And Then There Were Two

So, the last Ink Slingers Guild meeting was a little quiet. It was just Lisa and I.  This meant we got to talk a lot about book two of The Guardians of the Path, Ria’s Mark. We made plans for the proofing and other cool stuff, and I’m super excited.

We also listened to Pandora, and I added Royal Scotts Dragoon “Spirit of the glen” and  “Earth” from Assassins creed 2 to my list of songs I have to have, along with basically every song Hans Zimmer has every made.

And we did our exercises.  Because there was only the two of us, we chose the words a little differently. We each chose one, and picked a word from a book (I don’t remember exactly which one it was, but I think it was something by Anne Rice) by opening it to a random page, putting our finger down in a random place, until we got a word that wasn’t “the” or “a”.

bitter, surly, chalice:

The chalice was made of pure gold. Gems studded the rim and arcane symbols were etched around the cup. It sat upon a pedestal of black rock, behind iron bars. Navriel looked at it with somber eyes.

“There it is,” he told his companions, a surly dwarf named Dommur, and a blond half-elf called Beruin.

“How are we to get it out?” the dwarf said. “And which of us it to drink from it when we do?”

“I would not drink of that bitter potion for all the wealth in the lands,” Beruin said. “It is a curse.”

Navriel looked at the golden cup, sitting untouched for a thousand years. He had known all along the task would fall to him. The dwarf was too short sighted, and Beruin’s human blood made him a less than perfect vessel for the power. Navriel was an elf, and would be strong enough to contain the power. He hoped.

He took out the key the old wise man had given to him what seemed like a century ago.

“This will open any chain or lock,” Navriel said. He took a deep breath, and looked for the padlock. There was none. Around them, the rock began to tremble.

“We should hurry,” Beruin commented mildly. “It sounds like we are going to get company.”
private, bloom, portal:

Navriel was calm in a detached way. The host of demons grew closer, and still the lock to the iron cage which housed the elixir did not reveal itself.

“Enough of this,” Dommur said.

He took his mighty battle ax and cleaved through the iron with a single sweep. A high ringing scream issued from the chalice, and white mist frothed around their feet. The demon howls increased to bone-jarring volume. Navriel had a private thought they were all to die this day, but he could not share this with his companions.

He reached through the gap in the iron and grasped the stem. Warmth bloomed at the touch and traveled down his arm. Soon it was too much to bear, eating his body like a living flame. Without thinking, he raised the chalice to his lips and drank.

Ice fell upon his tongue, quenching the fire in his body. He began to itch, his skin now too small for whatever power it was he had taken into himself. Beruin’s face was one of many signs something was not right. The half-elf had drawn his sword, and faced the cloud of black fangs and claws and red eyes advancing upon them.

“Now, Navriel!” he cried. “You must do it now!”

For a moment Navriel forgot what it was he was supposed to do. Then he recalled. The portal. He raise his hands, the flesh now glowing with pure white light. In front of him, between himself and the demons, the first crack on the magic tunnel to their home began to appear, creeping along. But too slowly.

The first demons reached it.


Hope you enjoyed that, and I will keep you all updated with the progress of Ria’s Mark

May the Path keep you,

❤ DragonBeck

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