A FATHER'S MERCY
Saints of Wura Flash Fiction
“Tell me, daddy. Tell me about before it came.”
The father had led the young girl to a trickling stream. She had always loved the river. It was on the edge of their land and a spot where they could see the stars. He started a small fire and laid her down to where she could just touch the water rolling over the rocks.
“Before? How long before, dear child?”
She smiled and looked up at the starry sky. “At the beginning, before we went to the trees!”
Her father began to light a fire with the small amount of kindling he had brought with them. He stacked wood and after the flames caught, tossed other sticks on top of it.
“It was a grand time. The gods were within the world. We were new to it as well. Magic was alive and strong, flowing through the air like fairies do near our home.”
The little girl smiled as her father paused. “Keep going!” she begged.
He set a pot of water with several herbs on the burning wood. The fire was not large, but they did not have much time. He had to be sure the fire was hot enough to infuse the water. He had picked a lovely bouquet of chamomile earlier in the evening. His daughter loved chamomile. She twiddled a flower near the edge of the stream and wasn’t watching him. Before the left, he had ginger from the woods near the old city and a small bag fairy dust that remained behind as the last fairies disappeared.
He also had some extra herbs, he hid those from his daughter. He was careful to add them in between her glances toward him. She laughed as she tried to take a peak at what he was putting in.They liked to play a game where she guessed what kind of tea and he would make tonight no different.
As the water began to slowly steam, she twirled and danced before him.
“Daddy! What other stories can you tell me about then?”
He pondered for a moment, staring into the slowly bubbling pot. He had many fond memories and he fought back tears as he thought of his love, the girls mother, already taken from them.
“Before it came, your mother use to take you to the fields near the glowing trees. It was nights just liked this, where the summer wind blew through her hair and your giggles filled the air, we would spend time beneath the heavens.”
“I remember that! I remember the moon being so bright!”
The world had become less of a place since then. It was dangerous to be out at night, especially, on nights with moons like this. They were always looking for their kind of people. They were always hunting for elves.
“Daddy, daddy, what else can you tell me?”
The tea was done. He had two wooden cups that he poured the herbal tea into before sweetening with a dab of honey.
“I will tell you, but first I wish you to drink my tea and for us to play our favorite game.”
“I know what you want and I saw you sneak in ingredients! I can still guess it!”
He smiled at her as she sipped it. She took one sip and grinned. “Chamomile! My favorite!”
He laughed, “Very good, my child.”
She took another sip and he forced a smile, holding back his own tears. Her back was to the fires that had begun in the distance.
He laughed and then gulped, “Very good.”
The fires spread quickly. The elven homes built into the great woods were burning. They would soon come towards them. His daughter began to sit up but he placed his fingers to her lips and shook his head.
“Drink more and tell me what you taste.”
She took another large sip. “Honey and… daddy?”
She had laid back flat and turned towards the river. She reached out to the stream.
“Yes, my child?” I ask, but I already know.
“I can feel something, something inside me. I will never grow as others. I feel... do… do I… go to… mommy… now?”
He placed his hands on hers. It had taken hold in her some time ago. The sickness, the plaque of their people that had already claimed so many. But it was not what took her now. He feared those that hunted them. They were coming. They had come for so many of them already. The two elves could not escape the horrid genocide against their kind.
“Yes, we both go to mommy.”
He took a large gulp of his tea as he watched his daughter’s hand fall into the water as her other released her cup, spilling her tainted tea on the ground. She had always loved the river. He made sure she was near it when they were both to see their last. He laid his head on her chest as he saw them staring at them.
His vision faded.
A stout legionnaire stood above the father and daughter. He sheathed his sword.
“These elves are already dead. Move to the next village and for the glory of men, we will destroy all of them before their sickness spreads. The gods be with us. We kill them to protect our own.”
The legionnaires left the two elves. Heading further into the lands to seek out the last of those they deemed evil. The magic in the world was fading and would soon be gone.
The race of men had used the perfect poison and many more would die before the end.
Thank you for reading this week's entry! Join me next week for another flash fiction story!
In the second book of my trilogy, Arcane Awakening, I introduce a loose group of Islands as a direct opposition to the imperial Grand Protectorate. Let us take a look at these peoples:
The Island Nation is in southernmost region of the Glacial Seas off the tip of a peninsula where lay the ruins of the fortress of Srun. At the point in history where this story takes place, Srun is nothing but a ruined keep on the cliffs above a roaring sea. But it stands as a place of defiance for the chieftains of the Islands. It was their last major stand against the Legions and is their resolve as a seafaring people that they secured their own place in the world and remained independent of Grand Protectorate rule.
Kersa: Chieftain Knasgriff
In the far west is Chieftain Knasgriff. One of the few to actually take up arms against the Grand Protectorate, he is the closest to the mainland and has been forced to deal with the forceful takings of people on the outskirts of his island. He is also a dear friend of the mysterious Kealin, the man of the sea, whom plays a large part in book two and three.
Bovika: Chieftain Tvila
To the far east is the shipwrights of Bovika. Their chieftain is Tvila, young in years in comparision to the others, she commissions her people to build the fishing ships and later warships of the books. She is the source of a love interest for one of the characters.
Ukka: Chieftain Ruir
The men of Ukka: Large, tall, and fearsome. Though the smallest in number, their black flag banners of a skull and dripping blood have flown over many decimated battlefields. In a civil war with another Island nation their power was reduced but they are the shock troops of the Island nation. Their chieftain Ruir is boisterous and is as likely to fight as he is to pass out from the drinking of too much mead.
New Srun: Chieftain Colui
Consider New Srun the city of remembrance. A grand hall adorned with relics of the past. An aging Chieftain more likely to nap than fight but not to dishonor him as a warrior, he is simply that old. Colui remembers the fall of Srun, the once grand city that had united the Island Nation. He prefers a stature of peace unless war is absolutely necessary.
Lunis: Chieftain Maerin
If a capital city of the Island Nation was to be chose, Lunis would be it. Having the largest population and the grandest of buildings, it is one of many reasons Chieftain Lunis has been under a careful eye from the other chieftains. Though some doubt his allegiance, he holds the title of Chieftain and in such commands respect from the others of the Island Nation. He also has the manpower to field the largest navy if the need arose.
The Island Nation is one of two unified rebellions against Grand Protectorate rule. Those of Taria, the land where Sviska is sent at the beginning of Winemaker of the North, is the other. I will write a post about Taria soon.
Magic in the Saints of Wura
While editing book three in the Saints of Wura series, I’ve felt compelled to write of a central subject in the book: Magic, and arcane lore in general. There are minor spoilers below but nothing too big. Yes, if you haven’t read book one yet, I will reveal that magic does exist and becomes a central component to the plot.
First, magic is in everything that exists. It exists as a unifying force and can be used for either good or evil and is indiscriminate to such. The largest barrier to the use of magic is the channeling device used and the mental capacity of the user.
All users of magic must use a device of some form to channel magic. Be it a wand, amulet, book, or staff, magic cannot be tapped without a device except in the case of the race known as the Rusis. There is a reason, however, they were almost completely destroyed well before other races of magic… more on that later.
At the time of Winemaker of the North, the only newly created channeling devices were staffs, grown from The Grove in the realm of the Sea-god Meredaas. The staffs sprouted from the trees could then be enriched by the power of the sea and were used in the Priory of Kel and Temple of Wura in Elinathrond. But these were particularly limited. The Order of Wura are normal men but ones that swear fealty to the god Wura. Other than producing light and containing the ability to “stun” an opponent, their staffs allow the user to do no more.
The staffs used by the Priors of Kel, however, are much more powerful. Healing, telekinesis, and the destructive blasts of fire seen in the siege of Elinathrond near the end of book one, reveal that the war-god Kel blesses his followers with true power. Limited only by their master in book one (the Priory Master Naskin whose staff is the actual staff of the war-god) the priors are the most powerful wielders of channeling devices at this time in history. The staff of Kel itself is one of the god devices and one of two in Winemaker of the North. (Sviska’s dagger, with the ability to manipulate water, is a device of the sea-god.)
The race known as the Rusis are the masters of elemental magic and at one time were the principle ruler within the lands. They had only one city but many grand masters of their craft. Fire, ice, lightning, earth, the elemental magic useable by this race, are essentially as simple as breathing to them, at least at lower levels. The one Rusis that remains is Garoa, but his abilities are limited in Elinathrond until given his gift by Brethor in preparation to taking the mantle as a Saint. Though the Rusis do not need channeling devices, they are weakened by its use and it would seem that the only internal way to push pass this weakness is channeling inner power of the heart (fear, greed, rage, etc.) That being said, it is obvious in Winemaker of the North, Garoa uses most of his strength to melt the floor of the Estate as the 1st Legion pursues them in the western wing. A contrast to this weakness is in Arcane Awakening at the cliffs of Tuonia where he is able to summon massive whips of fire knocking back rank after rank of legionnaires after the events there…okay, that is enough, no more plot hints here!
More on the Rusis people themselves, their abilities made them to me much more feared and their seeking for domination began a war that resulted in the scattering of their peoples…
So far, we have talked of channeling devices and the people that can use elemental magic with ease, but of a more particular interest, especially to book three, is the other type of magic…
The power of the mind and the Dwemhar people
There is little I can say of this. Even within the series, I’ve spoken very little of the Dwemhar. Pure bloods of the Dwemhar, at this time, have not been revealed. But half-bloods do exist. The Dwemhar were a chief race but of a purer form than even the elves. The Dwemhar were above the use of elemental magic and closer to the gods in capacity at full form. Full form Dwemhar, perhaps better termed as reaching the state of Enlightment in our world, would need little to dominate their enemies, that being said, once in full form, they would not have the same desires that became the pitfall to the Rusis race. This is a key and one to pay attention to in the development between book one and book three.
The Dwemhar are something I plan to expand on in future books. Just as I expand on the half-elf Kealin’s story in an upcoming book, my future plans will lead to a few different roads in the world building thus far and I’m excited to share it with you.
If you have any questions or thoughts, drop a line in the comments below and by all means feel free to read more in the Saints of Wura books!
Also, I am now on Facebook and if you enjoyed this post or like my books, I encourage you to like my page! I'm trying to reach as many people as I can and your help would be very much appreciated!
At just pass midnight on 5/21/2015, Saints of Wura Book Two, Arcane Awakening, went live on Amazon! As of an hour ago I spotted it on the Amazon Hot New Release list and those that preordered their copies had them delivered to their Kindles automatically. (preorders are cool like that!)
To those of you that preordered the book and those that have went on to by it after release this is a huge THANK YOU!!! You guys are awesome!
If you haven't had a chance to grab a copy or are just interested in general, head here to check it out!
For now, it is priced at .99 but that price IS temporary and will go up within the week. So if you haven't got it yet please do! It is also available on Kindle Unlimited if you are subscribed to that. :)
Also, if you have read any of my work, I would love for you to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews help others to decide if they wish to read a work and within a competitive ebook marketplace can be a deciding factor on someone trying a book out!
Book 3 is in the editing stage and will be out in August. Join my mailing list above to be notified when I have news of pertaining to all things Saints of Wura.
May the gods of the North be with you all.
Within the heights of frigid rocks and barren peaks stands a refuge in the north, a flickering flame of burning hope, and at one time no more than the vents of the homes of the Snow Dwarves. Elinathrond was a city made for all that could reach it to hide from the evils of men and the curse spread from the southern gods.
When the wars between gods in the ethereal lands came to the world of their creation, the kingdoms of men, elves, and dwarves clashed against one another. It was the latter two that fought together in the end and were the last to stand in open war for their own people. Those between the gods it began, it became a fight for survival for many. Those of magic fought those against magic. It was a holy crusade for men and a desolation for those that could no longer call men 'friend'. The gods of the south had deceived men to their own ends and suffering was unending.
Many magical races fled north into the mountains and within the walls crafted by dwarven hammers in haste. The city of Elinathrond at its height was impregnable. The Black Shards, crystalline gargoyles had unceasing gazes to watch the walls and lands beyond them. Any entity breaching their gaze of ill intent would become as ash. Even now within the walls is a Temple to the god of the North Wura, the trickster upon the polar lights, and a Priory to Kel, the war-god. Each stand as sources of hope for the people.
At last, there is the Estate, the home of the caretaker of the city in charge of guarding the sacred vein of magic burning deep within the mountain. An ever-burning source of magic to protect the people from the ravages of the curse meant to be their undoing, to be their bane.
But Elinathrond is fading, the city is weakening, and the world of men send one to undo all what that has been done to protect those of magic. The Winemaker shall be the one to undo all that is within the sacred refuge...
Read more in book one: Winemaker Of The North
ON SALE NOW!!
Kindle Countdown of Winemaker Of The North
Its just a few days before the release of Arcane Awakening, the next book in the Saints of Wura trilogy and I cannot wait for you to read it! In preparation for the release and as a special prior to it, I have a Kindle Coundown deal for book one, Winemaker Of The North. Right now it is only .99 for the first book! Head over to Amazon quickly because after tomorrow the price goes up to 1.99!
Also of mention, the sequel is only .99 as well. That's two fantasy tales for under a price of a cup of coffee! :D After the release of book two, the price WILL go up so act now and secure your copy at a lower price!
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