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.

Prompt: HarsH ReaLiTy Flash Fiction Challenge Part 2 of 2 – Destroy your City

“Take the city you built in part 1 and destroy it in whatever manner you please.” –HarsH ReaLiTy

CRACK

The frozen city’s only warning.

The ice that surrounded and encased the city began to shatter and break as the enemy’s magic willed. In the senate, hundreds of empty balconies snapped from their resting places and tumbled down, crushing and shattering the others. Decadent old men in scarlet robes began to blame each other for the disaster as ice buried and killed them. Those with sense tried to flee, only to be crushed in the city’s collapsing tunnels.

The warehouse district’s frozen ground fell apart beneath it, and all of the city’s supplies collapsed inward. Underneath the district lay a lake forgotten by time, where the supplies fell and the people froze. Supplies were ruined beyond repair and food would come to spoil, not that anyone would be alive to try to claim the ruined goods in any case.

The market took the longest to collapse, and so the people within were foolish enough to try to flee. But the tunnels that led out collapsed upon the peoples, and their blood seeped from their now caved-in entrances before the walls came down as well and crushed those who tried to flee. Those still in the market would soon die as well, however, for the market’s structures both wood and brick and stone were brought down to pile on the poor citizens of the city of ice.

The military district sounded the alarm, and gathered as many as it could to save. However, the tunnels to the other districts collapsed too quickly for their efforts to save the city. The ice on the outer walls fell and crushed the outer buildings. Those in the atrium gathered in the center and waited for their inevitable demises, trying not to listen to the screams.

The Housing section had the worst of it. Filled to the brim with icy spires and pathways, what didn’t shatter like glass was broken apart by what did. Thousands died in an instant as their homes collapsed around them. Still thousands more fell to their deaths as the pathways they walked across crumbled beneath them. A great spire fell and crashed into the ice wall of the atrium.

At the end of the horrible day, only three dozen citizens remained to carve an exit, and only 14 lived long enough to leave.

And through it all, Gioco, god of order and ice and the supposed protector of the city, was nowhere to be seen.

Prompt: HarsH ReaLiTy Flash Fiction Challenge Part 1 of 2 – Create a City

“The challenge is to create a city in 1000 words or less. It can be a city in any time or place, real or fantasy, and as much of the city should be revealed in those 1000 words as possible.” –HarsH ReaLiTy

Wish I’d found out about this a week ago.

The city was carved within a colossal block of ice, once a mighty glacier frozen by the powers of Gioco himself. Within the ice, tunnels and passageways twisted and wound their way through like an anthill. Strangely, the ice did not melt, and so did not provide as slippery a surface as one would imagine. At the center lay five massive atriums, one at each compass point and the center. At the southern position, the first was covered in housing. Bridges and pathways honeycombed throughout this atrium to the various dwellings carved into the walls and the homes in many of the massive spires of ice. The citizens of Liraheim went about their daily business here in their strange, exotic animal skin clothing that seemed to cover far too little for the climate, simply chatting and living their lives.

The second was the senate seat, in the northern position, and this was perhaps the most grand of the five atriums. On the walls were small balconies with the seats for each of the empires 20 territories, and room for several thousand more. At the center was a massive throne, on which rested the king, with his crown of ice. Old men in rich, dark red robes bickered and yelled in this room at all hours of the day, some leaving in the middle of a speech or debate and coming back later through the pathways behind the seats. On the center of the throne sat Gioco, god of ice and order, who would occasionally decree his will and force the senators’ silence.

The third atrium, in the eastern position, contained a bustling marketplace, and was one of the few chambers not entirely composed of ice. The people of the city bustled about with their purchased goods as merchants shouted out their wares. Most of the stalls were selling some sort of food, but there were goods from all across the world in this place.

The fourth atrium was the military district, in the central position. The entire structure was placed into a grid pattern, with the four largest roads going to each of the other four atriums. They were the only way into the atrium, and each was both gated and guarded. The district was arranged into a mighty castrum, with the district laid out into a grid. The final atrium, at the western position, was a massive warehouse district used for storage.

The people here are grimy and rough, but also friendly and warm. They have nothing to fear from you here, and so they do not. Drunken brawls in the street are common, and occasionally there is even a church. There are altars in every alley, but no actual churches for dedicated worship. The city sparkles in the daylight like a cavern made of stars, and at night it shines the silver of the moonlight.