Part 9 – The Burning of Yeun

"I'll get Thryche," Rhayd volunteered. He was gone by the time Mireya turned her head to offer to go in his stead, leaving her on the deck alone, surrounded by now-panicking sailors, with only the gruesome sight of the burning city to keep her company. Immediately, she tried to focus on something other than the city itself. Yeun was built into the side of a mountainous island, so much of the city was visible even from a distance. Buildings far larger than any in Penance sprawled up the sides of the delta, standing three or even five stories tall, some of them nearing the size of the Court … [Read more...]

Part 8 – “There’s nothing to return to is there?”

BONUS EPISODE In apology for the massive delays I've had the last week, Leila and I got together to make sure we could leave you all with something special over the weekend to say thanks for sticking around and putting up with the delays. So thanks, guys! This week's going to be tense! - Ian Dawn. A dull and inauspicious one, at that - dark clouds broiled with malcontent overhead to match the steel sea, white caps boxing at the sides of the boat, wan fingers of pink crawled across the sky. The night had felt endless, Mireya had asked herself question after question, the answers as distant … [Read more...]

Part 7 – The Goddess

"So she is opposed not only to Kahlus, but to Rahrin as well?" "Correct, young one. She played the two of them against each other when Maredran was born. Rahrin she pushed to build something of the limitless potential she and Kahlus had created. And to Kahlus she gave the challenge of unending watchfulness." "Leaving Rahrin feeling as if he is owed no thanks for our crafting, and Kahlus caring for children not wholly his own." "You see the world far more clearly than I did at your age, Rhayd." "I believe I am barely beginning to understand. Surely there must be some recourse for … [Read more...]

Part 6 – In Preparation For Landing

Rhayd hadn't slept well at all. After the shock of having to catch that idiot girl, his weak left arm had refused to let him find a comfortable position for more than five breaths before it began to ache again. After spending half the remaining darkness oscillating between a half dozen positions, he finally abandoned the hard bunk he had been assigned and made for the deck again, opting to relieve the on duty marine, much to the relief of the sailor. Not only had he been scheduled for an over night watch, but he would be forced to unload the cargo once the ship docked at Yeun as well, so even … [Read more...]

Part 5 – The Ioun Stone

Edvard Thryche sighed, some visceral measure falling from his shoulders as he did so. "The need for my counsel is dwindling because talent is rising, Mireya. Your very existence is proof that soon, the judges - that was the old name for us, we who assess talent and give knowledge where it is necessary - are a dead tool." Thryche tapped the glistening yellow-and-indigo stone in Mireya's hands with a thin, crooked finger. "For exactly the reason that trinket is useless now, I will soon become the same. The trick of the Ioun Stone was discovered twenty-seven centuries ago. It was … [Read more...]

Part 4 – The Road to Jinda

Mireya's hands shook, the orb cupped in her palms as she settled herself back onto the sofa, bringing her legs into a serpentine coil. Forgetting the sway of the ship, the sickness in her stomach, just watching the yellow veins wind over the globe. "You didn't know, before you paid for me...You couldn't have known that this would happen. When I was eight I was exposed to a tap room, to serving food and cleaning tables..." Talking to him, but looking at the orb. "I didn't know. I had a feeling, however. I had no reason to know, until we visited the Duke's Court. Do you recall when I made the … [Read more...]

Part 3 – Why are we even here?

Mireya knew she should just go back to her cabin, but there was too much noise at the bottom of the hull, the scent of sweat and musk and the unfamiliar crowded cells. Just rocking, endless rocking. Unsteady, the delicate ash-haired blonde wavers towards were Kintere stormed earlier, his slamming of doors hard to forget, he was never angry with her. Pausing outside to tidy her shirt and straighten her hair before knocking, building confidence so badly knocked. The tumble on deck had made everything hurt so much more, her back stinging as she leant against the wall. The door was open, just a … [Read more...]

Part 2 – Rhayd’s Arm

“What’s wrong with your arm?” Trying to draw the conversation away from her, away from Kintere, away from this whole damned ship. Hauling herself up, hissing softly between her teeth at the pain in her ribs. Trying to find some common ground. Rhayd wrung his hands, pressing right thumb to left palm in a massaging motion. “When my family was leaving Keen Rimmor, I was about… Two seasons old. A wall fell on me, last one standing in my parents’ estate. Killed my mother, who was carrying me. Broke my shoulder in a dozen places. It’s never been as strong as my right arm. Never will … [Read more...]

Part 1 – The Damned Boat To Yeun

They had sailed the following morning, on the first tide of the day out of Ckuien Penance. With so little time to reconcile themselves to the journey, Mireya found she was already missing the small, comfortable spaces of the Sword and Shield, and that she did not like the open ocean one bit. It turned and changed angles far too quickly, and even with Kintere’s sparse advice – keep your eyes on the boat, stay low to the ground and so on – she found her eyes drawn to the far-off horizon, which eventually meant she would loose her previous meal into the depths and be forced to go and … [Read more...]

Part 9 – Negotiation

There was a lot more light the next time Kintere opened his eye. He blinked, rubbed at his face with swollen hands and craned his neck to see where the light was coming from. Edvard Thryche was crouched in the doorway, a heavily armed guard behind him pointing a brightly burning torch into the small cell. “Good morning, Kintere.” “Master Thryche.” “I trust your stay here hasn’t been too unpleasant. I’m here to bring you out.” “Good,” the big man sighed, relieved, and began to wiggle his way toward standing. “Ah, not too hasty though. I’m afraid you’ve been … [Read more...]