Fall of Kings: The Assembly

(Definitely have been working on this over the past few days. I have a very large chunk that is about to connect with this scene, but I’m still fiddling with some lines. Ne’ertheless, I wanted to put something up and cut it where it seemed appropriate.)

Gideon took a moment to greet each member by name as they approached. He knew them well from Jaster’s descriptions brought back from his frequent visits to Barrow, and took a short moment to clasp hands with each as they approached. Sebastien, the Conclave’s chief, a broad man with blacksmith hands and a face well accustomed to laughter and troubles. Carrigan of Peak’s Pass, hair streaked with frost. Pontificus the Exegetic, his hands even now flecked with bits of ink. Rigel of Bandersnatch, sword at his side and an ever-present spring in his step. Lorelai the Tacit and Fair Mercedes of Ubique rounded out the group. Six of the eight members of the Conclave were present – but there was an extra that Jaster had never mentioned.

She was a Western woman with her vivid green hair wrapped in a charming gray scarf. Warm brown eyes and an otherwise pleasant face thinned by time and strife would not have made her distinguishable on the streets… Except he knew that face, those eyes, the few strands of emerald that slipped from beneath the grasp of her scarf.

To his credit, Gideon contained his surprise with the exception of staring at her fairly intently.

The chief of the conclave, Sebastien, noticing Gideon’s particular attention, addressed him quickly. “Gideon, I speak for us all when I say what an honor it is to meet you in person. May I introduce our Lady Jocelyn, formerly of the West, who has come down for a few days from headquarters in Castleguard. I trust that she will be welcome for this meeting?”

Gideon’s tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. “Forgive me, my lady – were you not formerly the princess of the West?”

She nodded, bristling slightly. “I was, until my foolish brother decided that speaking the truth was a banishable offense.” The irritation in her voice was so familiar – except Gideon was used to it being directed at him.

“I was not aware that you were now laboring for the Northern resistance.” Gideon replied, a wave of weariness washing over him as he realized what he would have to do.

“It’s not that unusual. What happens in this kingdom affects my kingdom as well. If you would prefer that I not be present for this…” Jocelyn replied, furrowing her brow at his withdrawal.

Shaking his head, Gideon sighed – a low, mournful noise like the wind in the night. “No, my lady. This concerns you more than anyone. Please, let us sit.”

They filed around the table, Gideon taking the seat with his back to the fire. His face was cast into shadows, firelight gleaming in his choppy silver hair.

To the Conclave, he was an enigma. The hue of his hair and his demeanor of fatigue implied age and maturity, yet he was a solidly built and tall for a Northerner, with footsteps soft as a cat. His voice was slightly muffled by the mantle, yet still came through as strong and even. He projected an image of agelessness and confidence, yet his conflicted expression put them on edge. If even their mysterious benefactor was troubled by this news…

Gideon leaned forwards, scanning the eyes of each member of the Conclave as he mentally strung his words together, speaking steadily and earnestly. “Thank you for gathering so quickly. I hold each of you in the highest regard for all your sacrifice all these years. I know that you only have heard of me through deed and reputation.

“You don’t know that I love this nation with every fibre of my being, and that I seek not to restore this land to its former glory but to improve upon that, and for that cause I would not only die but live, live long and hard and cruel because to me these people, this land is worth it. You don’t know who I am just yet, but I must ask you to trust me, and to judge me by all I’ve done these past few years.”

He was silent for a moment, allowing his message to sink in. “The news I bear is dark; its implications darker still. I believe we might be able to prevent the intended consequences, but we must act quickly, while there is still time.”

“What foul message do you bear, Gideon?” Sebastien asked cautiously, folding his great arms over his chest.

Gideon knew no gentler way to say it. “The King of the West is dead.”

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Friendly Faces and Blackstone Halls

(Just because I seem to be doing a running thing here, here’s the next section of my NaNovel. It’s exceeded the bonds of November and is rampaging through 2013 already.)

They approached with whirl of cloak and flutter of mane, pursued by the terror that they were already too late. Gideon had enough presence of mind to draw his hood tight about his head and draw his mantle tight over the lower half of his face. Three days in the saddle left him with enough stubble to hint at the true colour of his hair – and that would draw attention unwanted even by their closest allies. Jaster rode forth ahead and as they approached the monastery gates, he called for an immediate audience with the abbot.

The guardian of the gate, dressed in humble robes of a friar, nodded gravely as he interpreted the code. He again dispatched two messangers; a young girl to ready the speaker to the Conclave, and a young boy to help the visitors with their horses and bring them inside.

Jaster snatched back his cloak from his head and shook loose his tangled red hair. The only ginger for one hundred miles quickly caught attention of the aide approaching him, who let out a cry of surprise.

“You must be Jaster! Why, what brings you to headquarters, and why like the usurpers’ hounds are on your heels?” The boy asked, gray eyes flashing with curiosity. Continue reading

Greetings from Novel-Land

(This is the next part of my NaNovel that I’ve been adding to every so often these past 10 days. Immediately follows the preceding post.)

They picked their way over rooftops and walls to where their horses lay in wait in the woods beyond the borders of the hall. Sprinting to their mounts, the two renegades lept into the saddle, dug their heels into their horse’s sides and made a swift getaway. As soon as they made their way to the main road, the race was on. Gideon and Jaster tore through the night like the Hunters themselves were at their heels. They drove their poor horses until froth came from their nostrils and their eyes rolled with wild exhaustion.

In the small hours of the morning, they sped past the border of the capitol province and entered a small village. Coming to an inn maintained by a friend of a friend, Gideon and Jaster trotted up to the stables and traded their stallions for the finest, freshest horses there. And so they passed the night, galloping over leagues and exchanging their exhausted steeds for fresh mounts when necessary, dropping a few gold pieces to smooth the difference when a groom was particularly attached to his steeds or doubtful of the quality of Gideon’s.

Dawn broke over the Western Wood. As they traveled northwards, the foliage became thicker as the dense woods gradually shifted from beech and aspen to fir and pines, whose close-knit branches interwove and held back the lightening sky. The thundering hooves along forest paths created a rhythm that went round and round in Jaster’s head until he knew neither time nor space, until all he had ever felt was the pounding beat and all he had ever seen was tree, tree, rock, tree, village, tree, stream, tree, new horse, tree. Continue reading

Real Street

(What follows is a huge dump of what’s been on my brain these past like 10 days and lurking for five months before that. Detour down heartbreakingly Real Street. And followed by a huge image dump. Post shortened for convenience.)

Sometimes I look at all the things I say I want to do and get overwhelmed by how very

very

very much I don’t even measure up to my own standard. Let alone God’s.

Grace, come find me in my moment of need. I feel like a failure sometimes (read: often) and though I know all-too well how very much is demanded of me, I can’t help but try to push those thoughts from my mind because I’m afraid of failure, of what other people think of me, of living at my full potential.

God help me, I am so afraid. I know what I’m called to and when I think about it my heart soars.. but when I see how little I have now and how much I fail with this little scrap I’ve been entrusted with.. my hopes come crashing down to earth once more. Continue reading

Excerpt from my NaNovel….

I take my 300 where I can get them. The following not quite supposed to make sense outside the context of the novel. Nevertheless… behold.

Moonlight spilled through the shredded drapery, which fluttered softly in the autumnal breeze, casting long, wavering shadows across the floor and over the motionless figure of the king, like avaricious fingers attempting to pull the corpse into the black.

Gideon stifled a bitter curse and settled for a sigh of resignation as he pulled his hand from the rapidly-cooling body. They were too late.

“Blood and sand; if that idiot had just listened, he’d be alive right now!” Jaster growled quietly.

“There’s nothing we can do here now. The counter-revolution must learn of this immediately if they’re going to react in time to prevent all-out war.” Gideon replied in a low, steady voice.

Jaster nodded. “Shall I arrange a messenger?”

“No. News of this nature demands a more personal touch. I think it’s time for the counter-revolutionaries to meet their benefactor, don’t you?” Something faint and warm reflected in his tone as Gideon stood and strode to the window, examining the ledge outside. It was no more than two hands in width and was slightly longer than the window was wide. However, the hall was as old as the kingdom itself and built of stones that had weathered the ravages of nature and time itself. The gaps between the stones were enough to form rough handholds… if the climber in question feared neither heights nor unfamiliar surface and could make a vertical descent of four stories in the dark. If, for example, they happened to have earned their living scaling masts and climbing ratlines sailing for the Pirate King. Continue reading

Homesickness/Jesus Swag

(Be forewarned: late nite posts might have the tendency to ramble and attempt magniloquence of prose that eventually flops like a dead fish. This one went a little longer than 300, so I trimmed it for a more pleasing view.)

 

There’s an odd mental transition that I’m sure everyone goes through as they enter their twenties. As home is no longer home. As the mechanics that turn the world begin to make sense, injustices and incongruities stand in stark, violent contrast against the backdrop of the world.

We were taught to play a game. To follow the rules. To play nice and share and not eat paste.

Now I enter the game as an independent player and I see how things ought to play out if everyone followed the rules – but our brokenness and wickedness cause each of the players to hoard for themselves. Which causes a finely-tuned system to break down and fall into disrepair as some parts of the system come crashing down on players who could easily be rescued by others, were they not too busy focusing on their own needs and desires.

The game is no longer a group effort with unified vision and purpose. It’s turned into a cutthroat free-for-all, where a roll of the dice determines whether a player is fated to luxury or poverty, extravagance or desperation. And the fate of the bankrupt of heart is often worse than the bankrupt of pocket.

The fall, the fall. My ears have been piqued to the groans of creation that cry out for the return of the coming King. Continue reading

What is this 30Days thing?

30Days for Discipline is my challenge started just because.

30Days is about not putting off until tomorrow the change I want today.

30Days is about pressing into God anew each morning and sharing about it at night.

30Days is about YOU. It’s about ME. It’s about NOW.

Because why not?

In the spirit of People of the Second Chance’s NoQuitMonday, here’s some inspirational typographical eyecandy.


BAM! Don’t quit. Discipline starts when the fun stops.