Commentary VI:41

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A Little Catching Up

Where converges a wanderer’s path,
so returns to whence tracks cross,
to turn from the course so certain,
as to repeat then at a loss,

Wandering stars, where once a term for planets, and perhaps in the world of Thaea there once was a game of placing a top on a map, and seeing where it stopped. What was done with this game an open question. Go there, or tell stories of the place. Take a drink if they’d rather not. We return to the mysterious book series that has haunted Book VI as we start to close out this long installment.

It really isn’t impossible that I will some day decided that there are eight books in the arc, and split Book VI, but I’d need to look closer at that. It’s a long ways off around the bend from revisiting, embellishing, and improving the earlier books in the series for publication. A process I’m less than sure what it will look like.

If Book VII is as long as Book VI, I’ve got a bit less than a year keeping cadence before I really need to start facing that. I might like to take it easy for a little bit, but I do have other unfinished books I could start putting out, currently with a slightly shorter chapter format. (Slightly, averaging 5k instead of 7k.) Also again I’d be back to the pace of Book I where it’s more editing than new writing. I digress, because that’s still between nine months and a year away probably. I still need to finish Book VI.

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VI:42 – Honor Has Left Us

Beware the maw so slathering dark,
a hungering jaw that bites and barks,
the clacks of teeths to rattle bones,
no walls tall, defend defend thy homes,

so in the ground they burrowed deep,
yet stones themselves the monsters eat,
till the softer bits were laid plain again,
there devoured each and every one.

– The Spider and the Looking Glass, 425 E.R.

Honor Has Left Us

Jovan 7th, 1 S.R.

The distressed yelp of a small canine rivals the mewling of kittens, to impart a certain excess empathy. Short and sharp, it does a better job of instilling a panicked guilt, than fawning adoration. When this fails, something has gone quite wrong.

Katrisha was huffing as the others stared at her. “You betrayed her.” Her voice trembled. “You lead her into a trap, all of you.”

The tiny fox twitched, unable to handle the sensation of being yanked off the ground by her bones. Bound so tight that even frantic flailing reduced to twitches. Ripples under fur, as muscles pulled and shivered against what would not move. Her eyes darted around as though surrounded by dragons. No one else said anything.

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Commentary VI:40

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The Bard & The Guard

Katrisha ignored a bard in the square behind her, but not without a twinge of recognition to the song. She tried to keep her attention on the duel a young woman had arranged against two guardsmen, and a knight. Sadie, it seemed had less qualms about cheating in her fight.

I’m torn between feeling like I should wrap up this book with a bit of a push, and letting it come to it’s own conclusion, at it’s own pace.

Once again I’m pushing a scene that almost ended last week’s chapter, that it itself perhaps rushed. I wasn’t quite sure what that would do to the flow of the next chapter, and I am doubting that this book will finish before Chapter 43, by the numbers. More about that next week.

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VI:41 – To Whence it Came

Where converges a wanderer’s path,
so returns to whence tracks cross,
to turn from the course so certain,
as to repeat then at a loss,

oh the wobbling top doth wind,
down slow in a final spiral,
so danced across a map,
hours, travelers there did while.

– The Spider and the Looking Glass, 425 E.R.

To Whence it Came

Jovan 6th, 1 S.R.

Katrisha sat in a courtyard, staring across a vast orbital simulation. The cloister cast in a ghastly ghastly pale blue by spell and moonlight. She’d had many onlookers, but most had lost interest in the strange sight after a minute or two. One had lingered.

Liora walked up, and sat on the bench next to her. “What ever are you doing?”

Katrisha gave her a look. “No secrets between us, I guess?”

“If you say so,” Liora obliged with reservation.

“I’m tired of secrets.” Katrisha drummed her fingers on her staff. “I’m trying to solve a puzzle with enough moving pieces to make even us, seem simple.”

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Commentary VI:39

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Asking the Right Questions

“You will look after them?”

“Yes…” Raewyn answered.

I find myself tying up loose ends, at least a little. Some arcs may find a place in the close of the series, but others must be left where they are. I make no promises or even predictions on some fronts. Raewyn I will say is not the only one who will be bid as above.

I feel good about this scene as we transition to things in motion again. Strictly speaking it is largely about the smaller narrative, but I like to think I toy with all the larger forces in play, as a vehicle for the little things.

Was there any great narrative value in an aging Red Sister getting a shiny new look for her hair? No, it was just Kat being Kat, and helpful in the strangest of ways at her disposal. A manifestation of the character’s whims. She took up the silver hair originally on a whim, having forgotten the prophecy she was to ignore. Now she’s mocking it, and doing something nice… hopefully.

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Extra I:11: Of Deer & Trees

There was a very short chapter back in Book I. The loosing donor in a string of edits, it wound up short, and I was always displeased with that. Book III and on really started to draw in some wider mythos that I’d always meant to get around to. The names of months implying gods, and goddesses all but forgotten. Who’s hand might one day be felt, but they were not much on my mind. Estae and estrus, Rhaea derived from Rhan, there further derived from Ra. The cataclysm of that old world in mind, but the details vague, and while Thaea had long had her name as the living world, the world tree was at most a passing thought. A conclusion not yet reached in the implications of how half a world was burned.

For something like a year I’ve been sitting on a fix for that short chapter back in Book I. I know one little nuisance edit this implies in a chapter soon after, but I’ve gone ahead and inserted this recently, and here it is as an extra to draw attention. A pair of scenes that in themselves don’t do much, but as foreshadowing of a lot of things down the line I’m much happier with.

I’m getting around to this between two chapters where these events are relevant, and have retroactively added them to the chapter where they now belong.

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VI:40 – A Scratch at the Door

Oh you can’t go home again,
because you never truly left,
the roots planted so deep,
as a heart inside your chest.

You are how you began,
so much as how you grew,
and if you think this less,
look to the diamond’s truth.

– The Mouse, The Witch, and the Window, 421 E.R.

A Scratch at the Door

Jovan 3rd, 1 S.R.

♫ “O’ Laeune twas a ghostly watcher,
high ‘bove the rollin’ moor,
an’ two riders there were a ridin’,
come to the mountains’ door.” ♫

Katrisha ignored a bard in the square behind her, but not without a twinge of recognition to the song. She tried to keep her attention on the duel a young woman had arranged against two guardsmen, and a knight. Sadie, it seemed had less qualms about cheating in her fight.

The girl wasn’t even trying to win. Glancing to Leta as she showed off. No, it was far too familiar, to how she had looked to a princess some years before. Katrisha rubbed her eyes. She’d let that go. She tried to focus on the match.

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Commentary VI:38

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Conventional Understandings

“…in the wife of… your youth… find… purpose. Love her as thyself, as one…” Mahla hesitated. “…spirit, one soul, to guide the flesh to what is worthy.”

This is a blend of differing things. Certainly one could point to passages that inspired it. All together on the other side there is a clash, and contrast through the chapter. The bible it is easily forgotten is full of polygamy, though admittedly in it’s moralistic tales it does oft go bad.

‘The wife of your youth,’ in the original context, speaking of wayward women is likely to instill monogamy, but the phrase alone is ambiguous. One could, particularly in differing contexts see a preference to a first wife.

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VI:39 – Bonds as Spoken

What steps a dance in parried thrusts,
twixt keen defenses all restraint lost,
thus entwined in surrendered grace,
relief was all there written on a face,

a soldiers’ wedding twas in the end,
there back to back we did defend,
an’ all was lost in our bitter defeat,
a war carried on, our part complete.

– A Soldiers’ Wedding, circa 150 E.R.

Bonds as Spoken

Rhaeus 42nd, 1 S.R.

“May I sit with you?”

Katrisha looked up from where she had set herself in a courtyard. A gray haired woman in red stood over her. She still only knew her in passing, however much they had come to share a complicated sort of charge.

“I suppose.” She let out a long breath, returning from somewhere, lost deep in thought, or all too far from it. It was fuzzy, where she had been, with her staff far away in her room she was not sure, but not there.

Raewyn sat beside her. A nervous composure allowed a certain youthfulness to win over age, if Katrisha was one to judge.

“Are you afraid I will be angry, that you did not, as you said, ‘follow my lead?’” Katrisha offered, when nothing else was forthcoming.

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Commentary VI:37

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A Binding Invitation

Still a week behind on commentary (and some change.) Got my editing pass done at 11 Sunday for 37, did not do a first run on Saturday because I was feeling good about it, and tackled other things, and getting ahead. Hope I don’t have too many egregious errors as a result.

Did not write my commentary in line this time, but certainly do feel like I have some things to say. We’ll see how many of them cause last minute edits before I publish. One little detail certainly fell in the opening scene.

Do read all you please into the epigraph, I have myself spend a good deal of time scratching my head over the symbolism, and trying to decide how much I intended. It does begin with the closing line. The single sentence inline commentary I wrote this week, and it became the epigraph, which I think plainly implies a spider weaving a web at the start. I do want to find a rational interpretation of a ‘shot across her bow,’ and I think perhaps I do. There is very much meant to be something of Rhaea’s boughs that were described as strung with gems or jangling filaments. Mind you I read entirely other things into what I’ve written as well. Less consciously intended, but perhaps very apt.

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