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Author Topic: A Seagull's Cry: Chapter 1 Adumbration - for Bard Judith  (Read 10725 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 20 June 2009, 04:45:30 »

Finally finished! The revised chapter ended up being too long (14 pages and I'm still halfway through) so I decided to break it into smaller chapters. Encourages me to write more swiftly - it was very intimidating to have six more scenes until the end of the first chapter... As a result, I ended up procrastinating a lot. Hopefully, keeping the chapters short will quicken the pace  - and allow me to contribute more :)

A couple of notes:

(1) There was more merit in Artimidor's criticism than I was willing to hear at the time. Especially in the first two chapters, the story was cumbersome and I am displeased with the language. Therefore:

(2) As I am devoting the rest of the summer to finishing the entries I started instead of creating any new entries, I undertook a complete revision of the work. Find enclosed below:

  • A chapter plan, including a teaser to frame the story and chapter summaries to align the submission with the new library format
  • Epigraphs for the whole work
  • a comprehensive overhaul of Chapter 1 (now finished): the graveyard removed to make the story time-line easier to follow; revised the plot; trimmed baroque excesses; removed lengthy descriptions and internal monologues to enliven the text. In general, I brought the style and tone in line with the ex-Chapter 3, which was well-received.

(3) I spent two hours trying to write a chapter summary for Adumbration - I'm giving up. Here is a little contest: The person who comes up with the best teaser/summary for Chapter 1 gets to name a character - or if s/he prefers, to supply a synopsis and challenge me to weave that character into the story. How about that? ;)

(4) Comments please! Hope you like it!
« Last Edit: 28 June 2009, 15:40:57 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 20 June 2009, 04:45:57 »

Chapter Plan


Epigraphs

Main Epigraph - before/after title page
?? "The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel." Horace Walpole. ??


Beginning of Part 1:
?? "That was a memorable day for me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapter 9. ??


Beginning of Part 2:
?? "So young, so beautiful, so full of hope and promise, they went on lightly through the sunlight, as their own happy thoughts might then be traversing the years to come, and making them all years of brightness. So they passed away into the shadow, and were gone. It was only a burst of light that had been so radiant. The room darkened as they went out, and the sun was clouded over." Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 14. ??


Beginning of Part 3:
?? "She smiled. She knew she was dying. Life had been, if only because she had known it could be, and she felt it now as a hymn without sound, deep under the little hole that dripped red drops into the snow, deeper than that from which the red drops came. A moment or an eternity - did it matter? Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. She smiled, her last smile, to so much that had been possible." Ayn Rand, We the Living, Chapter 17. ??

The very end:
"Friend, were life no more than this is, well would yet the living fare.
All aflower and all afire and all flung heavenward, who shall say
Such a flash of life were worthless? This is worth a world of care –
Light that leaps and runs and revels through the springing flames of spray." Algernon Charles Swinburne, The Sunbows.



Introduction/Teaser/Summary for A Seagull's Cry:

A Seagull’s Cry traces Dearan Asaen’s growth from a successful but frustrated young adult to a man with depth of character, vigorous in the pursuit of his own happiness. As Dearan unravels the truth behind his great expectations, the plot escalates - steering him towards maturity and a quest to live in line with his own nature. He emerges from these trials with an invigorating vision of life and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of man to be the master of his own destiny. The story and its memorable characters repeatedly spiral upwards, through anticipation, confrontation and self-correction. The end is a triumph of understanding, and of man’s right to face life on his own terms.


Chapter Summaries:

Chapter 1: Adumbration
In Which the Young Krean mage Déárán, having Done his Duty as an Unwilling Imperial Appraiser, is Confronted by Master Merchant Terensis, the Latter believing Himself to have been Used Most Unjustly... Meet Master Terensis, the Great Vessel, who seems to be less enraged by being Fined than by the fact that he has been fined by A Man Half His Age, whom he considers to be Barely Past Adolescence. But this he will not admit…

Chapter 2: Anticipation
In Which a more Tender Side of Déárán is Revealed. As Déárán and Khalid continue walking towards Akantha, the lady for whom the party is held, Déárán lets his imagination run wild, with characteristic good-humour and mischief. When they finally meet, the air between them is dominated as much by the Unspoken as by the words that precede and frame it.

Chapter 3: Admiration
In Which, Déárán encounters Faivis Fang Caiaphas - who talks, walks and deports himself so handsomely, so gallantly and so gracefully, that, despite all his misgivings, Déárán’s sense of justice cannot help but wish him every happiness in life, a hundred leagues away. Discover why the young mage Objects to machete-wielding princes, and why skill in swordsmanship does not necessarily qualify one for a happy marriage.



PS: What does one call epigraphs that come at the very end of a book?
« Last Edit: 23 June 2009, 03:40:35 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 20 June 2009, 04:54:39 »

"That was a memorable day for me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapter 9.



CHAPTER 1
Adumbration


Dearan Asaen, curious, talented, and rich, with a penetrating mind and irresistible laughter, seemed to unite some of the great blessings of existence; and had risen in the world for twenty years with little to mortify or hinder him.

Dearan planned - and planned with such ingenuity, such inexhaustible spirit, that he expected everything, all chance and circumstance, to bend and give way to his indomitable energy.

The real evils of Dearan’s situation were a desire to have rather too much his own way, and a disposition to arrange the affairs of his world with little thought for the many turns and surprises of life, the inclinations of others, or his own exhaustion: these were the disadvantages which threatened to alloy his many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with him.

Embarrassment came, an unforeseen embarrassment. Four days ago, during one of the many ostentatious parties held among the noble men and women of Kimbar, the awkward incident happened. Dearan, a valetudinarian, would not have attended the festivity; he was not feeling entirely well that day. Yet, chance and circumstance – perhaps also the inclinations, desires and intentions of certain others - contrived that a special invitation should arrive, three days prior to the party, in his name at the Rhuníth estate. The past week had been full of physical exertion at the Golden Coronet and Déárán, reasoning so courteously, decided that a world with Dearan enjoying himself was a slightly better place than a world with Dearan sweating. He accepted the invitation so handsomely addressed to him.
   
The party had set off well. The gardens, the estate, the walks… all had been decorated in a style of beauty the reigning character of which was elegance. There circulated among the guests even a rumour that Gérán Fleetfoot had constructed the two swan shaped ferries.

All morning long the graceful boats carried people to and fro the lake bordering the estate where the party was to be held. Water-dancers greeted the guests before the ornate anchorage. The aged stone stairs leading up to the outer ring of the gardens were bathed in rose petals; red and pink and crimson dressing the walkway. From the hundreds of bird chirpings that accompanied the visitors on their way, Dearan’s quick mind and lively imagination inferred the presence of Birdsingers, hiding, perhaps, amidst the canopy.

There, at the top of the stone steps, was a flabby gentleman, with a moist surface, a massive configuration of brow, and eyes so much too small for his moon of a face that they seemed to have been originally made for somebody else. He certainly was a great creature, flabbily speaking.

Their eyes met for one brief moment, to the exasperation of one and the considerable misfortune of the other. Then, cumbrously at first, then gaining momentum, this great creature charged down the steps, not unlike one of those colossal Anpagan Pacifier galleys - leaving, in his wake, first a ripple, then a stronger, more turbulent current among the battalions of guests scaling the rise.

Khalid, heir to the Rhuníth estate, cringed, and extracted himself a few palmspans sideways. Dearan stood, still, at ease, shoulders back and relaxed, a proud suggestion to the arch of his back. He observed a canary alight from a nearby branch and settle elsewhere, closer to the food, higher up, perhaps to afford itself a better view of the spectacle that was about to unfold.

Against the considerably heavier bulk of this vessel, the young Krean described a fragile figure – growing more and more isolated in the clearing opening up around him as throngs of guests kindly removed themselves, less rapidly than they might have wished, more hurriedly than civility prescribed. Duels, in Zhun, were not unheard of.

Tall, graceful, and lean, Dearan held his ground, unperturbed, like the unwilling knife awaiting the onslaught of the butcher’s meat at dinner.

“What is the meaning of this!” bellowed the great creature.

Beline Terensis must have received the Fine.

“Ah! Master Terensis. Always a pleasure. How do you do?”

“Away with the civilities!” said Master Terensis breathing heavily from his nostrils, on the point of breaking out into some strong opinion.

“Perhaps, sir, you should sit down – here, on this bench, away from the sun – to give yourself a more favourable opportunity of recovering your breath,” the young Krean entreated him, with some agitation for the man’s health, and the prospect of his being overpowered by a failure of the heart in any incident to which he might be a party.

“There I was, on my way here, when the carriage was intercepted by an imperial messenger – one attached to your office if I am not mistaken – to hand me this, this FINE!”

“You have sufficient reason, I dare think,” said Dearan, “for being chafed and irritated –“

“There again!” exclaimed the great vessel, becoming violently angry, his sails, his portly chest, expanding with the wind. “I am of a quarrelsome temper. I am irascible. I am not polite!”

“Not very, I think.”

“I shall not pay it! If you think you can make me pay this, this –“ said Master Terensis, staring at the piece of paper in his hand with angry bewilderment.

“I believe we established that it was a fine - not an uncommon creature – sir,” suggested the Krean.

“You believe!” said the man, pausing in his wrath to catch his breath, exhausted anew by so much talking so soon after his impressive assault on the stairs, before it was fully restored. Abruptly, Master Terensis broke out fiercely, “This, a ... a Fine?”, still refusing to comprehend that school of thought, first cultivated by the Krean and now spreading among the officialdom of the empire, which said, that however high he be, the Law was above him.

“Yes, sir. Nothing could be clearer. I happened to be present when it was being inscribed. I saw the paper.”

“You saw the paper! – you wrote the paper too. Dearan, this is your doing!”

“Ah, that,” Dearan responded, calmly, with a gleam in his eyes that promised to develop into a most dangerous disposition, “is the subject of some controversy.”

“Cantriversee,” corrected the vessel, absentmindedly.

“Although its consequences are abundantly clear, as I said, there remains some contravuhsee regarding its causes. Recall sir, when, a month ago, entirely unsolicited, you suggested, so rightly, so righteously, in the vein of a citizen doing his Duty, that, as I was now an officer of the Empire, perhaps my income – including my private income – should be subjected to Imperial Taxation? The Third Vizier was so impressed by this noble conduct that he felt it upon his office to acquaint himself with the affairs of such an exemplary citizen. I dare say His Eminence was very much inclined to reward you a Medal in the hope that you may provide a shining example of all that is proper, all that is just, and all that is due, to your kinsmen – until, to his great surprise, he discovered that the Annals recorded far less tax revenue than one would expect from a merchant of such significance.” Dearan paused, so that his words, and the weight of his meaning, might be better absorbed. “So there I was – not in any official capacity, but as a conscientious citizen duly paying his taxes – when, the Third Vizier – having reasoned that such a model tradesman could not be evading his Pipeweed Levies– happened to be writing a missive instructing me to look into the matter.”

“...”

“Excuse me sir? I fear I did not catch that. Never mind. Imagine my astonishment when all my due diligence suggested that our Exemplary Citizen might have been more vehement in professing than performing! Thus, I sent out the first Official Enquiry. When two weeks passed without any response, instead of fining you right away, I used my discretion to address two further Notices to you. I thought to myself, ‘Zhun is, still, an outward province. One cannot expect the tidings to function as efficiently as in the Peninsula. Master Terensis might have never received the Enquiry. Give him one more chance to put his house in order!”

“You vicious Krean!” Master Terensis never spoke without first putting up his great hand as delivering a token to his hearers that he is going to edify them. “Have you any idea how much this costs!”

“I believe – “

“Ten thousand sovereigns!”

“Ten thousand sovereigns, one hundred and seventy-six viziers, and thirty-seven footmen’s pence, in fact. A quarter of the quarterly profits of the agricultural line of your trade.”

“You vile, vicious, villainous man! I thought you were opposed to the Pipeweed Levies!”

“I have indeed expressed my objections decisively – perhaps more strongly than prudence would have wished - to the Emperor, personally. I also object that we Krean, who produce the most, who trade the most, and therefore give the most encouragement to the industry of the Empire’s other nations, should have to face such extravagant levies and consider it unjust that Krean traders should be taxed less advantageously. And I shall continue to make my objections publicly. But an unjust law, so long as it is in force, must be obeyed.”

“Ten thousand sovereigns!” repeated Master Terensis, the great vessel seemingly unable to put it out of his mind. “Ten thousand sovereigns! You vengeful beast!” burst Master Terensis, raising his hand in indignation, and going up to the young Krean as if he meant to strike him. Master Terensis’s advance was suddenly halted, and vigorous ripples, originating in his middle regions, swiftly travelled up to his flabby cheeks, as if he had run into an invisible barrier, stomach-first. “Krean sorceries!” cried the great vessel, livid with grievance.

“Sir! Command yourself enough to say no more! This is neither the place nor the time to discuss the matter any further. If you have any – “

“But ten thousand sovereigns!..” lamented Master Terensis, somewhat subdued.

“As I see you do have further objections,” Dearan took a little book from his pocket, and with calmer asperity added, “I shall give you an appointment tomorrow afternoon, at three. Good day!”

Dearan Asaen, dignified, astute, and by now slightly irate, moved on. His friend, very eager to join him and put as much distance in as short a time as possible between himself and the great bulk of Master Terensis shaking so very much unsteadily, followed. The crowd, slightly disappointed that the spectacle was now over, reconvened and slowly, courteously, made its way up the flight of steps, with an air that was an example to mankind.

Baline Terensis sat down on the stone steps, an anchor hitting the ocean floor, and released his weight, flabbily, like a ship dead at sea, the wind removed from its sails. Master Terensis sat for some time; not quite comprehending how he came to be stranded on such forlorn, grey rocks, and how something so small –for nothing had been or was visible on the horizon – should sink so great a vessel.
 
« Last Edit: 23 June 2009, 06:18:35 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #3 on: 20 June 2009, 05:14:43 »

OK, I've finished formatting this thread. Ready for comments now!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #4 on: 20 June 2009, 15:42:51 »

I know this story was good, I'm looking forward to rad it again - but first breakfast, the family awakes!

And when is the second chapter coming?
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #5 on: 20 June 2009, 15:49:36 »

24 hours after I get the first commentary here ;)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #6 on: 21 June 2009, 00:26:26 »

Prologue comes before the book
Epilogue comes after.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 on: 21 June 2009, 01:19:08 »

Yeah, but that's not an epigraph.
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #8 on: 21 June 2009, 01:37:56 »

...right...should of checked the definition on that before I responded.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #9 on: 21 June 2009, 16:11:32 »

Some notes from here:

- First of all, a docx doesn't help me preparing the stuff, as I can't read it, lacking a 64 bit Office. If you post documents, make sure to do it in regular doc Word format, and entirely adjusted the way we have it with other documents in the Library on the site.

- Usually we don't quote non-Santharian writers in the texts, but I assume we cannot get around this here as you make these quotes an integral part of your texts.

- Now I'm definitely not a native English speaker, but I admit that the word "Adumbration" is nothing I tend to read every day. In fact I had no idea what it was and had to look it up. Sure, you use rich (and somewhat antique I guess) language in general, and it could be that an English native speaker has no problems with that one. There are several such examples in the text where non-English speakers get easily lost. But it's a matter of what kind of readers you want to have, I'd say. So it might as well fit, but for me the choice of that title was a bit weird.

- "the many turns & surprises of life", "chance & circumstance" etc. - guess these ampersands here are not the fine English way of writing, or? :)

- The text - I think - is more accessible than the first version so far, though of course it deals with something very specific Krean, and you need to be into that sort of thing. And you need to like that style, which surely is well done according to the way it is intended. But it's something one needs to get used to. - As for the content: I'm not that familiar with the Krean way of thinking/dealing, but the whole Fine business is signed by a twenty year old guy? Might not be unusual, just looked a bit far out there for me, but OK.

- Hmmm:

Quote
I spent two hours trying to write a chapter summary for Adumbration...

Really, I think that if you need two hours to write a chapter summary and then cannot complete it, you do something seriously wrong. Maybe, at least as far as summaries are concerned, you should try to make it simple, which could work especially as a counterweight to the much heavier language stuff the chapter actually contains.
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« Reply #10 on: 21 June 2009, 16:49:49 »

Oh, I did write a summery for this chapter a long time ago, we had a kind of deal (don't remember what it was ;) ), but did I ever send it to you, Coren?

Art, you sound a bit unfriendly, why? Just because of a docx?

Dearan Asaen is not just any guy, he will be one time the greatest emperor the Krath empire has ever seen, so.... (Krath entry).

Adumbration - well, if somebody is turned away, just because he has to look up one word, he might anyway not enjoy to read the text and nothing is lost. But I would not assume, that it is what Coren intended.


@ Coren: The quoting of Dickens and Rand is not good. Make up your own quotations, similar in content, , and call the authors Thinnens and Nya D'nad or something similar, you can keep the chapter!.
« Last Edit: 21 June 2009, 17:06:49 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #11 on: 21 June 2009, 18:03:15 »

I love it, Coren, it is faszinating to read, I love your comparison with a vessel. Some small things are marked in blue.

And now I try to find a summary ;)




Dearan Asaen, curious, talented no comma, a dash - , if you want to emphasize, that he is rich and rich, with a penetrating mind and irresistible laughter, seemed to unite some of the great blessings of existence; and had risen in the world for twenty years with little to mortify or hinder him.

Dearan planned - and planned with such ingenuity, such inexhaustible spirit, that he expected everything, all chance and circumstance, to bend and give way to his indomitable energy.

The real evils of Dearan’s situation were a desire to have rather too much his own way, and a disposition to arrange the affairs of his world with little thought for the many turns and   surprises of life, the inclinations of others, or his own exhaustion: these were the disadvantages which threatened to alloy his many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with him.

Embarrassment came, an unforeseen embarrassment. Four days ago, during one of the many ostentatious parties held among the noble men and women of Kimbar, the awkward incident happened. Dearan, a valetudinarian, would not have attended the festivity; he was not feeling entirely well that day. Yet, chance and   circumstance – perhaps also the inclinations, desires and intentions of certain others - contrived that a special invitation should arrive, three days prior to the party, in his name at the Rhuníth estate. The past week had been full of physical exertion at the Golden Coronet and Déárán, reasoning so courteously, decided that a world with Dearan enjoying himself was a slightly better place than a world with Dearan sweating. He accepted the invitation so handsomely addressed to him.
  Déárán.. Dearan - decide, or use the ..everywhere    
The party had set off well at the Káyíuk residence. The gardens, the estate, the walks… all had been decorated in a style of beauty the reigning character of which was elegance. There circulated among the guests even a rumour that Gérán Fleetfoot had constructed the two swan shaped ferries.

All morning long the graceful boats carried people to and fro the lake bordering the estate where the party was to be held. Water-dancers greeted the guests before the ornate anchorage. The aged stone stairs leading up to the outer ring of the gardens were bathed in rose petals; red and pink and crimson dressing the walkway. From the hundreds of bird chirpings that accompanied the visitors on their way, Dearan’s quick mind and lively imagination inferred the presence of birdsingers ? , hiding, perhaps, amidst the canopy.



There, at the top of the stone steps, was a flabby gentleman, with a moist surface, a massive configuration of brow {} no comma   and eyes so much too small for his moon of a face that they seemed to have been originally made for somebody else. He certainly was a great creature, flabbily speaking.

Their eyes met for one brief moment, to the exasperation of one and the considerable misfortune of the other. Then, cumbrously at first, then gaining momentum, this great creature charged down the steps, not unlike one of those colossal Anpagan Pacifier galleys - leaving, in his wake, first a ripple, then a stronger, more turbulent current among the battalions of guests scaling the rise.

Khalid, heir to the Rhuníth estate, cringed, and extracted himself a few palmspans sideways. Dearan stood, still, at ease, shoulders back and relaxed, a proud suggestion to the arch of his back. He observed a canary alight from a nearby branch and settle elsewhere, closer to the food, higher up, perhaps to afford itself a better view of the spectacle that was about to unfold.

Against the considerably heavier bulk of this vessel, the young Krean described a fragile figure – growing more and more isolated in the clearing opening up around him as throngs of guests kindly removed themselves, less rapidly than they might have wished, more hurriedly than civility prescribed. Duels, in Zhun, were not unheard of.

Tall, graceful, and lean, Dearan held his ground, unperturbed, like the unwilling knife awaiting the onslaught of the butcher’s meat at dinner.

“What is the meaning of this!” bellowed the great creature.

Beline Terensis must have received the Fine.

“Ah! Master Terensis. Always a pleasure. How do you do?”

“Away with the civilities!” said Master Terensis breathing heavily from his nostrils, on the point of breaking out into some strong opinion.

“Perhaps, sir, you should sit down – here, on this bench, away from the sun – to give yourself a more favourable opportunity of recovering your breath,” the young Krean entreated him, with some agitation for the man’s health, and the prospect of his being overpowered by a failure of the heart in any incident to which he might be a party.

“There I was, on my way here, when the carriage was intercepted by an imperial messenger – one attached to your office if I am not mistaken – to hand me this, this FINE!”

“You have sufficient reason, I dare think,” said Dearan, “for being chafed and irritated –“

“There again!” exclaimed the great vessel, becoming violently angry, his sails, his portly chest, expanding with the wind. “I am of a quarrelsome temper. I am irascible. I am not polite!”

“Not very, I think.”

“I shall not pay it! If you think you can make me pay this, this –“ said Master Terensis, staring at the piece of paper in his hand with angry bewilderment.

“I believe we established that it was a fine - not an uncommon creature – sir,” suggested the Krean.

“You believe!” said the man, pausing in his wrath to catch his breath, exhausted anew by so much talking so soon after his impressive assault on the stairs, before it was fully restored. Abruptly, Master Terensis broke out fiercely, “This, a ... a Fine?”, still refusing to comprehend that school of thought, first cultivated by the Krean and now spreading among the officialdom of the empire, which said, that however high he be, the Law was above him.

“Yes, sir. Nothing could be clearer. I happened to be present when it was being inscribed. I saw the paper.”

“You saw the paper! – you wrote the paper too. Dearan, this is your doing!”

“Ah, that,” Dearan responded, calmly, with a gleam in his eyes that promised to develop into a most dangerous disposition, “is the subject of some controversy.”

“Cantriversee,” corrected the vessel, absentmindedly.

“Although its consequences are abundantly clear, as I said, there remains some contravuhsee ???    regarding its causes. Recall sir, when, a month ago, entirely unsolicited, you suggested, so rightly, so righteously, in the vein of a citizen doing his Duty, that, as I was now an officer of the Empire, perhaps my income – including my private income – should be subjected to Imperial Taxation? The Third Vizier was so impressed by this noble conduct that he felt it upon his office to acquaint himself with the affairs of such an exemplary citizen. I dare say His Eminence was very much inclined to reward you a Medal in the hope that you may provide a shining example of all that is proper, all that is just, and all that is due, to your kinsmen – until, to his great surprise, he discovered that the Annals recorded far less tax revenue than one would expect from a merchant of such significance.” Dearan paused, so that his words, and the weight of his meaning, might be better absorbed. “So there I was – not in any official capacity, but as a conscientious citizen duly paying his taxes – when, the Third Vizier – having reasoned that such a model tradesman could not be evading his Pipeweed Levies– happened to be writing a missive instructing me to look into the matter.”

“...”

“Excuse me sir? I fear I did not catch that. Never mind. Imagine my astonishment when all my due diligence suggested that our Exemplary Citizen might have been more vehement in professing than performing! Thus, I sent out the first Official Enquiry. When two weeks passed without any response, instead of fining you right away, I used my discretion to address two further Notices to you. I thought to myself, ‘Zhun is, still, an outward province. One cannot expect the tidings to function as efficiently as in the Peninsula. Master Terensis might have never received the Enquiry. Give him one more chance to put his house in order!”

“You vicious Krean!” Master Terensis never spoke without first putting up his great hand as delivering a token to his hearers that he is going to edify them. “Have you any idea how much this costs!”

“I believe – “

“The thousand sovereigns!”

“Ten thousand sovereigns, one hundred and seventy-six viziers, and thirty-seven footmen’s pence, in fact. A quarter of the quarterly profits of the agricultural line of your trade.”

“You vile, vicious, villainous man! I thought you were opposed to the Pipeweed Levies!”

“I have indeed expressed my objections decisively – perhaps more strongly than prudence would have wished - to the Emperor, personally. I also object that we Krean, who produce the most, who trade the most, and therefore give the most encouragement to the industry of the Empire’s other nations, should have to face such extravagant levies and consider it unjust that Krean traders should be taxed less advantageously. And I shall continue to make my objections publicly. But an unjust law, so long as it is in force, must be obeyed.”

“Ten thousand sovereigns!” repeated Master Terensis, the great vessel seemingly unable to put it out of his mind. “Ten thousand sovereigns! You vengeful beast!” burst Master Terensis, raising his hand in indignation, and going up to the young Krean as if he meant to strike him. Master Terensis’s advance was suddenly halted, and vigorous ripples, originating in his middle regions, swiftly travelled up to his flabby cheeks, as if he had run into an invisible barrier, stomach-first. “Krean sorceries!” cried the great vessel, livid with grievance.

“Sir! Command yourself enough to say no more! This is neither the place nor the time to discuss the matter any further. If you have any – “

“But ten thousand sovereigns!..” lamented Master Terensis, somewhat subdued.

“As I see you do have further objections,” Dearan took a little book from his pocket, and with calmer asperity added, “I shall give you an appointment tomorrow afternoon, at three. Good day!”

Dearan Asaen, dignified, astute, and by now slightly irate, moved on. His friend, very eager to join him and put as much distance in as short a time as possible between himself and the great bulk of Master Terensis shaking so very much unsteadily, followed. The crowd, slightly disappointed that the spectacle was now over, reconvened and slowly, courteously, made its way up the flight of steps, with an air that was an example to mankind.

Baline Terensis sat down on the stone steps, an anchor hitting the ocean floor, and released his weight, flabbily, like a ship dead at sea, the wind removed from its sails. Master Terensis sat for some time; not quite comprehending how he came to be stranded on such forlorn, grey rocks, and how something so small –for nothing had been or was visible on the horizon – should sink so great a vessel.
 

a proud suggestion to the arch of his back .. I loe that, and more of this kind!
« Last Edit: 21 June 2009, 18:06:06 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #12 on: 21 June 2009, 18:14:16 »

Too short? 

In this chapter Dearan Asaen, having done his duty as an employee of the Krean government, is confronted by a merchant who thinks that he was treated unjust and that Dearan is the reason for this and not the law or his shortcommings. Meet Master Terensis, in many aspecst  the opposite of Dearan...
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« Reply #13 on: 21 June 2009, 19:53:37 »

I concur with Talia - the quotes from Terran authors jar the sensibilities as much as might a fine on kao-kao.....    but they need not be done away with altogether.  Many contemporary fantasy writers use fictitious quotes from within their own universe to more solidly ground their tale (Frank Herbert was one of the pioneers in this regard) - write your own to introduce each chapter!

Or, in good Victorian style, why not make the chapter summaries the introductions, like so..... (thank you Talia for the precis!)


"CHAPTER ONE: In Which the Young Krean noble Dearan, having Done his Duty as a Government Employee, is Confronted by the Merchant Master Terensis, the Latter believing Himself to have been Used Most Unjustly...."

Short, perhaps, but the chapter is no weighty matter itself.  Surely no one can complain that it gives too much away.... :)
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« Reply #14 on: 21 June 2009, 19:55:29 »

Oh, and it went without saying, in my above post, that I thoroughly enjoyed the piece - flavourful, craftsmanlike, and deliciously scented with the Kreanian atmosphere - which as Art points out one must have the taste for.....    I do trust that between the various comments above we now all qualify for Chapter Two?  More more more, pretty please with kao-kao dusting on top!
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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
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