I like to wake up early in the morning and watch the sunrise but no matter how many times I see it I know I can never speak the entirety of it’s beauty into my work.
But I can try over and over and over. Surely, I’ll get it right someday. At least that’s what I give myself as an excuse to write this stuff. This is Story of Mages, a scene in which Carbon, a bastard noble and newly stationed mage charged with protecting a repair vessel, Sinistraea, first attempts to earn his mettle amidst the ship’s crew.
To the sound of drumbeats matched only by the tinkling of the far off Pillar’s chains, Sinistraea glid across a bubbling vorpal curtain of deepest blue. The heat of first sun was so incisive it seemed to shatter and dissipate the growing storm, burning rain drops in the sky until what was left was a scattering squall. Carbon’s eye’s bulged, he tasted galvanized air which failed to recede with the dying atmospheric pressure.
“Cannons!” A cry from the hawk’s nest promised the Kel’ were not far. Bayaen soon descended to the deck once more, stopping to motion come hither to the young Wyrm. Carbon followed Bayaen up a Jacob’s ladder made of hundreds of thin gold chains, until he was ¾ the way up the 60 foot mast.
“You say you’re a proponent of the ends;” Bayaen grumbled, his voice seemingly trained to cut through the screaming wind, “a man capable of dark deeds, like myself and the rest of our host. I hope you weren’t lying, because we’re all sticking our necks to the scythe here, including the woman you call mother.”
“I don’t know if murderers like us are capable of love, but I will remind you to think of her if you start getting dense feet. Because if push comes to shove, and you don’t act…” Bayaen pulled a shiv of polished stone from his belt, flashing it under Carbon’s chin. The dun glow of fire ran through the foggy calcite, beginning from a makeshift handle soiled and wrapped in thin rags.
“Now we know where your shirt went.’ Carbon joked, his voice cracking as the blade jabbed harder. A sizzle burned as it pressed up to his neck through the tempe, and Carbon slowly raised himself the rest of the way to the Hawk’s nest.
With a flick of his eyes to the light of the first rising sun, he became near-blinded by the bright silver, seeing only a flock of birds in the direction of the shadowed fingers beyond the low hanging pall of mist on sea.
Though it was rake-sharp, the weapon was squat for a dagger, forcing the swill smelling first mate closer. Seams at the blade’s core drew Carbon’s eyes to a stone carved with a rune inlaid just above the hilt, Pyrum: the flame of explosions.
“My Flame?!” Carbon cried, now dismayed.
Bayaen’s face scrunched to a savage smile at this, and he held the knife more oddly, his breath becoming suddenly ragged as he pushed the tip of the fang’s curve into the embers at Carbon’s neck one last time. Carbon cringed back, expecting pain as he brought his hands to his neck, feeling the hot rush of red.
“I know you’re out here trying to redeem your nebulous honor or some other rakeshit, but this ain’t one of your petty contests or noble disputes. If you can’t find it in you to perform, I’ve got a way to make you. Never forget Wyrm, the Sinistraea’s first mate is never far behind, ready to take what is needed for the mission. Wouldn’t you like it. To see this all go KaBoom, once again?” Bayaen slid back down the mast, leaving Carbon smarting from a burn to the soft of his neck. But barring the insults, something deep accepted Bayaen’s words. He doubted himself too, after all.