Commentary III:66

< Previous | Chapter III:66 | Next >

Home Home on the Plains

I arrived at the pun late, and made Plains singular.

We’ve seen Lycian life a bit, I felt it was only fair to see a bit more intimately the life of Clarion commoners. So we open on a side quest. I really couldn’t stop seeing this as I wrote it, but it was entirely sensible. Still, most RPGs, no matter how renowned a figure you have become, there will always be someone to offer you the most inane of work. Herding stray cattle, or shoveling their leavings… or digging through them, looking for a key a cursed dog(ish, possibly goat, or goodness knows what) ate.

Yet a farmer struggling to round up cattle for the night, and occupying the road, not that horses couldn’t just go around, felt right. A great way to strike a bargain for an evening’s meal. It just made sense that the best at it would be a girl who taught wolves to hunt.

Continue reading “Commentary III:66”

Chapter III:66

She does not belong to you, this woman of your house. No more than land, that shall remain for long after your day is done. She is of the village, and the people, and worth more than any man. For one man might lay the seeds of multitudes in a day, the land must bear the crops to grow. It is the woman’s inclination to do so, but the womb bears the great burden, however gladly. All sense demands we are fruitful, and fill the land with our wisdom. Should the foreigner wish to claim her, then let them offer token, that they are ally, not conquer, nor brigand. That her great worth be shown some measure of honor, for what in multitudes, might never be repaid.

– The Path of Ascension, circa 70 B.E.

A House of the Plain

It was dusk, and though a village may lay somewhere over the next horizon, it was difficult to tell how far. A man had herded mixed cattle onto the road, but was struggling to get them to cross out of the way. He glanced up to four weary travelers, though looked no less so himself.

“You women on your way to town?” the man asked, and wiped his brow. He seemed both surprised, and shrewd. “That’s a good few hours on… with tired horses.”

“We are,” Kiannae offered.

“Scripture says we should offer rest to the weary, but I don’t have much to offer. Certainly not my own time, to introduce you to the wife. You lot are on horses, you care to help round up the rest? Get them up into the fences? Be a lot easier for you to chase down stragglers. Give me… seven shillings, and I’ll see to dinner, and you can have the barn for the night. A fair price, fairer than you’ll get from the inn, and it used to be a barn any how. Besides, it’s clear out, it’ll be quite chilly by the time you get there, worse if a wind kicks up. I think it might, if you were thinking of staying out on the plans. Daughter’s good with horses, too, for a fair price.”

Continue reading “Chapter III:66”

Commentary III:65

< Previous | Chapter III:65 | Next >

Sorry I’m a bit late on commentary this week, had most of this written Sunday with along final editing as is the new process, but got distracted, and wanted to do a final editing pass.

A Road too Far

I wanted to call the chapter Ascension’s Road, to play on path, but decided two “Road” chapters back to back was kludgy, and not much of the chapter is spent on the road.

This first scene happens slightly out of order with the end of the last chapter. I worry, probably unnecessarily this is jarring, that we step back to just before leaving town for a moment.

It’s been on my mind for a while that Wren’s appearance is dubious for crossing Ascension lands. He’d likely have little trouble within the safety of a caravan, but in this small group, such a feminine appearance on a man would invite very much the wrong kind of questions, and attention.

Continue reading “Commentary III:65”

Chapter III:65

Where Moon and Sun did come to clash,
there stood two walls not meant to last,

quarried and brought from leagues apart,
built high ‘pon soft dirt, were twin ramparts,

there time did pass and settle old soil,
where guards men marched in futile toil,

passed by through day and night they try,
those men to not see they march eye to eye,

great folly is not that the precious decays,
but that loathed, stands to hold us at bay,

for while a line can well be discerned,
two walls have joined, their name so earned.

– Twinsgate, circa 400 E.R.

Ascension’s Border

Etore pulled a short leather cord from her bag, and grabbed Wren’s hand. She yanked him back into their room before he could leave.

“What?” he demanded.

Without a word she grabbed his shoulders, turned him to a mirror. She started gathering his hair to the back of his head. He glared at her in their reflection with confusion.

“We will be entering Ascension lands today. Men, rarely wear their hair long in those parts, and those who do, tend to wear it back. You’re not going to want to be mistaken for a woman, and found to be otherwise. Trust me, that’s not the kind of attention we need. It’s a long way to the High City, and a lot of pious, spiteful people to slip past. You haven’t proven adept at going unnoticed, yet. Rather, the opposite.”

“Do you really think this is going to help?”

Continue reading “Chapter III:65”

Commentary III:64

< Previous | Chapter III:64 | Next >

Long Roads in Small Steps

I’ve decided to trying something new this week. Something I’ve been wanting to do, for a while, which is write commentary in parallel with final editing (if not throughout the process.) So it’s fresher in my head, and to save time re-reading my work I’ve realized doing it. Even though I’m running just a bit behind. Only finished the complete draft Saturday night since the day was busy.

I’ve rushed through so much over the years, particularly in the early days, glossing over some of the repetition and tedium of a simpler phase of the characters lives. The Long Road keeps trying to be a chapter name, to move along where we are going, but getting diverted in the details of the moment. I do worry about some of those details, it’s an awkward balancing act, trying to tell a story that spans months, years, and thousands of miles. Repetition hard to avoid. Repetition is life. Telling the same recent stories over and over again to new people, but the risk of becoming boring to a reader perilous.

The Road Behind was a chapter name way back in early Book III, and we are now either in IV or V, depending how I some day break up this beast. I’m trying to look forward here, but it is always easy to be looking back. Which I guess brings back a quote from some chapters ago around being unsurprised of the road behind bearing some resemblance to that ahead. Kat will be Kat after all, and the rest too.

Continue reading “Commentary III:64”

Chapter III:64

If I did not know the way,
perhaps I’d follow the sun,
that did not stray in course,
not till the day is done,

if I could not rest my head,
not when the night was black,
then on a ribbon of moonlight,
let Laeune guide my path,

if the stars should ever vary,
and all the heavens crack,
then I’d let my heart decide,
and cross the oceans back.

– The Wanderer’s Lament, circa 40 B.E.

The Road Ahead

Estae 20th, 1 S.R.

“I still can’t believe… we just left,” Katrisha mused. She’d stopped to look out over a rolling plain, above the thinning tree line of a forested hillside.

“A few days late to be bemoaning that,” Etore offered beside her.

“I wouldn’t say I was bemoaning, exactly,” Katrisha countered. “I agree, it really wasn’t wise we stay…” She hesitated as Wren trotted his horse around them, and down the hill. It seemed a willful act, to ignore the conversation. She begrudged him that.

“Welcome to life on the road. You make messes, or fix them, sometimes a little of both, and then you move on. Though, I won’t deny you lot go bigger than most.” Etore trotted her horse after him.

Continue reading “Chapter III:64”

A Rhan’s Eye View

So, I’ve been working on a map I would be happy to show for a while. Some might have noticed a featured image on the previous commentary which was taken from the larger map. I’ve a lot more to write up on it, but I thought I’d share this more inclusive view. I’m not sure I have the equatorial scale of the continent facing us right, as it’s been roughed onto the circle to simulate a sphere manually. It should still be fairly close… maybe 20% variance.

Continue reading “A Rhan’s Eye View”