Archive for Trouble on the Horizon

The Boy Who Cried “Fred!”

This entry is part 29 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

If you’ve paid attention over the last five-plus years, you’ve probably heard me say something like this: “You know what, I’m really going to start working on Strin & Fred again. Like, really really.” I’ve said it on podcasts. I’ve said it on this blog. I’ve said it to various…

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Chapter 23 – Homecoming

This entry is part 28 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

On the Horizon, there is no sunrise. That sheet of blackness stretches to the furthest reaches of the sky, swallowing clouds and stars as it rises. It plunges deeper into the earth than golems have ever dug. It veils the unseen rising sun, and its blackness deepens as it struggles…

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Chapter 22 – Dreams and Whispers

This entry is part 27 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

In true Fred fashion, he was snoring in minutes, and the door between him and the main room did not muffle the sound. Strin sat on a plain, creaking chair at the table in the main room, eating his soup. Besides his chair, the room contained three others, a square…

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Chapter 21 – Regretted Recognition

This entry is part 26 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

Ananya Filia gave the soup she heated over the fire more attention than it needed, but while her hands absently stirred the brown broth and her eyes passively followed the rotating water, she could think. She could think how she would act when Fred woke, imagine how he would react…

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Chapter 20 – Rutsuian

This entry is part 25 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

Evening was dawning, and the cloak of darkness seemed to spread from the wall of the Horizon into the sky and across the land, huge shadows stretching from the Night at the edge of the Known World. The village of Nephra was a mound of red and gray and black…

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Chapter 19 – Just Short of Home

This entry is part 24 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

As Strin stepped into that sparking, fraying cone, he knew what to expect—the sensation still shocked him. The link was instantaneous, sharp, and clear, like being dunked in winter water. But the effects lingered uncomfortably, as if a cool wind was drying that water from his skin and clothing. He…

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Chapter 18 – Silence

This entry is part 23 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

Except for the strained breathing, the Generator Room was silent. But for a single trembling body, it was motionless. Celina stood alone in a frozen moment, but she was engulfed in memories she had long tried to forget. She knew that in the Sanctum of Magic all magicians are taught…

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Chapter 17 – The Generator Room

This entry is part 22 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

She sat upon her throne, her braids like grand thoughts intertwining one into the other. Her face was blank; she appeared a faceless goddess. Her hands were upon her lap, at rest—those hands held the power to affirm and the power to deny. Her tiara of many jewels sparkled in the…

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Chapter 16 – Uncertain Plans

This entry is part 21 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

There was a tap on the door. Fred’s pacing ceased mid-stride, and he wobbled a little before setting his foot quietly on the floor. Strin looked up from his thoughts. “You heard that, right?” Fred asked. He peered at the door as if it would suddenly open hidden jaws and…

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Chapter 15 – Dilemmas of Self

This entry is part 20 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

Strin had traveled the length and breadth of the Horizon in his 28 years. He had seen its wide plains of grass and groves; he had seen its stiletto forests, like needles of green puncturing the plains; he had seen its lonely houses and its twilight caverns and its huddled…

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Chapter 14 – Splinters of Aftermath

This entry is part 19 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

“That went well, don’t you think?” Advisor Emsan Owa meticulously folded his handkerchief and placed it carefully in his pocket. Only then did he allow himself to glance at the other two Advisors. It took a great deal of willpower not to appear nervous; he worried that he didn’t cover…

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Chapter 13 – Trouble on the Horizon

This entry is part 18 of 31 in the series Trouble on the Horizon

The song was as beautiful as the Crystalline Castle itself, and as old, first practiced when the pillars upon which the Castle stood rose into empty space, and its first Empress traveled the lands for which she had won peace. The true meaning of the words, with all their subtle…

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