My Nanowrimo Novel - Vahnatai stuff!

Pages

AuthorTopic: My Nanowrimo Novel - Vahnatai stuff!
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #50
Does this mean we won't be pushing for 30k together today? :\ I've got a lollipop waiting for me, but I'm not allowed to suck it before I get to 26k and half at least. And if I don't catch up I can't go and see the fourth HP film in theater! And it's more fun if you know you're not working alone and the other one is someone you know, rather than, you know, don't know.
At least I did graduate.

EDIT: Oh! I'd completely forgotten! I made you an avatar some time ago. It's a little too big in file size to be actually used, but I think it's kinda pretty. I may have overdone the animation, but.. it's pretty. Probably.
It's got a dragon, which I cropped from an Santharia title picture (except that was over in Elfwood), and I have no idea who owns the original. The avatar isn't online, but if you want to see it, I can put it up. :\

[ Monday, November 21, 2005 05:01: Message edited by: OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai ]

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #51
I'm at 26200 something, and my job appears to have caught up with me - numerics homework due tomorrow, luckily finished, a PHP project awaiting completion, and about 3 weeks worth of first year's homework to correct (voluntary assignment for credit...). I hope to get to 30k tonight though.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 1993
Profile #52
t Riibu: :) Congratulation to everything, assiduous girl. Now we have two SW members in the contest! I suppose we will not read your novel before it is finished. Or will you give us some tidbits?

:P Um ... be careful with lollipops when testosteronic monsters lurk around.

Edit: ^_^ Aran, your skill to end chapters always when you've roused our curiosity to white heat is amazing.

edit: :o *remouves testosteronic typo*

[ Tuesday, November 22, 2005 03:21: Message edited by: spy.there ]

--------------------
Slartucker: * facepalm facepalm facepalm *
Dikiyoba: Are you unconscious yet?
Posts: 1420 | Registered: Wednesday, October 2 2002 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #53
Well, I was there from the beginning. I just mentioned it only in the Runescape topic... And anyway, I'm writing mine in Finnish, but you're welcome to read the beginning five chapters or so. I believe I uploaded them.. there. http://gamma.nic.fi/~ribla17/4n_tarina - nanowrimo.doc
Stupid thing, I saved it with spaces, and it won't work as an url with them. Just paste that bit, although maybe you won't even try. Because, of course, it's in Finnish, and who the hell can read that?

Anyway, I'm not getting any until I write about 600 more words. :P

[ Monday, November 21, 2005 10:25: Message edited by: OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai ]

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Agent
Member # 1993
Profile #54
+_+ I think I will patiently wait until somebody translates it into English.

--------------------
Slartucker: * facepalm facepalm facepalm *
Dikiyoba: Are you unconscious yet?
Posts: 1420 | Registered: Wednesday, October 2 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #55
quote:
Originally written by spy.there:

t Riibu: :) Congratulation to everything, assiduous girl. Now we have two SW members in the contest! I suppose we will not read your novel before it is finished. Or will you give us some titbits?

:P Um ... be careful with lollipops when testosteronic monsters lurk around.

Edit: ^_^ Aran, your skill to end chapters always when you've roused our curiosity to white heat is amazing.

It's tidbits, and the other spelling can lead to embarassment. ^___^

And I need 4000 words today.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #56
How you getting on? I'm at 27306 words currently, and it's almost 3am. I don't think I'll do an allnighter. :\ I'll probably keep on writing till I get halfway, and if I manage to push it, some more. At least, technically, I can still get to 30k today. Unless the chapter ends. Then I have to take time to figure out what they'll do next.

Oh, and I think I'll put up some sort of.. whatsisname.. synopsis on my blog site sometime tomorrow, so you all can find out what I'm writing about, actually. I haven't told yet, have I? I forget.

Also, isn't it 4th week already? So where's my email?

E: dammit, I told myself, stop trying to hijack Aran's topic, but I just can't seem to listen. >.< Do you mind me telling about my progress in here too? :\

[ Monday, November 21, 2005 15:34: Message edited by: OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai ]

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #57
Not at all! How am I supposed to keep writing without that drive to compete? :)

28101. Yayness. I probably won't get to 30k, but damned if I don't try. I can sleep during the lectures tomorrow, that's what they're for. :rolleyes:

(Yes, I know, before everyone starts jumping all over me about responsibility. It's just nine more days anyway, and my schedule and life will be back to normal)

Edit: 29020. And if I write any longer now, I won't be able to wake up long enough tomorrow to carry myself to the auditorium, which would get me in trouble - because while few will be concerned if I sleep in the lecture, they will be if I sleep at home. Funny how the world works.

--

Oh, and Week Four starts tomorrow - or has started 3 hours ago, really. Ouchomg.

[ Monday, November 21, 2005 17:22: Message edited by: NaNoWriMo ]

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #58
Chapter follows. Sorry for the double post, but it's probably better to keep the actual text separate from the conversation.
---
We finally get some dialogue in all those ultra-long reams of solitary wandering and deliriousness!

Oh, and there *won't* be any Vahnatai/Nephil scenes, explicit or not, just to head off any enquiries or comments. For one, that'd turn it all into some crappy fanfic, and for another, I wouldn't be able to write a sexual scene (much less a remotely believable one) if my life depended on it.

If I'm feeling bold, there might be a bit of romance, but it'd be some pre-apocalyptic, last-people-in-the-world romance, the kind where the actual relationship is overshadowed by the impending DOOM to ALL OF CIVILIZATION. Because, what do you know, that makes it far more easy to write convincingly.

Since from this point on (the first half of the 50,000 words was only introduction, the real story is beginning now), I have only the haziest idea where the plot is going, I should be excused for increasing mediocrity. That's what I think at least. If you disagree, you don't *have* to read it. Do something that will scar your mind less. Like look at goatse or something.

Chapter Six: The Claw

It took many days, even weeks, to nurse him back to health. The long time of hunger had left its marks upon him, and for the first week he was barely conscious. Dreams and reality seemed to flow into each other and blur at the edges, so that he felt he was half trapped in a curious universe where nothing made sense and all reason was abandoned, and half sleeping constantly. But it was a curious sleep, for he could question his thought process while it occurred, something he had believed impossible within dreams. He could analyze his thinking, and ask himself that age-old question: "Am I dreaming, or awake?" and not know the answer. His sense of time, if it had ever existed in the first place, was gone completely. Occasionally it grew light around him, only to grow dark again scarcely later. If it had been minutes, hours or weeks since the last time it had grown dark, he could not say, for he did not know.

Gradually, as if waking from a nightmare - but infinitely more slowly, as if stretched out over many days - he grew aware that he was lying down. Before, he had felt only a disembodied presence floating in the void, but with a gradually increasing awareness he recognized his physical body that could not yet sense or move at his command, but that was his anchor within the physical world; and he realized he was lying on a bed of some sort. The sensation gave him vertigo for a moment, and he felt disoriented because he could not move, but was as if held in his position by arcane bindings.

A few more days, and he was alse able to sense the texture of the sheets beneath and above him. It was a rough, but not unpleasant texture: He did not recognize the material - certainly the sheets at the academy had been infinitely more fine than these, as would those of the cheapest tavern he could have rested at in Mehdat - and yet they felt comfortable.

Yet, it was at least a week before he suddenly felt the irresistible urge to open his eyes, and found that they moved when he willed them to. The cold air stung his long unused eyes like daggers, and he was lucky that it was night, for the daylight would have been blinding to him. Nonetheless, his first sensation as he looked was the agony of exposing his eyes, and only gradually did the colourful, hazy clouds of his vision dissolve into a clear image. It was dark, but not pitch-black - a torch seemingly hanging behind and above him, out of sight, cast the room into a flickering, orange glow. By the light of the torch, he slowly explored his room with his eyes - not moving his head, because it would not obey him yet, but only his eyeballs.

He seemed to be in a small room, and the walls had the surfaces of rough, unpolished stone. Casting his eyes around, he looked for the corners, but found almost none - the chamber was rounded and irregular, like a hole burrowed out of the earth - or like a cave. Indeed, the rough stone walls looked not like they were erected in any fashion, but rather carved out of a solid rock - marks were visible were the builders' tools had hewn the stone and carved it chip by chip. The ceiling was low - not so low he would have to watch out for his head when walking upright, but lower than in the great halls of the academy, where the Vahnatai had lifted the ceiling to a height of more than four paces above the ground. The ceiling, too, had no edges, and went over into the walls in a smooth, seamless curve. He could not see the floor, for he would have had to turn his head for that, but he would not have been surprised if the floor, too, had been a slightly concave surface.

In spite of the simple, almost primitive architecture of what must have been his lodging for the past weeks, and would likely remain so for the next few weeks if not months, he found that the room appeared to be decorated with comfortable furniture. The bed he was lying in was standing against the wall facing the door, there was a wooden desk on the wall that his feet were pointing toward, and out of the corner of his eyes he could see a structure that could only be a bookshelf near his head. A bookshelf? His mind was reeling with the implications. Whoever had rescued him, the matter of their species aside, had to be at least reasonably civilized, if not architecturally advanced. He thought back to the dreamlike encounter with these beings, so many days ago, and realized that their strange appearance could well have been a product of his imagination. Had not his fever made him see shadows and horrors out of time in those agony-filled days of travelling without food? Had he not at last collapsed, near death, and found he could not recall his name? Could, when his rescuers gathered around to look at him, his mind have played a trick on him to disguise them as monsters, when they were of the Vahnatai like he was?

That did not explain the cave, however. His people would never carve out a hollow like this, that was more a rabbit's burrow than a dwelling! No civilized creatures would--- his gaze fell back on the bookshelf, which still stood there, almost admonishing, a silent reminder that the builders of this cave, whatever else might be said about them, were literate. Besides, his feelings of superiority were somewhat dampened by the realization that whoever lived in this place had probably saved his life. It would reflect well on him to display some form of gratitude, even though he still did not know the identity, or even the race and origin of his saviours - or their intentions.

He noticed a dark rectangle in the wall above him, and after some examination realized it must be a window. The realization did not come that easily, because besides the immediate impression of lying within a cave, he was used to sleeping underground, as the Vahnatai did. Yet, the window opened out toward an evidently dark night sky, and he noticed when the cold winds began again, that had stung his eyes earlier. The window was open - not that he was used to windows with transparent crystal panes, which only the larger and more magnificent halls possessed. The winds tore freely through the chamber, but he was protected by the thick sheets that still covered him up to the chin - only on his face did he feel a cool breeze that felt at once refreshing and chilling.

And yet, as he looked up again at the window hole that opened to the world outside, he caught, by the orange glow of the torch, a silvery glint where none should have been - the glint of metal. He was behind bars.

What was he - a recovering patient, or a prisoner? Were they his rescuers, or his captors? His mind reeled yet again with the puzzle.

The fact that the door was closed - uncommon among the sleeping chambers of the Vahnatai, who slept without windows, but open doors to let fresh air enter the room - seemed to matter little in the face of these bars. What use would these creatures have for bars if not to lock him in or restrict his movement? Surely not to keep things out - predators avoided populated areas, even where they did not encounter the advanced magic of the Vahnatai to ward them off. As he looked around the chamber again, he suddenly sensed again how utterly alien it was. The walls seemed to close in around him with the psychological implication that he was imprisoned, and no bookshelf in the world could have reassured him of their goodwill.

He was awake now, however, and for the first time realized that he was conscious. His sense of time had been severed completely when he passed out, and perhaps even before. By the light outside, he noticed it was night time, or at least late afternoon or early morning. But the narrow window showed no stars, nor the moon, by which he might at least estimate the season. In spite of the long time he had spent wandering, he was sure it could not be mid-winter yet. The fourth day of the eleventh month was the day he had set out, and in the weeks he had starved, and the weeks during which he had been recovering, he had lost all sense of the passing time.

Equally, he realized he had not the haziest idea where he was. Not just in the sense of height, or the location of his room within whatever complex it was they were keeping him in. He had spent a long time wandering in a direction that must have been generally north-west - although he had probably changed his course several times without realizing - and it seemed that he was soundly off the edge of the map. Cat people. Not even their legends mentioned creatures like this.

Where could they possibly come from? There had been reports a long time ago, academical studies, biological experiments. An entire branch of magic had been dedicated to the unravelling of the innermost secrets of life. They had managed to build an entire chart that showed how the animals that surrounded them were related and had developed from each other: The endlessly changing nature of life; the gift of the god Dahrnai, who had perceived the Order that came from Chaos. And yet, they failed to discover the origin of the Vahnatai themselves, which was generally taken as a confirmation of the old sacred texts that granted the People their special place as the pinnacle of Creation, combining both the Changing and the Unchanging, that made the People the only race on the planet never to have evolved, and never to evolve. Eventually, the field had lost its sensational novelty, and the more renowned wizards had abandoned it, although there were rumours that some of them were still attempting to unlock the secret of this evolutionary process itself: How it functioned, and how it might be replicated. The notion was generally scoffed at.

Could it be that within less than a month's wandering from his home town lived a race of beings nobody had even known to exist? It seemed unthinkable, if not outright impossible. Avtris was not exactly the center of Vahnatai civilization, but the area surrounding it was not exactly a blank spot on the map... he struggled to recall into his mind the maps he had looked at long ago, and remember what they said lay northwest of the city. Try as he might, he could not remember.

Remember. Like lightning it went through him. His name! He recalled only a vague muttering, a few syllables borne on the wind. They vanished as if into a hazy mist, as if he was trying to recall a tiny detail of his life that had occurred many decades ago. It was the first time that he was consciously aware of the lack of his name; before, the cover of delirium or unconsciousness had stopped him from thinking further about it. This did not change anything - as awake as he was now, the name was gone.

He decided to put it out of his mind for the time being. If he was ever going to return to his people, they would know his name - and if he was not, he did not need it anyway. There was a strange satisfying feeling at that last thought.

Why should I return? With anger, but a remote and cold anger that was more some distant memory of annoyance, he remembered the nature of his departure. They had cast him out of the academy for sleeping. When he had left, he had intended never to return to Avtris, so why should he now? Then the fear began to nag at him again: What if he was never going to see his own people again, ever? The bars before the window glinted in the torchlight, reminding him where he was. He felt cold.

The door opened, and a cold draft immediately swept through the room from the window. It had opened only a crack wide, but the howling of the wind could be heard through it, and there was a sliver of bright light coming in. Whatever room the door opened towards, it was lit more brightly than the chamber he was sleeping in. A shadowy silhouette could be seen in the light.

Noticing the cold draft that the open door was causing, the silhouette opened the door a bit wider, slipped in and quickly shut the door to prevent the draft; the absence of the background light transformed it into a three-dimensional figure that was nonetheless too shadowy to see clearly in this dark room. Still, he recognized the head and the stature of one of the cat people he had seen only once before when he was near death. At once relieved and apprehensive because the sight had not been a fever dream brought on by his delirium of starvation, but these cat people were extremely real, he fixed his gaze upon the figure as it strode purposefully toward him.

* * *

The first thing that struck me about the sight of these beings - and will always continue to strike me as a marvel, no matter how often I shall see them - was the way they moved. My own People are now famed for their agility and dexterity, and their ability to move in complete silence, but seen against these first of the cat race, we were clumsy and blundering, big-footed as Troglodytes and as slow and noisy as them in our movements. Only one who has seen a wild tiger walk through the woods, the only sound of his passing - if there is any at all, which is only the case when he is not hunting - the deep, thundering grumbling that he utters as he goes, can truly appreciate the unbelievable level of dexterity that results from the combination of those creatures that walk upright with the feline race. Truly, it was like a shadow sweeping over the floor when they walked. Though I hear now that their race has since declined, as has ours, and is no longer as famed for its agility as ours is now, these first of the cat people were unbelievable in their movements, and their limbs seemed to flow rather as a liquid than move through the air as solid objects.

The similarity to those felines who walk on four legs is only apparent in their movements and their faces, for their stature is distinctly built for upright walking. Their front limbs, double-jointed like that of the goblins and troglodytes and monkeys, and unlike our own, are quite adapted to use tools and execute deft manual operations. Their feet - though lithe - are only used for walking, and are not prehensile like those of most apes, and their legs manage to combine their seeming weightlessness with a strength that allows them to run at a great speed over tremendous distances without tiring, as well as jump to almost half their height, which is a very impressive ability.

Their face, finally, is the most distinctly cat-like about them, for the shape of their head is such that it almost looks as if the head of a large cat was positioned on the fur-covered body of a very lithe human. Their ears are positioned high on the sides of their head, the tips distinctly visible above the head as its highest points; their mouth is quite small for beings of such size, although they can open it wide and it has an array of ferociously sharp teeth.

Their eyes, lastly, are uncanny in their depth and inner fire; their irises are vertical slits as in normal felines, and they are frequently colored a radiant emerald green that seem to burn with an almost hypnotic flame, holding any creatures they gaze upon as if bound by a spell.

* * *

The figure had reached his bed, and was now quizzically surveying his still form, her gaze coming to rest on his face. He was compelled by an urge to shut his eyes and pretend that he was sleeping, but he realized it was too late to pretend. Already, it seemed that she - he instinctively assumed the figure was female, for in her face as in her movements, she seemed to be built more slightly than the males who had discovered him in the wilderness earlier - had noticed that his eyes were open, and gave a slight start.

She began to talk in a strange tongue - it was the same purring sound he had heard earlier - but he did not know if she was addressing him or talking to herself, thinking out loud. Then, after a while of this, however, she paused and looked at his eyes as if awaiting a reply from him. Having not recognized a single word of the language, he had no choice but to remain silent even in his own language - there was more risk in a misunderstanding than there was in silence, immediately establishing the fact that he could not understand her.

Sensing that he had not understood her words, she briefly hesitated, creasing her brows in thought in a way that he immediately found cute - somewhat to his alarm - and then haltingly addressed him in Novah.

"I see you are awake. You have been sleeping for more than ten days. Are you in discomfort?"

For a while, he could not answer, for his lips would not part. However, he found that he could now move his head, and slowly shook it from side to side in a gesture that he hoped meant the same among her people as it did among his. It seemed to mean that, however, for his answer in the negative appeared to pacify her slightly, and she seemed less nervous than she had before.

"It has been very long since we have encountered one of your kind, and not even my grandparents remember that encounter. The arhmshar say that you are our enemy, but the hunters who found you said you were in no state to be anybody's enemy other than yourself, and so we did our best to let you rest and heal." Her speech hesitated several times during this long sentence, and her word for the ones who had named his people enemies was not only unrecognisable to him, but equally unpronounceable. The way she stressed it made him think of the elders back at the academy, and he assumed that this was what they called the wise ones of their people. He was glad that their word appeared to carry less weight than that of the elders of Oriath did, for if it had, he might not have received such hospitality.

He found that his tongue obeyed him at last, and opened his mouth. "I am... grateful." His speech hurt in his throat, which felt sore and dry, and he was silent again, unable to speak on. Apparently, he had caught a cold as well alongside the starvation.

In the sparse light, he could not tell if she was smiling at this, but he heard it when she answered again.

"That is a pleasant surprise, for the arhmshar predicted you would be neither grateful, nor polite, which you turn out to be, Tam."

His mind reeled in shock. "You know my name?" She had called him by what must be his name! Had he uttered in his sleep, then? But it was impossible, how could he have told them his name when he himself did not know it!

"Yes, Tam; that is what you answered the hunters when they asked you, they told me. You might not remember it; you were close to death at the time."

Tam - nobody. Suddenly, he remembered that what he had told the hunting party was not his true name, it was just the only thing that came to his mind when he was at a loss for his name. His true name remained forgotten, and he would have to get used to it. He might as well take the name Tam as his own - he would need one, to be sure, and it was better than nothing.

"Tam." He let the word roll over his tongue experimentally. Then again. "Tam," the swift, explosive start, and the long nasal sound that appeared to come naturally over their lips. His new name would take little getting used to; he liked it immediately.

"Is that not your name?" She asked, sensing his unfamiliarity with the word.

"It might as well be," he responded, now smiling himself, "for I have no other. Also---" He could speak without difficulties now, but his sore throat still gave him pain, and he had to cough briefly. The dryness in his mouth, however, seemed only to worsen at this, and he could not cease coughing, which irritated his already hurting throat and ended in a choked kind of rattle.

"Here." She held out a kind of wooden cup filled with what was hopefully water, except he was too thirsty to care if it was and what else if anything might be contained in it. For a few seconds, he struggled with his arms that were still as if glued to the bed, then she noticed his predicament and held the cup to his parched lips to let him drink, which he did in small, halting gulps, for his throat was too sore to drink even water without feeling pain. He drank for a while; then he had to cough and almost squirted water through his nose, at which she took the cup away again. He was far too weak to be embarrassed.

Feeling slightly better, he was able to continue speaking.

"Where am I? When am I? And who are you?"

"You are within the resting-halls of our clan, and several leagues north of the place where they found you - although I can tell that does not tell you a lot, for they say you were in no state to know where you were at that point. As for the time... the sun turns next week, and the great moon is gone." It had been full shortly before he had gotten lost in the storm, and it cycled about six times a year. He had left Avtris more than a month ago.

"We call ourselves the Nephilim, though what name you have for us - if you ever did - I do not know. Far and wide, we are the only sentient inhabitants of this land, and your kind never strays so far from your roads that you find yourselves in these parts. Well, usually.", she added. "You seem to be an exception, though whether in hardiness or foolishness, I cannot say. Travelling without rations, without even the tools you would need to hunt, in a season when nature herself is your enemy! It is a miracle you even made it this far, for wherever you came from originally, you must have travelled a great distance indeed to reach us."

"We are the Nephilim," she appeared to return from the change of subject, "and there are none more skilled with the longbow than our People, although we have had little need to test that skill save in the hunt, for many lifetimes now."

"No, I mean who are you?" Novah had no plurals, which made such ambiguities very common.

"I? I am a healer apprenticed to the arhmshar of our clan. I am Mh'repha of the Claw."

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3898
Profile #59
quote:
Originally written by NaNoWriMo:


Oh, and there *won't* be any Vahnatai/Nephil scenes, explicit or not, just to head off any enquiries or comments. For one, that'd turn it all into some crappy fanfic, and for another, I wouldn't be able to write a sexual scene (much less a remotely believable one) if my life depended on it.

And the dreams of 40,000 furries come crashing down.

--------------------
~Note : The professional newbie's advice should not be taken seriously, or at all.~
LINKAGE
Posts: 364 | Registered: Saturday, January 17 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #60
quote:
Originally written by cAPSLOCKED dALLERDIN:

quote:
Originally written by NaNoWriMo:


Oh, and there *won't* be any Vahnatai/Nephil scenes, explicit or not, just to head off any enquiries or comments. For one, that'd turn it all into some crappy fanfic, and for another, I wouldn't be able to write a sexual scene (much less a remotely believable one) if my life depended on it.

And the dreams of 40,000 furries come crashing down.

With the tremendous readership that I already have, I can probably afford a alienate a few ten thousands of them who were only after kinky stuff anyway. :P

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 3241
Profile #61
I was just thinking...

quote:
Steel, in that time, was the strongest metal available to the People. Mithril, mined deep beneath the ground, had not yet been discovered, let alone mined or smelted.
But still in the first chapter:

quote:
then the mithral saws with their diamond teeth too fine to see with the naked eye
I'm confused. Is Mithral something else than Mithril?

--------------------
Visit the www.monkkonen.net and if you like, be the member of the forums.
Posts: 76 | Registered: Sunday, July 20 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #62
It is not. In the Exile games, the metal is consistently called mithral, and that's why I called it that. I am so tired that I slipped to the LotR spelling a few times, probably.

There are some worse errors in there, probably. Watch the weather and the season for consistency, I tend to slip with that a lot.

In fact, you will notice I tend to recap the time frame very often, repeating how many weeks and days have passed since everything. That's not to bloat the wordcount; it's to remind myself so I don't forget. :P

[ Tuesday, November 22, 2005 12:36: Message edited by: NaNoWriMo ]

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #63
I'm pretty sure my copy of LotR calls it "mithral" as well. "Mithril" seems to be a D&D spelling.

--------------------
The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #64
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

I'm pretty sure my copy of LotR calls it "mithral" as well. "Mithril" seems to be a D&D spelling.
LotR has mithril, unless I'm tired out of my skull. :P It's derived from one of those languages (Quenya or Sindarin) where mith means silver and ril means bright. I think. Unfortunately I don't have the book on hand.

But my copy of the Hobbit has mithril, at least, and Tolkien is pretty consistent with names. I think.

Edit: Forgot I have an electronic version.

quote:
‘For mithril,’ answered Gandalf. ‘The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant. Such things they found here, it is true, especially iron; but they did not need to delve for them: all things that they desired they could obtain in traffic. For here alone in the world was found Moria-silver, or true-silver as some have called it: mithril is the Elvish name. The Dwarves have a name which they do not tell. Its worth was ten times that of gold, and now it is beyond price; for little is left above ground, and even the Orcs dare not delve here for it. The lodes lead away north towards Caradhras, and down to darkness. The Dwarves tell no tale; but even as mithril was the foundation of their wealth, so also it was their destruction: they delved too greedily and too deep, and disturbed that from which they fled, Durin’s Bane. Of what they brought to light the Orcs have gathered nearly all, and given it in tribute to Sauron, who covets it.
‘Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim. The Elves dearly loved it, and among many uses they made of it ithildin, starmoon, which you saw upon the doors. Bilbo had a corslet of mithril-rings that Thorin gave him. I wonder what has become of it? Gathering dust still in Michel Delving Mathom-house, I suppose.’

Actually, this is probably the writing style I should go for in the Nano novel. I'll have completed the wordcount limit in no time at all.

[ Tuesday, November 22, 2005 13:10: Message edited by: NaNoWriMo ]

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #65
Chapter VI continued. It turned out longer than I anticipated (alread the longest chapter by far), and it's not done yet - perhaps I'll split it up later.

31747 words, meaning that although I am still far, far behind (about 5000 words), I'm less behind that I was yesterday, and far less behind than I was the day before, and the day before. Making good progress. Perhaps it's the fact that I no longer sleep at night, but instead drink a cup of coffee around midnight and start writing till 4 AM, trusting my frail body to stand up to the strain for this last week.

Here.

***

The Claw turned out to be the name of the clan that had rescued Tam. Their members numbered in the hundreds, and though they had a less central position in the inter-tribal relations of the Nephilim, their prowess in the arts of warfare, as well as the reputation of their hunters, were renowned.

Relative to the Nephilim lands, the clan of the Claw dwelled literally on the edge to the wilderness. It was this which had given them their reputation at least in part; for the beasts in the forests were ferocious predators - even those that they hunted for their meat - and there were other, more dangerous monsters nearby.

From Mh'repha, Tam learned that there was a tribe of vicious ogres nearby, half-sentient brutes twice as tall as any Nephil, wielding gigantic clubs with a brutal strength and eating any meat that they could get, making no distinction between rat and tiger and Nephil. Thrice now they had attacked the village this year, for resources and spoils or for sport, and the ill-prepared Nephilim had taken great casualties in the beginning, despite the prowess and strength of their warriors. The Claw were still rebuilding the lost dwellings and training its hunters and warriors to ready a counter strike against the violent tribe.

* * *

On the third day since he had first woken up, Tam finally got around to a question he had meant to pose much earlier.

"What are the bars for, Mh'repha?" He had already ceased to stumble over the name. "Surely, you do not expect your patients to escape, so why is the window barred with iron as if to lock them in?"

She looked at him in surprise for a moment, then laughed. "For their safety of course! A lack of caution could well end in grief. You do not want to fall out, do you?"

"Fall out?" he cried, stunned. "Fall out of what? What do you mean - where are we?" He rose in his bed to look out of the window. His back ached with the strain of bending after the long time of disuse, but he managed to raise his head so he could look out of the window and see something besides the sky from below. He recoiled in shock at the sight. The ground was missing! He searched with his eyes, but only a few seconds later he had adjusted and seen the horizon - miles and miles away, and the ground stretched out for a long distance in all directions, and far beneath the window - many hundred paces at least, if not more. They were tremendously high up.

"Now do you see? Our village is carved into the edge of the mountain - every little room and chamber opens outward from the cliff face, and there are a thousand windows carved through the rock! None who have travelled here forget the time they first beheld the city by night from far off, for they say that a thousand lights shine out from the mountain in a glittering splendour, and the sight can be seen from a hundred leagues around."

"It must look impressive. I regret to have missed it." He chuckled, thinking of the state he had been in when they had carried his unconscious body into the mountain village. And yet, even as he marvelled at the view he had from the window, and at Mh'repha's description, he could not help feeling dizzy and even mildly nauseated. The Vahnatai built into the ground, not up from it - where he hailed from, only the ground floor had windows. The idea of having slept literally just inside the cliff side for three weeks caused him to shudder involuntarily.

The shudder was enough to throw off his fragile balance, and after swaying a bit before the window, he fell backwards onto his bed with a muffled crash. Mh'repha was beside him in an instant to make certain he had sustained no harm, but could not help grinning. "See, if you had fallen out of the window this way, you would not have landed so softly. That is what the iron bars are for!" He turned slightly green at the thought, and she immediately stopped teasing him.

"You should probably remain in your bed for a few more days, and after that you will need to practice walking again." It sounded like a joke, but she added, "You might not believe it, but you have likely grown unused to having your own legs support you, let alone move unaided. You will flop around a lot in the first few days out of that bed." Leaving him with the bowl-like cup of strength draught that she had brought when she came in earlier, she left the room again.

Tam eyed the cup with distaste. It was a well-known fact among his People as well that the more beneficial a potion was, the more gruesome it tasted to the pitiable drinker; it was even said that many of the most lethal poisons had a pleasant, sweet smell. The potions of the Nephilim seemed to obey the same rule, and by its taste, the brew that Mh'repha was making him drink must be the very nectar of immortality itself. Repressing a shudder, Tam reached for the cup and choked down the bitter green liquid in a few large, hasty gulps - he had heard that things drunk in this way were tasted less intensively. The intensity of the taste, however, was quite enough for him; he reached for the cup of fresh water that she had prudently deposited next to the potion, and washed the taste down as best as he could. The potion was oily and not easily washed away by water, but it helped somewhat. By now, the third time he had drunk it, he had almost gotten used to the taste, and no longer sputtered and gagged as he had on the first day that he had forced it down. That had been after she had introduced herself, and before leaving him alone in the torch-lit darkness again.

* * *

He was able to shorten the time by reading. The bookshelf that had been nearly the first thing that caught his eye upon waking up was small, smaller even than the one he had had in his room back at Oriath, but the wealth of books it contained was astounding, as was the fact that he turned out to be able to read them. They were almost all written in Novah - he was not immediately sure if this was because they had deliberately brought volumes in this language into his chamber, or whether in fact the majority of them read and wrote in this language. Even those books that were not written in Novah used some form of writing that looked remotely similar to the phonetic script, undoubtedly a derived script that shared common roots with the Novah one. Just a few years ago, he would have expressed this differently, believing the Nephilim version to be a debased form of the Novah language, but what he had since learned, he was no longer so sure. Even though the culture of the cat race appeared to value physical strength and aptitude over learning, and they seemed to lack the magical power and knowledge that was inherent in the Vahnatai, there could be no doubt that they were an advanced civilization. Their herb lore and alchemy was another indicator for this. Mh'repha had proudly noted the skill with the longbow as the most defining of her people's traits, but Tam found his interest was rather drawn to their amazing ability to extract various juices from the most common to the most exotic plants, and mix them to produce any effect between healing, sleep and death, even brief enhancements of the mind and body.
While he could decipher the books written in the modified Novah script with little difficulty, the language itself remained barred to him. He could distinguish the sounds, words and sentences - it was a light, flowing language with almost the same frequency of vowels as Novah had, and a notable propensity for non-explosive sounds, the sound of R and PH foremost among them - except for the sound of L, which they seemed to be unable to make.

"Saph remh'rya araphnemh'ron mh'shrunathr ashephraya"... he let the words flow over his lips as he read aloud from one of the books; the language sounded beautiful to him even though he could not translate it. His pronunciation was probably wrong as well, for when he spoke the language, he sounded distinctly different from the way the hunters and Mh'repha had addressed him earlier. He resolved to ask her about it when she returned; his mind was still burning with a fiery curiosity. (Curiosity. There was a nagging feeling that there was more about that trait and what it meant to him, that he had forgotten, but it soon passed again.) He was gripped by a sudden desire to learn their language: Partly out of curiosity and partly out of the realization of its necessity if he wished to talk to the rest of the Claw, and partly - he struggled with admitting this to himself, but found he could not deny it - to impress Mh'repha. To no small part, in fact.

Closing the green book that was bound in some scaly hide which he could not immediately identify - some lizard creature, probably - and imprinted with the stylised image of a four-pointed star on the front, he slid it back into the shelf, reaching out with his arm without rising from the bed.

The works which he could read were mostly books of lore, concerned with various subjects of nature: Geography, several treatises on biology, and a long, painstakingly handwritten travel report by a Vahnatai elder named Zadal-Ihrno. Astonishingly, even a single volume about trigonometry - one of the most important fields of Vahnatai mathematics - had made it into the collection of the Nephilim. There were a few novels as well, many of whom Tam remembered reading many years ago, in countless hours of the night during which he had been reading rather than sleeping - my other downfall, he remembered that the sleep deprivation had resulted in an ability to sleep at any moment at any time, an ability that was largely responsible for his so ignoble expulsion from the Oriath academy. Only this time, he felt neither rage nor grief. All that seemed so distant and petty now that he felt like laughing. In spite of the welcome distance, re-reading the same old novels that he had enjoyed so much before - The Legend of the Twin Towers, The Valley of Thunder, and The Mountain of Shadows, to name just a few* - gave him a sensation of familiarity that he had not had for a long time, and he felt a little bit more at home than he had before.

The collection of Novah books was eclectic** in the extreme, but not jumbled or disordered. The seemingly random assortment of books - as well as the odd concentration of natural sciences and novels among them - seemed to suggest that the works had been found or salvaged from various places. Perhaps other travellers had left them here, the Vahnatai who Mh'repha said had visited the Nephilim lands long before her grandparents' lives? The books did not seem ancient, but then the Nephilim did not live long; scarcely more than sixty or seventy years. In spite of the oddness of the collection, the books seemed to have been frequently read, dispelling any doubts whether Novah was a language commonly known at least to the learned ones of the clan.

Tam's interest, besides the novels, was caught especially by the travel report - not only because he had never read the book before, but because he had never even heard the name of this author: Apparently, he had never achieved sufficient fame among his own People that his book would be widely copied and read. Or perhaps he never returned to publish his book, Tam idly theorized, until a chilling realization came to him: If he had never published, then there was no other copy. The book, in spite of the spidery handwriting, did not look like it had been compiled on the road - but then, this Zadal-Ihrno would have had enough time to copy his own journal in a neater form if he had stayed here and shared the hospitality of the Nephilim, as the journal stated. He weighed the dark-red volume in his hand excitedly, suddenly realizing its significance if it was the only copy of its kind and it had never made it back to the Vahnatai.

He had read only part of it, so far. The writer appeared to have set out from Khelnai - a town Tam had never heard of, either because it was so far from the lands he was familiar with, or because the book was old enough that the town had ceased to exist long before he was born, though that was unlikely given the lifespan of the Vahnatai - travelled the length and breadth of the lands, climbed the great mountains of Rathmor, traversed the Swamps of Gloom, even circled the whole continent by ship, and met many races and many beasts that he could converse with.

Flipping on to the final part of the journal***, Tam came upon the entries where Zadal described his encounter with the Nephilim, and his time among them. The text had stunningly vivid and accurate descriptions of the appearance and culture of the cat race - including a richness in illustration that betrayed the curious traveller as at least as much an artist as a sage - even as it had of the earlier creatures Zadal had encountered. Some of the knowledge that Zadal imparted, Tam could already confirm, but his complete isolation from any of the Nephilim save for Mh'repha had restricted him from learning many things, such that the book proved very informative. Given that Zadal had evidently written this among the Nephilim, and in a language they could read, it was almost certain to be correct to the finest detail.

However, the entries ceased soon after that - a total time period of perhaps three years among the Nephilim race were documented, and the text ended with many blank pages left over. This strengthened Tam in his suspicion that the book had never made it back to the Vahnatai - surely a later copy, bound according to length - would not leave blank pages at the end.

He shuddering briefly with the implication: One of the few, possibly the only Vahnatai who had yet met the Nephilim had been unable to publish his discoveries. What if it had turned out another way? If Zadal had returned home to tell the tale, would the races now know of each other's existence? What would the consequences have been - would they now be living in peace and brotherhood, trading goods and knowledge? Would either of the races have been unable to overcome its natural feelings of superiority, resulting in long, bitter warfare? And what of Zadal-Ihrno himself: As Tam considered the possibilities of an encounter of the two civilizations, he wondered if Zadal had had the same reservations. Had he deliberately not brought his journal home to publicize it - or had he even declined to return home at all? Tam had the feeling that Mh'repha could not answer these questions if he asked her; perhaps none of the Nephilim could.

Closing the book, he put it back into the shelf, next to the green one in the Nephilim tongue that he had removed a while earlier. Yawning wildly, he noticed that his reading had tired him out once again, and he sank back in the comfort of his bed, sleeping within seconds.

* * *

Notes:

*Hahaha.

**assorted, diverse. I like smart words.

***If I lack words and plot any time soon, I'll just write a few sample entries to be quoted in there... ^_^

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 3241
Profile #66
I actually did not mean the spelling, but as you said Vahnatai hadn't got any mithril, how could there have been mithral saws?

Other thing:
quote:
Well, I was there from the beginning. I just mentioned it only in the Runescape topic... And anyway, I'm writing mine in Finnish, but you're welcome to read the beginning five chapters or so. I believe I uploaded them.. there. http://gamma.nic.fi/~ribla17/4n_tarina - nanowrimo.doc
Stupid thing, I saved it with spaces, and it won't work as an url with them. Just paste that bit, although maybe you won't even try. Because, of course, it's in Finnish, and who the hell can read that?


Help. I'm finnish, and now I have to read all the stories there too.

EDIT:Did it. No more reading... I'm bored.

[ Wednesday, November 23, 2005 07:22: Message edited by: Bestrafer_fin ]

--------------------
Visit the www.monkkonen.net and if you like, be the member of the forums.
Posts: 76 | Registered: Sunday, July 20 2003 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #67
Oh dear. That bad, was it? :P

I'm still only at 31300 something, but in my defense I *just* got back from my friend, who dyed my hair! Woot! ^^ It is now reddish color, and should've been more orangy, except in my opinion it looks more violety. You know? Anyway. Permanent color, oh noes.

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #68
quote:
Originally written by OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai:

Oh dear. That bad, was it? :P

I'm still only at 31300 something, but in my defense I *just* got back from my friend, who dyed my hair! Woot! ^^ It is now reddish color, and should've been more orangy, except in my opinion it looks more violety. You know? Anyway. Permanent color, oh noes.

Well, in case you don't like it any more. It'll grow out... eventually. :P

I have yet to start tonight's block. I'm doing this in huge chunks of 2500-3000 each, disconnecting the net, getting some coffee, and listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons over and over. And Brahms, and the LotR and Riven soundtracks.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #69
Four Seasons, Hungarian Dances, Riven, Mary Jean Holmes, than Riven again. And 3000 words!

Now up to 34756, and I should be at 38333 at this point! I'm less than 3600 words behind schedule, and planning to write 3000 tomorrow again.

Oh, and nobody spotted yet that I effectively made the Nephilim unable to say their own name properly. Remember the bit about not being able to say "L"? I'll leave it in for now because I'm averse to editing this close to the finishing line. It'd disrupt my writing.

About atrocious grammar/spelling: You know what feeling when late, very late night and you awake but should sleeping, and being alive only becase you drunken lots coffee? You not talk/write better then, believing me, not in the language foreign. They result in resulting results akin to this particular resulting result.

Chapter 7 (No name yet)

"No, the 'R' has to come from the stomach."

"The stomach? How do you talk out of your stomach?"

Mh'repha breathed out, but stopped herself from uttering an exasperated sigh. "The voice does not come from there; you just have to make the sound in such a way that you feel as if it does."

He tried again. "Mmmh'depha". It made an odd rolling sound, but was not by far close to the purring that was common for the way the Nephilim pronounced this consonant.

"The sound is a bit too short. Try holding it for a while. Rrrrrr."

"Rrrruwww". He managed to hold the harsh, throaty rasp for a short while, but then slipped and turned it into a vaguely soft noise. Still, he had matched her sound more closely than in his earlier attempts, and she was satisfied.

"That's better. Now try saying this after me: Rrephna yapheshis ar amh'rosh nishomh'ri sathosha." She pronounced the words slowly and clearly, emphasizing the brief pauses that where always part of the mh' sound, and rolling the R's for nearly a second each.

"Hhrevena javesish aramrosh nizhomh'hri zathosha".

"What did I tell you about the PH? It's an unvoiced sound, you put just your breath in it. Ffff, not Vvvv."

"Hchrephna," he said experimentally. He still needed to prepare for the R sound by breathing out a throaty CH* sound, and then gradually putting his voice into it as well. "Dshapheshis"

"The beginning should sound more like 'I'. Try Iapheshis."

"Eee-apheshis".

"Close enough."

"Hrephno ee-apheshis ar amh'arhosh nish..." She stopped him with a gesture.

"It's amh'rosh. Not amh'arosh. You definitely want to remember that crucial difference, because amh'rosh means sun, while amh'arosh means, uh... something entirely different."

He didn't get the hint. "What does it mean?"

Nephilim did not turn red; instead, when they indicated embarrassment, their whiskers would twitch. "Oh, nothing**. Actually, the literal meaning is quite harmless. But in a sentence like Rrephna yapheshis ar amh'rosh nishomh'ri sathosha, which means, most closely, the night has fled the dawn, and the sun is rising swiftly, you most certainly do not want to get the amh'rosh wrong."

"Oh." He understood. "Well... hrephna iapheshis ar amh'rosh nishomh'ri sathosha."

"That was quite good, actually. We can go back to the grammar now, I think."

* * *

It was the seventh day of his wakening, and it was only the second day since Mh'repha had begun to instruct him in the language of the Nephilim. They were making good progress: his former life as a student of the arcane turned out to be very useful for learning a foreign language, because the magical formulae and their pronunciation required a similar approach: If they were pronounced with the tiniest modification, the result could well be disastrous: The catalysing crystals that were attuned to the spoken voice would react differently, and the structure of the spell could change dramatically, almost always into an unstable, unfocused structure. If the lack of focus was sufficient so that the forces involved cancelled each other out, there would be no effect at all; if the structure held just long enough to focus great energies, these could be unexpectedly released with devastating effect. This required immense precision when memorizing the words, and most magical apprentices of the Vahnatai were able to learn whole pages of writing by rote in only a single reading, or to repeat long sentences someone had uttered with exactly the same intonation. The greatest problem for Tam were the differences between his vocal organs and those of the Nephilim, which frequently made it necessary to spend time practicing to imitate a certain sound as closely as his voice would allow.

The grammar itself was hardly a problem even for a Vahnatai, because it followed a surprisingly consistent system. Novah, of course, was almost simplistic in its grammatical rules, because it was not only free of inflections, but also prepositions and declension pre- and suffices. The word 'mehd' was used to define "a rock", "rocks" and the material "rock", and did not change whether it was the subject, the instrument, or the object of an action. This kind of simplicity should have caused Tam difficulties when learning a more dynamic system, with greater varieties and more rules to watch. However, the declension system was comprehensible and had no exceptions. Tam made the interesting observation that the language was entirely gender-neutral. Even persons were defined as male or female only by context and by the name. There were only two sets of pronouns, one for living objects and one for unliving ones - although the latter was also used for plants.

Mh'repha proved as good a teacher as a healer; apparently the latter position required just as much patience as the former did.

Another week passed before Tam was able to express himself in the language beyond a few short sentences. That he was able to learn by reading the books as well considerably accelerated the process, especially since it turned out that the green book he had tried to read earlier was a flawless translation of the Travels of Zadal-Ihrno of which he also had the Novah copy. By looking up the text in his own language, he was able to understand most of the words that were unclear to him.

The presence of a Nephilim translation of the journal was somewhat significant, but predictable considering the likely circumstances under which Zadal had compiled the tome. Even though at least some of the Nephilim were passably familiar with Novah, undoubtedly he had been requested to compile a more widely accessible translation of his writings. Tam concluded that it was none too unlikely the book had gained at least some measure of fame among them; in fact, since contact with the Vahnatai had been next to non-existent, Zadal's summary of his own culture was probably the main source of their knowledge of his race.

Which possibly explained yet another point. Zadal was critical, of course, as anyone with his range of experience would be, and wrote about the Vahnatai race with no discernable positive bias. If anything, he even judged his people's faults - the exceedingly egocentric stance, for instance, and their arrogant dismissal of the sentience of other creatures such as the dragons - more harshly*** than he did so when he outlined the other races he had encountered during his travels. Whether this was from an overzealous attempt at strict neutrality, or he was in fact convinced of their inferiority - Tam was unsure about his own opinion, although many of the more cutting remarks struck home, and he found himself agreeing with most of what Zadal had to say about the educational system - the resulting picture was painted in a discernibly negative light. If the Nephilim had had clashes with the Vahnatai in the remote past - not as unlikely as it seemed - then the added effect of this account might explain why the arhmshar had defined him as an enemy of the Nephilim.

Tam could not imagine how enmity could persist between two races who had had no known contact for several centuries at least, even more so if one of the races apparently had no knowledge at all about the existence of the other. However, it quickly occurred to him what would be the likely result of a chance meeting between them.

The Vahnatai were accustomed to simple, wild creatures with something approaching sentience, but not reaching their own level. A tribe of troglodytes was easily cowed by a show of the arcane power of the Vahnatai: A few gigantic spheres of fire above their heads, or several bolts of lightning out of a blue sky, and they were convinced they were dealing with Gods, and left the Vahnatai alone - or served them as they wished. The Vahnatai had had no contact yet with a race that was even remotely capable of magic - even to such a limited extent as the Nephilim - who would be able to identify the quite mundane nature of their power. Whatever the Vahnatai would seek to accomplish by impressing or intimidating the Nephilim would be nearly impossible, and more likely result in an outbreak of hostilities. As the Vahnatai would encounter a foe they could not scare off with their magic, and the Nephilim would be face to face with a beast that could not be hunted with the longbow, the swift acceleration of violence seemed inevitable. It was entirely possible that the first encounters would be of a peaceful nature, but that peace would be so incredibly fragile and unstable that it would shatter at a drop of a hat. Tam shuddered to think about the consequences had Zadal-Ihrno returned to his people with the book he had written. His worst criticisms of the Vahnatai might have proven themselves right. Quite possibly, Zadal had either never returned or left his book along with all his memories here before rejoining his people, claiming to have been lost in the wilderness, to have lost all those notes he did make, and to have met no sentient races at all.

* * *

His curiosity about Zadal's fate grew with each passing hour, and with each additional chapter of his book that he read. He had already made up his mind to ask Mh'repha if she knew, or if there was anyone else who did, when she next returned to check on him in the morning. It had been yet another night filled with long hours of reading when he could not sleep, but the sun had risen an hour ago - it was winter, and thus already late morning and close to midnight.

Ordinarily, Mh'repha would have come some time ago, but she was delayed for a reason that Tam could not imagine. In the past days, she had often arrived earlier than usual, as if eager to continue instructing him in her language. She had never been late before.

After waiting for another half hour, Tam eventually grew impatient. He resolved to get up and find out what was the matter.

It turned out that this intention was easier conceived than carried out. He ran into problems right from the beginning - namely, at the getting up part. It turned out that despite his disbelief when Mh'repha had told him so, it actually was possible to forget how to walk, and besides his legs had been weakened by the long period of inactivity. It took him a few tries to even rise, but after a few ungainly attempts at standing that inevitably ended with him flopping around on the floor in a way that would have been embarrassing if there had been anyone to watch - which there fortunately wasn't - he achieved a kind of stability that he could keep for more than a few seconds if he held on to the wall. Wrapping a cloak tightly around himself - not his own, which must have been in tatters by the time they found him - he carefully took a few halting steps through the room. He turned his head and looked out through the window again; the height of the room stunned him anew, and he had to struggle to remain standing as he turned and approached the closed door.

For an infinitesimal moment, he felt apprehension: What if it was locked? Mh'repha had assured him that the iron bars on the window were a safety measure due to the immense height, but following the picture that the Nephilim seemed to have of his race, he would not have been surprised if they had installed other safety measures to protect themselves - from him. He tried the door. It opened.

He slipped out quickly and cautiously, and closed the door behind him as soundlessly as possible - his uncertainty led him to try to avoid being seen or heard as best as possible. Outside his small chamber for the first time, he took in the sight: He was standing in a long, narrow hallway whose ends he could not make out both due to the bad light - the windows were only on one side of the cliff face, naturally, and the torches were placed unevenly - and because the tunnel was bent, probably to accommodate the natural bends of the mountain whose side it was carved into.

Looking from one side to the other, it was impossible to see a difference. In both directions, the tunnel curved without a visible end, and there were many doors in almost regular intervals along one side of the tunnel. The other side was almost bare - although Tam could see several archway-like openings in the distance, whose function he could not guess at once. He turned back to the door he had just come through and found that it was labelled with a numerical symbol. With minimal effort, he was able to read it as "twelve".

What were the implications? If the rooms were numbered sequentially, then at least one of the directions he could go in was sure to quickly lead to the end of whatever this complex was - namely, once he had passed room number one. What came after that, a stairway, another identical set of rooms, or some place where he could find out where he was and needed to go, was less important; at least he would not wander endlessly through a long hallway with ever increasing numbers. Technically, the tunnel was limited in length by the width of the cliff face it was built into, but Tam was in no state to walk even a few hundred paces, which he might well have to in order to get to the other end of the tunnel, in the direction of the increasing numbers. He decided to check the lower end first, and if he did not find out where to get help, he would return to his room to read some more: Suddenly, in the face of this disorienting, almost vertiginous tunnel, his plan of searching for Mh'repha looked much more daunting than it had when he had stood up earlier.

Haltingly, he went up to one of the adjacent doors - turning right from where he entered the hallway - and found it was labelled "fourteen". He hesitated at that. 14? Why did they leave one out - did the hallway he was in only lead to the even rooms, and the odd-numbered ones were somewhere else? But no: moving along one door further, the next one was labelled 15, and the next one 16. He returned to his own room and confirmed that it was only room number 13 that had been left out for some reason that he could not fathom. More confusion!

Fortunately, it appeared that in the other direction the numbers progressed quite normally. He came past room 3, whose door was ajar - Tam was careful to walk past it without making a sound, for he did not cherish the thought of meeting a complete stranger without Mh'repha's presence and only his own language capacities to rely on, especially when it was likely the Nephilim did not easily trust him. He came to the end of the hallway without an incident, and instead of an ordinary wooden door, there was a curtain set into an opening that led through it. Tam was just about to pull aside the curtain when he noticed voices speaking on the other side of it, just a few paces away. There were two voices, and they appeared to be arguing from the irritated way they sounded. One of them, Tam recognized as the voice of Mh'repha.

They were speaking in their own language, and very quickly, but Tam was able to understand what they were saying with some effort.

* * *

*Think "loch".
**I managed to avoid a tired off-colour joke. If you don't get it, be glad.
***Picture "Gulliver's Travels" with less obvious cynicism and written by someone who actually did travel around.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #70
What the humhey is that 45k jump in your word count over in your profile? Hmm? Ye're not cheating, are you? *rae*

Anyway, keep pulling. I need to catch up so I can go see the fourth HP film. I'm only at.. 31700 something, darnit. Oh. 5. 31705. I just remembered.

I mean, really, I've agreed to spend most of tomorrow evening at a girl's night out (except in) and.. err, stuff. Hair stuff. It's not dyed properly enough. :\

EDIT: *thrusts wildly* Ngh! Caught you up some! That was a victory boogie. ^^ Except I haven't actually won yet, of course. I'm at 35078 words and I'ma going to sleep now. Tomorrow: the same amount of wording, hopefully. I really want to go see that movie. :P

E2: Also.. I'm actually not feeling sleepy. :\ Still, one simply must. I have to buy ice cream and cookies tomorrow. No, today. It is 3am, after all. Awright.
So I'll be going now. I am. Really.

Any minute now.

Seriously.

Aaaanny minute now.

Toooo sleeeeep... Yup. Sleepy seep. And dream stuff. Woo.

You know, I once saw this dream, where there was this guy, you know? And I'd only met him once, briefly, I don't know.. a week or so ago? It was so weird. I kept thinking, who was that guy? An acotr? A singer? A model? Who was that guy? Must've been an actor. Then I was at a friends, and we watched pictures and stuff and then it hit me. That's the guy! Ohh man, that's the guy! I dreamed about him. WEIRD. But amusing.
Anyway.

Dreams are fun. I've seen a dream about Stugie too. Except I didn't *saw* him.

Wait. Was I supposed to do something? Go to sleep? Yeah, right. It's only 3am. I could be doing plenty of things! ^^

No?

You sure?

Some of them are pretty fun...

No? Really?

Oh.

*nods*

Well.. I guess this is it then. Goodnight and all that. Stretch post goodnight. And celebration for 35k and getting a 5k streak or wording done. Woo.

Alright, I'ma goner.

[ Thursday, November 24, 2005 16:08: Message edited by: OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai ]

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #71
quote:
Originally written by OMGwtfshediedkthnxbai:

What the humhey is that 45k jump in your word count over in your profile? Hmm? Ye're not cheating, are you? *rae*
No idea. Noticed it myself yesterday, and as you can see, it's back to normal now.

quote:

Anyway, keep pulling. I need to catch up so I can go see the fourth HP film. I'm only at.. 31700 something, darnit. Oh. 5. 31705. I just remembered.

I mean, really, I've agreed to spend most of tomorrow evening at a girl's night out (except in) and.. err, stuff. Hair stuff. It's not dyed properly enough. :\

EDIT: *thrusts wildly* Ngh! Caught you up some! That was a victory boogie. ^^ Except I haven't actually won yet, of course. I'm at 35078 words and I'ma going to sleep now. Tomorrow: the same amount of wording, hopefully. I really want to go see that movie. :P

E2: Also.. I'm actually not feeling sleepy. :\ Still, one simply must. I have to buy ice cream and cookies tomorrow. No, today. It is 3am, after all. Awright.
So I'll be going now. I am. Really.

Any minute now.

Seriously.

Aaaanny minute now.

Toooo sleeeeep... Yup. Sleepy seep. And dream stuff. Woo.

You know, I once saw this dream, where there was this guy, you know? And I'd only met him once, briefly, I don't know.. a week or so ago? It was so weird. I kept thinking, who was that guy? An acotr? A singer? A model? Who was that guy? Must've been an actor. Then I was at a friends, and we watched pictures and stuff and then it hit me. That's the guy! Ohh man, that's the guy! I dreamed about him. WEIRD. But amusing.
Anyway.

Dreams are fun. I've seen a dream about Stugie too. Except I didn't *saw* him.

Wait. Was I supposed to do something? Go to sleep? Yeah, right. It's only 3am. I could be doing plenty of things! ^^

No?

You sure?

Some of them are pretty fun...

No? Really?

Oh.

*nods*

Well.. I guess this is it then. Goodnight and all that. Stretch post goodnight. And celebration for 35k and getting a 5k streak or wording done. Woo.

Alright, I'ma goner.

AAAAH. You've passed me by; still at 34756. Sleep lack caught up with me yesterday, I slept like a stone for almost 10 hours. Need to leave now.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #72
All the more incentive to get to 40,000 words some time today, hmm? :)

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #73
I wish. I can't type at the speed of light, and it'll be over 5000 words till then.

Still, that was the original plan, yes.

--------------------
EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
I have a love of woodwind instruments.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #74
Aye, well, I'll probably be sitting here till the wee hours of the night trying to get somewhere on my wordcount, considering it's.. 22:35 and I haven't written anything yet today. I doubt a miracle will happen, but I'll get something done. Maybe.. 3000 words? Little over, hopefully?

--------------------
"I'm not crazy!"
"Well, whatever. Maybe you just ate something really questionable, or perhaps someone hit you on the head with something large, blunt and heavy just now. By the way..." Gil nudged Grul pointedly.

Ooh! Homepage - Blog - Geneforge, +2, +3 - My Elfwood Gallery and DevArt page
So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00

Pages