Broken Things 7.06 – Leon

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I’m not afraid; my feet just like shaking is all.

— LEON, TO MORGAN

Walking up the underground staircase of the ancient temple, Leon could not help but tremble. In his short life, he had been through many harrowing experiences, but none of them equaled the terror of following Mrethren Örk by himself. Large indistinct shapes watched him from darkened doorways, the sound of their harsh breaths rising above his careful footsteps. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.06 – Leon”

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Broken Things 7.05 – Erik

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Author Note: For every 50 people that signup to my Mailing List, I will release an extra chapter on Thursdays. For a limited time only. (Count: 2/50)

For the God Touched the endless paths all lead home.

—  ANCIENT PROVERB

Seated in a high-backed chair in front of the fireplace, Erik tried to drown his worries in a bowl of red wine. It was not working. Oh, the wine was as delicious as anything anyone could expect to get this far north, and a couple bowls of wine was usually good enough to take his mind off any problem. But this was his sixth, and he felt nothing. Nothing. His balder was not even full. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.05 – Erik”

Broken Things 7.04 – Cecilia

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May our next reunion be grander than our last.   

—  CECILIA HORIE, TO HANNA

In the dim, cold light of the winding corridor, Cecilia walked with a growing sense of impatience. The fortress was too large, and she had already been on her feet for what seemed like hours. Half a ring of black-coat men preceded her down the hallway, drawing the attention of the liveried servants they passed. She peered at them to gauge reactions, measured expressions by the meter stick she kept in her mind. The Game of Faces demanded as much of any who dared called themselves Players. From what she could gather, there was still much confusion among the servants. She imagined the stories about the battle and its subsequent conclusion had grown longer in the retelling. But she pushed their apparent fears out her mind, the governing of the fortress was not her concern. Her concern lay entirely on the woman she was on her way to meet. The Princess. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.04 – Cecilia”

Broken Things 7.03 – Erik

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Author Note: For every 50 people that signup to my Mailing List, I will release an extra chapter on Thursdays. For a limited time only.

Between victory and defeat lies a single line.

—  ANCIENT PROVERB

Erik grimaced and pressed a hand to the hole in his belly, his head still ringing with echoes of his father’s voice. Crimson trickled down his fingers, but the wound was already half healed. It bled only because he wanted it to, needed it to maintain the illusion of his humanity. What he did, he did to protect his path to the throne, even now when all his plans lay ruined. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.03 – Erik”

Broken Things 7.02 – Erik

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Author Note: For every 50 people that signup to my Mailing List, I will release an extra chapter on Thursdays. For a limited time only.

Sometimes the lineage of our demons goes back many generations.   

— VILHELM ITO, TO ERIK

White tendrils rose from the torches that adorned the walls of the Great Hall, drifting past the faded war banners that swayed from a frayed robe until they pooled under the vaulted, soot-stained ceiling. Below, the hard stone of the chamber was ice cold beneath Erik’s knees, cold enough to make him gasp if his world were not collapsing in around him. Looking at Viscount Baldur leering visage, his time sense began to stretch until the man appeared to slow as he spoke. The wisps of smoke now rose in languorous swirls, like impossibly thin leaves falling in reverse. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.02 – Erik”

Broken Things 7.01 – Cecilia

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The paths are endless, but the tracks to victory are limited.   

—  ANCIENT PROVERB

The view outside the window would have been pitch black but for the torches carried by the plate-armored soldiers marching alongside the carriage. Overhead, an endless expanse of smoothed stone stretched, and a strong breeze fed by unseen vents flared cloaks, made the red and blue Phoenix Banner of the Royal House of Ito snap and crack like a whip. The Lightbenders kept mostly to their own, moving along the column in small knots while looking around uneasily. For once, their disquiet seemed warranted. This far under the Rin Mountains any number of monstrosities might lurk in some darken warren. The tunnel connecting Hjörtur to the other side of the mountain range was patrolled only rarely, and for a good reason. Continue reading “Broken Things 7.01 – Cecilia”

The Hills are Shadows 6.09 – Erik

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‘Tis the business of fools to wilt beneath failure, but the wise recognize it as the source of their strength.   

—  VILHELM ITO, TO ERIK

Erik awoke confused, gasping, struggling to separate the real from the imagined. His head rang, thick with torment pitched screams of the Dark One and the enchanted notes of a plucked instrument. He blinked watery eyes and caught sight of Hanna. She sat etched in the light of golden coals, a gilded zither draped across her lap, a haunting vision of feminine divinity. Her hands faltered, and notes turned sharp and piercing. Continue reading “The Hills are Shadows 6.09 – Erik”