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Convalescent (A Novel) by Rhoder
by Rhoder

Firstly, wow. Not only did I love this book, but I loved it from the very get go. Which is more than I can say for many of the books I ...

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******

It was many hours until Miaynore awakened, during which time Cartiala did not move from her side. She had briefly examined what she could of the girl’s wounds without disturbing her, ensuring none were life threatening or at risk of infection. From what she could see the girl was fine, or at least not about to drop dead.

After that Cartiala sat there, staring into space, with only the occasional visual sweep of the room. Time flew past in a blur. At one stage a boy entered the room, breaking Cartiala’s dedication to her thoughtless haze. He brought with him a tray of food and water and had refused to look at either of the women as he individually slid the food contents through the bars. Then the boy hastily left, clutching the tray close as it were his lifeline. He had seemed nervous; probably forbidden from acknowledging the ‘prisoners’. Cartiala had remained silent, her mind too scrambled to call out, and so she just watched. In hindsight perhaps it would have been better to question the boy, maybe coerced some information out of him. At the time though, the task seemed impossible. At least he had brought food.

Once he had left Cartiala eventually made her way over to the tray. It was simply dried bread, days old and stale, but to Cartiala it was a banquet. She hadn’t realised how hungry she was, and found herself wondering how long it had been now since she last ate. It took a battle of wills to stop herself devouring the entire meal, such was her hunger. In the end she managed to save half for Miaynore, a feat she prided herself on, considering her ravenous yearning for food.

As thirsty as Cartiala was, she left the water. It was clear that, out of the two of them, Miaynore would need it more. Cartiala toyed with the idea of using it clean her ear wounds, but –not knowing how sanitary it would be –approached the idea with apprehension.
Miaynore’s sleep had been restless. She had twisted her limbs and murmured, occasionally shrieking out elven words that Cartiala could not understand. Sweat drenched the woman’s brow. And her eyes fitted under her lids, reeling from horrors unseen.
When Miaynore did wake, she woke in a panic. Sitting bolt upright with a shriek her arms flailed. The motion had been sudden, and startled Cartiala out of another bought of hazy inattention. Luckily she recovered quickly enough to catch the frightened girl’s stray hand, which had flown wildly towards her face, driven by a dark confusion.

‘Calm down,’ Cartiala said firmly. Her grasp on the girl’s wrist tightened as she felt her shake.

Miaynore’s body tensed at her touch, as her eyes stared, wide-eyed and terrified. Recognition eventually dawned on her face she wrenched her wrist back. She then curled into a ball, hugging her knees tightly.

She mumbled softly in elven before adding in plain-speak, ‘s-sorry.’

Cartila could offer nothing but a blink in response. Her head, although numbed of its pain, was still struggling to process things. What had they done to her? To both of them? The questions burned her with a striking mixture of fear and curiosity. But as much as she wanted to fling question after question at the girl, she was clearly in no state for an interrogation. Cartiala would get her answers in time, caring for an ally was always the first priority. And they were allies- were they not?

After some time Cartiala felt herself slowly relax. She drew a deep breath.

‘It’s okay...’ Cartiala replied. ‘Are… you hungry?’

She motioned towards the food the boy had brought. Miaynore followed her outstretched hand with her violet eyes, still widened in fear. Unsurprisingly, she shook her head.

Cartiala’s brow knotted in concern, though she had expected as much. The girl’s body was probably too stressed to realise it was hungry.

Her eyes hovered over the girl’s thin frame. It was almost skeletal and her blue skin paled, even for an elf. If the girl started her sentence at a healthy weight it was telling at how long she had been here. It was too long, that much was obvious; long enough for her to end up in such a unhealthy state. It would do her no good to be undernourished in such a situation. She vowed to encourage the girl to eat later.

They sat in silence, examining one another slowly. Cartiala was unperturbed by the girl’s wondering eyes, just as she –in turn- was unperturbed by Cartiala. It wasn’t the look of one woman judging the other- as you often got in high society- rather an unashamed and blatant curiosity. It was the first time Cartiala was truly observing an elven woman close up, as it was undoubtedly the first time she had seen a female human. Or at least one she felt comfortable observing. Cartiala briefly wondered how strange she must look to her. …If only she could see herself through the elven girl’s eyes.

In her life Cartiala had really only seen elves from a distance, and almost always in shackles. Her family had grown up in a small town near the border. Which meant the guards caught a lot of rogue elves trying to cross over to human lands.

As a child she was strictly told to stay away from the captives, though the orders always fell on deaf ears. She was a particularly disobedient and rebellious child, her uncontrollable antics often due to her stubborn curiosity and a dislike of being told what to do- traits which contrasted greatly with that of her sisters. Still, despite her many attempts she had never gotten too close. Not like now.

All of the captives she had seen had been adult males, and very similar to one another in terms of appearance. They all had the violet coloured eyes, and blue tinged skin, though so slight that –from a distance- they simply looked pale. Their ears were the biggest give away, pointed into spear tips. They rivalled human height, but were built considerably thinner. Cartiala had noted that, in terms of appearance, they did not tend to widely differ from one another. Though, that was just her seeing the elf through ‘human’ eyes; perhaps –to her- Cartiala looked the same as other human’s too.

There were obvious similarities between the elves Cartiala had seen before and Miaynore, but looking closer Cartiala saw past the outstanding elven features. Miaynore’s eyes were large and rounded, with long lashes. They’d be considered very pretty if they weren’t so sunken and bruised.

Would that happen to me?

Cartiala shuddered at the thought and her chest tightened. Fear once again began to nibble away at her. It was no use; waiting for answers was cruelly testing her courage.
After a long silence Cartiala spoke, the hoarseness of her voice surprising her.

‘W-where are we?’

At her words the Miaynore’s eyes widened again, and she hugged her knees tightly once more. She let her hair fall messily over her face, placing a barrier between her and the outside world. It took a few moments for her to answer, and when she did she spoke barely above a whisper.

‘Your lands,’ she said in an undertone. ‘Human lands.’

That, at least, was a step in the right direction. It was a good thing for Cartiala, as it placed her closer to home. Still though… They were where she suspected…

She had to know more.

‘In the liches tower?’ She pushed, trying her best to be gentle.

The girl nodded ‘the Visharn... The human guardians.’ –she paused briefly, her eyes trailing, as if searching for the right words- ‘close to home.’

Close to home? Did that mean the border? …The tower where the lich had disappeared?

Cartiala silently cursed, realising how far she had travelled from her last memory. If that was true, she was now in Freydell, the closest territory to the human-elf border. And if they were indeed in the tower, they were just next to the elven lands -A very long way from home.

Once again she squeezed her eyes shut, trying to remember something- anything. Still, she could recall nothing. It was a pointless attempt. Why couldn’t she remember?!

Sorry Greyden. Eyes still firmly shut; she let out a heavy sigh, thinking of her worrisome husband.

She wondered what he was doing right now. Was he troubled by her failure to yet return? Ah, what was she saying -of course he was. If there was one thing her husband liked to do it was take on burdens and concerns. He was one of the strongest men she knew, but even that couldn’t save him from himself.

Cartiala quickly pushed the thought from her mind before it took hold. Still, she was left with a lingering notion of regret. He had never voiced it, but Greyden had never been comfortable with the nature of her job. His distrust of the liches was obvious, and Cartiala herself didn’t totally disagree. He had given up his position partially for her; perhaps she should have done the same? Still- it was a problem for later.

Cartiala opened her eyes to find the elf girl staring. She said nothing, but her expression seemed an ambivalent mixture of fear and curiosity.

‘I apologise,’ Cartiala tried, ‘my mind is not fully… attentive.’

The girl still said nothing, but at least she no longer shook or cowered. She appeared more relaxed, and had even loosened the grip on her curled up legs.

Though she could understand why the girl wouldn’t be totally trusting or conservational, Cartiala wondered if she could understand her. Her mainlander or ‘plain-speak’ had been steady thus far, but she had really only said one or two things- common words at that.
Still, it was certainly worth a try.

Cartiala made to question the girl further, but stopped as Miaynore’s expression suddenly changed.

The girl’s eyes widened, and she stopped dead. Her neck snapped towards the door.
‘It’s coming!’ Her voice was suddenly gripped with panic as she squeaked in alarm. Cartiala watched as the girl scrambled backwards, stumbling over her own feet. She stopped only when she had forcibly flattened herself against the back wall, her face now a mask of horror.

Cartiala jerked her ear towards the door, straining hard. She could hear nothing, though Cartiala had heard stories of the elves heightened hearing.

‘What’s coming?’ Cartiala frowned.

The girl just shook her head, and began to mumble to herself. Her tongue lashed at the air as the elven words rolled from her lips. To Cartiala it sounded like a prayer- no- a plead.

What was coming?

Cartiala watched as tears began rolling down Miaynore’s gaunt face. Her incoherent rambling continued, now broken by intermittent sobs. She felt one part confused, two parts horrified at fear induced behaviour. Clearly whatever approached had a large hand in the torture of the girl during her stay here. The ring leader perhaps? Or…

With a sharp intake of breath Cartiala spun on her heel to face the door. Subconsciously her arms flew protectively in front of her. Once again the nakedness of her attire became painfully apparent. It left her feeling very vulnerable, weak. Despite this she moved closer to the door, one foot in front of the other, her actions pushed by a determination to beat her fears, to never waver, even in the most frightening of horrors. Once she was pressed up against the bars, and could continue no further, she stopped.

She fixated her eyes upon the door, forcing her expression to remain stoic. Her heart thundered in her chest.

Another creak sounded, louder this time, closer. Miaynore let out a whimper, but Cartiala kept her eyes on the door, waiting.

Another creak.

Cartiala gritted her teeth and tried to force herself to breathe.

Another!

The door swung open.

From the darkness of the void outside a pair of blackened eyes locked stares with Cartiala, looking right passed her and into her soul. The eyes approached, dragging with them the familiar body of decaying grey. Cartiala knew it only too well, as her nightmare came to life.

She should have been prepared for the feeling, the true wrath of the liches aura. She had learnt to resist it in the past, now though, without her mental defences in place, it came at her in full force. Blinding terror bubbled up side her, clawing at her insides, and she was powerless to stop it. Her body gave a spasmodic jerk, as her heart came to a screeching stop. Her control was slipping. She couldn’t scream, she couldn’t run. She was frozen in place, her legs sporadically fitting in place.

And so, for the first time since she was a child, the stubbornly strong woman felt her knees buckle and collapse beneath her.

Her eyes free flowing and her expression sheer terror, she fell to her knees, not once breaking eye contact with the object of her terror. She couldn’t- its gaze had her locked.
All she could do was cower and watching the creature approach. Its black eyes reflected her terror, revealing her cowardice.

At the back of her mind her rational thoughts called to her, telling her to run, to stand. But they were distant- muffled. They couldn’t brake through the barrier of fear. She was trapped, alone, and the world was suddenly dark with despair.

Surely she was about to die… surely. Under the creature’s festering influence she could think of no other outcome, she almost wished it.

Then the creature stopped.

It turned its gaze away, glancing off at something or someone unseen. Cartiala couldn’t be sure, her gaze was stuck fast.

The time is now,’ the creature said. As it spoke time seemed to stop. All other sound; all other ambience dissipated. There was nothing but the spine tingling echo resonating throughout the room, bouncing off the stone. It was everywhere and everything, crushing Cartiala’s senses, freezing her core.

It then looked back at her, its caustic glare piercing her, as if surveying her very soul. Cartiala was naked under the intensity of the fixed stare, more vulnerable than she had ever been in her life.

Then it spoke the words Cartiala had been waiting for. It marked the beginning of her nightmare. And nothing could have prepared her for the sheer terror those words evoked once spoken.

She’s ready.’

******
Two territories away, Greyden watched over head as a raven flew off into the dusk. In its claws-  Greyden’s heart on paper.

He watched until the bird was long out of sight, his face a mask. Part of him knew that the letter would never reach its intended recipient. Still, he hoped. It was all he could do.

Dusk -Sundown.

Greyden was late.

He gave one more scan of the horizon before returning his eyes to his surroundings; His situation; His reality.

With a sigh he ran a hand through his hair, pulling it roughly, revelling in the sensation. Then he let his feet carry him once more, letting them take on his duties, as his mind wandered.
Firstly, it has taken me a while to respond to a lot of deviations recently. I apologise for that. My excuse is university.

Secondly, I realise that I have been slow on my updates of The Plight of Magic. I just finished chapter 10, which is a milestone for me. It's also now the longest I've written on any original story. So I thought it was worth mentioning. Pat on the back for me. Now I should really really stop and edit my other chapters so I can put them up on deviant art.

I have also started on two other stories (because I'm crazy and like taking on three stories simultaneously along with university), which I am considering posting on here. One of them, which I have already mentioned to a few here on deviant art, is a rewrite of a story I wrote and lost a few years ago. It's a science fiction story that deals with the research of brain transplants and brain harvesting, while set in a futuristic world now racked by the effects of global warming. I'm going to make some changes to my original plot, because some of the themes I initially had were a little immature. So far I've only written the prologue and part of the first chapter to get a feel for it. I'm still ironing out the plan. The POV will be shared between two characters in third person.

The other is heavily influenced by geology, and I initially started it to help me study (What... Whatever helps you learn.), so it has a lot of themes and which might go over most peoples heads. But yes, if I did put it up on deviant art, I would have to do a lot of rewriting to make it a little more comprehensible to the person of average level geology knowledge and less boring. Plus, the original concept needs a lot of work. There are four chapters of this story so far, but I would need to rewrite all of them. I started it off-the-cuff, with no real plan or ideas, so I would have to come up with some sort of plan. Basically, the story revolves around the existence of innate, but inexplicably living rock beings people have come to appropriately call golems. It's set in a university department which has been tasked with researching these newly discovered creatures. It's written from the first person perspective of a student wanting to specialise in golem research.

So yeah, that's what I'm up to at the moment. What do you guys think? Ask any questions you wish.

And how is everyone?
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore and strong language)
Chapter 5 – Cartiala

Greyden,

Time is short, and so I am writing to you urgently.

My time spent at the tower thus far has revealed some truly alarming information. There is to be an invasion. One of the liches near the border has disappeared. Changes are coming Greyden. Be ready.

The liches say the elves are making plans to move against us, starting from the city of Lankenshire, though they won’t divulge any other information.

This information must be brought to light, lest we all be unprepared of what is to come.

I regret that I cannot say more, but I must be brief. Just know that I am safe.

I love you. Stay safe.

Cartiala.


******

Cartiala Deseme awoke in excruciating pain.

The sensation was the first thing she noticed as she woke. It consumed her attention, forcing itself upon her. It was like nothing she had ever felt before, and nothing she ever wished to experience again. Her entire body felt as if it was on fire, as every muscle threatened to explode. Every limb felt like it was about to tear itself from her torso. The worst pain though, was in her head. It was a deep stabbing pain, which radiated through her skull in shockwaves.

At first she panicked. Where was she!? What was happening!?

The blinding throb in her head was clouding her thinking, as angry swirls of red exploded beneath her eyelids. It was too much. She wanted to scream, to squirm, but her body felt too exhausted to move.

Something called to her, niggling in the back of her mind, trying to break through her pain induced haze. It was screaming at her, telling her something wasn’t right –that she was in danger.

As she was coming-to her breathing quickened, sucking in oxygen as if she was suffocating. The panic was taking over.

I need to focus.

She took a few moments to calm her breathing, and tried to clear her mind. In-out-in-out… The insufferable pain in her head made the task mountainous. With each breathe in, her mind gave a lurching throb, threatening her composure. The whole process was a long struggle, truly testing the ambassador’s strength of will. It took many moments, but eventually she regained control. Her fiery resolve had once again triumphed.

Now calm, Cartiala did her best to sharpen her thoughts.

Where am I?

Keeping her eyes closed she assessed the situation. Firstly, she was lying down. Immediately the floor gave her an ominous feeling; a sure confirmation that something was amiss. It was cold, hard, and slightly damp, though littered with what must have been jagged stones. They dug uncomfortably into her body. Looking past the scattered stones she could feel a smoother rock type below. It was lined with numerous grooves. Cobblestone -Cartiala suspected.

She could neither feel nor hear anything that suggested she was outdoors. Not the whistle of a bird nor the kiss of the breeze. So it was a fair assumption to say she was indoors. Additionally, the lack of noise suggested she was alone –a concept she met with relief. If there were to be another in her presence, chances were they’d be hostile.

A sudden realisation stole her attention, ripping her thoughts from her bubble of calm.

…Her body… She was naked!

Her eyes flew open.

She was greeted by the roguish red of rusted metal, only inches from her face. Startled, she took a sharp intake of breath. The sudden gasp caused another twinge of pain. She winced, but noticed that her pain had somewhat lessened. Regaining her composure she attempted to inch her head back from the metal, straining her neck in the process. Her body obliged, but did so groggily.

As she took in a better look at her surroundings, her eyes widened. The first thing she noticed was that she was not actually naked, and instead wore thin cloth. It was an outfit she did not recognise.

Did she dress herself in this?

Cartiala strained to remember, as her mind ached. Her last clear memory was returning to her study in the liches tower, everything after that though was blank.

Was she still in the tower?

She forced herself to look beyond the bar, which opened into a small rotund room with a ceiling so high that Cartiala could not see it without turning her head.

She did a quick scan of the room, from her horizontal position, ensuring as little movement until she had a better understanding of what was happening. She first verified that she was alone, and then focused on the rooms contents. The room had only one door, to the left of her current position, which she was separated from by the long thick bars. They rose as high as the ceiling, stretching up and out of her line of vision. It was clear that she was a prisoner, but a prisoner to whom?

Further investigation beyond the bars showed a numerous number of shelves. Each housed strange components in jars, mostly opaquely coloured liquids, with the odd solid form. Cartiala was too far away to see what these forms were, but from their colour they appeared fleshy. Her attention was soon dragged from the shelves to the stone walls themselves. They were cobblestone- indiscernible from the floor, with one exception. There were a number of bizarre markings carved within the walls. From her position, Cartiala could only see very few, but she supposed they were runes, as they bore slight resemblance to the runes she had seen the liches work on. What their purposes were though was lost on her.

Scattered upon the ground were larger pebble-like clasts, each carved with their own individual marks. They all sat in front of a regal red looking desk, though were spread without any apparent formation or pattern. It was as if they had simply been dropped. Cartiala knew enough to understand that most rune magic worked using a combination, and not just one or two lone runes. They often had to be arranged in a unique pattern, something she had seen the liches do often.

Unlike the elves and few magic humans, the liches could not summon magic at a word. However, they had expertly mastered the art of runes. Cartiala herself had the misfortune of falling into a rune trap on the first trip to the Visiguard tower. It took from sun up until sundown before her body was mobile again. Fortunately, she had not been caught since. It paid to always be on the lookout for stray pebbles or wall carving as she moved along the towers vast corridors- something she learned quickly during her stays.

As Cartiala’s eyes floated curiously up into the rouge desk, she gave a horror induced gasp. There, sitting brazenly centre of the surface was a severed hand. It bore a single silver band upon its middle digit, and the severed section, just below the wrist, appeared stuck to the bottom of its cylindrical container. Though the hand was humanoid, it was unclear whether or not the hand was human or not. It did not appear rotten, though the sight was still enough to make Cartiala shudder in disgust. She looked away, now fearfully thinking of the kind of person her captor was.

Untidily upon the floor next to the desk was a mess of books. The writing upon the covers were certainly not in plain-speak, nor any language that Cartiala recognized. Not elven, she also noted. She had wondered if her captors were elven, and perhaps this was some political ransom to obtain something from the human kingdoms. The idea did not seem to fit though, as although her standing made her a prime target for any elvenkind who wished to push for a war, there was just something that did not seem right. Plus, the numerous runes suggested lich involvement. It was a fair assumption to say her current location was one of the liches towers. But which one?

Finally, Cartiala sat up.

Her cell was a tiny barred off section of the small rotund room, though the area was more spacious than she first assumed. She also spied a bed roll, which had been set up parallel to the wall. Additionally, there was also a bucket sat upon a pile of hay in the corner furthest from the door. Cartiala guessed at its use right away, and screwed her nose up at the indecency.

Despite finally realising the gravity of her situation, Catiala’s mind was far from panicked. Unlike many women her age she was no house maid. Her career made sure she kept on her toes at all times, expecting anything and being prepared for more. After all, she worked with liches. Of the seven liches which resided in Tol, Cartiala had met two of them. One was the lich of the Visiguard tower, who she usually worked with, while the other she had happened across once on a recent visit. The two had been involved in a heated discussion at the time, conversing in their own chilling language. The others she had neither met, nor heard anything about. The liches were not big on conversation.

Though she had only ever set foot in one tower, it was well known that all were entirely identical. The history books claimed that they were built by the mainland humans, centuries ago. So if she were indeed in a liches tower it would be difficult to discern which. Her current residence though, was a room entire unfamiliar. Not that it was a surprise- there were many areas in the Visiguard tower marked as off-limits.

If she was a captive of a lich though, what was their plan? Why was she here?

She could think of no reason, and the liches were not the type to do things off the cuff.

As her train of thought gathered speed, strenuously trying to seek the answer, it was suddenly brought to a crashing halt. The one and only door to the room burst open with an angry crash. It slammed against the stone wall with a thud as a woman was thrown through the doorway. She was shrieking as she hit the ground, horror etched across her face.

The sound reverberated painfully through Cartiala’s still aching skull. She grasped at the steel bars and watched, horrified as a heavy boot came thorough the doorway and landed right on the woman’s outstretched hand. She screamed in agony.

‘Oh shut up!’ a voice gruffly called, as the boot’s owner followed it through the door. The man leered at her with a heavily scarred face, and a sickening smirk struggled through his greying beard. He twisted his boot then, purposely and maliciously crushing her hand. Tears began to flow from the woman’s eyes.

‘What are you doing to her!?’

Cartiala’s angry voice rang out through the room and stretched high into the ceiling.

The man looked at her and removed his boot from the other woman’s hand. She immediately brought it to her and curled into a ball protectively. Cartiala noted with disgust that the woman was a very young woman indeed, a girl in fact, probably still adolescent. The fact made Cartiala’s stance grow as all her pains were drowned in the swirling pool that was her rage.

The scarred man approached the bars, looking amused. He looked Cartiala up and down, pausing noticeably over her more womanly assets, which were considerably more exposed under the lithe rags she wore. His face split into a grin, a motion which sickened Cartiala to her stomach. Despite the feeling though, she remained resolute. The day she was intimidated by such a low life was the day she deserved to submit to one. And so she remained tall, and her stare remained unfaltering.

The man seemingly disapproved at her show of courage. Perhaps he was unused to women failing to cower in his presence. As a result, the grin slipped from his features, and was quickly replaced with a thin lipped anger. Cartiala revelled in the satisfaction that she was testing his calm, and felt an irresponsible urge to push the man further. She should have been frightened. Any sensible woman would be frightened. Here she was, a lone woman, wearing nothing but a rags, and she wanted to face down a man fully armed and armoured. Greyden would be mad. But Greyden wasn’t here.

‘Are you speaking to me… whore?’

The man was close to the bars now, but still hovered slightly apart. He had seemingly come to terms with his brief show of anger, and was doing his best to dissipate it. Gradually his lips relaxed, and his wrinkles smoothed.

Cartiala offered no response at his vague insult, other than a snarl, which the man met with hollow laughter.

‘Very ladylike,’ he drawled, before adding, ‘good to see you finally awake. I was beginning to think you were going to become mindless.’

Mindless?

The term aroused some sense of confusion, which struggled to surface. Cartiala brushed it aside. There was no room for stray thoughts now. She needed to know where she really was, and she needed to know now.

‘Where am I?’ She demanded.

The man laughed at her angry question.

‘You don’t know? Your brain must be more scrambled than I thought.’

He offered no other answer. Frustrated, Cartiala readied herself to shoot the man another demanding question,but not before a sudden noise caught both their attention.

A whimper from the girl turned their heads. The man responded immediately, forgetting Cartiala and marching to her sprawled position upon the floor. Roughly he dug his fingers into her arm, and gripped tightly.

‘Up,’ he ordered, but the girl was weak from fright, and she struggled to find her footing.

‘NOW!’ the man roared.

Cartiala’s eyes blazed as red as her hair.

‘Leave-her-ALONE!’

The tone seemed to touch a nerve, as the man suddenly dropped the woman and turned to Cartiala, his eyes furious. He flew the few steps to where she stood behind the bars. His face practically touched hers. She could smell his rancid breath, as it obnoxiously invaded her senses.

‘NO!’ He screamed in her face.

She felt flecks of spittle landed on her nose, but she did not move; she did not flinch. She was a statue of rage.

‘If I wasn’t under strict orders not to, I would happily put you women in your place.’

With a flick of his wrist he produced a knife, his eyes still on her face. He waved the blade menacingly in the air, inching it closer and closer to her nose. Despite the obvious danger a smile spread across Cartiala’s face.

‘So you’re a DOG then?’

She quickly stepped back as the man’s fist came hurtling through the bars towards her. When he couldn’t reach he quickly recoiled.

Dirty slut.’ He murmured.

He stalked angrily back to the other young girl and gripped her long blond hair. She whimpered as he wrenched her up.

‘Back in your cell!’ He snarled.

‘You-‘ he pointed at Cartiala with his free hand ‘-against the wall!’

When Cartiala didn’t move his knife was once again in his hand. He raised it up to the girl’s neck.

‘MOVE!’

Cartiala begrudgingly backed off from the bars and moved to stand near the wall. She then watched, furious, as the repulsive man unlocked the prison door and threw the girl inside. She landed on the jagged floor with a cry.

‘Oh shut it!’ the man snarled, ‘you’ll be dead soon anyway.’

He slammed the door shut and quickly locked it. Cartiala began edging closer to the girl but did not take her eyes from the man, watching closely.

He briefly met her gaze with a glare of his own, before leaving the room with a snarl.

Once he was gone, the intense haze of anger dissipated, and Cartiala’s rational thoughts returned.
Immediately fear caught her, and her heart was ablaze with panic.

What had she just done? Who had she just made enemies with?

If he was to be their ‘gaoler’ they were in trouble, and it was all her fault.

A pained groan brought Cartiala back to reality. Remembering that she had company, she quickly hurried over to the girl, who remained shivering on the floor. She was wearing the same thin cloth as Cartiala herself, though it did little to hide the ugly purple welts which covered most of her body. It was a sickening sight.

As Cartiala made her approach, the girl’s eyes widened in horror. She began to whimper, panicked.
‘Hush,’ Cartiala said softly as she slid down beside the young woman.

The girl’s eyes relaxed a little at her gentle tone, but the tears still flowed freely from her eyes.

‘What’s your name?’

‘M-Miaynore,’ the girl murmured. Her voice was weak and shaky, but Cartiala’s eyes widened at the detected accent.

Her gaze quickly flicked over the woman’s features. It was doubtless, and Cartiala felt surprised that she did not notice it earlier. The blue tinged skin, the violet coloured eyes- this woman was elven!

The ears… Cartiala’s eyes viewed her ears with wide horror, as she observed the bloodied messes and crudely stitched ends. Somebody had cut the ends clean off, and though the wounds had been messily stitched, the sutures were coming loose long before the wounds had properly healed. It was clear that this woman – Miaynore – had recently been through literal torture.

Cartiala attempted to muster a sympathetic smile through her horror.

‘I’m Cartiala,’ she said.

‘H-Human,’ Miaynore spluttered.

‘Yes,’ Cartiala soothed, ‘but I won’t hurt you, not like him.’

Miaynore closed her violet eyes, somewhat reassured. They did not reopen. Within moments her breathing relinquished its panicking gasps, and eased to a slow draw, indicating that sleep had taken her. Cartiala let her, sitting protectively by her side. Though also tired, she dared not close her eyes.

It would be a very long time before she could sleep comfortably again.
The Plight of Magic - Chapter 5 (Part 1)
Okay... So FINALLY I have decided that I am definitely going to start splitting chapters that are 4,000 words or over into parts. Firstly, for the ease of the reader... and secondly to make my editing more organised and seem like less of a chore. I know it still have to do the same amount of editing, but that's just how my brain thinks.

So... Introducing Cartiala, the stubborn and fiery wife of our beloved protagonist.

Once again... unsure about the mature content warning. It's just for some vulgar language and teensy bit of suggested violence. Nothing major.

Enjoy!

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Previous: The Plight of Magic - Chapter 4

Next: The Plight of Magic - Chapter 5 (Part 2)

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Sir Terry Pratchett - Rest in Peace by Rhelna
Sir Terry Pratchett - Rest in Peace
‘DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.’ -Death

Rest in Peace Sir Pratchett. Thanks for colouring our world with your own. You'll be greatly missed, but we know there's a piece of you on every page you've written. You left behind a legacy. 

You're an inspiration to me and so many others, a
nd we'll never NEVER forget.
Give Death a kiss for me.



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Firstly, it has taken me a while to respond to a lot of deviations recently. I apologise for that. My excuse is university.

Secondly, I realise that I have been slow on my updates of The Plight of Magic. I just finished chapter 10, which is a milestone for me. It's also now the longest I've written on any original story. So I thought it was worth mentioning. Pat on the back for me. Now I should really really stop and edit my other chapters so I can put them up on deviant art.

I have also started on two other stories (because I'm crazy and like taking on three stories simultaneously along with university), which I am considering posting on here. One of them, which I have already mentioned to a few here on deviant art, is a rewrite of a story I wrote and lost a few years ago. It's a science fiction story that deals with the research of brain transplants and brain harvesting, while set in a futuristic world now racked by the effects of global warming. I'm going to make some changes to my original plot, because some of the themes I initially had were a little immature. So far I've only written the prologue and part of the first chapter to get a feel for it. I'm still ironing out the plan. The POV will be shared between two characters in third person.

The other is heavily influenced by geology, and I initially started it to help me study (What... Whatever helps you learn.), so it has a lot of themes and which might go over most peoples heads. But yes, if I did put it up on deviant art, I would have to do a lot of rewriting to make it a little more comprehensible to the person of average level geology knowledge and less boring. Plus, the original concept needs a lot of work. There are four chapters of this story so far, but I would need to rewrite all of them. I started it off-the-cuff, with no real plan or ideas, so I would have to come up with some sort of plan. Basically, the story revolves around the existence of innate, but inexplicably living rock beings people have come to appropriately call golems. It's set in a university department which has been tasked with researching these newly discovered creatures. It's written from the first person perspective of a student wanting to specialise in golem research.

So yeah, that's what I'm up to at the moment. What do you guys think? Ask any questions you wish.

And how is everyone?

deviantID

Rhelna

Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
Australia
Hello!

So... About me.... Hmm... Let's dot point it!

- I am a university student from Australia who is studying Geology.
- One of my biggest goals in life is to become a published author.
- I love sketching in my spare time.
- I joined deviant art because I love seeing other people's work, and would love to get feedback on my own pieces. So far it has helped me grow so much, particularly concerning my writing.
- I am friendly, so feel free to say hello!

Well... That about sums me up. Easy done.

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:iconmikiquix:
mikiquix Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fav!
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries! :)
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:iconlizren:
Lizren Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries! Your picture looked awesome!
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:iconrhoder:
Rhoder Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015  Student Writer
Thank you for the fave! I know the story was super long, I appreciate that you took the time.
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries! It was an excellent read. I've typed up part of a comment on my computer, but someone else is using it so I have to wait until they're done to submit it. Sorry about that! I'd type it out again on my phone... But I'm too lazy...
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:iconoldgroaner:
oldgroaner Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015
Thank you for the favourite!
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries!
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:iconsoueki:
Soueki Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
How goes that thing we call life?
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Uni is killing me. So many assignments :dead:
But apart from that everything is good. Thanks for asking! How about you?
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