Archive for December, 2007
Ha ha look I stole a Stephen King book’s title. My wit is without peer.
As Inigo Montoya would say “Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
You may have noticed that I haven’t been updating recently. There are several good and several not-as-good reasons for this. But I’m not here to make excuses. Well I sort of am, but I think you know what I mean.
First of all, I’d like to say that there will probably not be any more predictable updates until the new semester starts at Purdue.
Secondly, I’d like to give you a little insight into the why.
The chapters of Aldain that get posted on this site are about halfway between a first draft and a second. Before typing a chapter up, I write it out by hand in a notebook. This is typically done during particularly boring lectures, before class, between classes, while I eat, etc. The one thing that is common to almost all of my writing environments is ambient people. I don’t care for noise, and a small group of people usually will prevent me from writing, but give me a big group of strangers and I’m good to go. Quiet, noisy, somewhere in between–it doesn’t matter. I just need to have people around me–people that I, for the most part, don’t know–in order to write. It’s weird, but that’s the way it is.
When I’m on campus, I can achieve that very easily. When I’m not, or when it’s a time that I’m not on campus a lot, like finals week, I don’t get much writing done. And that, faithful readers, is why I need to be at Purdue to write any more of my serials.
That said, I do have a few exceptions. There may well be times when I have a piece of writing ramble out of my head. In the event of that happening, I’ll post it over at Words of the Drewcifer, my literary clusterfuck of a blog.
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
-The Drewcifer6 comments
Finals are still kind of kicking my ass and this 3-day arc is a little harder to write than I expected. I’ll post it and backdate it as soon as it is ready. Sorry to disappoint any potential fans. I know some of you may have just gotten here from Pages Unbound and I hope this doesn’t turn you off of the site too much, but it’s just bad timing.No comments
Sorry for the delay. Monday’s Aldain update will go up along with the scheduled Wednesday one sometime tomorrow. I apologize for the lateness, but it is Finals Week here at good ol’ Purdue University, so I kind of have an excuse. I’ve missed the last two Solomon updates, but Solomon 11 should go up for sure this Sunday. Really. I mean it this time.
Okay bye.No comments
Maguerite meets me at the launchpad on the continent’s edge.
Our nation is not the only one orbiting the planet. The sky is dotted with the magical beacons of freighters and transports flowing freely between the Earth and the so-called “sky-realms.”
“It’s beautiful,” I say, looking down at the World.
“Yes,” agrees Maguerite from beside me. Turning to me, she asks “Are you ready?”
I nod. “Stay strong for me, Maguerite. With me gone, the Mistress will be relying on you for magics. Don’t let her down. Remember the place you can get to from our quarters. Leave messages you have for me there and I will retrieve them.”
“You’ll come back to us, right?”
“I always have.”
We stand in silence for a while, looking at one another. Finally I step onto the pad. Maguerite starts towards the control console, then doubles back and throws her arms around me, whispering a single sentence in my ear. She then scurries to the panel and inputs the sequence that will allow me through the shields.
Not sure how to react to Maguerite’s message at the moment, I do what I always do to cope: I focus on the task at hand as best I can. I chant a few syllables to focus the magic I need. A soft glow radiates from me as I am encased in a protective magical shell.
With no further warning, I launch. There is no perceptible acceleration; one moment I am standing on the launchpad, the next I am streaking towards Earth with incredible speed.
I feel the intense heat straining my protective layer of magic as I hurtle through the atmosphere. I could have used a spell to prevent the friction of reentry altogether, but the spectrum created by the extreme temperatures on my shield is an exhilarating sight which I rarely have the pleasure of experiencing.
Just before impact with the ground, I stop as abruptly as I began. I slowly rotate in the air, righting myself and getting my feet under me. I gently float the remaining inches to the ground, and the magic around me dissipates.
In my mind I can still hear Maguerite’s whispered parting words.
“I never stopped loving you, Aldain.”2 comments
Once in my room I turn my attention to the remains of the demirealm I left behind. Reaching out with my magics, I can see the landscape clearly in my mind’s eye. The demirealm is now nothing more than a vast sea with an immense crater at its center. Water is rushing to fill the void left by the landmass.
With a thought I end the demirealm. I feel a rush as its power enters into me, the magic hot and real and almost tangible in my soul. It’s a feeling I never tire of.
Just as I finish undoing the demirealm, a knock comes at my door.
“Come in,” I say, unlocking the door with a gesture.
The door swings open to reveal Captain Nelfas.
“Sorcerer,” he says to me, briskly stepping into my quarters. “The men are getting anxious.”
Something isn’t right here. One of my wards is instilling in me a deep sense of uneasiness. I’ve always found it to be far more subtle and effective than an alarm anyone can hear.
“They want to know when-”
“Captain Nelfas,” I say with a nod, cutting him off. He’s confused, and rightly so. I’ve interrupted him with what is typically a greeting.
“Sorcerer?” he says, befuddled.
“We have a guest,” I say, gesturing behind him.
Nelfas turns, confusion transitioning seamlessly into a sneer of disdain as he sees who it is.
“Gerran,” he says, not bothering to conceal the distaste in his voice.
As usual, Gerran is visibly ruffled by the omission of his title when he is addressed. I’m somewhat disappointed that our Mistress opted not to kill him after all.
“Come now, Captain Nelfas. Let’s show Overseer Gerran the respect he deserves.” Gerran brightens at my use of his title. Pathetic scum. “What can I do for you, Overseer?”
Gerran bows low to me. “Sorcerer, I came to congratulate you on your successful execution of the sequence and wish you good fortune in your errands planetside.”
“Thank you, Overseer. Now if you’ll excuse us, Captain Nelfas and I need to discuss some solutions to morale issues in the Royal Guard.”
“Of course.” Gerran bows again then scampers away down the hall.
“What did he really want?” Nelfas asks as I close the door behind him.
“Probably just trying to ingratiate himself with the Mistress’s Proxy. Worry about it later. What did you have to say to me?”
Nelfas bows his head. “Sir, the men are becoming impatient. They want action. They want revolution.”
My demeanor turns cold. “Stifle such thoughts, Nelfas. If I hear any sort of treason among the men, I’ll kill the offender myself. We cannot allow appearances to slip now.”
Nelfas is not pleased at my reaction, but he understands its wisdom. More than that, he trusts me to do right. He’ll always see me more as Commanding Officer than friend.
I continue. “While I’m gone you will be in command of the Royal Guard. Absolute discipline and continued loyalty to the Mistress must be maintained. Anything else will undo everything we’ve worked towards for six years. Can I count on you, Captain?”
“Yes, sir,” he says. “I won’t let you down.”
He turns to walk out of the room but stops just before opening the door and turns to address me.
“Give Maxwell Hell for me.”
“No one’s supposed to know about that. Who told you?”
Nelfas smiles grimly at me. “No one told me, sir. But I can only think of one reason you’d be taking the risks that come with carrying that sword.”
“Fair enough,” I allow. “But don’t spread the word.”
“Noted.” He leaves and I am alone with my thoughts for the next hour or so.3 comments
I close my eyes and release a small magical shock wave. This flashes on the table in the crisis room, letting Maguerite know I’m ready. Moments later, I hear Maguerite’s voice in my ear.
“Communication spells have been activated and keyed to your intent, Sorcerer.”
I am now in contact with Maguerite and the Wizard Corps. When I speak, my voice will be heard by whomever I intend it to be.
“Maguerite give me a full report of our status.”
“Internal magic levels of the demirealm are normal, aetheric interference is minimal. Your predictions for the window were perfect. The members of the Wizard Corps are spaced evenly around the perimeter of the continent.”
“Your spell is ready?”
“The link can be activated at any time.”
Excellent. I turn my attention now to the Corps. Formerly an elite unit under my command in the Carlisle Home Guard’s Magician Corps, now my Wizards serve as the magical regiment of the Royal Guard of our Mistress. They are good men, all of them.
When I next speak, I am audible to the whole of the Corps, though I address only their commander.
“Give me a full status update.”
“Sir,” he says. “The men are spaced, primed, and ready. You’re clear on our end to begin the spell at any time.”
“Maguerite,” I say, now audible to both her and the Wizard Corps. “You may conduct as soon as you are ready.”
What we are about to do is dangerous magic. A mind-ensemble without a good conductor can leave one or more of the participants unresponsive, their identity permanently subsumed into the meta-entity created by the spell. Fortunately for us, Maguerite is a superb conductor with considerable experience.
The spell begins.
I feel my power and personality rise and join with those of the Wizards and Maguerite, becoming something greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Maguerite conducts the direction and flow of the groupthink, the groupmind. She brings my mind to the surface, putting me in control of the sum of our magics. The Wizards are extensions of me, like fingers or toes.
Under my control, they act as one, activating the shield that will contain the demirealm’s atmosphere. And now we are ready. As one, every Wizard in the Corps joins me in casting a massive transport spell. Our continent is ripped free from the demirealm and hurled through the aether. Collapsing the remainder of the demirealm will have to wait; I don’t want the Corps to know about that trick just yet.
Before my eyes can even begin to cope with the madness that is the human mind staring into the Meta-space of the aether, Maguerite takes the reins of the spell, instantly shunting us into our home realm. To Earth.
The spell ends. For a moment I feel an immense loneliness overtake me as the connective being, the synergy, is ended. The emptiness quickly passes and my breath catches as I look out the window. Looming on the horizon is the sight of the Earth from orbit. Of home. A quick glance of the continent with magesight confirms that the wards and seals are at full strength. The hard vacuum of space will not be harming us anytime soon, nor do we have much to fear from an enemy attack.
I turn and bow to my Mistress.
“It is done, my Lady.”
“Excellent work, Sorcerer. You may have a two-hour rest period before you depart,” she says as if doing me an enormous favor.
I bow again, deeper this time. “You are most gracious, Mistress. I shall return to my quarters and ready for my departure.”
“Very good. Go on then, Sorcerer.”1 comment
Aldain 16 is written and will be typed and posted rather later tonight. Solomon 11 is almost ready to post and will be backdated for Sunday when it goes up. This is because I like the patterns my posts make on the calendar.
The reason that I’m a little late is that I was rather sick last night. I won’t go into details, but I’ll say that I was in no condition to type.No comments