So, I thought I'd keep this separate from the Inspiration Thread based on my science-fiction stuff. I may not have announced this before, but... I did finish my first fantasy book a little while ago. Like a year ago, haha. And so what is the next step for me, you might ask? Well, learn lessons from the experience, make changes, and eventually tear it down and start again and implement those new lessons learned. Of course, it maybe a little weird to completely start over, but I suppose I had an influx of new ideas recently, which I could incorporate much better from the beginning.
So far, I'm about 20,000 words into my new work and still going strong. A Storm That Reaves
, is the name in progress so far. What is it about, you might ask? A Storm That Reaves focuses on the perspective of two young members of the Lani elves. Lrian, a half-blood that has spent most of his life in the mining slums of the Crystal Caves of Kayedr(and also well-practiced in a certain school of magic), finds himself at a crossroads when he ambushed by his younger kindred in the slums of Kayedr. Things quickly escalate out-of-hand, elven children are scorched onto death, and Lrian is eventually forced to flee his homeland and into the greater wilderness of the Jumerith Conclave. The second character is a young lass by the name of Shanna, a farmer's daughter with an ambition of joining the renowned Sentinels of the Woodland Realm.
I haven't exactly pieced together how these two stories are intertwined, but I'm going for something along the lines of 'Jumerith is invaded, Shanna participates in her first battle, is critically wounded and taken prisoner, and eventually shipped oversees into the kingdom of her peoples' mortal foes. Lrian will eventually find himself there for other reasons, but the two eventually team up and become the bodyguards of a Princess-who-is-also-a-kick-ass-mage.
Oh, and then there will be a civil war breaking out there, or at least, that is how I imagine it for the moment. Things could still change, so we'll see!
Anyhow, here is a little something from what I'm currently working on:
Home at Noon Hearth
Shanna tread upon the Road of Hearth Grove that wound between beautiful terraced gardens. Tiers of budding rose thorn bushes grew beneath shedding petals of lovely violets. Here and there, hanging vines snaked their way down the terraces, but never becoming invasive of any one of them.
Lofty and elegant cabins of hewn lumber built over granite were tucked away beneath the shade of ancient oaks. Small observatories and watchtowers sprouted from their roofs like their smoking chimneys. Fathers and their sons gathered on their front porches, exchanging light conversation over some pipe weed. Meanwhile, the scent of cooked herbs and spices wafted in the breeze.
Noon Hearth. A small village in the Province of the Gloom Wood. Shanna had lived here all of her life, could count the eight hundred other faces that also dwelled here from memory. An insignificant little mark on the Jumerith Conclave, near the southern coast of the Void Sea.
It was not much, but there was something about the familiarity of everything that comforted Shanna.
Shanna slowed as she approached another garden. This one was overflowing with sunflowers and daisies. She moved off of the road and onto a small cobblestone trail that snaked up a small, gentle hill toward a familiar cabin.
“Aera?” Shanna pushed the heavy oak door aside.
She stepped into a small hallway of cold granite, flanked by walls of cherry oak wood. Old paintings of ancestors hung proudly around the corridor, flanked by smoldering candles held by small circular sheets of stone built into the walls. The hall branched into multiple paths toward the end and opened up into other rooms spaced throughout. Immediately, Shanna was greeted by a small spiral wooden staircase that would lead to her room.
“Anyone home?” Shanna called. “I’m sorry I’m late.”
A face of steely grey skin and long lockes of golden blonde hair stuck out from one of the rooms. “What in all the heavens kept you so late? I was getting worried about you.”
Shanna smiled as she proceeded up the stairs. “The mentor kept us behind for some early lessons.”
“Early lessons?” Aera emerged into the corridor. “Does that mean he’ll train you?”
Shanna leaned over the stairwell to get a good look at her. She was dressed in a white night gown, embroidered in gold. A cloak of fine bear skin draped her shoulders and came down to her feet.
Shanna nodded, enthusiastic. “Training begins at sunrise.”
“Oh, merciful goddess, yes!” Aera squealed. She balled her hands into fist beneath her chin. “With an actual job that fetches a good price, you’ll have your own home in no time!”
“Is that all you’re worried about, mother?” Shanna stuck out her tongue. “I’ll be on the road too much to settle down!”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Shanna.” Aera made an imaginary flick on her daughter’s nose. “You can only live once. With an attitude like that, you could be buried far from home! Remember to keep yourself alive.”
Shanna sighed and made her way upstairs. “I know, mother, believe me.”
Aera’s voice called after her. “Your friends came around here, by the way. They said that they were going to the Crowned Elk Tavern. Maybe you could still catch them there?”
Shanna rushed back downstairs and toward the door. “Thanks, mother!”
A baritone and rich voice echoed from behind Aera. “Hey, try not to drink too much, Shanna!
Aera countered. “She’s old enough to have a few rounds, Renali.”
Shanna paused at the door. “Oh, hello Renali! We should talk about my sword and arrows the next time you’re working at the smithy.”
Only Renali’s hand waved through the door. “Meet me after your training.”
Shanna pushed open the door again and stepped out into the night.