So I figured What the hell, and signed up for NaNoWriMo since I was doing it anyway.
I'm so going to BUST the meter this week and am no where finished with the story
Mind you this is a SEQUEL to the very first (and very TRITE) novel I ever wrote: Reunion of the Realms.
THIS is the Sequel: Realms of Rising Darkness: (I've grown a little as a writer in 10 years...)
Evil comes bearing a most innocent face.
It consumes and it shrouds and it multiplies troubles.
Unleashed it has been and by morning will double.
A plague in a fortnight.
A Curse in a Moon.
Eontobar must return and become our boon.
Not son of none as long have believed,
My light shines eternal in he, I conceived.
The Hilt lies in shadow, the darkness surrounds.
Protected in curses, so they guard the shrine grounds.
North you must fly, a battle awaits.
The light must strike first or all lost to the fates.
With the Master of Flame must go his Master of Earth.
The Raven Haired Mage and Brother Healer Good Mirth.
Four will go out yet Six will return.
First Comes the Blind Hermit whose senses are Stern.
Comes to, the Dark Seer, from which none can hide
Must leave on the morrow on foot with swift stride.
Time runneth short and all must abide!”
Both Grace and Willow collapsed and everyone left in the courtyard raced to their sides.
Calum and Rocky who had still been near looked to each other and were almost as pale as Saioshi.
No one as pale as Staven. “All my sons? ALL MY SONS?” Staven looked horrified and Calum laid a hand to his shoulder where Staven held an unconscious Grace in his arms.
“Papa, you heard her. We go we come back stronger. You tell the Mother ‘no’. You tell OUR mother ‘no’ for that matter. It came from her mouth!” Calum said and Staven was torn to shreds emotionally.
Gawen lay in Saioshi’s arms, looking bedraggled. “How on earth can he go on like this? He gets no rest!” Saioshi growled and Gawen just smiled and laid a hand to Saioshi’s cheek.
“Because we must Oon Mei Shacah. Because we must.” Gawen said his eyes drifting closed.
“Get him to bed, and all of you too. I’ll have some sort of map for you by morning. Aveanna!”
“I’m on it!” Aveanna called already running to the archive.
“Marissa! Go get them supplies from the kitchens. Get them four packs of rations they can carry, water, boots, everything they’ll need from the quartermaster!”
“Done!” Marissa said heading off in an opposite direction.
“I don’t see you boys going to bed. MOVE IT!” Taran said and Saioshi carried Gawen back to their grotto and Rocky and Calum blinked out of sight.
“Maker give me strength to send children out against these monsters.” Taran muttered as he picked up Willow to take her back to her garden. Once he had her in bed, he met David in the council chamber already keeping the chaos under control. When Taran broke the newest news bedlam ensued and David sank into a chair stunned. Not even forty-eight hours since Gawen’s revelations and suddenly war was already being waged in full. David said a silent prayer for his cousins and Saioshi, wishing them Godspeed in their quest.
“Saioshi found us wild onions and tuber roots.” Gawen said holding the pot in his hands and it was boiling merrily.
“Gawen is designated cook-fire. Pretty handy having matchstick with us eh?” Calum grinned as he watched Gawen’s hands glowing white-hot as he cooked their stew. He had a small skillet on his calves.
“I’ll say. Where do you want the meat?” Rocky asked and Gawen grinned.
“My hands are full, brown it on the skillet, don’t touch my legs, you’ll get burned. Get it brown then toss in the pot here, we’ll have a good stew.” Gawen grinned and Rocky chuckled as he cut up the meat and began cooking on Gawen’s legs.
“Sai, you’ll never have to worry about Gawen having cold feet in the night will you? He’s Toasty! I’m jealous!” Rocky called over and Sai came out of the cave chuckling.
“No. If he has cold feet, I’ll know he’s ill. Toasty is relative however. He’s currently our stove. I believe that classifies slightly higher than toasty at the moment.” Sai winked going upwind of the smell of meat and sitting down on the ground immediately sank in some roots. The entire lower half of his body looking like the trunk of a sturdy juniper bush. It was always unnerving to see a dryad half transformed.
“That just totally freaks me out every time you do that Sai. I always imagine it’s like unwinding my intestines or something.” Calum said as he finished his barrier and settled down beside Rocky who was adding the browned meat into the stew pot and then handed the skillet over to Calum.
“You get dish duty brother dearest.” Rocky grinned and Calum laughed.
“It figures.” Calum said walking over to a small fresh stream and washing the skillet before shrinking it back down and sticking it back in his pack. Rocky was stirring the stew in the pot in Gawen’s hands as Calum settled back down kicking off his boots and flexing his toes.
“This almost feels like camping with Papa when we were kids. Almost.” Calum said and Rocky looked at Calum like he’d grown two heads.
“Except of course, we transported where we wanted to go without having to walk our feet raw, we had a real fire and not a handy efreet, we didn’t have to stick up mage barriers other than to keep out mosquitoes. None of us could eat by sticking our toes; legs and peckers into the ground like a living topiary and naturally, the Tanaocktu were just those scary ghost stories over the fire. Other than that, yeah, this is a load of fun.” Rocky said sarcastically and Calum flicked a pebble at him while Saioshi laughed at the exchange and Gawen smiled amused at his brothers.
“Better than being a dumb ass. Okay, this is done I think. You can shut off the heat Gae.” Rocky grinned reaching for three bowls and dishing out the stew. Gawen set aside the pot and gratefully ate. Having his nose over the pot the entire time had made him ravenously hungry and they hadn’t had more than a few strips of jerky and nuts earlier for lunch.
The sun had set and inside the barrier it was still bright as midday with the mage globes Calum had hovering around like merry lanterns. The barrier obscuring the light so their campsite was screened from without and not calling any attention to themselves. The light was for security within the barrier only. The second line of defense after the barrier itself. Saioshi had gone quiet, his eyes closed as he sank into his ‘meal’. Gawen settling beside him with his bowl quietly to eat, a vine snaking it’s way around Gawen’s waist and Gawen smiled. Saioshi’s understated display of affection was touching. Even in a feeding trance, he still sought to give Gawen comfort with his presence. Rocky and Calum smiled over their bowls and just silently witnessed the exchange without comment.
Soul bonds were something even the Jeansai boys, who could and did make a joke over just about anything, rarely joked about, especially this bond. Newly matched and no time to enjoy the bond before the war had come upon them all suddenly. Neither Rocky nor Calum would dare belittle what little time Gawen and Saioshi had to show affection to each other.
Once everyone had finished eating, including Saioshi, Calum collected their bowls and repeated his washing duties while everyone moved to get settled in for the night. Rocky took the bedroll farthest back, Calum next and Gawen spooned up with Saioshi at the mouth and a thick wall of thorns grew up from the earth, sealing them inside with a rounded dome like cover, allowing Saioshi to lay virtually outside the cave on an earthen floor as opposed to a stone one. The thorny thicket penetrated deep enough to allow him safety, not even an ant was going to get through without his plants telling him something was amiss. This also allowed him to sleep connected to the earth by taking root. If he continued to take root as often as possible he could avoid having to go into a complete transformation to rejuvenate for several months. Total rejuvenation was a long process that lasted a full twenty-four hour cycle. He couldn’t afford that time, so whenever and wherever he could take a partial root he would; it would keep him healthy and strong and able to go as long as he was needed.
Gawen was so exhausted; he barely had the energy to give Saioshi a tender kiss goodnight before he was breathing deeply asleep. Saioshi was relieved, Gawen had not had a good night’s sleep in days and he truly needed it.