I know that I haven't written a Shed story in a long time... but I have been doing lots of writing for my hopeful Book #1. Focussing on one story at a
time instead of delving crazily into all at once like I had been doing.
When I first brought Kaelci to the Shedlands, she was alone... she soon discovered friendship with a strange ghost-mage, Sita, who always had a hidden
darker purpose, and then they met Darien, who revealed Sita's darkness, and he himself was revealed to be a spirit from the heavens. I really liked
writing Darien and I found a purpose for him in my proper story! He actually closed a lot of loose ends that I had flying about, gave me a lot of
different ideas that I could implement here there and everywhere, and will be the protagonist of my Book #3.
My Book #1 is the story of Lyria. I finished writing 45,000 words of her story last week and now I've been writing the antagonist, Avia. She
unintentionally brought a spirit into the land He is currently nameless, but he will be Darien by the end of the book when he takes a name for
And after this giant rambling ramble, I just wanted to share Darien's awakening into my world with the place that helped bring him to life
So, here is Avia's debut and her introduction of Darien. It's just half the chapter, but has the important bit - the spirit!
The hot sun bore down upon Avia’s pale skin as she stood watch over her city: Vaelon; her hand-crafted treasure.
She smiled softly to herself as her emerald eyes lovingly wandered over the gardens as fiery as a magnificent sunset, and slowly drifted over each
building; intricately carved from the volcanic sandstone that lay in abundance across the region, every shop-front and abode had been designed by her
imagination and had been carved to perfection in flawless testament to her vision and desires. Hundreds of busy yet blissful people webbed and weaved
themselves throughout the buildings and travelled along the ornate pathways, unknowing of the enchantment that held them captive and commanded their
The city had been but a ramshackle eyesore crudely constructed upon the border where Fandriel crossed from habitable land to unliveable wastes until
three years prior when she had charmed her way into the hearts and minds of all who dwelled within. With her guiding hand, Vaelon had transformed into
a perfect city picturesquely flanked by the renowned lava pools of the south, a city both beautiful and prosperous, and though the years had been
long, her enchanted grip remained firm upon the populace.
She leant across the balustrade, the soft silk of her white dress cool upon her sun-warmed skin, and as the noon-sun caused her sandstone city to
glimmer beneath its bright glare she hungrily watched as her people went about their lives, even the smallest of their actions performed in service to
Avia turned about haughtily and reclined against the balustrade, the clack of her fingernails loud upon the rail as she laid her eyes upon her twin,
and her voice was but a breath as she exhaled indifferently, “Mirabelle.”
With a lock of her red hair twirled about her finger, Mirabelle rolled her eyes upward as she sighed exasperatedly, “I arrived as quick as I was
able, as you asked. The heat is menacing!”
“It’s perfect. Come, I have something to show you.”
Avia stepped past her sister and entered the cool interior of her estate, the soft rustle of her dress the only audible sound within the silent
hallway, and her gait was as regal as a fairy-tale Queen as she meandered past the ornate paraphernalia she kept displayed upon glass shelves, the
ledges carefully placed between elaborate tapestries that depicted various scenarios throughout Fandriel’s history, and she soon directed Mirabelle
down the curved stairs that led to her private sanctum.
The underground chamber was a massive area dimly lit by tiny enchanted replicas of the two moons slowly adrift beneath the dome-shaped ceiling, the
walls were completely encased by bioluminescent mushrooms of glimmering blue, and at the back of the room lay a large rose-quartz altar set within a
perfect circle of unlit candles.
She glided elegantly towards her ritual circle and turned about as she reached the quartz slab, her green eyes agleam beneath the false moons as she
smiled enigmatically at Mirabelle. “To your left, my dear.”
Avia watched with unconcealed amusement as she observed her sister’s face, gleeful of the shock that swiftly passed over Mirabelle’s features as
her eyes fell upon the naked young man bound by magical tendrils of gold, his brunette curls limp over his face as he dangled helplessly.
Her voice low, Avia nodded towards the bound man. “He was part of a rite I performed but two weeks ago, he was my centrepiece, a perfect sacrifice
for my appeal to our higher masters! But, his eyes flew open, he burst back to life with a struggling spirit inside. I ensnared it swiftly for obvious
Mirabelle covered her mouth in shock as she stared wide-eyed at the man, and her tone was filled with disbelief as she carefully studied him. “A
Avia’s smile widened as she stepped towards the man and lightly caressed his cheek, perversely pleased as he wordlessly grimaced at her touch.
“Yes, dear sister, a spirit. Unintentional, but not unwelcome.”
She sighed exaggeratedly as she glanced at Mirabelle from the corner of her eye. “I told Xelcia that the blood is our power! Those pompous Magisters
fail to understand. They recognise the stirring yet take no heed of the effects. So, I thought to myself, why not a display? I bled this fine young
man only to capture a spirit, my display grander than I had imagined.”
The disapproval in Mirabelle’s voice swiftly shattered her pleasure. “Your display…? Avia! What did you do!?”
Annoyed, Avia raised her eyes to the ceiling before she carefully extricated an ornate silver blade from her belt. “Spare me your nonsensical
She briefly admired the gleam of the false moons reflected upon her blade as she gently fingered the silver edge, and suddenly, she swiftly ran the
knife along the man’s arm and captured his flowing blood within a small glass vial before the wound closed over with no evidence of her infliction.
She shook her head to herself as she caressed his arm and reverently murmured, “It still amazes me. He’s a never-ending source.”
Without a care, Avia turned away from the man and raised the vial into the air so that her artificial moonlight shone through the vessel and
brightened the crimson liquid inside, her gaze held a bizarre adoration as she lovingly peered through the blood and, unexpectedly, she abruptly
tossed the vial to Mirabelle who fumbled to catch the object as it neared her. “My dearest Mirabelle… I raised the dead. Try for
Needless to say I had a fun and busy weekend if you guys were wondering where I disappeared to. With the fall foliage at near peak in north central
Pennsylvania. Myself and a couple of friends of mine decided to make the five plus hour drive up on Saturday morning. Spent most of the day Saturday
up at the Coolspring Power Museum gawking over the gas engines. We did manage to get out after dark and shoot a few trains just east of Altoona at
Tipton, Pennsylvania. As Sunday came around, we were off to railfan on Norfolk Southern and their Pittsburgh Line between Johnstown and Altoona,
Pennsylvania. I finally got my photos and the first part of my videos uploaded from this past weekend's venture up onto Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh
A nice way to start off what would be a busy day and evening for us up on the Pittsburgh Line. Heading back west to fetch another eastbound to shove
up the hill to Altoona. A lite helper set rolls through the splendid colors of autumn at Cassandra, PA as it glides back down the famous "West Slope"
of the Alleghenies.
With a long and heavy manifest freight in tow behind it draped down the mountain. Eastbound train 14G begins its assault up the West Slope on its
journey to Altoona and beyond. The next two photos, this one and the one below, just don't convey how hard the lead locomotives on the train and the
pushers on the rear were working to keep this train moving.
Pushers on the rear working hard to keep 14G going on its journey up the mountain.
Back down on somewhat lower, albeit not much lower, terrain than the previous three shots. Intermodal train 25Z rolls west over the Old Stone Bridge
at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. What you see here is the very location where debris from the 1889 Johnstown Flood that killed over 2,000 people piled up
as the bridge acted as a dam of sorts which caused hundreds of people to perish due to burning debris.
This is the final photo from the trip that I took which turned out pretty decent I think. Heading back west with a string of empty coal hoppers to
South Fork, Pennsylvania and the South Fork Secondary. Empty coal train 591 passes under the former Pennsylvania Railroad signal bridge at milepost
It was a failed attempt at humour, nothing more. The chicken could be food or mood, but yesterday it was both, today is beef day. 3-6 months of
continuous sub-zero temps are approaching. I'm sure the US has colder and more inhospitable places than the Netherlands though.
As per your request, the foods I do not eat: Fresh tomatoes, fresh apricots, mushrooms, guinness, marshmallows, over-cooked gloop I mean soup!,
aubergine, courgette, celery, brussel sprouts, grapefruit, pomegranate, oranges, pork, all fish and sea-based produce except cod, pollack or salmon,
no offal whatsoever, tea, all and any soda drinks, fruitsmoothies, lychees. Any vegetables that have been boiled to death also. Oh yeah, most cheap
white bread and cheap cheese.
I think Gordi makes a better and more convincing glam-rocker than he would a hippy.
I'm finally back.
As you may have seen from the video I posted back on page 49: www.abovetopsecret.com...
I tried to go to The Shed physically.
Although I never made it to The Shed I did get to the forests of Accasia.
But that was only part of the story.
I couldn't find my way out.
So here is part two of my adventure.
I call it "Escape From Accasia."
Just looking at your list...
Do I consume it? (Y/N)
Fresh tomatoes, Y
fresh apricots, Rarely, but Y
guinness, HELL YES!
aubergine, Rarely but Y
courgette, Rarely but Y
brussel sprouts, Y
pomegranate, N (Except for the juice)
fish and sea-based produce, Y (but not if there are eyes/tentacles!)
offal, Y... HAGGIS!!!!
tea, Y (Life would be unbearable for us Scots without Tea)
soda drinks, Y but only as mixers in Gin/Vodka!
vegetables, Y (usually raw!) that have been boiled to death also. N (bleucchh!)
cheap white bread, Y (toasted)
cheap cheese. Y (Scottish Cheddar is cheap and good!)
I think Gordi makes a better and more convincing glam-rocker than he would a hippy.
My hair used to go waaay down past my shoulders... until I was about 14! (But you're right, I was never a real hippy!)
Tom, I can't thank you enough for these magical videos! I would say 'it is good', but they're so much more than that! I sat here earlier listening
with a big smile on my face. I got caught up in the blue goop of life doing things or I would have replied sooner. I hope you never tire of making
these as I will never tire of watching them.
Chooch, Gordi and Light, seems I missed you guys, but hello! Hope you are all having a great day/night.
Chooch, you always seem to sneak in when I'm not here. I swear you wait until I'm gone. Afraid of a little Elf are we? LOL Your pics are always mind
blowing! Keep up with the awesome photography!
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