Alycia Christine

Enchanting Tales, Intriguing Art

Category: Animals

How Who We Know Shapes Who We Become

A pair of mallard drakes swim through the tangled limbs of autumn-hued trees. Tap the image to learn more.

Today on SCRAWLS, I chose to show a piece of writing that highlights the change in two characters’ relationship. Felan and Daya’lyn began their relationship as enemies. In fact, Felan tried to kill Daya’lyn the first time they met. It still amazes me how much these characters have grown and have changed through their friendship with each other. Neither of them would be who they are now without knowing the other. It’s a reminder to me that people rub off on each other in some of the most interesting ways.

How we choose to influence others can make all the difference in the world.

Anyway, without further ado, here is today’s in-progress scene snippet.

~

Silence ruled the room again until Zahra spoke. “Since Queen Manasa cannot overcome the distance across the continent and Katja cannot set paw back in the Wraith Realm, is there any hope of contacting Caleb?”

“What about using our own message system?” Prince Ashomocos offered. “Inquisitor Daya’lyn could compose a letter written in such a way that only his father would understand its contents and send it to him via carrier pixies.”

Saldis drummed his pudgy fingers on his lips. “Assuming that they even could make it past the gargoyles and other deadwalkers patrolling the Sylvan Forest, delivering a message by such carriers would take several weeks. It is feasible though.”

The Inquisitor looked at Saldis and slowly shook his head. “The Ring Spells won’t allow for it. No being or beast can find Caerwyn Castle if they are looking for it unless they have been there before and hold no ill will toward the inhabitants therein. It’s part of the fortress’s defensive measures.”

“How did we find it when we first met you then?” Felan asked.

“You weren’t looking for it, my friend.” Daya’lyn cocked a white eyebrow at the werewolf. “And you meant no harm to come to anyone inside the castle until after you had already crossed the protective boundaries.”

“Yes, I believe I owe you a rematch, by the way.” Felan’s paw rubbed his ribs even after he grinned at the other male.

Daya’lyn’s upper lip curled to reveal a blunted fang as he smirked. “I’ll best you anytime you choose.”

He turned to gaze back at Katja. “We need a faster alternative. Considering what Her Majesty has just told us about the growing dangers in the Wraith Realm, we are running short on time. If we do not find the Keystones quickly, the war in the Wraith Realm could very well spill into the Erde Realm and we will be defending our world against Asheken and Drosskin alike.”

“Surely, it won’t come to that!” Queen Manasa said. “The Realms of Existence are separate, after all.”

“They are far more intimately intertwined than you might think. What happens in one directly affects events in the others. The deadwalkers are getting bolder, which means that the Drosskin will also gain strength. My guess is that the new breaches in Edgewater occurred because Luther’s allies managed to open the gateway between the Ott vre Blaec and the Ott vre Cael mirrors—even if only briefly. That is an evil that has not occurred in this world since the First War of Ages. If the Drosskin find a way into our realm from theirs, it may well mean the end all hope for beings in any realm.”

~

I hope you enjoyed this week’s entry in the SCRAWLS Diary from my in-progress book Fireforger. I welcome your comments on what I’ve shared with you today.

As always, SCRAWLS is designed to be a public journal of my fiction and artwork as I create it. In the way of writing, you’ll see new scenes, rich characters, and, of course, enchanting worlds. In the way of art, you’ll see everything from vivid photography to intriguing drawings. As always, my goal is to bring you both finished work and the rough stuff. After all, showing you some of the behind-the-scenes scaffolding that I use to create my work allows you to truly walk the creative journey with me through all of its ups and downs.

Until we meet again, may we each rewrite our world for the better!
Alycia

~

The Seared Cranium Report: An Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with enchanting fantasy fiction, deep love, and vivid art for all. As always, contact me with any questions or thoughts. Thanks!

FREE BOOKS!

Books:
Skinshifter | Dreamdrifter | The Dryad’s Sacrifice | Thorn & Thistle| Musings | First Fruits

Artwork:
Drawn Art | BW & Sepia | Animal | Earth | Flowers | Trees | Mountains | Objects | Urban | Water | MORE

“Do Not Let The Enemy Use This Sacred Place!”

A tiny, brown butterfly surveys the world around it from its perch upon a huge leaf. – Tap image for more information.

Today on SCRAWLS, we’ll pick up where we left off with Katja and Queen Manasa trying to escape the Wraith Realm after visiting the Scrying Pools. If you haven’t read the previous excerpts in this miniseries, you can find them all listed in reading order on the Fireforger book page. Now, let’s read the exciting conclusion together!

~

“What’s wrong,” Damya asked. When her gaze followed the werecat’s, Damya’s eyes widened in panic. “They’ve broken through,” she said. “Dear Creator, keep us! The Drosskin have broken through the enchantments! Sisters, to me!”

From all around the enchanted wood, firesprites flew to Damya’s side. “Destroy the pools…the trees…everything! Do not let the enemy use this sacred place!”

“Damya, what are you doing!” Manasa screamed.

“If they capture the pools, the Drosskin will be able to spy on all Sylvans and feed information to their Asheken allies. We cannot allow that to happen! Nach, Sandrie, take Katja and Manasa back to the altar! Get them to safety. Hurry!”

“But we haven’t contacted Caleb yet!” Katja protested.

“It doesn’t matter. If you stay here and are captured by the Drosskin, all hope for the inhabitants of either realm could well be lost!”

Sandor grabbed the two females and flung them onto Nach’s back.

“Go!” He said while readying his saber. “I’ll stall them!”

The griffin was running through the trees and onto open ground before anyone could say another word. Katja and Manasa gripped his fur and feathers in desperation as he bounded into the sky. Behind them, sudden fire raged throughout the forest and Katja saw steam rise from the Scrying Pools amidst the firesprites’ conjured conflagration. As Katja looked up, she saw the vivid sky was now smudged with hundreds of tattered, black bodies as winged Drosskin pursued them.

Katja unsheathed her claws and Nach kindled blue flames in his talons. As their enemies flew closer, Nach released a torrent of fire that scorched their nearest attacker’s already-singed skin. The fiend screeched in pain and dropped away only to be replaced by another. Katja snarled and raked her claws across a nearby Drosskin’s gnarled face even while Manasa kicked the offender nearest her. Four more enemies replaced their fallen allies. Far ahead of them, Katja could see the altar which was their refuge. It was still controlled by her brother Kumos and his fellow wraiths, but dozens of enemies now flew between the wraiths and their allies.

“We’ll never make it,” Manasa screamed over the wind.

“We can and we will or, so help me, I will die the second death trying!” Nach roared. “Just keep them off my back as well as you can! Use your tail, manticore! Even in this place, you should be able to skinshift!”

Katja concentrated and transformed the end of her long, golden-furred tail into something that looked like Aria’s armored, scorpion-like tail. With little discretion, she began stabbing enemies with the tail’s hooked barb. The Drosskin retreated from that tail far faster than from her claws. Between Katja’s attacks and Nach’s flames, they managed to keep most of the Drosskin at bay. Even so, there were too many enemies to defeat and the near-constant aerial attacks were forcing Nach toward the ground.

“We need help!” Manasa yelled.

“There is none!” Nach said. “If the wraiths come to our aid here instead of holding the line of defense, they will lose control of the Wraithwalking Altar to the Drosskin!”

As he said this, the last of Nach’s dwindling flames died in his talons. A Drosskin shrieked in triumph and swooped in for its attack only to be blown backwards by a ball of blue flame.
Katja jerked her head around in confusion and then gave a loud roar of joy as she saw a swarm of tiny, bright bodies charging their way. “The firesprites are here!”

With whips of fire, the Pyrekin firesprites drove the Drosskin away from their allies. Under their protection, the griffin wraith finally was able to deliver with his precious charges to the altar.

“Go! Go!” Kumos screamed as Katja and Manasa scrambled down Nach’s back.

“What happens to you?” Katja asked as she hugged him.

“We’ll be fine, but you will not be if you stay.”

“I love you!” Katja said as Cyrena opened the portal back to the Erde Realm.

“I know and I love you, too. Now, go! Find the Keystones and help us end this eternal war!”

Without another word, Katja snatched a piece of silphium plant out by its roots from the ground in front of the altar, grabbed hold of Queen Manasa, and dove head-first into the void between worlds. The screams and sounds of battle raged in Katja’s furry ears as the two females shot toward safety.

~

I hope you enjoyed this week’s entry in the SCRAWLS Diary from my in-progress book Fireforger. Now that we’ve concluded this miniseries, I hope to have a little bit of a rougher piece for us to look at next week. In the meantime, I welcome your comments on what I’ve shared with you today.

As always, SCRAWLS is designed to be a public journal of my fiction and artwork as I create it. In the way of writing, you’ll see new scenes, rich characters, and, of course, enchanting worlds. In the way of art, you’ll see everything from vivid photography to intriguing drawings. As always, my goal is to bring you both finished work and the rough stuff. After all, showing you some of the behind-the-scenes scaffolding that I use to create my work allows you to truly walk the creative journey with me through all of its ups and downs.

Until we meet again, may we each rewrite our world for the better!
Alycia

~

The Seared Cranium Report: An Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with enchanting fantasy fiction, deep love, and vivid art for all. As always, contact me with any questions or thoughts. Thanks!

FREE STUFF

Books:
Skinshifter | Dreamdrifter | The Dryad’s Sacrifice | Thorn & Thistle| Musings | First Fruits

Artwork:
Drawn Art | BW & Sepia | Animal | Earth | Flowers | Trees | Mountains | Objects | Urban | Water | MORE

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