Epilogue – Happy Independence day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone (in the USA, at least)! Here’s a preview of my novel/novella.

This scene is currently the epilogue to the story. Some brief notes:

Hodran: Raccoon-people
Horos: Fox-people
Madchildren: Psychic constructs with incredible psychic power
Copai: Slave race to the Horos. Not sure what they look like yet, but I’m leaning towards either humans, or cat-people.

I’m scheduling this on June 23rd, since I won’t be at home for this update. Enjoy anyway! 😛

Spires of steel and glass raked into the skies outside her window, jutting out over the horizon for as far as she could see. Lightning arced regularly from building to building, an eldritch storm in a jungle of steel. Sometimes she could notice a building shifting into a new position, to better send or receive the great bolts of energy. There was a palpable sense that the city itself was thinking, feeling with every burst of lightning. More importantly, however, was the sense that every last inch of it was dangerous. This was a city of conquerors, and it looked the part of a dangerous weapon.

At the same time, however, the city was a sensory assault. Bright, vibrant colors that inferior races may call ‘garish’ covered the city below. A neon green building here, a deep scarlet tapestry there. She liked that the most about this city – there was some new decadent delight for her senses everywhere she cast her eyes.

Lucia sipped from her wine, smiling as the arcs of lightning continued to strike outside her window. Divinity itself and nothing less.

She continued to watch the sight for a time before turning back to her room. It took up an entire floor of the building on its own. Gold was inlaid on the marble floor in a whorled pattern. Tapestries depicting various debaucheries adorned the walls, and a mosaic depicting the planet in a hand of steel was at the other end of the room.

A slight tingle ran down her spine, but she ignored it as she strode to her bed. It was long enough for two of her and wide enough for five, and the deep violet of royalty. The frame itself was gold. Real gold, appropriately.

How vain.

“I deserve far better.” She smirked. “So which is it? Am I speaking to a piece of you, or the whole?”

“Cryptic as ever, madchild.” She muttered, grabbing a bottle and an empty glass from her nightstand. She poured it a glass before immediately pouring the wine on the tile. It never hit the ground. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” She growled dryly.

Capric is dead.

“Good.” She growled, sipping her own drink again. “The fool wouldn’t know knowledge if the lady herself explained it. Why do you care?”

We don’t. We killed him.

She cocked an eyebrow at that. “Didn’t know you cared that much about incompetence.”

We don’t.

“Why are you wasting my time with this?” She said coldly. “I was having a delightful evening.”

Watching lightning storms, yes, how riveting.

Sarcastic bits of an elder gods’ consciousness. Now I’ve heard everything.

Not yet you haven’t. One of the Hodran managed to harm a piece of me.

She stopped drinking. “…Really.”

It turned the piece’s psychic power against it, and wielded it as its own strength. Such a thing should not have been possible.

“The Hodran have a god of their own. Perhaps he intervened? Rewrote the rules?”

…There was… a touch of him, yes. But the Lady or the Madgod would surely have intervened in such a case.

“I am not in the habit of understanding the motivations of our divines.” Lucia responded, her eyes glazing over again. “Perhaps there was something more precious to them. Last I checked, the lady’s stance amongst her peers was… less than perfect.” She shrugged and stood.

Whatever the case, we’re afraid this has become too complicated to delegate to lesser beings.

“Agreed.” The Horos smirked, rolling up her sleeves. “I shall go personally.”

She stopped, her smirk instantly gone. “Excuse me?”

The Hodran have found a way to come here. They will attack this city, soon.

She stood stock still for a moment, thinking.

You shall deal with them here. I shall handle Hodra.

“It’s the Horos’ mess, we’ll clean it up.”

The Madchild didn’t leave. She waited a few moments before her laughter rang through the cavernous room. “Very well, you may handle Hodra yourself if you’re bored.”

Boredom is an emotion for lesser beings.

“If you like.”

It was gone. Lucia clapped her hands twice and two Copai servants entered, their eyes wide and fearful.

“Fetch my coat. I have raccoons to skin.”

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Book Update

It’s been a while since I’ve provided you with an update on my book, so I thought I should give you all a quick update. I have an excel spreadsheet that marks how complete each scene is within the current draft. The scenes are marked as follows:

Unneccessary? : 2 (These scenes serve no real purpose and will probably end up either being cut from the final version or heavily revised)
Unmarked/Not begun: 7 (These scenes ARE planned out, but I haven’t started writing them yet)
Complete: 2 (These scenes are scenes I’m perfectly happy with at this point. They’re not necessarily the scene that will make it to the book, but they’re pretty close)
Complete, needs work: 4 (These scenes require some work before they’re ready, but still manage to go all the way through without TOO bad of a screw-up.)
Partially written: 7 (These scenes are not done yet and require not only completion but editing work to be done. These all have what needs to be done marked next to them, but are too varied to mention)

So roughly a third done, a third not yet begun and a third that needs work in this current draft.

One other announcement: I’m going on a trip with my family over the next week, during which I won’t be able to get much writing done for this blog. I’m planning on scheduling one of the two completed scenes above for Friday, and the Friday after I’ll be home to complete another short story for all y’all.

I’m mostly letting you know so I can be open with you guys. You’re all awesome, and I’m glad all 2 of you read this when it comes out.

*tilts hat* See y’all later.

Prototype Scene: The Aurora Wood

[This is a scene from my current rough draft for Chronicles of Hodra. This is one of several scenes to occur in the Aurora Wood from last time. In it, the Hodran are just about to attack the Horos main base. The Horos have been driven back quite a bit at this point, and are starting to lose faith in their commander, and rightly so. He’s an idiot.

I’m not sure if this scene will stay in the book, or if it will play out exactly in this manner.]

Where had it all gone so wrong?

Sagia remembered when they had first come here. The excitement, the confidence, the assurance of victory had long ago passed, to be replaced by fear, uncertainty and paranoia.  The Copai she had under her command were restless, and she understood perfectly well why. An animal will jump at every shadow, and a Nightworld had many shadows to jump at, even for Horos.

“What if we collapse that tree?” Copai 7 suggested. “It could block the path off, or maybe we could try and collapse it on the Hodran?”

Sagia looked to ‘that tree’ and bristled with irritation. There wasn’t enough room to place one of their Zodia mechs in the area they were guarding, so two watch towers and a small patrol had been set up. Normally they just would have leveled the crystals, but supposedly the Hodran considered it a sacred grove or something and wouldn’t attack it. She understood, but having a logical reason why you’re open to attack isn’t even remotely comforting.

At least she had twelve Copai with her. Perhaps they could be her meat shield.

“Wouldn’t work.” Copai 4 replied, pointing to the trunk. “We’d only be able to collapse it from the trunk. They’re small, quick, and live in these trees. Block the path, they’ll just climb over it or go around, and the metal men will be slowed down. Try to collapse it on them, and they’ll be inside before it lands.”

The Horos were on the run now, and everyone seemed to know it. The Hodran were animals like the Copai, and yet the Horos had been driven back. Foul sorcerey could explain quite a bit of their setbacks, but not all. It was fairly evident to her and the rest of the Horos on-base that Capric was simply incompetent.

“Well what about-”

“Would you animals cease your innane prattle?!” Sagia snarled. “You exist to serve, not to think.”

The Copai bowed their heads. “Yes, mistress.”

Sagia was quiet, trembling as she looked away. “Set up the tree to collapse anyway. Maybe we’ll get lucky.”

The planet wasn’t cold enough to make her tremble.

Sagia was beginning to doubt the mission. She would never question the Lady, of course, but she questioned how her commanders had chosen to follow Her instructions. Capric seemed the bumbling fool. Their forces were constantly thwarted and outmaneuvered, like children trying to build a particle accelerator (granted, not much room to talk, she didn’t manage it until 7) and there was absolutely no reason for it. Capric had grown eccentric, too, talking to himself in empty rooms, yelling at his aides for no apparent reason, and generally growing more unstable by the minute.

…Who was in command after Capric, again? Was it Taura? Her hand unconsciously dropped to her crossbow. Perhaps she would do a better job than this miserable-

There was a slight hum, two loud cracks, and darkness swallowed her.

She pulled out her weapon, snarling at the sudden change. The Copai were scrambling as well. She could hear them grabbing their daggers and clubs. She could hear thumps as her charges hit the ground. She fired at the minute sounds of paws on grass, but was disappointed to hear Copai 2 yell out in pain.

She had just enough time to wonder how they had turned the trees off before consciousness left her.

Story update: Aurora Wood

A week ago

Maybe I should type up my next blog post early… Midterms this week, after all.

Two days ago

I should at least START, the only things I have left are a partner letter that my partner offered to finish and a presentation on x86 computer systems…

Yesterday afternoon

Welp! Midterms are done. Should probably get on that blog post now.

Yesterday evening

Yup. Definitely something I should be doing right now… Just wish I could remember what

1:52pm Today

What was I supposed to have done by ten this mor- …SHIT!

Everything below is subject to change. In particular the name ‘Hodran’ will probably change.

A grove of crystal trees in the planet’s southern hemisphere, the Aurora Wood is a sacred place to the Hodran species. It is the only location on Hodra (outside of its volcanoes) where light shines. When a Hodran dies, their spirit wanders the surface of Hodra for a time. However, spirits eventually travel to the wood to rest. The crystalline trees of the Aurora Wood hold countless spirits within, and shaman can learn much through communicating with them. It is the final resting place of all Hodran.

During the First Contact (the Hodran’s name for their first war with the Horos) the Aurora Wood was occupied by the Horos as their main base of operations. General Capric believed that because the grove was both intact and uninhabited before their arrival, the Hodran would not attack the base with anything larger than a strike force for fear of damaging the trees. In addition, the trees gave off a bright glow that would allow his soldiers to see more clearly while keeping the Hodran wary.

AuroraWood

The Aurora wood features prominently in the first part of the Chronicles of Hodra, and I got stuck during a scene i was writing on it. So I decided to sketch it out, get a general feel for where everything is in the story. And then I realized I was late on writing a blog post and owed you guys a story update.

The tiny circles are the crystal trees mentioned above. The bigger circles with giant lines coming out of them (that look kind of like broken lightbulbs) are the regular trees… the ‘regular trees’ for Hodra, anyway, which are more like skyscrapers than trees. The things that look like corn feeders are watch towers. (There’s probably a few more than are sketched here), but the ones that are sketched here have spotlights). The boxes with Zs on them are mechs (stands for Zodia).

In the scene I’m stuck on, the Hodran are leading an assault on the Horos base. The story is told partly through the eyes of a Horos soldier, but I had no idea how the space the Horos was in related to the Hodran or where their patrol would be. I decided eventually that the Hodran would go in in a way that they were sure would avoid the mechs – namely, a cluster of crystal trees too close together for the mechs to maneuver properly. See those triangles in the bottom left? Those are Horos and Copai, on patrol. They’re a bigger force than usual since A) [redacted for spoilers] and B) they can’t get mechs in there.

In the center is a massive crystal tree (I’ve got a role in mind for it, but I haven’t decided if it’ll serve a role in this particular book) and a Horos Gate, a rather advanced piece of tech that plays a heavy role in the story

Hope this bit of world-building was worth the minute or two it took to read =) Yes, I am fully aware it’s odd to call it the ‘Aurora wood’ when the trees are crystal, not wood.

(oh, and the text you see there on the right is from the back of the page. They’re notes on the forest itself.)

Story Update: First Rough Draft Complete!…..ish

I posted a few months ago that I was at the climax of the first rough draft of my novel (possibly third, depending on how you look at it) and thought I was close enough to talk about my thoughts on the process. It seemed reasonable at the time – after the climax, there were only two more scenes to write and finish up.

I only just finished it on the fifth.

So… yeah. It’s done now.

So, while I’m waiting for word from a friend (who created the creatures the Horos are based on) my thoughts on how it is so far: it’s a complete and total mess. There are entire scenes that are just summarized or missing entirely and throughout the entire document are notes on things to improve and work on. There’s even a few scenes that are completely blacked out because that’s how utterly STUPID they are.

I like how the epilogue turned out, and the overall storyline is still good, but it’s going to need at least two more drafts, possibly more. I’m not sure if I’ll post excerpts from it (some publishers have rules about how much you can post of something in another location) but if I do, I’ll start with that.

The current story is a mess, but it’s a good mess. It’s got a whole bunch of ideas sitting there, just begging to be polished into something a reader would salivate over. I’m confident I can get it polished out into something special. Heck, I’m not even sure I’ll end up publishing it if my friend decides my ideas borrow from his too heavily. I might just put the whole thing up on my blog when it’s done.

All questions for later, though. For now comes the second rough draft.

Story Update

Okay. So… This blog is supposed to tell stories and stuff. So why am I posting political crap?! Where are on Earth are the stories?! Figured I’d give you all an update on those.

Well, I’ve actually got most of Lord of Change written out now, mostly all I’ve got left is formatting and one last run-through to make sure the whole thing makes sense before I schedule all the posts… we’ll probably start the tale of Ouran and Sihlk either Friday or Tuesday, and I’ll shoot for the former. (Since individual parts are relatively short I’m still debating whether or not it would be a good idea have that story update every other day and then switch back to Tuesday/Friday when it’s done). If not, I have a back-up post ready and waiting. Then I’ll continue the tale of Dawn and her daughters, hopefully concluding their little escapade (… that I’m starting to think I should’ve left in draft until all three parts were done) By the time that’s done, I’ll probably have some excerpts from my book for you all, or some more headcanon posts. If not, there’s an Inquisition scene I’ve wanted to write since it first popped into my head that I’ll be typing up.

On the book itself: progress has been… well, slow. I doubt it could be going much slower, in fact. But it IS going, and when I send the book out to an editor (and the friend who came up with the precursor to the Horos) I’ll be sure to update you all on that and how it’s going.

Thank you all for your patience – it means a lot to me that you continue to follow/read.

(Happy birthday to me, by the way.)