- After she escapes from the hospital, believing Daisha dead or worse, Becca decides that the only people she can trust right now are Tyne (who was waiting for Daisha outside the hospital) and Beckett. Tyne is very nervous about Beckett, since the New York enclave hasn’t had good relations with the vampire since Becca’s disappearance—things have been coldly cordial at best, mostly in the interests of preventing a war and too much entanglement with the New York Hunters under Braedon (and later Weston) Chandler or the growing UNSETIC presence in the area.
- Inability to get answers from the New York enclave has Brigid and UNSETIC turning to the next nearest enclave that they have good relations with—the Fredericksburg enclave, five and a half hours south, and their magus contact there, Trey Wolfe. This will at least slightly annoy the New York enclave, resulting in a very strongly “worded” suggestion that UNSETIC back off—which draws the attention of a particular priest in a particular parish.
The short below was written as a test doc for a freelance project that I got involved in. I wrote it a few weeks ago and it’s been gathering dust on my hard drive since then. I decided to share it now with anyone who cares to read it, just to see what folks’ reactions are.
It’s something set in the far future, long after the world has come to an end, and at the moment stands on its own. It was actually pretty fun for me to write, so I hope you enjoy it.
Story below the break.
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.
From an untitled fantasy project in an untitled fantasy world (the same world as Fate and Second Chances).
For more than two hundred years, Felicitiana Solonastarn-Kindaer Verrel has ruled Kel Carridal, the shining jewel of Valellen, the sacred city amidst the ancient trees, capital of the Elven Kingdom of Valyn in centuries long since passed. It is a city, a nation that she wrested from the grip of fel powers such as the devil Grendalis and his minions, who had held the city for more than a thousand years.
The fel powers would never forgive her for it.
In the past centuries, the forces of Kel Carridal—drawn largely from the exiled elves of Kel Dannan, who lost their home to similar powers and civil strife within a decade of the recapturing of Kel Carridal—had crafted lasting peace, especially after they liberated the subterranean city of Tyr Evlanarnon from the same fel powers that had held Kel Carridal. That was nearly a century ago.
Fifty years ago, the Wraithien came. Sentient undead, they poured from the blight that has since come to be known as the Spawn Lands, nestled in the heart of the continent, far to the southwest of Valellen and Jalanthe, far to the southeast of Port Valens and the Dravenwood. The Spawn Lands have only grown since the first of the Wraithien emerged from it. They overwhelmed the nearby settlements, forcing their way out of the Spawn Lands in every direction, laying waste wherever they went. Some places withstood them—the Dravenwood thwarted them, halting their advance toward Port Valens; they never managed to press further north in that region, not much past the highway that wends east-west between Port Valens and Jalanthe. Still, the road is a dangerous one; many travelers have been overrun by the Wraithien each year, disappearing into their camps and settlements…most never to be seen again.
The furthest north that the Wraithien have managed to press is up across the northern mountain ranges, through the region northeast of Valellen. Kel Terradoc fell not too many years ago and has since become a stronghold for the Wraithien in the north.
In Kel Carridal, they’ve known of the Wraithien almost since their first appearance—citizens of Valellen were along with one of the first caravans to be attacked by the Wraithien. Seven were killed, a bare handful returned home from that first fateful encounter. Few who are captured—and only a bare few are captured, most usually die before the Wraithien can take them—ever return. No one knows what becomes of them. Queen Felicitiana, however, has urged caution; she is unwilling to commit her nation to a war when so much is still unknown about the Wraithien threat.
Of course, the Wraithien have already declared their war. Still, they do not range too closely to Kel Carridal proper—their noses have been bloodied one too many times for that. In the years since their rise, despite her reluctance to wage all-out war against this new enemy, Felicitiana has authorized the creation of a standing militia. This militia, largely consistent of elven rangers and the like, have been counter-raiding against the Wraithien, and this has largely discouraged encroachment. The last handful of years have seen even more extensive counter-raiding, to the point of destruction of some Wraithien camps.
What horrors they have seen. By the gods, what horrors they have seen.
— From the Annals of Xerafeln Kindaer, brother to the Grey Lady, Queen Felicitiana of Valyn
Copyright 2007-2011 Erin Klitzke.