Self-Publishing – Laying Bricks Ep 4: The Pathway

Take notes folks. This is how you do it!

The PBS Blog

Laying Bricks(1)

People lay bricks for many different reasons. Whether you are building for a brick home, a drive through, or storefront, the process is the same. Like mathematics, as long as you have the basic formula for masonry you can succeed in brick laying. As long as you remember to add, subtract, multiply, and divide you can solve any seemingly complex mathematical equation. Unless of course you’re like me and you hate math.

Nonetheless, Self-Publishing is the same way. Once you’ve established the basics of building a book, you can do so repeatedly and that is what this series is all about. Everything else is just an add on. You may have built a house but it doesn’t have to stay the way you built it. You can add rooms, roofing, or extra bathrooms if you want.

Now that we’ve written a well written story, gotten it edited, beta read, and…

View original post 1,853 more words

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A True History of The Isles Part 14- The Nations Arise.

Although many folk know about Alfred (The Cake) and 1066, there is not much popular knowledge about the time in between. This seminar addresses the problem

The True History of The Isles Part 14- The 10th Century

 

As it will be recalled Alfred (The Grate) who burnt cakes and beat the Danes (and not the other way around as some sensationalists would have us believe) had shown Great responsibility by dying in 899, so as far as his kingdom was concerned everything could start neatly in the 10th Century. Of course not everyone was inclined to go along with this trend, particularly other kings. However, at the risk of upsetting the sensibilities of other nations of these isles, it is necessary to proceed in an orderly fashion because at this stage Dates started to matter. Thus everyone will have to put up with this seminar dwelling on the 10th Century.

 

The Big Bit (Soon to be England)

When Edward came to the throne of Wessex he found out he might have been the first king to be called Edward and thus quite rightly called himself Edward The Elder. No sooner had he sorted this out than he had to deal with a revolting cousin Aethelwold who tried to be king, by kidnapping a very religious woman. On finding out his chances of success with this ploy were Nun he then tried to get help from the Danes. Edward a master tactician ensured Aethelwold and The Danes fought in someone’s home, where they one got in each other’s ways so that many leaders and Aethelwold died. Edward then assailed others just in case they had thought about rebelling. He also astutely noticed a bishop who everyone else had been ignoring and then as kings were inclined to, he reorganised the church while inventing shires. At this stage he wisely died in 924.

Although only named Aethelstan Edward’s son finished off assailing everyone his father had not found the time to. Through these efforts he was able to discover England. In addition, much to the chagrin of the Welsh kings they found out that because of technicalities in Aethelstan’s parents’ wills, they were now obliged to recognise him as their king, some tried to claim poor eyesight as an excuse not to, but since lawyers were often bishops this ploy foundered; the folk in East Anglia and Northumbria sympathised but having been assailed by both father & son could do little else. Since Picts and others had been invading for at least 800 years Aethelstan thought they should have a taste of their own medicine and invaded, successfully in 934, then went away. A bit miffed the Scots with Vikings invaded right back in 937, as they pointed out, quite rightly there had not been a great battle last time, so that invasion didn’t count. Unfortunately for the invaders Aethelstan won. With that done, to ensure the welsh stayed within the terms of his parents’ wills he set about ensuring that there was a lot more written law than there used to be. He also created more churches and schools to ensure that not every churchman became a lawyer. He also started the English tradition of interfering in Europe, but in a modest way by marrying off his female relatives to whoever was available. With all this business going on he forgot to get married himself; in fact, he was so busy he was unable to find the time to find out why he had died in 939

Since it was impossible to equal such who were nearly as Grate as Alfred, later kings became rather depress and woebegone, some arranging to be martyred and others just plain murdered, while one claimed he was peaceful in the hope that the Danes would leave him alone (it didn’t work). This trend culminated in Aethelread who is recorded as being Unready, but was actually Ill-advised and thus easily fooled by The Danes. Although he spent a lot of time in the 10th Century (ruled from 972) he is more interesting the 11th Century.

During this time many advances were made in civil and sometimes civic administration. Earoldomen were appointed to rule bit of land. They were also expected to ensure the king’s law was upheld, as long as it suited the king and them. The Church grew in power as long as the king allowed it, otherwise he would invoke the separation of Church and State and any bishops (arch or otherwise) from their bodies. Some religious folk found this part very trying and opted for building little stone churches in remote parts of the country and train up for sainthood. Taxation was of course unavoidable; Vikings were however.

Scotland

Although bits of Scotland were ruled continually by The House of Alpin, it was a very quite (sic) large house and so there was plenty of room for furious disputes between cousins, brothers etc. So much so that family get-togethers were known as battles.

Domnall mac Causantín (or as the English lazily called him Donald II) having heard what was Alfred (The Graet- to be Saxonish) was up to, swiftly died in 900. Promptly came Causantín mac Áeda who as with most kings of that time was bothered by Vikings, and was distracted and surprised when Aethelstan turned up and insisted he was the top king. Causantín having more important things pressing, ie Vikings agreed if only for the chap to go away and let him get on with more important things ie relatives and Vikings. However, on finding The English were calling him Constantine and The ‘II’ at that, he resolved to take action. He accomplished this by advising the Vikings that Aethelstan had invaded and had not had the common curtesy to have a battle. This affronted Viking sensibilities so they joined him in an invasion of England. Since Aethelstan had inherited a thing or two from his grandfather Alfred (The Aelfred- The Wise Elf-no kidding-check it yourself!) about Vikings there was a battle, which was either a great English victory or not depending who you read. Causantín survived refused to be called Constance and died unusually of old age in 952, having abdicated (or not) in 943.

The kings who followed had terrible trouble with not only Vikings, Britons of Strathclyde but also the tempestuous Gaels, and of course treacherous family members. Thus they did not have a lot of time to make memorable advantages in administration civic or otherwise. They did however invent ‘The Epithet’ by which they would be known. These were colourful such as “the Dangerous Red” “the Aggressor” and “the Vehement” although one pallid fellow ended up as being “The White”. This was much better than the Franks (of France) who were being very disrespectful by calling their kings “The Fat”, “The Bald” “The Simple” and even “The Mad” never mind whether they were a Charles or a Louis.

Cináed mac Maíl Choluim “The Fratricide” not surprisingly ruled from 971-995. He didn’t care whether the English called him Kenneth or not, and proceeded to war and raid in all directions. His one attempt at legal reform was to try to ensure that only his children could be king (or even queen). Since lawyers had not been fully established in his domain, his attempted reform was foiled by him being killed.

Although the kings were not especially memorable in Grand Historical terms, by now they were all thinking of themselves as scots, which proves a sort of consensus.

Ireland

As it will be recalled there were kings and High Kings so along with Vikings there was never a dull moment. A very quarrelsome character known as Flann had been around for a while but died in 916, having left a lasting impression that a High King meant business.

The high kings who followed were occupied with ensuring lesser kings knew their place, fighting Foreigners who were probably Vikings in disguise, exiling, killing or blinding male relatives.

Domhnall ua Néill who ruled from 956-978 obviously was good at the job, even if he didn’t get on with brother-in-law who couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to rule Northumbria or Dublin. In addition to being king Domhnall found time to reform the army and surprised everyone by retiring to a monastery. This was a wise move as it allowed:

Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill to take charge until the end of the century and millennium and finally make sure that Dublin belonged to the Irish.

Thus did Ireland arrive at the year 1000AD in as tidy a state as one could expect from a population of 500,000 divided up amongst all those kings, with Vikings and Foreigners getting in the way.

Wales

Welsh having been left to their own devices in previous centuries had several promising kingdoms. Hywel of Deheubarth (a west and north bit of Wales) made sure there were laws, so there could be legal disputes with Aethelstan about this business of having to do what Aethelstan wanted. Eventually they reached an understanding; Hywel could fight where and who ever he wanted in Wales and Aethelstan could do likewise in England. Having ruled violently but neatly between 920-950 he died so his son Owain could continue the family business until 986.

Sadly for the other welsh kings they failed to be very memorable outside of their own kingdoms and era of reigning. Most, when not squabbling with neighbours, were obliged to sit around and hope something horrible happened to the Saxons (they refused to recognise any Angles, which probably explains the dearth of welsh mathematicians at that time)

Thus upon reaching 1000AD in reasonable order the Celtic, British and Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of The Isles took stock, each other’s cattle etc and decided it was time to finish off the Norsemen, Vikings, Danes etc .

This will be examined in more depth and irony in the next seminar.

A True History of The Isles Part 13. The Vikings- The Isles Fight Back

The Patchwork Warriors # 26

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.This is the last part of the Chapter. We’re back with Trelli & Migran… (phrases or words in italics are all references to, or taken from my previous Three- Volume Saga The Nearly Not Quite Paladins).

Trelli used to value her Ghitanixday afternoons as little interludes when she could just be herself and sometimes lazy. This had been chipped away since Migran had got her all tangled up with firstly his financial doings and now here she was in his room, sitting at this desk, looking at that nasty mirror, and him carrying like it was all quite right and proper. And why had she been such a ninny and let him talk her into this? This wasn’t excitement jiggling her tummy, no! This was being scared silly!

“What am I supposed to do?” she demanded

“Nothing Trelli,” was his anxious reply “I just want you to see how wondrous The Ethereal can be,” and his hands moved across the jewels bringing the pale misty dawn light.

“That looks ghostly,” she complained.

“No, let me explain. You see. There came upon a world upon a thousand years ago a new force which enabled folk to do things which had only been dreamed off,”

“And the world nearly got blown up,”

“Yes there were mistakes, but that was due to foolishness. Look! Do you want to know or don’t you?”

“I don’t think I do,”

“Oh don’t be so soppy! Look at these jewels! These are selected for their empathy with the Ethereal! They draw its elements from the very air and channel them through these delicate wires into the….”

“Funny looking box with a scary mirror. Something will loom out of it,” she shuffled nervously, then flinched when Migran tried to pat her knee, he had meant to reassure her, not one of his better qualities.

“No,” he tried his idea of a calm authoritative voice, it came out peevish. “Look, watch this,” and despite her whimper of apprehension began to tap out a pattern upon the jewels “You see, each impact or combinations of impacts has a certain resonance which sends out a message to the central hub within the box, which in turn generates an empathy with the Ethereal. I’ll show you,” he turned to smile, hopefully at her, finding her wide-eyed attention upon the screen.

“S-something’s writing something!”

Migran swung about in his chair; he was used to images, sounds and if you were very careful small boxes of packaged script as if a horizontal shaped page, but here was lettering in imperial classics.

Traces of Integrity,’ it read

‘It’s not in a box!’ he said, mostly to himself.

‘I saw that being written like someone had an invisible pen!” Trelli was all for accusing “Stop it now! ‘Fore it tells us blasphemies!!”

Other letters began to form rapidly, Trelli tried not to be transfixed; this was all supposed to be wrong, and she knew it, but still it was….

More letter followed

Be this thine own Evermore,’

Trelli chewed upon her knuckles and began to recite prayers begging The Good Lord God to forgive this his foolish and wayward child, Migran sat back gave out with a gasp of delight and clapped his hands.

Seek Truth in The Number Where There Are None,’

The screen faded as Migran squeaked in delight and did his own version of chewing on digits. Oh Trelli. Oh Trelli. Oh Trelli,”

“Yes, I’m here. All three of me,” fear being replaced sarcasm.

“Don’t you realise?” well obviously she wouldn’t but he was beyond sense “They were quotes from The Paladinic!! The most wonderful of works of those years before the Ages of Retributions!! That was a message of encouragement! A signal that all my years of effort have not been in vain!!”

Once more Trelli did not have any notion as to what he was talking about. Except that he was going on about books that sounded odd and if they sounded odd, then there was a horrid chance they also might be forbidden. And if this kept on she would end being questioned by a custodian!

She was going to voice her fears when Migran began to dither about with the lowest of the three drawers on the right side of his desk, doing that stupid tapping, this time on three dull looking brass screws, at which point the draw flew open, and he swiftly pulled out a volume old and battered through use, waving the thing in her face.

She managed to make an odd title of ‘A Perplexing Tendency to Persist’

“This is how I started Trelli! When father made a speculative purchase of some woebegone lord’s library and I found this amongst volumes on the husbandry of vegetables!”

He could not understand why she was so repelled by this revelation. Obviously she did not seem to understand the simple statement that this seemingly amusing and quirky tale was actually made of two layers. Firstly, part of an account of folk legendary within the realms of the Jordisk, but more important a coded guide on how you could build one of those oculators.

Trelli wrinkled her threatened nose, she was sure there was an oily smell coming out of the pages and wished he would put the blasted thing back in the drawer. Then something struck her.

“How did you know it was a code? I mean if you hadn’t seen it before. Aren’t codes complicated?”

His grin was something she reckoned those gervalons went in for at their blasphemous ceremonies before they sacrificed small furry animals, not that she’d actually seen one, but there were stories.

“Because it all becomes clear when you read it with an open mind!”

This was the limit of her forbearance. She leapt up, hands to her ears, and a new string of prayers for protection from The Evils of The Lascivious and The Perils of the Retributions, then gathering all of her determination and with finger pointing stormed.

“Dangerous! Blasphemous! I’ll give you just one day to destroy all of this! And burn it, or I’m going tell your parents!!”

Migran leapt up, still waving the book, Trelli with a mix of fear and rage swatted it out his grasp, and with teeth clenched dashed towards the volume, snatching it up, making to tear it apart. Migran in turn howled and leapt at her, the impact sending them both onto the bed, which thus avoided any concussions so allowing Trelli the chance to hit him several times with the said volume. His cries for her to stay calm being of no use, as she was given vent to strong pleas for the forces of Goodness and Purity to envelop them.

The discordant duet and rather comic struggle was abruptly brought suddenly to a halt.

As Trelli’s hands began to glow with hues shifting between red and blue.

The brief interlude of shared wide-eyed open mouthed silence was broken by the cries of dismay from Trelli.

The Patchwork Warriors # 24

The Patchwork Warriors# 25

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

There will an be an interlude while some serious re-writing of villains’ interludes takes place.

Also work must be conducted upon A True History of The Isles A True History of These Isles-Introduction and Part 1.

As detailed research upon the 10th century has brought to light some startling new information!!

The Patchwork Warriors# 25

This part involves more interaction between Karlyn and Deya, against a back drop of a ‘coming storm’

Glossary Additions:

Libratery : The closest equivalent in our world would be a Convent. However the women of the Libratery have their own agenda and ‘restrained’ parallels with The LifeGuard. Hence the Morgevan Convention in whereby ‘devoteds’ of ‘certain’ talents can be ‘transferred’ to The LifeGuard.

Devoteds: Nuns (sort of)

At Custodian Meradat’s rather unnecessary proclamation the mixed company had quit the site of their meeting and moved southwards for some while reaching another copse which by the general consensus of the LifeGuard was suited for the night.

Beritt settled against a tree and set about the long and bothersome intricacies of despatching a detailed report of events to back to Captain Dekyria and the unavoidable request for permission to accept a custodian as commander. After the custodian had gone through a quick ceremony of Hopeful Purification over the oculatorette, he and Erzns had agreed the message should be minimal and prompt, but carried out in secrecy. So she was obliged to work by a moonlight made variable by skittering clouds, sourly thinking herself lucky they’d not expected her to put a blanket over her head to cover the dim glow of the screen.

“Hi Blondie!”

Beritt had thought it the wind through the branches, but when the upside down face appeared, she discerned the noise was all down to the young woman she’d patched up earlier.

“You like trees then?”

In her two years, three lunations, one decan and nine days in the LifeGuard Beritt had a sufficient experience with the eccentric and disturbed. Since this one frowned at her unruffled question, Beritt concluded here was a girl that simply liked to unsettle people. And judging by the way she alighted in a deft drop and roll, also somewhat athletic.

“Yeh! Trees is safe, no one can sneak up on you when you’s perched high. And their friendly too,” she made cradling motions with her arms “Hold you snug and secure, if you know the branches. And they’re great places to sniff out what’s going on in the stormhiggle,”

“Stommigheid?”

“Yeh that!” the girl shuffled over to Beritt, and hunched up, hands around knees. “So you do the fiddling with dire devices then?” the question being accompanied by a mock hideous face.

“Yes, that I am. Medician and currently in my spare time working at Assessment and Evaluation. And that’s all I can say,”

“Oooh secrets!” she extended one hand “I’m Karlyn Nahtinee, and have been chosen by Custodian Meradat to help him track down some Jordy wobbler. As you can see, he’s causing all sort of problems!!”

“Medician Deya Beritt,” they shook hands “And I’m guessing, just guessing from what you’ve said we might be on the same business. But as I alluded to before that’s up to Sergeant Erzns and your custodian to sort out,”

Beritt them returned to scowling at the mirror’d screen, then became aware of the reflection of a wide-eyed inquisitive Karlyn peering over her shoulder.

“What’s them squiggles mean then?”

Beritt was about to make a terse statement to the effect that she was not very sure when there came a summoning from Erzns. He was standing of course with the custodian, who actually had been very mature and co-operative about being examined for injuries by a mere medician and a woman at that.

“Yes, of course LifeGuard. Quite correct. Attend to your duties,” he had said and sat down, the perfect patient. Slight graze to the skull, and something of a minor sprain to the ankle. Other blemishes and scars indicating he had seen worse. Nothing that her mediphsic box couldn’t attend to. He’d even allowed her to go through the lecture on possible demonic injuries without correcting or objecting.

Realising that whether she liked it or not Karlyn was in her wake, Beritt approached, saluting, slight bow to the custodian. Erzns of course did the initial questioning.

“Reported in medician?”

“Yes Sergeant. No reply though,”

“She’s got the squiggles though,” Karlyn volunteered, Beritt noted Trex and Norvan just would have had to have heard that wouldn’t they? “There were these four like circles of light,” extravagant finger gestures began. “And then they went into all sorts of skinny oddly lines, some tangled, some dancing about,” the gestures continued after the words ceased, since no one was replying she felt inclined to add “Very pretty they were too,”

“From what I was told, I think it was some sort of interference caused by rogue Astatheia,” Beritt then turned to Karlyn “Stormhiggle,” she said, pointedly; the effort was wasted.

Meradat stepped forward, despite the five handspan difference in height Beritt did not feel loomed over, just seriously addressed

“This would indicate your officers might see it prudent to contact us. We must act alone for the present. I so I shall assume command as the burden requires,” Erzns showed no indication of arguing, Beritt correctly assumed he had had previous experience with custodians, and by the ease of his statement, she guessed, again correctly, this was not the first time Meradat had been in this circumstance. She took some pleasure in some troopers’ sudden sour looks. The custodian meanwhile was directing his attention at Karlyn, who was more concerned with the overhead passage of a moth, until Beritt nudged her in the ribs.

“Custodian’s looking at you,” Beritt said

“Thank you Medician,” he said

“Ass-sniffer,” Karlyn said; to Beritt.

“Clear you mind young woman of impurities!” he announced “In view of the circumstance of the conjoint nature of this task, you will now need a title, so that the LifeGuard may address you properly,”

The term ‘squirrel-head’ occurred to Beritt, but since no one was asking her medical opinion on the girl’s statement of mind, she kept it to herself.

Meradat meanwhile made a solemn passage of his right hand from the centre of Karlyn’s temple to her brow, then splayed index and middle fingers in opposite directions.

“As instrument willing of the Lord God, I entitle you Tildelte Nahtinee,”

“’Til what, who when?”

Beritt ‘tutted’

“It’s an ancient northern word for ‘alloted’. Means the Good Lord God has set you a task,” Meradat looked quizzically at her “I was a novice devoted in a Libratery for two years, before being selected by The LifeGuard under the Morgevan Convention,” he made further sounds of approval then took Karlyn’s right hand and placed a small staff-shaped iron medallion.

“Wear this in realisation of the journey you must take in The Lord God’s purpose. And The Lord God remain with you medician,” he added. Karlyn made obvious comic sniffing sounds but was led away by the custodian for further instruction in the solemn procedure of her duties.

“Well you got him on our side medician,”

“Thank you sergeant. But I don’t suppose that’s of much comfort is it?”

“Not on this jaunt medician. Not on this jaunt,”

 

“Your assessment lieutenant?”

Bleymore was not really sure if Captain Dekyria was being sympathetically serious or gently mocking; there again Bleymore had to admit to himself he might have been putting too much thought into the statement, and so resolved to answer questions in the literal.

“The message confirms that the file encountered an intrusion from the Fourth Realm, but dealt with it. The beings which came through must have been very minor creatures to be despatched so quickly. The opening would therefore have been one which was made by either some rare natural event, or by the unforeseen consequences of someone’s action. Based on our previous information, it has to be the latter. The town of Prendaelyn would still be the most likely source,”

Dekyria stopped watching the swirl of foam on his coffee.

“Thank you Lieutenant Bleymore. Now what about this custodian and his rather odd assistant? Medician Beritt is very particular about mentioning her. She seems to have some sort of unusual ability. Any chance of that pair being targeted by someone or something which sent those creatures?”

“Err…I’d venture the opposite. If this custodian is of the sort that hunts down Jordisk he’d have gained an affinity with Ethereal tydes and the girl has her linkage. Apart from hunting down the same target as the LifeGuard, they would have displayed a certain kind of pack instinct to head for a potential trouble spot,”

With each part of his explanation Bleymore watched Dekyria’s casual expression turn more thoughtful, calculating and grave.

“You’re good lieutenant. Very good,” Dekyria gestured with his coffee “And, let’s not forget you did the self-same thing,” leaning on his chair he stood up, expectant faces regarding him “There’s a war coming guardsmen. Expect the worse and it won’t be so bad,”

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors # 22

The Patchwork Warriors # 23

The Patchwork Warriors # 24

 

The Patchwork Warriors # 24

Once more I extend thanks to all those who have been reading this series and coming up with supportive and helpful comments; you’re all part of the process now folks. My pen name is R J Llewellyn….. if this gets to publication I might just amend that to ‘Team RLJ’!

Anyhows: The lands few episodes/chapters started to gain a momentum which dragged me along out my usual ‘leisurely’ pace; hence the flurry of episodes all crammed together.

For those starting out on the writing journey getting feedback for readers far and wide is valuable, you learn a great deal, you no longer feel you are in a bubble and you meet nice folk. WP’s writing community is the nicest, most varied bunch you could ever care to meet. Try this approach yourself, yes it’s a bit nervy-making at first and always when you press the ‘publish’ button you are seized with doubt, but….writing is an adventure.

Now I’ve digressed (but for once, in a good way………………I hope)

So back to TPW…

This chapter was longer than the previous ones as not only did it include the aftermath of the first incursion by The Fourth Realm, interaction with Karlyn and Deya Beritt, but also an important interlude with my innocents abroad Trelli & Migran. All these parts fitted together and it did seemed conducive to the narrative to keep them in one chapter. So Chapter Twelve comes in three episodes. The first one involves Trelli and Migran, and is a consequence of events in Chapter Eleven. (warning comic vulgarity is involved….It’s a fine British Tradition)

CHAPTER TWELEVE

Trelli was sitting up, gasping and wondering if she had really screamed or whether the sound had only been in the dreadful nightmare. A hideous midnight scene of ugly flapping creatures cackling obscene threats. Leering at her. Then thrusting into her face their own features; twisted versions of men. She had threshed, begged for help, stumbled, felt the thick flap of bat-like wings upon her head, knew she was doomed unto a hell, when there were sudden eruptions of noises, then screams as thick bloody stuff fell upon her, she trying to scrambling away.

Into the blessed familiar shadows and shapes of her room.

As the soothing sound of the night-time sea swept away the memories and brought her into the comfort of the reality of a simple, cold night, fear gave way to relief.

Which was nudged out of the way by an anger!

“Ooooh you! You!!” she muttered as she slithered out of bed, pulling on her coat against the chill, she was going to box Migran’s ears she was! Enough was enough!!

 

“Migran!” she hissed tapping his door “I know what you’re up to in there! Now stop it at once!!”

It says much for the purity of Trelli’s heart and the fire of her anger that it never occurred to her, not for one heart-beat, of this being a most unfortunate statement to make outside of a young man’s room at night time. Migran was taken aback and a’feared that a latent ability to see through doors had suddenly blossomed in Trelli. Composing himself and also wrapping on a coat, he stumbled to the door.

“Trelli! Go back to bed! This is most……improper!”

“No! You’re doing things you’re not supposed to! And they’re affecting my sleep! Dreams! Great looming things in my face!!”

Migran’s initial agitation vanished, puzzled, somewhat he carefully opened the door, slightly, at once her face filled the gap.

“Now you just open this door!!” she ordered.

It says much for his own confusion that in turn, it did not occur to him, not for one heart-beat that young men all over the town were dreaming of such an opportunity. Whereas in his case the puzzlement growing into bafflement, caused him to do as she commanded. So with maidenly-like caution , he carefully drew back his door

And was nearly toppled over as Trelli entered by means of shoulder.

“I asked you not to be doing this!” she was saying. He quite misunderstood and was about to ask for clarification as he could not recall being so careless when she was around, when she spun on her heels towards the slight glow upon the screen.

“There!” she announced with triumph “Knew it!! You’ve been fiddling again!!”

His thoughts were mixed between the sincere hope this conversation was not reaching the ears of his parents, albeit at the other side of the house. He was sure he’d switched it off after that last success in probing new distances. On reflection he knew he had. So here was the sudden realisation that his device was coming into life on its own. He looked to Trelli. He looked to the brightening screen. He looked back to her.

“Not with- I mean I had set the device to be inert. It shouldn’t, cannot become alert by itself,”

Trelli sniffed with all the superiority anyone of the fairer sex can bring to a situation of male haplessness.

“Well it doesn’t seem to have listened to you has it now?”

He moved around her and sat at the desk, moving fingers over the jewels. His mind catching up with all of her accusations.

“Dreams? What dreams?”

“Horrible monsters!” she said “And I knew it was all to do with your dabblings with forbidden stuffs!”

“How did you know?” he asked, feeling a bit more confident as the screen soothed by his administrations settled into a soft pale blue background light

For herself Trelli stopped being confident and resorted open-handed waving of her hands.

“I don’t know! I just did!”

His eyes widened, and he swivelled his chair so he faced her, studying her with much interest.

“Empathetic- “he began, interrupted by Trelli’s slight gasp and her spinning about her back to him.

“Master Migran,” she began formally “Will you tighten that coat up please!!”

In the excitement Migran had been quite unaware of the malfunction of his attire, so with babbling apologies did as he was told, followed by an action which would have surprised those many young men, he shooed Trelli towards the door; she having had far too many shocks and surprises for one young woman in one night did not resist.

“We’ll talk about this in daylight!” he urged.

“Well you just put that away!!” she retorted and fled.

Leaving him not too sure just what she had exactly been referring to.

He glanced back at the device, idly gnawing on his thumb. Spontaneous activation? Empathetic resolution?

This was exciting stuff! Trelli with his machine could break barriers!

There was no time for sleep, or anything else for that matter; he tided away his copy of “The Lustful Revenge of the Scorn’d Princess N’Y Hishleal of Old Roder”* and set to work…

 

*Addition to the Glossary: A notorious (and much sought after) book filled with  colourful ‘energetic’ characters,  heady revenge and much erotica; some copies are illustrated! (if anyone wants to write it, be my guest, I’ll supply you with background info!)

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors # 22

The Patchwork Warriors # 23

 

 

The Patchwork Warriors # 23

Couldn’t leave things sort of hanging there could we?

In the second half of Chapter Eleven LifeGuard arrive thus Karlyn & Deya Beritt meet

 

In this unexpected violence Both Meradat and Karlyn had part dove, part been knocked to the ground; she was the first to look up

“And now there are none of them left. All blowed up now,” she turned to Meradat current engaged in sitting up and brushing fragments of the wayside from his clothing “Did you cause all that to happen with a really big pray?”

“No,” she couldn’t understand why he sounded displeased. Maybe custoadies didn’t like to be rescued, made them feel not fearsome enough “This was another agency. I daresay they will make their presence known soon enough,”

He then began to rummage amongst the bodily remains, scowling, kicking a part with his boot here grunting, crouching at any piece there, poking it with a stick and muttering, quite deaf to Karlyn loud cry that the horses had gone. When the initial outrage died down she supposed it would make sense, as the poor things would have been scared witless by those nasty creatures. Next when another wave of composure washed over her, she wondered just who had fired what and why. Starting to shiver, and not wanting to admit to fear or lose the benefit of her last meal she made herself active stepping carefully away from the foul waste.

“Uh! Degenerated humans!” Meradat said at her arrival “No wonder we had this easy! Foolish wretches lapsing into sinful blasphemous ways and sucked into the maw of the Fourth Realm to receive just punishment in being absorbed into its vile ranks. Then I was correct, they simply slipped through an opportunistic hole,”

Karlyn put her hand to her mouth to stifle a nervous snort of laughter, when she’d still lived in Elinid that last phrase had been her most favourite of insults at girls she disliked. Meradat not cognoscente with this part of her past had now turned his attention to her.

“And you, were forewarned. But we have no time to discuss that, we shall soon have visitors. So be quick and tell me about the burning,”

“Fosfor,” she said simply “S’ stuff that burns when you slap it on someone, all their sweat and stuff starts it off, an’ it feeds and feeds so it does,”

“You tore open a packet with your teeth! Why did you not burn!” suspicions rising.

“That’s the trick, two layers on bagging, you tear open the stronger one, then holding onto its remains slap hard, and the second bag ruptures,”

“Seems uncommonly dangerous,”

“Yeh,” she drawled, her grin unhinged.

“Foolish is a sin Karlyn Nan-“

He stopped; the sound of horses from the fields, in steady approach signifying riders.

He turned to Karlyn one finger raised in warning.

“When they arrive, say nothing unless I tell you to,”

“Who? They the ones what blewed them beasties up?”

“Say nothing,” he repeated.

For someone as turbulent as Karlyn this was a bit of a challenge; there again she was experiencing a wave of curiosity over the whos, whys and what-have-yous of the approaching party.

 

Seven riders approached from the cover of another tree line, two leading Meradat and Karlyn’s horses; their garbs were the variety of tough practical travel worn types, each wearing headgear of some sort. Apart from the smallest of the number who was hunched forward, the others held weapons the length of throwing javelins although twice as thick, where a metal point should be was a small oblong, rounded at each end. At the opposite location, a box shape, the top of which catching the sun’s light betrayed the glinting of four separate jewels, the fingers of one hand of each rider not far away.

Meradat stiffened, his grip tightening about his axe at the confirmation of Stommigheid usage. Apart from that small one, the others seemed accustomed to scowls of disapproval. Their leader moved closer, a gaunt, stubbled faced man surveying Meradat with a thoughtful gaze, which settled on the custodian’s chest.

“Your Diligence,” he greeted the custodian with the customary honorific followed by a casual gesture at the badge of office hanging loose from his coat “It seems you’ve had something of a nasty event,” he glanced back, five of the riders continued to survey the area, a small one in the centre was hunched over something set upon the saddle.

“All clear of evil Sergeant!” the latter pipped up, evidently relieved.

“You are not in the usual uniform, but I would believe by your efficiency poise and access to questionable weaponry in the form of falconades that you are of the LifeGuard regiment. Also you are here for some particular reason,”

The last was a definite statement.

“Sergeant Erzns,” came the stony reply “Beyond that Your Diligence, I am not authorised to further information,”

The custodian assumed the rest to be all troopers by noting their lack of any display of respect. The LifeGuard were notoriously difficult to intimidate. You could bribe the occasional trooper, but Meradat could foresee a communication with an officer to get this group to divert from their current course. As with Karlyn, he would have to bide his time, only in this case in hundreds rather than days.

One man with a friendly grin leant over his horse and whistling softly looked at the debris, his sing-song kymric accent lightening the mood.

“Not nice at all, see. No one said anything about beasties directly did they sarge?” he turned to Meradat “Pardon me your Diligence, but do you think you attracted them like? Just asking, that’s all,”

“These fel things arrived through the meddling of others,” Meradat pronounced “It is my duty to hunt this miscreant down,” he set his attention on Erzns, the hundreds were running out “You may well have to consider the authority vested in my rank by The Sacred Edict of Laheldae, Year of Remorse 275 to summon all-“

“-Available resource to your purpose,” Erzns concluded for him “I am aware of the edict Your Diligence,”

At this juncture Karlyn let out with a sudden high whimper and one leg gave way causing her to tumble, knocking her face against a tree, in turn releasing a burst of language that at least one trooper seemed impressed by. The smallest of the group, secured whatever they had been lurking over, and slipped from their saddle, hauled off a small leather sack from their saddle and ran over to Karlyn.

“Me ankle,” she wailed “Hurts sudden like scraith,”

The trooper knelt by her, picked up her foot, placed it on their knee and without comment began to ease off Karlyn’s boot, Karlyn was about to pass comment when they looked up at her, displaying a face, small, round and as far as Karlyn was concerned far too dam’ pretty by half; stray wisps of blonde hair making the whole annoying perfect, for a solider anyhow.

“What-cha?” she began, as her boots and sock were drawn off and fingers lightly ran over the swollen area.

“Medician Beritt,” the young woman said “Nasty little sprain, must have come down heavy. Been fighting then?”

“Naw,” came the sour retort “I was skipping ‘round the daisies when I tripped over a toadstool,”

Beritt shrugged; there were always the tetchy ones.

“It happens,” she said, infuriatingly affable, then stopped eyes narrowing on a growing dark stain along the left leg of Karlyn’s trousers. “Hey! C’mon, out of sight of these eager dogs, I want to look at that,” she pointed, Karlyn’s eyes widened “There’s nasty little wound planning on being dangerous,”

And despite the disparity in sizes she lifted Karlyn up, swung one of the injured girl’s arm around her own shoulder and dragged her off into the cover of the trees.

“If y’all lucky missy, she’ll kiss it better for you!” someone called after the duo.

“Never mind,” Beritt warned to a curious Karlyn.

 

First there was a stinging astringent, followed by a pungent salve and finally a bandage expertly administered around the leg wound, accompanied by a gruesome lecture about fatal blood losses, then Karlyn was obliged to sit still without her trousers while something equally smelly but cooling was applied to her ankle and then another bandage wrapped tightly about it.

“Going to have to watch that wound for possible late poisons and suchwhichs, and need to change the bandage on the foot regularly too,”

“Well thanks Blondie,” Karlyn said casually on pulling up her trousers “Just tell me how it’s done and I promise to be good,”

Beritt frowned, she’d been called more insulting or denigrating things than ‘blondie’, that was not the issue.

“It’s not as simple as that,” she cleared her throat, time to cite the texts “A wound incurred in the proximity of a fel creature must be subject to qualified medical supervision, lest extreme infections or possible possessions take place,”

Karlyn screwed up her face and sniffed

“I gotta custodian with me,” she said primly.

Beritt shrugged.

“Well I’ll have to exam him for wounds too,”

“I’d like to see you try,”

“He’s got no option,” she cleared her throat “Edict of Jurghen in the year 237, On Precautions and Exclusions of Evils,” she looked back to the general area of where the men might be “Custodians wrote it…annnddd,” she drawled out “When LifeGuards and Custodians meet there is a very strong chance that the Lifeguards whether they like or not will end up trailing in the custodian’s holy presences,” another shrug “Or so I been told,” a bright irreverent smile that Karlyn liked “So he’s stuck with me nagging him about Year 237,”

“Medician Beritt!”

Both women started at the swift and sharp summons, Beritt recovered with a weak grin and a scramble to her feet

“Yep! That is Sergeant Erzns sounding very unhappy. Which means I’ve got other work to do,”

“He’s got wounded?” Karlin asked.

“Only his sensibilities. No, I got lumbered with a clunky thing that communicates over long distances, and I can’t tell you anymore,”

“I thought I could smell oil on you,”

Beritt decided any questions she might have on that score would have to wait.

 

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors # 22

 

The Patchwork Warriors # 22

I must thank all you good folk for spurring me on with this project; hence the rapid appearance of this episode

(In this first half  of the chapter Karlyn & Meradat get to fight vile creatures from the Fourth Realm. The extract is a bit longer…action!)

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

Karlyn was maintaining what she thought was a thoughtful silence. She’d told Meradat that the bees very confused and she’d encountered a few very cross butterflies. She was now looking at the clouds, trying to make out which way they were actually going, never mind the way the wind was blowing, because that didn’t count. She wished that the custoady would stop looking at her in that hound peering way; it wasn’t her fault that the Time was all skewiffed.

Meradat had accepted the girl’s observations concerning Time. IN his dealings with the Stommigheid and the Jordisk he had learnt and experienced enough to know what might be plausible. So far her some of her potential was solidifying into capability; his principal concerns being would her tenuous hold on normality stand the strain of dealing with the true dangers which must arise out of these temporal distortions. Whatever those dangers might be

 

Migran had not previously endeavoured to have his oculator work at such an intense level, each gem set to its limit, but he would prove to Trelli. He would. By Ven of Numbers he would!!

 

Frib! There’s that damn; hue!!

“Sergeant Erzns,”

Beritt correctly estimated she had not earned the right to call him ‘Sarge’; hence her very precise but respectful tones.

“Medician,”

Even if his response was his signature grim and indicating for disapproval at the messing up the balance of his file, it was better than having to put up with the claims to injuries and could she kiss ‘em better of which troopers Norvan, Trex and Dell just did not weary of.

Thanks to Poseydale she was finally used to getting to balance the oculator while riding. Captain Dekyria had been most insistent that she scan the locality for anything untoward every three thousand and report to him. Of course this meant much broken sleep, a great deal trying to get the colour and shape right, even in the dark, trying to read the code book correctly and after all that fribbin’ about getting replies which indicated he was not worried about ‘that’

But this time, she saw a hue about the all the colours; in the form of a thin line of orange which slithered into the sort of green wounds turned before she had to saw someone’s leg off.

“I’m seeing one of those hues I was warned about!”

Erzns being as wise in matters of the Astatheia as Beritt swung his mount about rode alongside her and peered at the screen, when he spoke he was calm and strangely affable.

“Do you know where?”

Beritt ruffled through the code book, peered back and forth between it and the screen, and very glad it was still daylight.

“According to the code book, not more than a thousand at the fast trot,”

“Alert Captain Dekyria now, don’t hurry yourself get the report right,”

By now there was a huddle of troopers, their concerned expressions giving her the luxury of a brief smugness.

 

Belacheli was hurled out of his meditation on the crimson curtain’s heat which inflicted roasting pain upon the floor-chained wretches selected for the pleasure of the Lords of The Fourth Realm. Came a shrill scream not from any of the sacrifices but from the fabric as came the sudden jagged tearing apart. Who would tear at these sacred materials? What lurked and where?

He must consult!

Others on the council strode with purpose; he scampered. The guards confessed to each other their amusement at the sight.

 

Karlyn was sure that cloud was going the wrong way; she sat straight in the saddle to sniff the air, her nose wrinkling up in disgust,

“Blurgh!! There’s ripe splosh-pit somewhere! Yurgggg!!”

Meradat could smell nothing in particular to account for the girl’s agitation, now causing her to turn from one direction rapidly, to another while she scratched frantically at her thumbs with index fingers, alarm spreading across her face twisting her features into wide-eyed and teeth-barred ire.

The horses grew agitated, both riders more accustomed to being foot-solid dismounted, hauling off packs of their choices

“Scraith! They!-they!”

A sudden sharp creak upon a branch of the wayside trees, followed by another and another. Meradat aware of the thick, slow slap of flesh upon flesh, looked up to see three shapes perched above them, large bat-like wings slowly folding. Slack jowled human faces stretched by dogs snouts and elongated ears, fever-yellow eyes bright with cruelty.

“Live meat and souls” one croaked deep and malicious, ending in a paradoxical high pitched laugh.

“A fine time for feasting,” added another and raising one leg, voided a stream of thick and foul excrement, in Karlyn’s direction, causing her leap backwards, while screaming in angry fear.

“A female,” breathed the third and standing tall revealed extended male organs beneath folds of flesh landscaped with ruin. “The feasting will wait,”

Meradat looked with some approval that having moved towards him knife drawn she had now positioned herself back to back with him, and was as composed. Although he would have preferred prayers to the muttering of curses and oaths.

There was more of the thick slapping sounds as another one of the creatures alighted upon nearby trees, obviously all ready to enjoy the anticipation of the horrors they were about to inflict.

“That was the pong then!” she said “Where the scraith?”

“Fourth Realm,” he replied “They are not calling out a name. They must have strayed into through a rupture between the worlds, no doubt caused by that meddler,”

“So what do we do?”

Meradat picked up his axe settling it tight in both hands

“Rely on the Lord God for our strength and forbearance,” he said ending his words in a soft low chant.

“That’s the knobbling death hymn!” she objected.

“One must always be ready to-”

“Oh dongers to that!” she dropped into a crouched, one hand beckoning at the creatures, forcing herself to smile “C’mon if you think you’re hard enough!” she chanted at them.

Meradat had been ready to explain to her that he was conducting a pronouncement of fortitude, preparation for death being a requirement. If all had gone well a slight and temporary but nonetheless effective barrier brought by his faith would have offered some protection to him and the girl and injury to the creatures. This might have eased the odds slightly, but that was all supposition as with a collective screech the fel things spread wings and descended, taloned feet and clawed hands eagerly outstretched.

“’Ware your face!” he warned, diving to his left and dropping; a pair of filthy limbs brushing through his hair, as he looked another two pairs had landed close in front, to begin advancing, slowly, unevenly and bunching, allowing him the time to scramble up into a crouch. From there he hurled himself forward, hands gripped to his axe as he swung the weapon backwards, then pivoted on one foot whirled the blade towards his assailants. One took to the air with a mocking screech, but the other let out a howl of pain as the axe ripped across one limb, an odorous sickly green ochre spilling froth.

Karlyn, badly pressed by the other two had been dodging with all of her street honed skills from one grasping claw to another. She caught sight of wounding and found time to grin. One thing hopped and landed before her with a screech, which annoyed rather than scared her, so anger fuelled she brought her knife blade down into its foot, through flesh and bone and into the ground beneath, pinning the beast.

“Shit your way out of that!” she cried, diving to the right to avoid the grasp of its comrade, then thrusting her right hand into a pocket brought out a small oiled bag. She, danced back from the one assailant, tore at the bag with her teeth, spitting quickly, and then dashing forwards under clumsy failing claws slammed the ripped packet upon the injured limb, its powdery contents spilling out. At once there was a sizzling, and the smell of burning detritus, swiftly followed by a burst of flame, which travelled up the things’ limb flames licking upon the tips of the wings, Karlyn rolling away whooped in savage glee “Ooh you bright little fosfer powders!! Give it a roasting!!”

The one wounded by Meradat, howling and leaking its essence had flapped to a nearby tree, the other two were much alarmed by the sight of one of their own threshing, and gradually tuning into a thing of oily flame and smoke. This sight caused they to retreat into the air, huddled and temporarily uncertain of their next action. Karlyn stumbled and chortled her way to Meradat who having wiped his blade upon the grass was now once more couched ready for the next assault.

“Them’s easy!” she gasped in heady victory.

“What were you using?” was the stern demand.

“Not giving away my secrets,” was the smug reply.

It was at this stage the one wounded by Meradat whimpered and tumbled from the tree, completely empty of life.

“Bled to death from that weedy wound!” the girl cried “Oh this is gonna be fun!”

“There are still two of them, more cautious now,” warned Meradat.

Just as, there came sudden shrill sounds overhead, faint metallic glows marking some sort of passage, ending in explosive impacts upon each of the creatures, tearing their bodies and scattering debris over the area…..

The Patchwork Warriors Reader’s Guide.

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

The Patchwork Warriors #20

The Patchwork Warriors# 21