Showing posts from November, 2011

#NaNoWriMo : Aranabrenin pt 2

 A story from book 3.

Upon reaching the courtyard, Alasdair found himself in a flutter of confusion: the gardener was hurrying by him with various nosegays in hand and titivating every small bloom and blossom he passed along the hedgerows; and table in the shade of a pitched and open tent was being set up and garnished with the proper outfittings; the last of the streamers were being hung across the expanse of the garden, food was being brought in from the kitchen, maids and servants were hastening everywhere to finish their employments now that the guest of honour was come. When everyone took notice of him, they all laid aside their occupations and came to address His Majesty directly, standing in a neat queue and making room for Martje as she shuffled in from the entrance to the servants quarter with the cake in hand. The cake was set down, the servants bowed in unison in their modest and prim uniforms, and before Alasdair could proclaim that this was all too much, a cup of honey win…

Story for the Day: Aranabrenin: King's Cake Pt 1

Alasdair has a secret love of all bakes goods. He, however, as a great horror of gaining weight. Martje is forever making unwholesome things, and Alasdair is forever in a torment when he is invited to try them. A story from book 3.
Walking through the main hall and passing the Grand Hall, however, brought a different hue to the morning. Here he was stopped by flurries of maids and yeomen, all of them fluttering and bowing and curtsying, begging the king’s kind pardon but they absolutely must wish His Majesty infinite happy returns of the day, granting him the traditional Old Frewyn wishes of “May the most you desire be the least you receive” in their soft and varying lilts. This was the style of birthday he should wish to have: friendly, open, humble, and joyous, not with complacent airs and exclusive celebrations. Alasdair thanked them from his warmed heart, hoped he would see them in the afternoon at the square and around the capital, and inclined his head to each one of t…

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt7

Martje soon recognized her error and recollected herself. How could she smile at the monster who had forever haunted her kitchen? And with such blithesomeness and good fellowship too- she reproached herself. In her moment of splendor, she had forgotten to be malicious, and now the giant would think her unserious with regard to her abhorrence of him. She frowned, and lifting her chest huffed, “So much for your doin’ anythin’, monster.”                 His fists tightened around the hilt of his weapon, his nostrils flared, and his arms shook with growing rage. “Very well,” he snarled. “Since you claim responsibility for this kill, then you will do the same for the mess that created it.”                 Martje spied the overturned dish rack and besides the rat and severed tail, there was nothing else that required her attention. She had cleaned the chief of the confusion before the trapper had arrived. “What mess?” she scoffed, but the moment she said it, the grin on the giant’s face told …

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt6

Rautu groaned, but would not allow the cook’s presiding over his investigation disturb him.  He quickly examined every tripped trap, marked the manner in which they were laid and the path of cheese crumbs leading away from them. His eye followed their pattern around the ovens and corners of the room: they seemed to make a circular path, as though they had been tripped in quick succession, all excepting one that was turned in the direction of the scullery. Through all of the rat’s shrewdness and determination not to be caught, it must have injured itself on this last trap and had scurried into the darkest corner of the kitchen to assess its wounds. He crept toward the scullery, and after a few moments of listening intently through Martje’s powerful whisperings of “Is it in there?”, he heard the gentle sounds of tiny fingers being repeatedly rubbed over whiskers. He tapered his gaze, drew his sword, and placed his back to the wall. Peering into the darkened section of the kitchen, he d…

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt5

The trapper soon came, but his efforts bore no lasting effect: the traps around the kitchen were placed, baits were duly set, but only an hour had passed when all of them were sprung, with every bait absconded and with no signs as to where the rat was gone. Tension raised throughout the keep, the trapper’s methods were again engaged, and again they were unsuccessful. Many began to wonder at the cunningness of the rat, rumours of a dark mage in guise began to spread, and the Den Asaan scoffed at every new report and machination. Had he been asked to hunt this elusive creature, the subject should have been closed long ago, but as he had not been applied to on purpose by Martje’s command, he must only observe and sneer at their ridiculous attempts. All of their contrivances would not do where his hunting prowess might, but his office for the day was to stand by and witness the trapper’s numerous failures while making his dry “heh” and fleering at Martje’s expatiating panic.               …

Reading the Classics: Review of T.H. White's "Mistress Masham's Repose"

Many know of Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", but not many know "Mistress Masham's Repose". As one is a political missive and the other a children's book, one should wonder what the two have to do with one another, but though Mistress has been hailed and marketed as a middle grade story, the writing style, historical themes, and allusions to Swift's work make it enjoyable for anyone with good sense and the willingness to enjoy historical fantasy.

"Mistress Masham's Repose" tells the story of Maria, a young girl of large fortune who is orphaned and forced to live on her parent's derelict estate. She is left under the care of a cruel governess and curator, and her only friends are the estate's cook and her Latin professor. She spends most of her time dodging her enemies and hiding around the estate, but one day while her nemeses are away, she discovers a remote civilization of Lilliputians, the same Lilliputians described by Gu…

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt4

Word of the rat’s presence soon spread throughout the keep, and from everyone’s reaction, the small creature might as well have been a dragon come to roost on the battlement and lay siege to the castle: the nobles locked themselves in their apartments with their card tables and tea, the servants lifted the hems of their skirts and searching about their feet with chariness, the yeoman favoured their various employments to distract themselves from the heightened bustle in their quarter, and though everyone was in some manner aware of the creature lucking about, no one was more sensible of its presence than Alasdair.                 The moment that the commander conveyed the news, the king replied with a discomposed “Oh…” and directly stood from his seat in the library, shuddering in disgust. His eye wandered unconsciously under tables, around corners of chairs, even beneath his parchments. “Well,” he said after a moment’s pause, “I’m glad I didn’t eat anything this morning.”             …

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt3

Shayne, who had emerged from the armoury to assess the circumstance in the kitchen, stared fearfully at Sheamas, who had just entered from the door in the larder with a shipment of dried rations beneath his arm. After observing Martje’s declining state and blind fury, each made a significant nod of the head to the other, motioning toward the garrison where the rations might be kept for a few days in tolerable security. They met at the barracks entrance, and when Shayne conveyed the reports of a rat in the kitchen, Sheamas instantly replied, “Gods, Martje will tear the place apart lookin’ for it even if it’s not in the kitchen anymore.” A semblance of solemnity prevailed him. “Once, when Ma was just teachin’ her how to cook, she found a mouse in the pantry. It was a small one, but it scared her somethin’ terrible. Lochan had been keepin’ it has a pet for the winter and let it wander around the house. He kept it clean and it was harmless, but the moment Martje saw it, that was the end o…

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt2

She took a moment’s deliberation: how could this be? She had forever been cautious, had always been meticulous, and never had been remiss with regard to her supernumerary cleanings. The kitchen was her domain, and any who would disturb the perfection that she created must be punished. She began considering why the creature had come: the autumn would soon be over, leaving the cold of winter to settle over the capital; vermin would soon be food supply for the larger more capable hunters in the animal world; wolves and wild cats should soon be their main concern, and finding nourishment to secret away for a sparse winter must be all their object. Why mice should come to a stone castle, however, was a question she could not answer. All prepared food was eaten, there was nothing more for them to find beyond a stray crumb of cheese on the ground, but when the possible reason for their visit came to her, her eyes flared, her fist tightened, and she marched out of the kitchen, up the winding …

#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt1

Martje, the Diras castle keep's cook, only has one fear.

The small mouse was conveyed safely to Sheamas’ shoppe, where his arrival was met with a celebratory dinner of smoked cheese and cured pork, and once his belly was round and his eyes could not be kept from closing, he was taken to the temple where he might find refuge under the auspices of the Themari. A small room and bed was given him, visits from Soledhan and Jaicobh were due, and Mr Sniffles the Second, as named by Kai Linaa, was in a way to be happy and comfortable during the long Frewyn winter.                 Martje, however, could not be nearly as easy. Seeing the mouse in her larder, though he had done nothing but sniff the air and squeak his solicitations, had roused a frightening concern within her. She could not revisit the larder without her eyes darting about, scouring every corner for some hint of movement: a shelf disturbed, a creak in the storeroom, a item misplaced was enough to excite the most terrific noti…

A Thanksgiving Message from His Royal Majesty King Alasdair Brennin of Frewyn

Someone recently asked Alasdair to be President. He usually responds by way of the herald, but today he felt a direct reply was requisite: 

Dearest Madam,

I have received your invitation to become President. I admit that I had little idea what the position entailed and had to ask Commander MacDaede what exactly was meant by the term, as on the Two Continents, most of our nations are monarchies, empires, or similar variants. 

I understand that your President is a representative of your people, but to be honest, in Frewyn, a President is a representative of a small club, as the true meaning of the word would imply. Perhaps when your nation was a young confederacy, this title was appropriate, but considering that the President makes all the choices for your people, he is more a monarch than he would have you believe. Even a king, however, is only a representation of his people: I must do as my people would expect. If the people of a given nation are avaricious, then they will elect an avari…

#NaNoWriMo : Winter Discomforts

It was the first snow today. Twisk therefore made some cute stick pictures of everyone enjoying themselves- or not- and I had to make a story.
Winter Discomforts                 The preparatory signs of a heavy Frewyn winter were everywhere when the party returned to Diras: the first light snows blanketed the capital, the streets that had been used to the bustle and gaieties of the autumn harvest and holidays were now subdued, a frost began to gain power over the air and what was once a delicate tinge of cold was now a frozen gale; denizens shuffled about and huddled together for warmth, wearing clothing that was hardly warm enough for such a sinking climate; the skies churned a foreboding grey, cider carts were being wheeled round the square, a early fires glowed amber in the windows of every home, chimneys billowed with grey-black smoke, the scent of hickory and mulled spices lingered, and the capital was well-braced to surrender to the winter’s ascendancy.                 Upon seei…

#NaNoWriMo : Connors and Nerri

They were close, one plagued by embarrassment and unable to raise her eyes, and the other in the full glory of his delectation. Their hands had touched momentarily, he had moved to wrap the linen about her, but considered the indecency of placing his hands upon her and applied them no further. She was fully concealed, but the linen dampened against her, outlining her estimable curves and affording him something more to consider. He kept his hands at his side but loomed close, leaning slightly and waiting for her answer. Postulations on propriety and whether they were permitted a display of outward tenderness while on duty was felt by each, but once Connors remembered that they were not on duty at present, propriety and shamelessness were thrown aside. He must act if she could not; her parted lips and entreating looks seemed to be beseeching his procession. With what gentleness did he raise his hands to her features, with what delicacy did he remove the wisps of dampened hair from her …

#NaNoWriMo : Connors

Connors is the model of Frewyn loyalty. Here is a little of him from book 4.
Once while she was bounding up the winding stone steps was the commander forced to stop and regain her composure. She had walked past the small feast in the Great Hall and had arrived at the entrance in time to hear the toast being given by Captain Connors. She stopped just beside the door and listened long enough to hear her captain proclaim the feast in honour of those lost in the war. Connors, she knew, had a multitude of cousins still in Westren, and though he had not lost any family during the invasion had lost a father and two uncles to illness and misfortune. He spoke well for one whose sufferings had begun early in life. He raised his glass high, entreating everyone to do the same, said the benediction in Old Frewyn:  Oun syeil seo godeith oun syeil eoile, and made his short speech. He was stout throughout the whole, but the slight and nigh imperceptible break in his voice in the last word of his bless…

Khantara Vol 1 Book Tour Dec 12-26th

In the spirit of Alineighdaeth (Frewyn holidays) we are having not one tour, but two! Khantara will be touring from December 12th-26th. Be sure to join us for giveaways, reviews, excerpts and interviews!The dates thus far:Dec 11 - PreviewMoonlight Gleam 12Lovlivlife Reviews Dec 13 Read2Review Dec 13 Dec 15  Meredith Allard Dec 16
Flutey Words Dec 17 For The Love of Reading Dec 18 Creative Suites Dec 20th Creative Deeds Dec 21 JeanzBookReadNReview       Dec 22