Archive | July 14, 2011

Mighty Sword – from the_vulture’s prompt – Old!Reiassan

From the_vulture‘s prompt – “An intelligent and mighty enchanted sword… that’s afraid of the dark.”

Old!Reiassan (pre-Rin and Girey by at least a war). I’ve written half a short story involving Lyuda and never posted it.

Cardon had gotten the sword for her. In retrospect, she should have suspected something right away, but he generally made sure his fighters were well-equipped; the business rode on their well-being and capability to finish missions.

And on the surface, it was a nice sword. It was etched all over in enchantments, some of them so old neither Lyuda nor her scholar friends could read the language. It held an edge no matter what, cut through just about anything, and never got too heavy. Attuned to her through a ritual that, for síra-flingers and priests, was blessedly short, it would never cut her, although it had once cut her greave in half when she’d misjudged a swing. On a mission, it was a perfect sword.

Until the first nightfall she camped in the [Dark] Forest Valley, and the sword, sheathed at her side, began talking to her.

Complaining, really. It sounded like an old soldier whose teeth had gone, querulous. At first, she thought someone was playing a trick on her, a village kid or a vagabond.

“A forest? Really? Who camps in a forest? Barely a ground cloth and a blanket to your name – what sort of mercenary are you?”

She’d been on the road for two weeks, and her riding goat and remount weren’t much conversation. If someone in the woods wanted to talk to her, she’d talk back.

“A sensible one. The nearest inn is another four hours’ ride away.”

“And what kind of country doesn’t have inns on the road, I ask you that?” The voice had a strange drawl to it, when you got over the whine.

“And who’s asking?” She couldn’t place the accent; it sounded almost Bitrani, but old-fashioned.

“I am. Adsplodea. Your sword, you uncivilized lout.”

“My sword.” She was less surprised than she perhaps should have been; Cardon had gotten the thing for her. “Okay. So what’s wrong with the woods? It’s a clear night, beautiful, warm…”

“Dark.” The weapon nearly hissed it. “It’s dark in here, lout. I can’t stand the dark.”

Lyuda swallowed a laugh. She needed this sword, damnit. “Come share the fire with me, Adsplodea. There’s plenty of light by its warmth.” She unsheathed the weapon and lay it over her knees; the bladed shimmered, and sighed. Yep, it was definitely the blade speaking.

“Perhaps you are not a complete lout.”

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@daHob’s prompt, not-@Sharontherose’s prompt, and some shelves

1) I posted an Addergoole snippet on the Addergoole livejournal, because it’s right in line with the current story. This is to Hob’s prompt from this weekend.

2) I posted more on @shutsumon’s prompt (LJ Link). It was supposed to go to @sharontherose’s prompt, but it took a left turn. Or maybe I just can’t bring myself to give Thornburn backhistory trauma.

3) [personal profile] haikujaguar posted a more-photo-rich link of the shelf house I linked to in June

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Notes on Dragon Size.

kelkyag began asking some questions about dragon size in re. meeks‘ drawing of Diapering Dragons.

How big are the adult dragons?

Me, neither 🙂 Um. Large or huge but not gargantuan. Maybe that long (30+feet), but only because rather sinuous. Sort of a xbreed between western and eastern dragons. (like Trex, they probably grow into the legs, too)

Hmm. Well, they appear to be small enough that if one licks a human, they can do so at least somewhat delicately, rather than a dragon’s tongue being bigger than a human. And drunken James (who could plausibly be close to full size?) passed out on the lawn is small enough that a broom handle is long enough to poke him in the ribs with (from a safe-from-accidental-clawing distance? Does that make his legs not more than, say, five feet long?), while talking to him at the same time, though a long flexible dragon neck could make the latter easy. I get the impression from that scene that carrying/rolling James home was not a feasible option, though that could be more about flaming or acidic hiccups than about size. And an offering of biscuits and gravy, presumably in reasonable human-home-cook quantities, is tempting, which suggests they don’t eat multiple whole cows at a sitting …

So, is that room big enough for the adults to fit into comfortably? Is the window high enough for them to see out of? Or is the window deliberately baby-scale (perhaps in a corner of an adult-scale room)? It looks like the little fellow could fit out of the open window if he tried, though I don’t know that he’s that agile yet.

Baby there is decidedly not sinuous yet, especially with those whomping huge back feet, but that, too, can be grown into. 🙂

… I guess you’re just going to have to help me figure out what they look like! 😀

Hrmm. What if length vs. circumference is a function of age?

Do they grow their whole lives, or do they reach some maximum size and then stop? Do they grow in stages (as with the color change(s)), with major molts in between (like poor Jimmy is going through, or wrapping up), or is it more continuous? Is adolescent Jimmy close to full size?

Could Jimmy, or one of the adults, carry Juniper, her whole family, more? In his claws or on his back? And still fly? Are their wings (and the skeletal structure they’re attached to) big enough for them to fly mundanely, or is there some magic/handwaving involved in that? If they fly mundanely, they’re going to need a huge breastbone/keel for the flight muscles to attach to, and it would make sense to keep everything else as light as possible — which could work with the length/circumference changes. Where do their wings sit/attach relative to their legs? It looks like Baby’s wings are no further forward than his front legs, and could be well behind them, depending on how they fold — and if he’s going to fly mundanely, his wings are going to grow a whole lot relative to the rest of him.

On the ground, do they usually walk on two legs (t-rex?) or four? Can/will they do the other, or is it impossible/undignified (if sufficiently sinuous, walking on two legs could get awkward)? If four, how do they routinely carry things around? If they’re outside/have space, do they prefer to walk or fly?

… I, umm, might think about things by asking questions, which does not work for everyone. Or I could try to ask more story-oriented questions. Juniper is imagining warrior-princess-and-dragon — does she think the “and dragon” is a fellow warrior or a faithful steed? How do they travel? Do her storybooks/imaginings usefully reflect real dragons, or is she going to run into some “but all the stories say …” issues?

I actually work really well from questions, actually! (laughs at self… actually)

I think they grow in stages.
I think Jimmy is at, say, the middle of 5 stages (baby, child, teen, young adult, old adult).

Jimmy can carry Juniper on his back, and her dolly in his claws (not sure on that one)
Jimmy’s parents could carry both of Juniper’s parents on either of their backs and still fly.

They fly either mundanely or mostly-mundanely.

Perhaps they can’t fly until early adolescence?

Not sure about the two/four. Thinking four, and now I’m picturing a dragon carrying a baby in its jaw like a stork.

They enjoy flying, but locomote comfortably in cities by walking.

Juniper’s and-dragon fell in Telepathic Horse Who Fights when I was imagining the story. They travel by flying, and her imaginings are realistic, sometimes more than the stories, which can get a bit more fanciful.

C/P’ing this to my journal, if you don’t mind.

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Dark Corners

For @Shutsumon’s prompt “The things that lurk in corners,” though I think it’s going to be part of a 2-parter. Addergoole Year Nine, more Ceinwen and Thornburn.

While they don’t have a landing page yet, the Ceinwen/Thornburn story goes:

His (LJ Link)
I Hate You (LJ Link)
Keys (LJ Link)
(LJ Link)

And now Dark Corners:

When Professor Pelletier saw Ceinwen’s collar, she pursed her lips and asked one question: “Who?”

Ceinwen, who liked the Sciences Prrofessor, even if she was a little scary, gulped and answered: “Thornburn.”

That made the Professor frown in a strange way, and discarded answers flitted across her expression before she settled on a thoughtful “Well, it could be worse.”

Thinking of his friends, and the nasty things the one of them, Curry, had whispered, thinking of the electricity that had jolted her as she left her room Saturday night, Ceinwen couldn’t help but agree. Still, she was glad to have the professor confirm it. “I don’t like it,” she said anyway, because she didn’t.

“Neither do I, but you’ll do all right with him. Just shine your light on his dark moments, and you should be okay.”

“My light?” It wasn’t the strangest thing the Professor had said, but it ranked up there. And her knowing, pensive smile didn’t help much.

“You have a light that shines on the things that lurk in dark corners, Ceinwen. Aelgifu has something similar, but she was rather busy in her time here. Use it well, and it should see you, and all of us, through the rough times.”

She had no idea what the Professor was talking about; it sounded religious, which startled her a bit. Nobody here seemed the least bit faithful, for any definition of faith she’d ever encountered. She forgot about it, just trying to get through the day, trying not to think about Thornburn, foiled at every step by the collar he’d sealed around her neck.

The things that lurk in corners. That sounded like him, like his friends, like nasty Curry with the creepy look in his eyes. It sounded like most of the upperclassmen around here, truth be told. Creepy little monsters, waiting to jump out and bite when you least expected it.

The Professor’s words were still in the back of Ceinwen’s mind when she went to sleep that night, naked against the soft jersey of Thornburn’s pyjamas. Shine your light on his dark moments. What was that supposed to mean? So far, her captor had been dispassionate, cool, and collected. He acted as if owning another person was completely normal; of course, so did large portions of the school. But he hadn’t been mean, or violent, or angry. She hadn’t seen any darkness at all.

She drifted off to sleep, pondering what Pelletier had said. Darkness. The things lurking in the corners. What was she supposed to do, go around with a flashlight, poking it in dark places?

Dark places. The room around her came to vivid life in her dreamscape – taller, narrower, full of shadows. Everything locked away in chests and boxes, like the box Thornburn had put half of her stuff into. Everything covered with spiderwebs and dust. And in the corner…

No. She didn’t want to go there. She was his, awake; she didn’t want to be his in her dreams, too. She fled, finding that the door didn’t hold her, here.

Corners, everywhere. Bits of color and shining light, yes, but dark gritty corners, everywhere, tiny creatures skittering about. Like a basement, just like a basement. She flailed, heart pounding, reaching for the light switch.

White, shining trails of light poured out of her, twisting in spirals like a ribbon, drilling into the corners, illuminating everything, wrapping it all in streamers of golden brilliance. In one corner, a black waif of a shadow reached for the light, grabbed it, and stood, stretching, becoming a specter of sunlight herself. In another, the shadow and the person split, the shadow slipping further into the corner, the person (un-recognizable, just a silhouette of a thin boy) standing tall.

Shine your light on the things that lurk in corners.

She twisted, turning her light back homewards, pulled by the bond he’d imposed on her, pulled by the dark corners in her captor’s dreams.

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