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Sunday Scribble — “Adapted”

Adapted

While the manner in which the party was constructed was a bit odd – really, who thought it best to put up a scribbled sign in the village square to find companions for an adventure? – it at least provided me with an out. An out of the village, an out of the rut my life had become, an out to find somewhere in the world where I could grow.

It was a motley crew at best, a haphazard assortment just waiting to implode at worst. I stood in the threshold of the meeting room, the borrowed storage place of the village’s tavern, and glanced around. There were a trio of broad-shouldered men, somewhat on the shorter side, with brilliant beards and large hands holding onto axes and hammers. The dwarves were speaking amongst themselves, but not bothered by anyone else hearing if their volume was anything to judge by. I wondered why dwarves were so far from their cavern homes, sure that they usually lived in the north.

A man was in the corner, staying so silent and standing so far into the shadows that I nearly missed seeing him. His arms were crossed, the visible fingers fidgeting as much as the hat upon his head was twitching. I talked myself out of marching over and snatching the hat away to see what lay beneath, my curiosity wavering at the sight of the pointed daggers at the man’s waist. I was sure the blades were not just for show.

A red-orange light zipped by my ear on the way into the room, sparkles of the same color marking a trail as it flew along, until it settled atop of a bare spot on the shelf tacked to the western wall. Before my eyes, the light grew into a glow before shaping a child just sitting there with her legs swinging below her seat. Her skin was dark, a sharp contrast to the mass of hair and wide eyes that had matched her sparkles. She gazed around the room with an excited grin, unable to keep a giggle here or there from slipping out.

A slender figure, at least part elf with the point of the ears, the angled eyes, the lean arm muscles, lounged on the solitary chair in the room. The strap of a quiver crossed over the figure’s chest while a bow of curved metal leaned against the chair. Those eyes caught mine as they roamed around the room. Briefly, we gave each other a nod, seemingly understanding that we were two of the most sensible of the gathered lot.

“Are you responding to the ad from the square as well?”

I brought my attention to the young man in front of me, his face smooth, lightly tanned, barely looking as if he had ever been out of the village let alone the world. Still, he appeared to be taking this rather seriously, as there was no hint of mirth around him. No upward turns of the lip, no gleams of wanderlust in his dark eyes, no flush on his cheeks from anticipation.

I nodded in response and, when he asked for my name and skills, I flipped open to the appropriate page of my book of common phrases.

He frowned as he glanced at it long enough to comprehend the words that not only answered his question but also explained that I was born without a voice. “A Runekeeper? How can you be a Runekeeper if you cannot speak?”

He was blunt, I would give him that. He was also lucky I had been dealing with that kind of question all my life.

With years of practice, I snapped my common phrase book shut, slipped it into its sleeve hanging on the left side of my belt, and brought out the book of thin paper from my right holster. A stick of coal helped me write my rune on a strip of paper before I ripped the parchment from the book’s binding and smacked the paper, coal marks facedown, against the wooden frame of the door.

Slowly, ivy vines sprouted from the paper, much to the cooing delight of the fairy, encompassing the parchment until it was dissolved completely from the rune’s workings. Greenery sprouted around the frame until the wood was merely the flowerbed for the ivy.

When the young man pulled his gaze away from the ivy, it was to see my common phrase book opened once more to the page that told him, “I’ve adapted.”

He gave one chuckle, his lips settling into a crooked grin as he said, “Welcome to the team.”

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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Scribbles

 

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Adventure

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Home

 

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Character Meme – Adventure Party

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Take a gaggle of your characters and throw them into a role-playing game world.

  • Cast them into their roles. Who would be the:
    • Swordsman
    • Healer
    • Sorcerer
    • Brawler
    • Archer
    • Thief
  • How would they all meet:
    • At a tavern, most likely getting into a fight
    • Rescuing one or two from a band of ruffians
    • Literally bumped into each other while at the market
    • Applied for the same mercenary guild
    • Try to seduce one another after one too many drinks
  • When they find someone in trouble, they:
    • Do their best to help
    • Would help if it benefits them
    • Have a heated discussion (or a round of rock-paper-scissors) to determine if they should help
    • Probably wouldn’t notice
    • Would be the ones causing trouble
    • Would be the ones in trouble
  • Together, their goal is:
    • Journey the land to see what can be discovered
    • Defeat an ancient evil
    • Conquer the world
    • Just survive, dammit
 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Home

 

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Adventuring Party

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Home

 

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Favorite Book Quotes

Enjoy this short collection of some of my favorite book quotes! Here’s hoping they inspire you to pick up a pen, a book, or the next part of your life’s journey!

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“But there’s nothing more profound than creating something out of nothing … That’s what makes a god—or a mother. There’s nothing more intoxicating than creating something from nothing. Creating something from yourself.”
— Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

“If you’ve a story, make sure it’s a whole one, with details close to hand. It’s the difference between a good lie and getting caught.”
— Tamora Pierce, Trickster’s Choice

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on on the story.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Home

 

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Short Story Sunday – “Go”

Go

“Go!” She shoved him when he didn’t move immediately. His feet caught up with his brain as he turned to run, her last word echoing in his mind.

Dale burst out of the meadow, wishing he hadn’t followed Mauve when he caught her sneaking out. It couldn’t be helped now, he supposed. All he could do was put as much distance between himself and whatever thing Mauve had found.

Wait.

Dale skidded to a stop and turned around, grumbling under his breath about what a jerk he was for leaving Mauve behind. He should go and rescue her. He owed it to her. If he hadn’t been skulking around behind her, that creature wouldn’t have spotted her. For all he knew, she could be ripped to shreds by now, but he needed to go and take the chance that he could still help.

He moved back toward the meadow, his sensible inner voice asking what he expected to be able to do. Mauve was an experienced hunter, one who was proficient with both a bow and a spear. She was capable at handling herself, much more capable than Dale was. All he could do was help out in the kitchens by mopping the floors, taking out the trash, and occasionally skinning a carcass.

Dale took out his small, skinning knife, fully prepared to stupidly ignore that sensible inner voice. He’ll probably be dead for doing so, but at least none of the other kitchen aids would be able to call him a coward any longer.

Stupid, yes, but not a coward.

He retraced his steps, finding simple clues as to where he crashed through the small woods that were a prequel to the meadow, and was soon sneaking around the edge of the meadow once more. There was Mauve, facing down the monster. It was as large as a bear with a wolf’s snarl and a dark lion’s mane framing its head. Dale had never seen anything like it, and if Mauve had, she didn’t show it. She was standing tall and proud, her spear in her left hand, staring squarely into the monster’s eyes. The pair was at a standstill, and Dale gripped the handle of his knife tight enough to turn his knuckles white.

Three… Two… One…!

With what he hoped was a fierce battle cry, Dale exploded from the woods and ran toward the monster with his knife poised to plunge into the beast’s head. He may have even been able to do it, too, if Mauve hadn’t stuck out her spear handle and tripped him. With a graceless flop, Dale face-planted into the tall grass, sliding to a stop right by the beast’s paws.

“I told ya to go.” Mauve’s growl sounded scarier than whatever sounds Dale could imagine the monster making as the hunter grabbed Dale by the shoulder to haul him to his feet. Mauve was right in his face, her eyes narrowed into a glare so dangerous that Dale was surprised she hadn’t impaled him with her spear already. “What did you come back for?”

“I, uh…” Dale realized that he had dropped his skinning knife somewhere when he tumbled. “I couldn’t leave you by yourself. I wanted to help! I wanted—Why are we still alive?” He glanced over at the monster, which was waiting patiently for Mauve to stop scolding Dale.

Mauve rolled her eyes and gestured to the beast. “This is Sage.”

“It has a name?”

“He has a name,” Mauve corrected. Dale turned to fully look at the beast, and Sage bowed his head in a greeting to the kitchen aid.

“You named him?” Dale asked, his voice cracking in a disbelieving squawk. “The master is not going to allow you to keep a pet, Mauve–”

I am no pet.

Dale jumped at the deep tone that had shoved the sensible voice out of his head. His eyes would fall out of his skull if he could widen them any further. “Did… Did you just–?”

Sage nodded. Yes. You human minds are quite simple to penetrate.

“Can you not do that?” Dale asked.

Sage’s lips curled back in a terrifying smile. I would not be able to communicate with you otherwise.

“Sage got separated from his tribe during that last storm we had,” Mauve said. “The rain caused the landslides around the mountain, cutting off the regular passes.”

Dale glanced back and forth between Mauve and Sage. “Okay… And…?”

“And I volunteered to help Sage find a way through,” Mauve said.

“Really?” Dale blinked then smiled. “That’s great, Mauve. I’m glad that the master is letting you do that–”

“The master knows nothing of this,” Mauve said, her voice as sharp as her gaze. “He will know nothing of this. Understood?”

Dale shook his head. “No, not understood at all! How are you going to help this beast—Uh, I mean, Sage with something like this without the master giving his permission?”

“I don’t mean to come back, Dale.” Her voice was resigned, almost apologetic.

“You don’t know what’s out there,” Dale argued, gesturing in the vague directions of the mountains. “How are you going to survive?”

“I’m going to take my chances,” Mauve said. “I’m a hunter. I can take care of myself, Dale. Whatever I don’t know about the wilderness, I will learn. I don’t want to be stuck behind a master’s walls anymore.”

Worry not for your friend, Sage said, capturing Dale’s attention. My tribe is honorable. We will aid Lady Mauve as thanks for her helping me to return home.

“Splendid,” Dale deadpanned. He rubbed the back of his head. “Mauve, I don’t like this plan…”

“If you had actually listened to me like you were supposed to,” Mauve said, “you wouldn’t have found out about it.”

“So you were just going to up and leave without saying good-bye?” he asked. She clamped her mouth shut and cast her gaze downward. “That’s what I thought.”

“I would have left a note or something–”

“I would have gone after you,” Dale said. “I know I’m annoying to you, like the brother you never wanted, but you’re my best friend in this place.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re not that annoying,” she said. “Unlike me, you actually have a chance to get a better life here. A kitchen aid today, the head of the kitchen staff tomorrow. I’ve heard our superiors talk about you, Dale. You’re obedient, you keep your head down, and you’re organized and friendly enough so the other aids don’t have a problem listening to you.”

Dale chuckled humorlessly. “Everything you do not want in a man.”

“Dale, I have nowhere else to go,” Mauve continued. “I came here to be trained as a hunter, and that’s it.”

“You chose that.”

“I thought it would give me more freedom in my life,” she said, “but I was wrong. I want to go out of the mansion grounds and to explore what else the world has to offer. Going with Sage gives me that chance, and I’ll be helpful to someone else than just as Master Jefferson’s spearhead.

“Please, Dale.” Mauve’s voice turned soft. “I need to live my own life. Please keep this to yourself and let me go.”

Dale took a deep breath and, ultimately, shook his head. “Mauve, listen,” he said. “If you leave, I can’t stay here, not with everything I know now. The master is going to look to me first after your disappearance is discovered, and I can’t lie. You know I can’t, I’m awful at it. Think of this, too. If I, a mere kitchen aid, was able to follow a brilliant hunter like yourself, who’s to say one of Master Jefferson’s guards can’t do the same? They could be hiding out in these woods right now.”

Some of the color drained from Mauve’s face, but Sage put his nose up in the air. I smell no one else besides us, if that is any comfort.

“Still,” Dale said, “it’s possible.” He looked to the hunter, seeing her bite her bottom lip and glancing off to the side, and Dale was satisfied that she was at least thinking about his words. “Mauve, I’m sorry, but you can’t leave.”

Why not accompany us? Sage said. Mauve looked up at the beast and Dale saw the excited sparkle in her eyes. Dale, on the other hand, suddenly felt cold.

“Dale, would you?” Mauve asked. “I know you could have a future here, but I wouldn’t want you to be in any danger because of me.”

“I, uh…” Dale took a step backwards. “It’s safe here–”

“And suffocating,” Mauve said. “There’s a whole world out there, Dale. Don’t you want to see it?”

“Not really,” Dale said. She sighed, and looked at Sage as if he could help.

Lady Mauve has promised to help me, the beast said, and I do not expect her to go back on her word. It would be simple for you to come with us. After all, mates should not be separated.

“What?” Mauve raised an eyebrow at Sage, and the beast looked at her with a similar expression.

Was that the incorrect term? Sage asked. With his worry for you, I had presumed—

“We’re not together like that,” Mauve said gently as Dale hoped the flush on his face would disappear soon from that blunder.

Nevertheless, the beast said, he obviously cares for you, and I doubt that he would give you away intentionally, Lady Mauve. Sage’s piercing gaze looked back at Dale, and the beast stood up to his full, imposing height. Is that not correct, Sir Dale?

Dale swallowed the sudden lump in his throat. “Yes, uh, no… I mean, that’s right, I won’t give Mauve away on purpose, but…” He coughed. “I know me. I can’t lie. I’m horrible at it, and the master knows that we’re friends, and he’d come to me first, I’m sure–”

It is settled, then. Sage sat back down. You will accompany us across the mountain range.

Dale found himself nodding. “Okay.”

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Scribbles

 

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