November 14, 2014
I am working on three novels at the moment, as the mood strikes. None of these will be complete by December and January is iffy. Below is another random, non-sequential snippet from the draft of Thief. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't read it. If I receive any comments on this post, I will continue to post snippets.
On the evening of the sixth day, as predicted, Mar returned.
Without rising from his rough-made stool, nhBreen gestured toward the large flat rock adjacent to the coals of his fire. On it the remaining filets from his simple meal lay. "There is baked fish, if you are hungry."
It was not quite dusk, but the lowering sun was behind Mar and his expression was shrouded.
"I have found no seasonings as yet, I am afraid, but that species is palatable all the same," nhBreen offered in an offhand fashion. "For future reference, there is another species in the lagoon that looks nearly identical save for a few greenish-blue stripes. It is all but inedible. Its flesh is terribly bitter and I suspect toxic."
Mar had the look of someone who had been roughly used. In his own time, nhBreen had met only one wizard. The woman had frequently evidenced what his fellow sorcerers had termed "temporal disassociation." She had lived her life in a thousand different times and places and while nhBreen's encounters with her might have been separated by only minutes or hours, she had always looked travel worn and often years older.
"How long has it been for you, Mar? A month? A year?"
The young wizard continued to eat and only answered after the fish had been entirely consumed. "Six weeks, a day less or more. I don't keep track of the journeys, only the moments to which I must go."
"Choosing the right moment is difficult."
After another lengthy pause, Mar said, "Yes."
This was not an admission, just an acknowledgement.
nhBreen knew that to be most effective, his next statement must be devoid of any preliminaries.
"You must allow the flux overload in the bow to deplete naturally into the background ether over a period of at least eight hundred but no more than one thousand years. This must take place in an isolated area away from all magical influences and any possibility of flux reinforcement. This course has the highest possibility of reducing the ethereal blast to a level that you can manage."
Mar showed no surprise that nhBreen had provided a solution to his problem. "Go on."
"My most recent dream has refined my knowledge of the difficulty. The return of the Quaestor's family will, as you have surmised, disengage the natural flux modulation that he has been generating to empower the bow. It will not, however, reduce the stored flux. As you have planned, you must inform Eishtren in the instant before the destruction of the weapon that his kith and kin did indeed survive the fall of Mhajhkaei. This will prevent his self-destructive anguish from further multiplying the final outburst and thereby mitigate the scope of the disaster, but it alone will not be sufficient to prevent the destruction of one forth of the civilized world."
"I can take the bow from Eishtren?"
"No. He must remain with it. The ethereal bond that has grown between bow and bowman cannot be severed until the instant the bow must be destroyed. He must live as a hermit, far from mankind and from the ethereal upsets that men generate."
"The Quaestor cannot live a thousand years."
"With the aid of the medic and your wizardry, he can."
"The wood would rot in a millennium."
"A spell can place the bow in a form of stasis."
"No man can live a thousand years in utter isolation."
"Eishtren can, if he knows that his reward is the return of his wife, his sons, and his daughters."
"What sort of man will he be when his thousand years as a hermit is done?"
"A happy one."
October 23, 2014
Side note to Profiterole: Yes, it's me.
September 26, 2014
Rider's Journey is still moving slowly. At this point, I expect it to be done in December.
A spoiler snippet from the draft:
David leapt upward, vaulting off his left foot to impart added force to the snap kick of his right foot. As planned, his boot struck Pemberton squarely in the groin.
The impact picked the Tweaker up almost a foot off the floor of the balcony. At the apex of his trajectory, Pemberton's face went rigid and white. Not waiting or caring to see the man land, David dove over the railing, bounced into a diving roll when he hit the pavement below, leapt up to drive immediately into a sprint, and tackled the doppelganger executioner just as the Thin Man swung his blade toward Gwenhwyvar's throat.
Two quick knees to the groin -- the second driven with enough anger to do permanent injury -- disabled the artificial swordsman (it appeared to have immediately lost consciousness) and allowed David to jump to his feet.
On the balcony, Pemberton, doubled over and crying, straightened enough to scream, "Kill him! Kill him now!"
I have received no replies from the second and third prize winners of the drawing. They still have approximately 60 days to respond.
Thief: The Key to Magic VII 2015
Rider's Journey 2014
A World In Parts: Unfinished Universe I TBA