I will not try to tuck that back in. It has a mind of it's own.  Yeah3

You won't have to wait too long for it either. I should have the first chapter written and edited by Friday. Saturday at the latest. I'm planning on 22-25 chapters. Probably between 3,000 and 6,000 words per chapter. 66,000 to 150,000 overall. It will probably be somewhere just over 100,000 words considering I'm doing some world building. Maybe more. We'll see how it goes.

I'm planning this as a stand alone book but we all know how that goes. Don't we.  Chuckle

Next post: What I've already done. There are some new faces around and some who haven't been here when I do this. The Fringe members get first run at reading the raw and barely edited versions of the books and stories. I post it here while I try and figure out how to find some beta-readers who will critique me into tears.

Zombies are interesting. I like Zombie books and movies. Yeah3
Blessings with that man.
Sounds very interesting.
(11-23-2018, 02:03 PM)Angry Red Man Wrote: [ -> ]It's a working title and that may change.  Wink

I'm back in a writing mood and my fingers are cooperating, mostly. I have to spell check a little more than I used to, but they sort of work the way they are supposed to.

I'm not getting back on twitter for a while longer and not going back to re-writing the zombie book just yet. Once I get settled back into a writing routine, maybe I'll finish up with the zombie novels on wattpad.

I'm hooked into a new project right now.

Yes, I can tell you about it. I already have the basic character list made, some notes, a chapter guide, and a couple of maps for it. It's a fantasy novel. Swords, sorcery, elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins. Oh My.

I didn't want to write one but I can't get it out of my head. I wanted to get into the haunted house horror story first. Such is life though. The haunted house stuff is murky now and the fantasy novel is right up there, front and center.

Yes, there will be naughty bits. I'll put those in spoilers so you can open it if you want. People will be people and it always annoyed me when none of that was ever mentioned in fantasy novels. Some of the more 'puritanical' ones never even mentioned marriage much less people behaving like people. There won't actually be much in the way of naughty stuff but it'll be in there. Maybe just a few scenes total.

Another warning, my Libertarian is going to show. I will not try to tuck that back in. It has a mind of it's own.  Yeah3

You won't have to wait too long for it either. I should have the first chapter written and edited by Friday. Saturday at the latest. I'm planning on 22-25 chapters. Probably between 3,000 and 6,000 words per chapter. 66,000 to 150,000 overall. It will probably be somewhere just over 100,000 words considering I'm doing some world building. Maybe more. We'll see how it goes.

I'm planning this as a stand alone book but we all know how that goes. Don't we.  Chuckle

Next post: What I've already done. There are some new faces around and some who haven't been here when I do this. The Fringe members get first run at reading the raw and barely edited versions of the books and stories. I post it here while I try and figure out how to find some beta-readers who will critique me into tears.

Yay Congratuations @Angry Red Man Glad your fingers are better and I think I like this new genre better!
[Image: 6YUbPox.png]

<contented sigh...Things are back to normal with an ARM read cooking!>
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