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 Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3   September 12th 2008, 8:07 am

Chapter One and Chapter Two are on this site. You can thus refer to them for details of characters and story.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Chapter Three

Thaunya woke to someone moving towards the fire. Having fallen asleep completely frightened, although also completely fatigued, the night before, she jerked awake. Her travels with Terish had taught her some methods of protecting herself, and she did not stop moving until her sword was in a hand and pointed out. Only when she felt a defense was up did she bother to try and look at what she felt was the threat.

His skin was slightly dark, and his clothes were of unshaven hides. There was a style to the cut however, and the ornaments of beads and seashells did have a sense of fashion. The man himself had short hair that appeared to have been recently combed. The weapon that he had in his hand was not of metal, although seeing the man's shaven face stated that the edge was quite sharp. Thaunya figured that she probably could take him if he was aggressive, but also sensed that reason might be a proper tactic in dealing with the man.

It took some thought to remember how to understand his words. Those that traveled between dimensions learned how to use the power of opening portals to enable an understanding of things. It was not telepathy, but the speech was not exactly a clearly defined language. Having traveled with Terish and Straekin, the lessons had been taught to her. Thaunya really did not feel that she had enough practice to be at ease with her translations, but tried to work along what memories she had to get some meaningful dialogue.

"Listen, I am just passing through. I don't want any trouble."

The man did not put away his blade, but he did squat down to put himself more on the same level as the lady. "Did you work that rock?"

"No. A God did that."

"I know. My next question was going to ask you if you were a goddess."

Thaunya climbed out of her sleeping bag keeping her blue eyes on his dark orbs as she said, "No, although some might think so. I am sorry to have bothered your world, but I need to go."

"That is enough of an answer for me. I'll go with you."

"You don't even know where I am going."

"Yes, I do. You go to commune with other gods."

"Listen, I am no goddess. The people that I am going to are not gods either. We are just immortal. We might not fear aging, but we have problems all the same."

"I would rather your problems than mine."

"I believe that we would both rather have no problems at all. Listen…" Thaunya really wanted a way to pleasantly send the man away, but in working her mind to manage the phrases she remembered some other rules stated on previous journeys. "Okay."

"Okay?"

"I cannot refuse a companion that joins at the start of a mission. A princess joined us the last time I had to travel, and although we traveled through a most horrible land, she was treated as a member of the party. Terish truly wished that he could have sent her away, but he had to concede to the rule."

"So I can come?"

"If you can move with me. I need that horse to manage the travel. It might help you to hold his reins at certain parts in the journey."

He moved to look at the animal, then turned to say, "I have heard of these horses. They come from a land called Dae-Vealda."

It was strange hearing the name of her world spoken orally and through the special language, as the pronunciation was completely different. "Yes, I am from Davelda. We sell our horses to those of many worlds."

"Could I buy it?"

"I need it to get where I am going. Depending on what happens when I get there, I might let you purchase it, or you could travel with me back to Davelda."

"Good. What is your name?"

"La…" She found it hard to frame certain terms in the dimensional tongue, but remembered that her companions had never been ones to worry about titles when traveling. "Thaunya. My name is Thaunya. And yours?"

"Bird-out-of-pocket."

She tried to focus on the syllables she heard before saying in return, "Kethal?"

"It will do. Was the god that put that boulder there a fire god?"

Thaunya looked at the rock and the stream of lava created as the god formed himself a place to sit, then thought back upon previous encounters with the deity. "No, but he is not a good deity. I told him to sit down, and he did this without any care for the land or animals around him."

"So, you talked to him?"

"You do stupid things when faced with certain death."

"I thought you couldn't die."

"Of old age, I cannot. I still need to eat and my heart still needs to beat."

"And that was a god."

"Yes, and that was a God. Listen, are you hungry?"

"Yes. I have been fasting. I thought the events of the sky darkening and a horrible creature walking the land was a dream. I did not know that it was true. Anyway, yes, I am ready to again eat."

Thaunya's husband had not purchased a tent, but had paid for extra rations. While she would have preferred a tent last night, she found herself pleased with her husband's choices as she pulled out an extra pack of rations. She thought about throwing it to Kethal, although decided not to challenge any customs. As she prepared the meals, she worked to bring up a safe topic of conversation.

"Are you from this world, Kethal?"

"Yes. I live beyond the mountains." He pointed, and Thaunya allowed that through the trees there could be distant mountains. "I survived a horrible attack upon my people, and have traveled in repentance. I thought to see my gods in the peaks of the mountains. They did not reveal themselves. I had begun to fast as I went up, and as I sign of my repentance I continued as I came down."

"Well, I have been alive for over six hundred years, and I am still seeking the answers to some questions."

"You have not been alive forever?"

"No. Sometimes I feel like I have been alive forever, and some days I feel ready to live another six hundred years. I guess that even gods have good and bad days."

"This fire god, he is not your god?"

"No. He is not anyone's God. He was, once, but he wiped that civilization out. One person survived, two actually, but he has only recently learned of those. In learning, he is having to face his own faults."

"He came to you for guidance?"

"In a way. He knew that I had faced him once before, and that he had given me a gift. As a cruel deity, he really has no one to talk to."

"What gift did he give you?"

"The ability to produce children."

"A cruel evil god gave you that as a gift?"

Thaunya heard the inflection of disbelief, and felt that Kethal thought like a man even as she tried to explain herself. "Think of it, Kethal. Going through eternity as a woman, having the constant cycles of your body preparing to bear children. It is a gift, but not as pleasant as you may suspect."

"I believe other women would be envious of your gift."

"I know of another who has the gift, and she is very happy. That is why I travel; a child has been born into the land of immortals. I fear those of Davelda will want more children, and I am not of the mood to provide."

"I believe that I am going to like traveling with you, Thaunya. Your problems are different than mine, and maybe we can help each other."

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3   September 17th 2008, 9:52 am

Good day, or night, TerishD. I'm going to jump right in because I'm limited on time this morning. Hope you don't mind.

First off, nice decription of Kethal at the beginning. I could see the whole scene play out in my head. When you describe, you make it count. Good.

"...keeping her blue eyes on his dark orbs as she said..."

Now, this is a purely style thing...or, well, I admit more of a pet peeve, but using 'orbs' in reference to eyes has been done to death. Help this poor reader banish that word. hehe.

The next thing I'm sure you would have picked up in a revision, but because it's mentioned so much in this chapter, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to do so now. Make sure 'Gods' or 'gods' are consistent in some form or fashion. Some are caps, some aren't.

Last but not least, I really like Kethal. He comes off a little humorous with the things he says, not that he's meaning to. Just thought I'd let you know that I was picking that up.

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PostSubject: Reply   September 17th 2008, 1:35 pm

Thanks for the reply. Note that chapter three is not finished, but has two more sections to go. I don't just introduce Kethal, but Terish will finally make his appearance before this chapter is through.

I worked on Kethal. Glad that the effort paid off. About the 'orbs,' well, I did not want to say eyes again. I will go looking at the Thesaurus for other similar words.

The 'god/God' thing was intentional. Kethal is from a polytheistic world, so uses little 'g.' Thaunya is from a monotheistic world, so uses big 'G.' While the pronounciation is not different, the philosophy of the speaker is greatly different. Since this is a story of deities and their relationship to the people, I want my reader to 'see' the perspectives of the characters.

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PostSubject: Part 2   September 27th 2008, 8:10 am

Thaunya almost resented the way that Kethal helped her, but slowly realized that he was treating her as a superior and not as a woman. He did chores because he considered himself inferior to her, and not because he thought she was too weak to do them herself. The revelation came as she moved to the horse, then heard him ask how he could help with the magnificent creature. Understanding that he had not moved to the horse because he felt himself unworthy, she found herself understanding some other things he did were those that were demeaning, and not simply those requiring extra strength.

She considered explaining some things to Kethal, but stopped herself with the inner knowledge that he could soon come to see a different reality for himself. Thaunya instead considered those she had met on previous journeys. Her youngest son had been very fascinated with accounts of Princess Eddalia, and Thaunya wondered if she had finally settled down. The satyr had been interesting, and Thaunya smiled as she considered that Terish could end up with a satyr as his next companion when his present centaur ended her days. As she finished putting the saddle upon the horse, she had a grin on her face while turning to Kethal to see if he was ready to go.

The man handed her a saddlebag as he said, "You do not appear to be someone that spoke to a most cruel and evil god last night."

"I look as someone who has centuries of memories. Terdeskollit might have removed memories from his mind, but I am glad that I do not have that power. I was thinking of all the others that I had met on my journeys from my world."

"I have only known sorrow."

"I doubt that. You need to learn to focus on the good memories. Listen, I am a dancer. I bring people joy through the movement of my body. They come to me to learn how to express such joy themselves. Memories of sorrow or pain do not entertain people, so I do not focus upon them."

"Then I will not speak to you of my past, because it will only make you cry."

"Then should I not speak with you at all? I might make you smile."

The man dropped his eyes to look to the ground as he said, "You may speak or do as you please, Thaunya, as simply being in the presence of one as you brings me joy. I have no happy memories now, but I believe that I shall go into the future with them."

The words did make Thaunya worry about traveling with Kethal, but she did not find him to be a morbid companion. He tended not to speak, but moved without complaint and obeyed directions without whining or griping. Thaunya did tell some stories of her children and daily life, but the man stayed silent in return. She did gather that he had a child, maybe two, but that they were now dead. Thaunya could only assume that he had a wife, but Kethal never spoke of the mother of his children. His face showed pleasure in hearing the lady speak, but the tales that brought forth the glad expressions never conjured up joyful memories from the man.

His face showed little emotion when he moved with the horse through dimensional portals to other worlds. The change in scenery was drastic enough to cause him wonder, but he quickly gained his composure and started moving again. One transition however brought them on the ridge of a mountain, and that did cause him to speak.

"Does Dathol live here?"

"No. We will eventually come through at the outskirts of a large city, but we move away from the city to a large sanctified area set off from the rest of the world by large arches."

"My stories talk of the gods being in the mountains," Kethal said while turning to seek the peaks of the grand rises of land.

"That may be true for your world. You might have been wrong in leaving your mountains."

"But I was led to you."

Thaunya had her horse stop as she turned to respond to Kethal who still looked at the scenery. "Even we immortals are often confused by the differences in design and coincidence."

"Does Davelda have gods?"

Thaunya felt it was a safe topic for travel, so started her horse back moving as she replied, "There is a general belief in a goddess, named Munulva. No one goes around claiming to speak to her however."

Kethal saw her moving away, to turned to run back to her before asking, "Why not?"

"We don't know. Various religious leaders expound various beliefs. All the stories of her speaking are millennia old however, so we do not believe it is only due to the war and our own rise to immortality."

"Why didn't you go to your own priests for answers to your questions?"

"I did not recently face Terdeskollit and gain my gift, Kethal. I have spoken with the priests, and I got no answers. I am like you. I left the home of my gods with the attitude of speaking to anyone that I felt might provide answers."

"That sword, dear lady, does it kill with magic?"

That was a sudden change of subject, so Thaunya had her eyes move about. She noticed the presence of forms moving between the trees and rocks. She patted the neck of her horse to calm it as she sought an answer to the question.

"It is a good weapon, but I have not taken care of it as I should. It is however all I have to defend myself." She dismounted as she said, "Hopefully we can draw enough blood to have the animals fear us."

"No, Thaunya. It is my fate to die. Go."

"What?"

"I cowered as my village was slaughtered. The gods would not speak to me, even the evil ones, because I have no dignity. I will restore my standings by dying to save a greater person than any in my village. As you go into eternity, Thaunya, do not think of me. Let me die."

Thaunya held her place as she tried to keep her voice even. "The path is too steep and rocky. It would be dangerous for me and the horse, and you, for us to rush. The better option is just to fight here. These are animals. They won't fight to the last. Whatever damage we take can be healed in Merkinnist."

The creatures that moved slightly closer resembled small male lions. Their manes were however long straight strands that resembled the barbs of porcupines. Thaunya wondered what the creatures were called, and thought it one advantage to traveling with Terish was that he could name most things that were encountered.

Focusing back on Kethal, Thaunya came up with a plan that she hoped would get the man to focus on something other than dying. "Listen, without the horse I cannot make it to Merkinnist. If you want to die, fine, but I need the horse unharmed. I am going to move to the other side of the animal to guard it from attacks in that direction. You protect this side."

"Okay."

Thaunya smiled at the man to hopefully bolster his spirits, then moved to the other side of her steed. She saw the circular movement of the animals and knew that they were sizing up their attacks. Hoping to scare the creatures, she attempted a small dance routine to show some expertise with the weapon. The animals continued to close without any display of being entertained or intimidated.

A loud prayer sounded from Kethal as the animals began to growl to each other. Thaunya did not focus her thoughts to try and translate what her companion was saying, but kept her mind repeatedly reviewing old lessons hoping that they would once again prove useful. Her eyes shot wide with fear as Kethal screamed, some animals roared, and a rush of movement became louder.

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PostSubject: Chapter 3C   October 7th 2008, 8:09 am

Thaunya had no confidence in her ability to make an effective attack. She had her small sword at the ready, and felt that she still remembered how to use it. In her previous travels she had mostly depended upon others to handle the major battles. While the lady had enough experience with moving her body to direct the point and edge of her weapon, she felt no desire to hurt another creature. What also presented an issue to her was that the long straight hairs around the heads of the animals made it look like even if she protected herself from a bite that she would have her hand pierced in numerous places. Committing to a thrust opened up a serious situation should she miss. Thaunya thus looked at the confrontation unsure on how to respond.

As the lead creature came in and jumped, it suddenly made an odd twist as a strange mix of a roar and yelp came from its form. Thaunya did not let the odd move throw off her concentration, but directed her sword forward to have it cut into the hide near a leg of the creature. Seeing the animal fall away from her form with limp bounce on the ground gave her no sense of pleasure, but she only hoped that her success would make the others consider seeking their prey elsewhere.

A fear went through Thaunya as she considered whether to turn to finish the animal that fell to her side or continue to face the other animals. A sudden movement of color however eased her thoughts. She turned to the animal near her, and smiled this time seeing a throwing star buried in the hide that surely had caused the odd reaction when the animal pounced upon her. Confident that she would survive, Thaunya knelt to put the creature out of any misery.

Hearing screams from the other side of the horse had Thaunya yell out, "Terish, I have a companion also attempting to fight!"

She had to admit that the man was a wonder to watch in combat. While she had been hoping to present a fierce defense to the animals, even with a kill she did not feel safe. He appeared as a very young man with slightly long soft-brown hair and brown eyes. Terish had a single corpse near him as he stood out among the animals wearing a bright blue shirt and dark blue pants with dark-brown leather coverings. Even thought clearly visible, he had a confident expression that radiated his lack of fear. He stood, and with a glance to some nearby animals sent them into a cowering position. Seeing no present threat, he ran towards Thaunya, then jumped with a flip to the other side of the horse and out of her sight.

She looked out to see creatures still present, but they did not move with any sign of wanting to attack. The animals would come around into view from the front or rear of the animal with some confidence, but their heads would quickly drop and they would mostly slink through their arc before disappearing on the other side. Thaunya thus wondered about conditions with Kethal, so listened to the men while she continued to watch for threats to her mount.

The voice of Terish rang out, "What are you doing? You didn't make that weapon, did you?"

The strident tones of fear came soft as Kethal replied, "It was given to me by my brother. He taught me to attack like this then grab my opponent."

"Oh, grab your opponent." An animal screamed, but Terish kept talking like nothing happened. "I am watching. Make your swing and grab one of the tubugags"

Thaunya knew that Terish could give a name to the animals, and felt more capable with the knowledge even as the voice of Kethal sounded frightened. "I am a fisherman, not a hunter. What I know of attacking animals I learned helping my brother. They don't move like nithurn."

"So, your family ate a lot of nithurn?"

"My family is dead."

"You couldn't even kill nithurn, could you?" Thaunya did not know what nithurn were, and from Terish's further comment she felt that she missed some action as well. "I hurt it in the rear. Let me see you take this tubugag out."

The animals began to slink away, allowing for the lady to consider what was happening on the other side of the animal. She moved around to watch Kethal in a low position attempting to make slashes at the creatures she now knew were called tubugags. If the animal had not been cut deep in a leg, she felt certain that it could hurt Kethal or simply jump over him to damage the horse. While the man performed his actions, she decided to gain advice should she need to fight similar creatures in the future.

"Terish, those mane hairs won't hurt you?"

"Yeah, if you let it pull its head back on you. As long as you keep a flow to your movement in the direction of the hairs you will be all right."

"They aren't poisoned?"

"No, but they will hurt."

"By the way, glad to see you."

"We need to talk, but let us get back on the road." Kethal finished fighting the creature, causing Terish to add, "They are good to eat."

"If you know how to cook it, Terish. My husband has me pretty much spoiled on fancy cuisine."

"I will prepare the carcasses, then see what Celatia might have to round out the meal when we make camp."

Kethal beamed an expression of pride as he rose from the dead animal, but lost his smile as he watched Terish. With a dagger he gained from a sheath on the back of his left thigh, he quickly had the corpse skinned and gutted. Kethal stood with a blank expression as he watched the fast precise actions of the other man on the first corpse, then efficient precise movements in working with the other dead animals. His jaw then dropped as he turned to see a centaur with orangish hair and dressed in a green gown move up to Terish with a special cloth to be used for wrapping the meat.

Thaunya felt the need to make introductions. "Kethal, this is Terish Dozzrine. He is the husband of the other lady we were talking about. The centaur is Celatia. Terish, Celatia, this is Kethal. I picked him up as a companion this morning."

Terish wrapped up the meat in a special covering as he asked, "What is his relationship to a certain lava altered boulder?"

"None that I know of, Terish. My meeting with Terdeskollit occurred last night."

"I knew that Davelda would put Venicht on television. I had already set up an interdimensional portal for Straekin and her attendants, so we were all watching when Terdeskollit made his move on Venicht."

Thaunya walked along with Terish as they started back on the journey. She looked to the centaur, and saw her womanly chest moving as large amounts of air rushed up and down from the lungs in the body of the mare. Thaunya accepted that Terish had probably been forcing Celatia to run hard in an attempt to catch up with her, but did not know why or even how he knew where she was. He definitely knew an amazing amount about the omniverse, however young he appeared, but the lady felt a need to probe for specifics concerning his knowledge on certain topics.

"Terdeskollit admitted that he went to check on your son, Terish, but said that he did not see anything special."

"He has my speed. I am waiting for the teachers they get for him to realize that. He has some of Straekin's attitude however, so seems to be easier to train. Ferrigote says that he simply had a better childhood than I did, but he is just trying to take credit from Straekin, and I won't do that."

"How did you know to follow me?"

"Something happened in the situation with Venicht that had me not worry about him. Straekin was worried however, so went ahead and had us travel to Davelda. Upon arriving I had a conversation with a friend. You do know that I am the one that trained the horse handlers on Davelda?"

"My husband was worried about him talking to other council members."

"Damn, and I was liking your husband, but there he goes thinking with the usual close-minded train of thought."

Thaunya tried to get the conversation away from discussing her husband. "Terdeskollit is considering changing his attitude, Terish."

"I am supposed to save his next civilized creation. That has yet to happen, so I am staying away. I really do not take kindly to him bothering me."

"Are you going to join me in going to Merkinnist?"

"If you don't mind. I am not worried about Venicht, but Straekin will feel better if I can come back with words from Dathol."

"Why aren't you worried about your son?"

"Because I believe him. He saw Munulva."

Thaunya heard what Terish said, but walked silently unsure about how to respond. The first thought was just to scoff at his statement that his son saw the goddess of Davelda. Terish was not born on Davelda, or grew up on the planet, so could be considered not to have a proper perspective on the religion of Davelda. He was however a very intelligent individual, and one who dealt with matters beyond the normal realms of reality. Thaunya thus felt it best to feel out Terish for the reason for his statement.

"You do know that Munulva is not one to show herself."

"I know that I have never met her, but there are stories."

"None reputable that I know of."

"I suspect that Venicht's story will not be considered reputable either."

"So, you believe that Venicht will be safe on Davelda?"

"Yes. I also believe that Dathol will not be able to answer your own questions."

"Are you even sure that you know why I am going?"

"Who else on Davelda is running because a child has been born? While you are researching the topic however, ask about Dirchein. She has not gotten pregnant."

"You have always been pretty much devoted to Straekin, Terish. One cannot say the same about Ferrigote."

"He and Dirchein actually get along very well. Trust me, the pair should have had a child or two."

The two went silent for a spell, allowing Kethal to finally get the courage to ask one of his questions. "The centaur, Celatia, has a saddle on her back. Is she to be ridden?"

Terish returned, "If you think yourself worthy, try and gain the saddle."

"I don't think myself worthy."

The centaur said, "And you aren't. I will only carry Terish."

"Only gods or great heroes could ride such an exceptional creature."

Terish replied, "Well, I guess one of those apply to me. Why are you on this journey, Kethal?"

"I was coward, and hid in shame instead of protecting my village. I am on a journey of repentance."

"Okay, so why are you on this journey? Do you want to find another home? Is there some strange artifact that you need to return to your people to regain admittance?"

"My people are all dead. I seek divine approval before dying, that I may join them in the afterlife."

"Oh, well I believe you joined the wrong people. We are not exactly those who have deities that go about granting approvals. Mine would rather cause you agony, while Thaunya's and Celatia's gods tend to be rather distant."

"How about the god of this Dathol?"

"Okay, you might be in luck there. We are not exactly keeping a hurried pace however, so we won't reach Merkinnist until tomorrow."

"Do you expect the fire god tonight?"

Thaunya responded, "He means Terdeskollit, and I definitely hope not."

Terish agreed by saying, "Yes, even when we were on his world, he did not speak to us every day. This should be a peaceful night."

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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3   October 7th 2008, 8:16 pm

You have a lot written, but I am just going to start with the first bit. Everything I am putting out is only from my point of view as a 'no one special' reader, nothing more then that. I am not giving this as a professional review nor am I trying to tell you how to write/weave a story or anything like that.

Dammit! I lost the review I had.

I'll get another one up when I have time. Damn.. Damn... Damn...
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Urs


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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3   October 7th 2008, 9:29 pm

TerishD wrote:



Chapter Three

Thaunya woke to someone moving towards the fire. Having
fallen asleep completely frightened, although also completely fatigued, the
night before, she jerked awake. ( Consider revising
this, it feels choppy. Perhaps “Having fallen asleep only when her fatigue had
overcome her fear” or something, just consider flow)
Her travels with
Terish had taught her some methods of protecting herself (like what?), and she did not stop moving until
her sword was in a hand and pointed out. Only when she felt a(she had her?) defense was up did she
bother to try and look at what she felt was the threat.

His skin was slightly dark, and his clothes were of unshaven
hides. There was a style to the cut however, and the ornaments of beads and
seashells did have a sense of fashion (Are you sure
“Fashion” is the word you want to use here?)
. The man himself had short
hair that appeared to have been recently combed. The weapon that he had in his
hand was not of metal, although seeing the man's shaven face stated that the
edge was quite sharp (How does she know that he
used the weapon to shave himself?)
. Thaunya figured that she probably
could take him if he was aggressive, but also sensed that reason might be a
proper tactic in dealing with the man. (Quick note –
most descriptions go in some kind of order, either top to bottom, or zoom out,
zoom in, physical then clothing, etc, and normally the description is all in
one block not broken up or divided, this felt a little off to me)


It took some thought to remember how to understand his words(If this is explained in the previous chapters then that
is all good, I was a bit confused as to why his words would be hard for her to
understand)
. Those that traveled between dimensions learned how to use
the power of opening portals to enable an understanding of things. It was not
telepathy, but the speech was not exactly a clearly defined language. Having
traveled with Terish and Straekin, the lessons had been taught to her. Thaunya
really did not feel that she had enough practice to be at ease with her
translations, but tried to work along what memories she had to get some
meaningful dialogue. (This sounds a bit like the
Amber world, is it?)


"Listen, I am just passing through. I don't want any
trouble." (consider a name tag to this line as
I was a bit confused as to who said this)


The man did not put away his blade, but he did squat down to
put himself more on the same level as the lady. "Did you work that
rock?" (if the rock is explained in pervious
chapters ignore this, but you might want to have this man point to the rock or
at least bring my attention to what is so special about this rock)


"No. A God did that."

"I know. My next question was going to ask you if you
were a goddess."

Thaunya climbed out of her sleeping bag (She drew her sword while still inside a sleeping bag?)
keeping her blue eyes on his dark orbs as she said, "No, although some
might think so. I am sorry to have bothered your world, but I need to go."

"That is enough of an answer for me. I'll go with
you."

"You don't even know where I am going."

"Yes, I do. You go to commune with other gods."

"Listen, I am no goddess. The people that I am going to
are not gods either. We are just immortal. We might not fear aging, but we have
problems all the same."

"I would rather your problems than mine."

"I believe that we would both rather have no problems
at all. Listen…" Thaunya really wanted a way to pleasantly send the man
away, but in working her mind to manage the phrases she remembered some other
rules stated on previous journeys. "Okay."
(This whole exchange sounded a bit forced, consider revision to make this feel
a bit more down to earth, to me reads very “Star Gate” like right now)


"Okay?"

"I cannot refuse a companion that joins at the start of
a mission. A princess joined us the last time I had to travel, and although we
traveled through a most horrible land, she was treated as a member of the
party. Terish truly wished that he could have sent her away, but he had to
concede to the rule." (Consider finishing this
idea, why is she bringing this up? Perhaps because she has to say that she can’t
now refuse this man?)


"So I can come?"

"If you can move with me (Is
this explained in previous chapters?)
. I need that horse to manage the
travel. It might help you to hold his reins at certain parts in the
journey."

He moved to look at the animal, then turned to say, "I
have heard of these horses. They come from a land called Dae-Vealda."

It was strange hearing the name of her world spoken orally
and through the special language, as the pronunciation was completely
different. "Yes, I am from Davelda. We sell our horses to those of many
worlds."

"Could I buy it?"

"I need it to get where I am going. Depending on what
happens when I get there, I might let you purchase it, or you could travel with
me back to Davelda."

"Good. What is your name?"

"La…" She found it hard to frame certain terms in
the dimensional tongue, but remembered that her companions had never been ones
to worry about titles when traveling. "Thaunya. My name is Thaunya. And
yours?"

"Bird-out-of-pocket."

She tried to focus on the syllables she heard before saying
in return, "Kethal?" (Is there a point to
doing this?)


"It will do. Was the god that put that boulder there a
fire god?"

Thaunya looked at the rock and the stream of lava created as
the god formed himself a place to sit, then thought back upon previous
encounters with the deity. "No, but he is not a good deity. I told him to
sit down, and he did this without any care for the land or animals around
him."

"So, you talked to him?"

"You do stupid things when faced with certain
death."

"I thought you couldn't die."

"Of old age, I cannot. I still need to eat and my heart
still needs to beat."

"And that was a god."

"Yes, and that was a God. Listen, are you hungry?"

"Yes. I have been fasting. I thought the events of the
sky darkening and a horrible creature walking the land was a dream. I did not
know that it was true. Anyway, yes, I am ready to again eat."

Thaunya's husband had not purchased a tent, but had paid for
extra rations. While she would have preferred a tent last night, she found
herself pleased with her husband's choices as she pulled out an extra pack of
rations. She thought about throwing it to Kethal, although decided not to
challenge any customs. As she prepared the meals, she worked to bring up a safe
topic of conversation.

"Are you from this world, Kethal?"

"Yes. I live beyond the mountains." He pointed,
and Thaunya allowed that through the trees there could be distant mountains.
"I survived a horrible attack upon my people, and have traveled in
repentance. I thought to see my gods in the peaks of the mountains. They did
not reveal themselves. I had begun to fast as I went up, and as I sign of my
repentance I continued as I came down."

"Well, I have been alive for over six hundred years,
and I am still seeking the answers to some questions."

"You have not been alive forever?"

"No. Sometimes I feel like I have been alive forever,
and some days I feel ready to live another six hundred years. I guess that even
gods have good and bad days." (Odd that she
would now call herself a god, or perhaps this is jest on her part, it feels out
of place and something that Bird might catch.)


"This fire god, he is not your god?"

"No. He is not anyone's God. He was, once, but he wiped
that civilization out (Consider saying “he wiped
out that civilization”, unless there is a motive to the way this worded)
.
One person survived, two actually, but he has only recently learned of those.
In learning, he is having to face his own faults."

"He came to you for guidance?"

"In a way. He knew that I had faced him once before,
and that he had given me a gift. As a cruel deity, he really has no one to talk
to."

"What gift did he give you?"

"The ability to produce children."

"A cruel evil god gave you that as a gift?"

Thaunya heard the inflection of disbelief, and felt that
Kethal thought like a man even as she tried to explain herself. "Think of
it, Kethal. Going through eternity as a woman, having the constant cycles of
your body preparing to bear children. It is a gift, but not as pleasant as you
may suspect."

"I believe other women would be envious of your
gift."

"I know of another who has the gift, and she is very
happy. That is why I travel; a child has been born into the land of immortals.
I fear those of Davelda will want more children, and I am not of the mood to
provide."

"I believe that I am going to like traveling with you,
Thaunya. Your problems are different than mine, and maybe we can help each
other."




All in all “not bad”

On the Upside:

The Story line seems to be very open to be dynamic, twisty
and very thought provoking from what little I have read. The idea of traveling
between words leaves open a vast amount of environments (Like Sliders for
example) and with the addition of God beings and immortals, open a full array
of cast and characters that could go on forever. This really could build to
some serious climatic confrontations as well as endless background side plots
and quests without affecting the overall plot of the story. The setting has
gripped my attention.


On the down side:

Your conversations feel a bit forced, which makes it hard to
get a feel for the characters themselves.
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PostSubject: Reply   October 7th 2008, 10:40 pm

I felt that most comments were made as you came to them. That is good, and I thank you for them, but I also believe that most were quickly answered by the text itself. Instead of being nit-picky about saying "Well this here explained that there," I will simply leave your comments as they are (if there is any definite point of confusion, let me know.

'This sounds a bit like the Amber world, is it?'
No, although I have read the Amber series. I do not have a 'real' world with a multitude of shadow worlds, but each universe is real in itself (more like how the Amber universe later tried to work itself into becoming). Thus, each set of gods or each God is real in and of itself.

'a full array of cast and characters that could go on forever'
There were originally five books planned in the series, and that has not changed. The stories themselves have been really hard to write, so this is only the third (and I am over halfway in my eighth year of posting stories on the internet, and in my third decade of simply writing stories period). What story I might tell once this is completed is thus a mystery.

Note however that I could write a novel set in a teapot and I would still create a large cast. I like large casts.

Your conversations feel a bit forced, which makes it hard to get a feel for the characters themselves.
You are not the only one complaining about how my people speak. I however keep complaining about how people speak in the novels that I buy. I like the way that my characters speak (and work hard to duplicate their voices), and I assume that the authors of the other books like the way their characters speak (and work to duplicate those voices). There are a multitude of people and voices in our world, and none are wrong or right.

I do admit however that I am NOT writing about stupid people. I thus work to keep the level of speech at a certain level. They maintain a dignity in their usage of words. They do not repeat things (as I tell my students, "If you LISTEN, you will HEAR"). I tend to thus tell those that complain about the way my characters speak, "You know the way others tell you that you should speak, well, my character actually speak that way - because they know that they are supposed to."

The setting has gripped my attention.
Thank you. And you may trust me to keep the installments coming. At present it is one every 10 days, but eventually it will pick up to one every 5 days.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals: Chapter 3   October 8th 2008, 9:35 am

Most of the questions I asked were for you to answer for yourself.
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PostSubject: Added Reply   October 8th 2008, 2:31 pm

Well, besides copying the entire text, let me try.

1) Thaunya getting up her defenses.
This was a scene where too much description actually spoiled the drama. I believe in a lot of description, but here the scene became too wordy for a simple act. Also, it provided a comic touch that I felt spoiled the mood. I thus cut it back. Maybe I cut it too much, which your comments imply. Thus, for your information -

Thaunya had put her small weapon under her pillow. The problem was that its blade is very sharp, so easily cut the fabric of her pillow and blanket. She thus had it in its sheathe. In sensing the presence of someone else in camp, she tried to get the sword, but did not want to make a big show. She is a dancer, so has a good flow to her body, but in keeping herself under her blanket she found her arm movement restricted. It ended up not being the smooth operation she wanted, but the job got done.

Note that the story DOES say -
A) 'Terish had taught her some methods of protecting herself' She thus knew some method of protecting herself.
B) 'she did not stop moving until her sword was in a hand and pointed out' She had a weapon that she had to acquire and get into a useful position.
C) 'Only when she felt a defense was up did she bother to try and look at what she felt was the threat' The act of getting the weapon to protect herself did not come naturally or easily to her.

That was all that I considered necessary to move the scene along. I however have noted that someone requested a little more detail. The next draft (like the coming installment on other sites), could thus have more here.

2) About the use of fashion - Well, the word worked for me. I will think about it.

3) About knowing that he used the knife to shave - Well, the lady could make assumptions, and whether THAT knife was used to shave, the point was that what he was using could have been sharp enough to cut her.

4) About the order of the description. It DID move in order - from a general overview of the threat (the person) to specific details of the threat (the weapon held by the person). She then came to a conclusion.

5) Understanding the words - It was explained IMMEDIATELY past your comment.

You do this again later in the document. Thaunya makes a statement, you complain about the remark, but the explanation is immediately following your question.

6) About the rock - Well, it was explained in the earlier chapter, but I probably should have him point to it. Okay.

7) 'She drew her sword while still inside a sleeping bag?' YES, she did. See #1.

8) 'Consider finishing this idea, why is she bringing this up? Perhaps because she has to say that she can’t now refuse this man?' Uh, what? She DID say that "I cannot refuse a companion that joins at the start of a mission." The then gives an example (an historic example from the previous tale) supporting her statement.

I hope that I did not come across stern. I really am appreciative. If you check out other sites where this story is now appearing, you will already find some changes recommended by those here. You could thus find some of these actually were applied as well.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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