Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Excerpt

OK, here's an excerpt from "An Unwanted Apprentice". Please bear in mind that this is a first draft, so it's full of errors. Hopefully, it'll make you want to read more...

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The wind eventually died down, and Creina opened her eyes. One of the men was laying face down on the bridge, the other was standing next to him, sword drawn and scanning the horizon.
The clouds had dissipated and the weather was now back to normal for a springtime afternoon, except for the light mist covering the river. Creina strained to see through it, but couldn't make out the opposite bank. It slowly dissipated, leaving the surface of everything around them damp. It seemed to be taking a long time to clear as far as the other shore. The young woman who had helped her out of the river jumped up from where she was crouched in front of her, and the air around the two of them stopped rippling.
"The other bank," the woman said, pointing, "it's not there."
Water stretched back beyond where the opposite bank had been. A large crater was further inland, and the river was slowly filling it.
"So much for this ford." the young man with the sword said as he stared at the crater. "What happened?"
The woman bent down and felt the unconscious man's neck. She sighed, in relief, Creina thought. Apparently he was still alive.
"Alenk used a spell," the woman said.
"What?" the young man glanced down at the other, Alenk, the girl had called him, then back at the crater. "I've never heard of one powerful enough to do.... that!" he said, gesturing at the remains of the riverbank.
"Excuse me..." Creina said, her voice coming out barely above a whisper.
They both turned to look at her.
"Oh no!" The woman whirled around and rushed over to her. "I forgot all about you! I'm sorry! I'm Kendra, this is Tannin, and the unconscious one is Alenk."
She cleared her throat and forced herself to sound not as afraid as she felt. "Will he be okay?"
"Oh, he'll be fine," Kendra waved a hand dismissively at him, "he just used too much energy."
"Pardon me," Tannin interrupted, "but how shall we address you, miss...?"
"Creina," she said, "My name is Creina. And... what just happened? Are you wizards? Are we in Rogim?"
Kendra looked over at Tannin.
"Those two are Wizards," he said, "I'm a knight of Rogim, and we are currently on the border. I'm not quite sure what happened myself."
"Good," Creina took a big breath. "If you're a knight, you're just the person I need to talk to. The military recently executed the king and took over, they're looting the countryside, and plan on invading Rogim."
"It's worse than we thought then," Tannin said, glancing at the carriage still parked farther back along the trail. "We should warn the capital immediately."
"Yes, but the fastest way to do that is to wait for him to wake up." Kendra said, jerking a thumb back at Alenk.
At that, Alenk moaned, and slowly sat up. "What hit me?"
"Class one restricted battle spell from the second dynasty, I believe." Kendra said.
Alenk looked at the crater. "Oh."
He was silent for a moment then looked over at Creina. "Are you okay?" She nodded.
Kendra quickly filled him in on what Creina had told them.
"I'll let the the Council know about it." he said, and walked off into the forest.
Creina wasn't quite sure she wanted to know how he was going to do that. She'd heard stories about wizards. She'd never met one of course, it'd been years since anyone in Caradan had seen a wizard. So far, the two in front of her weren't what she'd expected. If one listened to the Natas, wizards were mean, evil creatures with pale skin, black hair and even blacker eyes and a black soul and cruel heart to match. These two were about as far from that stereotype as you could get. That didn't exactly surprise Creina though, from the way a Natas mystic changed the subject every time someone asked about wizards, she gathered that the two groups had some kind of disagreement in the past.
The other stereotype description of wizards that she'd heard stated that they were kindly old crones who traveled the countryside preaching about some strange foreign god and practicing magic to try to convert people to their belief. Creina didn't give much credence to either view; both sounded like they had been watered down over time by many different people--none of whom had probably ever actually met a wizard.