Writing Draft-The Diluvian Mountains
In another “get off your ass” moment, I’ve been prompted to pick up the actual work of writing a novel-length piece I’ve been “delay plotting” for over a year. I’m choosing to share this (please note, this is protected (copyrighted) work–respect that!) because I like comments and I enjoy sharing what I write, especially early in the process.
There has been no editing on this, what you see is Stream of Consciousness writing. If you want to see it in some context, please read “Boy”, first.
Thank you and enjoy! Leave feedback!
The Diluvian Mountains were a bitter set of black and grey teeth jutting from a flood plain that was sparsely populated. Steep, tall, prone to releasing torrents of glacial flood waters at a whim, not many cities had seen a desire to set roots close by, so there were few who called the place home. The residents who did were seasonal farmers and hunters who would risk the plains during warm weather, growing fast, high-yield crops they could harvest quickly for market then return to the higher valleys to wait out winters, hunting, until the next cycle began.
The Diluvians set a rhythm of nature that was unpredictable at times, but encouraged rugged, proud folks to form small villages in their surprisingly hospitable, rich, and very narrow valleys. They didn’t mind visitors, in fact, they respected visitors who managed to find them; so long as they didn’t wear out their welcomes or try to pillage the resources their environment offered.
But, for a company of one-hundred men and women, laden with equipment, armor and the incidentals of combat, these were not desirable lands. Treacherous paths, winding through steep rock and treacherous cliffs just did not go well with formations, marching and proper discipline. Yes, it was good training, but that didn’t stop it all from being a big pain in the ass.
Captain Ben Allet stood on a small outcropping overlooking a small clearing that his troops were desperately trying to fit themselves into and pondered what to do next. On one side of the camp, a granite wall. On the other side, a granite cliff. His scouts reported another, larger clearing some ten miles to the west, but it was approaching dusk and he had no desire to kill anyone just so he could find better camping for his company. He just hoped there was enough room and no one would walk off the edge trying to take a piss in the middle of the night.
Some tents were going up, but most of the company were opting to just bed down. Captain Allet assumed it was due to simple fact; pitching tents and pounding stakes on mountain rock just didn’t work well. So, since the weather was good and the temperature wasn’t unbearably cold at night, a bedroll and small fire would work as well as anything. Soon, the little clearing would have a haze of cook fires and the scents of cooking to offset any discomfort.
Captain Allet nodded to himself, satisfied with the current situation, pulled his coat a little tighter around his neck, and looked as far as he could up the path to his west. There were two teams of scouts still due back. This wasn’t alarming, in the Diluvian’s it wasn’t unusual for the “far-rangers” to have to stop for the night and report back in the morning; much better than injury or death by “misadventure”. There were no bandits, to speak of, in these mountains. Wildlife, always a danger, was something they were trained to recognize and handle. No, Allet was just impatient. He knew they were close to their destination and simply wanted some word of exactly how close they were. It would be a relief to put a light at this leg of their journey, rest up for a couple of days and take their man back home. That knowledge would make the final push much less of a burden for him, and, more importantly, his company.
Allet let his thoughts move through the hope, hiding the real issue until he couldn’t ignore it any longer.
You must get to him before anyone else does.
That was a bit of a bitch.
The Mark hadn’t been able (or willing) to tell him why this man was being sought by others; he only knew that this was fact and his orders were to not let it happen. Then he was told that, although The Mark had a good idea of the man’s general location, no one knew exactly where he was. So, for a good month and a half, his company had been marching, following vague leads, and narrowing them down to a rough location in Diluvian mountains.
It is likely you will face opposition.
Another bitch, and the main reason he had a full company of one hundred rather than a fast team of six. He had come very close to leaving fifty to set up a camp at the base of the mountains so he could move faster, but that warning stuck with him; it haunted him a little, worried him a lot. Mountain passes were not the place for battle, unless you were the one setting an ambush. But there had been no sign of other hostiles anywhere along their journey.
And that was what made him worry more as time passed.
At all cost, he must be brought back safely! Even if he is not willing.
Not a prisoner, not a criminal. Possibly an unwilling (and very dangerous) guest.
Scenarios of doom. Scenarios of success. Scenarios of unknown factors crashing down. Allet decided it was time to move off his perch and go find a drink.