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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 10

Radha seeks the mountain's secrets.

Time Spiral - Chapter 10

There is one mountain in Keld that stands alone, towering above all others, and requires no name. It was the mountain scaled by the wandering leader Kradak so long ago, and when he came down he gained a connection to mountain and shared that connection to his followers. He became the first Keldon warlord, and every warlord thereafter made the same pilgrimage.

Standing at the foot of the mountain, Radha wonders why she had never come here before. The stories said that every woman who ever made the attempt never came back. Freyalise had commanded that she not leave the forest. But looking up at the mountain she realizes nothing should have stopped her.

This is where she belongs.

Teferi asks if she can feel the first of Keld, if she can sense the power that awaits and she says she can. Teferi is pleased and then he tells her there is no time to waste on a pilgrimage, and he will return her here after they go where they're needed and do what needs to be done.

"Stuff you."

In the blink of an eye Teferi changes his robes and his form to look more imposing and he tells her she has no choice. He tells her he's moved continents, and the sky and the oceans are his to command. Radha isn't impressed. She knows her place, and her destiny, and he cannot stop her. Before he can finish saying, "Prove it," she's thrust her blade through his chin and out through the top of his skull.

She kicks his body after it falls to the ground, and she finds herself a bit disappointed. She saw him talking with her god, but maybe he wasn't a true god like Freyalise. Maybe he was just a wizard of great power, but still mortal.

Radha pulls out the matching dagger from the tomb and summons her fire once more. Her leaves of flame swirl about her once more and now they're a yellow-orange color and not green. The tears of joy sizzle and evaporate off her cheeks.

No pilgrimage is needed for the elf. Stepping foot upon the mountain was enough. Time to track down Greht.

...Face down in the snow...

Teferi felt foolish. He's been in a mortal shape for too long, and kept his consciousness centered in his head as if he really was a normal human. He decides to lay still and contemplate while his body reassembles itself. Radha could tap into the mana of fire now, and not just that of nature. But she wasn't drawing it from the mountain, the heart of Keld. Her mana was still coming from the same source.

* * *

Watch Your Language

No system of foul language ever feels perfect when it has to keep a novel from getting the Adults Only/R-rating, but using "Stuff you," is an option you don't want to take. When it has to be done, I prefer the method of making up a word that's appropriate to the character's culture or just describing what's happening without using dialogue.

She responded with Keldoran obscenities that Teferi had not heard in quite some time.

Either method would have been preferred to reading something that felt so neutered.

Humor revisited

Let's try something positive.

At the base of the mountain, a poem from Radha's youth pops into her mind about a maid who lost a keepsake and found herself longing it for the rest of her life. Radha tries hard to erase the image from her mind because she's a warrior and not a young gir. Warriors don't think that way.

She resolved to punch a poet when she returned to the forest.

This line worked much better for me than Teferi's failed persuasion techniques last chapter. We've all had feelings and thoughts we we've been embarrassed about having at one point or another, and her reaction is both something we all can relate to and feels very in tune with her character.

Level up!

Every chapter we find Radha leveling up and unlocking her full potential one lock at a time. What is this source of mana that she's reaching into? While less visible, Teferi making his own progress as well, slowly uncovering the key to completing the return of Shiv, then Zhalfir.

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