Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back and in full effect...

Yes, yours truly, your Shrubalicious host, has been writing feverishly in a vain attempt to pen my literary opus, my contribution to the fantasy genre. Here's a lil' snippet of my teeny tiney lil' story/book. Please, critique at will, the comment link is there for a reason.

At last the Exile reached the citadel of Tair, the last resting place of the ancient Grundian kings. Legend said the Aquafer of Iya, the water that breathed life into this world was protected by The Citadel. It was here that the kings of yore were entombed in the hopes that the cistern would resurrect the beloved founders and stewards of earliest Grundig. And it was here the Exile brought the body of his brother Barabas.
The Exile had explored the Citadel on numerous occasions in his youth for it was his father who had been entrusted the guardianship of this hallowed place. So revered was Tair’s Citadel none dared live within its walls and few ventured through the imposing iron gates. A sect of ancient priests was charged with guarding this holy sepulcher to which they built Cadus a Iya, Castle of Iya. The fortress was built at the summit of Mount Tair, the mountain that overlooked the Citadel from the east. The castle could only be reached by a narrow stair, dubbed Iada i Iena, the Walk to Heaven. Climbing this ancient stair was for many a deeply religious experience. The priests would make the trek down then back up the Iada to symbolize the journey from mortality to the afterlife. As a child the Exile and his family had lived in the castle and these stairs were a place of wonder and a place to frolic for the boys. Even Barabas had bounded up and down the stair with youthful exuberance and it was in this valley and the Citadel that he told his twin brother he wanted to be buried.
And the Exile meant to abide by his brother’s wish. Even after Barabas had ravaged his former native land, after the damage and pain he had inflicted upon the Exile and all of Grundig, even after his malevolence had wreaked untold devastation on all who crossed his path, the Exile still meant to bury him in his boyhood playground. When the twins were children they often explored the Citadel, admiring the tombs of the ancients, running through darkened hallways, and forever using this sacred place as an endless playground. Oft times the priests would chase them, informing them that the kings’ resting place was not to be disturbed. But the priests also knew these two had indomitable wills, and truth be told, they suspected the kings rather enjoyed the magical laughter of the two.
The Exile’s wagon stopped at the gate. No one had opened the Citadel in over a thousand years and the gates were rusty with disrepair. The Exile used his medallion, the one he had inherited from his father, to unlock the massive mechanism at the gate’s center. With a loud metallic snap the gate unlocked itself, shuttered and groaned, and finally raised up into the rampart that surrounded it. Dust and dirt billowed from the open gateway washing the Exile in granulated muck. This cloud was greeted by fits of coughing from the Exile and the fervent attempt to shoo away the dust. To no avail as sediment settled in the Exile’s eyes, mouth, and nose.
After the cloud cleared the Exile, with great attentiveness, cleared the dust and dirt from Barabas’ face and clothes. This gesture finally drove the Exile mad with grief. There before him lay the last of his family of old. The site of the brother who, even in his wickedness, had exuded strength and vitality now lying utterly void of life deeply disturbed the normally reserved elven warrior and filled his heart with sadness. And it was in this moment, when Barabas’ face was not contorted with anger and hatred, that his beauty shown through. And it was this face on which the tears of the Exile now fell. Even the death of his parents and beloved wife had not affected him so; even his daughters’ weddings did not elicit such naked emotion. These were things he took with legendary stoicism. The Exile’s hand drifted unconsciously to his sword hilt. How easy it would be to cut the head from this monster and destroy him once and for all. His body would burst into flame as his mortal coil would eviscerate. But he purged this thought from his head, how he did so love his brother.
After the Exile collected his emotions he grabbed the reigns of the draft horse and led it and the wagon through the gate.
Across a huge courtyard the Exile led his burden, across to the outer cloister of the Citadel. The outer door opened with a groan and blackness assaulted the senses. This blackness had not been disturbed in millennia and did not suffer daylight easily. Sunlight illuminated barely three feet of the cold stone floor and the darkness was seemingly impenetrable. The Exile removed his sword from its sheath. Green flame would have to guide the way. Dagotai glowed green for a brief moment, then intense flames licked the blade, illuminating almost the entire entry. Even this pitch black could not withstand magic.