Chapter 2 The Rune Writer

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Fantasy Author
May 1, 2005
I am a fantasy author, who has traveled the world.
Chapter 2

All scribe slaves are taught to read at a very young age and Damiken had been an avid reader of the old legends. Reading mostly about the magics before the earthshake had separated the continents and raised the islands. One of the ancient rune writing books in Toros’s library had told how long ago magic was blended. Designs created by mixing inks, designs that caused different effects than what was originally intended. This type of magic had faded away on the islands because the islanders believed it unstable and preferred to rely on the more practical use of regular runes. Only a few people here even knew how to create the blended runes.

For the past seven years he had been studying everything he could about the lost art and had finally figured out how to write blended runes that would do what he wanted, sometimes. He intended on taking these scrolls to Sororia and in exchange for their worth, he would find a rune wizard willing to take him on as an apprentice. One who could teach him how to finish developing his own magical abilities.

The eastern setting sun turned blood red, lighting the ocean sky in vivid shades of oranges, purples and pinks as he thought about what he wanted to do. Both of Asadera’s moons began climbing up into the coming night sky. Once Laure, the sailor’s moon was bright gold and Urel, its twin, was a deep shade of blood red, he knew it was time to meet with the thief master.

Placing the specialty rune sheets back into their sheath and back into their hiding place, Damiken gathered up the normal ones and headed back across the tiled rooftops, moving towards the docks.

As the sharp smell of dead fish assaulted his nostrils, he knew he had reached his destination without having to see the sea in front of him. Sliding down a narrow space between two low roofed buildings, he landed lightly on the thick logs making up the extended part of the city’s harbor.

Cadzia was not large but its manmade docks were and they almost encircled the entire island, giving it a much larger appearance. Walking out of the small gap, his hazel colored eyes went wide with delight as he spied a giant windship tied down by mooring lines.

Windships, powered by rune magic swept across the great oceans, navigating the straits between the continents and islands with amazing speed. Damiken smiled, relishing the thought that soon it would be one of these graceful ships that bore him home. A much better way than traveling in a filthy flat bellied freighter like the one that had carried him over.

Stepping lightly and dodging quickly around the people working on the large manmade wooden streets, he made his way towards a shabby looking warehouse where Moretti Straff conducted business.

An iron bound wooden door marked the entrance to the thief’s warehouse, Damiken saw runes binding the metal, making the door stronger. Pounding loudly on it with the flat of his hand he waited. After receiving no response, he did it again and continued doing so for what seemed like several long minutes. Finally a head sized portal in the door slid open. A greasy blond haired man that he had never seen before thrust his head out though the narrow opening and began shouting, “We are closed! Go away!”

Damiken almost gagged at the accompanying smell of foul wine assaulting his nose from the other man’s fetid breath. Taking a small step back, he attempted to both speak and hold his breath at the same time, mumbling, “I have an appointment with Moretti.”

The greasy haired man eyed him through glossy red-veined eyes and seemed on the brink of telling him to go away again. He stopped when Damiken held up the large sheath filled with the rune parchments. Withdrawing a good one, he showed it to him. The other man said nothing as he eyed the rune. Pulling his head back in, he slammed the portal shut. A ragged sounding shout came from behind the door. It was followed by a few others answering it. Damiken tried overhearing by putting his ear to the door but couldn’t make out anything said.

Finally a click sounded and the door opened, the obviously drunken greasy blond haired man bowed mockingly to him, saying in a slurred voice, “Y..Youu arre expected Mmaster writerr, pleasse enterr.”

As he stepped past the drunken man Damiken couldn’t help but notice how swiftly he fell in behind him as they moved across the open expanse of the poorly lit warehouse and wondered how drunk the man really was. He spotted Moretti in a group at one end near what the thief called his smugglers port.

A smugglers port is a hole cut into the floorboards of the building, just high enough up off of the water to let a small boat or skiff slide under it. Illegal goods or stolen merchandise can be moved into and out of the warehouse through the hole without the dock authorities being aware. Damiken really wasn’t sure why that mattered, most of the dock authority workers were already Moretti’s men.

He felt his breath tighten in his chest as he got close enough to see what the men were passing up through it.

A bound and gagged young woman was being shoved up from a boat underneath and in spite of the ropes tying her hands and feet. She was fighting for all she was worth and it showed on her face, black eyes and a split bleeding lower lip.

As the men beneath finally got her struggling form up through the hole and onto the wooden floor Damiken noticed the back half of her shirt was a shredded mass of tattered cloth.

A large two tiered black cross was tattooed across her back and ran across her shoulders and down the length of her spine. Almost as soon as he saw the mark Damiken felt a cold bite of fear and his hazel eyes bulged. He recognized the rune and gasped.

The tattoo across the young woman’s back was the royal rune symbol of the house Paraxis. That rune was what granted them their power and allowed them to rule over Sororia.

A tall balding man with a tightly wound brown beard, hanging down to the middle of his chest spun around at the sound. His blazing green eyes cut straight through him as he demanded, “Do you know who she is?”

Moretti Straff also noticed Damiken and released his hold on the beaten, bloody, and still fighting, young lady. Moving closer to the other man, he placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, saying simply, “He knows nothing Belarus, he is nothing but a slave with whose master I have a little business.”

Unseen, Moretti threw Damiken a look speaking of both fear and warning.

Surprised, Damiken quickly ducked his head meekly and said, “I.. I know nothing.”

He did know but seeing the dangerous glint in the other man’s eyes he knew better than to tell him.

Moretti ruled the underground of Cadzia, to see him frightened did nothing to lessen the feelings of fear filling him at the sight on the young girl’s back.

“What is he doing here?” hissed the tall man, glaring at both of them. “I thought I told you no one else was to be here! This was supposed to be a completely private sale.”

“And I told you it was too short of notice. He’s nothing but a simple slave Belarus, you have nothing to fear,” Moretti countered, repeating what he had said a moment before. “His master might have a monetary interest in our transaction, that’s was why I ordered your men to him let in. He was doing a really good job of pounding my door down which could have drawn unwanted attention.”

Belarus’ angry eyes fell once again on Damiken’s. The dark look in them scared him more than the mark of the royal Paraxis on the girls back.

Realizing now he had intruded upon something that he shouldn’t have, Damiken knew he was probably just a few moments away from death. Turning his body slightly as if he were cringing under the weight of the other man’s green eyed gaze, he fumbled at the sheath’s catch holding the magical parchments.

Maybe, I can free one that might offer some sort of way out of this mess, he thought as his fingers fumbled at he catch.

“He’s a scribe slave you fool. I’m sure, judging by the look on his face, that he recognizes who or what this girl is,” Belarus said contemptuously, gesturing towards the bound form struggling on the wooden floor. Saying nothing more he made a curt gesture to the greasy haired blond man behind him.

Damiken tried turning, tried to see what was going on.

Something hard struck him on the back of the head and a flash of pain-filled light exploded in front of his eyes, then the world went completely black. The last thing he felt were his legs crumpling underneath him.
Hi, a few things that should be tidied up and suggestions:

There's a missing apostrophe in
royal Paraxis on the girls back

I would re-write:

This type of magic had faded away on the islands because the islanders believed it unstable and preferred to rely on the more practical use of regular runes. Only a few people here even knew how to create the blended runes.


This type of magic had faded away on the islands because it was believed to be unstable. The islanders preferred the more practical use of regular runes. Only a few even knew how to create the blended runes.

Instead of:
ducked his head
bowed his head

I'd put a comma in after 'mark' like:
Almost as soon as he saw the mark, Damiken felt a cold bite of fear and his hazel eyes bulged.

I must admit I enjoyed it.
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