Excerpt from the WIP – Pyr and the gold-and-crimson

Just realised with all this talk about my current Work-In-Progress I haven’t shared any of it so far. Here’s a snippet from tonight’s writing. Things are going poorly for young Pyr, the village boy / apprentice to Felathia the necromancer. He’s been caught and tied up by the people he thought he was tracking. It would seem they are taking him off to the famed Lowland Academy, as his Master’s secrets are in very high demand:

The goat was coated in a pungent spice that the boy had never tasted before. Smoky yet sour. Pyr didn’t think he really liked it but his hunger had returned with a vengeance, and so he gnawed and tore at the stick as best he could.

“Not long now,” the haystack-haired acolyte said, as Pyr sat back on his heels to chew the last of his meal. “Have you been down the causeway? It’s terrifying. Completely black, with only your own lights to guide you. Every now and again a torch left guttering in a sconce, perhaps, that some lonely traveller lit on their way up or down. Vaulted ceiling so high you can’t see the top of it. Whistling air, all around you. Sometimes you swear you hear voices in it.” The man leaned closer. “There are hundreds – thousands, some say – of strange little pathways that lead off, right out through the rock. Why, the whole mountainside must be honeycombed with them. You’d think it’d all come crumbling down, wouldn’t you? But there are other things, too – great grand doors, set fast into the stone, doors with locks that no-one can open. And the great staircase, every inch of it covered in a strange language that no-one can read, or decipher. Made for giants. Or Gods.”

Pyr tried to swallow the last dry lump of meat that had lodged in his throat. “Water,” he gasped.

The haystack acolyte untied a water skin from his belt and held it up so Pyr could drink. “The sooner we’re down in the Lowlands, the better,” he said. “You’ll like it there, you really will. Mecha do everything for us. They cook, they clean. The only thing you’ll have to do is focus on your classes, and learn, and do what the Academy asks of you. Don’t ask too many questions (they don’t like that), but study hard. I’m sure they’ll let you come back and visit your family, one day.”

A bitter aftertaste began to creep up Pyr’s throat, and he wasn’t sure if it was the food, or his own fear.

(I say “it would seem” as, while I do have a sense of where all of this is going, I still enjoy being surprised when things change about as I write them.)

Bonne nuit!

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