Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The Day's Progress - Tuesday Edition

Slowly getting up to speed, as the days go on. Today was a bit more like it, though with some time lost this morning to dinking with my hosting service, who have restored my site using a month-old backup, losing a month's worth of changes to my worldbuilding wiki and a bunch of images that had been included in my blog posts.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
25,114 / 100,000

A bit north of five thousand words today. It's looking like the book might be a little longer than expected, which would mean I'm not the quarter done that the word count would suggest, but pretty far along, at any rate.

Today's writing was devoted entirely to a banquet held at the court of Geraint, the king of half Dumnonia. Midway through an otherwise pleasant meal, Geraint explains why everyone in town has taken to sleeping inside the security of the great hall, in a giant unending slumber party.
All around them came the susurration of whispers as those gathered in the hall heard the words of their king and queen. Some made the sign of the cross, while others moved their fingers in ancient pagan sigils meant to ward off unkind spirits. Fear was evident on every face, young and old, man and woman. Fear of this Huntsman.

“You mentioned such earlier,” Artor said. “What kind of man is this hunter to inspire such fear?”

“Not a man at all, some would say,” Enid replied, arms wrapped tight around her infant son.

Geraint nodded. “Or if he were a man, at some point, that hour has passed. Mayhap he was tossed up from the grave, or else from beneath the waves. He is said to have the coloration of corpse-flesh, hairless, and with dead-seeming red eyes, and does not speak, but lets the barking of his spectral hounds instead give voice to his wrath.”

“It is said...?” Artor repeated, suspicious. “Have you not seen him yourself, then?”

“Only from a distance,” Geraint answered, with evident gratitude. “But some of our people have been fortunate enough to flee his presence, and carry back to us more detailed descriptions than long sightings would allow.” He shook his head, ruefully. “Those that have stood their ground, and faced the Huntsman’s red sword...” He trailed off, eyes shut.

“What?” Bedwyr asked, mouth hanging open, eyes wide. “What happened?”

Geraint took a deep breath and let out a ragged sigh. “The Huntsman carries a sword, whose blade is the red of the hellfire with which it sometimes seems to glow. And when this blade meets flesh or iron or wood...”

He paused, turning his head away, as if he could escape the sight of the memories which sprang before his mind’s eye.

“We have found the Huntsman’s victims in the following mornings, or rather what is left of them. This red sword of his cuts through anything like a hot knife sliding through warm butter, severing heads from shoulders in a single clean sweep, or hands from arms, or feet from legs. Not hacked and chopped, like a woodsman and his axe, but single strokes, clean through.” He shuddered at the memory.

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