Friday, August 30, 2013

To have a map

1. So that you know the surrounding area.
2. As a reference for when your story takes place in a fictional land.
3. In order to plan a scavenger hunt.
4. So you can hike within your physical limits.
5. That way you don't get lost. Unless you are not good at reading maps...
6. To learn the names of places.
7. So that you can prepare for the environment of your destination.
8. As fuel for a fire.
9. To take notes on.
10. To hold over your head for shade.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Happy two hundredth post, Terrarth Tales.

“Harith, why have you brought us here?” Akram asked as the sunlight gave his translucent skin a warm coloration. Harith carefully rubbed his injured right shoulder before answering.
“The capital is not safe.”
“The capital is fine!” Husani said with a snort. “The healers are just incompetent. So they haven't cured a few commoners. A simple quarantine will take care of them, then we can deal with the healers.”
I suppressed a growl, hands clenching as I glared at Husani. The illness that was spreading through the capital was worse then he knew. Catching my look, he shrugged. “Obviously your mother isn't one of the incompetent healers, Aliyah.”
“This trip is merely a precaution.” Harith said quickly as my wings flared open. He glanced toward the sky. “Calm yourself, Aliyah. We don't want to draw attention.”
For a moment, I merely looked at him. Though there was a chance that a griffin could be near by, I knew he was thinking of dragons. Fierce and proud, even a single dragon would pose a dangerous threat for our small group. Though if were attacked by a dragon, I could distract it long enough for the others to get away.
For dragons despised halflings such as myself.
I closed my wings.
“Where are we going?” Shazi asked with a pout. “These mountains are such a bore.”
“Here.” Harith answered as he directed us through a narrow path between two high cliffs. The path sloped downward. When it finally opened, I came to a stop. The path led to a small area surround by high cliffs. The cliff-face was riddled with caves, while a small pool sat in the center of the area.
Oh, and the entire place was full of hippogriffs.
“A hippogriff nest?” Zuleika gasped as she grabbed onto Husani's arm. “I'm not going in there!”
Harith released a heavy sigh. “The hippogriffs will not see you.” He said as he opened a pouch on his belt. He pulled out twelve feathers and began handing them out. “This charm will cause the hippogriffs to believe you are part of their herd.”
I moved to the back of the group and waited. After the others had gotten their charms, I moved up. Harith looked at me, and held out his hand. A single feather remained.
“Keep it.” I told him with a shake of my head. “Just tell me where to go.”
His hand closed around the feather, and I that noticed the spiderweb-like cracks on his injured shoulder had spread. Turning, he pointed across the hippogriff's territory to a crack in the cliff ahead of us. “The crack should be large enough for you to slip through, but is too small for a hippogriff to follow.”
I nodded. “I'll give you a head start.”
Watching as my twelve companions worked their way across to the crack in the cliff, I began to stretch my wings. Studying the hippogriffs, I was pretty sure that they would be more agile then me in the air. There was a large bay stallion and a smokey black mare that were closest to the crack that might give me some trouble.
My companions made it to the crack and disappeared inside. Taking a breath, I ran forward and sprang into the air. Flapping my wings, I rose higher as shrieks echoed from all around me. The smokey black mare charged forward and rose into the air like an arrow. Diving toward the hippogriff, I let out a roar.
Upon reaching the hippogriff, I tried to streak past. The hippogriff twisted, managing to grab my leg with one of her front talons.
As she ripped into my right wing with her beak, the hippogriff and I crashed. Pain shot through me. Kicking with my free leg, I felt my claws dig into the mare. Ripping myself free, I bolted for the crack; which was only a few feet away. The bay stallion reared up in front of me with a shriek. Heat filled my throat, and I opened my mouth. Fire burst out, singeing the stallion.
Reaching the crack, my wings scrapped against the rock as I shoved myself in. The bay stallion shrieked, beak snapping as he tried to follow.
The crack soon widened. A small cave lit by a illumination spell revealed the others.
“Are you alright?” Akram asked. Tilting my head back, I released a puff of smoke.
“I'm better then one of you would have been.” I answered, looking around at my companions. With their glass bodies, that crash could have killed them. Sure, they weren't as fragile as normal glass, but I was much more durable.
Being half dragon wasn't always a bad thing.
“Come.” Harith said. With some muttering, my companions and I followed. We walked through the tunnel, eventually coming to a chamber already lit by enchantments.
Twelve long, flat crystals floated in the air. My companions froze. Then they all spoke at once.
“Hibernation crystals?”
“Things aren't that bad at the capital!”
“Who will wake us?”
“Why must father be so paranoid?”
Harith whistled, a shrill note that silenced my companions. “The situation at the capital is severe, and there have been reports from other cities about the plague. We have not been able to find a cure.” Looking at each one of us, Harith offered a weak smile. “Each of you have been selected for one reason. You have not yet been infected.”
He motioned to the crystals. “The disease leaves the infected infertile. Unless a cure is found quickly, our race will die out. Except for you.”
Akram stepped forward. “If you do find a cure, we will be awoken the moment it is safe?”
Harith nodded.
Husani moved beside his brother with a frown. “But if a cure isn't found, how long will we be left here?”
Harith bowed his head. “Should no cure be found, no elf will come to wake you. We cannot risk you becoming infected.”
I nodded. Eventually, the hibernation crystal should die. If we were still asleep at that time, we would awake. Into a whole new world: for the magic of a hibernation crystal could last for thousands of years.
After some hesitation, my companions each laid on one of the crystals. Having seen my mother use a hibernation crystal before, I was able to help Harith place them in hibernation.
Finally, it was my turn.
The crystal was cold. My injured wing protested to being laid on.
“They won't find a cure.” I said. Harith gave a deep sigh as he shook his head. “The plague is magical. It adapts to our attempts to cure it. The disease does not kill, so we hope to find a cure for its effects.”
The infertility. I looked around at my sleeping companions. Six boys. Five girls.
“We're the future.” I said softly as a sour taste filled my mouth.
“You are en af Naji'Kadin.” Harith said as he activated the hibernation crystal.
My eyes grew heavy as the name filled my mind.
En af Naji'Kadin.
One of the Safe Companions.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to not be bored

1. Read a book.
2. Exercise.
3. Practice a skill.
4. Learn something new.
5. Make a sandwich.
6. Sing a song.
7. Do a craft.
8. Laugh.
9. Watch a movie.
10. Write.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Without saying goodbye

A bitter scent of illness. The howling of a merciless winter wind. The room was dim; lit only by a tiny fire that could not be fed any more of the nearly depleted woodpile. There was a feeble cough from the bed in the corner. Though she had been forbidden, Myrna crept toward the bed.
“Mother?” She whispered as she reached the bed. Covered by a thick stack of blankets, her mother's eyes slowly opened; their rich brown a shocking contrast with the pallidness of her face.
“Myrna, don't tell me...” Her's mother's voice was so faint, and trailed off as her brows furrowed with concern.
“I'm not sick.” Myrna said quickly. Her mother's expression softened slightly.
“You shouldn't have come.” Her mother scolded, though her lips twitched with the beginning of a smile.
“I had to see you.” Myrna said quietly before biting her lip. “Both Father and Morell acted strange during dinner, I was afraid-” she cut off, clutching her arms to her chest.
A shiver racked through her mother, despite the blankets. “My child,” Myrna leaned closer to in order to hear her mother, “I would never leave you without saying goodbye.”

Friday, August 16, 2013

What you might find in an adventurer's bag

1. Food and drink.
2. A change of clothes.
3. Flint and steel.
4. An empty glass bottle.
5. Rope.
6. Gloves.
7. Writing supplies.
8. Multiple handkerchiefs.
9. A compass.
10. Torches.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fair Music outtake: Introduction

Magic is everywhere. As I lazily watched the river, I noticed one of the local water sprite resting on a flat rock in the shallows near where I sat. Made entirely of foam, the water sprite had the form of a noble boy in a fine tunic. As I watched, the water sprite dipped a foam hand into the river. As he lifted his hand, a large glob of water from the river rose upwards. Looking toward an old pine on the shore, the water sprite thrust out his hand. The water glob flew toward the tree and smashed against the gray bark.
I held back a laugh as the water sprite was pelted with pine cones from the tree. This particular water spite enjoyed teasing the dryad that lived within that pine. There was some kind of encounter between the two at least once a week.
With a yawn, I leaned back and pulled out my pipe. Carved from wood, the simple instrument only had a handful of tones that it could play. I had made this particular pipe a year ago, when my old one had broken. Bringing the pipe to my lips, I began to play. The tune began soft and slow, but rose in volume as it shifted into a fast ditty.
“Phyre!” My sister called. I had lost track of how long I had been playing. I finished the song I was in the middle of playing, then slowly lowered my pipe. Standing, I brushed dirt off of my pants. Slipping my pipe into the long cloth sheath on my belt, I headed downriver toward my sister.
She was waiting for me on the road that led home. There was a smudge of flour on her rough brown skirt. Both Alessandra and I had our father's hazel eyes. Alessandra had mother's straw-colored hair, while mine was a brown similar to drying mud.
“You called?” I asked, sweeping into a bow. Glancing up, I grinned as she crossed her arms. Although six years younger then me, my sister Alessandra could be quite a handful.
“Father has been looking for you.” Alessandra said as she turned and began walking toward home. Straightening, I headed after her. “I haven't been gone long.” I said as I rubbed her head. Alessandra pushed my hand away. “You've been gone for three hours.”
“Three hours?” I asked, eyes widening for a moment. Surely it hadn't been that long. Alessandra gave a nod. “Yes. What have you been doing?” She asked, looking up at me with a frown.
“Practicing, among other things.” I answered, gently tapping my pipe. “I'm not going to be stuck in the mill my entire life.”
Alessandra let out a breath and rolled her eyes. “We're not adventurers, brother. Besides, father needs you here.”
I shook my head. “To do what? Make just enough from our labor that we can keep the mill running? Any extra money we make goes toward your dowry or to repairs on the mill and house.” Lifting a hand, I motioned toward the river. “There is so much more to the world then what we have here!”
I was tired of being confined to this small piece of the kingdom. I had only traveled to three other places outside of our little town of Reed. Nari, Nex'us, and Zeltsrio were only a few days journey from Reed by wagon, and I had visited each on deliveries.
The capital was full of wonders, but I wanted something that was not easily found within a town.

I wanted to see all the different types of magic that existed in the world.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Reasons for a movie marathon

1. To experience the entire story. It can be very enjoyable to watch a series from beginning to end in one sitting. But be warned that you may experience an overload from this.
2. As a way to spend time with friends. Movies are fun to watch, but when you a friend or group of friends watching with you it is much more amusing.
3. In preparation for the next movie. Reviewing what has already occurred can be a great help when you watch its sequel. That way you don't miss any continuity nods.
4. As research. Say you want to write a screenplay or act. By studying a movie series, you can gain insight on how to improve your own writing or acting by seeing what works.
5. So you can eat lots of snacks! Part of nearly any movie marathon is an overabundance of snacks. Why not enjoy some?
6. To share the movies with someone else. Sharing something you like with someone who has never seen it before can be an enjoyable experience. If they become a fan of the series, then that means you have someone to talk about it with!
7. For the background events. Many movies have funny things going on in the background. As you have a marathon, try and see what funny event you've missed in previous viewings.
8. So you can dress up! Most marathons are incomplete without a good costume. Why not pull out your invisibility cloak?
9. For the game opportunities! How many people can you find wearing a bowtie? What food is seen most often during the entire series?
10. To provide entertainment. After all, why watch a marathon of something you dislike?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Magical objects

From my experience, most magical objects are pretty amazing. They not only have useful abilities that are easy to use, but they look magical. At least, that is what I've seen when adventurers pass through my town.
Looking around the market, I could see three different groups replenishing their supplies. It was easy to tell which group was the most experienced by finding their magician. Any respectable adventuring group had one, since nearly all magical objects were both empathic and intelligent; typically chosing who they wanted to work for. A magician was the only one who could convince a magical object to work for someone other then the one they had chosen.
So in any experienced group, the magician would have control of most of the magical items and have them prepped to accept a new user.
I smiled as I picked out the magician with the most experience. She was talking with another magician. The contrast between the two was significant. The younger magician had a good selection of magical objects with him, most of them visible and not very organized. While the woman magician had only three magical object visible: a gold stitched bag that could probably hold far more then its small size alluded, a ruby ring on her right hand that made it difficult to remain focused on the magician, and a staff of pale wood that felt magical to me.
"Opalus!" I jerked my gaze away from the magicians, but was sure it was too late.
"Yes?" I asked as I looked at my father. He handed me a basket of radishes. "Take this order to the mill. Quickly. I don't want to catch you dallying or watching magicians." Father said gruffly.
With a nod, I left our stall and headed in the direction of the mill. Aware that my father could be watching, I tried not to slow as I neared the two magicians.
"Must he complain about not having a crystal ball?"
"Well, our bard heard that a golden thimble can make any cloth repair itself, so that's all our magician talks about anymore."
The trilling of magical objects rang in my ears, and I felt tempted to see if I could identify which had spoken.
For it wasn't the magicians I was interested in.
But the magical objects.

Friday, August 2, 2013

What you could tell from another's eyes

1. If someone is tired.
2. That they might be an alien.
3. If the person is actually a magical creature.
4. When a person might be anxious.
5. That you have surprised someone.
6. The person is angry.
7. That your joke wasn't as funny as you thought it was.
8. If a person is upset.
9. That someone is bored or distracted.
10. What color eyes could be common in their family.