Yes, good point. My point was meant to be that the European convention is to put the month in the middle. Making the month a number is not required and spelling it out would be better.
@Scribblesome - If you want the title changed in anyway and can’t do it yourself just let me know what you want it to say.
@Norilinde - sorry for any confusion.
I was going to change it to December but someone already did, thanks!
@Asura: Yeah, I think both Malina and Aden would pretty easily get a crush on a friendly MC.
And there are actually a few different scenarios for how you ended up like you did, so it’s not necessarily what you think…
Oh! That’s good to hear… maybe. Now I’ve got all sorts of conspiracy theories running through my head.
Really liked this one.
Love this story! Cannot wait for updates. One thing that is a little confusing is the dream sequence with Silver and Aden. When he is called “stranger,” I didn’t understand that was Silver- may be just me but a simple clarification may help.
Well…Silver is called Stranger in the beginning. I think we only get to know their other nickname by talking with Mara if we chose the right option and I think the name even then gets only really used after you “rescue” them…so it’s actually pretty consistently to call them Stranger during the dream…
Yeah, I get it. Just in the version I went through Mara called him Silver before the dream sequence so I assumed that a new stranger was presented there. Just some food for thought.
But you may have a point here. On the other side the MC only switches to Silver after asking themself about it I think… (well, actually I’m not even sure MC starts to call them Silver to be completely honest…)
I also think that Stranger is no he…they pretty much go by they/them the whole time…
Yeah, Silver is a they/them. I’m not sure what dream sequence you’re talking about, but were they just called stranger or was it “the stranger”? Because I always associate the “the” with that specific stranger, even after they’ve sort of begun to be referred to as Silver, and I think that’s what the narration is going for
Mara will refer to the stranger as “Silver” before the dream if you decide to tell her and Cren who you’re looling for, but the MC only starts referring to them as Silver once you reunite. I thought calling them Silver in the dream when that name had only been mentioned once before might be more confusing.
I’ve been abandoning Awoken a bit recently! I’ve got to tidy up the parts of various dialogues before I can update. I … hope you want to know stuff about Maltheran nobility, guys.
Also, did a few little scenes as practice/character building, so have a vignette.
Mara's first meeting with Silver. Slight spoilers for some stuff about Mara, but you don't have the right context yet for it to be really spoilery.
The last of the sun had dipped below the treetops and the surrounding forest, already filled with ominous shadows, was sinking into a nightmare gloom. A gloom no doubt filled with wolves and bears and Goddess knew what else that would prey on a lone idiot out in the woods alone. Had she completely lost her mind, agreeing to this? Meet a contact, alone, out in the cold dark forest - even a half-wit would have been more suspicious.
Yes, send her out on a hunt for nothing, and if - when - she never made it back … oh dear, poor Mara, what a shame. Oh well.
But they wouldn’t be that petty, would they? Vin may not like her, probably never would, but the group still needed her, right?
Screw them. She could climb a tree, wait there until daybreak, then find her way out. She had her bow. She’d been in worse situations. Well, differently bad situations.
And then, from above, someone spoke, and she only kept from screaming by clenching her jaw so tight it hurt.
“So, whose bad side did you get on?”
Mara spun around, trying to make out the speaker among the tangled mass of branches overhead. “Who’s there?” she demanded, trying to keep her voice steady.
A heavy thump, and a dark-clad figure rising to a standing position. “I mean, I doubt you volunteered.”
Without warning, the space between them was filled with blazing light. Mara had to shield her eyes until they adjusted to the source of the glare - a ball of light, floating unsupported in mid-air and giving off an eerie blue-green glow. Magic. So maybe that explained some of the secrecy.
“You’re a -” she began, and then she catches sight of the speaker and suddenly didn’t know how to finish the sentence any more.
He - they? it? - looked at her, with eyes that glowed the same unworldly colour as the magic light overhead. No pupils, just unbroken circles set in darkness. And the rest - the hair like molten silver, the skin that seemed to shine like it had been painted with metal. The teeth, pointed like a cat; biting, cutting teeth.
Mara found her hand resting on the hilt of her knife, although what good did she think that would do? Her mind ran frantically through everything she knew about magic, every story, every wild rumour, and came up blank. This wasn’t something from the real world - this was something from a fable.
“Well, you haven’t run off screaming yet, that’s one up on most of Vin’s superstitious bunch.” The person began to walk around her in a circle. Mara, every nerve on edge, couldn’t help but notice the fluidity of its - their - motions, like the hunting prowl of a cat.
Her lungs didn’t seem to want to work, but Mara took in a shuddering breath. Focus. Think. This didn’t seem to be an attack, did it? “Y-you’re Vin’s contact?”
“Mmmm.” They completed their circuit, coming around to face her again. “Was it Vin? The person you’ve so obviously displeased?”
With the initial shock subsiding, better-trained parts of her mind were coming to the fore, providing their observations. The voice had an unmistakably Northern Terrik accent, though well-spoken, well-educated. And the sly grin on their face, the way those eyes watched her, finding entertainment in her discomfort - she’d seen that before, maybe not on a face this strange, but she’d seen it. Intelligent and arrogant, so often a bad combination.
“Vin sent me here to meet with you,” she said carefully, and she was going to have words with Vin when they met again. No wonder all her questions about who exactly she was supposed to be meeting had been brushed aside with a grimace and a ‘you’ll see when you get there’. With, of course, the unspoken addition of ‘now get out of my sight’ that always came with her conversations with Vin.
“And what exactly has Vin sent? I did ask for someone sneaky, you know. How are you at picking locks?”
Huh. Had Vin sent her here out of more than sheer spite? “I have … certain skills.”
“And a liar,” they replied with amusement. She tensed again. Could those eyes see into her very mind? Could magic do that? Or was that supposed to be one of the things magic couldn’t do? She didn’t know much of anything about the limits of magic, and she’d never regretted it so much as right now. “Maybe you’ll be more fun than I thought.”
“What did Vin tell you about me?”
They snort. "Nothing. Which I gather is about as much as you were told about me. So what do they call you?”
“Is that so?” A considering head tilt, and then they turn away. “You’ll do. Tell Vin that I am appeased, and may be gracious enough to help with whatever calamity has befallen you lot this week. I’ll give you more details of what I need later. Don’t have all the plan yet.”
“Wait!” she said as they turned away. Who knew if it was smart to push it, but she needed some answers. Not to mention that if they left now, she’d be back where she started – woods, cold, dark. Bears. “I – I don’t even know your name.”
“Good,” they said, and grinned.
“But how – who – what-?”
They made a ‘tsk’ noise. “There’s a question in there somewhere, isn’t there?” And in the blink of an eye they’re up close to her, giving her the full view of that unwavering stare. “So let me make this simple for you. I’m not going to tell you any more than I’ve told Vin. And, like Vin, you’re just going to have to put up with it, because at the moment you need me more than I need you.”
What had she got herself into? “But what should I call you?”
“You’ll think of something.”
She hurried after them. “If you want me to get a message to Vin, maybe you could help me find the way out of here?”
They stopped again, and she thought maybe this time there was some genuine surprise there. “No night vision, right,” they said after a pause. “Fine.”
And then light burst out from them, their burnished skin melted and flowed, and there was a wolf standing there. Which then spoke. “Are you always this jumpy? Come on, I don’t have all night.”
Edited because I noticed some tense jumping. It’s been too long since I’ve done past tense!
So, I told myself I’d get the update finished tonight, and then I wrote this instead It’s a followup to the Mara piece, which ended up being in first person because, well, Silver isn’t the name they call themself.
[details=Also with mention of female Vin since obscuring the pronouns was just too awkward.]
Mara keeps me waiting so long that I’m starting to draft emergency alternative plans. Maybe the disguise option could work. Of course, to anyone with magic sense I’ll be lit up like the moon on a clear night, but how many could there be? How many could I take?
Not a solution I want, but one I might be driven to if -
Finally! I can hear footsteps; moving at sluggish human pace, but light and sure. I stand up on the statue’s head, peering into the night. The monument is a poor meeting place really, too big, too well-known, but I had to make allowances for Mara.
There. She actually thinks to look up, so I circle round to land behind and shift. Petty, I know, but you’ve got to get your fun where you can find it.
“You took your time,” I say. Only a slight startle. Oh well.
“It was difficult to get in without being noticed,” she says. She looks tired, I think. But she’s reaching in to her pack. “I only got -”
“One book?” The older one, I can tell by the cover. “Where’s the other one?”
“It wasn’t there. I looked everywhere in the room, I swear. Nothing like the one you described. And I didn’t know where else to start looking.”
No, but I can guess who has it, and must be keeping it close. For a memento? A trophy? Considering that mess, both?
I take the book from her. Will this one be enough? It has most of what I need, after all – getting both was more for the surety. It has to be enough, right?
This one’s fragile, the leather binding cracked with age, the vellum browned and ink faded. I’ll have to be careful. I have the sudden image of those hands holding this book, wrapping it and putting it away with scholarly reverence. And at that thought I feel the sudden mad urge to throw it to the ground and stamp it into the dirt, and that thought triggers a warning twinge of pain. No self-sabotage allowed.
“Are you … all right?” says Mara, because right, she’s still here and I’ve been standing here silently talking to myself. That’s becoming a habit. Still, you can’t exactly blame me; I get so little else in the way of intelligent company.
“It’ll do,” I say, as much to myself as her.
Mara watches me, which is interesting in itself. She had the same first reaction as most do: the shock, the awe, the fear. But the next step is usually terrified wariness. The other rebels who see me shrink away from where I stand, crane their heads round to follow my movements as if they think I might explode. As if they think they could do anything if I did.
But she looks … not curious, exactly. Calculating, perhaps. As if she’s putting pieces together and wondering where I fit into the puzzle. She might be smarter than the rest – not that that’s any great accolade.
“Vin said that after this is done she wants to see you,” she says.
Vin says a lot of things, few of which are worth hearing. In this case though, she’s in luck, because I need to see her too. The next step’s going to be a tough sell, which is a pain because it’s vital. But who doesn’t want a wyvern, right? A great scaly noisy beast that drools poison and can eat its own weight in hard-earned meat?
I probably shouldn’t put it to Vin like that.
“Where’s the new place?” The leadership never stays in one place for too long. Got to keep that flame of rebellion alive.
“I can take you there.”
“Or you could just tell me.”
“If I do that, you’ll fly off and leave me here alone,” she says, eyes narrowing.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” I protest. Blatant lie. So nice to have that option.
She’s not convinced. Considering my suspicions, she’s no stranger to blatant lies herself. “How far?” I sigh.
And on the subject of our favourite mysterious stranger, I got this commission done by Charles Tan:
Wait do we know silver’s gender? Or is it left ambiguous? I never realized I never knew till this picture. Which reminds me a lot of clay face from The Batman.
Silver has no gender. Only sass.
Ok gotcha ya. It’s just from my perspective Silver looks kinda feminine in that picture and that’s why I asked.
No worries - they are supposed to be super androgynous, so probably right on the borderline of where people would assume masculine or feminine.