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Master Rahl
November 11th, 2001, 07:51 PM
The Winds of Change
By Pero Bes
A Book of Fate Novel
A Passage from the Book of Fate

When the Winds of Change swoop down, the one blood of the immortalized in time will be the only chance. The Winds will take him to another world. Dead, yet not totally dead he is. For him to return whence he came he must master the Sheer. But first he must put the pieces together or else the one commanding the magic will reign supreme over both worlds. This world will not only be conquered but so will his own, if he does not prevail in this battle of fate. He will have to choose his life or his friend’s life. Fate has set its course with this one. It must be either him or the freedom of all people…

CHAPTER 1 --- Days before the Festivals

IT WAS ANOTHER normal day. The beautifully colored auburn, scarlet, and golden leaves were being scattered throughout the air and on the ground. Some of the fluorescent mauve colored leaves on the ground darkened and turned lifeless and black from being trampled by filthy bottoms of boots. The strikingly cold air brushed up against his skin, making him shiver and tauten his cloak around himself. The sun was already diminishing deep behind the mountains, scattering its crimson and pink colors throughout the land, indicating that it was several hours before night time and several hours before his presence was needed in town. This trail was a long, winding trail which he would spend nearly half a day wandering through on days where he had nothing better to do. Today and for the rest of this week he would have to cut that time short.

He had to be home soon to help prepare for the Coming of the Winds festivals. People of all the lands celebrated these festivals every ten years to indicate that summer was ending and bringing upon all of Zimmer the shortest fall and longest winter of the decade. This winter was not a bad thing; though, for it brought with it severe winds which would uproot nearly all weeds, which would not grow back for 3 years, leaving the best land for harvesting for the farmers. After this long winter, which lasted approximately one and a half years, then came the longest summer of the decade, which equally lasted one and a half years. In six days The End of Summer Festival would start and a day later, conclude with The Beginning of Autumn Festival. The two-day festival being so massive it took the entire week to set up the Town Square, the inns, and the taverns. He was a volunteer helper to set up and they were to start setting up tonight. He had to be back before night fell.

His cloak billowed behind him, revealing his casual, white, long-sleeved shirt topped with his black tunic, wearing his baggy trousers, and his heavy leather belt wrapped around his waist, with pouches and daggers hanging from it. He had been walking for nearly two hours now, simply enjoying the woods near his town. It was harder for him to enjoy what with the wind and all. Often there had been kids playing in the woods but that was nearer to his home not out where he had traveled. Where he was traveling, only adults, transporting either mail or goods, traveled. He traveled down the familiar path: the path which he had traveled so many times, the path he had traveled to transport books from his father’s store to nearby towns.

The sounds of the birds chirping their songs had appealed to him. He always loved to stroll through the forest and listen to the birds sing. Crickets also chirped; it was around five hours ‘til nightfall and they were beginning to come out. The sounds of the rushing streams and rivers from the near by mountains was so loud he could hear it where he was walking. The sound of woodpeckers pecking sent a melody to his ear. He put all the sounds together; they all seemed to be one song in unison, so he started whistling along with the melody. He had been walking on the trail for hours now, and had thought it best if he went home. He turned, still whistling the melody, and with a slow pace began walking back to town.

His town, Windelton, was a small, prosperous town located in the northern most part of Southerland. It was a peaceful town, not much happened there. All the people knew each other. And Ned was especially well known. He often offered his services to anyone who needed it. Ned’s adopted father, Gordd, owned Gordd’s Book Keep, which was the one of the most popular book keeps, because of the rare books, in all of the land. Ned often manned the front desk there and so he got to know a lot of people. Often he went out on journeys to deliver books for his father and goods from the next door smithy, and so he knew people from all over the land of Zimmer. He had befriended numerous people, and they offered him stays at their houses whenever he needed. Who wouldn’t like Ned, though; he was such a kind-hearted man.

The woods were not as safe; however, filled with nimmers, beasts, and odd creatures of the woods, so he had to learn how to fight. Nimmers were the thieves who lurked in the woods waiting for weary travelers to come by then jumping them unexpectedly, pilfering them of money and possessions worth selling. His father had warned him of the beasts and nimmers, and had trained him in fighting. Whenever he traveled he carried weapons with him, primarily his four daggers, which he carried two slung from each side of his belt. He had trained numerous days with his father along with his brother learning to slash and practicing his aim of throwing the daggers. His brother had always been better than Ned in daggers, but lately Ned’s skills were beginning to surpass his brother’s. Ned was a rather large, built man, unlike his brother, giving him an advantage of controlling large swords, which his father had also trained him in, with splendid ability. His long sword he had only carried along with him when he had to venture far from his home delivering goods. He had been able to take out the innumerous beasts and wild creatures along the dangerous trails of the woods. He had never encountered a nimmer although he had heard many stories of attacks by them. It was known that nimmers only stuck to the main trail. Ned knew this too, and was not traveling on the main trail, but rather on a small one. In fact, Ned had never even encountered a human enemy.

He was heading for home when he heard a sudden rustling in the leaves. It sounded like footsteps. Ned peered slightly over his shoulder, noticing that only a squirrel was there, picking up acorns from the ground. The rustling didn’t sound like a squirrel, not even a pack of squirrels would have made that heavy a sound. He was certain it sounded like rather weighty foot steps. There came the sound again. He turned once more, nothing but the squirrel, which was this time also looking around. When Ned noticed the squirrel looking around he knew it was something else. He shrugged off the idea of it being a person and continued on his way.

The road twisted and turned as he trotted along. Unexpectedly it came to a fork. Ned was surprised of a fork being there. He had walked this trail numerous times and did not remember a fork leading back to his town. It probably led to another town, he thought. He must have a taken a wrong turn somewhere. He decided he better walk back up the trail and find out where he made the mistake. As he was about to turn, he was grabbed from behind and up against his throat was a rather small dagger.

He managed to get a whisper out before the blade was pushed harder against his throat. “Nimmer ...” he started but feared the blade would cut him if he moved his throat.

“Guessed right,” the nimmer said, searching Ned’s pockets for anything valuable. “Come on. Hand over your valuables, now.” Then the golden gleam, of a medallion hanging from Ned’s neck caught the nimmer’s eyes. The gold medallion was round with what seemed as a crack from a piece missing in it. There were swirls on it, of which his dad told him were engravings used to represent the winds, when he gave it to Ned. He told Ned to treasure it with his life; that it was a very important medallion and if it was brought into the wrong hands, who knows what could happen. His father told him he did not know exactly what the medallion could do or was, but was told it was very dangerous if in evils grasp. The man spoke again, “Seems like I’ll be taking this.” The man placed his hand on the chain holding the medallion.

Ned struggled to free himself, trying to make the man let go of his medallion. This medallion his father had told him specifically to protect and now he seemed to be failing at protecting it. The man had Ned’s arms held together behind his back, the man holding them with one of his hands. The man was larger than Ned, also showing he had more strength by holding both Ned’s arms with one of his own. As Ned was about to try to free his hands, in an attempt to escape; the man’s grip loosened, then the nimmer’s whole body just slumped down behind Ned. When Ned turned around he noticed the man was laying face first with a dagger jutting from his back, a puddle of blood forming around the body.

As Ned looked away from the man he found another man standing there. The man looked more aged than Ned and certainly less built. But how did this man come undetected and manage to kill this nimmer so cunningly? Ned had heard no footsteps and was sure that the nimmer hadn’t either; otherwise the nimmer would not be laying face first in the ground now? It seemed as if the man had just appeared out from no where. That didn’t matter; though, the man had saved Ned’s life. That…was all that mattered.

“Thank you. You just saved my life. Is there anything I can do to repay you?”

The man gave Ned a reassuring smile. “It was nothing, my son. The name is Jared. I have been traveling this path in search for the town of Windelton, in hopes of making it there for the Coming of the Winds festivals to hear the beautiful voice of Karen. I’m sure you have heard of her, almost everyone around the continent has heard of her. I was wondering; if perhaps, you could point me in the direction? That would be pay back enough for me.”

Ned returns the man’s smile, happy with what the man had asked in payback for saving Ned’s life. “That is not enough to repay you for what you have done, but I will be glad to lead you to Windelton. I live in Windelton and was heading back there right now, until I got jumped.” He bent down and took the dagger out of the man’s back, then stood straight. He held his hand out, open with the dagger resting on his palm. “I believe this is yours.”

“Why thank you. That would splendid if you lead me to Windelton. Also, do you know of a shop called Gordd’s Book Keep? I would like to speak to him about some of his books.” The man looked at Ned’s palm with the dagger on it. “It will be of more use to you than to me. Keep it.”

“Gordd’s Book Keep, well of course I do. I am Gordd’s son. My name is Nedderick or you could call me Ned for short. Thank you for the dagger I will keep it with me knowing that it was the dagger that saved my life. Now let’s be off. I must be home before the sun sets to help set up for the Coming of the Winds fests.” Ned turned and with the man following behind they made their start towards Windelton.

The more they walked down the trail the more the sun seemed to set below the hills that girdled the town. Beyond the hills were the prosperous farms, that grew the town’s crops, followed by the town square, which was like the downtown area of a big city. Beyond the town was the ocean, the River’s End Ocean, which was a big industry for many of the cities near it, providing the cities with: fish; seal; whales; and especially kratos, small fire-breathing sea serpents that were extremely dangerous, but when eaten were extremely delicious. Men often risked their lives just to capture these, because the wealth achieved from it was so much. There have also been rare cases where these kratos were found in rivers and lakes.

The two made it to town with only an hour to spare before Ned had to help set up for the festivals. The town square was full of lights powered by balls with candles inside of them, which were on the corners of every walkway. The main shops were in the center of the town square, which was actually shaped in more of a circle, with small paths branching out to homes and other shops. Gordd’s Book Keep was among the main shops in the sphere-shaped part of town. Heads nodded in greeting to the two as they slowly paced through the town square in the direction of Gordd’s Book Keep. Suddenly, Ned was abruptly stopped by a hand on his shoulder. As he turned he saw the person who grabbed him. It was a woman with long brown locks, a finely-shaped body, and bearing a grim expression on her face. She was beautiful, well-formed, and good-natured.

With his own sudden frown on his face, Ned said to her, “What’s the matter, Trish?”

She placed her hands on her hips and lifted her eyebrow at him. “What’s the matter, Trish? Don’t give me that. You know very well what the matter is.” She poked his chest with her finger, then drew it back and pointed he finger at him. “You were supposed to meet me for dinner over an hour ago, and when I asked your father where you were; he said you went for a walk in the woods.”

Ned slapped himself in the head with his palm. “Oh, that’s right! Shoot! I’m sorry Trish. I got an idea, how bout after I introduce my friend, Jared, here to my father; you and I will go for dinner? You didn’t eat yet did you?”

Trish smiled at him. “Nope, I didn’t eat yet, so I guess we can go after you introduce this man to your father. Oh, by the way, nice to meet you, Jared. I am Trishtan Addison. I have known Ned since we were little kids.”

Jared took her hand gently and kissed the back of it lightly. “Nice to meet you too, dear; my name is Jared Bandson.”

She smiled once more at the tall, aged man. “Well, Ned, come pick me up at home after you are done.”

“Better yet,” Ned began. “Why don’t you come with us and then we can go to Jeremiah’s Tavern right from there.” He looked over her shoulder at some of the men already beginning to prepare for the fests. “We should have time before I have to help set up.”

“Alright,” she replied.

They finally made it to the book keep. Ned pushed open the door to reveal a graying man, reading a book through polished spectacles. Shelf after shelf behind him was filled with books, of all sorts: books of history, map books, and books of old folk lore among others. “Dad, I have returned.” The man lifted his head and smiled. He then looked to who Ned had with him, not the girl but the man. He gave a reluctant smile, trying to conceal the worry he had over the man. “Father, I have brought a man who wished to visit your book keep from the forest. This man’s name is Jared Bandson; he saved my life from a nimmer. Jared, this is my father Gordd.” Jared showed a sly grin to Gordd. “I am going with Trish to Jeremiah’s tavern to get something to eat. After that, I will have to go set up for the festivals. If you need to speak with me you can find me outside setting up.” He took Trish’s hand in his own, Gordd waiting patiently for them to leave, and they walked out of the door.

“Well, if it isn’t the Keeper of Fate, himself.” Gordd proclaimed.
“Yes, it is I. I have come to talk with you about important matters.”

“Every time you have important matters to tell, it has to do with something bad.” He joked, knowing that it was probably something bad. The Keeper of Fate never gave out news that was good. “Come. Let us talk in the backroom.”

Gordd went and locked the front door of the shop. He led the other man through a doorway in back part of the shop, then through a long hallway, which led to many different rooms. Finally, they turned left into a room; empty pretty much, except for a desk and two chairs. The room across the hall was where Gordd stored all his personal books; books he did not sell, and only he himself would read. The books contained special information of history, of special occasions that occur throughout the land, and of certain legends, which some people think are legends but others think are actual historical stories. They both sat down in the chairs.

“What has it been five hundred years since I’ve last spoken with you, Gordd?”

“I say some where around there. So, what brings you here this time, Keeper?”

“Gordd this will disappoint you a bit but it is about – let’s just call him your great grandson – Ned.” His brows wrinkled. “I’m afraid that I have some disturbing news for you –“

“No, Jared, not Ned!” he exclaimed. “What is it? Why do you always reveal trouble to me?” Gordd’s eyes were filled with anger. His veins were shooting from his forehead.

“I’m sorry, Gordd. I do not like it either, but you know very well I cannot change what the Book of Fate writes. It chooses everyone’s destiny, not I. If I could I would rather not have it.” He felt sorrow for Gordd and for Ned. The only part he hated about his job, being the Keeper of Fate, was to know and reveal the sad fates, the fates that tore people apart, the fates that people were killed in, and the fates that took people from their loved ones. “Gordd…I will tell you what is to become of your great grandson now.

“This is the passage that was written in the book of fate, followed by most of what I will tell you.

“When the Winds of Change swoop down, the one blood of the immortalized in time will be the only chance. They will take him to another world. Dead, yet not totally dead he is. For him to return whence he came he must master the Sheer. But first he must put the pieces together or else the one commanding the magic will reign supreme over both worlds. This world will not only be conquered but so will his own, if he does not prevail in this battle of fate. He will have to choose his life or his friend’s life. Fate has set its course with this one. It must be either him or the freedom of all people…

“Now let me explain this.” Gordd was on the verge of tears he knew this passage was about Ned. He knew that the last part meant Ned would die. “Now, Gordd, listen to me. I assure you your boy will be fine.” Jared felt bad guaranteeing anything. With the Book of Fate, nothing could be guaranteed. “Ok, let me begin. There are two worlds. There is this one that you and your friends, family, people you don’t even know live in. Then there is the other realm. That is a place almost exactly the same as yours yet almost exactly the opposite.”

Gordd nodded. “Yes, I have read about this from the Philosopher – Stanson. He described it almost exactly as you did.”

“Yes, well Stanson was more of a prophet than a philosopher.”

“Thought so,” said Gordd showing a faint joy at being right about it.

“Anyway, in this other world the man you know as Cyrus Carbon is free, and conquering the land –.”

“Yes, I remember Cyrus. When training to become a wizard I had been his roommate at the Wizard’s Palace, the school for magic; I’m sure you know about it. When we grew older, he began to be greedy. He wanted power, wanted control. He began killing administrators in the school, when they weren’t expecting it. No one knew it was him until one day when we were about to graduate from the palace, he was trying to kill one of the administrators I had known quite well, when I caught him on the spot. He told me to just walk away, pretend nothing happened, and he would let me live. But I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do. I was the more powerful wizard at the time. I restrained him with a very powerful barrier spell, which was taught to me by my favorite teacher, and had him reported to the High Wizard, who was in charge of the school. He is still locked up until this day.

“What I did not know then was that Cyrus had placed an eternal presence spell on himself. This spell would give Cyrus eternal aging, and even if he was killed he would wonder this place as a banshee, the evil spirits which we know of, except he would have power unlike any other banshee. He would easily be able to intertwine with anything in this world unlike the other banshees. I told the High Wizard that I will do whatever it takes to learn the spell, and devote my life to guaranteeing he is locked up behind the barrier spells, which cannot be passed through by anyone unless they are removed by one with great enough power. I put the barrier spell around his cell, so that he could have no chance of escaping. He is locked up there to this day. It took me a while to learn the eternal presence spell, but now I have and I am not aging just like him. And I will continue to make sure he is trapped. Now what were you saying about him?”

“Very moving story it is, a good friend of yours betrays you and your school. I knew about it though 200 years before it happened. It was all written in the book.

“Well, in this other world, it is much the same as things have happened to you, except for the capturing him part. You never captured him but simply ran because he was far more powerful than you. You both do have the spell also. In that world, Cyrus has over thrown the crown of Westland and has taken over the entire continent. He has enslaved the people of Zimmer, and is planning on coming to this world to take over. The only army that is left fighting is the army of Northland known as the Northern Alliance. This army consists of the three major lands of the North: Cincello, Fliskor, and Cherry Land.

“When the Winds of Change come is when the portal between worlds can be breached. It can only be breached by use of a special tool: the emblem of the winds. There are two parts to this emblem, with possession of one part you can only travel between the worlds during the Season of the Winds, but when you have both pieces combined you may travel as you please.

“Ned has one of the pieces. The other is held by Cyrus, himself, not by the Cyrus in this world, but by the Cyrus in the other. Ned has been chosen to free the people, because he has one of the pieces. He will be sent to this other world and will have to fight to save the people, or else both this world and that will be conquered. Let me ask you, Gordd, what do you know of the SHEER?”

Gordd was puzzled by all that was just said. His special collection of books had all told the truth about the other world and most of the things explained. He began telling the history he knew of the SHEER. “Well, I heard that it is a very powerful weapon, used by only true warriors who have the power to master it. It was used sometime in the past when the Jackals attacked.” The jackals were ferocious half-beings. No one knew the origin but they were what seemed as wolves mixed with humans, having the chest, hands, back, and feet of humans; but having legs, arms, and head of a wolf. “The Jackals only attacked animals before until one day when they started devouring humans. The kingdoms sent their armies, but were no match for the Jackals. One day the High Wizard created a weapon, consisting of a long shaft and a blade at each end one tip wielding magic from it and from the other tip was weld the sharpest of blades. A man was assigned the weapon, for he was the most powerful warrior, and led a group of wizards out to battle. The Jackals were thought to have been wiped out, and were never seen again. The SHEER was the weapon the High Wizard created. It was recorded that shortly after, the High Wizard, knowing the outrageous power he had put in the weapon, destroyed the SHEER.”

“You know your history quite well, my friend. I must tell you, in this other world the SHEER still exists. Ned will be sent to this other world to stop Cyrus; but first, he has to find the SHEER for it is the only weapon capable of defeating Cyrus. Ned is the chosen one because you, yourself, made him the chosen one. You were the one that gave him the emblem needed to travel between worlds. He will only be able to return when he has defeated Cyrus and gotten the other half of the emblem.

“Cyrus, also, knows that Ned will be coming carrying the emblem needed. I am sorry I cannot tell you what the emblem is; that is something you must find out. Now, when, Ned arrives Cyrus will surely send his men to attack him. Cyrus wants to use the emblem to transfer himself between realms. He will be hoping to take Ned’s half and combine it with his own. I suggest you help prepare Ned for fierce battle. Ned will have the Northern Alliance on his team for I have already told them of his arrival.”

Gordd interrupted, “When will the winds come to take him away?”

“Gordd…that is something I cannot tell you. The Book of Fate prevents me from telling you this. I can tell you; however, that as soon as the Winds of Change come he will be taken away…not a minute later. You must accept what is to be. Gordd, I want you to tell Ned that when the time comes to find the SHEER he must first search in the Haunted Lands, and then he must search in the Elven Kingdom." Jared's look of seriousness when speaking upset Gordd. Gordd knew Jared wasn't joking about where Ned had to venture.

“The Haunted Lands! Are you crazy! Going into that place is suicide. No, going into that place is worse than suicide. At least, with suicide you die a fast death, and don’t suffer the torture you suffer in the Haunted Lands. Very few people traveling, through the Haunted Lands have been able to make it out alive. I fortunately was one of the few. I would never go there again if my life depended on it!” Gordd shouted. Gordd didn’t like what Jared had just revealed that needed to be done in order for Ned to win and survive.

“I told you, you wouldn’t like it.” A small buzzing sound was heard.

“What was that?” Gordd questioned.

Jared dug into his pant pockets, and pulled out a small pocket watch. It was not a normal pocket watch with numbers on it; it had symbols on it instead of numbers. “Oh, that’s just great. I am sorry, Gordd. I am afraid I must go. It seems there is a new passage in the Book of Fate. Keep in mind what I told you; do not tell Ned he is going to be sent away. I cannot tell you when Ned will be sent away but I must tell you it will be very soon. Until then you must train him in anything you know. So long, High Wizard. I shall speak to you when this is over.” Jared got up shook Gordd’s hand and walked out into the hallway. Gordd ran after him. Jared whispered one last thing before he left, "Think back nine years. That is when Ned received the emblem..."

“Wait, Jared.” But when Gordd got into the hall Jared was already gone.

When Ned came home that night, Gordd was in the spot where Ned had found him earlier. Again, Gordd was reading a book. He looked up as he heard the door shut. “Hello, Ned. Can you go get your brother for me? He said he would be at the tavern.” Ned nodded then headed out the door.

When he returned with his brother, Jonathon, Gordd asked them to join him in the dining room. They all sat waiting for what their father had to tell them. The look on his face troubled them, and they asked if anything was wrong with him. He told them he was fine.

“My boys, I guess it is the right time for me to tell you some things that are secrets about you. Boys, you may find this hard to believe but I am in reality 600 years old. Ned, your mother is somewhere along the lines of my great granddaughter, and John your father was actually a distant nephew of mine. I went to see them before they died and told them I would raise you boys.”

“But, Dad, how are you six hundred years old, that’s not possible.” John stated.

“Yes, it is, my sons. I am a wizard, the High Wizard of the Wizard’s University, to be exact. Six hundred years ago I placed a spell on myself which kept me at my current age for over five hundred and fifty years, for matters too complicated to explain. That is all I have to say. I just thought it was time you boys knew the truth.”

“Do something wizard-like, Dad!” John proclaimed cheerfully.

“Yes, I wish to see some magic too, father.” Ned seconded.

“Alright, I will show you how I can produce a flame in the palm of my hand.” Gordd holds out his palm. Slowly, small red sparkles come up, followed by blue and yellow sparkles. They all began to form into one, molding into a sphere-shape. The small sphere began to illuminate into a bright light. It was a small ball of fire hovering just centimeters above his skin. “Satisfied?” The boys sat stunned, staring into the ball of fire. “Very well, I do wish for you not to tell anyone about myself. Is that understood?” The boys still staring into the flame, nod there heads. “Enough.” With a flick of the wrist the ball of flame disappears.

“You may two may leave, if you wish.” Jonathon got up and began to walk away.

“I need a drink, this is too much.” He continued on his way, but Ned sat still perplexed by what had been revealed. He looks up at Gordd, as Gordd grins down on him. Then Gordd stodd up, walked over to Ned, and placed his hands on Ned’s shoulders.

“I was hoping you would stay. You see I needed to speak to you of important matters. Ned, something has come up. I will need you in the early morning to train extra hard for fighting.”

“Dad, if this is about the Jared saving my life, I assure you I was about to make my move on the nimmer, but then Jared seemed to have stabbed him in the back.” Ned looks around finding no sign of Jared. “By the way, where is Jared, anyway?”

“Jared had to leave on short notice. And no, it is not –“

He got cut off by Ned. “Leave on short notice? He said he wanted to stay for the Coming of Winds festivals, to hear Karen sing.”

“Oh, well he said he had…forgotten he had something to do and ran out of town, back home. Anyhow, no, I am going to train you for matters far harsher than that of a nimmer. I want you to wake up at dawn tomorrow; go into the woods, don’t wander to far away though I want you back right away; and get the largest, sturdiest stick, branch, whatever it be. It must be a single, sturdy stick, almost as tall as you.”

“But, d…gramps, what am I to do with a stick?”

“You will train with it. After you return with the stick, you will need to report to me for the training to start. If I tell you to go away when I’m sleeping, well then go away and just practice with your daggers on some trees near the woods, for no more than one hour. After that you come and make sure I wake up.”

Ned didn’t know what to say. He tried getting some words out that would question Gordd to his taste, but he couldn’t make the words fit. “Uh…Very well then I guess I better get some sleep. G’nite.”

“Goodnight, child,” Gordd whispered. “And may it be a good one.”

Ned arose from his seat and began walking away. “One question, though, why did you choose me and not John?”

Ned smiled a sad type of smile. He wished it didn’t have to be either of them, but knew now that it was written it had to be. “Because, Ned, I have chosen you.” His heart sank, from repeating what Jared had told him earlier. You have chosen Ned yourself...

[This message has been edited by Master Rahl (edited November 15, 2001).]

November 11th, 2001, 10:27 PM
Great tale! I really liked how you drew me into the story with Ned's thinking while walking. I especially liked how we knew Ned's network and place in the village (even his girlfriend) very quickly. I also liked how you interspersed key info about the world and what made it different in little pieces. I imagine that this world is a beautifully colorful one.
I started to get a little confused who was talking when the Jarred was with Ned's dad. Maybe putting the quote from the book of Fate in italics? I began to lose it as you introducd Cyrus Carbon. But maybe that's just me.
Then when you talk about the "tool", I can understand again who is talking again...but the tool that has two halves isn't the necklace that allows Ned to go between worlds? I get the tool of world-traveling confused with the SHEER tool... Maybe calling the tool an "emblem" or something other than both "tools?"

The only other part where I got confused is at the end where Gordd tells his son Jon to leave. If it was a general "go away", to both the boys, I guess I'd be more specific. I didn't know who was saying "you may leave."

My other suggestion is to make Jarred the messenger of the Fate Keeper, a priest if you want. Then you don't have the "why doesn't god intervene?" problem that can be so much of a cop-out. This way, Fate is always removed, so you have to talk to Jarred to get the scoop, and Jarred doesn't have to be all-knowing. Remember that Jarred is talking to Gordd, so omit some of the mention of what Gordd has already done, such as given Ned the tool, or make Jarred sound pedantic...
I spotted a typo, the only one I noticed: ...I must be a single, sturdy stick, almost as tall as you.”
That's all for now...
I want to say again that I really enjoyed the start of the tale and how your descriptions run through all the senses. I can't wait to read more!

Master Rahl
November 12th, 2001, 12:11 PM
thank you for your comments and suggestions an8el. I have taken your suggestions in mind and well for the tool to travel between worlds i have changed it to emblem i meant on doing that in the first place but must have forgotten. And for the "emblem" you will find out soon what it is probably in the 2nd or 3rd chapter. I am glad you enjoyed my story. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Master Rahl (edited November 12, 2001).]

November 13th, 2001, 08:37 AM
Much improved from the first posting, Master Rahl, well done.
Now, I write these tings only as suggestions on how to better you work...
Your first several paragraphs read like an "information dump" as Orson Scott Card is fond of saying. You give us so much information about your protagonist and his life in the first few paragraphs, it's all very expository and while it relays information it doesn't say much about WHO he is. Yes, I know where he's from. Yes, I know who is father is. Do I need to know all these things right from the start? If so, then find motivation for the character to be 'thinking' about these things and give us the information as character observations. As a reader, I am more interested in what your character thinks, than all of the details about his life which might appear in a bio or obituary. Let his think about the festival, show us how he feels about it. There are a few spots where you do give us his thoughts and observations, more of this please! It will really help to draw your readers in. Also, don't tell us everything...

"The woods were not as safe; however, filled with nimmers, beasts, and odd creatures of the woods, so he had to learn how to fight. Nimmers were the thieves who lurked in the woods waiting for weary travelers to come by then jumping them unexpectedly, pilfering them of money and possessions worth selling. His father had warned him of the beasts and nimmers, and had trained him in fighting..."

Removing the sentence that starts 'Nimmers were the thieves who lurked...' would heighten our sense of danger and mystery regarding them. You leave your reader asing, "What are Nimmers?"...and then you answer that soon after when he his ambushed by one. So, you don't have to tell us earlier.

There are some descriptions of actions which are a bit awkward or odd. For example:

"Ned slapped himself in the head with his palm"

I have honestly never seen ANYONE who would do this in front of other people to express surprise, except in jest. It's the kind of thing people do in bad movies or comic schtick. If you want it to be goofy, then keep it, but I suspect that is not the mood you are trying to set. Think about how you might react physically at such a realization.

Another quick note...
the word "fluorescent" is very modern.

fluo·res·cence (fl-rsns, flô-, fl-)
1) The emission of electromagnetic radiation, especially of visible light, stimulated in a substance by the absorption of incident radiation and persisting only as long as the stimulating radiation is continued.
2) The property of emitting such radiation.
3) The radiation so emitted.

Fluorescent colors, even if they appear in nature, may not be described in such a way by a pre-Industrial society with a weak understanding of natural science. That is, unless your world does have such knowledge. Again, this is not what I think you are going for.

Hope some of this helps. But a nice improvement.

November 14th, 2001, 02:20 PM
Not bad, Master Rahl, not bad. But I would like to say a thing or two.

It is really getting to me the way your writing flows so well (I wish I could write half as well), but "cramming" seemes to be a small issue. I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times, but {Never use two words when one will suffice}. This is not always true, as we've all seen with writers today, but in most cases, including this one, it is.

Also, as matthewajg said, don't tell us everything right upfront. leave some things half said, let the reader think about it before you say more, and the novel becomes that much more interesting and enthralling. Most of the best authors keep you buying their novels because in a series, they cut off at an abrupt spot from the first book, and keep you guessing until 3/4 of the way through the second (or 7th in Jordans case, but that's pushing it http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Beside that, I think it is coming along very well. Can't wait for the next chapter!

November 15th, 2001, 06:50 AM
Point of view- don't change it mid-paragraph. You started inside on character's head, then jumped inside another later on. Pick one, and stick with it for the chapter- either Ned, the wizard, or the fate guy.

November 15th, 2001, 07:32 AM
I must disagree, wastra, about the POV. It has become canon to have a chapter devoted to the POV of one character, but this is not neccessarily the only way to tell a story. It is very effective to tell a story through only one POV (and this is usually recommended for novice writers, for good reason) because then all events are seen through one character's eyes. We really have the opportunity of getting into the POV character's skin. Mutliple POV (which is usually a little harder to handle) is used by many authors to great effect. With multiple POV, the reader is given the opportunity to see events through more than one lens and this often gives depth to a story and characters (especially when one POV character sees or discusses how they view another POV character). Some authors (like George R.R. Martin) use the one chapter=one POV formula, and it works exceedingly well...but this is not a rule!
As writers, whatever format works to effectively tell YOUR story is the one you should use. I am currently collaborating on a story where we have three POV characters, and the POV shifts internal to chapters between them. It is hard to have it all make sense, but when it does, it works wonderfully.
I simply advise against adhering to "writing rules" because they have been used by other authors (please do not confuse this with rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation...I refer specifically to POV, characters, and the like which are much more subjective in nature).

[This message has been edited by matthewajg (edited November 15, 2001).]

November 15th, 2001, 08:09 AM
Once again, matthewajg, I must agree. Multiple points of view can be difficult, but when done well it can create a much better story.

November 15th, 2001, 09:01 AM
I too cast my vote for the Omniscient POV, agreeing with Matt. It does work very well, when you handle it well!

November 15th, 2001, 09:16 AM
Regarding the POV, the trick is to be consistent. If you start out with one particular POV or multiple POV, don't change mid chapter.

In addition to those issues already mentioned, there are a few other areas that I wanted to touch on.

There are some clerical errors ( ." instead of ," and a few places toward the end where the tense changed from past to present).

The dialogue needs a bit of work.

To fine tune the story, try not to repeat yourself, unless it is a point that needs to be repeated. Remember that if you show the reader that the sun is setting or that a forest is dangerous you don't have to tell them.

You have clearly listened to our last comments and have made some improvements on this story. I can see where the first part of the story was personalized. I'd like to see that same care to detail throughout the story.

Remember that you are the master of this story and you decide what information the reader needs and when the reader needs that information.

Sometimes in the process of forming the story, you will decide to cut a word or a page or more. Or perhaps you will move that word or page to another location so that it has a more profound impact on the reader.

But ALWAYS keep the reader in mind.

These really are great examples of the various drafts a story goes through before that final product. I look forward to seeing your next revision.