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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chapter Two

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chapter Two   August 13th 2008, 8:11 am

Chapter Two
Part 1

Venicht walked with Annalia to the front room of the apartment with pride showing on his face and in his voice, "I am so glad that you will be staying with us. I don't want to stay alone with Nuverd."

"I am not staying to save you from Nuverd's wrath, Prince Venicht. I am staying because this is my home. I lived here for over six hundred years. I remember this castle being built. I moved in here with your mother. To move into a room down the hall will feel like being a guest in my own home."

"You are still a lot nicer than Nuverd."

"He means you well, Prince Venicht. You don't just mean a future to Davelda, but to Thiminy as well. Listen to Nuverd. Everything he tells you is for your best. I would trust his advice way before I would trust the words of anyone else in this castle."

"Still, you don't beat me."

"You handled yourself very well today, Prince Venicht. That was not my teaching."

"Annalia, why aren't there any children here?"

The lady sat down on the couch before answering the question. She had come out for a skein of thread that she knew was upon a certain podium. While most who viewed the room considered the displays to be merely for show, Annalia treated everything as practical. The thread might now be years old, but she liked to crochet and figured soon to replace what had been sitting with new material for her to use and need to replace again. She felt no rush to answer the lad's question, because she remembered him being told previously certain facts. While she would not deny allowing the prince to hear the answer again, she would do so on her own schedule.

"There are no children because they all grew up, Venicht. Davelda is a land of immortals. I am a few decades short of seven hundred years old. Our doctors figured out how to bestow eternal life. It took away our ability to reproduce, but with no death we believed that we did not need birth. There was also an arrogance that with one miracle achieved, that others would follow.

"Instead of believing in further miracles, we fought over what we had obtained. It was a horrible war with one of the first casualties being the man you were named after. He would have been your mother's husband. Instead he was the reason that she had a drive to challenge both sides of a terrible debate. Your mother won, and became our empress.

"Look at this castle, Venicht. It is much different than that of your father. His is an edifice to war. This castle is a structure to peace. It could not withstand an attack, and only survives as a testament to us having learned one lesson."

The lad stayed quiet for a period, as if his mind was actively storing the information that he had just gained, but when he spoke it showed that he had not found an answer to his real question. "Will there be children here?"

"I don't know, Venicht. We need children, because we are dying. Life gets boring, Venicht, and some get tired of waking up to face another day. Children however present problems that we had left behind. The people of Davelda are proud of surviving, so fear reopening the past."

"But everyone was so glad to see me."

"Yes, as it showed everyone that your mother truly found an answer. Everything about your mother and father is unique, however. Her answer is not something that can be bestowed upon others. Your presence is however to let the people of Davelda know that answers are out there."

The lad picked up a croquet ball and started rolling it between his hands. Annalia at first enjoyed the quiet. She thought over the boy's words however, and felt that he still had not gained his answer.

"Venicht, your father brought the people of Davelda the knowledge of other worlds. We sell animals to beings from numerous dimensions. Your father knows the ways of the omniverse, but here many know the paths to other worlds. You can be taken to places where there are children, and you might find them coming to you."

The young prince smiled, then it dropped as he said, "I will have to do my lessons."

"Oh, yes, because you know that Nuverd will cancel any social as a means of punishment."

He stood to put the croquet ball back where he got it, then said, "Mother likes to play this game."

"I like to play croquet, Venicht. You will find many here that will play the game. We are not boring old people, Venicht."

The boy did not seem to believe the statement. He moved about the room asking about the various items put on display. Annalia continued to work on her crochet, but spoke to the lad. She showed no alarm when he picked up a rapier, as she knew his father had worked the lad on a number of weapons. Annalia simply reminded the prince that everyone on Davelda were veterans of a great war, so there were plenty who could develop certain skills. Venicht put the rapier back in its place, then turned his attention to what else might gain his interest.

Annalia shot erect. She looked about surprised, because she had found a comfortable position on the couch and did not know how both feet suddenly gained the ground. In looking to see what had happened to her crochet, she saw her body slumped into the thick upholstery. Realizing that she had somehow left her body did scare her, but knowledge of another similar event in this room had her look towards a certain rock.

She screamed as a horrid head covered in horny protrusions and flames stared at Venicht. A hand became visible closing in on the lad, but stopped as the head lifted to look at the lady. She tried to move to Venicht, but her feet passed through the floor without propelling her forward. All she could do effectively was scream again.

A strong gravely voice came from the head, "Hush, woman. I don't even know who you are."

"I have been told about you, Terdeskollit. That boy is not yours. Leave him alone."

"That boy should be mine. I can sense it. I am not a passive God. I have been studying things."

"Oh, get real! Terish and Straekin went to your world. You know the parents of that boy. You even made it possible for that boy to be born. He still is not yours."

"He is not all mine. I did not cause your ascension."

"Listen, life is precious. You may create in order to destroy, but that is not the proper way."

"I did not destroy this boy's parents."

"You would have destroyed his father, if he had been there."

"That is what troubles me. I hear the name of Terish spoken with pride by other deities, including your own. Maybe I have removed from my memory others who could have brought me honor and joy."

"There may be hope for you, Terdeskollit. Give hope to this boy as well, and stay out of his life."

"Whatever his story, I feel that it is a part of my story as well. I will need to come to some decision."

"Listen, your dilemma is with Terish. He is the one that is to save your next creation. This child is not part of that."

"But Terish is saving his own creation, even as he prepares to save the next."

"That rock, Terish went to find something of his life. All he has are names, and very few of those. He doesn't know the name of his parents. You cannot tell him, because you divinely forgotten everything. You have nothing to offer, Terdeskollit. Leave the boy alone."

"And what do you offer?"

"I am here."

Annalia suddenly found herself floundering as a large sound of voices rang around her. She found herself flinging away a skein of thread along with a crochet needle that had poked into her skin as she flailed to get her body moving again. She screamed as hands grabbed her, but calmed as she recognized the voice of Chorrik.

"Annalia, what was happening?"

"Terdeskollit. Did you see him?"

"The room glowed while you slept and Venicht stood paralyzed."

Annalia looked to a corner of the room where a red light blinked as she said, "Straekin never liked that camera. I believe people need to see their prince however."

"Yes, we were watching. I figure that you will be involved in one of the more popular shows for many years to come."

"Well, I was actually chosen for this position because I knew the requirements of public appearances."

"Including being a body guard."

"Yes, I need to check on Venicht."

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PostSubject: Part Two   August 23rd 2008, 8:04 am

Thaunya finished tending to the animal, then worried about herself. She never enjoyed camping. She gathered wood for a fire while laughing at finding herself thinking the same thing she remembered thinking the other times she was out in this situation. There was always the wonder of how Straekin enjoyed such travel. While Thaunya could only wish that she was back in her own house, she remembered traveling with her monarch and hearing words of never wanting to go home.

She kept looking to the sky just to assure herself that it was not going to rain. Thaunya felt the cool air of the coming dark, and sensed that her night of rest could be made worse. The stars were not familiar, but their presence at least gave her the peace that her slumber would be restful. She knew that there was not enough wood to keep a blaze going all night, but trusted in the blankets to keep her warm as long as things stayed dry.

A glance up as she let her stew cool before eating had her curse. The stars were gone. While she wanted to eat, relax, and sleep, suddenly a need to find some type of shelter overcame her. She moved to the saddle wondering how much protection the treated wood and leather would give her, but the smell had her hurry back to the stew to enjoy its aroma.

The fear of coming rain had her nervously look around for signs of lightning. A shocked panic came over her seeing a spot of flame in the distance. Locking her eyes on the distant fire had her quickly understand that it was not lightning. She reached for a short blade that had been given to her years before on her first mission from her home. While she understood that travelers along dimensional paths could be extremely friendly, Thaunya fully understood that some did not return to tell their tales.

The being stood much taller than a man, although showed the normal proportions for a very muscular figure. Where a male would have hair, flames covered his body. Where there would be smooth skin, short horns and thick scales ruined any thought of safe close contact.

Thaunya stood as she put away her study knife, then said, "Kill me if you will."

The being moved forward as he said, "I know you. Thaunya."

"Terdeskollit. A meeting with you has never been friendly."

He came near the fire as his burning eyes stay locked on the lady's form. "You have not aged."

"No."

"Ferrigote, Terish, Straekin, and you. None of you age."

"Dathol has also traveled on our journeys. He does not age either."

"The centaurs. They do not seem to age, but one of them has died."

"You are dealing with immortals, Terdeskollit. We are not gods. Most of us do not even pretend to be gods. All however consider us one step closer to being divine. You, Terdeskollit, I do recognize as being divine."

"So, the centaurs?"

"They have an immortal tale. Each generation must give up one of their own to carry the story. They do not know you, Terdeskollit, but they know of one who tried to equal your cruelty. Just as Terish wishes for your reign of terror to end, the centaurs carry the burden of letting all know that once a being of almost total evil came close to gaining ultimate control."

"Terish has had a child."

Thaunya did not see how that statement connected to the earlier topic, except that she knew the answer. "You made Straekin and me able to again bear children, Terdeskollit. While we both feel that you did so in a twisted desire for pleasure, it was a blessing that Straekin truly desired."

"You have not had a child."

"I had children, Terdeskollit. Even if my husband was still able to give me children, I doubt that I would have allowed it." Frustration entered the lady's voice as she said, "Damn, you, Terdeskollit. Do you realize what you have done? Straekin and I are immortal. You have blessed us with unlimited cycles. I have lived almost seven hundred years, Terdeskollit. It scares me to death to think of seven hundred years of bearing children."

The deity continued to stand. Thaunya feared Terdeskollit, so stood as well. There was some concern for having to eat cold stew, but it held a very minor standing next to the fear of what the being before her could cause her to suffer.

"I did nothing to Terish, and he had Straekin bare a child."

The fear Thaunya was feeling passed from her form, and she boldly told the deity, "Sit down, Terdeskollit. You interrupted my meal. I am not busy at the moment. Let me eat and I will answer any questions that you have."

The lady tried to eat, but the god did not make it easy. A large boulder flew from a distance place to impact on the other side of the fire. A flow of lava from the boulder caused Thaunya to hurry and move the horse. When she returned to her food, Terdeskollit sat in a hollowed out place in the boulder. Thaunya worked to wolf down the stew so as not to keep the deity waiting.

"Thank you, Terdeskollit. Now, you have created numerous races of beings. I know that you wipe each culture from your mind, so what do you need me to explain to you about biology?"

"You say, Thaunya, that I have come into the land of immortals, but I come from the land of the gods. They all say that I did something right when I created Terish's people, and challenge me to cause them to live again."

"That should be easy."

"I don't think so. I went to see Terish's child, and I saw nothing special."

Thaunya stood as she declared, "Terdeskollit, why don't you come down and realize that there is something special in all creatures? I would even venture that there is something special in you."

"In me?"

"Terdeskollit, what is Terish's mission? Come on. I know that you wiped the memory of Terish's people from your mind, but any research into Terish should answer that question."

"He is to overcome me."

"He is to bring salvation to your next creation. He is scared that to do such will require him to somehow overcome a God, but we left your world last time hoping that such would not be necessary. I thought you and he had a conversation."

"I did not kill him."

"You did not kill any of us, Terdeskollit. There were moments when you tried, but overall you fed us, gave us shelter from the spiders, and did not make any situation so horrible that death was certain."

"About death, will the child be immortal?"

"He is a citizen of Davelda. He thus can claim the procedure that made us all immortals. I guess that we are all going to wait for his decision. Maybe he can provide us with answers to our own questions."

"He might provide me with answers as well."

"No, Terdeskollit, do not place that burden upon the child. Thiminy will put its own demands upon Terish's child. Thiminy was gained by its king being removed by Terish. They thus expect Terish to meet his doom, but they recognize that they have prospered under his rule. They thus look to Venicht as the one to take over the throne and continue the blessings to the realm.

"Davelda will weigh down the child with their own adoration and expectations. My people have their own horrors that have caused them to question their existence. Venicht will be seen as an answer to prayer, although the prince could well grow up resenting his place among us.

"You are a God, Terdeskollit. You have the power to bestow life. Create your next world. You have proven yourself able to rise up a strong people. Just, this time, Terdeskollit, remove from your mind any thoughts of destroying them."

"You are asking me to go against my nature."

"I am telling you to be a God. Those centaurs, they know the horrors of a tyrant. All you have been before was a tyrant, Terdeskollit. You were not a God to Terish."

The being of rough, horny skin and fire removed himself from his throne in the boulder, then said, "I will think upon your words, Thaunya."

"Take your time, Terdeskollit. You have entered into the land of immortals. There is no rush. We don't tend to get old and die. We can afford to wait and watch as Venicht grows old. I figure that I will still be around when you have more questions that you need answered."

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PostSubject: Part 3   September 2nd 2008, 1:49 pm

Annalia felt slightly guilty as she watched Venicht on the television. She had devoted her life to assuring that her empress ever looked the best, but had always thought little of those who looked to the television for the spice to make their own lives worthwhile. While she was simply assuring herself of the soundness of her prince, she still felt that she needed to be there in person.

A mug of strong herbal tea was in her hands. She found it calming, but Prince Venicht became rather animated when he showed his disgust of a cup of the same brew. Nuverd stood beside the lad, and had popped his staff on the floor as an indication of his disapproval of the action. Annalia had actually smiled when she saw the young prince suddenly sit straight to answer the questions of those around him, although noticed that he did not reach for the cup to take another sip.

As all of Straekin's staff had either gone with her to Thiminy or left for other duties, it had been Councilman Chorrik that had made the tea. Annalia had considered it strange to find him present after her encounter with Terdeskollit, because he was not someone that rushed to be seen. While Chorrik could be extremely helpful, his work tended to be more supportive. She had thus not been surprised when he moved back with her instead of staying with Venicht. Some comments about reactivating certain people had been made as the brew had been prepared, but Chorrik had mostly watched the television along with Annalia. While the man was known as one of the better members of the council, she still felt it strange to find him present, so had to ask a question.

"Where is your wife?"

"She had other duties."

A disgusted look came over Annalia's features upon hearing the answer. She considered it a basic question, but found the councilman to respond in the usual guarded half-phrases. She looked around to assure that this room had no camera, then faced the man.

"Other duties? Why are you here?"

"I am a member of the council. I have a job here."

"Have a job? The council has hardly had a session in years. You saw the television and had to come knowing that you would get a front row seat."

She watched as his eyes moved about the room to check for cameras. He however did not end his scan with a relaxed expression. His eyes darted as if he still expected his words to come back and haunt him.

"You mentioned Terdeskollit."

The eyes of both jumped to the television as Prince Venicht said, "The glowing lady said that the firey man did not belong here, but I did. She told me to trust my elders, as they knew what to do."

Councilman Giluchex asked, "You mean that Attendant Annalia was glowing?"

"No. Munulva was glowing, just as mother said she did." Everyone in the room froze with those words, but the prince continued to speak. "Annalia saved me, because she did know what to do, just as Munulva said."

Councilman Giluchex finally recovered control of his form, mumbling as he made some movements, "I assure you, Prince Venicht, that proper accolades will be given to Attendant Annalia, but you should know that Munulva is our goddess. No one ever sees her."

"My mother believes in her. She told me stories of those who had seen her."

Chorrik whispered to Annalia, "I always suspected that Giluchex went to church simply for show."

The lady whispered back, "I never suspected it."

The man showed his understanding of the words by responding, "Listen, Annalia, I know that you have been with Empress Straekin. Whatever you think about us of the council, we are all citizens of this world. We all have the same history, and all hope for a better future." He saw the glare of having heard those words a million times before, so moved closer as he whispered at a very low volume, "I am here because there is something that I am scared will be remembered. My wife has left for Merkinnist."

"You know, Straekin does not talk about Dathol doing much on the journeys except provide advice. Still, advice is probably what Thaunya went to seek."

"Listen, Annalia. You were young. The immortality process just kept you from aging. Thaunya and I had lived our lives. Our children fought in the war. The immortality process had our bodies regrow cells that had died in a start of the aging process. For the last six hundred plus years I have had my wife able to dance for me. I don't want to lose that."

"Stagnation was causing our world to die, Chorrik."

"Annalia, I am not question… Listen. You were young. I don't believe you were ever pregnant. Do you want to be?"

"You know what immortality gave me? It gave me sexual freedom. I had so many lovers. I worked in the castle with the empress, so had all the clout I needed to claim any man I wanted.

"You can say what you want about Terish. I have been around him from the first. He is as weird and trying as the reports say, but, and I say this having lived with him for the last few years, he really loves Straekin. He has been around the last few years helping raise Venicht and the girls, and he has always found time for Straekin."

"You can say what you want about me as a member of the council, but don't you ever claim that I have not loved Thaunya, and I have been with her a lot longer than Terish has been with Straekin."

"Yes, but you have not understood what Straekin was fighting for all these years. Terish not only provided answers to some questions, but she saw in him a struggle for the same ultimate goals that she was seeking. Terish continues to fight, but Straekin has found her answers and now hopes to help her husband. In sending Venicht here, she sent the war that she and Terish have been fighting to you, because she wants you to gain answers as well. She has always fought for life. The body count has been going on for centuries, but you of the council have ignored it."

The man looked away. Annalia felt that he was hiding a tear. She thus spit out a question.

"What?"

The face that turned back to her was dry, but the tone of voice was tense as emotions were contained. "I sent my wife out to fight. The council manipulated me, but I really did little to prevent the maneuvers. I sent her out again, and I am wishing that I was with her."

Annalia put a hand on one of the man's shoulders as she said, "Straekin never considered herself alone out there in the omniverse. Only those with great power or great knowledge can live a life moving about the dimensions, and most don't get that without some degree of understanding. Thaunya should be safe enough, and if she makes it to Dathol, she will be with someone who regularly deals with Gods."

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Chapter Two   September 3rd 2008, 1:18 pm

It was hard for me to get through the first chapter, then I came to this one and sighed at the thought of trying to get through this one. I was completely surprised, this one reads with more ease. Perhaps make a note for your readers to reread the previous chapters. The names, although unique are what I had the most trouble with. Had to make little notes on my notepad to keep all the characters together in my head. I'm not use to character driven fiction but you capture it marvelously. I really enjoy your writing style. Waiting for the next chapter!
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PostSubject: Reply   September 3rd 2008, 2:28 pm

Hey, thanks. I make the names different to stress that the people come from places that do not have our history. It bothers me when a writer is attempting to present a strange unique world, then uses names like: Alice, George, Jennifer, Victor, etc. Makes me believe that their world is not really different at all, but only a facade over our world. I want my readers to know that my alternate realities are truly separate from our own.

I appreciate that you worked through my story instead of jumping into an installment and blurting out some comments. Whether good or bad, someone that makes the effort to give an honest solid opinion deserves respect. I thank you again, and am glad that you stopped by. Please stay.

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Chapter Two   September 16th 2008, 7:29 pm

Hello TerishD, it was only a matter of time before I made it this far.

As Poet has pointed out, the second chapter reads easier. Off the top of my head, I would have to assume that the reason it flows smoother is because of less jumping around between characters and problems. If so, maybe that is something that can be applied to the first chapter. But of course, that is only an assumption. Take it as you will.

Now, considering I've already given broad critiques in prevous entries, I see no need to repeat those points. So, just a couple things I noted.

"Oh, get real! Terish and Straekin went to your world...."
~"Oh, get real!" seems out of character. She's so formal, and her words and thoughts are so meticulous that I found this exclamation odd.

Also, why did Terdeskollit pop in on Thaunya? Although the conversation proved to be very useful, and was easy to follow, I still wasn't sure why he sought her out in the first place.

Those were the two areas that seemed to really stick to mind when I got done reading.

~New York Bum
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PostSubject: Reply   September 16th 2008, 11:40 pm

deathbypen wrote:
Now, considering I've already given broad critiques in prevous entries, I see no need to repeat those points. So, just a couple things I noted.

"Oh, get real! Terish and Straekin went to your world...."
~"Oh, get real!" seems out of character. She's so formal, and her words and thoughts are so meticulous that I found this exclamation odd.

Also, why did Terdeskollit pop in on Thaunya? Although the conversation proved to be very useful, and was easy to follow, I still wasn't sure why he sought her out in the first place.

Those were the two areas that seemed to really stick to mind when I got done reading.

~New York Bum
The exclamation I felt was proper. Maybe the words were not true, but I felt that she needed some emotion there. I will rethink what she might say. She is trained for public situations, so won't curse. I however want her to appear more mature than saying something like 'fudge-buckets' or 'fiddle-sticks.' I'll think about it.

The reason that Terdeskollit bothers Thaunya is that she is someone knowledgeable about Terish, but someone not really part of Terish's inner circle. Terdeskollit thus believes her to be unbiased. As has been revealed, Thaunya is able to bear children BECAUSE of Terdeskollit, so actually has a connection with him - however small. He can thus find her among the great number of universes that make up the omniverse.

As for being easier to read, thanks. Truthfully, little happens, so I would expect it to be a softer road. I don't let things stay mild, but will twist the tension. Still, Terish stories are odd, so I do expect some more complaints and questions to come. Harass me all that you want. I thank you again.

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Into the Land of Immortals - Chapter Two
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