May 21 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 28)

Posted by Mathias

Diur’s palace is the center of the cosmos and all things rotate about him.  He is the keeper of all that is, and his daughters the balance that stabilizes the cosmos.   Without them, all would cease, all would end into darkness.  

-Generations 1:6

Chapter 28 (15th of Earonitan in the year 6199) 

Tapping the tip of his quill on the book’s cover, Lord Hedric pondered the diagram now before him.  The hastily sketched copy was of a drawing he had found in the reference.  It was a simple illustration, nothing more than an inverted triangle with a circle at each point.  In the center sat the spiraling, ever watchful Eye of Earoni.   (more…)

May 17 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 27)

Posted by Mathias

The course of life is like a river.  It flows the path that it chooses, except when more powerful forces take an interest in it.  

Elven Proverb  

“Ah-hem,” the abrupt clearing of the throat brought Cassandra out of her trance.  She’d been focusing on her conceptual drawings of the Dragon Ships, now spread out on the massive drawing bench she had confiscated for her own purposes.  Some of what had littered the top of the desk had been unceremoniously shoved to the floor.  

Looking up, she affixed her stare upon a young man in fairly common clothes and perhaps not more than two to three years her senior, if even that much.  He stood in the doorway, his arms full of rolled up parchments and his hands stained with ink. There were additional slight smudges of that same ink on his face.  Everything about the way he held himself there, particularly the way his dark brown eyes locked onto hers, caused Cassandra a moment of pause.   (more…)

May 14 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 26)

Posted by Mathias

The thing about darkness and evil is that there is not as much of a need for it as there is light and good.  The mortal soul is drawn to the dark, so a small amount of it goes a long way.  

 Fyon Rolsun, 3rd King of Hitithe  

Chapter 26 (8th of Earonitan in the year 6199) 

The cavernous, unending tomb was a murky pit of darkness and despair, brightened only by the molten, jagged flows of swirling red, orange, and yellow that broke through at random places.  The oozing rock coalesced in sweltering pools that boiled, making the air hot and uncomfortable.  At least to those that could feel pain and discomfort.  

Descist could feel neither.  He could, however, feel his mother straining to maintain the barriers holding him here.  Just as he could sense how alive the darkness of his prison really was, pulsing with the joyless souls of the Cursed Ones.  The only sensation these tormented souls had been allowed to retain from their former lives was, conveniently, their senses of pain and discomfort.  Their agony translated to lamenting moans that merged together into a low, monotonic groaning whisper that would strike fear into any mortal that would hear it.   (more…)

May 10 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 25)

Posted by Mathias

And the whole of Geiha did shake and tremble as the force and power of Earoni’s Tear was released to banish back the dark lord Descist.  The seas boiled and the sky sent forth bolts of lightning with nearly uncontrollable power.  And the priests of Earoni vowed to never again allow the power of the relic to be used for fear that it would destroy the world. 

-Armageddon 4:90 

Chapter 25 (7th of Earonitan in the year 6199)

The forward momentum of the Arthbridge came to an abrupt, crashing halt.   As the deck bucked into the air like a wild mare preparing to toss an unwelcome rider, the wooden hull splintering like toothpicks was the crescendo that emphasized the magnitude of the catastrophe. Standing on the aft deck near the helm, Cassandra’s hands latched to the railing, but she was still tossed and twisted to the lumber that had once been under her feet. She rose and steadied herself as the imperial cutter was dead in the water. 

“Navigator!  What happened?”  Her demand ripped through the chaos that ensued.  

“We followed the path of that ship exactly!” the answer came from the disheveled sailor manning the helm.  He too was busy righting himself.  “There’s no way we could have missed the opening!”   (more…)

May 07 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 24)

Posted by Mathias

“Turn back! These lands are closed to all but the Child of the Storm!  There will be no further warning and all who disobey shall be met with death.  We will speak to no other but the chosen one!” 

Royal Elven Proclamation 9th of Alshu in the year 6184 

Sheala sat, alone at the desk and the mirror in her quarters on board the Oracle, staring into her own reflection. It was as if she were looking at herself for the first time, transfixed by the likeness sitting there and glaring back at her. The eyes were unknown to her, like those of a stranger.  

She’d hoped the gentle pitching of the ship on the waves would ease her mind. They hadn’t so far, and she soon realized that they wouldn’t as her mind raced. She’d returned here straight from leaving the Palace and after having sneaked out the back through an old passage her and Cass had often used.  But instead of using it to avoid her uncle, she now used it to avoid any lingering partygoers who might be able to identify her as the thief who had been so bold to brazenly steal from the guests of King Turon’s Yule Ball.  

(more…)

May 03 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 23)

Posted by Mathias

Earoni’s eye sees all. Even in the night She watches over the world. 

Wonders 2:3 

Chapter 23 (1st of Earonitan in the year 6199) 

King Turon paced around in the flickering lamplight of his study.  It had been hours since the guests had left from the Yule Celebration and only about another hour until sunrise.  He stopped his strides and stared out tall windows across the sea beyond. 

“What would your father say?” he muttered. 

Sheala sat quietly in a chair behind him, her hair a shamble as she toyed with the hem of her dress.  Just like the last time she had seen him.  At that time, she was being punished for disobeying him and destroying a valuable Fimmirran artifact from during the PreDawn Age while playing tag with her sister through the palace halls.  That was a long time ago, but she had not forgotten.  (more…)

Apr 30 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 22)

Posted by Mathias

Rise the storm.  Roar like a lion.  Fly like a dragon.  And be the light of this world. 

Proverb 7 

Chapter 22 (40th of Taru-Des in the year 6198) 

From his perch on the balcony, Anthony kept a watchful eye on Reane as she mingled around the floor of the palace’s cavernous main ballroom. They’d already spent time in several of the smaller halls, but as the hours wore on, Reane and Sheala had moved to where the big fish were.  He tried to stay out of the view of the other guests, feeling that the patch over his eye was drawing attention. 

“I really don’t understand those two,” he complained to Brentai as Reane worked with a new group of potential targets. 

Swirling a glass of wine in his hand, Brentai smiled. He kept his attention on Sheala, who relegated herself to working more one on one. “It’s a complex friendship. They’re really two of a kind.” (more…)

Apr 29 2019

Flash Fiction – The Tree Giant

Posted by Mathias

Shambling along, roots churning in the dirt, unable to be lifted more than a few inches, the old Tree Giant slogged towards the crest of the hill. Turning its branches toward the rising sun, it felt the trickle of energy from the new day through its trunk and limbs. That strength it provided would be just enough for the final few feet of its march.

Reaching its destination upon the rise, it sank into the rich soil there, crowding out the blades of grass calling the spot home and ignoring their protests. As the magical life slowly faded from it, creeping out through its roots, the creature became but common wood and a silent watcher that would move nevermore.

Apr 26 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 21)

Posted by Mathias

Only Earoni’s will can let one pass the great reef that protects Fimmirra.  Even in the dark times, without her guidance, no enemy shall pass to the land of our ancestors.  

-Wonders 15:8 

Chapter 21 (40th of Taru-Des in the year 6198)  

Staring out the small window of her cabin, Sheala sat there and watched as the ship bobbed and pitched in the water. The gentle rocking of the ship as it sat in port caused Sheala’s thoughts to wander without purpose.  It had been three days since the Oracle, crippled and still in need of repairs, had reached the Islands of Fimmirra.  Just like the only other time she had come here, she had chosen to confine herself to her quarters on board. 

Sheala told herself it was for the best, twirling strands of her hair between her fingers.  Even though she did not grow up here, there were many unpleasant memories this place brought back.  

Ignoring a knock at her cabin door, she hoped it would get the hint and not come again.  When it did, and she ignored it again, Sheala knew who it was the second she heard the key in the lock.  

Reane opened the door gently and shut it behind her after she entered.  Although the Captain no longer wore her bandages, it was obvious that certain motions still caused her discomfort. 

“You just can’t brood in this cabin forever,” Reane scolded.  “Why don’t you come to town with Bentai and me?  It’s a lovely day.” (more…)

Apr 23 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 20)

Posted by Mathias

And darkness will follow the one-eyed man. It will draw The Child of the Storm to the feet of the dark lord who sits on Earoni’s throne. And it will corrupt her. A thousand years of darkness will follow. Then the death of the world. 

Forgive me, mother. Despite your warnings, this is a vision that I know I must change. 

-Journal of Reane Matir

Chapter 20 (30th of Taru-Des in the Year 6198)

The lock pick slipped in Sheala’s fingers. Battling for control of it far more than she should have, the thief worked to remove the cuffs binding her hands behind her back. After a brief stumble, it once more moved with renewed effortlessness. She regained her long-practiced control of the sliver of metal, sliding it into the keyhole. 

“Easy,” she muttered. Her mind was once more solely focused on the task at hand, having done this a hundred times. 

“Come on, Sweetheart!” Brentai’s voice rose from among the crowd of gathered sailors. All watched as she worked her magic on the deck of the Oracle while it continued to limp along under partial sail towards Fimmirra. 

She didn’t let the noise of the crowd distract her, keeping her cool as the pick fell neatly into place within the mechanism. The sound of the timing metronome at her feet reminded her that this was not only a test to see if she could free herself but also a race against the clock.  (more…)