In celebration of NaNoWriMo starting on Tuesday, the next Writing Serial for Fridays will be last year’s Winning NaNo. It gives me an excuse to finally polish it up, and to read over it again before I start on the next book on November First.
So I give to you Realm of the Gods: Earth.
“Lord, Lady, I greet thee,” said the man. Clothed in green, his shoulder length brown hair was tied up to be out of his face. It was the only thing that set him apart from the dark green of the Forest far below.
“And we greet you in return, lord Talesin,” They replied. They were in white, though Their black hair seemed to capture the starlight above and turn it into the radiance that surrounded them. Though They had many names, they were best known as the
Lord and the Lady, or the God and Goddess.
“What willst thou have of me?” asked the lord of Music.
“You know of this world and of its people,” began the Lady. Talesin nodded. “Then you know as well of those who would seek to destroy or enslave this place.”
“Of course. Mages of times long past for one.”
“And those of today’s time as well,” added the Lord.
“I had heard of that, but was unaware that such rumors had a base to them.”
The two nodded in near unison. “They are all too true. Not long ago, one tried again. He was struck down before he succeeded, however.”
“Blessed be the Lord and Lady,” he muttered, forgetting who he was standing before for a moment.
“Twas not our doing,” the Lady said with a smile and a shake of her head. “Your thanks, lord of Music, go to a witch from Otherside.”
There was shock written on his face. “From the mortal realm?”
“Yes. But the mage she defeated was from Otherside as well. And as much as We did not wish to do so, We have barred access to this world from Otherside. Until those who seek to control us are gone or have forgotten our existence,” explained the Lord.
“But, that’s good,” Talesin protested. “No more mages will attempt to control us and this world!”
“Perhaps. But no access means those of power who would do good with it can also not reach us except for in deep meditation. And even then, it would be but a bare shadow of this place.”
“How it must be, shall be.”
“Danger approaches, lord Talesin,” the Lady told him. “Even now with access denied. There is another who will attack. The Fates have foreseen it. And in their viewings, they have seen only one who might stop it.”
“One from Otherside.”
“But if the way is closed—“
“We know, Talesin,” the Lord stated sharply.
“She is already here,” She said softly, her voice in sharp contrast with that of Her consort. “She is only a baby, but Inferno has agreed to raise her with the Fires.”
“The lord of the Fire Elementals? Begging pardon, but, Lord, Lady, I don’t really think that is the best of ideas.”
“He has promised to raise her as one of his own. And We trust him”
Talesin looked doubtful, but allowed it to pass. “Then we are back to the beginning. I ask again, what willst thou have me do?” There was a large part of Talesin that rebelled against such formal speech, but he knew it was needed in situations such as these.
“When the time comes, We ask that you take the girl about the world. Take her to us here upon the Mountain so that we might meet with her.”
“How will I know, Lady, Lord?”
“You will know, Talesin.”
Talesin chewed on his lip for a moment, unsure that he would know as They said he would. Still, if They said it, it would have to be true. One way or another, it would happen, even if it came in the form of a letter from someone with the words “it is time” written in it. He bowed to the God and Goddess. “Very well.”
“Our Love go with thee, lord of Music.”
He smiled at them and bowed graciously once more before turning and exiting the room on the top of the Mountain that They called their home. The journey down the Mountain, the highest in all of his world, was one of the easiest. Especially when he had his Aspect of Spirit to aid him. The Mountain was at the far end of the Fire Mountains, but the waterfall going down it belonged to Water, the clouds about its top were Air and the great oak trees at the base were maintained by Earth. Every element owned a part of Spirit Mountain, just as everyone was a part of Spirit itself.
Talesin was one of the Gods who populated the world. Unlike some of the others, he wandered about the world, giving help where needed and entertaining in other places. He truly was the bard that his title, lord of Music, named him as. Until the Lord and Lady had asked for his help, he had been quite happy spending his time in the Forest of Spirit in his small cottage by the river. But now…Now he was going to need to move closer to Inferno’s territory: the Fire Mountains. From there, he could keep an eye on the girl.
He didn’t trust Fire. Their kind was so volatile, so quick to anger. Water would have been a better choice for her. But he knew why They hadn’t placed her there. Water spent too much time in meditation and in dreams. There was too great of a chance that she might go into a dream and be unable to find her way back here if she wandered into Otherside. And that wouldn’t do at all if she was supposed to be the one that was going to rescue them from Mage.
At the edge of the Forest, he found a tributary of the river that ran by his own home. Talesin knelt down at the banks and scooped up a handful of the earth there. Pebbles, water, sand and dirt ran through his fingers as he looked for a good place for his new home. Finding one, he reached for his reed pipe on his side with his other hand, put it to his lips, and began playing. He tossed the earth into the air and a lively jig echoed around him. The magic came easily and flowed in and around the stones. Within moments, his home was before him once again. A flourish at the end of his song anchored the cottage in place so that it would not move along with the tides of magic. There was a smile on his face as he ended the song, and he tucked the pipe back into his belt and walked inside.