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Author Topic: A Sanctum of Swords: Chapter 21 - The Hourglass Game Excerpt  (Read 31150 times)

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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: A Quick Update!
« Reply #320 on: December 21, 2022, 09:02:29 AM »
A Sanctum of Swords - Update Summary:

Completed Chapter 19 after another 4,000 words and I am set to begin Chapter 20 soon.
Work continues apace - still on target to meet my deadline.
Four chapters and an epilogue remaining.

This is going to be a difficult remaining third act I think - as I am going to likely rebuild most of each chapter to reflect each narrative change and to expand the initial scenes, in addition to streamlining them.

We will see how it goes!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2022, 09:05:16 AM by Myen'Tal »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: A Quick Update
« Reply #321 on: January 3, 2023, 12:08:22 AM »
Quick Summary:

Holiday break is done here for myself!

I have returned to ASOS' manuscript revisions and have reached about another 2500 words into Chapter 20. I am looking to have the chapter completed over the next couple of days.

Gearing up to meet the goal line - will keep everyone updated!

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Offline Myen'Tal

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RE: A Sanctum of Swords: Chapter 16 - A Throne Between the Stars Excerpt
« Reply #322 on: January 5, 2023, 10:27:05 PM »
###

Seated around the hearth’s burning flame, Gadara watched the embers scatter about the abandoned temple of Zahira. Lesser pieces of the kindled flame, brought little light into the interior space’s dark atmosphere. Around her, the embers withered to dead ash, the gentle dark returning in the absence of the kindled lights. That cycle of illumination and darkness, sun and moon, represented much the same symbolism of the hearth altar itself: the immortal cycle between life and death.

Gadara had found a quiet place during daybreak to keep her vigil about the temple. Hours had passed afterward, the sands waning in the hourglass she kept safe on the altar the only method for keeping the time.

Her elder brother, Mahir of Suann, spoke above the softened roar of the flames. “You’ve been keeping quiet since the early dawn. You’ve nothing to speak about during our final evening here in Suann?”

She didn’t look up, but found her brother’s hazed outline with a mere turn of her head. “I haven’t thought of anything to say all morning. I can’t think of anything to ask about that I don’t already know your answer to… And my mind has been brooding throughout the last couple evenings about our mother. I don’t know how Lucine will fare without her children.”

“Speaking about everything you just mentioned would be a good beginning,” Mahir said. “Gadara, you’ve never quite been comfortable enough being weighed down or restrained by fear of the unknown and uncertain.”

“Quite the assumption, brother,” Gadara chuckled, “to think that I’ve never concerned myself about anything ever before.”

“I said you’ve never concerned yourself enough to be restrained or weighed down by mortal fears… You’ve might never have noticed, but I don’t believe you’ve ever been afraid of anything. Not enough to keep you back from achieving everything you dared to achieve or dream about. Your climbing up the Suanna Bluffs despite many broken bones, your feats of agility and dexterity against many of Suann’s most talented youths… and your invitation from Sanctum Queen Karayan to become an Ashen Blade–“

“Just like yourself, brother?” Gadara interrupted, smiling at him. “Not quite the unique achievement like the previous points you made.”

“That may be the truth for the time being, but everything changes with time. Just like Lucine has always told us.”

“I don’t think half-a-day passes before mother reminds us again…” Gadara’s sentence trailed off from a resurgence of her fear of the uncertain. “It won’t be long before I miss mother and Suann… and maybe you after another several years have passed.”

“Just like you’ve always stated,” Mahir said, “I believe that Zahira will cross our future paths sooner than you may think. Still, the years that will pass between now and then might change us both beyond recognition.”

Gadara looked up for the first time in several hours, meeting her elder brother’s darkened stare. “You believe the sands in the hourglass will change you that much? So much so that maybe not even you will recognize yourself?”

Her elder brother didn’t speak for a moment, contemplating Gadara’s spoken question. “You’ve never been one for being afraid of the uncertain and unknown. You should leave those fears to your elder brother. I’ve enough courage to carry your burden on my shoulders alongside my own… Just be certain to keep your wits about you and continue living. Your elder brother shan’t disappear from either your memories or our current reality, at least not for some time yet…”

###
« Last Edit: January 5, 2023, 10:29:39 PM by Myen'Tal »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: Update Summary
« Reply #323 on: January 20, 2023, 09:39:26 AM »
Time is ticking down to the final hour before my appointment with the editor.

I am also happy to announce that I am still on track to get my manuscript over to said editor at the appointed time. I have started on chapter 23 and once it is finished, only the epilogue will remain. I'm still making frequent edits on every scene in recent chapters. I've gotten so used to correcting the mistakes that I recognize commonly and using the streamlining process that I've become accustomed with, it's honestly not requiring too much effort to get each scene and their respective chapters to a good place.

Once this is completed - it's time to hit the paint table again.
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: Update Summary
« Reply #324 on: January 22, 2023, 12:28:59 PM »
Another status update!

I've commenced the great work on Chapter 23 - scene one is completed. I will continue on to complete the chapter soon.
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Offline Dread

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: Update Summary
« Reply #325 on: January 29, 2023, 03:00:44 PM »
Glad you're still plugging along on this. Hope you maintain your sanity.
"Burning thru the universe in search of peace only brings more war. Peace is an illusion, war is reality, that is the way of things"

                            Farseer Gol'Istria of    the Morea Nebula craftword

Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: Update Summary
« Reply #326 on: January 29, 2023, 05:30:17 PM »
Glad you're still plugging along on this. Hope you maintain your sanity.

Haha, thank you, Dread! I am doing my best!

I've actually delayed the appointment for a little bit just to take a rebreather for the next little while.

I will update once the gears are turning again!
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: A Sanctum of Swords: Chapter 21 - The Hourglass Game Excerpt
« Reply #327 on: Yesterday at 08:14:44 PM »
Just sharing a later chapter excerpt as I finish up to get this ball rolling toward the launch date.

Chapter 21: The Hourglass Game Excerpt

“Our paths diverged earlier than anyone might’ve anticipated.” Korian spoke aloud, each word echoing across a celestial bridge running between dimensions. “During our time on the mortal sphere. The three of us have treaded our darkening horizons into the Penitent Sanctuary. Our paths have crossed again at long last.”

“Strange,” Gadara said, “I had always thought that after taking the Penitent Pact, that none of us would ever see each other again. Despite the passing decades, each separate road that we tread upon through life have always reunited us before too long.”

Journeying deep toward the beating heart of the labyrinth, the unnatural world began to alter inside of Mahir’s mind. Together, the mortal children of Thearus delved deeper through an unnatural passage of cobalt granite, natural bands of gray running through the ancient stone. An endless rampart tunneling beyond time and space, through the deep abyss. Having endured the passing of eons, time had weathered the passage heavily, breaking down the regal stone enough to leave gaping wounds in the hall’s uniformity.

“Our legendary Enigma remains the only exception,” Mahir admitted, “Honored Korian to everyone back home in Suann.” His thoughts paused inside of his mind at a sudden realization. “Though I suppose that was all before your rebellion against Sanctum Queen Karayan. Having been absent from our lives for two decades, maybe you could finally tell us why everything that happened… happened?”

He spied the celestial heavens through the myriad of cracks running through the passage. A black abyss, a scattered veil of nebulous lights glowing throughout the vast expanse. Adrift amid the kaleidoscopic backdrop of nebulae and fathom-less black holes, ancient celestial bodies hurtled through obscuring meteor fields and a myriad of other anomalies.

Mahir noticed Korian looking up into the fathomless dark shrouding the ceiling. A myriad of memories seemed to be running through his contemplative eyes.

“Karayan,” Korian said, shrugging once in acknowledgement. Almost as if the name stole all semblance of will and endurance from him. “An aspect of our Goddess incarnate, assuming the guise of the Reaper that watches us all.”

Descending farther into the broken labyrinth’s heart, the fabric holding reality together began to unravel. Each step made in succession transitioned him further from the Penitent Sanctuary’s unnatural, but familiar aesthetic into something more akin to cosmic.

“Her knowledge has always surpassed my own,” Korian continued, “to an extent enough to make me realize that I understand just a fraction of what she does. Her mastery of the Art of Death was always flawless, a never-ending font of inspiration for a devoted disciple such as myself. An inanimate blade would rather not speak about her charisma nor her myriad of charming guises.

“Our High Queen would only wear any of them on the eve of handing down a marked contract for her Severed Hand to fulfill. Another soul fated to be reaped and offered up on Goddess Zahira’s altar.”

The Penitent Sanctuary’s unnatural reality came undone. Ancient walls shattered long ago remained in some semblance. Shadows of what the Ascended Pantheon had linked to the heart of this realm. Mahir advanced on through the cobalt-gray debris locked in levitation, scattered about the chamber.

“Stranger still then, uncle Korian,” Gadara whispered beneath her breath. The sound seemed inaudible to the other mortals journeying ahead. “You sound like you admired her… maybe even had more intimate emotions for her?”

Korian shrugged again; his stoic countenance unreadable even by Mahir. “Maybe once upon a distant time, before my trial of blades. I was still young back in those days. Amunet would tell you that I might’ve been in the prime of my life. Your uncle was still dark of thought and spirit, only just taking up the Penitent Pact.”

“You journeyed to Akara and pledged yourself to the Ashen Blades?” Mahir cocked his head at Korian. “I’ve never known many kindred daring enough to be that bold.”

“No,” Korian made a purposeful shake of the head. “I hadn’t thought to ever make the journey. I suppose the honest truth is that Karayan had come to Suann the night before everything. She had come to pay my hearth and home a visit. She honored my younger sibling and your mother, Lucine and your father during that time.

“She had heard rumors enough to come seeking me out in person. Our High Queen’s compensation for my induction into the Ashen Blades Syndicate couldn’t be denied. A wealth worth more than the blades of twelve legendary champions of the syndicate¬–an entire vault of precious gemstones and other artifacts given unto Lucine. I had accepted and departed with Karayan without anything to my name.”

Gadara snorted derisively. “It’s difficult to believe that, Korian, considering the humble lives we toiled through during our journey into adulthood.”

“Lucine always said she had no use of the wealth nor any intention to use it. That sacred vault remains somewhere in Suann. Your mother said the vault would only be opened on the fateful dusk that her children returned to hearth and home.”

“I’d wager you’re avoiding the question.” Mahir confessed at last. “Korian, what happened between Karayan and you, if you both admired one another so much?”

All echoes of the physical world vanished without warning. An absence of gravity made his body feather-light, weightless, as the ancient corridor eroded into oblivion’s abyssal shadow. The weathered stone disintegrated underneath his feet; each step taken lending him the impression of walking on wisping clouds.

“An inanimate blade will not yield the truth behind the creation of its aesthetic at the heart of this broken labyrinth. We should not fall behind our noble band of allies. Should we manage to leave this place far behind us, I will retell the narrative of that forgotten rebellion.”

“Mahir,” he heard Jaleh calling from up ahead. “Are you familiar with anything like the heart of this broken place? The celestial laws of reality appear to have no hold on the astral projection of our souls anymore.”

He looked ahead, finding Jaleh walking upon the fathomless void between the stars. A gentle leap off of her backfoot bounced Jaleh high above anyone else. A sapphire nebula in the backdrop framed her body, enveloped in the radiance of a golden sun. In the absence of gravity, Mahir detected something else luring him through the celestial oasis like an invisible reel...

#Excerpt End#
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:23:27 PM by Myen'Tal »
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