This week’s snippet is short, just a little taste of a little fantasy world (okay, a sweeping, epic fantasy world) that I’ve been tooling around with for several years.
No break here, just the snip.
Kaelen took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, glancing toward Talasin as he did. “I don’t know that I can do this, Master Talasin.”
The elder elf offered him a wry smile; the boy looked about as unsure as he felt. “I don’t know that I can, either, Kael, but we don’t have any choices left, do we? They’re waiting for us, and there’s no turning back now. None at all.”
The chamber that held the spellblades lay beyond a heavy door of dark oak, carved in the old elvish style, with sinuous vines twisting and curling around sigils, in knots that no mortal being could hope to unravel. It seemed ominous, only heightening their trepidation.
Talasin reminded himself of his own words. There’s no turning back now. He clapped Kaelen on the shoulder and nodded. “I think it’s time.”
The younger man drew a deep breath and exhaled it, then nodded back. “All right. Let’s go.”
The elder mage took a few steps forward and stood before the doors, murmuring the words to a spell he’d known for a long while but never dared to utter. The vines carved into them started to unwind from their knots; the doors parted, granting the two elves entry into the rotunda that housed the istyanda. Blue witchlights sprang to life as the pair entered, casting eerie light and long shadows throughout the room. Ten statues stood at intervals around the room, six of them bearing sheathed blades in their upturned palms. Talasin’s heart leapt. He’d been here before, and all but forgotten.
Ten steps forward. Silvered steel, dark pommel, polished blue dragonite as big as my thumb for the pommel cap. He could see the blade already, knew what it would feel like in his hand.
And then he saw it, hovering above the statue’s hands, glowing faintly. It drifted toward him, and he lifted his hands to accept the gift, the blade that had chosen him and no other. It settled there and he could feel the weight of the blade; he could breathe again, more freely than he could recall before. Phantom pains faded, noticed only for their sudden absence. It was if the blade had completed the work his wife had started thirty years ago, making him whole once more.
It had chosen him the first time he had lain eyes on it and he had never known.