Posted by: wrmcnutt | May 22, 2009

Fiction Friday – Promise of Power, Chapter 4


Welcome to Fiction Friday, when I attempt to force myself to finish my novel, by exposing you to one chapter a week. Hopefully, you’ll help inspire me to get the remaining chapters finished.  On review, this material is a little steamier than I remember, so be aware that it’s aimed at the 14 – 17  crowd and that it’s only had a single edit. Think “Conan Meets Harry Potter – And Then Takes Hermonie Off For A Weekend In London.”  I was afraid of getting trapped in endlessly re-writing the first chapters, and wanted a completed work before I went back to edit. So you’re getting my juvenile prose raw.

                                   CHAPTER FOUR

             That night, they slept a respectful distance from Giant’s Foot Lake.  Cirelle cautiously sprinkled a circle of wildsage powder around the campsite, making no promises, but granting a semblance of safety for the night.  Alex had only been unconscious for a few minutes, but had managed to acquire a sizable lump on the back of his head and a headache that came from physical and mental injury.  Cirelle tended to his physical injury in her usual detached manner, but has no remedy for the strain his mind had experienced.  Alex sulked a bit further from the campfire than the rest of the group, bound tight in his bedroll.

            Kelendora come over to him after she had cleaned off and sharpened her sword.  Her routine had been firmly engraved into her mind by Maledar, and it seemed to be reassuring to her.  She placed a hand gently onto what she assumed was Alex’s shoulder. “How are you doing?” she asked in a half‑whisper.

            “Fine,” Alex muttered.  “Just fine.”

            “Do you…would you like some dinner?  We’ve got plenty,” she said, trying to sound cheerful.  “Heleana found a rock‑rabbit while we were playing with the Torg.”

            Alex glared at her from the confines of his blankets.  “You  were playing.  I was napping.”

            “Alex, damn your stupid hide!  You were trained by a crook and a fraud!  Of course you can’t work magic!  Now…” she searched for words, “…stop pouting and have some dinner.  You’re getting to be such a bore!  `Boo hoo, I can’t do magic, wah wah, I mess up every spell I try.’  Really!”

            The mockery angered Alex, but he felt the chiding draw up a load of irony that he hadn’t been able to see before.  He suppressed a chuckle, reminding himself how mad he was.  “It’s not funny,” he pleaded.

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           “Wrong,” Heleana chimed in from a few paces away.

            Cirelle kicked her playfully in the shin.  “Come on now, oh mighty mercenary bitch from hell.”  Her voice dripped sarcasm. “Our esteemed sorcerer is entitled to mope.  Wizard’s Law, Codex Fifteen, Sub‑code Twelve, Paragraph Sixteen:  `Mages can mope all they want to.  We say so.'”

            “Oh,” Kelendora said.  “I hadn’t realized.”  She patted Alex on the head.  “Never mind.”

    Several minutes later, Alex unwraped himself and walked the few paces to the fire.  A dog‑sized rodent was impaled on a spit, browned and over half‑eaten.  “We saved the head for you,” Heleana said with a gesture to the rock‑rabbit.

            Cirelle looked him over.  “We’ll get you to Sardonaxyl. He’ll get you straightened out.”

            “If he’s still alive,” Alex muttered his gaze locked on the roasting meat.

            “If he’s still alive,” Cirelle responded cheerfully, “and not insane or too senile to work magic.”

            “Catch,” Heleana said.  She threw him an anatomically unidentifiable piece of rodent.  “And wash it down with `Relle’s soup.  She actually did a decent job of it this time.”

            A small iron kettle was burping ominously at the edge of the fire.  Alex leaned over and took in a nosefull of its vapors.  It was heavily spiced, an more of a vegetable stew than a soup.  He recalled his mother’s advice, so many years ago, that to make a good soup one should actually cook a stew.  Using a pair of tested sticks, he tipped the kettle’s contents into his wooden eating bowl.

            Sunrise came, as always, much too early.  Alex was wakened by the sound of grunting and crashing; Kelendora and Heleana engaging in their daily combat drill.  He pulled himself loose from his bedroll and looked for his shoes.  They were placed on sticks next to his head, inverted to keep out the dew.  The soles were unevenly worn, and nearly broken through in several places.  He checked them for spiders and put them on.  He hoped that they would last until they reached Broht, the first city on the other side of the Gramming Forest.

            Cirelle handed him a half of a star fruit.  “We’ll be sleeping under tents tonight.  It’ll probably start raining just after lunch.”

            Dread build up in Alex’s gut.  They had been spared most days from walking through the rain, and he had hoped what their luck would last.  Worse, a night on wet ground was nothing to look forward to.  “You haven’t been wrong so far.  But I’ll hope for it.”

            She met his smile with one of her own.  “Get your gear together.  We’d better make time while we can.”

            Alex finished his fruit as he checked for his few personal effects, and then bound his bedroll together, brushing it off as he did so.  He finished his task just as the fighters were completing the last of their drills.  He paused to admire their exchange of blows and parries.

            Both were armed with sticks, Heleana wielding one the length of her spear, Kelendora holding one as long as a sword in her right hand.  Both wore their usual fighting helmets, Kelendora’s plain with a simple nose‑bridge, Heleana’s decorated with a griffin and sporting a solid chin‑piece.  Heleana had on her asymmetrical chainmail, while Kelendora had padded leather over her torso and waxed leather on her elbows and knees.

            Kelendora was practicing parry‑riposte‑parry combinations in answer to Heleana’s vicious attacks.  Heleana was using either no pattern at all or a pattern so complicated that it mimicked randomness; Kelendora was forced further and further back as the older woman pressed her attack.  Finally Kelendora changed her pattern to one of parry‑riposte‑riposte, answering each blow with two of her own.  Heleana finally called “hold” when her knuckles were caught in a collision of attacks.  Kelendora nodded and lowered her guard.

            Alex was about to say something when Heleana spun on her left heel and brought a butt‑blow down on Kelendora’s head.  The surprise failed, as Heleana had tried the move (successfully) in earlier bouts.  Kelendora brought her sword‑stick above her helmet, and deflected the blow; Heleana jumped back to avoid a toying swipe to her backside.

            “Care to join us?” she asked.

            Alex flustered.  “I…don’t think so.”  He hoped that the warmth in his face wasn’t a blush.

            Heleana shrugged.  “Your loss.  Let’s go, Kel.”  As they walked away, Kelendora looked over her shoulder at Alex and scowled.  Alex wasn’t precisely sure what she was mad at, but he had a good enough guess.

            Cirelle slapped him on the back.  “Missed your chance, kid. Just as well.  We have to get on the road as soon as possible.” He turned at her.  She was packed and ready, and had set the other women’s gear in order.  She had her traveling cloak on, though its hood was not raised.  It was woven from flax and dyed grey‑brown, tightly knit to repel rain and retain body warmth.  She carried a freshly‑cut walking stick; the one she had brought with her to Altavia had been left behind when the Water Torg attacked their previous camp.

            Alex decided to take advantage of the wait for the mercenaries’ return.  “` Relle, what happened in the war?”

            She glanced to one side.  “We lost.”

            “That’s what you said before.  That’s all I’ve ever gotten out of Maledar, too.  Why was there a war in the first place?”

            She sighed.  “What do the approved histories say?”

            “They say that General Shecht, in his lust for power, conspired against Beudric’s father, King Lorren.  He stole from the treasury to…” Alex paused, uncomfortable about reciting to obviously biased an account, and then continued, “…to hire a mercenary army.  But the King’s Regulars, spearheaded by the Black Dragons, won the day.  End of rebellion.”

            Cirelle fingered her walking stick.  “You’re a good student,” she observed halfheartedly.  “You recite what you read well.  What else do you know?”

            “Just that Kel lost her parents in the war, and that you were in it with Maledar and Sardonaxyl.  I think you were in Dydren’s Black Beasts…”

            “It was a good company.  A damned good company.  One day I’d just like to meet another captain as caring and competent as Dydren was.”

            “He was a good mercenary?”

            “Among other things.  The truth is, kid, that we were a Regular Company a long time before we went mercenary.”

            Alex’s eyes widened.  “You were in the King’s army?”

            “Um‑hum.  One of his best units.  Do you know the colors of the royal house?  Think about it:  green, gold, red, and black. Then think about the troops in the Regulars, and their reputations.”

            “I’m afraid that my education didn’t go into that very well, Alex said.

            “Not to worry.  The best troops are the blacks, followed by the reds, the golds and the greens.  Ever hear of the Green Raiders?”  Alex nodded.  “They’re trash.  Battlefield baggage. And you’ve certainly heard of the Black Dragons.  They were the Gold Dragons, when I was just starting out.  Every four years during peacetime, Lorren held competitions, some of them not so sporting, between his units.  If you blew it, you were `greened.’ Sometimes, like with the Dragons, a Gold could beat out the competition and become a Black.  Not often, though.  The Beasts were always Black.  Dydren saw to that.”

            “So what happened?  Why did your unit go rogue?” Alex asked.

            “Did you ever read about the Maekedian Uprising?  It’s in all of the standard histories.  What actually happened ‑‑ I’m not sure how the histories tell it ‑‑ was that the King can up with a flat provincial tax.  Every province had to pay the same tax.  You can guess who came up with that one.”  Alex didn’t want to stop to ask her who she was talking about.  “Anyhow, the Maeked Province is the smallest in the Kingdom, and it refused to pay any more than the old tax.  Naturally, Lorren took it the wrong way and he had some units sent in to take what wouldn’t be given.  Including the Black Beasts.”

            Heleana and Kelendora were coming through the woods back from the stream, and Cirelle hurriedly completed the story.  “We decided not to go.  Dydren resigned and the unit followed him out of the country.  Oh, that’s not all that was going on, but that was the `flea that snapped the span.'”

            Alex wanted to press her for more information, but it was Cirelle was in a hurry to leave, and she did not, as a practice, talk while on the road.

                                       ***  

            The next day, following a cruel night’s rain, they had the blessing of a sunny day with moderate temperatures.  Just before midday, Heleana ran back to the group.  “You aren’t going to believe it,” she beamed.  “Just ahead.  You’ve got to be very quiet.”

            “No games, Hel.  What is it?” Cirelle asked impatiently.

            Heleana smiled.  “Follow me and find out.”

            Cirelle grunted something unintelligible and picked up her pace.  Alex and Kelendora looked at each other, and saw each other brighten with anticipation.  If serious danger were ahead, Heleana wouldn’t have been so cryptic.

            Clearing the next hill, an expanse of foothills lay in the distance, ridge of hills followed by ridge of hills.  Most of the hills were decked in green, but a few were barren.  Alex looked in the sky to see if the mysterious discovery were flying about them.

            “Don’t you see it, Alex?” Kelendora asked in an excited whisper.  Alex shook his head, and Kelendora pointed to a hilltop.

            Suddenly the cluster of hills took on meaning; Alex saw the illusion for what it truly was.  “By all that’s pure and holy, there’s a dragon over there!”

            “She’s beautiful.”

            “At least two hundred paces long, unless there’s more than one,” Heleana observed.  “Say, Alex, do you know how you tell a boy dragon from a girl dragon?”

            “Yes, unless you’ve got some silly punch line in mind.  That dragon’s the same color as the hills; green and brown, with splotches of grey.  Males dragons are like male birds; brightly colored and hard to miss.  Given that she isn’t moving and it’s nearly mid‑day, I’d guess that she’s nesting.”

            “That’s what I was going to say,” Kelendora added.

            “Good call,” Cirelle said, “which is why we need to try to go around her as far as we can.  Nesting dragons are the most dangerous ones.  A hunter her size wouldn’t think of us as a decent mouthful.  But nesting, she’ll kill us if we get close enough to be a hazard to her eggs.”

            “Let’s get moving, then,” Heleana said.  “She probably knows that we’re nearby.  If we stop for too long, she’ll get concerned about us.”

            They headed out as quietly as the terrain would allow, constantly keeping their eyes on the scale‑covered hills.  Their travels took them close enough to see the hills slowly rise and fall with the creature’s slow breaths.  Alex recalled tales of mighty wizards sauntering up to the mightiest of the world’s beasts and challenging then to duels or games of riddles.  This close, he discounted the vast bulk of them as absurd fabrications. He couldn’t imagine standing in front of one and finding the courage to do more than soil himself.                    

***

            The moon was high in the sky.  Alex was trying to get comfortable on the rock‑studded ground when Heleana placed a hand on his shoulder.  He startled instantly awake.  “What is it?” he asked.

            “Hush.  Nothing to worry about.  I just wanted to check on you.”  There was an odd quality in her voice.  His mind finally identified as warmth.

            “Uh, I’m fine.  Ground’s sort of lumpy, though.”

            “Mind if I lie down next to you?” she asked as she did just that.  “It’s chilly out.”  It was cool, but no more so than usual. Alex rubbed his eyes and looked into hers.  She draped an arm over him and pulled herself close.  “I’ve seen you looking at me.  Do you like it when I’m walking in front of you?  I’m told that I have a very nice ass.”

            Her smile set the night alight.  “You do…it’s very nice.” He found himself trying to make out where Cirelle and Kelendora, especially Kelendora, were sleeping.  Heleana grabbed his head with both hands, covering his ears, and pushed her lips to his. Her mouth tasted harsh and rich, unique as she.  Alex tensed, and Heleana eased back, allowing to relax.  When the muscles in his face calmed, she passed her tongue over their joined lips.  Alex felt faint, then tried to respond.  He tried to force his tongue into her mouth, but she resisted and slowed his initiative. Heleana slid her hand over his back and brought it to rest on his buttocks.  They played games with their mouths and tongues, and after some time she made her way into his blankets and they shared the night together.

 

            Alex awoke to a gentle kick to his ribs.  “Up and at `em, loverboy,” Kelendora said in clipped tones.  She was gone before Alex could clear his eyes and turn to find her.  He was flooded with confusion and panic.

            Heleana turned to him and growled.  “Up and at `em, loverboy,” she said with considerably more ardor.

            His heart raced, his face flushed.  He wetted his lips.  “Uh, good morning.”  He tried again with more enthusiasm.  “Good morning.”

            Heleana slipped easily from the knotted blankets.  She arranged what she had on and leaned over and kissed him on the forehead.  “Time for sparring practice.  Sounds like Kel’s going to give me a run for my money today.”  She winked. “Remember, life is for living.”  She left for her own pack, and readied herself for mock combat.

            Heleana hadn’t given Alex much of a philosophy to work with, but he weighed her words for the rest of the morning.  Cirelle treated him just as she always had, and he rather imagined that it wasn’t the most shocking thing that she had seen in her years. Heleana acted, in general, as if nothing had happened, though she did place an occasional peck on his cheek, and sometimes when he looked at her, her smiled at him.

            Kelendora treated him coldly the next day, and the day after that.  He did not sleep with Heleana the next night, though he did wait much longer than usual before going to sleep.  The next evening, he sought her out.

            “Alex, how are you?” she asked brightly.

            “Uh, fine, Hel.  Say, did you want to…spend some time with me tonight?”

            She smiled warmly.  “You’re such a dear.  Get plenty of sleep.  Tomorrow we’ll reach Zantiel.  It’s not as big as Altavia but it has plenty of civilized treats.”

            “`Relle’s said.  Hel, you haven’t said anything about the other night.”

            “What would you like for me to say?  That I enjoyed myself? Certainly I did.  You were fine.  Alex, I hope that you don’t think that it meant more than it did.”

            He didn’t want to meet her eyes.  “No, no, not that.  I just wasn’t sure if it…well, if it meant anything.  Oh, never mind. I…”

            Heleana bent over to look Alex in the eyes.  “Alex we both needed something that night.  I think that we both found it.  What more is there than that?  As soon as we get to Sardonaxyl, you’ll start studying under him, and that’s the last we’ll see of each other.  Don’t make this difficult, Alex.”  She pecked him on the cheek and left.

            Alex sighed quietly to himself.  So this is what manhood was like.

 

            Zantiel was located in the Zan River valley, just on the north‑western edge of the Gramming Forest.  The city was nearly hidden in the woods; unlike Altavia, which was located on generally even land, it was terraced around sloping contours.  The most important buildings were located near the banks of the Zan, three temples, a compact castle, and a trading house.  The temples were built by markedly different faiths, as evidenced by their architecture.  One stabbed skyward like an inverted icicle, ten times as tall as wide.  A second was domed like an ice‑house in the Northern Reaches, but crafted from large red earthen bricks. The third was built along a massive A‑frame, and decorated with reflective tiles that at times made it impossible to look at.

            There was no wall around the city, and hence no city gate. Evidently the terrain made the city safe enough from assault. Alex looked nervously at his clothes, worn and dirty, and at his shoes, nearly tattered to shreds.  He hoped that his ragged appearance wouldn’t gain the attention of the city guard.  He looked over to Cirelle, and she was quietly setting an example for him.  Though as disheveled from the road as he was, she carried her head high and met every curious glance.  Heleana and Kelendora preceded her like a formal escort.  Kelendora kept her sword sheathed, and Heleana had a leather pouch wrapped over the head of her spear.

            They wandered through the streets using the castle as a point of reference to navigate off of.  Zantiel was in the same kingdom as Alvatia, so their currency would not need changing, but Cirelle took them into the first moneychangers’ they spotted.  She gave a bald and half‑blind man two pieces of gold, and he handed back forty‑nine pieces of silver.  While still in the shop, she gave Kelendora and Alex each ten of the silver coins.  Kelendora put the money in her coin pouch; Alex stared at the for a moment before dropping them into his pouch.  They voiced their thanks.

            “Kel, there should be a cobbler’s near the trade house.  Ask around if you can’t find one.  You know how to pick good traveling boots?”  Kelendora nodded, glancing down at her own durable footgear.  “Make sure that Alex spends all ten silvers on some boots.  I’m tired of balming his feet.  We can’t stay here more than two nights.  The silver should be enough to have a rush job done.  Spend your own silvers as you like.  We’ll meet you two back at the fountain we just passed…”

            “The one shaped like a carp?”  Kelendora asked.

            “Right.  We’ll meet you there at evenmeal time.  Don’t make us wait.”

            “Certainly not.  We’ll see you then.”

            Kelendora and Alex stepped back out into the street and made their way without difficulty to the artisan’s quarter.  “Ten silvers?  For boots?” Alex said in casual amazement.

            “You never pay more than a silver, am I right?” Kelendora asked.  Alex shrugged.  “I thought so.  You get what you pay for, Alex.”  There was bitterness to her voice.  “We’ll find you some good eight‑silver boots and give the cobbler and extra two to get them made by tomorrow.  I’m glad that we aren’t leaving town right away.”

            “I need a feather bed and a hot bath.”  Kelendora smiled at the thought.  “So, what are you going to do with your silvers?”

            “I don’t know.  I’ll see if there’s anything I need.  I couldn’t get a decent weapon or armor with it, so I might just save it.”

            “Uh‑huh,” Alex grunted.  They passed a series of animal stalls.  “The wind says we’re near a tanner’s.”

            “Lovely smell,” Kelendora noted.  “We shouldn’t be far. Over there, I think.”  She pointed down a side street.  They walked a bit further.  “So.”

            “So,” Alex said.

            “So how was she?”

            “Huh?”

            “Don’t play stupid, Alex.  I’m just curious.  What was Hel like?”

            Alex knew that he was walking into a briar patch. “She…well, I guess she was good.  To be honest, I don’t have much basis for comparison.”

            She tilted an eyebrow.  “She was your first?”

            Alex looked away.  “No, not exactly.  If you must know, I went to the Coellan Temple once.”

            Kelendora grinned.  “Temple prostitutes?  Alex, I didn’t peg you for the type.  How was it?”

            “Awful.  Nothing to go back to.  The women offer themselves to the temple until they get taken, and I didn’t know what I was doing, so I ended up with one who had been there a long time.  It wasn’t her looks so much as her personality.  Selfish and stupid. She…never mind.”

            “What?”

            “She smelled.”

            Kelendora laughed.  “At least women usually wear perfume. Men…well, Hel told me a story…”  Alex glared.  “Alex, you weren’t her first.”  She snickered at the idea.

            “I know that,” Alex said indignantly.

            “Well, some men evidently think that a bath a month is excessive, and of course they expect you to…” She pursed her lips and crossed her eyes, mocking the act.  “Gross!”

         “Oh, I think that’s a cobbler’s over there.”

            “I see it, but he does citywear, fancy stuff.  We want someone who won’t skimp on leather.  Follow me.”  Kelendora raced to a weapons smith’s shop, a stall with and open front and a dozen curved‑bladed broadswords on display.  The smith was taking a break, eating a sausage that had been heated in the forging coals. He had a notch in his left ear, a sign in some kingdoms of criminal guilt.  Then again, it might have been the result of a bar brawl.

            “Got a minute?” Kelendora asked him.

            He stood.  “Need a sword?”

            “No, boots for my friend here.”

            “Do I look like a cobbler?”

            “Just thought you might know who gives good measure.  Just asking,” Kelendora said.

            Alex lifted a sword from its peg and pulled the blade halfway free.  “Put that back, unless you’re buying,” the smith grunted. “You don’t look like much of a swordsman, boy.”

            “I’ve worked with a weapons smith.  You’ve got a good fold here.  Ten folds?” Alex asked.

            “Twelve.”  He glanced at the sword Alex was holding.  “But my apprentice made that.  He’s probably cutting corners again.”  Alex passed the blade to its owner.  The smith spat and threw it behind the forge.  “You know your metal, boy.  Say, you’re not local, are you?”

            Alex noted a shift in his intonation.  “No.”

            He stood between Alex and Kelendora, turning his back to her. He lowered his voice.  “I know a weapons mage.  Do you sell? He’ll pay top silver.”

            Alex thought on his feet.  “Sell?  Sell what?  I just used to haul coal, tote water, coke the fire, that sort of thing.  What did you have in mind?”

            The smith’s shoulders relaxed.  “Nothing.  Just checking.”

            “Sorry I can’t help.  I’d appreciate it, though if you know a good cobbler.  Who does your scabbards?” Alex asked.

            “Go down that way,” the smith pointed to the north.  “Tenth stall on the left.  Tell her that Madren sent you.  She’ll take care of you.”

            They nodded to each other, and Kelendora and Alex headed north.  “Those scabbards aren’t that good,” Kelendora said once they had gotten a few stalls away.

            “I know.  I asked so we could avoid it.”

            “What was he asking you about?”

            “I’m not sure, but I’m worried.  I don’t know how he could have done it so quickly, but Balock might have contacts in town looking for me.”

            “How about that shop over there?”

            Kelendora walked over to the craftsman.  He was smiling and smoking a stone pipe, paying attention only to his work.  A child of no more than nine intercepted her.  “What `cha want, mam?” the girl asked.  “Wanna buy some shoes?”

            Kelendora nodded.  “Your father does good work.”  The cobbler hadn’t raised his head from the workbench.

            “He’s my uncle,” she said indignantly.

            “Yes dear?” the man answered to the use of his title.  “What do you need?”

            “This lady wants some shoes,” the girl said.

            “Sir…?” Kelendora began.

            Finally the shoemaker looked at her.  “None of that nicety around here, Miss.  I’m Grett.  Everyone calls me that.  What can I make for you?”

            Kelendora pointed to Alex.  “My friend needs boots. Traveling boots.”

            Grett looked down at Alex’s feet.  “I’ll have trouble sizing him.  The way his shoes look, his feet are probably swollen.”

            Kelendora smiled.  “Do what you can.  How much?”

            “I can probably do something by way of traveling boots for five silvers.  Better if you want something pretty.”

            “I don’t care what they look like, but I need them to last. What will eight silvers get me?”

            The man scratched his head.  “That’s a funny way to bargain, lad, but I can get some first‑rate leather for that, and make then so that I can re‑size them once you feet have gotten used to decent wear.”

            “No time for that,” Alex said.  “Two extra to have them ready by tomorrow mid‑day?”

            The cobbler shook his head.  “I don’t like to rush, and my apprentice is at her mother’s funeral.”  He pointed to several shoes in various stages of completion.  “And I’ve got work aplenty.”  He put his chin in his hand.  “If I don’t get much sleep and put everything else on the back burner, I can do it. For ten silver…they won’t look like much, and the fit will be a bit large with your feet the way they are, but I’ll use the best piece of hide I can lay my hands on.  It’s your choice.”

            Kelendora and Alex both smiled, and Alex reached for his purse.

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Responses

  1. I like, of course that is no surprise, I’ve liked the other chapters too………Really like the Wizards code, moping allowed ……..hahahaaa

  2. and now we wait for next week….

    this is why I don’t watch TV shows when they are actually on broadcast TV…I have no patience. I want to keep going with the story!!!!!

  3. Here’s looking forward to next week. Are you getting the editorial feedback you need?

  4. Oddly, other than a few positive comments from Laura and Scream – there’s been no feedback at all.

  5. A traveling cloak would probably not be made of flax (linen), but fulled wool. And the wool would be woven not knitted. In fact, I’ve never seen straight flax knitted, only woven.

    The other parts of the description are fine. But wool would be the ‘keep the rain off, keep me warm’ stuff.

    • I had thought of that as I posted it. I know a lot more about medieval fabric than I did when I originally wrote this. That will be changed in the next edit.

  6. I’ve seen typos and such, but those are much easier to fix in a printed format with a pen.

    I don’t see much point in being critical…..yet I’m enjoying the story.

  7. Okay, you’ve obviously had a lot of “life” going on since May, but it’s time to get back to this. I have had the pleasure of getting to read 4 chapters at one sitting– but how long will I have to wait to read more?
    A few typos and a couple of places where the transitions were rushed, but what a fun and readable first draft!
    More. More. More.


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