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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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******

Arlyne returned to the campsite satisfied with her recent interaction with Desmond. That, at least, was one potential threat in the group snuffed out. Though, she’d have to keep a close eye on him. He was different from Greyden or Ymaine. They were both easy to read. He though… well, he was perpetually angry under a heavy mask of indifference, but that was really all she could ascertain. Beyond that the man was a mystery, a sarcastic, angry mystery. She’d long suspected his secret though of course, and that made him all the more intriguing. All signs pointed to it- the gaudy headwear designed to obviously hide something, the superior hearing, his resistance to her magic… not to mention his unusual grace and light physique…

His origins were incredibly obvious. It was surprising that the other two- well, Greyden at least- hadn’t begun to suspect it.  She wondered to herself how long it would take for Greyden to figure it out, and what implications that would then have. It would certainly be an interesting turn of events. Potentially dangerous for Desmond, she thought, as she strode back into the clearing of the campsite.

Greyden and Ymaine were still bickering at one another over the setting up of their tent. Ymaine was flapping the material around wildly, as if the spasmodic action would see the tent magically go up on its own. Greyden was trying to get his grizzled friend to stop, but Ymiane was long beyond reason, his eyes wide with murderous rage. Arlyne figured that by morning the tent would be ripped to pieces. Despite his wrath induced selective deafness, Greyden was still trying to rationalise with him, his tone both chiding and exasperated. He abruptly cut off though as Arlyne approached and looked over at her. Briefly, he eyed her, before making up his mind to approach, meeting her at the campfire.

‘Hey, how are your injuries?’

He seemed to be eyeing her bruises, a concerned look in his eye. Arlyne couldn’t help but feel partially touched that he would trouble himself with her ailments.

‘Just bruises and aching muscles,’ she said with a nonchalant wave of the hand, ‘nothing to be concerned over.’

Greyden gave her a dubious look, but drew his eyes to the campfire and pushed no further. Behind him Ymaine continued to struggle with his ridiculously flamboyant tent. By Arlyne’s count, he was now attempting to put it up for the seventh time.

Arlyne smiled at the grizzled man’s antics before moving over to stand beside Greyden. He said nothing at her approach, caught up in his own thoughts. She watched him intently. The lines of worry on his face were deeply creased. Arlyne decided to take the opportunity to do some digging.

‘I appreciate you springing me from the cell,’ she began, testing the waters.

In her peripheral she saw the ex-captain shrug.

‘Don’t thank me yet,’ he said with a sigh.

When she realised he wasn’t going to say anything further on the matter, Arlyne decided to change tactics.

‘You haven’t asked me about how I ended up in such a state in the first place, or anything about me. Don’t you want to know?’

Another shrug from Greyden.

‘Perhaps I’m afraid of the answer.’ He shot her a sideways glance. ‘Perhaps I don’t care.’

Arlyne smiled inwardly. Now she was getting somewhere. Her answer had been readied from the moment she had met him.

‘You do care,’ she observed, crossing her arms, ‘you care way too much.’

He shot her another sideways look, momentarily startled. Then he straightened his stance, and looked away.

‘Well… I’m all ears.’

Arlyne smiled and made to sit. Beneath her, the grass was soft. Much more comfortable than the consolidated rock they had been traversing previously. Greyden looked her again and then followed suit, slowly lowering himself to the ground. His armour jingled as he worked his way into a cross-legged position. Arlyne sat on her knees.

Before she could even open her mouth she was interrupted by one last, final sounding, curse. Then a crash from behind followed by an angry, ‘where is that blasted Survivalist?’

Arlyne chuckled quietly to herself as she heard the big-man stomp away to find him. So far this had proved to be an entertaining venture.

‘Hope he doesn’t find him,’ Greyden said dryly.

Arlyne couldn’t help but disagree. The arguments and petty bickering between the Survivalist and the veteran guard had been a promising source of amusement for her so far. Plus, thus far, they had revealed very informative aspects of each man’s character. In retrospect, both were more similar than they’d ever care to admit. However, unlike Ymaine who seemed to vent his anger chaotically in every direction, Desmond’s anger was directional and utilised. Adverse to them both, Greyden seemed to try his hardest to repress his. The three men were very versatile in terms of how they dealt with stray emotion. Ymaine, Arlyne felt, was the most emotionally volatile out of the three of them. He seemed ignorant, or oblivious of his actions, thought patterns, or any repercussions of his words. It was almost like a form of a child’s innocent ignorance. Like Ymaine, Desmond was an emotional person. The way in which he expressed it though was different. Arlyne felt that he was still chaotic in a sense, but at least had enough control –and malice- to release it at will. She felt that he had a deeper seeded anger, one that burnt him from the inside out- a constant, silent pain. It was much deeper than Ymaine’s frustrations that bubbled angrily on his surface for the world to see. No, Desmond’s anger stemmed from hatred. It was a fetid resentment that had deeply rooted in every fibre of his being, never to be detangled. It was him, as he was it.

Greyden was a little different. On one hand you had Desmond, a man who blamed the world for all that was wrong, and then on the other hand you had Greyden, who could do nothing but blame himself. Most of Greyden’s anger was directed inward. It was a path that ultimately lead to self-destruction.

The notion left Arlyne a little discouraged. She liked the man. He was quick thinking, intelligent and had helped her against all odds. Though Arlyne was driven by curiosity, and would usually be contented to watch the fascinating changes any situation could have upon a person, she did not feel as comfortable with the thought of watching this particular man slowly disintegrate before her eyes.

A suitable timespan of silence passed between the two, during which Arlyne fell deep into her thoughts. After some time she spoke, deciding that it was probably best to start at the beginning.

‘Greyden Deseme,’ she began, ‘we never did properly introduce ourselves. I am Arlyne.’

She held out a hand to shake, knowing he would respect the gesture. He took it and shook briefly.

‘Just Arlyne?’ He said, eyebrow raised.

‘Just Arlyne,’ she confirmed, withdrawing her hand.

He hummed to himself momentarily in thought, then sighed into silence. Arlyne waited patiently for his question.

So, let’s start with the Shadow Guild,’ he said eventually, ‘You had a run in with them?’

Arlyne nodded.

‘I worked for them at a time. Not as a member though. I owed them a favour.’

‘A favour?’ Greyden pursed his lips.

‘They got me out of a tricky spot,’ she explained. ‘It was agreed that I offer my services to them for the collection of gold.’

‘So stealing then?’

‘Yes... I did not kill for them,’ she said, guessing at his primary concern.

Greyden pondered over this momentarily, before moving to touch upon another topic, seemingly satisfied.

‘So, Steven said you were from Capita?’

‘I was. It has been many years since my last visit though.’

‘Why did you leave?’

Arlyne looked up at him, pondering how best to answer. Her brow creased, and she hoped that the shadow of the night hid the expression as best it could.

‘It’s… hard to explain,’ she began carefully, ‘basically I was accused of something I did not do. In the end leaving was the best choice.’

‘So you’re a wanted criminal in Capita?’

Despite the potential implications of the question posed Greyden appeared calm and resigned, as if he’d already expected such a situation.

Arlyne shrugged, still watching his expression intently. ‘It’s an old accusation. The heat would have long died down.’

Greyden sniffed in sudden, bitter, amusement.

‘You know, as an ex-guard captain I have an obligation to hand you in,’ he said.

‘Will you?’

‘No.’ He tried at another smile. ‘You said that you’re innocent and I believe you.’

That he would blindly believe her so soon after meeting her seemed strange to Arlyne, especially in the situation they found her in. The people she usually dealt with were not so trusting. It seemed more likely that he simply couldn’t afford to go all law-abiding now. He believed her because he needed her. He had to believe her. That, or her impossible charm was enough to sway him- most likely the former though.

‘Thank you,’ Arlyne said regardless, ‘though you know I’d have long slipped your grasp before you’d even consider taking me in.’

‘I figured,’ Greyden said dryly, though his half-hearted smile remained.

To Arlyne’s relief and surprise, he did not pursue her departure from Capita any further. He just sat in content silence, his expression morphing into an ever deepening frown.  Arlyne watched patiently as he absent-mindedly considered the grass beneath his boot.

‘Are you up to date with the happenings within the city?’

Arlyne shrugged, wondering on the sudden change in topic.

‘Only through what I heard from the shadow guild. Why?’

‘The reason the city is in a panic and security has tightened is because of something to do with the Magus,’ Greyden began slowly, ‘what exactly is going on?’

Arlyne fought hard against the tightening in her lips. She let out a deep breath before answering.

‘They say that the Magus is an imposter, and the real one has disappeared. I know nothing else.’

‘Do you believe it?’

Arlyne looked up at him.

‘I do.’

‘Do you know of her?’

Arlyne laughed, almost bitterly.

‘I do,’ she repeated, ‘Verity Charmaine. Daughter of the Charmaine household. One of the richest noble families in Capita.’

Greyden considered this.

‘Seems suspect that the most powerful family in Capita is the home of the Magus.’

‘She’s no fraud. I can tell you that much,’ Arlyne said with a smile, once again reading his thoughts, ‘whatever wondrous feats you’ve heard- it’s probably true.’

The statement seemed to take the edge off Greyden’s expression slightly, as his mouth twitched in obvious relief. Her suspicions basically confirmed, Arlyne’s eyes glinted in the firelight.

‘You want something from her.’

Greyden blinked at her, surprised by her insight. He said nothing at first, then, with a decisive sigh, he looked back at the fire.

‘I need to determine the whereabouts of my wife. I’ve heard that the Magus is a seer. The first since Alamere Recant… and…’ He trailed off.

‘And you want her to find your wife for you,’ Arlyne finished, her brow furrowing in thought.
Greyden simply nodded at her side.

‘And this message you are to deliver. It’s related to her disappearance.’ Arlyne said, quickly piecing information together.

‘Yes,’ Greyden nodded, his voice slightly strained.

Clearly this was becoming a touchy subject. It’d be foolish to dig any further into it.

‘I apologise,’ Arlyne said quickly, ‘I do not mean to overstep any boundaries.’

At that Greyden smiled, a shadow of a smile, but a smile nonetheless. Another few moments were spent in comfortable silence, before Greyden responded.

‘Can you actually get us into Capita?’

Arlyne raised an eyebrow. ‘You doubt me?’

‘I am uncertain of you,’ Greyden corrected. His voice then grew bitter. ‘As I am of everything these days it seems.’

‘You speak as if that’s a bad thing. Be certain in your uncertainty, and be content with that. There’s strength in every state of mind if you utilise it correctly.’ She paused before adding, ‘and worry not. I can get you in. I am well versed in every alley, tunnel and hole in the place. Even made a few myself.’

Greyden rephrased his question.

Will you get us in?’

‘I will.’

‘Good,’ Greyden said, in a tone that spelt finality.

He then made to stand.

‘Best check on Ymiane. Make sure he and Desmond haven’t killed one another yet.

Arlyne nodded, and watched as he began to make his way across the campsite. Then he suddenly stopped and turned around. Hastily, he unclipped his travelling cloak from its place around his neck and pulled it from its position.

‘Here.’

He bundled it up and threw it. It sailed through the air before Arlyne lifted up a hand to snatch it up. She unfurled it and then blinked at him, questioningly.

‘Stay warm,’ was all he said, before turning back around.

Greyden then strode from the warmth of the campfire, leaving Arlyne alone to ponder, her thoughts racing through their recent conversation. Her mind went full circle before finally falling back upon the ever illusive Magus of Tol, and staying there.

******

‘We’re all going to die out here, you know that right?’

Ymaine was sitting upon a log, close to the edge of the clearing. He grimaced at Greyden as he approached.

‘No luck finding Desmond?’

The name brought a scowl to the big man’s face.

‘Bah,’ he said, ‘the coward’s probably run off.’

Greyden sat up the other end of the log, stretching out his legs.

‘She checks out?’ Ymaine asked, jerking his head back towards the campfire, where Arlyne resided.

‘Yes, I believe so. She says she left Capita on bad terms. She was hunted for something she didn’t do… I believe her.’

‘I do too,’ Ymaine agreed, ‘don’t get me wrong. The girl’s as slimy as they come on the street, but there’s something I like about her. She’s warmed up to me. And my gut’s never wrong.’

Greyden shot him a dubious look. ‘You? Warming up to someone? Don’t go soft on me now.’

Ymaine looked momentarily affronted by such an accusation. Greyden smiled at his friend’s indignation, before suddenly frowning in thought.

‘There is something she’s not telling me though,’ he said.

‘Aye? Well we all have our little secrets though don’t we?’

Greyden looked at his friend.

‘That we do.’

*****

As night fell Greyden and Ymaine both opted to retire early. Greyden- because he had next watch, and Ymaine- because he didn’t want to be left up with Desmond. Desmond had the first watch, and had left to scout the perimeter of the camp.

This left Arlyne with the perfect opportunity. In her conversation with Greyden previously, she had neglected to ask one thing. Firstly, because she knew that he would never tell her outright. He was too dutiful, and she untrustworthy. A fair assumption on his behalf, she thought. Secondly, because rather than trying to coerce the answer out of him, it was far easier to steal it.

Greyden and Ymaine had settled upon the ground, snoring softly into their bedrolls. Ymaine in particular emitted a rumbling baritone – something Arlyne predicted Desmond would complain about before long. She smiled, seeing that the big man had at least made up with the tent, having turned it into a makeshift blanket.

Arlyne watched them as they slept, waiting for them to fall into a deeper, unarousable slumber. When she thought an adequate amount of time had passed, and once Desmond was long out of sight, she decided to strike. As silent as a cat hunting, Arlyne prowled over to them, looking briefly at their faces in the rapidly diminishing fire to ensure they were sound asleep.

The pair were both dead to the world. Excellent.

She took a long, silent drawn breath and stood above Greyden, thinking. If I was Greyden…

He’d keep it on person. A pack was too easily lost.

Pockets…?

No, Arlyne had examined his attire for hidden weapons and the like closely when they had first met, and on a quick second check she could see none now either.

Armour? Could he have fastened it somewhere in his chain mail or under his leathers?

It was likely, but still seemed like a risky move on his behalf. Under his leathers didn’t seem practical. He had them loosened at times and so it could easy fall out in battle. Plus, the man appeared sentimental. If the letter was indeed from his wife, he’d want it closer to his skin, somewhere where he could feel it, to make sure it was constantly there. Under his chainmail was a more secure spot, but it seemed too hard to get in or out.

His boots…?

They were insulated, water proof, tight fitting and they were upon skin. It was a clever idea, but if that were the case it posed a problem for Arlyne. Getting his boots off without waking him would prove tricky, even for someone as light or as sleight as her, and magic would be of no use. She did not usually like to rely on magic to get work done, and so it was only on the incredibly odd occasion that she would actually use it. She was admittedly not a fan, but was not against utilizing it when necessary. Tight spots, too complex for her usual skills, often called for it. However, her magic was weak, and so had some pretty restricting limitations compared to the very few other human magi she had met or read about. She had learnt of ways to enhance her magic- through the bridge of music. Without her lute or pipe though, all she could manage were simple, pathetic, sound and light shows. And that really wouldn’t help her. If she were to attempt to lift the boot with the aid of magic, there was no guarantee that it’d work. Plus, if she was caught, then she’d be in even bigger trouble. As much as she liked Greyden, her being magi was a secret she’d prefer he didn’t find out, hence the blackmailing of her passive-aggressive friend. So no, magic was not an option. Even without the use of magic- if Greyden did awaken, what would she tell him? She’d need a ready excuse on the chance that she was caught.

Or did she…?

So far the truth had gotten her far with the man - and his gruff friend too, apparently. Would it be prudent to then simply continue, to admit that she was curious, that she felt the need to better assess the depths of her companions? Any other would probably kill her on the spot. But Greyden appeared more forgiving than most.

Arlyne look a deep breath and knelt down beside his feet. Left boot? Right boot?

Right boot- he was right handed.

She began slowly and steadily lifting the chosen foot from its place upon the ground. This had to be the key to what was going on in his mind. She only had to lift off the shoe and-

My, you’re just full of fetishes today, aren’t you?

Arlyne froze- dammit. She carefully laid Greyden’s foot back down on the ground before turning her head to look at Desmond.

‘Or are you planning on stealing his boots? Your dirty thief ones not good enough?’

Her plan potentially ruined while the Survivalist was making so much noise, Arlyne stood up.

Desmond. I’m touched that you would come all the way across the campsite to comment on my habits,’ she said, a smile teasing her face.

He flinched at that slightly and drew his lips into a snarl. Arlyne, similarly, twisted hers into a full smirk, satisfied that she’d caught him out. She knew what he was here for. The confrontation before had left him unsatisfied, and now he was desperately fighting his solitary need to mind his own business with his domineering need to win, to beat her. The poor, pitiable man. He was a slave to his own desires, and he didn’t even know it.

‘I care not for your ridiculous antics,’ he said angrily, ‘as long as my boots remain in my possession.’

‘And they will,’ Arlyne said, making a mental note to steal them the second he wasn’t looking, ‘don’t worry.’

He looked less than reassured, his frown deepening. Arlyne’s smirk grew at his expression.

‘Go rest those pretty boots of yours,’ she said, making a show of eyeing them, ‘they look worn out after such a long day. I’ll take the watch.’

‘No,’ Desmond began sternly, ‘you’ll take the watch the day I want a knife in my back, little witch.’

Arlyne smirked, and began to make her way towards her bedroll, but not before playfully winking in Desmond’s direction. He glowered back at her.

She then lay down, stretching her still sore limbs out as best she could. She’d steal Greyden’s boots the next night. There was plenty of time; they had days before they reached Capita. And while she was at it… it was probably worth stealing Desmond’s too. Just for fun, of course.
The Plight of Magic - Chapter 12 (Part 2)
Isn't camping fun?

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Previous: The Plight of Magic - Chapter 12 (Part 1) 

Next: Coming Soon

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The Plight of Magic Soundtrack explained.

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 19, 2015, 7:49 PM

As promised, here is an explanation of why I chose the songs I did in my last journal: The Plight of Magic Soundtrack. Unfortunately I really can't explain a lot of them properly without giving away some pretty serious spoilers, so there's not a lot of detail here. Since I'm not too good at talking about or explaining stuff, feel free to question me about any of this.

*********************************************************************

Track 01: Destructo – Two Steps from Hell
Okay so firstly, I love Two Steps from Hell. They are orchestral heaven, and if The Plight of Magic ever did become a film I would ensure that they did the real soundtrack. They've done trailers for numerous other movies/tv shows/games such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, X-men and heaps more. 
This song in particular relates to the more sinister aspects of the plot, which basically means the Liches, and in a minor way, the churches and the gods.

Track 02: Ironwing – Two Steps from Hell 
Again, like Destructo, Irongwing relates more to the darker aspects of the plot.

 

Track 03: Yellow Light – Of Monsters and Men 

The thing I love about Of Monsters and Men is their hauntingly meaningful lyrics. There are a lot of variations in opinions regarding the meaning of this song. I see it as a woman succumbing to insanity. This song in particular relates to Kharlan, who does not go insane. So it's not a spoiler.

Track 04: Annular Eclipse – Maroon 
Okay, lyrically, this is probably the most important song to the whole plot. But I cannot explain why because it will spoil pretty much everything. All I can say is that this song is VERY VERY important to my story. It’s killing me that I can’t explain it.

 

Track 05: War – Poets of the Fall 

This one is pretty much about Greyden and Cartiala and all that they go through. Despite the time spent apart they are always at each other’s side and fighting for one another. Corny, I know. You can go throw up now.

Track 06: Dying to Live – Poets of the Fall 
About Greyden and his personal struggles with the dwindling faith he has in himself. 

 

Track 07: Infernal Angel – Axenstar 
Okay this one relates to a certain character that is yet to be introduced. The song fits them lyrically. Can’t really say too much without spoiling, but the character is not literally an angel. I take the lyrics as more symbolic to what the character went through than literal.

 

Track 08: The Knife – Genesis 

A song about the Elves. It won’t be relevant for a long time yet though. If you listen to the lyrics it’s clearly about a dictatorship.
All that aside, I just really love this song.

Track 09: Your Bones - Of Monsters and Men 
This song is about the origin of the barbaric islander race known as the Barlic-Khar.

Track 10: Metropolis part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper – Dream Theatre 
I relate this one to the religion of Tol. That's all I'll say.

Track 11: Octavarium – Dream Theatre 
One of the reasons I love this song is because it references so many other amazing songs. It's like an ode to them and that's awesome. This song basically pertains to a never ending cycle- ouroboros, if you will. It reminds me of the Liches and their seemingly never ending lifespan.


Track 12: Pull me under – Dream Theatre 
Pull me Under always reminds me how fragile humans really are. This song pertains to many characters, but particularly Cartiala and The Magus of Tol. I really love musical chaos, and Dream Theatre are, to me, the very epitome of wonderful musical chaos. That's why I have three of their songs on here. 

Track 13: If everyone was listening - Supertramp 
I relate this song to Arlyne. I even imagine her singing it. She's basically a performer, both in occupation and in everyday life. So I see her singing this song and relating it to the happenings in Tol.

Track 14: Know your Quarry – Biffy Clyro 
I've always gathered that this song was about a condition like asthma or something which diminishes your ability to breathe, i.e. 'crippled lungs'. Anyway in this context it's all about Arlyne's relationship with her parents and something that happened when she was young.

 

Track 15: Lily two – Matt Pond PA 
This one is about Miaynore. It more relates to a short background story I wrote when I really needed to get a feel for her character, but the song is still very relevant to The Plight of Magic. She is the meekest character of my female cast and sometimes I just want to tell her that everything's okay. In the short I wrote she is revealed to be insecure, anxious and she constantly questions everything she does. She tries to be whatever anyone wants her to be and attempts to please everyone... needless to say she constantly fails. This is all opposed to her older sister who is talented, brave, sociable and confident. True, you haven't got to see much of Miaynore yet, but you will. All of my main female characters are a representation of some form of strength, Miaynore is no exception.

Track 16: Renegade – Styx 
This is just a fun song I associate with Arlyne. The most meaningless song I have here. 

Track 17: Edge of seventeen – Stevie Nicks 
A lot of people think this song is about death and I want to agree with that, but I don't think that I really do. This is related to another unnamed character, in particular it has a lot to with an event that happened when she was 17. It doesn't fit the songs lyrics to a tee, but I think of this particular scene whenever I hear it.

Track 18: Nemo (Orchestral version) – Nightwish 

I chose the orchestral version because I think it fits the whole feel of the story better. This song relates to one Lich in particular known as 'Five'.

 

Track 19: Hey you – Pink Ffloyd 
So, as many of you might know, Pink Ffloyd’s album ‘The Wall’ is a concept album where a musician known as ‘Pink’ attempts to isolate himself from society after various instances of abuse from teachers, his overprotective mother and his wife. So he puts up this ‘Wall’ to separate himself from everyone. The album documents everything he goes through, and this song, ‘Hey you’, reflects his struggle to contact the outside world after realising his mistake. Unfortunately for him he’s become trapped behind his wall and is now his own prisoner. This song wasn’t included in the film which is a shame because I thought it was the best on the album. Personally, I apply this song to Desmond, and Greyden. Desmond being the one attempting to isolate himself from everyone, and Greyden struggling to find his way back.

Track 20: Crime of the century - Supertramp 
Another one about the Liches. Well, the little that's spoken at the start is anyway.

***********************************************************************

Hopefully I didn't really give anything away. Don't think that I did. I felt like it was necessary to at least partially explain myself though, just to at least give you better perspective if you feel the need to look up the lyrics. I do have numerous other songs, so maybe I'll make a part 2 sometime. We'll see.

 
EDIT: Just realised I titled this 'Soundrack' instead of 'Soundtrack'. Whoopsie. Fixed.



___________________________________

Journal Skin by: Zaellrin

The Plight of Magic Soundtrack

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 18, 2015, 4:10 AM

Okay, so here we go... In no particular order I present to you the mock soundtrack of The Plight of Magic! *applause* Clap Now all of these songs I have associated with The Plight of Magic, either lyrically or just instrumentally. In my next journal I will attempt to explain why I chose each of these songs. But for now... well, I have an assignment to work on. 

Track 01: Destructo – Two Steps from Hell 

Track 02: Ironwing – Two Steps from Hell 


Track 03: Yellow Light – Of Monsters and Men 

Track 04: Annular Eclipse – Maroon 


Track 05: War – Poets of the Fall 

Track 06: Dying to Live – Poets of the Fall 

Track 07: Infernal Angel – Axenstar 


Track 08: The Knife – Genesis 


Track 09: Your Bones - Of Monsters and Men 

Track 10: Metropolis part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper – Dream Theatre 

Track 11: Octavarium – Dream Theatre 

Track 12: Pull me under – Dream Theatre 

Track 13: If everyone was listening - Supertramp 

Track 14: Know your Quarry – Biffy Clyro 


Track 15: Lily two – Matt Pond PA 

Track 16: Renegade – Styx 

Track 17: Edge of seventeen – Stevie Nicks 

Track 18: Nemo (Orchestral version) – Nightwish 


Track 19: Hey you – Pink Ffloyd 

Track 20: Crime of the century - Supertramp  Mmmm, dat sexaphone.


Now, unfortunately Supertramp have pretty much pulled everything off youtube. So finding 'Crime of the Century' on there was a miracle. The only version of 'If everyone was listening' that I could find was Rodger Hodson playing live. Honestly, if I could have a soundtrack full of nothing but Two Steps from Hell, I would. But there's some other stuff in here too... for variety reasons...
Enjoy!



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Journal Skin by: Zaellrin

Mature Content


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CHAPTER 12 – Respite


The sun was well and truly hidden behind the horizon by the time they finally stopped. It had been at Greyden’s behest. Although the plan had initially been to continue past darkness, they now had another factor to consider. Though she had been reasonably quiet, Arlyne had been limping heavily for the entirely of the venture, and her limp hand only worsened since leaving the cave. She had kept up wordlessly with the cruel pace Desmond had set, but her brow was looking continuously more furrowed and her usual knowing glint was absent. If he was more familiar with her Greyden might have offered to carry her. He refrained for the sake of her dignity. At least she hadn’t to worry about carrying a heavy pack like the rest of them, though she was in dire need of at least new clothes. It would be cold come night, and her tunic was already thin enough without the multiple splits and tears tarnishing it. Greyden made a mental note to give her his cloak once they had set up camp. It’d be no good for her to freeze to death.

They’d chosen a reasonably well-hidden clearing. Around the area the density of the trees was enough to obscure them from the view of any onlookers, though it also meant that they would need someone to constantly circle the perimeter, less their haven turn upon them.

Desmond had immediately left to watch the perimeter on their arrival, obviously wanting to distance himself from the group. The man was very solitary, and seemed to want to repel fellow company. At the present time, Greyden found he really could not blame him. They’d all benefit from some time alone to collect their thoughts. The only person so far who hadn’t been in any sort of altercation with the other was Arlyne, though there was the something about the way she looked at people that had Greyden feeling constantly on edge. Her gaze was sharper than the point of a good sword, and seemed to pierce his skin with minimal effort.

As his mind did a full circle back to Arlyne, a clasping hand interrupted his thoughts. Ymaine stood to his right, one hand upon his shoulder, and the other gripping his heavy pack. His expression was marred with concern.

Greyden realised that he had been staring vacantly off into the trees, and quickly cleared his throat, a little irritated by the big man’s look of concern.

‘Come on,’ Greyden said, a little more gruffly than he intended, ‘let’s get set up.’

******

The skies were clear. The roads were empty. And Desmond was angry. Not that this was bizarre in anyway, he was always angry in some fashion. This time, like many, there was no particular reason, nothing worth being angry over anyway. He was in his element; the wilderness, away from the bustling of the city, away from the dogged acts of people. Yet he was angry. This was the first time he’d been in the woods for a long while, and he had the misfortune of spending it with the two bumbling idiots below.

Desmond was perched in a tree, propped up against the trunk some several feet above the campsite, and had been since they had arrived. It was an attempt at some isolation, to distance himself from the group, though he had told the depressing ex- guard captain (or whatever he claimed to be) that he was keeping watch. There was no point really though, he could hear any who would approach a mile away. And there was nothing for miles, nothing but the burrowing of rabbits and scurrying other small rodents, neither of which would pose any sort of threat to them. Well unless the large oaf had a fear of rats - Desmond snickered at the thought. Perhaps it’d be worth catching a few later to find out.

So far he had enjoyed it. It had been too long since he’d smelt the leaves of the Kukkuki trees, or heard the sing of the forest birds. Plus, later he’d even get to go out hunting. He’d had a much needed itch to spear some deer ever since setting foot in the city. The food at the guild just hadn’t been the same, and the challenge in actually hunting down his meal was sorely missed. Plus, the hunt would at least get him away from… this… for a while…

He looked out over the campsite, his eyes narrowing in turn as he gazed upon each of his two clients. They were idiots. Fumbling over their camping gear like a couple of children trying to set up a brick house. Thus far the older one -the greying buffoon- was the root of their failures. Desmond watched him, semi-amused as he attempted to erect a tent upside down. Frustrated, the big man pulled, tugged and tore at the tent until the stick he was using to erect it snapped. The man let out a string of curse words and threw the stick wildly into the thicket.

Desmond smirked. It had taken them ages to find that stick.

He himself never slept in a tent. They were the clueless triviality of the sensitive city dweller. The tent that the old guard captain had brought was particularly ridiculous. It was thin, so as to be of literally no protection against the cold, and a peculiar shade of orange, practically a beacon for bandits. As a survivalist, he ought to have warned them against such an impractical shelter, but as a sadist, he decided it would be better to at least let this all play out. The option to cruelly mock them over their mistake after said tent had caused some major setback was too hard to resist.

He was at least confident that if bandits did attack at night, they’d be more than capable of handling them. The groups around this area were organised and therefore predictable. He’d observed their tactics before, and found that they usually only ran in groups of four at a time. Considering the show of skill each of these remarkably sword-handy buffoons had displayed earlier, they would easily be able to deal with twice that number. Plus, with a properly devised a watch system set at night, no would-be attacker could get the jump on them. Not that the two guardsmen seemed to be overly observant. The little thief had long disappeared through the brush despite being supposably under close watch. Desmond had watched her melt away into the thick with impressive stealth, disappearing entirely within moments. Though he didn’t really care, not enough to alert the other two anyway, her disappearance made Desmond a little edgy. He certainly didn’t trust her. She was far craftier than the other two, and the last thing he needed was her sneaking a knife into his spine.

Unlike Ymaine, who practically shouted everything he was thinking, there was much to the thief that was reserved. Her face was usually a mask, but her eyes… They were always ticking, thinking, darting from side to side as if planning everything out, and taking everything into consideration. An opponent with all brawn and no brains was easy. They were usually the product of their own downfall, leaving wide areas for Desmond to strike, launching when they ought to parry, parrying when they ought to dodge. Plus, they were slow, both in movement and thought. Desmond had fought many men who he had barely had to land a blow on; he’d simply watched them trip themselves up trying to keep up with his dance. Ymaine was like that. Desmond had watched him in battle, stubbornly attempting the same strike over and over again, even though it had already failed him numerous times before. He wasn’t even thinking about it, he was just striking. Greyden, at least, was a little more flexible in his fighting style. He did not have the raw strength that Ymaine possessed, but he more than made up for it with patience and good timing. They were both good fighters. There was no denying that, but they were predictable… and idiotic.

The sneaky ones though. There were no rules when it came to them. One false step and they had you. And they rarely made mistakes themselves. The biggest threat poised to him within the group was certainly the crafty one- Arlyne.

Regardless of any threat they posed to him, Desmond was glad that they were more than capable fighters. As a first-time survivalist he had always imagined his first mission to be ferrying some incompetent, helpless nobles through the woods. And while the two guardsmen clearly knew nothing about the woods, they at least could hold their own in a fight. Perhaps he had been lucky after all. Greyden, at least, was not totally unbearable company, and appeared to be honest enough to be trustworthy. Ymaine was, of course, totally impossible to be around without wanting to stab, but at least Desmond knew that if the big man did try and attack him, he would scream it at the top of his lungs and alert everyone first. But the thief… she was without a doubt the least trustworthy of the group, and had the most to hide. She had apparently won over Greyden and Ymaine’s favour – evident by the lax way they were keeping her hostage, but Desmond knew better. He had seen what she did to the people in the inn… Heard rumours about her around town…

‘That’s a lovely hat.’

It was her! The thief!

Desmond started, quickly shifting his body around, cursing himself for not hearing her approach. Usually he was well attuned to such noises, VERY well attuned. But he had foolishly let down his guard and left his mind to wander. He’d made his mistake, and could very well have been dead as a result. Quickly covering up his previous jump at her words Desmond flashed her an indifferent glance, coupled with an irritated grunt.

‘Come to steal it?’ he sneered, remembering her possession of his dagger.

Up close the young woman seemed… well… reasonably attractive. Not beautiful, but pretty enough. She had smooth creamy skin, with a smattering of freckles on both cheeks, so light they were only visible at such close proximity. Desmond had never been partial to freckles on women, but he had to admit, they suited her. That was complimented by long dark lashes, and a slightly upturned nose. She had a… grounded, earthly sort of appeal. Then of course there were the violet bruises and split lip from her previous treatment, which, when Desmond pulled back from her individual features, were really the current the sole attraction of her face. Once they had made camp Desmond had steadfast refused to look at her wounds. It was only fair, as the two guardsmen had paid for his services, and she had not. As far as the Survivalist was concerned she was not his responsibility, and he wasn’t about to tend to her for free. Still, he couldn’t help but wince at her up close. Was that why she had sought him out?

As Desmond continued to scan her visage he saw her raise an eyebrow quizzically, as she eyed his hat. Her split lip twisted into a grin.

Desmond realised that a long silence had stretched between the two as he had been studying her face. Realising that she had been watching him watching her he growled. He then prompted her irritably.

Well?’

Her eyes twinkled with a mirth that filled Desmond with discomfort, before finally obliging him. The amused sparkle was extinguished into a cool indifference as she critically surveyed his cap.

Hardly,’ she began, ‘It’s not really my style… or anyone’s for that matter.’ She moved closer, nimbly climbing to perch upon his branch. When she looked back over at him the playful glint had returned. ‘It looks warm though. I’d imagine it’d be difficult to hear with such a thick hat covering your ears like that. Although…’ She raised her hand to her face in an exaggerated thinking pose, and her lips twisted into a dangerous smile. ‘…you did appear to have impeccable hearing back in the prison didn’t you? How strange.’ Her smile grew into a mischievous grin.

She’s toying with me, Desmond realised with a stab of irritation. He wasn’t entirely sure what she was implying yet, and he didn’t much care –or that’s what he tried to convince himself. In actuality his heart beat quickened at her implications, and he tensed slightly, his hand twitching beside him, aware of its distance from his sword.

It appeared she was threatening him, and serving it with a smile. Though he was not so good at smiles, threats he could do. Plus, he was never unwilling to follow them up.

‘Take your games elsewhere little witch,’ he growled, ‘less you find yourself on the sharp end of my sword. I care not whether those idiots get into Capita or not and so hold no value for your life. And your magic tricks won’t help you either.’

Much to Desmond’s annoyance, the thief ignored his obvious threat, seemingly encouraged by it.

‘Ah yes!’ Her eyes sparkled once more, and she held up a finger as if remembering some miraculous event. ‘Did you enjoy my show back in Janwall? You were the only one who didn’t take the opportunity to rest their eyes. How polite of you.’

What was her point? She was jumping around words, bending and morphing them. They were designed to confuse, threaten, intimidate…. Desmond snorted.

‘You mean your pathetic little witch act?’ He lay back against the tree trunk, letting a lazy smirk accost his face, ‘terrible performance.’

‘Such a shame,’ Arlyne said still smiling, ‘I had hoped you’d enjoyed it.’

‘Yes, a shame,’ Desmond said, leaning closer and then whispering harshly, ‘but you’ll have to use a blade next time if you want to silence me, witch.’

The girl laughed briefly, genuinely amused by his remark.

‘Oh, I don’t need to go to such lengths to silence someone.’

She leaned closer still, her breath now intimately lingering on his skin. Desmond held his position, his eyes narrowed to a glare.

‘You best leave little witch,’ he growled, ‘before I run you through’ –he glanced briefly at the skin exposed by the many inappropriate slits in her clothing- ‘or take full advantage of what I’ve been presented with.’

‘Oh?’ The girl chuckled softly in his ear. ‘If you wish. But I warn you… I bite.’ -She paused momentarily, as if to ponder- ‘though, I do wonder… Is that blade of yours as long as your ears? I have a thing for ears.’

Desmond instantly recoiled, slamming his back against the trunk, realization hitting him with the force of a lightning bolt. She knew! That’s what this was about- she was blackmailing him. Of course! Desmond had been foolish not to at least suspect her knowledge. She was overly observant and clever, and he had been too careless.

That little bitch!

He reached for his sword, but not before the thief nimbly leapt from her position to pin him down. Desmond’s body stiffened. She was incredibly light. With a swing of his hand he could easily send her toppling out of the tree tops. The blade which suddenly sat by his throat however, begged to differ. With a stab of annoyance Desmond recognised the threatening edge as his own dagger, the one the little bitch had pilfered from him earlier. Luckily for him though, she didn’t necessarily have the upper hand. Desmond’s own knife sat at her gut, gently jabbing her through her thin tunic, though not enough to yet break skin. He had pulled it just as she’d made contact, after failing to pull his sword. He’d been lucky to get it out in time. The girl was impossibly quick.

They remained in the standstill, breathing heavily on each other’s necks, the blades resting threateningly against skin. After a long moment the witch finally spoke. Her voice was low and hissing, a whisper only for his ear. His every hair stood up on end, as his skin crawled. He could not help but hold his breath.

‘I’ll not tell yours if you’ll not tell mine.’

Desmond growled, releasing his build-up of exhale, and then immediately inhaled her scent. The bizarre combination of rose petals and sweat filled his nostrils. His heartrate quickened at the smell.  

‘Deal.’

The two pulled away.

Desmond lowered his dagger as Arlyne sheathed hers. She then backed off to stand, showing exceptional balance. Desmond would have admired her skill if he wasn’t currently seething.

‘I’ve enjoyed our chat,’ she said with a charming smile, ‘Desmond.’

‘Begone little witch,’ Desmond replied, trying his best to sound indifferent and bored, ‘and pray I do not yet change my mind and simply kill you.’

His voice gravelled a little at the end, anger threatening to bubble through his apathy.
Then he all but blinked, and the girl was gone.

Desmond fell back against the tree trunk, breathing heavily. He cursed the little bitch for the confrontation, for blackmailing him, for pulling his own blade on him, and … for all too familiar tightness in his trousers. He swore under his breath. That woman would be the death of him. The sooner he was rid of her the better.

Desmond shifted his position awkwardly in the tree, shaking his head at his own incompetence and rubbing his brow in frustration.

‘Little whore,’ he mumbled angrily after her.

It was clear a trip to the brothel was long overdue.

******
The Plight of Magic - Chapter 12 (Part 1)
FINALLY a scene from Desmond's perspective. Not sure if this really needs a warning or not, but I've put one on just in case. This chapter (including part 2) probably has the most POV changes than any chapter so far, so I hope it doesn't read as overly disjointed. 

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Previous: The Plight of Magic - Chapter 11 (Part 2)

Next: The Plight of Magic - Chapter 12 (Part 2)

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THE PLIGHT OF MAGIC - MOCK CAST LIST


Main Cast

Cartiala Deseme – Lucy Lawless - link

Greyden Deseme – Gerard Butler - link

Arlyne  – Emily Browning - link

Desmond – Bob Morley - link

Kharlan – Leelee Sobieski - link

Rokus Ymaine - Jeff Bridges - link

? – ?


Supporting Cast

Terril Euphamius – John Cusack - link

Merrik Reinhold – Sean Bean - link

Verity Charmaine – Dianna Agron - link

Steven - Robin Dunne - link

Deidre Ymaine - Diane Lane - link

The Shadow Cat - Ewan McGregor - link

Isolda Bear - Amanda Tapping - link

Miaynore - Alexis Bledel - link
The Plight of Magic - Mock Cast List
Okay here we are. FINALLY. This is my personal choice for a cast for The Plight of Magic. I included everyone who I thought was important enough to need an actor. Of course, there are a lot of characters yet to be introduced, so as my story progresses I'll update this list with new characters and actors - just for funsies. I will now go through and very briefly explain each and every one of my main cast choices.

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Main Cast

Cartiala Deseme – Lucy Lawless: Okay, so I love Lucy Lawless. She's a little old for Cartiala, as Cartie is mid-thirties, but fits her perfectly all the same in my mind. It was a toss up between her and Amanda Tapping in the end, but Lucy, the warrior princess, won in the end. Of course she'd have to die her hair red for this one.

Greyden Deseme – Gerard Butler:  He just instantly came to mind. He has the brooding expression down pat.

Arlyne – Emily Browning: She's the right height (a little over 5ft - and actually roughly the same height as me) and can sing.

Desmond – Bob Morley: I searched for ages for an appropriate Desmond and Bob Morley was really the only one to fit the profile. This guy was great in 100.

Kharlan – Leelee Sobieski: The only thing I've ever seen her in the the 2006 version of The Wicker Man. She wasn't bad in it, but in terms of appearance she fits like a glove. It also helps that she's tall. Need a tall lady to fill Kharlan's 7ft tall shoes.

Rokus Ymaine - Jeff Bridges: Heh.

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The Plight of Magic Soundtrack explained.

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 19, 2015, 7:49 PM

As promised, here is an explanation of why I chose the songs I did in my last journal: The Plight of Magic Soundtrack. Unfortunately I really can't explain a lot of them properly without giving away some pretty serious spoilers, so there's not a lot of detail here. Since I'm not too good at talking about or explaining stuff, feel free to question me about any of this.

*********************************************************************

Track 01: Destructo – Two Steps from Hell
Okay so firstly, I love Two Steps from Hell. They are orchestral heaven, and if The Plight of Magic ever did become a film I would ensure that they did the real soundtrack. They've done trailers for numerous other movies/tv shows/games such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, X-men and heaps more. 
This song in particular relates to the more sinister aspects of the plot, which basically means the Liches, and in a minor way, the churches and the gods.

Track 02: Ironwing – Two Steps from Hell 
Again, like Destructo, Irongwing relates more to the darker aspects of the plot.

 

Track 03: Yellow Light – Of Monsters and Men 

The thing I love about Of Monsters and Men is their hauntingly meaningful lyrics. There are a lot of variations in opinions regarding the meaning of this song. I see it as a woman succumbing to insanity. This song in particular relates to Kharlan, who does not go insane. So it's not a spoiler.

Track 04: Annular Eclipse – Maroon 
Okay, lyrically, this is probably the most important song to the whole plot. But I cannot explain why because it will spoil pretty much everything. All I can say is that this song is VERY VERY important to my story. It’s killing me that I can’t explain it.

 

Track 05: War – Poets of the Fall 

This one is pretty much about Greyden and Cartiala and all that they go through. Despite the time spent apart they are always at each other’s side and fighting for one another. Corny, I know. You can go throw up now.

Track 06: Dying to Live – Poets of the Fall 
About Greyden and his personal struggles with the dwindling faith he has in himself. 

 

Track 07: Infernal Angel – Axenstar 
Okay this one relates to a certain character that is yet to be introduced. The song fits them lyrically. Can’t really say too much without spoiling, but the character is not literally an angel. I take the lyrics as more symbolic to what the character went through than literal.

 

Track 08: The Knife – Genesis 

A song about the Elves. It won’t be relevant for a long time yet though. If you listen to the lyrics it’s clearly about a dictatorship.
All that aside, I just really love this song.

Track 09: Your Bones - Of Monsters and Men 
This song is about the origin of the barbaric islander race known as the Barlic-Khar.

Track 10: Metropolis part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper – Dream Theatre 
I relate this one to the religion of Tol. That's all I'll say.

Track 11: Octavarium – Dream Theatre 
One of the reasons I love this song is because it references so many other amazing songs. It's like an ode to them and that's awesome. This song basically pertains to a never ending cycle- ouroboros, if you will. It reminds me of the Liches and their seemingly never ending lifespan.


Track 12: Pull me under – Dream Theatre 
Pull me Under always reminds me how fragile humans really are. This song pertains to many characters, but particularly Cartiala and The Magus of Tol. I really love musical chaos, and Dream Theatre are, to me, the very epitome of wonderful musical chaos. That's why I have three of their songs on here. 

Track 13: If everyone was listening - Supertramp 
I relate this song to Arlyne. I even imagine her singing it. She's basically a performer, both in occupation and in everyday life. So I see her singing this song and relating it to the happenings in Tol.

Track 14: Know your Quarry – Biffy Clyro 
I've always gathered that this song was about a condition like asthma or something which diminishes your ability to breathe, i.e. 'crippled lungs'. Anyway in this context it's all about Arlyne's relationship with her parents and something that happened when she was young.

 

Track 15: Lily two – Matt Pond PA 
This one is about Miaynore. It more relates to a short background story I wrote when I really needed to get a feel for her character, but the song is still very relevant to The Plight of Magic. She is the meekest character of my female cast and sometimes I just want to tell her that everything's okay. In the short I wrote she is revealed to be insecure, anxious and she constantly questions everything she does. She tries to be whatever anyone wants her to be and attempts to please everyone... needless to say she constantly fails. This is all opposed to her older sister who is talented, brave, sociable and confident. True, you haven't got to see much of Miaynore yet, but you will. All of my main female characters are a representation of some form of strength, Miaynore is no exception.

Track 16: Renegade – Styx 
This is just a fun song I associate with Arlyne. The most meaningless song I have here. 

Track 17: Edge of seventeen – Stevie Nicks 
A lot of people think this song is about death and I want to agree with that, but I don't think that I really do. This is related to another unnamed character, in particular it has a lot to with an event that happened when she was 17. It doesn't fit the songs lyrics to a tee, but I think of this particular scene whenever I hear it.

Track 18: Nemo (Orchestral version) – Nightwish 

I chose the orchestral version because I think it fits the whole feel of the story better. This song relates to one Lich in particular known as 'Five'.

 

Track 19: Hey you – Pink Ffloyd 
So, as many of you might know, Pink Ffloyd’s album ‘The Wall’ is a concept album where a musician known as ‘Pink’ attempts to isolate himself from society after various instances of abuse from teachers, his overprotective mother and his wife. So he puts up this ‘Wall’ to separate himself from everyone. The album documents everything he goes through, and this song, ‘Hey you’, reflects his struggle to contact the outside world after realising his mistake. Unfortunately for him he’s become trapped behind his wall and is now his own prisoner. This song wasn’t included in the film which is a shame because I thought it was the best on the album. Personally, I apply this song to Desmond, and Greyden. Desmond being the one attempting to isolate himself from everyone, and Greyden struggling to find his way back.

Track 20: Crime of the century - Supertramp 
Another one about the Liches. Well, the little that's spoken at the start is anyway.

***********************************************************************

Hopefully I didn't really give anything away. Don't think that I did. I felt like it was necessary to at least partially explain myself though, just to at least give you better perspective if you feel the need to look up the lyrics. I do have numerous other songs, so maybe I'll make a part 2 sometime. We'll see.

 
EDIT: Just realised I titled this 'Soundrack' instead of 'Soundtrack'. Whoopsie. Fixed.



___________________________________

Journal Skin by: Zaellrin

deviantID

Rhelna

Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Australia
Hello!

Firstly, I am an Australian university student who is studying Geology. I also have passion for writing and drawing. One of my biggest goals in life is to become a published author, although at the moment I'm working on just finishing a book. 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.

So yes, feel free to say hello!

Check out my ongoing original novel here:
The Plight of Magic
Interests

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BlueNightFire Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
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Rhelna Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Dude. Yes.
We need this. We need this now.
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Danitheangeldevil Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:.:)
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Rhelna Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
No worries :)
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shilaktit Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Thanks for the llama!
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No worries :)
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Pr0teusUnbound Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the fav!
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No worries :)
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eivanly Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015
Thank you for the favorite on "Sunlight and Blood" :) 
How are your geology studies coming? It makes me so happy to see people pursue diverse interests and yet stay true to their passion for writing. 
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:iconrhelna:
Rhelna Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No worries. It was a highly enjoyable read. You are a very skilled writer :) 

Yeah the geology study is going really well thank you! I should be finally finished this time next year. I am currently doing optical mineralogy, and I think it's my favourite class yet. And very true! There's so many very different people on here united by one similar passion. For a fairly solitary activity I've found writing to be a pretty unifying hobby.
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