A Long Road Chapter 6 Ficbit – More Than He Wanted to Know

Arvil breathed a silent sigh of relief, glad for the past two days on the road and the Wens filling him and Graya in on more than they had ever wanted to know on ghosts, monsters, Pelagirs weirdness, and what might cause them all. “Everything that lives has energy. It’s what Heralds use for our Gifts. Most of the time it flows like small streams; smooth, quiet, just enough for everything that breathes. Apparently in the Pelagirs it’s as if someone threw down rockslides. Some places the energy is blocked. Some, it’s narrowed down and too fast. Some-”

Willam’s lips thinned, looking at the portrait of the altered plant that had taken young lives. “The rock dam gives way all at once, and things… Change?”

“Yes,” Arvil agreed. “But the Wen clan has ways to smooth out the flow again.” He still couldn’t quite believe inked paper could do magic. Yet he couldn’t deny what he’d seen these past days. Blankets warmed without fire or hot stones. Pots of water tapped, all the mud and leaf-bits rising to the surface to fly away on the breeze. Goat’s milk mixed with herbs and changed, so little Banli could feed as well as if he’d been wet-nursed, until Wen Qing could get Meifeng’s own milk to come in.

The Wens were a clan of mages. Not all of them could create magic; he thought maybe a dozen, all told. But all of them knew how to use it.

How in the Havens did they get into Valdemar?

“Smoothing it out permanently will take a lot of work,” Master Wei had said soberly. “What I’m planning to do is – it’s like a river. First, we’re going to build a dyke to divert some of the rapids away from the village. Then, over the long term, we’ll want to lay out channels to spread the energy out enough to be safe, or let it flood into specific areas that won’t hurt anyone. If you bring out a map of the village, I can show you….”

And he did, Arvil thought now, comparing Rabbit Hole’s records from last fall with the most recent weather observations. Without ever mentioning that what he was doing was magic.

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22 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 6 Ficbit – More Than He Wanted to Know

  1. But it’s not magic. It’s cultivation. Entirely different thing!

    (Going to be fun ironing out that difference of definitions.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Part of it is, they don’t think of it as magic. And due to the mental fudging that Valdemar has been going through and the way the Wens react, neither will Rabbit Hole. It’s not magic, it’s cultivation. Which means, in a few generations, Rabbit Hole might house the germ of a sect. Oh, I don’t think they’d call themselves that. Certainly they won’t reach out to the sect lands. But quiet cultivators making things flow smoothly, oh yes.

    If it gets that far, the changes the Wen are making and how they’re riding the flow and how that affects the area around when the Mage Storms hit. They’ll be more prepared to deal with the environmental changes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Give them credit, this area of the Pelagirs was mostly cleared out safe enough for wary settlers and Heralds at least 20-odd years ago, or you’d be seeing Hawkbrothers all over the place. The problems Rabbit Hole is running into now are the first whispers of the oncoming Mage Storms – and no one mortal knows those are coming, yet.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ah ok, admittedly I don’t know much about the mage storms not having read those books yet.
        Did they just spontaneously happen or were they the result of some mage being exceptionally stupid and full of hubris?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Canon, they were the original Cataclysm set off by Urtho and Ma’ar “reflecting” back through time – like ripples bouncing off the edge of a pond. They started really hitting after Ancar was defeated, but when those in Valdemar investigated the situation they realized small effects had been appearing for quite some time before.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. “It’s not magic, it’s land management.”

    “I’ll have to take your word for it. I can’t even manage a garden much less…”

    “What?”

    “When you say ‘cultivator’ do you mean you’re all just extreme gardeners!?”

    “…maybe?”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Rith, author of the xianxia/epic fantasy Memories of the Fall, is in the middle of a difficult rewrite problem.

      Basically, around 2.75 books have gone up in the last nine months, but this is material that was written over a long period before it started getting put up. As Rith was editing stuff to make consistent before putting up, it was realized that some of the later edits required some world building that didn’t really match the first four chapters. Those changes went in to the later chapters, but the new chapter 0, and the edited 1-4, have not gone up yet.

      Anyway, in MotF divination, feng shui, geomancy and actual gardening are tightly linked. Also, formations are strongly related. Major change is that the five main characters are better at divination than was initially assumed.

      Those first four chapters have a gardening scene, a bunch of diviners, and a pretty significant formations expert. And as MotF is working towards the climax of the third book, a bunch of divination stuff is coming into play.

      Anyway, mid book three, there was a mass murder covered up, and a death trap concealed, by the use of a high level gardening talisman.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The nature of dead things is to turn into fertilizer and soil. So it would have been more about reminding the land of its business than changing the nature of the place.

        That said, lotuses take some work to grow from seed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “What I’m planning to do is – it’s like a river. First, we’re going to build a dyke to divert some of the rapids away from the village. Then, over the long term, we’ll want to lay out channels to spread the energy out enough to be safe, or let it flood into specific areas that won’t hurt anyone. If you bring out a map of the village, I can show you….”

    Well now that sounds really familiar. So between this and those small hints you’ve been dropping about a gift that would invalidate Wei Ying from the Heralds, I’m thinking it’s highly likely that his mage gift is the same kind as Firesong and Darian ( I’m trying to be subtle here cause I don’t want to spoil anyone)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just realized. Did you name the town Rabbit Hole so you could take the Wens from a Mound to Warren? (And a rabbit warren is a fine place to hide!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rabbit Hole is a canon Velgarth village! Read the Crucible collection of short stories.

      That said, I think Vathara chose it on purpose, lol. LWJ will feel right at home.

      Liked by 1 person

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