These are the very first, very original pieces I ever wrote for Brink. It will be reworked and added into the second book of the story. The first piece has the original names, prior to the changes I made to write the story for National Novel Writing Month, and is the first glimpse of the story I ever got. One of the rules for NaNoWriMo is that everything had to be written within that 30 day period—using already-written stuff incorporated into the work is forbidden. I wrote these two pieces were written the Monday before, then I kept in mind the idea behind the second piece (the scene where they hire Ruel), and rewrote it from memory without referring to the clip posted here. As both the piece here and the piece actually written during NaNoWriMo are my work, and written in a short span of each other, you can see the similarities, where I kept thinking the same dialogue or description, but not always the same wording.
This is not going to be a good day.
The thought bounded around wildly in Dainel’s skull as he became aware of the fact he was bound inside his bedroll. The second thing that registered in his consciousness was the culprit’s smirking, boyish face gazing down at him.
“Roth!” the barked order rang across the span of the camp. “Leave him alone and for the hundredth time: start packing!”
Einor’s tone was one no one dared disobey. He wasn’t a person to disobey in general, either, but that never deterred Roth. If there was a way to get around rules or get out of work, Roth always found it. Dainel had no idea why Einor kept him along.
“Children, the lot of you,” the fourth member of their party said in a voice that never failed to turn Dainel’s blood cold. The assassin,
, was crouched beside him and made short work of the bindings almost before he registered his presence. Corinth
“Why are we here, again?” Roth asked for perhaps the hundredth time. His voice was beginning to take on a whining, wheedling quality it did when he was unfathomably bored. He all but sprawled across the table, toying with the remains of the plate of food left by the person opposite him.
Danel gritted his teeth and willed himself to unclench his fist around the butter knife. They had been at this pub for barely an hour and he already wanted to stab the kid. He was willing to entertain the thought of decking him, however.
It’s a good thing Corinth has more tolerance than me, he thought. I’ll never understand why he allowed Roth to come along. The kid’s worthless.
It was a good thing, too, the food Roth was playing in wasn’t his. It was
The trio’s table was near the door, beneath a set of shaded windows. Danel’s back was to them, with Roth to his left.
was directly across from the kid so he could keep an eye on passers by and people entering the establishment as they waited for whomever it was they were there to meet. Corinth
Danel had a good view of the bar and most of the other tables. Small groups of locals crowded around even smaller tables, shoulders hunched forward, heads leaned in to keep their gossip from spreading to unwanted ears. It wasn’t the friendliest town Danel had been in.
All at once,
straightened and raised one arm, gesturing with two fingers to someone Danel couldn’t see even when he looked in the same direction. Corinth
did not raise his voice, yet it seemed to project above the pub noise with remarkable ease. Corinth
A tall man appeared at
’s shoulder as though out of thin air in response to the name. Just his presence made Danel’s skin crawl in warning, though there was nothing remarkable about him. He was Danel’s height—head and shoulders taller than either Corinth or Roth—though he didn’t have Danel’s broad shoulders. Whereas Danel was built like the soldier he was, this man was build more for speed. Though not obviously armed, Danel had no doubt this man had more than enough weaponry at his disposal. Corinth
.” The voice was quiet, with a faint roughness beneath, as though he did not speak often. Corinth
“I have a job for you, if you’re interested,”
told him, offering a bag of coin. “Consider this advance payment.” Corinth
“Hey, wait a minute!” Roth protested. “We don’t know this guy, and you’re paying him to tag along? You don’t even pay me!”
Ruel raised his head and Roth swallowed uncomfortably under his fierce gaze. Danel had never seen anyone capable of shutting him up.
Ruel’s face hardened. He handed the bag back.
“No. Not if you’re letting a child along.”
I need, Danel noted. Not we.
Ruel grunted and the bag disappeared beneath his dark gray cloak.
“I camp separate from your group, and my treasure comes along. No questions asked of either of us.”
Ruel shifted without appearing to move so he stood off the end of the table instead of behind
’s shoulder, and a new figure replaced him, face hidden in shadow by the hood of her dark cobalt cloak. It was held in place at the neck by an intricate silver knotwork clasp Danel had only seen in history books—the interwoven knots of the Ancients. Ruel reached out in what Danel could only call tenderness and pulled the hood back. Danel and Roth could only stare. Corinth
Ruel’s treasure was a woman.
She met and held gazes with Corinth in silence, then looked at Danel only a brief instant before dropping her gaze again as Ruel settled her hood back into place. In that split-second of eye contact, Danel felt something shift in his chest and it took him a moment to remember to breathe.
The title came unbidden into Danel’s mind. It was a rare talent said to be gifted on a handful of bloodlines by the Ancients, themselves gifted with it by the Creator.
“Indigo,” Ruel breathed her name. “One of the Einor—the Sighted.”