Thursday, December 13, 2012

Emma, pt. 16

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, pt 1.


Sil’s feet made no noise as he walked through the wet grass. Emma lightened her step to match his so her own feet slid over the damp ground noiselessly. The light of the fire behind them was a harsh glare on an otherwise dark landscape. 

A cold breeze raised goose-pimples on her arms, and she regretted leaving her jacket in the tent. 

Sil lead her down a slope so the camp was above them. Tents and horses vanished over the lip of the hill, followed by the fire so only an orange glow in the air remained. He kept walking, not speaking, keeping his eyes on his footing. When even the faint light of the fire began to fade, unease rippled through Emma’s gut. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Emma, pt. 15

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, pt 1.


The storm that threatened all day never came. The bloated, grey clouds dropped little more than the annoying spray that followed them to the campsite. 

The sparse trees vanished entirely and gave way to a grassy field. On the horizon Emma could see some huge red formation of rock, dark and shadowed on such a day. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Emma, pt. 14

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, pt 1.


The bow Emma held was smooth, the wood flexible. She’d been surprised; the bows her father had taught her to use were smaller and more rigid. This bow would allow her to hit a target farther away, but it would also require more control and strength to use.

Sil crouched silently next to her, watching the far field as he aimed his bow.

When Emma had asked if she could learn to use the larger bows she’d expected Lison to teach her. She imagined his arms wrapped around hers, helping her aim the bow; she’d pictured his fingers brushing against hers as she worked the tight string. 

When she proposed it he agreed it was a good idea for her to learn, but confessed to being a horrible shot. So Emma now found herself out in the woods with Sil, hunting kinibs.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emma, pt 13

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, pt 1


“The dwin hero of our tale doesn’t make her appearance at the start. Instead we first meet the crafter Raycole. She was a legend in her time, her skills unmatched.”

“How come only the crafters in stories can do anything impressive?” someone whispered.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Emma, pt. 12

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, pt 1


The warm, heady smell of roasting meat filled the camp. Rilen and Emma worked together to set up the tent they would share. Rilen taught Emma the best way to pick a spot and the proper order for setting the stakes and hanging the cover. Though Rilen had never been as far as Blue Coast, she had traveled some with her brother, and learned a few things about being on the road.

When they finished they sat inside the tent and Emma told Rilen about her race with Lison. Rilen seemed nervous just hearing about it and quickly changed the topics to the journey ahead of them and what she expected Blue Coast to be like.

“Between here and there you must try riding Juniper. It is so amazing.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emma pt. 11

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


Learning to control the horse with the reigns and with her legs didn’t take Emma as long as she would have guessed. Before they were even out of the valley she was able to stop Juniper, maker her go forward, and change how fast she trotted.

In the saddle Emma could not feel Juniper’s movements as she had the night she rode with Lison, but it was easier to hold herself in place on top of the horse. While holding the reins in one hand, Emma stroked Juniper’s mane with the other, gently patting the horse on the neck.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Neither man spoke as their horses walked side by side up the twisting mountain road. 

The taller man, with short black hair and a beard that needed trimming, watched ahead at the edge of the trail.The blond man was twisted, examining the contents of a saddlebag, his curly hair bouncing next to his face. Behind him, slung over the horse and tied down with strong leather straps, was a suit of armor; the full moon and a field of stars were reflected in its polished surface. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ice pt. 2

Want to start at the beginning? - Ice, Part 1


She didn’t believe her father when he said the keep was close. Perched on the bench of the wagon all she could see in any direction were trees and snow. Behind the wagon, in a long train that reached so far back she couldn’t see the end of it, was her father’s household staff and the carts and wagons that carried their cargo to his new home. 

Her father was mounted on his great black and white steed talking to his Marshal, sometimes tossing his head back to address his children in the wagon. 

“The first order of business will be to make my presence and character known to the people.” 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Emma pt. 10

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


The lamps in her room cast dim light against the stone walls. It was impossible to tell if it was day or night, one of the things Emma had always hated about her room.

She sat on the bed, her legs crossed, her hands in her lap. She’d tried to sleep, but after a fitfully tossing about for what felt like hours, she decided to wash and dress and wait for the morning.

The side of the oil lamps had lines along them, designed to tell the time as the oil slowly burned. Dawn was near, according to the lamp, and soon she would be gone.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Emma pt. 9

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


All the Overseers took their seats.  Eibe sat in the far right chair. To his left was an old woman, bent with age and wearing a gray and white wrap. On the far left was a man with a long braided beard and deep red robes.

The proceedings passed so quickly Emma was amazed.  The Assembly was called to order and contract negotiations began. In the past her time watching the Assembly had felt unending, each speech and motion taking what seemed to her to be hours. But today it all rushed by, four contracts were awarded before Emma had mentally rehearsed her speech once. She did not know if the world was moving quickly, or if her own mind was dragging slowly.

Emma pt. 8

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


Emma wasn’t sure if the chill that ran through her as she entered the hall was due to the cold shadows or her own uncertainties. A steady trickle of people followed behind her, each moving quickly to their seats. She lingered in the open entryway, feeling out of place, and worried that people might be staring at her.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ice pt. 1

He stood at the river’s edge more often than his brothers or sisters.  The others tried to stay back, hidden in the trees, but he liked to watch the small forms travel down the distant road. 

The river was still, the rapids frozen in place, white heads of foam suspended in air as they bounced over huge boulders.  It ran on for miles, a long strip of blue-white cutting through the snowy ground.

Deep below the frozen surface water still ran, a slow trickle that caused strange sounds to echo up through the ice. Pops and cracks and moans rang through the open expanse, carried by the rock walls on either side of the snowy field. Those who travel the road could hear it, even from so far away.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Emma pt. 7

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


The Laudriel estate and the Velshin field it boardered rested on the upper slope of the dwin valley. From the front door of the estate, a huge archway carved out of the rock face, Emma could see the valley spread before her. The sky was clear and bright, the sun just rising over the eastern edge of the valley.

The upper slopes of the valley were mostly fields and farmland, varying shades of green in a patchwork pattern. Other estates were scattered throughout, but none were built fully into the mountainside like the Laudreil estate. They spilled out of the stone, gray against the green fields that surrounded them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Emma pt. 6

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


The pages of the book were brittle, stiff and brown from age.  She turned them carefully, holding the cover of the book in one hand so as not to stretch the binding open too far. 

Each morning after breakfast she was to dedicate her time to reading and study. When she was younger her mother hired tutors to guide her studies, but now she was able to pick what material she desired. She often used the time to daydream about travel and about cities beyond the valley that held the small dwin homeland.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Emma pt. 5

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


Rilen led the way as the girls crossed the Velshin field back to Emma’s home. On each side of them ancient dwarves loomed above. Some had their hands on their hips, resolute, others worked tools and trades, their large, dexterous hands carved in such detail that one could imagine they would return to fluid movements at any moment.

“So are you going to do it?” Rilen finally asked when they’d walked almost half the way back without a word.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Emma pt. 4

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


The quick gallop back to the camp was, if anything, better than the first one.  Emma felt like she was flying, like nothing in the world could block her. The liberating feeling she had always dreamed would come from riding a horse was nothing compared to the actual thing.  It seemed like her whole body was vibrating, ready to move and keep moving forever. 

When she finally saw the small fleck of camp light in the field she was tempted not to tell Lison so they could just keep going, but he saw it moments after she did and slowed Juniper so they could trot back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Emma pt. 3

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


It was hard to gauge how fast they were going.  With the moon and stars still hidden behind clouds, Emma, even with her dwin eyes, could barely make out the rocky field around them or the dense forests beyond.  The features of the landscape faded into black a short distance from them, making it seem as though they were completely alone in some dark world.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Emma pt. 2

Want to start at the beginning? -  Emma Part 1

Emma had seen horses before, with human riders as they passed through Paldurain. The dwin of the city had always shied away from them, giving the large animals a wide berth as they traveled the ornate, stone-paved streets of the city.  Dwin held to the dwarven belief that animals were meant for laborious work, not for riding, and so had no horses.  Instead they bred large plow animals to help seed fields and pull carts of ore and stone.

Emma had ridden one of those, thanks to a permissive herdsman.  The animal was clearly uncomfortable with her on its back, and she had a hard time keeping her balance with her short legs wrapped around it.  It had been fun, a small adventure, but what she really longed for was to mount a horse and fly across the land, faster than she’d ever gone before.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Emma pt. 1

Her silk shoes made no noise against the carved stone floor.  She clutched her small bag to her chest, glancing from side to side in case someone saw her out of her chambers this time of night.

Her family’s home was in the old dwarven style; carved out of the mountainside.  The walls of the house were sheer rock face. The furniture, tables, chairs, even lamps, did not rest in the room, they were rock extending out of the floor and ceiling.  Emma’s mother boasted that they were the only noble dwin family in the Paldurain court that lived like proper dwarves.