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*takes a  recliner and sits down*

I guess this story piqued my curiosity, so I'd love to have an idea of the ambition you have for this one, as far as number of chapters and overall length. We know you can write long stories. So is this one of them, or do you intend to make it shorter than the Shay cycle? 

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3 hours ago, Bleu said:

*takes a  recliner and sits down*

I guess this story piqued my curiosity, so I'd love to have an idea of the ambition you have for this one, as far as number of chapters and overall length. We know you can write long stories. So is this one of them, or do you intend to make it shorter than the Shay cycle? 

 

When this tale is finished and fully told, it will be shorter than the Aspects of Dawn series, of this you can be assured. This will be true for not just raw word count, but also total number of chapters and average chapter length, unless something very strange happens and the story evolves and twists unexpectedly and dramatically into something much larger than intended. Though the plan I have for Spirit of Fire is more contained than the blueprint that existed prior to the beginning of the aforementioned science-fiction, it isn't impossible that I could be inspired to expand the new book due to inspiration during the writing phase.

 

To summarise the above, it's very unlikely to be close to either Hidden Sunlight or Veil of Shadow length-wise, though it may be longer than I initially have planned and definitely not 'short' by any stretch of the imagination.

 

In terms of how ambitious the plot itself is, the scale of events will be 'epic' and 'grand' in a way that befits a modern fantasy taking place on contemporary Earth. It may not be clear or immediately obvious just how that will come about -- at least, not yet -- but just you wait. ;)

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7 hours ago, Stellar said:

It may be longer than I initially have planned and definitely not 'short' by any stretch of the imagination.

 

In terms of how ambitious the plot itself is, the scale of events will be 'epic' and 'grand' in a way that befits a modern fantasy taking place on contemporary Earth. It may not be clear or immediately obvious just how that will come about -- at least, not yet -- but just you wait. ;)

 

Woohoo, we like "not short", "epic" and "grand". :D

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A wee bit of language lore for my Spirit of Fire readers. Small warning though, there's nothing too serious in here, but if you want to avoid any sort of potential spoiler, you may want to hold off until you've reached at least Chapter 7, to be properly safe.

 

Spoiler

 

Draconic Linguistics: Summary

 

The dragons from Spirit of Fire are a species that is distinct from humankind, but an important shared attribute is that of developing written and spoken language. In the mythology, their language exists in both forms, and in similar fashion to human languages, it has evolved over time, albeit much more slowly due to the long-lived and stoic nature of the races. The way in which it has changed over the extended timeframe it has been in existence, I will outline below.

  • Proto Draconic (primus draconicae)
    The original prototype of the firstborn generations, this was the basic ancestral tongue that was adopted from the Spirits by their progeny. The linguistic elements present in it were soon morphed into a child language better suited for the dragons than the difficult structure of divine speech employed by the Spirits.
     
    • Liturgical Draconic (liturgicos draconicae)
      The language of the priesthood, this is a less-evolved variant of Proto Draconic that has stayed static since the very early period. Due to historical events, it is essentially a dead language, with solely the water variant (liturgicos aqua draconicae) still practised; it is known only by the seeress and the Tempest, and is incomprehensible to the modern speaker.
       
    • Old Draconic (vetus draconicae)
      Also referred to as Old Common, this was the common linguistic structure from which the modern variants are descended. Though it can be somewhat understood in current day, it is to the newer draconic languages as Old Latin is to the modern Romance languages.
       
      • Celestial Draconic (caelestis draconicae)
        One of the two prevalent modern variants, it is further subdivided into water (aqua draconicae) and air (aer draconicae) dialects, which are highly interchangeable and possess few major differences. This is the most-used language in present day.
         
      • Terrestrial Draconic (terrestris draconicae)
        The second of the two prevalent modern variants, it is primarily the tongue of the earth elemental types. While it was originally meant to develop as the primary language of the fire types also, historical reasons caused a cultural and linguistic schism which stopped this from happening. Many fire types may learn this variant if they wish to communicate properly with the rest of their kind, as it is less distasteful to them than Celestial, though the two are mutually intelligible.
         
      • Fire Draconic (ignis draconicae)
        The third and most uncommon modern variant, it is exclusively used by fire types. The conflict between the Spirits isolated the fire culture, and caused their language to diverge from becoming like Terrestrial. Though it still bears some similarity to the old mother tongue, it has over a long period become quite detached and has developed speech patterns and word construction that is peculiar and confusing to outsiders. However, with some effort, communication is possible.

Basic Phonology And Etymology

 

For the pronunciation of draconic names from Spirit of Fire, you can follow these guidelines.

Vowels

 

The vowel sounds are formed similar to languages like Italian and Maori -- that is:
 

A as in father

E as in pen

I as in three

O as in or

U as in rude

and when used as such:    Y as in pin
 

Each vowel sound is typically short. Long vowel sounds exist, but they are represented in the Latin alphabet by a circumflex over the appropriate letter, or uncommonly instead by a double vowel. Related to that, a diphthong keeps both vowel sounds; e.g. AI sounds like eye.

 

Consonants

 

Most consonants have a harder sharper sound where it can be applied; e.g. R, J, D, P, G. The sounds of C and K are very close and the written use in naming is down to preference of the individual. Double consonants are extremely rare, and you usually only see R employed this way. For names: the TH pairing is found often as both an initial and ending element, X is frequent in fire naming, and Z in fire and earth etymology. Water and air prefer softer sounds, and generally favour less plosive and less vibrant consonants.

A note must be made: one of the few names in the story so far that defies most of the above is none other than Araziah. He is a rulebreaker in most senses of the word, pun intended. His name is pronounced Ahr-ah-zy-uh, the latter part of the word sounding the same as you would say Jeremiah.

 

 

Edited by Stellar
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Magic. Magical trenchcoats. I think of the most notable ones I can remember in films and who wore them. My favorites are all heroes for justice and truth,

-but their trenchcoats don't have magic like Agent Crawley's does. Columbo and Vera ain't got nothing like his. He pulls magical evil-killing orbs out of his

pockets. Let's see the others do that! Even the pistol Sam Spade carried in his pocket is lame by comparison.

 

I like  your version. Those pockets are full of surprises, aren't they?

 

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On 7/19/2018 at 9:40 PM, Stephen said:

Magic. Magical trenchcoats. I think of the most notable ones I can remember in films and who wore them. My favorites are all heroes for justice and truth,

-but their trenchcoats don't have magic like Agent Crawley's does. Columbo and Vera ain't got nothing like his. He pulls magical evil-killing orbs out of his

pockets. Let's see the others do that! Even the pistol Sam Spade carried in his pocket is lame by comparison.

 

I like  your version. Those pockets are full of surprises, aren't they?

 

 

Hah, well, you know I wouldn't exactly call Crawley a hero by any stretch of the imagination. For his character, I'd describe him as possibly being an amalgam of various film noir detectives with their overdone cynicism and associated vices and flaws, along with more modern stereotyped video-game throwbacks -- take elements of Tex Murphy and Max Payne for example, with their bleak but often darkly humorous outlooks. Still, the most pointed sources of Crawley's characterisation come from a sort of combination of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett; two masterful authors, and creators of many bizarre and memorable fictional personalities. They are Dirk Gently, the titular character from Adams' two related novels, who is also a PI with connections to the occult -- and Crowley (the naming similarity is NO coincidence!), from Good Omens, who is a literal demon that's been wasting time on Earth since the early days and is more interested in enjoying himself than spreading evil and bringing about the end times. Combine Dirk's jadedness and quirks of personality with Crowley's love of sunglasses, predilection for driving a Bentley (or since it's the USA, a Cadillac), and his fine cheekbones, add a pinch of Stellar's inventiveness, marinade in whiskey and cigarettes for at least three hours, and you get ... Agent Crawley!

 

The voluminous Trenchcoat of Many Pockets is just standard business dress for our intractable agent. The things stocked inside it come from many sources -- gadgets borrowed from the Order, S&W ammunition, cigarette packets, money, hip flasks, sunglasses, pens, paper, notebooks, a cellphone, draconic baubles for special missions, Infinity-Gauntlet dragon-slaying gloves -- and are all necessary tools of the trade. He wouldn't be without his jacket, just like he wouldn't be without his fedora or his Colt Diamondback. Crawley is a man of particular tastes, and nobody can instruct him otherwise.

Edited by Stellar
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Some biology lore for my Spirit of Fire readers. I'd recommend not touching this until probably at least chapter 17, for safety's sake, though there is nothing super spoiler-y in here anyhow. In either case, you've been warned.

 

Spoiler

Draconic Biology: Summary

  • Egg (pre-birth)
    After fertilisation, the egg gestates inside the female for approximately one year. Incubation requires a further two years, during which environmental conditions to maintain the embryonic dragon's viability must be met. The conditions depend on the elemental affinity of the parents (i.e., hot, frozen, electrical, or acidic), and will be typically provided by the female, though males may also participate in caring for the clutch. If viability fails -- and this can occur due to genetic factors, as well as environmental -- the coalescing magic within the egg will collapse the shell and evaporate the contents. If incubation is successful, the egg will hatch. A clutch will generally consist of one to three eggs, based on the age and fertility of both parents, though clutches as large as eight have been reported. Occasionally, a viable egg will not hatch at the expected time, and enter what is known as a latent state. See below for more information on latency.
     

  • Hatchling (birth to 5 years)
    The initial phase of life. In a regular bonded pair, both parents are involved in nurturing during the most vulnerable stage, though the male may not be constantly present if defending territory or averting outside threats for familial protection as needed. Basic magical and physical faculties begin to develop, with speed of growth indicative of future physicality.
     

  • Juvenile (5 to 10 years)
    Development of breath ability and first attempts at sustained flight. Understanding of magical forces continues to expand, along with physical verbalisation and body language knowledge for rudimentary communication.
     

  • Adolescent (10 to 15 years)
    Knowledge of magical morphology allows human-form adoption. Psychic facility reaches stage where advanced communication is possible; vocal projection in dragon form, alongside absorbing human languages. This is to do with the human brain's linguistic centres being highly compatible with draconic magic, allowing the quick and largely painless interfacing and copying of any knowledge related to the spoken and written word. As such, dragons can rapidly 'steal' human languages through this method, learning everything the individual human knows about any given language. Self-sufficiency in terms of hunting and sustenance is usually achieved in this stage, with size eliminating most natural predators as threats. Social bonds begin to complexify due to the dragon's increasing intellectual ability, with parental and peer relations changing relative to the culture and circumstances of the time. Unique power is commonly discovered around this age. Sexual characteristics begin to emerge also, and the first impulses related to this begin to occur.
     

  • Young Adult (15 to 35 years)
    The faster physical growth of the younger stages sharply declines, with the individual's adult size and capability firmly established in his own understanding and that of his contemporaries. Subordination to family authority figures and -- where applicable -- tribal leaders, is generally maintained, though personal autonomy, individualism, ambition, and outward curiosity are hallmarks of this period. Exploration and wanderlust are common. An understanding of the self's future magical, physical, and psychic capabilities is usually attained.
     

  • Adult, Primary Phase (35 to 100 years)
    The desire to mate and pair-bond becomes stronger, though the capacity to reproduce and interest in doing so may last well past this phase of life, into centuries. Engagement with larger political and societal issues, and challenging of the status quo, most often occurs in this period. The most determined and inspired dragons use this time to make a name and establish themselves as a legitimate part of the feudal-nobility analogue that is their society. Though physical growth has mostly slowed, the maturation of psychic and magical power does continue, albeit at a more modest rate.
     

  • Adult, Secondary Phase (100 to 300 years)
    The most active adult phase of life. At some point, youthful aspiration will become balanced by the pragmatism and temperance of experience; an appropriate place in the hierarchy has normally been sought and gained. Active participation in larger conflicts may be temporarily eschewed in favour of family and breeding, as this is the most common phase to seek a partner either solely for parenthood or for permanent cohabitation. Ideological religious demands may sometimes change the biologically-driven expectations of mature adults, and can cause them to forego children if the external pressures are deemed important enough.
     

  • Adult, Tertiary Phase (300 to 500 years)
    The adult's interest in involving themselves in wars and infighting generally peaks during this time and begins to decline into the later ages. Breeding is still common in the tertiary phase, and the individual's increasing prestige with age usually grants a more elevated status. Typically, these are the oldest and largest dragons seen in combat, with the enthusiasm and energy of youth being substituted by caution and cunning.
     

  • Elder (500 to 1000 years)
    In some ways, the prime of a dragon's life. Contrary to many living creatures, the dragon never stops growing at any stage during life; increasing age equates to increasing size and power, though the rate does slow as time goes on. At five centuries, the individual is considered to be an advanced age, though in fine condition and having reached a full embracement of their power. Breeding is still possible though less common, with the point that it stops varying wildly. The end of sexual potency is directly equitable to the loss of all libido; if a dragon wishes to mate in later life, they will know when this desire begins to wane and endeavour to act on it before it disappears entirely. A lessened interest in outside affairs is a hallmark of this period, as most dragons withdraw from the troublesome and invasive business of history and leave it to their younger peers, though some will still be involved out of a lingering sense of duty and allegiance to family and tribal affiliations.
     

  • Ancient (1000 years +)
    The final part of existence, the ancient is not referred to often, not only because there are not many of them, but also because they tend to be very reclusive. Retired from social interactions, they prefer only nominal involvement in wars and politicking, if at all. They are sometimes consulted as arbiters of their respective elements, having gained wisdom and knowledge over the years, but, in general, are left alone and given a respectful berth. Excluding a violent end, a peaceful death only occurs when the dragon loses the will to live and 'lets go' of the body, causing it to succumb to the natural conclusion. In theory, there is no set upper limit on age, and the ability to persist is a function of will alone. If one is particularly strong-willed and resistant to the spiritual weariness that accumulates over centuries, then death can be delayed indefinitely. It must be noted that this fatigue becomes more insurmountable and pronounced the longer the dragon lives.

Latency

A small proportion of eggs are produced that are 'latent' and don't follow the normal birthing cycle; they are fertilised and capable of hatching, but lie dormant well past the regular period. Sometimes, these eggs can be induced to hatch by appropriate elemental stimuli, or may just spontaneously do so when some arbitrary time is reached. It is possible for viability to persist for decades or even up to two centuries after being laid, though such long term 'cold' incubations are unusual.

A prime narrative example of this is Theo, as his father, the previous sire of the Seventh House before older brother Michael, died nearly a hundred years before Theo's hatching. Araziah is another example of this phenomenon; the circumstances surrounding his birth have no suggestion of either parent being present or even alive.

 

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Character profiles, on all your favourite (and not-so-favourite) dragons! This one is definitely a spoiler if you haven't read all the way to chapter 18's finish, so if you want to keep it clean, I'd take care not to read further.
 

Spoiler

Notable Dragons in Spirit of Fire

Some background information on the personalities inhabiting this world. Please note that all ages mentioned are accurate to 2017, as this is the year the story takes place. The main human protagonist, Torsten Wilde, was born in 2001 and is 16 at this time.
 

Thyndorag

-- alias "Theo Irving"
-- born 1981 (36 years old)
-- unique power: object knowledge absorption through physical touch
-- colouring: orange

The fourth brother of the "Irving" household, Thyndorag was a youthful dragon -- the equivalent of a teen -- and an idealistic figure. Though born to the most recognised and prestigious family of his species, unlike the rest of his extended kin, he was relatively unaffected by the malign influence of the Spirit of Fire and had only a token interest in the burdensome expectation of fulfilling prophecy. It was his uncommon resistance to the concept of human slavery and personal infatuation with Torsten Wilde, the subject of his assignment, that led to his decision to seek an alternative way -- which ultimately put him on a collision course with the dragon Araziah.
 

His ability meant that he had 'read' a wide array of both fiction and non-fiction books, which gave him unique insights into modern human culture and allowed a much easier time infiltrating society without having to resort to compulsion. It was this reason he was chosen to pursue the information believed to be in the possession of Terrence Wilde's family.
 

Nerunex

-- alias "Nero Irving"
-- born 1874 (143 years old)
-- unique power: involuntary sleep through physical touch
-- colouring: Martian red-brown

The third brother of the "Irving" household, Nerunex had a history of violent encounters involving the Order's efforts to locate the Fear, and a reputation for vicious uncompromising behaviour in his interaction with human agents. Due to his unique ability, he was often sent on acts of sabotage and espionage by his older brother, who used Nerunex primarily as an enforcer and heavy to get important tasks done. Though most adept at physical combat, he was impatient with the strategic subleties of planning and entrapment, preferring to leave the more intricate aspects to his peers. Regardless, he was still a highly trusted member of the Seventh House, and an individual both feared and targeted by the Order.
 

Darricus

-- alias "Darren Irving"
-- born 1871 (146 years old)
-- unique power: telelocation through physical touch
-- colouring: orange-red

The second brother of the "Irving" household, Darricus is most often responsible for spearheading projects that involve manipulating minds and precise actions. Cautious and careful, his psychic potential and aptitude at the magical arts made him an easy fit for more delicate operations than Nerunex. Though still a steadfast adherent of their primary cause, Darricus loved his younger brother intensely, appreciating Thyndorag's unusual attitude and not automatically dismissing it as foolish naiveté. As such, he took that death particularly hard and holds a special hatred for Araziah.
 

Erezuur

-- alias "Michael Irving"
-- born 1765 (252 years old)
-- unique power: ?????
-- colouring: orange, with red striping

The eldest brother of the "Irving" household, Erezuur is also the sire of the Seventh House, having inherited the position after his father's death in the 1870s. Though he came into control of a great house at a relatively young age for a dragon -- barely more than a single century -- Erezuur was an excellent example of his breed, and embodies everything expected of Xajarkith's line. One of the strongest living psychics, his ability with magic and combat is allegedly significant. Cunning, ruthless, patient; his capacity to plan longer-term and make allowances for contingencies and alternative methods has proved him a more effective leader than the Seventh House has seen in centuries.
 

Born in the American mid-east just prior to the revolutionary formation of the United States, Erezuur has seen the continent transform from a largely virgin frontier into the home of one of humanity's global powers. This extended period of capitalistic opportunism enabled him, and his father before him, to accumulate a large cache of wealth through situational exploitation, and also gave critical insights on the social psychology of the former colonial inhabitants. Such knowledge and the observed predilection for certain behaviours, has served him well in his continuing manipulation of humanity to aid the Conclave in the rebirth of their dead god.
 

Farigul and Karidom

-- aliases "Faye" and "Kaia"
-- born 1962 (both 55 years old)
-- unique power: pyrotic magical flooding through prolonged physical touch
-- colouring: grey, with burgundy patching

The twins Farigul and Karidom were the notorious Ash Sisters, the cousins of the Irving family, and older sisters of Mordred. Though nearly identical in apperance, Farigul was differentiated by her shorter horns (hair, in human form) and was more sadistic and less restrained than Karidom. They were considered very young to be so involved in the politics of their house, but the twins were independent-minded and already had a reputation as bloodthirsty killers. Being known to the Order by their involvement with a large number of crimes on the American continent alone, they had no qualms around performing tasks like torture and slaughter, and in fact gleefully sought out those assignments. The natural quality of their house's bloodline, their unique power, and synergy as twins made them very effective at such tasks and erased any uncertainty over their youthfulness -- a combination that became even more lethal if their brother was also present.
 

Morvalzîr

-- alias "Mordred", "the Grey Prince"
-- born 1971 (46 years old)
-- unique power: psychic stun through visual contact
-- colouring: grey, with burgundy patching

The Grey Prince is, like his sisters, an independent-minded and precocious dragon, and before Araziah's appearance was considered one of the most remarkable prodigy figures in centuries. His psychic ability is currently unchallenged and his magical potential is well known, and though he is still in the earlier stages of adulthood, he will certainly follow and surpass his father's impressive physical stature. He is more cultured and less psychotic than his siblings, with a keen mind and a knack for the many different types of approach to restoring the dead god's dominion.
 

Typically, his sisters are the ones that draw notice for their deeds, though his background involvement has ensured that the Order is aware of who he is, even at his current age. However, the Order has not been able to deduce the point of Morvalzîr's title -- if there is one -- and the curiosity over why he is named the Grey Prince, and if there is any deeper meaning to it, still remains.
 

Luvengor

-- alias "Lothian", "Smoke-touched"
-- born 1493 (524 years old)
-- unique power: smoke generation from self
-- colouring: grey, with very small burgundy markings

The father to the Grey Prince and Ash Sisters, and uncle to the "Irving" family, Luvengor is an elder who was around when the first Europeans were exploring the Americas. One of the older members of the Seventh House actively involved in their cause, Luvengor has witnessed the colonisation and propagation of mankind across both North and South America -- and it is the primary reason he hates humanity, even more so than most of his kind. Though the old world of Eurasia and Africa still had plenty of untouched wilderness, he regarded the western continents -- including the native tribes living there -- as being in equilibrium with the natural order, and safely beyond the reach of the "civilisation" of the rest of humanity. The arrival of colonists and what followed, he deemed a breach of this balance that was equitable to an invasion, or a viral sickness.
 

As such, he avoids towns and cities and refuses to take human form unless absolutely necessary, spending most of his time at Conclave safe points, and traveling through the Corridor. Though he hates people with a passion, he is also known to have a cat-and-mouse curiosity when he does encounter errant humans, sometimes spending time to debate his hapless foe, to deride them and put them on trial for the 'crimes' of their species before killing them -- a sort of behaviour that is referred to as 'playing with one's food' by other dragons.
 

Beyond this, Luvengor is a powerful stalwart of the Seventh House and serves primarily as an advisor to his nephew, Erezuur, and as a facilitator behind-the-scenes of various projects through the Scourge -- though many are terrified of interacting with him, because he can be capricious, domineering, and cruel when it amuses him.
 

Thoravir

-- alias "Tomas Sobran"
-- born 1459 (558 years old)
-- unique power: ?????
-- colouring: red-purple blend

The sire of the Fifth House is an elder, and the closest ally of the Seventh House. Despite being centuries older, he willingly defers to the much younger Erezuur -- as he did with Erezuur's father, also -- on most decisions. This is due to his ardent belief in the power of the prophecy, and in the importance of their respective positions mirroring the relationship that originally existed between the legendary figures of Ushgorim and Xajarkith. Though he has been in the Americas for most of the last two centuries -- primarily Brazil and Argentina -- his house, out of all the great houses of the Conclave, is the most nomadic and prior has spent much time in Africa and Russia. A steady hand, Thoravir is level-headed and not easily swayed by emotional arguments. He is one of Erezuur's few trusted friends, which, on its own, says a lot about his reliability as a leader.
 

Xojoth

-- alias "Xander Sobran"
-- born 1812 (205 years old)
-- unique power: vampiristic life-drain through physical touch
-- colouring: red-purple blend

Heir to the Fifth House, Xojoth was his father's son, and very much prepared to witness the return of the dead god, and eventually take up the lordship of the Fifth House in turn. Similar in personality and stature, in time he would have made a leader figure equally as capable as Thoravir. However, this future was cut short by a surprise attack on the sanctuary of the Seventh House by the Order and their allies, during a very crucial part of the war.
 

Sebakâli

-- alias "Sebby", "the Sword of the Heavens"
-- born 1921 (96 years old)
-- unique power: ?????
-- colouring: platinum

At first, he was simply a representative of the sky goddess helping the Order, but the air dragon Sebakâli was unexpectedly blessed and chosen as a divine advocate. Before this, he was a whimsical and carefree Romeo, sleeping his way around Europe and finding amusement in all the experiences he came across. Involvement in the war was a surprise, but ever the loyal child, he has followed the wishes of his goddess precisely, trusting in her wisdom.
 

What he never planned for was meeting Torsten Wilde.
 

The confluence of human emotions and draconic detachment was not something he was prepared for, nor was the extraordinary situation of sharing it with a second dragon -- the unquestionably dangerous and headstrong Araziah. Nevertheless, Sebakâli has adjusted his worldview with no regrets, embracing this future, determined to hold onto it and make it work, with all the strength he has.
 

Triskeleth

-- alias "the seeress"
-- born 1649 (368 years old)
-- unique power: ????? (seer ability is gifted, not native and unique)
-- colouring: sapphire blue

The seeress was the high priestess of the Tempest, and a revered figure in water dragon society. Though Triskeleth was respected by her contemporaries, she only met with them seldom, preferring a solitary existence like many of her predecessors had, for both her safety and sanity. A dignified and solemn personality, she spent her earlier life in Asia -- particularly Japan and Korea -- before ending up in the United States because of the Second World War. Though she knew long before her capture by the Conclave that she would be used as a pawn against her goddess and tortured to death, she accepted this fate and resolved to do as much good as she was able before she met her successor.
 

Triskeleth's help was instrumental in securing the eighth piece of the Fear, along with several other smaller matters that the Order consulted her over. Ultimately, it was her inexplicable meeting with the then-young Terrence Wilde that proved to be the most consequential -- and her gift of a single scale to the budding geologist.

 

Edited by Stellar
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