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Sunday Snippet, August 1, 2021

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Finishing up introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword, and skipping ahead to after Marlia’s trial.

Hierik cleared his throat. “Would the four of you please join me in my chambers?  I have something I need to discuss with you.”

The four exchanged glances, and Pashevel shrugged. He had no more idea than they did. “A moment,” he said quietly, giving Hierik a half-bow.

Hierik raised an eyebrow as Pashevel crossed the room to talk to Mathin; there were not many who would walk away when he asked them to come speak with him.

They watched as the two spoke, and shook hands, Pashevel putting his free hand on the Mathin’s upper arm in a gesture of friendship. Pashevel bowed, and returned to the group, smiling. “Now, Hierik, I believe you said something about a bottle of wine?”

“I said no such thing, Impudence,” Hierik chuckled, giving Pashevel a slap on the back of the head. “Come along.”

Once settled in the judge’s chambers, however, Hierik produced a bottle of wine and a set of goblets. As he poured the wine, Pashevel turned to Marlia. “What did he ask you?”

Marlia flushed again. “He asked me if I loved you.”

Pashevel raised an eyebrow as Hierik handed him a goblet of wine. Hierik shrugged. “I just wanted to make sure,” he said. “I know you too well, Pashevel.  You tend to be far too trusting.”

“You think I can’t tell the difference between real feelings and someone who is toying with emotions?”

Hierik studied him for a moment then shook his head. “No. It’s not that exactly. But face it, my friend, you have never had trouble attracting the ladies.”

“Oh?” Now it was Marlia’s turn to raise an eyebrow.

Hierik chuckled. “Oh, not deliberately, my lady. He’s never been one to take advantage, but, well, I’m sure you’ve seen how people react to him.”

Marlia nodded and relaxed against Pashevel as she accepted the goblet that Hierik handed her. “Pash does have a way with people. They are drawn to him.”

“All part of being a Bard,” Pashevel replied, taking a sip of wine. “Excellent vintage. Your own vineyard’s?” 

“Of course.”

Dakkas watched the exchange, trying to connect this friendly easy-going man with the one who had entered Marlia’s cell.

“Something wrong, Dak?” Pashevel asked.

Dakkas shook his head. “No. Just…”  He looked at Hierik then back at Pashevel.

“He seems so different than the man who came to Marlia’s cell,” Kashrya said. “It’s like they are two different people.”

Hierik laughed. “You can blame Pashevel for that. He gave me the reputation for being a monster.”

Pashevel shrugged. “Because you’re about as frightening as a blade of grass.”    

Hierik sighed. “True enough.” He looked at the others. “Until I met Pashevel, no one took me seriously.” He smiled at the memory. “Then this Bard showed up, and not only listened to me and took me seriously, he created a persona and reputation for me that ensured that others would also.” He shook his head, chuckling. “Of course, now everyone is scared of me, but at least they listen when I speak.” 

(“Because you’re about as frightening as a blade of grass.” is the line that led me to write Song and Shadow – I just had to know more about the young Hierik and how and Pashevel met.)

 

 

Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 25, 2021

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Since it’s July Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ll be working on Song and Shadow, I thought I’d kind of step back from posting from it for a bit and instead show you what led to writing it by introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword.

Skipping a few paragraphs from last week. Hierik’s interrogation was interrupted by a message that there was someone waiting for him in his chambers with an urgent message.

“Order!” Hierik’s voice brought her back to the present and her fear returned. “The accused will rise,” he said, and Marlia stood up, shaking slightly. “You are accused of the murders of Bendren and Liffea. How do you plead?”

“Not guilty,” she said, her voice suddenly strong and confident as she looked past Hierik to Pashevel.

“Yet you stand accused by an eyewitness, the son of your victims.”

“I did not kill them.”

“Then explain how their son has identified you as their killer.”

“The man who accused me is not the man who they introduced me to as their son.”

There were murmurs from the crowd at this but Hierik pushed on. “Maybe they had more than one. Maybe you are lying.”

The crowd’s murmurs grew angry and Hierik turned to them. “Quiet!” he thundered, but one man stood up, facing him.

“They had no children,” he said clearly as people turned to look at him. “Neither do I, but I have a ‘son’ just like theirs.” Pashevel recognized him as the man who had stopped at the burned out farmhouse to speak with them. 

“Sit down!” Hierik roared, but the man stood firm.

“No,” he replied calmly. “I will be heard. My name is Yannik,” he went on, “and I am tired of being forced to live a lie.”

A murmur of agreement swept through the crowd.

“No one should have to live a lie,” Hierik agreed, his voice quiet as he turned the focus of his gaze from Yannik to the entire crowd, smiling as his eyes swept over them. “I have been informed of what is going on here, and I want you to know that the Crown is also aware, or will be soon.”

He turned back to Marlia. “Tell me what happened, Paladin.”

A bit further along in the trial, Marlia is being questioned as she is holding the Shield of Truth.

“Have you ever killed anyone?” Hierik asked.

The question startled her, but she answered calmly. “Yes.”

“Have you ever killed anyone other than in defense of yourself or others?”

“No.”

Hierik smiled and leaned in close to her, whispering a question in her ear. Marlia flushed and looked away, then looked at her friends. They looked puzzled – even Pashevel – and she realized that this had not been part of the plan. She smiled and looked at Hierik. “Yes.”

Hierik laughed. “Just wanted to make sure,” he said, turning back to the crowd.

“I declare Marlia, Paladin of Arithen, to be not guilty of the charges laid against her.  Are there any here who would dispute the findings?”

 

 

Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 18, 2021

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Since it’s July Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ll be working on Song and Shadow, I thought I’d kind of step back from posting from it for a bit and instead show you what led to writing it by introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword.

Skipping a few paragraphs from last week. Hierik’s interrogation was interrupted by a message that there was someone waiting for him in his chambers with an urgent message.

Pashevel lounged comfortably in a chair, waiting. He was slightly worried; he knew Hierik’s reputation, and his methods of interrogation. And he knew Dakkas’ temper, and silently prayed that his friend would stay calm, and that Hierik would respond to the jailer’s request for him to come to his quarters.

The door opened and the tall man entered, slamming it closed behind him. “What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. “You can’t just walk into a Judge’s chambers and…”  He broke off as the man got to his feet, laughing.

“Ah, Hierik. You haven’t changed.” 

“I know that laugh… Pashevel?”

Pashevel bowed. “How are you?”

“I am well, Prince. And yourself? What brings you to this place?”

“Please, no ‘Prince.’ Just Pashevel. We’re not in any kind of Court right now.”

“And it’s safer not to be royalty,” Hierik agreed. “I understand. So, what brings you here?”

Pashevel took a deep breath and sat down again. “How much do you know of what’s been going on?”

Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 11, 2021

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Since it’s July Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ll be working on Song and Shadow, I thought I’d kind of step back from posting from it for a bit and instead show you what led to writing it by introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword.

To set the scene: Marlia, a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice has been arrested for murder. The “she” in the first paragraph is Lethea, the woman who runs the boarding house they are staying at.

Skipping a few paragraphs from last week. Dakkas and Kashrya are in Marlia’s jail cell with her, waiting for the arrival of the judge.

Another set of footsteps in the hallway set them all on edge, and a moment later a door opened and a tall gaunt man stepped in. He was wearing finely tailored clothes and had the air of someone who was accustomed to the finer things in life – and to getting what he wanted.

“Which one of you is the murderess?” he asked, his eyes flickering between Marlia and Kashrya.

“Neither of them.” Dakkas stood, placing himself between the man and the women. “I thought a judge was supposed to be impartial.”

“A judge is supposed to decide for himself if someone is guilty or innocent. And I always get the truth from my defendants. Now,” he looked past Dakkas, “which one of you is Marlia?”

“I am.” Marlia stood up and faced him. “But I am no murderer. I am a Paladin of Arithen, the God of Justice.”

“Indeed. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Paladin. Always such a sad day when a holy warrior loses their way and turns to savagery.” He looked at Dakkas and Kashrya. “The two of you will need to leave,” he said. “I need to question the Paladin.”

“No,” Dakkas said calmly. “I will not leave her alone with you.”

“Very well,” he shrugged. “You can stay, but do not interfere in what happens, or you too will be up on charges.”

“Don’t do anything to hurt her and I won’t interfere,” Dakkas replied, his stance easy but poised and alert.

The man paused, considering. “Is she your woman?” he asked.

Dakkas did not dare look at Marlia, knowing that if he did they would both burst into laughter. “No,” he replied. “But she my best friend’s Intended, and he and I have a blade between us.”

 

Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 4, 2021

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Since it’s July Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ll be working on Song and Shadow, I thought I’d kind of step back from posting from it for a bit and instead show you what led to writing it by introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword.

To set the scene: Marlia, a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice has been arrested for murder. The “she” in the first paragraph is Lethea, the woman who runs the boarding house they are staying at.

“I have news,” she said as they moved to help her with her packages. “The judge from the capital has arrived. He’s going to go talk to your friend, and have the trial tomorrow morning.”

All three of them suddenly felt a cold clutch of fear. They had known it would be happening, but this made it real.

“Do you know who it is?” Pashevel asked.

“They said his name was Hierik. They said that he’s… cruel. An interrogator as well as a judge.”

Pashevel smiled. “Dakkas, I need you to do me a favor. I need you to go to the jail to see Marlia. Stay with her. Tell her not to mention my name.”

Dakkas frowned. “All right, but where will you be?”

“Getting ready to pay a visit to an old friend – but I don’t want him to recognize me.”

“Pash, if he’s been in this town more than an hour I’m sure he’s heard your name at the tavern.”

“Maybe,” Pashevel said. “But if he has, I doubt he’s said anything about knowing me.”

“You know him?”  Dakkas asked.

“We’ve met,” Pashevel replied.

“Did you part on good terms?” Dakkas asked, then shook his head. “Of course you did. Stupid question.”

 

Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 27, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.  

Picking up from last week.

“Tradition demands that I choose and name a Traveling Companion.” The older nobles stepped back, leaving the ones closer to his age to the front and Hierik forced himself to look at them. “Who among you would Travel with me?”

For a moment no one moved but then Pashevel stepped forward. “It would be my honor, Your Highness, to accompany you on your travels, and for you to accompany me on mine.”

“The honor would be mine,” Hierik replied quietly. He raised his voice. “I have chosen, and I name Pashevel, son of Vellindrin, Crown Prince of Alur’va’sia, as my companion on my travels.”

As Hierik spoke, Pashevel joined him on the stage, completely at ease in front of the crowd.

“Thank you, Prince Hierik, for the opportunity to travel your lands with you and to get to know my counterpart in the Human Lands. I feel sorry for those who hesitated to respond to your offer, but not sorry enough to turn down the invitation.”

There was a ripple of nervous and embarrassed laughter as the assemblage tried to figure out if they were being insulted or if it was just an attempt to bring humor to the situation.

 

A bit more to finish this section as I’m going to be changing gears a bit next month.

 

“I cannot tell you how glad I am that that is over,” Hierik murmured as he closed the door behind them.

“You don’t have to,” Pashevel replied. “I can see it in your body. How long will it take you to get your things?”

“My backpack is in my rooms, ready to go. I would like to change into something more comfortable,” he tugged at the high neck of his brocaded tunic, “but that will only take a few minutes.”

“Then we can be on our way before sundown.”

Hierik nodded. “But there is no rush. I told you that the tradition has it that we leave in the morning.”

“And when did that tradition start?”

“With Kurzel, my eldest brother.”

Pashevel nodded. “And he never returned?”

“No, none of them have. How did you know?”

“By asking questions, listening to answers spoken and unspoken, and asking more questions. Did anyone see him leave the castle?”

“Of course not. He left before sunup the next day.”

“Not even the gate guards?”

Hierik stopped and turned to face him. “What are you saying?”

“I’m not saying anything, Your Highness. Merely asking questions and listening for answers.”

“Spoken and unspoken?”

Pashevel inclined his head in agreement and Hierik shuddered. “Let’s get out of here.”

 

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 20, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.  

Picking up from last week.

“I don’t know how to step on toes,” Hierik said softly. “I’ve spent my whole life not doing it.”

“For now,” Pashevel replied, “simply greet your guests one by one and thank them for coming. They aren’t expecting you do anything like that, so that should be enough to throw them off balance and keep them guessing.”

Hierik drew a deep uncertain breath and nodded, managing a weak smile.

“I’ll be with you,” Pashevel assured him, putting a hand on his shoulder as he turned toward the nobles, all of whom were ignoring them while at the same time trying to watch them, curious about this strange Crown Prince of the Elves as the rumors flitted throughout the ballroom.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 13, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.  

Keep in mind this is a rough first draft. (The big paragraph in this snippet needs to be beaten a bit.) 

Picking up from last week.

…“a prince should mingle with all of his guests.” He nodded toward the crowd of nobles and Hierik made a face.

“I don’t want to. And they don’t want me to.”

“Being a ruler means doing things that duty requires, whether you want to or not,” Pashevel said gently. “Besides,” he added, his eyes twinkling with mischief, “it doesn’t matter what they want. One of the first things you need to learn is to do what is right, regardless of the opinion of others. That’s not to say that you don’t take others into consideration when making decisions, but there are times when trampling on toes is necessary if you want them to dance to your tune and not their own.”

“I don’t know how to step on toes,” Hierik said softly. “I’ve spent my whole life not doing it.”

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 6, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride. 

Pashevel and Hierik are still at Hierik’s birthday party. 

“Are you really the Crown Prince of the Elves?”

“I am. But my experiences and my relationship with my people have been, and are, much different than yours.” He glanced toward Kurtzen. “But I have the feeling that your relationship with your father is not going to be much different than the one I have with mine.” He smiled. “I can tell already that the two of you have much different outlooks on things.”

“How so?”

“I’m a Bard,” Pashevel explained with a wink. “Now,” he said, “a prince should mingle with all of his guests.” He nodded toward the crowd of nobles and Hierik made a face.

“I don’t want to. And they don’t want me to.”

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Sunday Snippet, May 30, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride. 

This month we’ll get to see Pashevel… well, let’s just say that the ways of a Bard are subtle and sharp.

 

“I don’t think you won any points with my father,” Hierik told him later, when the receiving line was finished.

“He didn’t win any points with me, either,” Pashevel replied with an indifferent shrug. He sobered and held Hierik’s gaze for a moment. “From what I understand we leave in the morning?”

“Yes. An early breakfast and on the road before sun up.”

“Can you be ready to leave before sundown?”

Hierik nodded. “Everything is packed and ready. The only thing left for me to do is to choose and name my traveling companion. A-are you still willing to travel with me, Your Highness?”

“Just Pashevel. And, yes. More than ever.”

Hierik tilted his head curiously but Pashevel shook his head. “Another time, Your Highness.”

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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