More from the untitled WiP that I’ve been posting from.
This follows from last week’s snippet.
“The City Guard doesn’t care much about ‘border skirmishes’ as long as they stay on the edges, but the people that live up there will attack if they see Shackers in their territory.”
“The more I learn about the city the more I like the wilds,” she muttered.
“Not from city?” Jopie asked. He had thought she seemed different…
“No,” Kestra replied. “I’m not from the city. I live in the Wilds.”
“Take me?” he pleaded, half reaching out to her.
“I was just waiting for you to ask,” she smiled, reaching out to touch his arm.
He flinched away, then relaxed at the gentleness of her hand. He’s been beaten, she thought, her heart falling.
As if reading her mind, Veren murmured softly, “People in Shack Town don’t talk to each other and don’t touch each other, unless it’s to fight or rape. It’s a culture of isolation and violence.”
“That must be lonely,” she murmured, and they both nodded.
She glanced up at Veren, who shrugged. “I lived here for a while.” He said no more, merely turned and continued on his way up the hill. Even so, it was more than anyone else knew about him, except Gundrin.
An overly long blurb:
Magic had reasserted itself. Banished for millennia, it could no longer be contained and erupted, bursting forth with a surge of power that had never been known before, and which, mercifully, has not been repeated since.
Unfortunately, no one believed in magic anymore, so no one knew what to do with it, not even those most directly affected: not those who had mutated overnight into creatures of legend, not those born as something other than human, not those who retained human but found themselves touched in other ways, with special powers and abilities.
Almost no one.
There were a few. A few who had held on to dreams and understandings, who believed in the things that others called fantasy. These few took roles as adepts, as teachers and counselors, leading the way into the new age.
There were some, of course, who rejected the changes. They persecuted the Abominations, as they called them, they drove them out of the cities and into the wilds.
And, gradually, a balance was achieved.
Outside the cities, in the wilds, there arose villages, their inhabitants, human and non, living together in peace and harmony with each other and with the natural world that was feared by the city dwellers.
In the cities, Tech ruled. But magic, or, rather, magic power, was not forgotten, nor entirely abandoned, and Temples grew, their priests (who had no power of their own) seeking Power, seeking to harness it for their own ends.
But also in the cities, magic remained.
Humans were still born with special abilities, special senses. They learned not to talk about them, not to reveal that they were “different” – if they did, they were ostracized, driven out away from the general population.
Veren was one such human.
Mutants were still born each year, but in smaller numbers than during the Awakening. Some infants were killed by their parents, and some were hidden away for a few years, abandoned when their differences could no longer be hidden.
Jopie was one such child.
And in the wilds, humans and mutants continued to live in harmony, and to practice magic. But occasionally one would be born with a wild talent, something strong and different than what was normal for their village. They felt isolated, because there was no one to help them understand their gift. Some were driven mad by the visions they saw, others went in search of help when the visions became too much to handle.
Kestra was one such person.
(Yeah, I know it’s too long. But the book is a long way from being finished so I have lots of time to work on it.)
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