Pretty much all of yesterday was working on social media marketing and we managed to get Goodreads up to par with linking the blog and adding the creative writing classes to events, and next is working on Google+. I did try to learn more about how Twitter works, and even though I did learn a few things, there is still plenty for me to figure out. Social media can be difficult for me, especially maneuvering around on the sites. I am a little challenged there!
I thought I would add a little surprise to the post today, an excerpt from Fated. This scene is with Torren, my antagonist, as he enters Tyre' and plans his kidnapping of Carlynn's child. It is a little long, but I hope worth the read. The word omakalae means years and Ortehlae means Orbs. "lae" is our plural. Enjoy!
Torren entered Tyré alone. His two scouts lay dead on the banks of the Shay River.
In the bustling streets, he attracted scant notice. Little about the place had changed since his boyhood, but it had only been two omakalae since he left. Near the size of Phraile Highlae, Torren considered Tyré to have a more pleasing aesthetic. White-washed buildings gleamed where the afternoon sun struck them. Flowers decorated the shop fronts and window boxes of the homes. The contrast of bright colors against monochrome background enhanced the visual vitality of the city.
Torren snuck into an unused bell tower on the south side of town. He climbed the long staircase, settled in, and looked out across the white city and at the vast blue Nibiruin Sea at the city’s edge.
The few small fishing vessels docked in the harbor belied the town’s standing as the heart of trade between the three cities. Larger ships were no longer needed after exile of the Jajing following the war. Coastal fishing continued, but clothing, spices, and various goods arrived and left over land. The Gods provide ample sustenance from the earth to ensure there would be no need to voyage across the sea. The island where the beasts had been banished was forbidden.
Torren had seen bodies of slain Jajing after the war. They appeared as animals dressed in armored chest-plates and breeches. It was hard to believe that they had a common ancestor with the Faugns in the distant past. Faugns were a blend of animal and man, with the ability to fully morph into an animal. Jajing remained in beast form, although they walked on their hind legs. They had something akin to hands, though the fingers looked more like elongated paws or split hooves. In the five omakalae since the beasts had been exiled, rumors persisted of their resurgence. A few fishermen, who disregarded the edict of the Gods and wandered far out to sea, claimed to have seen Jajing in boats.
Torren did not believe such rumors. Musing of fishermen with brains baked by the sun and addled by the vastness of the sea.
Still, if the rumors held any truth, the Rebellion could make use of such beasts in battle—if they could be tamed.
Below the bell tower, children’s laughter refocused Torren’s attention to his surroundings. From his vantage point, the rays of the fall sun alternately weathered and enhanced the hues. It gave him the impression of an artist’s canvas. Banners hung above bridges and walkways with the Tyré sigil—an Orca emerging from the sea, silhouetted against a blue agate-colored moon, representative of Orteh Huana. The scene brought back fond memories.
Torren had played at soldiers through these streets with his two closest friends, the Guardian’s nephew and niece—Colton and Marise. Although Torren had been born five summers before Colton, he thought of the boy and Marise as his siblings. They had, after all, grown up together in the palace. It had been a natural fit. Torren’s father, Larrik, Master Warrior of Tyre'
, spent a great deal of time with the father of his
friends, Kamm. Their two families developed a close friendship. Torren enjoyed
the advantages of being thought of as kin to the Guardian’s family—and as an Androne. Imagine.
The hours Torren spent with Colton to teach him sword-play, gave his younger friend an advantage over other males of similar age. Torren prided himself in being the reason his “little brother” had begun Warrior training a full two omakalae before requirement.
Even after the death of Larrik, Torren remained in the palace. His father had been a hero of the Jajing war and the family was implored to stay. Aeolia, Torren’s mother, consented. Shortly thereafter, Hayden, the Guardian of Tyré, filled his father’s position with Koutal, a decision Torren had questioned.
A brute of a Djen, Koutal was squat in stature, with a bald head, scars from war, and missing an eye. With his other, he would leer at Aeolia. Koutal did not train the Warriors so much as use them for his personal whipping posts. Fear, not respect, was the new Master Warrior’s mainstay, and he cared little for Torren.
Taunts of “washerwoman’s whelp” and “Guardian Pretender” flew from his lips whenever Torren was in earshot. It had been tolerable at first. Colton and Marise stood up for him and threatened to tattle to their Uncle Hayden. The insults transformed into jokes amongst the three youth. Everything changed when his little brother deserted him to begin his formal training in Phraile Highlae. Though Torren himself had been trained by a Master Warrior—his father, Colton was required to attend specialized training, given only to kin of the Guardians.
Marise, still a child, drifted away from his company. For the first time in his life, Torren became an outsider in the only home he had ever known. He had to choose between remaining to face the abuse alone or leave.
Two winters have passed, but it seems a life time ago.
He never looked back. At first, his travels took him south to Phraile Highlae and then beyond to the caves of The Westnoch Mountains. There, he came upon a band of men, led by a great Djen and former Warrior of Phraile Highlae—Dekren.
Torren trained with the Rebels. With the skills he received from his father, Torren rose quickly through the ranks, until he became Dekren’s most trusted soldier. The Rebellion was his new family. Fully accepting that meant his former family and friends—including Colton—were now his sworn enemies.
Dekren became something akin to a father figure, yet more cruel and demanding than his actual father. Together, Torren and Dekren devised a strategy to control the power of the Ortehlae—one that evolved from the idea of saving Djenrye to ruling it.
Now, he hunted down a Guardian wife and child.
Hours ago, Torren had stood above the prone form of that woman’s savior—Ghorgon. The death of Torren’s men stung less with the image of the Master Warrior lying grievously wounded at his feet. Before administering the final blow, Torren taunted the fallen Djen, “You have not saved her. I will find Carlynn in Tyré. She will die and the babe will be ours.”
The idea of executing an innocent sickened Torren. But, he had no choice. Bringing the Rebellion’s plans to fruition required the blood of a Guardian. For the sake of the cause, Torren would kill Lady Carlynn, but not rip the unborn child from her womb. He would wait for the birth.
He turned away from the overlook. In his mind he ticked off the number of graochomaelea, blood/moon cycles, since the announcement of Carlynn’s saeni, carrying a child. Over eight…the time must be near.
He eased himself down on the floor and closed his eyes, convincing himself it was safe to sleep. A bit of rest and he would enter the palace through one of the escape passageways—the one that would lead him straight to Carlynn’s room. The same room in which all honored guests were housed when visiting the palace. Thanks to the excursions with his former playmates, Torren knew the way.
I hope you enjoyed this scene. And I hope you give Fated a read. The good thing about this scene is it gives you a bit more information about Djenrye.
Take care and have a wonderful weekend!