That Which You Seek

Posted: December 9, 2013 by writingsprint in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


“Face Off,” sculpture by Kevin Francis Gray

From the shimmering pool of gold rose a figure. Waves of gold and bronze color flowed over it like slow syrup. The headless shape sprouted arms and legs, then the shape of a head covered in a cowl of gold metal. Its arms crossed in front of the form of a body. Finally, fingers took shape as its arms closed in a gesture of defiance. The figure towered over all of them, more than half again taller than the tallest man any of them had every met.

Seelia leaned on her staff. “I bow to you, Oracle of Geheim. My soul has been severed from my body, and I grow a year older with each passing of the sun. My magic cannot sustain me. Tell me who has done this, that I might face my enemy.”

“You are unworthy, wizard,” it replied. Its voice mixed arrogance and the hiss of softly played cymbals.

Seelia ignored the insult. To an oracle of limitless knowledge, even gods were unworthy. Seelia gestured to her apprentices. They came forward, no farther than where Seelia stood, Talan on her left, Filla on her right.

She continued, “I bring you clearest water, as a symbol of sustenance, and scissors of the finest steel, as a symbol of the severing of past and present.” Talan and Filla bowed to the golden colossus. Talan was shaking so hard she could almost hear his skinny knees knocking together. Filla seemed in her element. Seelia wondered at that. She bowed again, lower this time. “Accept these offerings, and provide knowledge in return.”

“Unworthy!” it shouted, the sound of a brass horn that shook the ground under their feet. The gold glowed. Seelia winced. It swept its hand across its body in a gesture of disgust. As it passed, they felt a wave of heat pass over their bodies. “Symbols are meaningless to you. Speak of meanings, wizard, or be gone.”

“At least she hasn’t said no,” Talan said.

“It isn’t a she,” Filla said.

Seelia drew a dagger. She nicked her own wrist. Talan and Filla gasped. “I offer blood. For as my this life slips away from me, so does my time slip away.”

Geheim nodded. The blazing gold light settled, and the cavern cooled. “Your enemy is your daughter in darkness. Beyond the eternal gate you will find your soul, and that which you seek.”

The figure disappeared into the golden pool once more. Seelia leaned heavily on her staff. She closed her eyes, and covered them with her hand.

“That which you seek?” Filla asked. “Besides your soul, what else is there?”

  1. A.D. Everard says:

    Argh! You stop there??? 🙂


    • writingsprint says:

      This may become a much larger story. I liked the picture, which spawned the scene, and then when I wrote it I liked Seelia. Writing her aging as the story goes along would be a challenge. About halfway through writing it I debated changing Seelia to our friend Brother Benedict, but then I thought, no, he’s not the fantasy type.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        I agree. 🙂 I think of Brother Benedict more or a sleuth uncovering some plot to rob the Abbey or finding the murderer in the village. He’s a good sort and gentle in his ways (you can tell that from his letting the cat play with and destroy the hem his robe). Not a conniver, yet plenty smart enough to uncover the sinister goings-on…

        WHAT am I DOING? See? I got all that from one page – days ago, I might add – and he’s NOT MY CHARACTER.



      • writingsprint says:

        It’s all about the details. I’m so glad you liked him :)! I get the same way over Aleisha and Sevi, and other cool characters I like from other authors. They stick in my head and I start imagining what I would do with them. Picasso said that good artists copy and great artists steal. I think the trick is to steal your favorites and make them your own.

        I was just spinning Benedict as I wrote him, but shades of him came from the main character of “The World Beneath” by Rebecca Cantrell, which I’m reading now. He’s also smart, vulnerable, and a finder of secrets. That guy’s a software engineer with agoraphobia, so the similarity ends there. Going in the other direction, my image of Sevi has has colored how I imagine a bodyguard in that book. I know Sevi’s weaving her way into how I imagine other warriors and soldiers.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        Yep, I’m with you there! Great characters do stick in the mind, or at least elements of them do. As all writers are people-studiers, I think we can’t help but put together characters from different thoughts, clues and ideals, real and imaginary, from films, books, people we know – the lot.

        I find Sevi particularly fascinating because for all the years I wrote that story, and rewrote it – literally from when I was a kid (so you can imagine how often I needed to rework it) – I never had Sevi in it. She came into being 15 months before I published the book. Which is why she upset everything.

        To my awareness, I have not copied anyone outside the book, but put together ideals I got from researching characteristics of elite soldiers, which is why she never loses it, and also why HER solution was to kill everybody and wipe out the threat entirely, while I still needed the Bad Guys in play.

        It’s tough when a character proves right and the writer proves wrong, but I’m glad I listened to her.



What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s