Archive for February, 2011

February 24, 2011

Midday Patrol

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Child,

Midday patrol sends two Hunters in a long spiral out beyond the sight of the core. Of all the long patrols–morning, midday, and dusk—midday is the hardest. The winds reach their greatest strength, and the Jackals are hungriest, unsatisfied by the kills the previous night. This day, Sebir runs the patrol with Fess. Strong winds fight each stride. Fess’s legs and lungs burn just to keep pace with the senior Hunter, who seems to glide effortless as the wind itself. Now and again the wind throws so much sand that Fess can only know her direction by the glint of sunlight off Sebir’s polished sword. She longs to wield such a weapon herself—an ancestral blade molded in Daruhn. Legends say the only surviving swords were molded from the same sands that produced Vel’s blades; great power resides in these weapons, sharp enough to cut even the leathery skin of Clay-People. But Master Hunters only grant these blades to the bravest Hunters, so Fess keeps her spear at the ready. She has not missed the significance of Sebir choosing her to run this patrol. Normally, two Hunters of age would make the long runs, but Sebir has taken Fess to gauge her.

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February 20, 2011

Kin Awakens

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Child,

Starlight, blue starlight in all directions, traces across Kin’s vision. He sits in a small underground chamber. Panicked, he checks to feel the heft of the Storybook hanging at his side. It’s missing. He sweeps his hand across the rock jagged floor, but finds nothing. He has also lost his cloak, but remains surprisingly warm. The walls feel as if they’d been standing under noon Sun. The blue veins in the rock squish under his fingers, just like the glow sand. But even with the luminescent strands, Kin has never known black like this. Great Egret and the other spirits in the sky keep even a moonless night brighter than this chamber. For the first time since he received them from Storyteller Hahnd, Kin removes his spectacles. The room resolves slightly to reveal two pinpoints of light hovering by the wall opposite of Kin. In another moment his eyes refocus and adapt to the darkness. Hovering by the opposite wall, two white pinpoints glare at him. They move forward and become the shape of a Clay-Person. Kin notes the strips of robe around the creature’s leg—the one he tried to help earlier.

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February 19, 2011

Glass

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I have at last had the opportunity to teach Eni “The folly of purity.”

My young apprentice yesterday asked me, “Master, what is the strongest glass?”

I took him to the white sand playa south of the city. Eni had never been before, and marveled at the white floor reaching all the way to the horizon. In his awe, he was convinced that this sand—the purest he had ever seen—made the strongest glass.

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February 19, 2011

Fess Returns

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Child,

The campfires give way to smokestrings in the dawn. The Walkers unfurl the wings of their cloaks, opening to Sun. They stand as one white mass and shake their feathers to release the night’s chill. Groggy, stumbling, the children gather to the center again, and the core takes shape. Hunters sprint into formation and drum their spears against the sand, driving away the sleep from their muscles. Pickers begin handing Berries out to the guilds—first to the mothers and fathers in the core, then the Hunters, last to themselves. Every Walker savors a few morning Berries, their sour-sweet liquid renewing throat and spirit.

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February 19, 2011

The Clay-People

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The Clay-People would come, blue and white swirls glowing across their dark bodies. They took the moonlight from the sky and bathed in it. Silent, always silent, they watched us.

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