Character Origins #3: Edward and Byron

Year 1275AD
Ostra

“Any thoughts, Your Highness?”

Edward did not respond. He just stared beyond the parapet, his feet rooted to the floor. Somehow, he still did not feel safe.

“How high is it?” Byron asked instead, his face, as usual, showed more fascination than fear.

“Ah! About thirty feet, Your Highness,” Captain Reiner replied, grinning.

“It is not much taller than that of Torden, then. The Wall of Lumiere is twice as tall, is it not?”

“Yes, it is, Your Highness. However, Ostra already has enough natural fortification towards three sides, and as you already know, Torden suffers from other constraints.”

Byron leaned over the parapet, much to his cousin’s chagrin. Taking a deep breath, he spat towards the ground, and observed it slowly falling through the air, and glittering under the noon sun. Continue reading Character Origins #3: Edward and Byron

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Book of the Week #21:

Don Quixote,

by Miguel de Cervantes

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness — and the maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!

Okay, after the short detour, we return to the realm of literary heavyweights. And what book to begin with better than Don Quixote, often referred to as first significant European novel of the Modern Age.

I often find writing about a book that carries such reputation to be quite daunting; and often equally unnecessary, since everything that does need to be said about such books already has been, and by great minds than myself.

However, with this one, I will make an exception, because it is my personal connection to the story that makes it special… Continue reading Book of the Week #21:

Word of the Week #21:

Clandestine

Now, this is a word we often encounter in James Bond movies, where a famous businessman also happens to be the head of a big, bad organisation that does big, bad things…

Of course, such organisations exist only in popular fiction and equally unpopular conspiracy theories, right?

After all, our ever-so-vigilant government would immediately hunt them down and kick their ass, right?

Like, if they can claim to put us in jail for opening Torrent sites, one must assume the country has run out of big, bad guys to prosecute and is now scouring the land for the tiniest of bad guys, right? Continue reading Word of the Week #21:

Character Origins #2: Rafael

Year 1275AD
Staal

Rafael’s Narrative

“How do you feel, My Young Prince?”

On its face, that was a simple question, and yet I did not quite know how to answer it. For one, its tone almost seemed to mock me.

Yes, after three years of absence, I would have preferred to have my family welcome me home, and to not have every meal for the past week by myself, but I had not expected it. We are not the most sentimental of people, anyway.

Still, it did feel good to be back.

Despite the many changes within and beyond the Castle, the view across our balcony had remained the same. The dull, limestone mountains to our North looked just the same, under the pale blue sky. The quarrying operations were probably being conducted further to the North.

Continue reading Character Origins #2: Rafael

Book of the Week #20:

Blindsight,

by Robin Cook

It has been a while since I wrote one of these, right? I had almost forgotten the format I usually use…

And as I picked this book out of the shelf, my sister was like, “Really? Blindsight? Do something like Mutation or Coma…”

Yes, those two do have a more intriguing plot, but that is not the only thing that comes a good book. Blindsight was the launchpad for the main protagonist, who has thus far featured in ten books. And that is one of the things that I love about this book; it is a beginning…

Plus, it was the first Robin Cook novel I read, and that is always a factor. Continue reading Book of the Week #20:

Word of the Week #20:

Transmutation

I initially intended to use Metamorphosis, but this is slightly better, and for a very simple reason:

This way, you don’t imagine a weird, winged worm bursting out of a perfectly agreeable little cocoon, while we are talking about significantly more important things…

Plus, I do tend to prefer metallurgy over biology…

Change, as we seem to have accepted, is inevitable, and yet we often fail to observe it in ourselves. It is only when we introspect over it, forced by a chance encounter or unforeseen circumstance, that we begin to realise.

Recently, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with a couple of old friends, and while I often maintain otherwise, they did all comment about how grown up I seem.

And while I still do not entirely agree with them, I can understand why they would think so…

This path has been a long, taxing, and at times somewhat frustrated, and it may have left several worthy predecessors lost and broken. But it is only after bearing the heat and hammering along the way have I acquired my shine.

Of course, there would be many who would disagree, and to them, my message is simple:

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Character Origins #1: Zeleina

Year 1272AD
Torden

“Here we are.”

The hushed voice was still loud enough, in the tight confines of their carriage, to rouse her from the light drowse.

“I know!” she proclaimed, nevertheless, sitting upright in her seat and peering through the windowpane. “I have been watching.”

A dreary, grey sky, accompanied by the faint pitter-patter on the roof of their carriage, welcomed them into the city. To a girl raised in the colourful, vibrant city of Solvahal, this sight of unimaginative rows of blocky houses and unadorned streets immediately had a rather depressing effect.

“Why do we have to live here?” she asked, dread filling her heart.

“This is our new home,” her brother replied, uninterested. “Where else would we live?” Continue reading Character Origins #1: Zeleina