Friday, April 27, 2007

The Mâvarin Revolutions: Final Instructions, Part Four

The following takes us to about a page from the end of the scene, but not the end of the sequence. Yep, the next entry will be a cliffhanger. After that we've got the next section of the "A Fire in Mâvarin" sequence with Temet and friends. (And wait until you see who the friends are!) By the time that's in the can, maybe we can get poor King Jor to tell us all the idea he had, which for some reason I didn't write down. - KFB

The Mâvarin Revolutions

Fragments from a Work in Progress
by Karen Funk Blocher

© 2007 by KFB

King JorFinal Instructions, Part Four
(Fayubi has gone to visit the dying King, trying to get him to name a successor.)

“What would these people do, I wonder, if I called them in as you ask, and they saw you standing here?”

“They won’t see me,” Fayubi said. “Only you can see me. I’m not really here.”

“So I’m hallucinating again?” the King asked. He sounded more resigned than surprised.

“No, this is my projection. It’s an illusion of sorts, but for your eyes only.”

“Oh, one of those,” the King said wisely. “If you’re not really here, then you won’t be able to do anything to me – not that it matters – if I call in those people and endorse Carmi as king.”

“Is that your choice, Your Majesty?” It was less than ideal, but the Mâ-na-Mâ might be willing to accept Carmi, at least for now, if Jor officially endorsed him.

“Carmi is as qualified as I was, and would do an equally good job. He would maintain cordial relations with Mâton, and fill our tax coffers for the same purposes as always. He is mild-mannered and does what is expected of him, and will not lead this country into war. Does that not sound like a good king?”

“With respect, I have to say no, Your Majesty.”

“I don’t think so either,” Jor said. “If I do nothing, or endorse Carmi, then he makes all the same mistakes I made, and dies young. Cathla could die even sooner. Or don’t you agree?”

“I agree completely, Your Majesty. Cathla is in danger either way, though.”

“Just so. I would save her if I could.”

“Perhaps you can.”

“We’ll see.” He lifted his head and raised his voice. “Guards! Come in here, please.” The ailing King was clearly doing his best, but the sound was weak and quavery. No guards appeared. Jor tried twice more, and shook his head sadly. “There, you see? It’s not just that people don’t listen to me. They don’t even hear me any more.”

Fayubi smiled. “Let me help you with that.” Casting a spell from a projection was a little harder than doing it while embodied, largely because of the energy loss; still, it was the best option for the present situation. The spell itself was a two step variation on one he had used many times before: tricky, but far from impossible. Fayubi closed his aura eyes, and placed Jor’s voice at the center of his mind.

“Please just speak normally while I set this up. It should only take a few minutes.”

“What do you want me to talk about?” the King asked.

“Anything you like. I have to concentrate on my ritual, so I’ll be paying more attention to your voice than your words. I won’t reply, but I will listen.”

“All right, then. As long as you’re obliged to listen, I may as well tell you something nobody else ever cared to hear. For example, I’ve always wanted a parrot for a pet. I saw one once, when we traveled to Derio and Lehic. Huge, colorful birds, they are. Beautiful! Better still, I’ve been told they can be taught to speak human words, and even understand them somewhat. The king of Derio offered me a parrot once, about sixteen years ago. I said I’d be delighted. I even picked out a name, but nobody ever gave me the bird, either then or after we returned home. Skwok, I would have called it. Isn’t that a great name for a parrot? But I think Lormarte told them not to send the bird. She’s allergic to feathers, you see. But I would have kept Skwok in his own apartment, and oh! How I wanted him! He would have listened to me, and not ask for anything in return but food and affection. And maybe freedom, but none of us have that. Not really.”

Fayubi was ready. “We have enough freedom to make a difference, Your Majesty. Please try calling the guard again.”

Jor called out to the guard again as Fayubi activated the spell. Fayubi imagined the King’s voice growing louder and louder, filling the Palace with a wave of illusory sound. The words “Come here, please,” obediently echoed and reverberated from room to room, repeating themselves for a full minute after the King spoke them: “Come here, please…. Come here, please….”

“Wow,” King Jor said when it was over. “I don’t think Lormarte is going to like that.”

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Mavarin Revolutions: Final Instructions, Part Three

Okay, I missed a week again. Here's the next bit. I've written quite a bit further than this, but tonight's installment is all newly, um, typed.

The Mâvarin Revolutions

Fragments from a Work in Progress

by Karen Funk Blocher
© 2007 by KFB

Final Instructions, Part Three
(Fayubi has gone to visit the dying King, trying to get him to name a successor.)

“So you want me to choose between my children?" King Jor asked. "Between Carmi and Cathla?”

“As the next sovereign, yes. I assume your other two children aren’t under consideration at this point.”

“They’re alive? How do you even know about them?”

“They are both mentioned in my failed prophecy. In the world your queen prevented, they rule together.”

The King’s brow furrowed. “How can that be,” he asked, “if the world was prevented?”

“It was prevented here, but another world exists in which it did happen.”

“How do you know?”

Fayubi smiled. “I’ve been there. Part of the time, I live there.”

“Are they good monarchs, your King Del and Queen Crel?”

Fayubi decided not to explain about the name differences. “They do all right.”

“Is that what you would have me do here? Turn the country over to a pair of illegitimate orphans?”

“Not necessarily, Your Majesty. But they are your children, as the Prince and Princess are not.”

Now it was the King’s turn to grimace. Fayubi was unsure whether his pain was physical, emotional or both. “I know that,” Jor said irritably, “but it hardly matters now. They are officially my children, and I love them. I will not disown them on my deathbed.”

“I would not ask you to do so, Your Majesty. But only one of them is likely to rule, and the country’s future depends on that choice. Your word could make all the difference.”

“I don’t see how. I’m never consulted about these things. Even if I were to tell you what you want to hear, who would believe you?”

“Quite a few people, and I’m not the only person you can tell. Get Dimider in here to testify to your competence, the Royal Scribe to witness and record your wishes, and the Captain of the Palace Guard to protect the truth.”

Jor shook his head. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that.” Then he peered up at Fayubi. “Could I?”

“Of course you could,” Fayubi said firmly. “You’re the King.”

“For a little longer,” King Jor said.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Mavarin Revolutions: Final Instructions, Part Two

Yes, it's true: I've neglected this blog dreadfully, shamefully. I mean that; both dread and shame were involved. I've been busy, but I've also been stuck, with bits in both the handwritten and typed versions of this scene that I had trouble getting through. These things almost never fix themselves, though. It's not enough to reread what I have so far, close the notebook and walk away; or to open the Word document and leave it untouched for days at a time. I have to actually work on the darn thing. So, as a step in that direction, I'm going to finally get a new entry in here. Maybe I'll get stuck in this version, too--but maybe not!

The Mâvarin Revolutions
Fragments from a Work in Progress

by Karen Funk Blocher
© 2007 by KFB

Final Instructions, Part Two
(Fayubi has gone to visit the dying King, who wonders whether it's too late for anyone to ask anything of him.)

“Not while you still live, Your Majesty.” The opportunity to talk to King Jor actually extended a little beyond death, but Fayubi was not eager to exercise that option.

Jor’s eyebrows shot up. “You mean to kill a dying man?”

Fayubi smiled. “No, Your Majesty. I mean to ask a dying sovereign for last instructions.”

“Instructions about what? Who in Thâle’s name are you?”

“I have several names, Your Majesty. The one you may have heard is Fabi the Innkeeper. Or possibly Fabi the Drunk.”

Jor peered at him curiously. “Are you drunk? You don’t sound drunk.”

“Nor am I, Your Majesty. I no longer do that.”

“Good for you. The name is familiar, though…oh! Oh! I remember! You’re the one who made that strange rhyming prediction about me being kidnapped.”

Fayubi was startled. “You know about that?”

“Lore told me about it long ago. She and Jere created a spell that saved me from it happening. Or so they said.”

Here was confirmation of Fayubi’s suspicions, but the means remained unclear. “What kind of spell was it?”

Still lying nearly flat in his bed, the King managed a shrug by twitching his right shoulder. “Oh, I wouldn’t know about that. Have I upset you?”

“A little, Your Majesty. Whatever they did affected my whole life since then – and yours.”

“For the better, I hope.”

“Not necessarily.”

“I hope you don’t mind if I disagree with you. That’s the one luxury I have now, disagreeing. You may think that getting kidnapped would have been an interesting experience for me, but to be honest I see no possible advantage to it. How can being dragged away by the creatures in the prophecy possibly be better than being right here in my Palace, with the woman I love, who loves me in return?”

Fayubi hesitated in his reply, which prompted an amused smile from the dying king. “You don’t think Lormarte loves me, do you?” he asked.

“I don’t know, Your Majesty.”

“Well I do. Even now, when she has withdrawn her mindpush spells to help keep me alive a little longer, I cannot doubt that my queen really does love me.”

“Forgive me, Your Majesty, but how do you know you are free from such influences?”

“I know because I see now all my faults that were once hidden from me. I know because all those private opinions I hardly knew I had, now run freely through my mind. I know because Dimider said three days ago that eighteen years of magic have drained me of vitality to the point of death, and yet for the moment I still live. Do you believe me?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Good man. Now, what did you want to ask me that you can’t divine for yourself?”

Fayubi winced. “In this world I can no longer divine anything, Your Majesty. So I ask questions. Chief among them is this: who would you choose to succeed you on the throne of Mâvarin?”

“Ah! You must be with the Mâ-na-Mâ. But what makes you think my opinion on the subject matters? Nobody’s going to listen to it.”

Fayubi sighed. King Jor might indeed be right about being free from his queen’s mindpush spells, but imposing his own will on the situation seemed to be beyond his capability. Still, Fayubi had to try to get Jor’s approval for whatever needed to happen next.

“I’ll listen, Your Majesty,” he said. “Perhaps, with my help,” others will listen, too.”


Yeah, that broke the log jam.