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> Postcards from Tamriel, Stories and such that fall somewhere between a snippet and a thread
Grits
post Aug 3 2011, 01:46 PM
Post #1


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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Hi folks!

My characters are getting unruly, so I thought I’d make a place where I can hide from them while they fight it out. I mean, while I figure out what to do. The first time this happened, I posted Home for the Holidays, a very short story about Abiene’s Saturalia visit to Leyawiin in the year 3E432. I should have made this thread then, but at the time I still thought that every word I wrote would be the last. Someday I hope to make an offering at The Temple of Lore, but for now I’m still too guilty of undisciplined sprawling. I’ll start a story in the next post.

As always, comments and discussion are very welcome! smile.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jun 23 2019, 03:31 AM


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Jerric's Story * Darnandex * Morning Star Screenshot: Cyrodiil Meadow
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Grits
post Aug 3 2011, 01:57 PM
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From: The Gold Coast



Tides, Part One

Anvil, Summer of 3E414

Jerric and Rhano knelt in the alley beside the Abecean Sunrise Bakery. “All right,” Rhano said to Jerric. “Show me the look.”

Jerric dropped his chin and gazed up at his friend. He made his eyebrows sad.

“Stick out your lip a little,” Rhano told him. “Your other lip, dummy!”

Rhano’s dignity would not allow him to debase himself for baked goods, but Jerric had no such compunction. That didn’t keep Rhano from thinking he knew better, thought Jerric. “I know how to do it!” he insisted. “It just doesn’t always work.”

“This time it has to, or no sweetroll.” Rhano glanced down the street. “I don’t see anyone we know. Go!”

Jerric slipped around the corner and into the bakery. This time of day most households had already bought their daily bread, and it was too early for the midday meal. The only other soul inside was the Breton behind the counter. She glanced up from her newspaper. “Yes?”

Jerric kept his chin tucked to his chest. He let his eyes wander over the confections, sniffing deeply in appreciation. “I don’t have any coins,” he said truthfully.

The woman made no reply.

Jerric took in another breath of fragrant air, letting it go with a little quaver. It wasn’t hard to look sad at the thought of leaving empty-handed. He pushed his lip out and slowly lifted his eyes to the shopkeeper.

Folded arms, a prodigious bosom, and beetled brows met his gaze. Steady, Jerric told himself. Nothing fancy, just keep your nerve.

After a moment the Breton let out a short bark of laughter. “Shameless, you are.” She reached for a sweetroll and handed it over the counter. “I know your Redguard friend is out there. Some day you’ll learn not to do everything he tells you.”

“He’s always right, mistress.” Jerric grinned his way back toward the door. “Thank you,” he called, brandishing the sweetroll.

“Imp!” She went back to her reading.

Jerric handed the sweetroll to Rhano and followed him down the alley toward the rear of the shop, laughing. “See, I told you!” Jerric crowed.

Rhano turned to face him, and his eyes went quickly over Jerric’s shoulder. The happiness drained from his face.

“Well if it isn’t the half-Nord sand scum and his little wolf pup,” sneered a voice behind Jerric. He turned to face it.

Three Imperial teens filled the alley. Jerric recognized them immediately. His cousin had given the biggest one a savage beating for some cruelty he had discovered. He never told the Guard what the Imperial had done, but Jerric guessed it must have been bad. The Imperial still bore the marks on his face.

“A sweetroll,” said the Imperial with mock delight. “Look, Tutius, they got us a sweetroll.”

“Hand it over,” growled Tutius. The smallest of the three, he still loomed over Jerric and Rhano.

The boys looked at each other. Rhano’s teeth gleamed in a feral grin. He held the sweetroll out to Jerric.

“Here you go, rump sniffer,” said Jerric. He bit off a piece of sweetroll and spit it up at the big one’s face. Rhano dropped the rest and crushed it under his toes.

Rhano put his shoulder into the big one’s groin. Jerric landed a few punches before the Imperials got him on the ground. He fought like a wildcat until someone lifted him to his feet. He saw Rhano in the grip of an Anvil guard, spitting blood and still swinging. “Easy, lads,” said a voice behind Jerric. “The fight’s over.”

Jerric looked back to find another guard behind him. One of the Imperials lay on the ground, holding his stomach and moaning. The big one, Jerric saw with satisfaction. He caught Rhano’s eyes and gave him a grin. Jerric saw sky as the guard pulled his head back. He jumped when gauntleted fingers probed his aching nose. “Just bloody,” the man told him. “Not broken.” Jerric stepped back when the guard let him go. “Your Ma won’t be pleased about your shirt,” the guard observed.

Jerric pulled it over his head and swabbed his face with it. “Anyway, we’re going swimming,” he declared. Hurts were beginning to announce themselves all over his frame. He tossed the shirt at Rhano and grinned at the guard, his tongue quickly checking for new gaps in his teeth.

“I’ll have your Fa file a complaint if you like,” the guard said to Rhano. His face told Jerric that he knew they would decline.

“No, thank you sir,” said Rhano, gingerly blowing his nose. He shoved the shirt back into Jerric’s hands and led the way out of the alley.

The boys broke into a jog as they made their way through the Chapelgate district and then Harborside. Rhano halted them when they reached the docks. “Which way?” he asked. “Marsh or beach?”

“Let’s go down to the sea cliffs,” said Jerric. “I heard your Fa talking about the midsummer tides. I bet there are some caves we can get to.” He glanced over the marsh, then up at the sun. “We can get there by low tide, I’ll wager.”

Two barefoot lads can squirm through a crowd twice as fast as any grown-up, thought Jerric. They broke free on the far side of the harbor and raced each other over the dunes to the beach.

Jerric put his shirt back on when the sun began to burn his shoulders. The surf is low today, he noticed. We probably won’t get dashed against the rocks. Their eyes searched the tide line as they walked. Jerric liked to pick up pebbles, and Rhano was always on the hunt for a perfect shell. Soon the weight in his pockets dragged Jerric’s cut-off trousers down his skinny hips. Admitting defeat, he piled up his rocks on the sand for later. He repeated the process at intervals down the beach.

Rhano carried one shell in his hand. If he found a better one he would pick it up, giving the first shell back to the waves. He waited patiently each time Jerric stopped to empty his pockets.

The hills rose behind the dunes as they walked until they reached a point where a rocky shoulder jutted out into the water. “Crescent Moons Cove,” Rhano breathed reverently. “Where privateers come at night to bury their treasure.”

Jerric sliced the air with an imaginary blade. “Someday I’ll swim out with my sword and bring justice to the pirates!”

Rhano picked up a dried reed and assumed a guard position. “Imperial scum!” he said to Jerric.

Those were fighting words. Jerric found another reed and attacked the pirate ferociously.

Their swords did not outlast the battle. A brief wrestling match ensued, serving to remind them that they had earlier been in a fight. A truce called, the boys stripped to their drawers and ran shouting into the crystal blue sea.

The cool water stung in Jerric’s scrapes as he swam. He resolutely ignored it. “Watch out,” called Rhano. “The rocks are really shallow!”

Jerric paused for a moment, looking down. Darker shapes were visible right under his feet. Sea weeds tickled his toes when he reached his foot down toward them. “Whoa!” he hooted. “Something swam between my knees!”

“I hope it wasn’t something hungry!” called Rhano. He rolled onto his back and spit a fountain of water into the air.

The sea cliffs rose straight out of the water, curving inland and back out to form a half-circle. A sandy beach lined the middle, cut off from the land by cliffs and water. Today the beach was a wide crescent of brilliant white. “The tide is so low!” marveled Jerric. “Look how high the caves are, we’ll have to climb up to them.”

Rhano was treading water now, looking intently down at the cliff’s base under the water. “Look there! I think it’s a cave down low. I wonder if it opens up inside above the water.”

“One way to find out,” said Jerric. He took a few quick breaths like a pearl diver, then he filled his lungs and dove under the water.

This post has been edited by Grits: Aug 3 2011, 03:25 PM


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 3 2011, 02:13 PM
Post #3


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Oooh, I loved seeing Jerric and Rhano as boys! That Breton baker made me think of Kirsty! Her mother perhaps? Anyway, I had to laugh at how she tried to be tough but caved at Jerric's 'sad' face. I believe this:
QUOTE
It wasn’t hard to look sad at the thought of leaving empty-handed.
blink.gif laugh.gif

Aah, the usual neighborhood bullies. Looks like this time the guards corralled the right culprits this time, though. File a complaint? Are y'kidding! Looks like Jerric's cousin didn't beat up the big Imperial hard enough!

And the picture of Jerric collecting rock cairns and Rhano discarding his single shell in favor of the better one is such a perfect summary of their personalities! I lurved this little scene! wub.gif

That was the perfect thing to read first thing in the morning over a cup of tea.


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ureniashtram
post Aug 3 2011, 03:38 PM
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Oh no! The three bullies! Those were the same ones who accosted my Daggerfall (and morrowind) character when he was in his teens and had himself a sweetroll! Nice reference there, Grits!

Ah, this one simply lived. It is not hard to 'delve' into their perspectives as kids. Because you know, four years ago, I was one. Heh. Wry humor at its best, Grits. At its best. Or not. Hmm.

I am hungry for more! Please, ma'am, can I have some more of this? (dons the sadface of Jerric, fails miserably) <--- Ahem. Ignore this one. I know I intend to.

Oh, and I'm still catching up in Jerric's Story. You post FAST, Grits. Too fast for me to keep up. I'm still at Kvatch!


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Acadian
post Aug 4 2011, 12:45 AM
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A day in the life of young Jerric and Rhano. Boyz bein' boyz. tongue.gif

'Rhano carried one shell in his hand. If he found a better one he would pick it up, giving the first shell back to the waves. He waited patiently each time Jerric stopped to empty his pockets.'
The same thing occurred to me as did to Rider as I read this - a wonderful little snapshot into the differing personalities of Rhano and Jerric.

Engaging and easy to visualize. Nice!


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Destri Melarg
post Aug 4 2011, 09:30 AM
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I couldn't stop thinking of Tom and Huck as I read this, and lazy summer days in Hannibal, Missouri. Like the others said this was the perfect little snippet to whet our appetites for more. I'm glad you posted this because it gives me the chance to comment on your writing while I'm still trying to catch up on Jerric's Story (and Maxical's, and Buffy's, and Athlain's wacko.gif ). Urenia is right, you do post fast!



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mALX
post Aug 4 2011, 01:51 PM
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Oooh !!! The backstory to Jerric and Rhano's issues !!! I love the way your Jerric story is like the sun, your other stories are the planets that orbit around his main story !!! It is really a great way to give the backgrounds of people without pulling your story from its course !!! (I should learn something from that, lol) Awesome !!!


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treydog
post Aug 4 2011, 04:08 PM
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“Your other lip, dummy!”

Grits-reading beverage control rules were in effect- but that one still caught me off-guard.

And the original Trey- the one who is still somewhere in Daggerfall- felt a touch of nostalgia over the “Sweetroll Incident.”

"We probably won’t get dashed against the rocks."

I seem to recall a similar youthful optimism when I… well, nevermind.

The entire process of “gathering versus selecting” is beautifully drawn.

I loved the entire “postcard,” and anxiously await more. (Puppy-dog eyes).


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SubRosa
post Aug 4 2011, 10:48 PM
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Was this inspired by the Morrowind character creation quiz? "While in town the baker gives you a sweetroll. Delighted, you take it into an alley to enjoy only to be intercepted by a gang of three other kids your age. The leader demands the sweetroll, or else he and his friends will beat you and take it." wink.gif

That was a fun romp through the day of two Anvil boys. It sort of reminded me of Stand By Me. I wonder if they will find a body in the caves?


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King Coin
post Aug 5 2011, 03:23 PM
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rollinglaugh.gif I never thought Jerric was going to get a sweetroll!

How can anyone loom over a nord? Wait, Jerric’s a kid!

I liked how Jerric grabbed so many rocks he had to leave them behind. Hilarious!

Thoroughly enjoyed this little story!


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Grits
post Aug 8 2011, 04:05 PM
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From: The Gold Coast



Thank you so much everyone for the warm response to this little story!! Frankly, things IRL have been hectic, and I wanted a little break. I am delighted that Anvil’s boys of summer have provided some entertainment. smile.gif

haute ecole rider: I know they must exist, but I just can’t make a skinny baker. It’s funny, when I pictured the boys on the beach, they were already picking up their rocks and shells. Writing this was a mental cup of tea for me throughout.

ureniashtram: Yep, I had to bring the three thugs and the sweetroll into Cyrodiil. I’m going to slow down posting Jerric’s Story for awhile to maybe once a week. There are so many great stories on this board, and I want to read them all. At first I thought I would have mine wrapped up by this fall, but HAH! Giving up that fantasy is quite liberating, now I can really take my time.

Acadian: Between the rocks and shells and the sweetroll incident, I hoped to show why these two are friends. Some things are the same, some different. More boyz coming up.

Destri Melarg: Oh, Tom and Huck, I need to go dust that one off! I grew up reading my Dad’s books, so I’m sure a browse through those shelves would reveal a lot of my inspirations. Plus my own early summer days were largely free of shoes and adult supervision. I’m pausing Jerric’s Story while I post this little one, then I’ll be posting slower than before.

mALX: Your intuition is right again, the seeds of their future conflict will be sown in this story. I love the sun and planets analogy, that really made me smile.

treydog: No one can resist Dachshund eyes! I grew up watching my male relatives fling themselves joyfully into various disasters, and each time events took a turn, they were surprised.

SubRosa: Exactly! I haven’t played Morrowind yet, but I heard the rumor in Oblivion where the person says, “So I took the sweetroll…” When I found out the origin of the three thugs and the sweetroll, I knew I’d have to use it somewhere. I loved Stand By Me. I promise they will not find any leeches.

King Coin: I’m glad you liked it! I’m afraid Jerric still hasn’t learned moderation.




Tides: The Middle Part

Jerric swam down toward the shadow near the cliff’s base. He could tell before he got there that it was an underwater cavern. Excitement shivered through him as he swam under the ledge. The opening was as wide as his bedchamber and high enough for his Fa to stand up in it. The water made his vision blurry, but he could see that the cavern narrowed into darkness at the back with light far beyond. Little yellow fish swarmed around him on their startled way out to the open sea. Jerric kicked harder and swam into the darkness.

The light ahead showed him how to angle through the tunnel. A few spots were narrow enough that he could pull himself along on the rocks. Surge from the waves outside pushed him forward and pulled him back, but not enough to alarm him. He held on to the rocks when the water pulled him, then kicked ahead when it pushed.

Eels like dark places, he suddenly remembered. So do sea serpents. And there’s no room to turn around in here if I need to grab a snake. He shot forward, propelled by the thought of venomous fangs on his defenseless toes.

Jerric could hear the rush and gurgle of water against rocks ahead. The tunnel widened as he swam into filtered sunlight. Relief let his breath loose. He blew bubbles out his nose and raced them to the surface. Rhano’s head popped up a moment later, while Jerric was still gulping air.

“Sea serpents!” gasped Rhano.

“Where?” Jerric scanned the water, right hand open and ready while his left kept him steady. He pulled his feet up, just in case.

“I didn’t see any. I’m just saying, there might be sea serpents.”

Jerric rolled his eyes and splashed Rhano. “Or eels. If we see one, we might get eel pie for dinner.”

Rhano sent a wave back at Jerric. “If we see one, there’ll be dreck in the water! You’ll fill your drawers for sure! You should have seen your face when I said serpents!”

The boys dunked each other until they both ran out of breath again. Then they looked around, treading water. The chamber was shaped like a shallow, upside-down bowl, as long as a caravan wagon with its team of six horses. Light and air came down through a crack like a chimney in the low ceiling. Jerric could hear sea birds crying high above them on the cliffs outside. There was no ledge to climb on in this chamber, water slapped against the walls on all sides.

“Not much to see in here,” Rhano remarked.

Jerric pointed to a niche in the far wall. “Maybe that’s another tunnel.”

“It took all of my breath to get here,” said Rhano.

“I know! We almost didn’t make it!” Their laughter filled the small cavern.

They swam over to the side and found that the water was shallow enough to stand up. Slippery weeds and dark algae coated the rocks where the light touched. Jerric stepped carefully into the low niche, ducking his head.

“There is a tunnel,” he breathed. “I can’t see if there’s any light down there.”

“Don’t use more than half of your air this time if you think you might turn back,” Rhano cautioned. “Do you want me to wait?”

“Yeah,” said Jerric, hoping to see at least a glimmer to show him the way. “I don’t want to back up with you behind me.”

“Well I don’t want your rotten zombie feet in my face.”

Jerric decided it was too slippery to wrestle on the rocks, so he let the moment pass. Maybe he could get his feet in Rhano’s face when they reached the next cavern, if there was one.

He made sure his heart was steady and his lungs were full before he eased under the surface.

“Don’t hit your head,” Rhano advised as Jerric’s ears filled with water.

This tunnel angled downward. As soon as he was stretched out in the darkness, Jerric could see light ahead. He swam down to it, reaching forward with one hand to protect his head. Rhano is right, he thought. This is a bad place to crack your skull.

This tunnel seemed a little longer, and it was harder to move through. Jerric’s lungs were convulsing before he reached the light. He surfaced into a narrow, flooded canyon in the sea cliffs. Sunshine streamed almost straight down, leaving only one side of the cliff in shadow at the very top. That’s what a mortal’s life looks like, Jerric decided, looking up while his chest heaved. Blue sky like a ribbon.

Rhano surfaced beside him, coughing for breath. His eyes were wide and filled with water. Jerric braced a hand against the wall and put out the other to steady his friend.

“That was far,” Rhano finally rasped. “We must be getting near the shore inside this cliff.” He cast his eyes up. “I wonder if we could make it up there? I see a bunch of cracks we could use to climb.”

“I don’t know. It’s almost close enough to push against both walls. That would make it easy.” Jerric floated on his back, looking up. “I guess that would surprise some birds.”

“Maybe up ahead,” said Rhano.

“Yeah. Let’s see where this goes. I think you’re right, this crack follows the shore line.” Jerric didn’t know how he could feel which way he was facing, but he trusted it.

The canyon led to another cavern, this one three times bigger than the last and partially open to the sky. Rocks poked up above the water’s surface around the edges, encrusted above the water line with red and pink barnacles. Light streamed down through the clear water. Jerric could see brilliant green weeds waving beneath his feet. Tiny glints of orange and blue flashed through them. Little fish, he realized. Where the last chamber had been dim and empty, this cavern teemed with life. “Is it magic?” Jerric whispered.

“It’s a grotto.” Rhano’s voice was just as soft. “I wonder if a sea nymph lives here. I heard Heinrich Oaken-Hull telling Newheim the Small that he’s seen new nymphs down at the harbor.”

Jerric looked around quickly. “I don’t think it’s deep enough in here,” he said doubtfully. “What do they eat? Can they summon anything?” He wondered how big a sea nymph was. He knew that forest nymphs could be hostile if you bothered them, and their summoned bears were as dangerous as regular ones.

“You’re right,” Rhano said, relief in his voice. “I bet they only come here to look, like we are.”

The boys paddled around the cavern, pointing out wonders to each other. Sharp barnacles kept them from climbing very high on the rocks, but there was plenty to discover in the water. At first they thought the wandering shells belonged to some kind of fast-moving snail. “Nomad crabs!” Rhano exclaimed when he picked one up. They had a contest to see who could find the smallest one. They did see black and purple banded eels in the weeds, but they were as thin as Jerric’s finger and only as long as his hand.

“I’m starving,” Jerric finally said with deep regret. He wished they could stay in the grotto forever.

“Me too. And we can’t drink seawater. We should head back, I think the tide has turned.”

Jerric had a bad moment in the tunnel on the way back to the first chamber. He could see light from more than one distant source when he faced this direction. A hand on his heel told him Rhano was right behind him. The tunnel on the right looked the brightest. It’s the middle one, he thought. There was no time to debate with himself. He headed into the middle tunnel, trusting his gut.

Moments later they burst into the niche in the side of the low chamber. Jerric glared at Rhano as he wheezed for breath. “I hope you liked swimming through my piss,” Jerric choked. “What in the blazing Deadlands were you thinking when you grabbed my foot?”

“I was thinking, move your backside, frosty.” Rhano coughed right in Jerric’s face, but Jerric thought it sounded better than hearing him drown.

Jerric crawled over the submerged rocks until he could stand, then he picked his way to the pool’s edge. Rhano’s sharp cry filled the cavern. Jerric whirled to find him on his side in the niche, arms braced to hold himself above the surface. One ankle looked caught between two rocks under the clear water. As Jerric splashed and slipped over to him, his stomach clenched with alarm. Rhano’s foot was not pointing the way it should.

Rhano ground his teeth while Jerric freed his ankle. Then he let loose with a stream of cursing that would have made a sailor proud.

“You can’t swim out like this,” Jerric said when Rhano stopped for breath. “And it’s too far for me to pull you.”

“I know,” Rhano gritted. “You have to go get my Fa. He can pull me out with a rope.”

“I have to stay with you until the tide turns again so I can help you swim in here,” said Jerric. “There won’t be any rocks to hold on to. This part will be flooded.”

He could see that Rhano knew he was right. Jerric found a spot where Rhano could lie against some rocks a little less painfully. He looked around the chamber and made his plan. “We could use Llyrela’s Helm of Fin Gleam right now. Wouldn’t it be great if she popped up in here looking for treasure?”

“Yeah,” said Rhano. His voice sounded tight. “No one’s seen her all summer, though. I guess she finally struck it rich.”

They boys sat quietly. Jerric listened to the birds and the water, thinking of sunken treasure. “Maybe the sea-sirens will come for us,” Jerric said after a while. “They rescue lost sailors, and you can breathe water when you’re with them.”

Rhano’s eyes widened with horror. “The sea-sirens sing the men into the water, Jerric. They drag them down to their sea castles so they can,” his voice dropped to a dreadful whisper, “marry them.”

Jerric eyed his friend. “Uh, Rhano, I think we might be a little too young for that. So if they come for us, I think we should go.”

“Would you go with a spriggan if one found you lost in the woods?” Rhano demanded.

Jerric considered the question. “I guess that would depend on if she saw me with an axe.” He watched Rhano for a moment. “Would it help if you put your leg on me? We’ll be here for hours until the tide turns again. I guess I can stand your rotten foot.”

They shifted again, and this time Rhano’s pain showed in his ragged breathing. His skin felt a little cold. He’s only half Nord, Jerric remembered. He looked around the chamber some more, trying to think of something to amuse his friend. “The barnacles in here are up on the walls,” he remarked. “It looks like the tide band on the dock pilings. You can really see how low the mid-summer tides are when you look at the lines in here.”

Rhano pushed himself up until he was sitting. “Jerric.”

His friend’s dread froze Jerric’s skin. “What?”

“Look where the line is.”

Comprehension came with fear that clenched his heart. Normal high tide would have them floating within a few feet of the ceiling. This incoming tide would dash their heads against it, or possibly flood the chamber entirely. “What are we going to do?” Jerric whispered.

“You have to go now,” Rhano told him. “You can make it.” His face said otherwise.

“I’m not leaving you. I can keep our heads off the rocks.” Jerric’s gut told him it wasn’t true.

Rhano’s hand found Jerric’s and clung like he was already drowning. “You have to go.” Rhano’s eyes seemed to fill his face.

Rhano is right, thought Jerric. I have to go.

They arranged Rhano on the submerged rocks without speaking. Jerric moved carefully to the edge. “I’ll come back for you.” He took a few quick breaths. “I’ll make it.”

“Jerric, wait!” Jerric looked back at his friend. “Don’t eat lunch first.” Rhano’s grin looked strained in his ashen face.

“I’ll just stop for a quick sweetroll.” Jerric forced a smile. Then he turned and dove into the pool.

This post has been edited by Grits: Aug 9 2011, 12:36 AM


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mALX
post Aug 8 2011, 05:09 PM
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ARGH !! Tales from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey!! I love it, and the setting is perfect for it to show up! My fave quote here:


QUOTE

“Jerric, wait!” Jerric looked back at his friend. “Don’t eat lunch first.” Rhano’s grin looked strained in his ashen face.

“I’ll just stop for a quick sweetroll.” Jerric forced a smile. Then he turned and dove into the pool.




Jerric's stomach obviously already a huge part of him in his early years, ROFL !!! (Now there is a line that will draw Foxy in, lol) Great Write !!!


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 8 2011, 08:36 PM
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What a fun little adventure! I always loved exploring new places!

Oh no! Rhano broke his foot/ankle! Ugh, and the cavern might flood with the incoming tide! Argh!

Don't leave cliff hanging too long this time! I know Rhano survives, cuz he shows up in the game, but still -!


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SubRosa
post Aug 8 2011, 11:40 PM
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From: Between The Worlds



Here is some music to read by.

Eels like dark places, he suddenly remembered. So do sea serpents.
So do Creatures of the Black Lagoon! ohmy.gif

Newheim the Small that he’s seen new nymphs down at the harbor.
It seems Newheim has bulked up since those old days! biggrin.gif I wonder how much those 'nymphs' charged him per hour?

“We could use Llyrela’s Helm of Fin Gleam right now
Another wonderful little tie into the game. I suspect that rather than striking it rich, something else struck at Llyrela!

“I guess that would depend on if she saw me with an axe.”
I loved Jerric and Rhano's debate over mermaids/sirens/spriggans, especially this answer!

Well this continues to be a fun romp. With a cliffhanger ending! Now I cannot wait to see whether Jerric makes it back in time (although since Rhano is alive in the JF, I can assume he does... wink.gif )



nits:
Maybe the mermaids will come for us,
You might want to go with sea nymphs here instead. The trouble with mermaids in an ES story is that "mer" means elf, so in Tamriel that word basically means elf-girls, such a Buffy.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jun 23 2019, 03:32 AM


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Acadian
post Aug 9 2011, 12:22 AM
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From: Las Vegas



This was great fun to read. Humor, adventure, breath holding, suspense and danger! You are adding some wonderful depth to both Jerric and Rhano here.

I love descriptions that give dimensions as you have in this episode. Not in conventional measurements, but it terms of something the character is very familiar with. The trick is to select comparisons that fit the character while at the same time portray the intended size with perfect clarity to the reader. You nailed it beautifully in both these passages:
'as wide as his bedchamber and high enough for his Fa to stand up in it.'
'as long as a caravan wagon with its team of six horses.'


'They drag them down to their sea castles so they can,” his voice dropped to a dreadful whisper, “marry them.” laugh.gif

Hee! I never thought about SubRosa's point of mermaid = elf girl, but it does make sense. tongue.gif


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Destri Melarg
post Aug 10 2011, 01:18 AM
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From: Rihad, Hammerfell



First there was this:
QUOTE
“Sea serpents!” gasped Rhano.

“Where?” Jerric scanned the water, right hand open and ready while his left kept him steady. He pulled his feet up, just in case.

“I didn’t see any. I’m just saying, there might be sea serpents.”

Now I know from this that the two boys are close enough to gauge what each other is thinking. Then there was this:
QUOTE
“Don’t use more than half of your air this time if you think you might turn back,” Rhano cautioned. “Do you want me to wait?”

“Yeah,” said Jerric, hoping to see at least a glimmer to show him the way. “I don’t want to back up with you behind me.”

“Well I don’t want your rotten zombie feet in my face.”

Now I know that all the dunking and good-natured ribbing masks a real affection that the boys have for each other

The rest of this chapter is just filled with moments like that. They draw us into a feeling of empathy with the boys. That's why I got the chills when they realized that high tide would see the chamber fill. Even though I know Rhano makes it out alive (I saw him today as a matter of fact), I'm still on pins and needles here.

Fantastic!


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Grits
post Aug 11 2011, 12:59 PM
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mALX: It has been so hot and dry here, I keep thinking it wouldn’t be so bad if we had a nice tropical sea to go with the weather. I’d settle for the Mediterranean. I guess Jerric never lost that urgent, growing boy hunger. I know you’ve seen that in action! smile.gif Thanks, mALX!

haute ecole rider: I’m glad you liked their grotto adventure. Fear not, Anvil’s future Blade trainer will keep his chin up! wink.gif

SubRosa: Oh, good point about the mer-maids! I changed it. I was completely creeping myself out with the dark tunnel. laugh.gif I’m glad you enjoyed the little game references. It all started with the sweetroll. Now it’s time to get poor Rhano out from under the cliff. I love that song, thank you for the music! This episode doesn’t have a train, but there is a skinny boy running. smile.gif

Acadian: I’m glad you enjoyed the dimensions. Jerric is still likely to estimate using unconventional measurements, at least when he’s just thinking. Of course Darnand would have said, “The diameter is approximately nineteen feet, seven inches.” It was fun to imagine what a boy might think about his situation. For example, in the next section when we know that Jerric must be crusty with salt, sweat, sand, and dust, he just doesn’t notice. smile.gif

Destri Melarg: I was definitely trusting in everyone’s willingness to come along for the ride, writing a story where everyone knows the end. tongue.gif I am delighted to hear about the chills, pins, and needles. The boys certainly don’t know that they’re going to be all right. Of course their friendship is the part that I wanted to convey the most. It means so much to hear that it's coming across. smile.gif



Tides: The Last Part

Jerric’s feet flew over the sand as he ran back toward Anvil. Who should I bring to help Rhano, he wondered. First decide that, then decide which way to go.

Rhano had asked for his Fa. Jerric rejected that idea immediately. There was no way anyone could pull Rhano fast enough with a rope, and Ongve might be too broad to even make it through the tunnel. Maybe if they had a boat with a winch, then Jerric could swim a rope in, but there was no time to organize rowers or wait for the wind.

Jerric’s eyes found the lighthouse. Still too small. He let the panic drive his legs faster, and his mind cleared again.

Magic. The thought came with calm certainty. Magic would let them breathe water, and give them time to swim out. Mages have to be smart, so a mage would see that he had to help Rhano. The Mages Guild hall was right by Anvil’s Main Gate. I’ll run through Westgate to the Mages Guild, he decided.

The streets were half-full of folk on foot, even in the heat. Jerric slowed down only enough to avoid bumping anyone. Running away from shouting adults was a good way to meet some of Anvil’s city guards, and Jerric thought that he had met enough of them already. He glanced up at the sun. Well past mid-day. He would only have one chance to convince the mages. By the time he ran to find Rhano’s parents at the harbor, it would be too late.

When Jerric saw the giant evergreen oak inside the Main Gate, he knew he had almost reached the guild halls. A few breaths later, he darted under the portico of the Mages Guild and hit the door running. It swung open almost weightlessly, and he found himself leaping down an unexpected set of steps into the entry chamber. His bare feet slid on the cool tiles when he landed. A wide counter rose in front of him, holding a row of gleaming glass objects. The Altmer standing there looked as fancy as a countess. She glanced up from her book.

“My friend is trapped!” Jerric gasped.

“We will alert a member of the city guard for you, child,” she told him kindly. “This is the Guild of Mages.”

“No!” Jerric tried to explain. Organize your words, he heard his Ma telling him. “He’s trapped under water. In a sea cave. It’s too far for him to swim, he hurt his leg. I need magic to save him. You have magic! We have to hurry, the tide!”

Jerric found himself being turned by the shoulders. Blazing red eyes stared out of a gray-green face. A dark elf mage, Jerric’s mind whispered in awe. Concern filled the mer's wrinkled face. “Calm, lad. You have found help for your friend. Now tell me, where is this cave?”

Jerric blurted his story to the Dunmer. He couldn’t imagine how this old mer in a silken robe could help him, but need made him trust.

Someone put a mug in Jerric’s hands. He didn’t realize how thirsty he was until he tasted water, sweet and clean. “Run to the Dock Gate, I will meet you there,” the Dunmer told him. “I will only be a moment behind you.” The mage gave Jerric’s shoulders a reassuring squeeze. “As you said, lad, we have magic. Do not go on without me. You are the one who must take me to the cave.”

As Jerric worked his way back toward the harbor, the mage’s words kept his purpose clear above the fear that sped his feet. Don’t change the plan, he told himself when he reached the Dock Gate. You are the one who must bring the mage to Rhano.

Jerric spent only moments dancing with impatience before a dark elf approached him. “Lead the way, lad,” the mer said.

Jerric stared at him. This Dunmer wore a faded linen tunic and breeches. His silver-streaked hair was tied at his neck.

“Make haste, lad! I will keep up.” The mer released a swirl of magicka from his fist.

It’s the mage, Jerric realized. He’s using spells to be fast. Jerric whirled toward the gate and took off running again.

When they reached the sea cliffs, Jerric was gasping for breath. The Dunmer dropped his shoulder bag on the sand and began to quickly organize his supplies. He buttoned potion bottles into his pockets.

“That rope’s not long enough!” cried Jerric, jumping with urgency.

The mer gave him a solemn look as he worked.

It’s not for leading Rhano out, Jerric realized with a sickening lurch. It’s for trussing his body in case he’s… Jerric sprinted into the sea and started swimming.

The surf had picked up considerably. Jerric worried that silt would cloud the tunnel, obscuring their way out. He cast his eyes up and saw no clouds. Maybe the light will still show us, he thought. Jerric had never been inside a chapel, but he knew what his Fa would say. Kyne, bless us with sunlight.

“I see the cave,” the Dunmer called from the water. “Go back to the beach, lad! I must reserve the potions for your friend.”

Jerric knew he should obey. He took a few quick breaths. I told him I’d come back for him, Jerric thought. I told him I’d make it. The first thing he sees is going to be me.

The Dunmer’s shout was lost under the waves as Jerric dove.

The surge pulled harder now, but it pushed him as well. Jerric’s pounding heart demanded more air, and his chest heaved with effort. Should have waited outside, he realized as water leaked into his nose. His head burst through the surface as a wave crested inside the cavern, sending his face frighteningly close to the rocks.

Rhano had wedged himself into a crack high in the wall. Jerric could see his head and shoulders above the water. The Dunmer surfaced between them almost immediately. Rhano glanced at him, then his eyes went back to Jerric.

“Potion,” gasped Jerric, struggling to snort the water back out. He had no time to feel relieved.

Rhano’s reply was made incoherent by his chattering teeth. By the time Jerric reached them, the mage had a potion bottle in his hand.

The mer’s red eyes were not pleased when he looked at Jerric. “Go when your wind returns, and not before,” he told Jerric. “I want you to swim out first, in case you have difficulty. I see that your friend here is a brave lad, and he will be right behind you. You need not fear for him. Getting yourself out safely is now your only concern.”

Jerric had never felt so foolish. He grabbed the edge of the rock to hold himself steady. When he was finally ready, the Dunmer administered the potion to Rhano.

Rhano cooperated without questions. “It will turn the water to air as you breathe, lad,” the mer told him. “You will see clearly. If something should alarm you, close your eyes and do not struggle. I will pull us out by gripping the rocks. I need you to hold on to me. Are you able?”

Rhano nodded. Jerric pushed back to the middle of the pool. “See you out there,” he said, then he dove to the tunnel at the bottom of the cavern.

A pale green light touched the rocks under the water, and Jerric realized that the mage was the source. He wondered what the mer had seen on the way in that made him warn Rhano. Best not to think about it, Jerric decided. He kicked against the surge with all of his strength. Best not to put your hand on it, either. He shuddered every time he had to reach into blurry darkness.

Shadows gave way to open blue water, then the cloudless summer sky. Jerric closed his eyes and turned his face to the sun while he caught his breath. The waves lifted and dropped him playfully. After a moment he opened his eyes and looked around. Rhano and the Dunmer were not with him.

By the time Jerric had started to fill his lungs to dive back down, he saw their heads break the surface near the beach. They swam underwater, he realized. Maybe that was easier than fighting the surf. Relief made his limbs feel weak. He rolled onto his back and kicked for the shore.

Jerric felt calm again by the time he reached them. Rhano sat shivering on the sand, his face tight with pain. The Dunmer knelt beside him. “The bone is broken, but it will be easy to heal,” said the mer. “May I?”

Rhano tried to pull away. “No! My mother…”

“They don’t trust magic,” Jerric explained. “We’re in a lot of trouble already. I know we won’t be allowed in the sea caves any more. I guess that’s all right, though. But if you healed him… They would be more mad.”

“I expect the sea caves have lost their appeal for your friend,” the Dunmer said gently. Jerric saw that Rhano’s bleak face held more than pain. “Allow me to splint the ankle, and we will carry him home.” Rhano nodded to the mage. “This is going to be uncomfortable,” the Dunmer warned him.

Rhano’s fingers felt stiff and cold. “Zombie hand,” Jerric whispered. Rhano didn’t smile, but at least he squeezed back.

The mer carefully adjusted Rhano’s ankle. “That’s nothing,” Jerric said to cover Rhano’s gasp. “See that scar on his arm? A bone was sticking out, and he hardly even cried.” The Dunmer began binding Rhano’s leg. “You do it like my brother,” Jerric told him.

“The Anvil chapter of my guild specializes in teaching restoration magic,” the mage remarked. “However, I imagine a Nord lad might have more experience with this technique.” His red eyes looked friendly again. “I am pleased that you approve.”

“I’ll carry you,” Jerric told Rhano. His friend’s silence was beginning to worry him. The Dunmer hoisted Rhano onto Jerric’s back, and they began their slow progress down the beach. Jerric stepped carefully to avoid jarring Rhano’s ankle. “I’ll pay you back,” Jerric told the mage. “It might take a long time, though.”

The Dunmer walked along beside Jerric as if they were simply out for a stroll. “Do you lads live in Anvil?” he asked. His tone sounded mild and companionable.

Jerric decided to do the talking. “Rhano does, but I’m from Kvatch. I’m staying with him for the summer.”

“How old are you?”

“I’ll be ten in Sun’s Dusk,” Jerric told him proudly. “Rhano turns ten next month, but I’m already bigger than him.” He waited for Rhano to point out that he was faster, but he stayed silent.

The mage looked them over with an amused smile. “I expect that will not change. You are blessed by the Atronach, lad. Do you know what that means?”

“I won’t have any magicka,” said Jerric. “It’s all right, I’m going to be a caravan guard.”

“You will not have any magicka of your own, but there will be many ways you can acquire it. Has no one explained this to you?”

Jerric shook his head. Part of him resented the implied criticism, but most of him felt desperately curious.

“Think of it this way,” said the Dunmer. “Each mortal is a vessel of a different size that can hold magicka. Most of us fill up slowly like a well.” He paused, looking over at Jerric.

“But I’m not a well,” Jerric guessed. “I’ll never fill up. How is that a blessing?”

“You can fill up, lad. You might gain magicka from a potion, or from an Ayleid well. Some stones collect magicka that you might learn to use. But the most important way, the way that will be useful for a caravan guard, is by reaping the magicka from the spells of others. You might absorb any sort of magical attack, even curses that are intended for you. When you absorb the magicka, you take it away from the spell. Then the attack cannot hurt you.”

Jerric felt awe prickle over his skin. “So when my brother Rothmund got burned by a hedge wizard, that might not happen to me?”

“It will still sometimes happen,” the Dunmer told him. “You will never know in advance which attacks will harm you, and which will provide you with magicka. There are spells and enchantments that can increase a person’s chance of absorbing an attack. Perhaps you will want to learn about them when you are older.”

Jerric could tell that there was more. He saved his breath for walking.

After a moment the mage continued. “I mentioned that everyone is a vessel of a certain size. Nords tend to begin as smaller vessels, but with effort they might make themselves hold more magicka. The stars gave you a gift, lad. If you choose to study magic, you will begin with power that might rival a young Altmer's.”

Jerric halted, stunned. He felt Rhano’s arms tighten around his neck. “Jerric, no,” Rhano whispered.

The Dunmer stopped and looked back at them. “Where do you live, lads? I shall see you to your door, but I imagine your explanations will be easier absent my presence.”

“Westgate,” Jerric said. They began walking again. “We won’t tell a lie, sir. Ongve might come to speak with you, that’s Rhano’s Fa. We’ll have told him the truth.” Jerric swallowed the lump in his throat. He would get a thrashing over this adventure for certain, as Rhano would when his leg healed. Ongve had heavy hands and the conviction that discipline was as important as nourishing food. Jerric’s own Fa was far more lenient with him. “I said I’d pay you back, but I don’t know how. Do you have any work I could do?”

The Dunmer looked him over as they walked. Jerric braced himself for ridicule, but the mage’s voice stayed kind. “You look strong enough to split wood for the kitchen, but I have a better idea, if you are willing. Come to the guild hall and ask for me. The meadows are full of alchemy ingredients in the summer, and there are never enough hands to gather them. I will instruct you on their proper collection, and apply what you earn as credit toward the potion I used. Does that sound acceptable?”

“Yeah,” Jerric breathed in relief. His manners returned in a rush. “I mean, yes, sir. Sera. Thank you.” he felt a grin split his face.

The mage glanced over with an answering smile. “Master Relas,” he said.

“Yes, Master Relas. I’m Jerric. Pleased to meet you.”




This post has been edited by Grits: Aug 11 2011, 01:14 PM


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 11 2011, 02:01 PM
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Ooh, I luuurve Master Relas in this! He is just as I imagined him!

Wonder what it was Rhano saw on his way out to make him so untalkative? Not a good thing, I suppose.

If you've been having hot and dry weather there, no wonder you've been writing about seaside adventures! For me the antidote for that kind of weather is to write about mountains, cold and snow. Works every time! Of course, when it's dark and freezing cold outside in the middle of January, I love to write about warm seaside places! Like Anvil. wink.gif

Jerric's determination to be the first face Rhano sees is admirable, though by that point I imagine Rhano would be happy to see any friendly face.

Well done!


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mALX
post Aug 11 2011, 04:31 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



@ Grits - I don't have time to read this right now, but I'll be back to read it when I get home tonight (or tomorrow morning if the trip gives me a headache, lol - truth, I get "road eyes" after long drives, lol).


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ghastley
post Aug 11 2011, 05:02 PM
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I'm not quite seeing how a water breathing potion is acceptable magic, but healing isn't. Rhano's parents wouldn't know he'd been injured in the first place, so both leave him in the same state in which he left home. This way makes the use of the potion come out in the open, so I'd have expected the logic to have been "we've started, so we have to finish" with the use of magic.

However, I'm not a ten-year old kid thinking it through.


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