Phoenix Rising: Chapter 11

  Well, now. Let's find out who that was that was doing all the running, eh?     ----     Chapter 11.        Tobimar had no idea where he was going, and he knew that was a very, very bad thing. The mazakh had captured him with a stunning spell before he'd realized they'd gotten behind him; he'd been so focused on trying to sense what was going on inside that he'd completely failed to watch his back, and the fact he wasn't dead yet was at least half luck.        He'd actually started coming out of his [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 10

  Let's check in and see what Poplock is up to...   ----     Chapter 10. Poplock scuttled nimbly down the narrow shaft – well, narrow for the big lumbering types, actually quite roomy for me – and headed for the grille.   Something – his long-honed sense of self-preservation combined with a little prickling of his skin – warned him, and he pulled up short. He narrowed his golden eyes, squinting at the area of the ventilation duct just in front of the grille.   Oh, now that could have been painful. Barely [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 9

  Since she's our main character, we should look in on Kyri now...   ----   Chapter 9.      Kyri set her brush to a slow dry, brushing the long black waves into place as the simple enchantment gradually reduced the heavy dampness from her bath to the lighter flow of cascading black. Victoria says she managed to do this while on adventure, I suppose I should at least do it while I'm at home.        She pulled on a houserobe and continued to brush the hair dry as she walked down the wide stone steps of Vantage [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 8

  And now a look at the OTHER side, since any epic needs some bad guys....   ---   Chapter 8.        The room was large and open, of polished marble and obsidian worked with patterns of gold and sapphire and silver, but few decorations outside of these. A bed was set back against one wall, with a locked chest at its foot, a small dresser nearby, all looking rather small against the expanse of the room with its twenty-foot ceiling. A short distance away sat a table, draped in cloth so black that it seemed to drink in the [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 7

    Let's look in on our prince and what he's up to...       Chapter 7.        Tobimar squinted across the water. There was nothing to see, just more water, as the Lucramalalla continued through the five-foot seas. Of course, that was part of what bothered him; until now, the huge Sauran-built ship had sailed always just in sight of land, able to see ports and cities as they passed, ready in case they were hailed or if there was some need to stop. But sometime during the night, it seemed, they had swung far out [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 6

  And now, let's see how a little Toad deals with a big problem...   ---     Chapter 6.        Duckweed lowered himself slowly down the cord. Ritual's still going on… Maybe, just maybe…        It wasn't easy. Two bags were now tied onto him with some of the same string he'd gotten from the fourth alcove, bulky bags that were fairly light but almost as big as his own body. His sword was in a hastily-wrapped semi-scabbard on his back. Rigging everything in the alcoves had taken him ten minutes, but it had been [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 5

  Well, we'd left our little Toad hero in a tight spot...   ---   Chapter 5.        Once his heart slowed to normal, Duckweed looked up at the doors. Have to get through the one… or the other, maybe. Wonder what's through there? He'd seen that the door at the end of the corridor was, as he'd suspected, one of the two into the big cavern. He moved off his sword and hooked it in the little loop of leather tied around his body; if he was going to make a habit of this, he needed to figure out a better way of doing [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 4

  And now we meet our third protagonist...     ---   Chapter 4.        This was absolutely not in my plans today, he thought as he gazed down into the cavern, yellow-gray stone tinted orange and red by unnatural fire burning in the center of the cave. Figures moved around the fire in an orderly, menacing progression, muttering in a language he didn't understand.   But he didn't need to understand much; he'd only dabbled a little in magic so far, but what he saw now… a huge five-pointed star, carven into the [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 3

Young Tobimar had a journey ahead of him...   ----   Chapter 3.        Tobimar stood at the rail of the Lucramalalla and stared at Skysand, the great capital city sharing the name of the entirety of the gem-scattered mountains and golden sands of the country itself. The rising sun struck the seven Lesser Towers and made them seem forged of gold, while the central Great Tower, which was in fact gilded, blazed as though poured from a furnace of auric fire. Sparks of other color shimmered in that light, the light of his departure, [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 2

Time to meet our second protagonist....   Chapter 2.        "The least of her sons presents his compliments to the ageless and wise Lord of Waters, and asks if she would hear him at this time." The black-haired youth knelt before the woman whose white hair had a very few strands of similar midnight still visible.        There was a gentle laugh. "May the Spring of the Court flow ever for you, my son. The Lord of Waters is pleased that her son would seek out such an aged and infirm woman whose final years are doubtless close upon [ Continue reading... ]