Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rage

There are two segments of ‘Escape’ in today’s post as without the first, the second, which is the extract I would like to bring to you with regard to 'Rage', won’t make much sense. 
[Continuing the theme of my Epic Fantasy, ‘The Daighacaer’ (“Day-gar-care”); Extract from Book I, Escape from Mount Vilipend]

[Pronunciations:  Mægéma (Mag ee ma); Ninusa (Neen oo saa)

Segment One
Mægéma became aware of the presence before Weda’Sel and Urus.  Her urgent words came out hurriedly.  Her in-drawn breath and gasp of “Weda’Sel, we may have other trouble which I fear will be far worse than the fate which is being meted out to our companions” was no more than a whisper in Weda’Sel’s consciousness.  He felt the heaviness of Mægéma’s essence and, at her direction turned as Urus pointed into the sky to the West of them.
“Weda’Sel!  Look!  What is that?” he shouted; horror punctuating his every word.
“That’s a Blade Dragon!  By The Lighte Urus, it’s a Blade Dragon!” 
“What do we do, Weda’Sel?  It seems to be bearing down on us.”
“There’s nothing that we can do, Urus.  We cannot outrun a Blade Dragon and we cannot hide.  If we are being attacked by The Darke and this is to be our end, Urus, we have failed The Lighte.  Faeré will fall to The Darke.”  Weda’Sel couldn’t keep the despondence from his voice.  There was so very much for him still to do.  He continued to stare at the huge shape bearing down on them.
Mægéma was very still for a moment and then Weda’Sel felt her essence jump in excitement. 
“What is it, Mægéma?”
“The Blade Dragon has no essence of The Darke within it, Weda’Sel.  Not the slightest trace and it’s carrying another life force, Weda’Sel.  I believe it’s our scout who escaped the clutches of those creatures of The Darke.”
“How is that possible?  I saw the Blade Dragons within Mount Vilipend with my own eyes, Mægéma” said Weda’Sel, shaking his head.
“So did I” agreed Urus “and believe me, Mægéma, they are creatures of The Darke.”
“I also know about the Blade Dragons within Mount Vilipend, but those Blade Dragons were captives, just as we all were.  Didn’t you know that, Weda’Sel?”
“I didn’t.  I kept my distance from them.  They fought all the time; if not with prisoners who were thrown to them like prey; then amongst themselves.  I could hear them shrieking and roaring all the time.  No, Mægéma, I was not fool enough to voluntarily go anywhere near them.  Perhaps this one is somehow cloaking its Darkeness within The Lighte?” 
As Weda’Sel finished speaking the Blade Dragon started descending. 
*
Senthe descended slowly because she didn’t know of any way to reassure the two terrified creatures on the ground. 
*
Weda’Sel felt Mægéma beckon the beast but felt no response from it. 
Weda’Sel absently noted that the beast’s left claw was closed, whereas the right one was open.  Inside that claw, Weda’Sel knew; lay the remains of their scout. 
He couldn’t shake the feeling that The Blade Dragon was picking them off one by one. 
Once again he felt an awful sense of dread.  He had failed; he had failed not only his weary band of survivors who were desperately trying to reach a haven, but he had failed The Lighte itself.
Then he noticed with surprise that when the Blade Dragon landed, it landed on its right foot only and gently, ever so gently, lowered its left foot to the ground and just as gently rolled its claws open to reveal Ninusa.  Ninusa lay still in his apparent death but then Weda’Sel’s eyes opened wide in astonishment.  Ninusa started moving a little.  Ninusa opened his eyes and looked directly into Weda’Sel’s eyes.  His surprise was obvious and he looked stunned but relieved.  His expression changed to one of abject terror when he looked up and saw the size of the claw which cradled him.
Mægéma spoke then.  Weda’Sel didn’t know that Mægéma had a physical voice and, at the sound of her voice, he looked just as shocked as Urus and Ninusa did.  “The Blade Dragon’s name is Senthe.  She is, as are all the members of their troupe, of The Lighte, and she wishes to help us overcome the hoards which are torturing our scouts.”
Weda’Sel continued staring at the Blade Dragon, seemingly unable to move or say anything.
“Why?” asked the ever-practical Urus.  “Why would she want to help us?” 

Segment Two
Senthe sat down on her rump and moved herself strategically to flatten the area around her so that she was comfortable.  “You asked me why I would help you” she directed her words at Urus.  “As much as, in a cave not too far from here, there are of your kind being tortured, we too are suffering.  As we talk here, there are many of our kind also being tortured and killed for sport.”  Two golden tears formed in her eyes and she only just turned her head in time to prevent the diminutive group at her feet from drowning in the briny water.  Her tears coursed down the incline to her left; two impromptu rivulets chasing each other across the rocky ground.
“They are torturing Blade Dragons?  By The Lighte, how big are these creatures?” asked Urus.
“They aren’t big at all.  They appear to be of a similar size and essence to yourself” Senthe appeared to frown in concentration as she looked towards Weda’Sel “although there are very many differences”.
“Banloghs!” scowled Weda’Sel “but how is it possible for banloghs to torture and kill Blade Dragons?”
“You’re not thinking, Weda’Sel” said Mægéma gently in her new voice.  “They’ve captured baby Blade Dragons.”
“Is this true, Senthe?” asked Weda’Sel.
“Yes.  They have been hunting our babies for so long now that we have forgotten when it first started.  Blade Dragons have always lived in family units which makes us easy prey for these hunters’ attacks.  The hunters are wily and they sneak into our habitats when they are sure that our adults are distracted by occurrences of terrible magnitude.  They orchestrate the devastation themselves and each time it is necessary for all the adults to work together in order to save the family; and each time, they have additional hunters ready in waiting to steal our babies. 
Their attacks were something to which, throughout our history, we almost became inured, because we knew that there was nothing that we could do to stop them; but there are now only two family units left in all of Faeré and we joined our families into one unit to provide us with strength of numbers.  Our joining into one unit hasn’t done us any good though.  We are now the only few adults left in Faeré and at this moment the hunters hold and are torturing and killing all our babies.  Our hearts are breaking; yet we have no way of stopping them.  The hunters capture and drag our young deep into their caverns where we cannot reach them.”
“Banloghs!” spat Weda’Sel.  “We’ll see about this.  I will work out something.  They must be stopped.”
“I fear that anything we do will be too late, Weda’Sel” said Ninusa sadly.  “The caverns are high up on a mountain and even if all our foot soldiers were to somehow survive the bogs through which we will have to travel, and we do manage to rush them, they have the locational advantage of height and they are incredibly agile over the very inhospitable terrain.”
“Then we’ll have to get them off the mountain” growled Urus.
“But how?” asked Ninusa.
“I don’t know, but among us we must be able to come up with something” said Urus.  Weda’Sel was staring at a mountain in the distance.  It was the only one of any significant size in the area.  “Is that where they are?” he asked Senthe, pointing in the direction of the mountain.
“Yes” said Senthe.  That one word summed up the despair of them all.  The mountain’s visibly jagged snow and ice-clad slopes rose from the border of an enormous ice barrier which stretched for what appeared to be many leagues.  Surrounding that were dark indentations which, even at such a distance, they could see were iced-over lakes.
Ninusa answered Weda’Sel’s question even before he asked it.  “Those dark areas are bogs, Weda’Sel.  Treacherous bogs within a wild, windy and a mostly wooded region; deep bogs covered in ice but in some areas the ice is treacherously thin and the stagnant waters seem to lie in wait for the unwary.”  Ninusa shivered as he remembered. 

“We nearly rode right into one of them” said Ninusa.  “They lie concealed beneath a growth of wild plants with snake-like tentacles.  As we moved, those tentacles caught at us.  Those plants are alive and were aware of our every move, Weda’Sel; they were lying in wait for us.  Our swords were useless.  The more we slashed at the tentacles, the more of them rose and wound themselves around us; and then, as they started squeezing the life out of our da’ques, the banloghs arrived.  There seems to be some cooperation between the plants and the banloghs.  Our da’ques are lost, Weda’Sel; we could do nothing for them, and their screams of dying agony will never leave me.  We were dragged up the mountain by our feet and, as each of my companions’ screams subsided, I knew that they were either dead or unconscious.”  Ninusa was clearly struggling to continue but he kept on because he knew that he had to give as much detail as possible. 
“Did you remain conscious until you reached the cavern?” Mægéma asked quietly.
 “No, I didn’t even get as far as the cavern.  That is the strangest thing of all.  I lost consciousness about halfway up the mountain. By that time, there wasn’t a sound from anyone else.  Only The Lighte knows how I extracted myself from their clutches.  I have no recollection of it.”
“You were purposely set free, Ninusa” said Weda’Sel bluntly and with a deathly certainty.  “The banloghs knew that you are one of a scouting party and they wanted you to go back to the main body.  They also wanted you to have just enough information to give to the main party so that the main party will want to urgently launch a rescue mission.  In that way they will have managed to get you to do their work for them and they will certainly think that, since the main party will be desperate to rescue your companions, they will hurry towards unknown dangers without taking the necessary precautions.  Once the main party is near enough, the banloghs will lure everyone into the bogs to capture them.  I know the way their minds work; The Lighte forgive me, I know.”

The poem I've chosen to accompany this post is about a father's love and I wrote it for my nephew on the birth of his son...


Hands of Love
(for Kyle)

Hands of Love

Touch the tiny face

Of his diminutive image

His miracle of grace
  
Smiling eyes
Meet sleepy eyes
One unfocused by tears
One a trusting newborn gaze
  
Hands of Love
Gentling a tiny young life
Within the cradling arms
Of a father’s tender love

7 comments:

  1. Your poem is beautiful. I can't imagine writing an epic fantasy. You are very courageous. I love writing but it takes a backseat in my life more than I want it to. I guess that I'm still trying to figure out this whole "balance" thing. I hope that you enjoy your Sunday.

    Jaime at Awakenings and Reflections

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  2. Thank you, Jaime.

    It's a passion of mine so I don't consider the time. I should, I suppose... :)

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  3. Interesting. The dragon is not fearsome in nature as they expected and had his own agenda.

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  4. I admit that Segment One was harder for me to follow because of all the proper nouns. I remembered Weda'Sel, but there's "Urus" and "Mægéma" in the same first sentence, and "Lighte Urus" and "Blade Dragon" in the next paragraph, all of which make contextualizing them harder. I know I'm supposed to remember "Faeré" and "Darke" with the callback to "The Lighte," but my memory isn't good enough, so by then I was drowning in names. I imagine this wouldn't happen if I was simply reading a novel, but I figured it would be useful feedback for handling dunderheaded readers like myself in excerpts.

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    1. I'm so sorry, John. Herein lies one of the problems. I am so involved in the story that I know all the characters intimately. I do try to 'gentle' A-Z readers into the segment but, honestly, I was tired. I'm not excusing myself, just stating...

      I'll remember for the rest of the segments.

      I'm also so sorry about your health and I can't believe that you are still writing every day. Good Grief! When I'm sick, I'm man down and cotton wool fills my cranium.

      I'm helping out a friend (a pharmacologist) at a supplementary health clinic and have asked her to give me a list of supplements which you can take which may reduce the acidity in your blood so you're not in so much pain. As soon as I have it, I'll give it to you.

      Thank you once again for taking the time to read through my segments. Please know that I sincerely appreciate your insights.

      Best wishes

      Felicity

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  5. Great writing. Just found your blog and will be back to read more.

    best,
    MOV

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    1. Thanks so much and I love your blog too - so cute...

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