Sunday, 4 June 2017

Authorial Doubts & Three-month Hiatus

Well, here we are. I've been working on and writing for this project, The Vorrgistadt Saga and related stories, for two years now. It's been online in one form or another in different areas for about a year.

Right now, I'm pondering taking a three-month hiatus on this project--at least. I know it hasn't seemed like it to anyone who might be reading this thing, but I've been tirelessly working on the whole thing for two years straight. No days off. Through good, through bad, to creative manias, and extreme depressions.

This thing has gone through four revisions. Has jumped from a series of short stories into a sprawling multi-part epic that I'm desperately hoping I can finish while I'm still alive. In one form or another, over 900 pages of material has been uploaded in pieces, in locations, over the last year. Some stayed up, some got pulled, some got revised, and some are being re-written from the ground up. This project has over 8.41 gigs of notes, maps, doodles, graphics, background stories, character profiles, languages, magic systems, histories, and all the rest. Hell, the world map, which I've been working on for the better part of two years is already up to 3.83 gigs. That world map is only 1/16th of the whole setting. I have maps of cities, islands, ruins, major locations, troop movements for some of the wars or skirmishes, battle plans for the sieges and such. Even working on a map of the Dreaded City of Vorrginth. It's a lot. Let's just say that and move on.

Things have been changing around the project. Places and communities I uploaded to are moving on, changing gears, or shifting their priorities. So it goes. An important thing for me, however, is that I'm not seeing any growth as a writer sending things out to a possible audience. The comments have dried up. The reviews aren't happening. Input is gone. Hell, even the occasional troll seems to have gotten bored and screwed off.

This is a really demanding project on me. I have to wear a lot of cloaks to get this thing done. Throwing it all out into a void and hoping that someone might come by now and then to be entertained for a few minutes just... I don't know if it's worth two years of my life.

So, I'm taking a vacation. I'll still be working on things. Getting more material done, I suppose. It's all habit now and it's hard to stop, even though some days I just want to blow my brains out over my keyboard; jokingly and hyperbolically, of course. Don't go calling the people in white coats just yet. I need some time away to get my head straight. Work on other things. Do some soul-searching and see if this is something I want to come back to. Honestly, it is a project I have a hard time pulling away from. There's a lot more I want to write, a lot more places and people I want to explore and show everyone. But... Well, if no one is here to read it or is remotely interested in it, why bother?

At this point, I honestly don't know if anyone does read this thing anymore. I see some analytics fly by. The occasional reader or anon stop by for an update or two and then flit away. I see traffic on the blog version of this site, but... I don't know who you are, or if you even care this is here. I need an audience. I need to know if I'm doing things wrong or right, if someone wants something a certain way, if something needs to be changed. I can't exist in a void forever, and the patience of void-i-ness is beginning to wear on me.

So, I present this to you, whoever you are, where-ever you are, when-ever you get to this... If someone does read this thing, and does find some kind of worth--or even just passing interest--please let me know.

Comment below. State whatever you want. If you don't have an account here or rather remain anonymous, feel free to go to my blog for this project where you can comment anonymously or use a name. It's up to you. I just want to know if it's worth returning. Hell, if there's anything to return to, for that matter.

So, until the vacation ends, or I decide to close the book on this tale for good, whatever happens in three months... Good reading and may whatever fates or elements of reality you believe in smile upon you and your endeavors.

- Sov

* This is being posted in multiple areas, so if you're on RRL or anywhere else, just click on the link on my profile to get to the blog for this project. Or go here: https://vorrgistadt.blogspot.ca 

If you're already at my blog, well, you're here so... Yeah.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Shattered Oracle - III - As Oracles are Wont to Do - Page 15


As Oracles are Wont to Do

- Page Fifteen -

"We took the dependency of aethyric energies out of the activation properties of the spheres. We realized that being a part of the Ullthosian Temple for so long, being exposed to all that energy, and thus having that energy contained inside of it-" Hildger stumbled over his words for a moment. "Well, why not use the innate energies and get rid of the activation, all together. Now a common person can at least use them. Maybe not to the depth an oracle or other disciplined mage might-" Hildger let his eyes drop for a moment as his voice tried to catch up with his thoughts.

Hildger wasn't that skilled at articulation, obviously, but Maenthrai could see and feel his mind churning feverishly with thoughts he could barely contain. He was a very proficient artificer, after all. "I mean not to offend. It still takes a lot of skill with the Haethrupex Arts to be able to record and store memories and information into the spheres. We consulted with your oracles for help with that. We just-" He stopped for another moment and caught up with his thoughts, again.

Suddenly, Hildger stormed forward with a burst of nervous energy, grabbing Wynnol by the back of her tunic, almost lifting her from the ground. He moved towards the doorway with her in tow. "We wanted to be on the safe side. Not show off. Just-" He opened the door now. "Who knows what the future has in store for all of us, you know?" Wynnol feigned to fight him as he moved her out the door. He managed to slide her out as if she were nothing more than a rag doll, or a small misbehaving dog. "Let's just go, okay? We'll show you when we get there. Thaellon and Serranos can explain it better than I can."

"I'll take your word for it." Maenthrai followed after the panicked man. In fluid motions she moved towards the door, passing by the foot of her bed to quickly sweep away the ruffles that Wynnol had caused. She snatched up her long-coat that hung from a metal outcropping from the stone wall nearby the doorway.

With an elegant flourish and a stretch of her arms, her coat was over her body. She stopped for a moment in the doorway to look back at the chair that Jephrin had been sitting in for most of the morning. She felt alone without him here to protect and guide her. The loneliness only grew with the dread that began to gnaw at her mind concerning her mother. That inhuman monster making her way with every passing moment closer towards the ruined city. Every thought in her mother's mind — if it could still be called such — was no doubt focused on murder and destruction.

"No rituals! Just hurry up! Thaellon is waiting." Wynnol's voice echoed through the darkened stone hallways outside the room. Her calls were soon followed by her voice making a loud exhalation like she had been impacted in the side. There was a momentary scuffle echoing throughout the walls near the stairwell. "Oh come on, you giant lug!" The voice got softer and more distant. "What in Gehemol was that, 'pardon my directness,' crap? Since when do you kiss people's arses?"

Footsteps resounded as the two made their way down another flight of stone stairs, getting even more distant. "Oh, I see now. You're all gushy because you're worried that stuffy old oracle might look into your mind. See you have a thing for her, neigh?" Another hard impact and scuffle.

Maenthrai lifted her right hand up to pinch at the bridge of her nose. Apparently, these were the most skilled artisans she could find. The last of the Azhemyra artificers of legend. The students she had brought with her were the last of the oracles she could find, and these artificers were the last of Thaellon's students. She had to trust in their abilities, despite some of their lacking personalities. She just hoped the spheres would work as she had originally planned. She needed to find out why her mother became a monster. She and her students needed to use the spheres to store the last bits of wisdom and knowledge they had for future generations to use.

The gods old and new help them all. She let her hand drop from her face, giving a long sigh and then she shut the door behind her. Bereft of her love, separated from her family, removed from her shoanvyr, orphaned from her family, and now hunted by her inhuman mother; Maenthrai felt very much alone. 

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The Shattered Oracle - III - As Oracles are Wont to Do - Page 14


As Oracles are Wont to Do

- Page Fourteen -

"Yes, I stated I would be using them to look back into time, and I hoped they could be used to transfer oracle's knowledge for future use." Maenthrai squinted her ice-blue eyes and lowered her crimson brow. Her full lips began to curl into a snarl, but she did what she could to hold it back. She could not stand to look at Wynnol further, lest she tempt the darkness inside of her to command her abilities, instead she focused her attention on Hildger; the more polite one. "How can divination be possible without the ritual observances of the oracles? These rituals have been passed down since the time of the first Sharr-vhult. These aren't easy tasks; to pierce time, to control thought, and to harness the power of memory."

"Hah!" Wynnol blurted out and took a step back. Her head careened back while her arms still rested high on her chest. "You oracles are so stuck in your old ways! You haven't even bothered to change or alter those rituals..." She trailed off. "Probably since the time the first Morthavi left from Hoelv, neigh?" She dropped her arms and that same left wrist of hers lifted up to go limp, as if she was holding something invisible in it, yet again.

"You stated how important it was that we make the spheres able to store and capture memories, knowledge, and visions. Well, so, that future generations might use them." Hildger scrunched up his face as he spoke. He took a moment to let his lips dance on his face, pursing them from one side to the other. "We did as you asked. But, given that we are Azhemyra and the philosophies we abide-" He trailed off into thought again. He enjoyed choosing his words carefully, even if he talked very slowly. On one hand, Maenthrai commended him for his tact, while on the other his habits were getting annoying. "We to the initiative to, uh-" He lifted his left arm out and began to drum the fingers of his right against the metal gauntlet over his wrist. "I guess, 'stream-line' the process."

"It makes it so that anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of aethyric energies can use the spheres properly. Latent ability or perfected, it really doesn't matter." Wynnol crossed the room towards the foot of the bed, turning from it and looking back. "The spheres don't just need the Haethrupex arts to work. Like you said when you first convinced Thaellon to come with you here, a few years back. The oracles are being killed off. You and your students are the last, neigh?" She smiled and sat on the foot of Maenthrai's bed. She lifted up one of her legs, bare from the knee down, to slowly cross over her other. "You said the spheres were for future generations. Well, who knows if there are any oracles in the future, let alone anyone proficient in magickal arts."

"I can see that point, but-" Maenthrai couldn't finish her thought before the young Azhemyra cut in.

"You oracles all think you're so special." Wynnol was getting cockier by the moment. "Well, now the 'non-special' people can use the spheres just as well as anyone else. Even a rural hedge witch can use these artifacts just as well as you could. Gehemol! Even a bumpkin farmer could at least use them to call out the basic memories trapped inside. You said the world is ending, after all. The first thing to go when the piss hits the fire is higher knowledge." 

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The Shattered Oracle - III - As Oracles are Wont to Do - Page 13


As Oracles are Wont to Do

- Page Thirteen -

"You don't need to." Wynnol interrupted Maenthrai's words with a very flat tone. Maenthrai moved to gaze back over at the short woman whose arms were crossed high on her chest. Her chin was held up in the air as she spoke. Hildger took a step forward and pressed in right behind the young woman.

"Of course I-" Maenthrai began to start a rebuttal. She tried to keep her tone civil but the behavior of the brash and far-too-young Azhemyra was beginning to wear on her nerves. She felt her earlier rage begin to rise up. She didn't have the time to explain these matters of being an oracle to someone so young and impetuous. Oracles always had to perform rituals of purification before undertaking such deep and intense visions into time, lest the impurities of mind and body taint the divinations they must interpret.

"No — actually — you don't." Wynnol continued. She wasn't budging one bit on this; both with her behavior and her words. Maenthrai decided to stop smoothing her bed and idly preening nearing her sleeping area to stand up straight and face Wynnol directly. She proceeded to stare daggers at the headstrong artificer. Wynnol's chin seemed to tip further upward at this.

Hildger reached one of his large and brawny arms over his head. His hand maneuvered between metal plates and leather straps to scratch at his back. He lifted his ponytail up, shortly after this, to reset it over his shoulder. "I think what the young lass is getting at, Haethrex-" He was using Maenthrai's formal title as an oracle. He was obviously nervous about her reaction. "We've, uh-" He began to tug at his beard now while pursing his lips for the briefest of moments while thinking up his next words. "We've taken the liberty of solving that problem, so to speak."

"We perfected your flawed design for the artifacts." Wynnol cut in dryly. She took a step toward Maenthrai defiantly and looked directly up at her. The young woman wasn't more than chest-high to Maenthrai, yet the glimmer in her eyes showed startling resolve. "You don't have to do any of that mystical crap, anymore." Wynnol remained standing a few inches from Maenthrai but deigned to break eye contact for a moment to look over her shoulder at Hildger. She held that position for a moment and returned back to Maenthrai. A look of pride and large smile was on her face. She was showing how proud she was of her and Hildger's work. "Anyone can now use the artifacts to pierce into time or to transfer their memories into the spheres."

"How is this possible?" Maenthrai crossed her arms. The smugness on Wynnol's face was beginning to anger her, as well as the fact that the Azhemyra might have sabotaged all of her efforts just to show off their proficiency. "I only asked that you create enchanted artifacts out of the materials from the old Ullthosian Temple." Maenthrai could feel tendrils of aethyric energy coalescing around her. The energy wasn't more than a slight static in the air, but with every passing moment, she wanted to harness it to slap the look off of Wynnol's face. 

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The Shattered Oracle - III - As Oracles are Wont to Do - Page 12


As Oracles are Wont to Do

- Page Twelve -

"If you saw what I saw and felt what I felt when I returned to that place-" Maenthrai got up to her feet again and tried to remain resolute despite the swirling emotions tugging at her once again. "You'd know just how dire our situation is. Especially, as of right now." She clenched the muscles in her arms and hands, curling her long fingers into fists at her sides. "Enough of this! Tell me what you came here to tell me! You said the great project is only bearing 'fruit?'"

Wynnol shook her head as if trying to exorcise the emotion in the room like a dog might shake moisture from its fur. She took a few steps toward Maenthrai, happy now to do what she came here to do. She saw that Hildger was about to open his mouth and answer Maenthrai's question, but she held up her right hand to cut him off. "More than just 'fruit.'" She gave a chuckle, once more. "We've already finished!"

Hildger gave a grumble and stepped closer as well. He was frustrated at not getting to share the important news first. "The young lass is correct, Maenthrai. Our work is completed. We came to summon you back to the Hestumarch to see the spheres for yourself. Serranos is already there waiting. So is Thaellon." He lifted up his left hand, palm up-turned towards Maenthrai like a gentleman might ask for a lady's hand. He then moved is hand away slyly, moving it to point in the direction of the doorway. "We can wait for you to prepare yourself if you need to. I think with the latest development which now hangs over our heads, all expediency might be best. If you pardon my directness."

Maenthrai arched one of her auburn eyebrows quizzically and then gave an exaggerated nod towards Hildger; willing to play along with his request. "You're right. Thank you." She took a few steps forward, passing right to the side of Wynnol who still leaned on the side of her bed. Maenthrai placed her left hand on the young woman's shoulder. Her action was more as a gesture to move out of her way than anything kind or supportive.

Wynnol looked up at her with a puzzled look, then down at the hand that still held her shoulder. She reached up one of her hands to quietly push Maenthrai's hand away. She didn't understand the gesture and scrunched up her face at the unsolicited physical contact.

"We must anticipate that my mother is already on her way here. I don't know how much time we have exactly. It could be days, or it could be a matter of hours. I don't know how powerful she has become over the last few decades." Maenthrai gave a long sigh and looked over to the book that Jephrin had tossed on her bed. "The last time Thaellon and I ran into my mother, just a few years ago, we almost didn't survive the experience." Maenthrai looked back to Wynnol and she could feel her nostrils flare with subdued anger. She was tired of trying to be subtle with the girl. She leaned over her bed, grabbing up the book that Jephrin had tossed near the middle of it.

As she leaned forward she gave a hard push with her hip against the body of Wynnol, dislodging her from leaning on the bed and shuffling her slightly into the middle of the room. Maenthrai placed the worn book on the nightstand nearby the bed and began to smooth out the wrinkles on the bed-covers. She gave a slight glance over her shoulder at the young woman, giving a glare of territoriality at her. Once finished trying to remove the young woman's disruption from the bed, she looked over towards the large man to her left. "I will rush my rituals and ceremonies, but given that these artifacts will force me into visions beyond time, I must purify and prepare myself. I shouldn't be more than four or five hours. I'll meet you-" 

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