Summary: Word war. What it says on the tin…
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
Blue Needs a Subplot
[Blue and Horn need a subplot outside of the city to mirror Gray and Tan’s adventure in the World of Forrest. Plus I need someplace to put in Jake’s Raptor Santa (aka Krampus), so time to kick them out of the city to go adventuring.
Why do they leave? Not sure, but this should be before Nathan gets captured, so it’s a good way for this to lead back into the city in a way where he gets absconded with. (Mwa-ha!) It will make sense in the second draft. Somehow.]
The tree was older than any they had seen before the limbs reaching up across the sky in a tangle of limbs both live and dead. The leaves were bright green against the sky which was nearing dusk. Blue wondered why it was always nearing dusk when they left the city– it couldn’t be the same time everywhere but that they way things happened in stories
Of course the reason they had such a nice view of the sky and the branches was because they’d been attacked the moment they stepped out of the city and we currently lying face up on the ground, their arms tied behind their backs. Which was uncomfortable.
Horn had escaped up the tree the moment they were through the door and it appeared as if the locals hadn’t noticed him in the commotion. He was currently staring down at Blue with a very freaked out look, but the little guy had certainly learned how to keep a damper on his frenzy.
The fact that they were horribly outnumbered probably helped.
Blue still wasn’t sure if the locals spoke English, ever since the initial cry of alarm they’d been creepily silent. They were dressed in simple robes that ended just below the knee in a dull grey color that was most likely came from undyed wool. They had light fabric coverings across their nose and mouth and there was an odd blue discoloration in the cloth.
The tree was in the center of a great courtyard, although Blue could only see the walls that rose at least three stories tall, but were dwarfed by the size of the buildings on the other side. Those were massive pyramids that rose and fell like hills, only Blue could just make out movement that forced them back into perspective.
There was decorations on the tree trunk, but Blue couldn’t tell if they were meant to be patterns or words—which probably crushed any hope that they would speak a language any of them understood.
There was movement, although no speech, from the far end of the courtyard and after a moment one man dressed in red and two women dressed in blue came into view around the massive tree trunk.
The man looked down at the threesome with more annoyance than alarm. Blue wondered what he had been expecting.
“Who are you?” the man asked, in a very heavily accented cityspeak.
“Uh, wait,” Sara blinked in the glare of the setting sun as she tried to turn to see him. “Do you mean our names or where we’re from or what? Because I’m Sara and this is Nathan and Blue, but how does knowing that that help you any?”
“And how do you speak city?” Asked Nathan, confused.
“We have been expecting you,” said the man in red, “and we have been expecting others. It helps us to know which one you are.” He nodded to the guards who grudgingly helped them to sit up so that they could untie them.
Sara’s guard was still sporting a rather nasty bruise and was not at all pleased to be letting her go.
“How could you be expecting us?” Asked Blue, “This door just opened and we’ve never been here before.”
“But you have.” Said the man in red, “or at least you will, and that’s something that will take a little more explaining than can be done on an empty stomach.”
“I like the way you think!” said Nathan who was attempting to find a way to apologize to his own guard. Considering it had taken three of them to subdue him and he was at least foot taller than all of them, they took his apology rather graciously.
Sara didn’t bother to apologize.
The man paused as they turned to go as one of the woman touched his arm. “Oh, right, how rude of me.” He turned back to the tree. “Horn, would you like to join us or would you rather that we bring you food here?”
There was a pause and then Horn came out along one of the branches to look down at them. He stared at them for a long moment and then snorted, paused to smooth out ruffled fur, and went back in along the branch so he could crawl back down the trunk.
Blue walked over to meet him and the elf stepped onto his shoulder carefully. “I don’t like this,” he said softly as he settled in and Blue took slightly longer than needed to make sure he was in place. “Be careful.”