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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing

Tests of Blood - 19. Chapter 19

To his great surprise, Dalen Ashkevron had slept – even if it was only for a few hours before dawn came. He’d woken in the arms of Bard Carl Lackley, and realized he was relaxed. For the first time in ages, he had no headache, his energy reserves felt great, and he felt like he was ready for almost anything.

Then Carl had farted.

“Sorry.” Carl murmured in his half-awake state. “I shouldn’t have had the beans last night. Damn Guard field rations.”

“I am so glad we didn’t have sex last night.” Dalen murmured softly, reveling in the feeling of the Bard’s arms around him. It felt good like that, and while Dalen knew that Carl was right, they would never be lovers, he didn’t have a problem with being friends with the Bard and waking up like this again.

“Why is that?” Carl asked gently, prodding Dalen with his hips and typical morning condition.

“Smelling it this way is bad enough.” Dalen said with a laugh and leaped out of bed before the Bard could tickle him, or worse. Instead Carl just leaned back on the cot and smiled at him.

“Very funny, your great highness.” Carl laughed gently.

“Boy, if Bards smelled this bad in the morning, it’s a wonder Vanyel Ashkevron lasted so long with Bard Stefan.” Dalen joked, and this time there was no twinge of fright deep in his chest at the comparison.

“Why do you think I said I wasn’t in love with you?” Carl laughed as he sat up on the cot and smiled at Dalen. “I like you, kid, but I’m not spending a thousand years with no company but you.”

“Oh, my poor broken heart.” Dalen laughed and was surprised at the feeling of freedom that filled him. It was a new experience, a new emotion, and instead of controlling it instantly, he let it swarm through him, fill him, and found he was happier for the experience.

“It feels good, doesn’t it?” Carl asked gently and Dalen nodded with a smile on his face.

“I think I owe you my thanks, Carl.” Dalen said seriously.

“Good, I’ll take your thanks as a rain check.” Carl said with a devious grin.

“A rain check for what?” Dalen asked. “What the hell is a raincheck anyway?”

“Oh damnation.” Carl said with a chuckle and a shake of his head. “Don’t tell me you’re one of those nobles that haven’t heard of the new things by the banks, the check.”

“No, I’ve heard of them.” Dalen said cautiously. “What is a rain check though?”

“It started in Haven with some of the stores that take the banking checks now.” Carl explained. “Basically it means if the store normally sells something but is out of stock, they’ll give the customer a ‘rain check’. When it is in stock, the customer turns in the check and is guaranteed whatever it was issued for before other customers.”

“Oh.” Dalen said with a frown. “So, you’re getting a rain check from me for what?”

“You told me you wanted to throw me on the floor and have your way with me.” Carl said with a leer. “I just want to make sure you do it on a floor with pillows.”

“Um, am I interrupting something?” Herald-mage Loishia asked from the doorway with a smile on her face.

“Sadly, my seduction attempt failed.” Carl laughed and Dalen felt his cheeks blushing hotly at the look the Herald gave him.

“Oh dear, how sad.” Loishia laughed. “I had a silver piece riding on your famous skills at seduction, Bard.”

“You!” The outrage escaped Dalen’s mouth before he’d even thought it, and the two of them nearly collapsed with laughter.

“Someone’s having a good time in here.” Herald Nevin said from behind Loishia, who straightened up a bit.

“I owe you a silver piece.” Loishia stated flatly and Dalen’s cheeks blushed even hotter while his eyes grew wider than saucers.

“Not him too!” Dalen squeaked, and then hung his head as he realized how his voice had cracked.

“Lad, the more you get to know us, the more you’re going to find that Heralds are the worst gossips in the kingdom.” Nevin said with a good-natured grin on his face. “I remember when Rothar first discovered his trysts with Vera weren’t quite as secret as he’d thought. He never thought it would be his Companion that had told on them.”

“I’m sorry, you were a friend of the King’s, weren’t you?” Dalen said when the older Herald looked sad after his statement.

“Sort of.” Nevin said quietly. “I was year-mates with Vera, who was the King’s first crush. We were two years behind him.”

“I never knew that.” Dalen said softly. “I always thought he and Lady Ythalrelia had been in love.”

“That was a state marriage.” Nevin said with a shrug. “Vera told me that Rothar truly did care about his wife before her death.”

“I see.” Dalen said quietly as the mood in the room turned slightly somber.

“Enough about the past.” Nevin said with a clap of his hands. “A new day dawns for Valdemar, and if we’re going to see it end right, we have work to do.”

“Yes, we do.” Dalen agreed. “I should be going soon.”

“I believe the cooks have prepared a good breakfast for you.” Loishia said with a smile.

“The Captain and I also want to go over some things and get your direction before you leave.” Nevin said and Dalen looked at him with a frown.

“Herald, I’m sixteen.” Dalen said softly. “Why are you and her both deferring to me this much? It’s one thing when Rothar was alive and I was his representative, but…”

“But nothing has changed, Prince Dalen.” The Herald said as he pulled himself up straighter and gave Dalen a very direct look. “King Rothar trusted you, gave you his commission to act in his name. He may be back in the Havens now instead of in Haven, but his trust in you still matters. Until a new Monarch has been crowned to replace him, you have the authority and the legitimacy to act in his stead. In fact, you have far more legitimacy than anyone else in this kingdom, including your mother.”

“Why?” Dalen asked.

“That little document that King Rothar gave me to give to you.” Nevin said in a serious manner. His gaze was direct, fixed on Dalen’s, and brooked no argument. “He put his full faith in you to handle the troubles in this part of the kingdom and gave you plenipotentiary powers in dealing with the enemies we faced, including negotiating with foreign governments. There are less than four people with similar documents on their persons, and none of them are members of the Royal Family.”

“There’s one more reason as well.” Carl said gently and all the eyes in the room turned to look at him. “Captain Helgenberger, Herald Nevin, and many of the officers here know you. They trust you to do what is right for Valdemar and not just for yourself or your supporters. If you think that your mother is doing the right thing and you come back here to tell us that, we will follow you because we trust your judgment.”

“The Bard is right about that.” Captain Helgenberger’s voice came from behind the Herald. “Now if you lot are done with impressing the boy by showing our loyalty to him, how about we actually get some things done this morning?”

“Yes.” Dalen agreed after taking a deep breath and meeting the gazes of each of the people in the room. Their words scared him, and yet at the same time they justified something he’d always felt, something that he’d always believed.

Doing the right thing because it was the right thing was far better than doing things the way his mother often had when he was growing up.

It was mid-morning before he was done with all the things that the Captain and Herald wanted him to review. They had many concerns, not the least of which was the Menmillith camp inside Valdemar. No one quite believed the ‘promise’ that the situation was handled, but at the same time they could not risk an all-out assault to drive them out of Valdemar. If Dalen needed military support in Haven, that had to be their top priority.

Then there were the couriers that Herald Nevin sent out, all of them Heralds bonded to the fastest Companions available. Those were sent out to all the sector capitols and the Heralds on circuit, warning them of events in Haven and telling them to assemble in the valley camp here in the south of Valdemar.

Captain Helgenberger would also be sending out scout-messengers to feel out other Valdemar Guard units on the current situation. What the military forces did would play a large role in how things were handled. Dalen hoped things would be resolved without Valdemaran spilling Valdemaran blood, and he would seek every opportunity to make that happen.

Valdemar had never, ever experienced a civil war and Dalen was not about to have history record that he started one.

When he was done, the sun was well up in the sky as he looked out of the cavern entrance. No one was happy when he turned down Carl’s offer to go with him. This time he’d turned it down because he had a mission for the Bard, and the Bard was not happy. Still, he’d agreed to go and Dalen did not want them to be directly associated by showing up in Haven together. It would draw too much attention to Carl, and he was going to be in enough danger as it was.

“You sure you don’t want to take Moana?” Lee asked Dalen for the third time that morning.

“No, I thank you for loaning her to me, but it will be best if I go on foot.” Dalen said.

“Are you sure?” Lee asked again as Dalen looked out over the valley. More reinforcements were beginning to stream in, and he could see Captain Helgenberger pulling their officers aside for some quick conferences. She was going to have a difficult time explaining things to her fellow Captains, but he believed she was up for the task. The leader of the 34th Valdemaran Guards was a strong woman, and a more than capable leader.

“I’m sure.” Dalen said firmly. “If I need a mount getting out of Haven, you bring her with you when I set up the Gate.”

“You got it.” Lee said, extending his arm. Dalen took it, and then gave in to the emotion that swelled up inside of him, and turned the handclasp into a hug.

“Take care of yourself my friend.” Dalen whispered into Lee’s ear.

“Come back to us, Dalen.” Lee whispered back. Dalen turned at that point, straightened up his mage uniform and nodded at Herald Nevin who was watching from nearby. They had already said goodbye, and so Dalen took a step back from the main entrance of the caves. He’d used it as a Gate terminus before, and the soldiers were in place below making sure no one made the mistake of coming up the hill at the wrong time.

“Wow, it looks like the middle of the forest.” Lee whispered when the Gate had formed and they could see wild, overgrown bushes and a worktable.

“That’s odd.” Dalen frowned.

‘What’s odd?” Lee asked him with a worried expression.

“The plants are overgrown, and that’s not the workroom I intended.” Dalen said and then he shrugged. “It is the Burnham Vale though. I recognize the construction.”

“You sure?” Lee asked. “Maybe you should try again.”

“I won’t be able to try again until tomorrow.” Dalen frowned. “Sometimes Gates go a little off from where you intended. It’s the nature of the spell. I haven’t explored every workroom in the Vale, but I do know it’s the same place. If it wasn’t, well I wouldn’t be going through.”

“You certain…” Lee started to protest but Dalen had already strode forward and was through the Gate. The world spun as he went through the Gate and he felt the familiar sensation of passing through it, but when he came through the other end, he felt the world slip out from under him. Instead of shutting down normally, the gate closed with a snap, and Dalen found himself grasping nothing, literally. All his power was sucked out of him and he fell to the floor.

“Techol, tak solech?” The voice was whispering in his ear, and Dalen lifted his head, trying to get his bearings. He was dizzy, and the voice was making no sense as it continued on, saying things he couldn’t quite grasp. He groaned as he sat up and shook his head, regretting it when the room spun some more. It was dark, with only faint glimmers of light coming from somewhere, and he lifted his hand to form a mage-light when he realized he had no power inside of him. He was bone dry, and he remembered the odd way the Gate had snapped shut behind him.

He groaned again as he reached out with his senses, hoping to see the three nodes. It was only because he was expecting to find nodes that he didn’t open up fully, and that was what saved him as he discovered he was surrounded by wild, uncontrolled power. If he’d ever imagined what it would be like to be inside a node, this would be it, and his eyes flew open with surprise.

That was when he got another surprise.

There was a body in front of him, lying on its side, an expression of agony on the face. The long, white hair, flowing robes and elaborate jewelry proclaimed the dead man was Tayledras, but Dalen could not guess at how long this body had been lying there. A closer examination showed his face was deeply lined, as Dalen had heard was common with Tayledras mages of great age. Dalen reached out a hand and felt the cheeks of the dead man.

“Cold.” Dalen whispered as he pulled his hand back. The cheek was stiff and ice cold there on the floor in front of him, but perfectly preserved. He could have been dead for a day, or less, but the man’s bowels had not released, which was odd.

“Ah, Valdemaran.” The voice said and Dalen jumped, looking around. He needed to see, and he risked a tentative touch to the wild power outside the room he was in, drawing in only the barest trickle of it, filling the gaps inside of him where power had been before. It was just a tiny bit of power, but when he had enough, he cast a mage-light that glowed white and lit the room.

It was a workroom, but it looked old and disused. His impression that it had been a part of Burnham Vale was correct, but the wild power outside meant it wasn’t actually a part of the Vale. Putting everything together he realized who the body must have been.

“Windfire k’Chona.” Dalen whispered.

“Right again, young man.” That same male voice said and Dalen looked around in fear and surprise, only to see nothing. “Please, if you will, dim your light a trifle.”

“You speak Valdemaran well, but you still have a Tayledras accent.” Dalen said to the unseen voice as he dimmed his light. He should have been shocked when the faint figure of the dead mage appeared in front of him, hovering over the body it had inhabited in life. A shiver of pure cold did go up and down Dalen’s spine though.

“What might be your name, young one?” The dead mage asked.

“I am Dalen Valdemar Ashkevron.” Dalen answered.

“Yes, you have the look of the Ashkevrons, but your face, and your powers, well I would not be surprised to see either in the Vales.” The mage chuckled softly.

“I am descended from Herald-Mage Elspeth k’Sheyna k’Valdemar and Darkwind k’Sheyna.” Dalen explained gently, but with pride showing in his voice.

“You have a right to be proud of a heritage like that.” Windfire said with a nod of his head and smile. “Truth to tell, I expected her to come haring to my rescue when I found myself trapped here, even if her and Darkwind had moved back to the Vales.”

“Everyone thought you’d gone back to k’Chona.” Dalen said and felt another shiver go up and down his spine. A lot of things had happened in the last few weeks, but this was the oddest of them all.

“Look, now that we know what happened, when I get things settled down, I’ll send to the Vales and they can come back for you.” Dalen said quickly. “Valdemar’s in a crisis and I need to get back.”

“When isn’t Valdemar in a crisis?” Windfire asked as he chuckled.

“That’s not a very nice comment.” Dalen chastised him.

“Don’t take that tone with me, youngster.” The man, or spirit’s, voice was sharp, but there was still a smile on his face.

“Sorry, but I do need to get back.” Dalen said. “I was trying to Gate back to Burnham.”

“Ah, that is how you ended up here.” Windfire stated calmly. “It would make sense, although I wonder how long it has been and why you are the first to Gate to the place. I chose the location for my studies because it was sparsely populated, and a disaster with my studies would not harm people. The village was far enough away that it would not be damaged.”

“Your Vale is now at the center of a large city of thousands.” Dalen said in a matter-of-fact tone. “As near as I can guess, you’ve been stuck in here for around sixty years, probably.”

“That long?” The man asked with a raised eyebrow. “I thought maybe you were one of Elspeth’s grandchildren.”

“My mother was her great-grandchild.” Dalen stated flatly. “Now, I promise to send word immediately to the nearest Vale, but I need to get going.”

“Good luck, then.” Windfire stated. “Unless you’re another Firesong k’Treva that made full Healing Adept by the time puberty struck, I doubt you’ll be able to figure this out on your own.”

“Figure what out?” Dalen asked as he looked around. There was a large stone doorway directly behind him, large enough for four men on horseback to ride through without bending their heads, and he guessed that was the Gate Terminus through which he’d arrived.

“That arch there is what killed me, you might say.” Windfire said in an amused voice and Dalen turned to stare at the spirit. “Can’t you tell where we are? Even at Master-level a Healing-Mage like you should be able to tell where we are.”

“I’m not a Healing-Mage.” Dalen snapped. “I’ve been trained in traditional magic, not the nature magic stuff the Tayledras teach.”

“Nature magic?” Windfire snorted. “What other magic is there besides that created by nature and the life around us?”

“That’s not what it means.” Dalen answered angrily. “Look, are you going to tell me how to get out of here or not? Do I just make another gate? It’s going to be some time before I can build up the energy. I don’t dare take in more than a little bit from wherever we are.”

“You’ll have to do more than that, boy.” Windfire snapped. “I was killed when I tried to anchor my Permanent Gate to the node below my little Vale.”

“Are you insane!” Dalen shouted. “The last person to try that created a crater two hundred feet wide!”

“Yes, I know.” Windfire said with a sad grin. “Losien was my partner in the studies, which is why I moved down to Burnham to finish our research.”

“The King of Hardorn outlawed all such research after that incident.” Dalen growled as he shook his head. “So did Valdemar, and the rest of the Alliance! No one knew that was what you were studying down here!”

“Which was how I meant it to go.” Windfire snapped. “Losien was a great mage of the Imperial type, full of measurements and laws of magic and such. I thought together, combining my intuitive understanding of magic and his scientific approach we could master Permanent Gates and power them from nodes instead of living mages. After he failed, I spent a decade researching what went wrong. I almost had it figured it out when I got distracted. My damn bird died. No, I can’t blame him. He was old, and it was his time, but it distracted me and we nearly had a repeat of what happened in Hardorn. This time though, I was able to divert the energies and instead of creating a crater, well my lab was sent into the plane where Gates are created. You’re not familiar with the research of Firesong into this realm, are you?”

“No.” Dalen admitted. “The Tayledras offered to teach me when I was younger, but I had no interest in their kind of magic.”

“Typical Valdemaran.” The spirit snorted.

“Typical Tayledras.” Dalen retorted angrily. He had things to do besides standing around talking to the spirit of some long-dead Tayledras Adept. “So damn arrogant and damn mystical that they don’t just straight out tell you what is going on.”

“Ah the temperamental nature of youth.” The spirit chuckled. “Fine, if you don’t want to listen to my mysterious Tayledras answers, why don’t you just leave?”

“I would if I could!” Dalen growled angrily.

“Yes, if you could.” Firewind laughed. “But you cannot, so if you were a smart young man, you’d calm down and listen to what this mysterious Tayledras spirit has to say to you.”

“Fine.” Dalen harrumphed and found an old chair to sit in while he waited for the spirit to answer.

“Do you know the story of Ma’ar?” Firewind asked him.

“Yes.” Dalen said shortly, and then when the spirit did not continue he let out an angry breath before continuing. “He was the Sorcerer-Adept that tried to take over Urtho’s kingdom and died at the same time as Urtho, creating the mage storms. Ma’ar found some way to preserve his spirit and kept on coming back to life by possessing his descendents until Adept Firesong destroyed his spirit in its secret lair, ending the war with Ancar.”

“Succinct, and yet missing so many details.” The spirit rippled as it sighed. “Tell me, have you ever wondered where Ma’ar’s spirit went when its body died?”

“Why would I wonder about that?” Dalen asked. “It’s not like I have any thoughts on copying him.”

“No, and that is a good thing.” Firewind said calmly. “A mage as powerful as you appear to be would have no problem copying Ma’ar, if he was ruthless and power hungry enough.”

“I am neither of those things.” Dalen said contemptuously. Would the damn spirit get to the point?

“Please, bear with me, youngling.” The spirit said. “You say it has been only sixty years, but to me it has been an eternity here in the place where Ma’ar’s spirit waited for more victims.”

“What!” Dalen exclaimed as he leaped to his feet, looking around wildly. “Are you telling me we are in Ma’ar’s refuge?”

“No, but it is in the same plane.” Windfire assured him. “This is what some call the Gate Plane, where the energy from the nodes in our world go to eventually. It is full of mage energy, and I have sensed that while the energy flows out from our world into this one, it also flows back into our world from here as well. It is this plane that makes travel by Gates possible, because here all is energy and thought can become matter. If I had not held this workroom in my mind, even at the point of my death, when I brought it and all in it here where the explosion of power would not damage our world, then well, without my mind holding it here, it would cease to exist.”

“What about me?” Dalen asked.

“What you see, what you feel, is in your mind and mine.” The Tayledras answered cryptically. “Your flesh is merely energy, but you remember its pattern and so you see yourself in here, safe and sound. I knew my body was dead even as this room transitioned here, and so I am a spirit instead of flesh and blood.”

“I don’t understand.” Dalen said with a frown.

“Of course you don’t because in here, the laws of magic that you are so certain of do not work the same.” The Tayledras said with a grin. “It is why Losien’s failure destroyed a part of Hardorn and my failure only caused part of our world to disappear, but there was a trap of a sort. You see, when you tried to Gate to Burnham, the Permanent Gate I was trying to create partially exists there. Your Gate was drawn to it, and so you came out here instead. I could not prevent that, but it was my hope that a Tayledras Adept searching for me would be the one to come through. With my help, he could easily fix what I did wrong, and then return this workroom and all in it to our world. Then my spirit would go to the Goddess and I would be able to rest at last.”

“But instead you got me.” Dalen said sourly as he sat back down in the chair. His mind tried to analyze if it was really there or not, but he gave up before he somehow managed to reason himself out of existence.

“Yes, I got you instead.” Windfire said with a sigh. “You are young, with your whole life ahead of you.”

“I don’t have time to wait around here for sixty more years before someone else comes through.” Dalen growled. “Valdemar needs me!”

“Then you will have to take up where I left off, and figure out the solution.” Windfire said gently.

“Why can’t you just teach me what I need to know?” Dalen asked and Windfire stared at him.

“I will, and gladly.” Windfire said. “I have no desire to be stuck in here with a surly teenager.”

“You have a good grasp of Valdemaran.” Dalen said to change the subject.

“I am taking it from your mind as we speak.” Windfire said. “Your shields are full of holes any experienced mage can walk through.”

“My shields are…” Dalen started to protest, but gave up after a moment. This spirit was making him feel small and insignificant. It was an odd feeling for him.

“I am sure by the standards of your time your shields are quite excellent.” Windfire’s spirit said haughtily. “But I am a Tayledras Healing Adept with decades of experience. Most mage’s shields would be full of holes to me.”

“What are we going to do?” Dalen asked with a sigh.

“First, I am going to teach you Tayledras.” Windfire said gently. “Valdemaran simply does not have a grasp of the concept I need, or at least your knowledge of Valdemaran is not enough. No, don’t react with anger like that. I think while we work on language, we will also work on your temper.”

“I can control my emotions.” Dalen snapped.

“I am not talking control as you are thinking.” Windfire stated. “You Valdemarans, always thinking of it like you were mastering something. No, I will teach you to ride with your emotions, to be one with them and guide them in the direction that you want them to go, to experience them when it is appropriate, and to help them subside when they get in your way. Then we will go into what you think of as ‘nature’ magic and you will learn that the world we live in is far more complex than your most complicated machine.”

“We’re not in that world right now, remember?” Dalen fumed.

“I remember, but as I told you, this plane exists because it receives power from our world, and power goes back to our world from here.” Windfire said with a smile as he switched languages. “See you will, how all things connect.”

Dalen wanted to close his eyes, but he was too worried that doing that would cause him to cease to exist, and instead he did his best to listen to the dead mage.

Valedmar and its world belong to Mercedes Lackey. Everything else belongs to dkstories. Copyright ©2013; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing
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Heh. I can't believe you just threw us a training opportunity for Dalen. The theme of training under a new master/teacher is one that I hold quite dear to my heart.

 

I wonder how time differs between the planes? For Dalen's sake I hope that it's favorable. Dalen will come out of this experience much more powerful but if it takes a few days then this is just another unfortunate road block in his efforts to help Valdemar. The Tayledras seems like a good man if a bit blinded by his search for knowledge. I bet he has a lot to teach Dalen about himself and magic as a whole.

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yes i like that he has a training opportunity with mage firsong i always thought he will get into that room but i thought the room would have opened for him not like how it happened here. Dalen really pisses me off with his attitude, i don't remember being like that when i was that a teenager not so long ago. i really want to slap the child or shake him, i hope he sits and listens and learns and improve himself and get out of his stupid self importance.

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On 01/30/2013 11:14 AM, itachibones said:
yes i like that he has a training opportunity with mage firsong i always thought he will get into that room but i thought the room would have opened for him not like how it happened here. Dalen really pisses me off with his attitude, i don't remember being like that when i was that a teenager not so long ago. i really want to slap the child or shake him, i hope he sits and listens and learns and improve himself and get out of his stupid self importance.
I'll just mention here that when I first wrote this I probably cursed myself with having a teenager who can match Dalen's stubbornness and total blindness to things that should be obvious. *sigh*
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On 01/30/2013 10:58 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
Heh. I can't believe you just threw us a training opportunity for Dalen. The theme of training under a new master/teacher is one that I hold quite dear to my heart.

 

I wonder how time differs between the planes? For Dalen's sake I hope that it's favorable. Dalen will come out of this experience much more powerful but if it takes a few days then this is just another unfortunate road block in his efforts to help Valdemar. The Tayledras seems like a good man if a bit blinded by his search for knowledge. I bet he has a lot to teach Dalen about himself and magic as a whole.

What's worse than a lesson you don't really want? A lesson you don't really want at a time you are desperate to be somewhere else...
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I couldn't help but think of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner reading this chapter!

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

`By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,

Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

 

The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,

And I am next of kin;

The guests are met, the feast is set:

Mayst hear the merry din.'

 

He holds him with his skinny hand,

"There was a ship," quoth he.

`Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'

Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

 

He holds him with his glittering eye -

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

And listens like a three years' child:

The Mariner hath his will.

 

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:

He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner. ...

How fortuitous for Dalen to be sidetracked like this! I think we will find than this little detour will only be but a moment in time, but the chance to study under the tutelage of Windfire will be invaluable! He has always seemed to wonder about the path of learning he's chosen and what he's missed by not studying under the Tayledras. Will he learn what he failed to about earth-sense? Hehehe!

The adjective best describing Dalen is impetuous. He is always in a hurry. But it is when he stops and absorbs everything around him when good things happen to him ... case in point, meeting Bart in the garden. And with magic, when he encountered the first blood-path mage. So while he thinks time is of the essence to save Valdemar, being a good student of history, he should pay attention to his own ... nothing good happens when he rushes. So I hope he takes this time to take comprehensive stalk of who he's become and what more he has to learn. He is incomplete as he is, and I think Selenay, knowing her son, is counting on impetuous Dalen returning to Haven. Perhaps it will be a "sadder, but a wiser" mage who will "walk the morrow morn" in Haven. :-) Thanks, Dan!

On a side note, knowing that this is a reposting, how do our comments (from those of us who weren't following Gay Authors when you first posted this story) compare to those from before? And how does it feel for you knowing that our comments won't influence the story whereas they might whilst you were in the midst of writing the story before? Just curious. :-)

Apologies for the long post. :-)

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On 01/30/2013 01:49 PM, Rosicky said:
I couldn't help but think of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner reading this chapter!

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

`By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,

Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

 

The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,

And I am next of kin;

The guests are met, the feast is set:

Mayst hear the merry din.'

 

He holds him with his skinny hand,

"There was a ship," quoth he.

`Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'

Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

 

He holds him with his glittering eye -

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

And listens like a three years' child:

The Mariner hath his will.

 

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:

He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner. ...

How fortuitous for Dalen to be sidetracked like this! I think we will find than this little detour will only be but a moment in time, but the chance to study under the tutelage of Windfire will be invaluable! He has always seemed to wonder about the path of learning he's chosen and what he's missed by not studying under the Tayledras. Will he learn what he failed to about earth-sense? Hehehe!

The adjective best describing Dalen is impetuous. He is always in a hurry. But it is when he stops and absorbs everything around him when good things happen to him ... case in point, meeting Bart in the garden. And with magic, when he encountered the first blood-path mage. So while he thinks time is of the essence to save Valdemar, being a good student of history, he should pay attention to his own ... nothing good happens when he rushes. So I hope he takes this time to take comprehensive stalk of who he's become and what more he has to learn. He is incomplete as he is, and I think Selenay, knowing her son, is counting on impetuous Dalen returning to Haven. Perhaps it will be a "sadder, but a wiser" mage who will "walk the morrow morn" in Haven. :-) Thanks, Dan!

On a side note, knowing that this is a reposting, how do our comments (from those of us who weren't following Gay Authors when you first posted this story) compare to those from before? And how does it feel for you knowing that our comments won't influence the story whereas they might whilst you were in the midst of writing the story before? Just curious. :-)

Apologies for the long post. :-)

Long reviews are always appreciated - the fact someone cares enough about a story I wrote to write this long of a review is flattering.

 

Impetuous is definitely a good way to describe Dalen. I'd also use the term 'fickle'. He's always going from one thing to the next without necessarily sticking around to find the deeper meaning of something. Hopefully this little sidetrip might help. Then again it might hurt too.

 

A long time ago I switched from posting stories as I write them to posting almost everything only after it's completed or when it's very close to being completed. A big part of this is because it allows me to go back to chapter 1 and change something to make the story flow better or to stay consistent. I didn't do that with one very notable story and it ended up killing the story 3/4 of the way through. A lot of people were dissappointed by that and I don't blame them one bit.

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