The strong shall be as tinder,
And the work of it as a spark;
Both will burn together,
And no one shall quench them.
Aeterna is my WIP fantasy novel I’ve been working on since 2015 and want to eventually have published. Hopefully. Someday. If I can ever finish it.
When a monster from the ancient world breaks a centuries-old estrangement between two races, threatening to annihilate both, Liriel Willowtree is chosen as a symbol of the all-powerful and immortal Aeterna and sent to protect the lower races of humanity. But when the power of her people fails her and she is forced to rely on the resourcefulness of a scrappy human waif, she comes face to face with fallacies in a doctrine she believed infallible. With a weapon that could change the future in her hands and the fate of races at stake, Liriel must choose between two worlds in order to save both: To abandon her kindred and claim allegiance with the well-meaning but often dishonorable Mortalus, or to forgive the ominous truth of her people’s past and accept the sovereign paths of the Aeterna.
The forest does not forget.
In the Starlit Age of the Realm called Silver, when the bone of the perishable and blood of the undying mingled together in the streets of the same city, the trees watched. When oaths were taken and kinships formed between mortal and immortal, the trees stood witness. When battles waged and those of earth and those of heaven stood together to the bitter end, though the field ran red with death and the corpses were too many to count, the trees guarded the fallen.
And the trees remembered.
The trees were there when the ancient kings fell. They saw the decay of time and friendships. They watched the world grow dark, and the blood of mortality and immortality slowly part. They looked on as the Mortalus came into the world as babies and went out of it withered and old, while the Aeterna lived on, ever young, retreating into themselves and the forests, never to be seen unless the world was in peril.
Oaths were broken. Kinships forsaken. Friends forgotten. Alliances died and races became strangers to one another.
The forest saw it all.
And the forest remembers.
Progress: Rewrite, Draft #1
In Short: Don’t expect to see it on your library shelves any time soon.
Liriel is my black-and-white, cut-and-dried control freak who tries her hardest to ignore the fact that she has emotions.
She’s kind of a mental work job.
Race: Aeterna (immortal)
Known for: Constantly rolling her eyes, getting snappish when stressed, doesn’t do well in spur-of-the-moment situations, appreciates well thought out plans, does NOT appreciate hugs, and for one who tries to be so on top of things, she spends far too much time in a perpetual state of confusion.
Known to say: “Don’t be ridiculous, Lotch.”
(To varying degrees of politeness.)
“Sometimes, I wonder if we’ve been looking at this all wrong,” Liriel whispered. She was so tired of holding back — of pretending she didn’t think. She’d seen things in these last few weeks, things she’d never imagined were possible. And now, she was left unsure. Unsure of herself, of her people, of the very world she inhabited. It was time to stand up and look around, to follow the unfinished thoughts in her mind and see where they led. It was time to question.
“Sometimes, I wonder if even after all this, none of us were right.”
My fun loving, bursting at the seams with joy, klutzy, cutie, half-starved nine year old ragamuffin.
Known for: Eating whenever she can get her grimy hands on food, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, taking intense delight in annoying Liriel, tripping, taking every convenient (and inconvenient) occasion to say, “Blarmey!”
Generally saying: “Great Snakes!” or “Blarmey!” or “Shucks, Liriel, don’t work yourself into a snit.”
But, she told them with a condescending shrug of her bony shoulders, one never knew what might happen when one went into the wild, for they might encounter brigands or gremlins or giant toe-eating spiders. She couldn’t say that she would not return wiser than old Hinky (the town’s self-appointed mayor), if indeed she came back at all; for she was going on an adventure.
My idealistic, breeze in the tree tops, waves on sand, prince-turned-social-outcast dreamer.
Known for: Making friends with the kinds of people typically shunned, trying to be diplomatic even when it clearly isn’t working, eternally optimistic, accidentally getting into serious trouble with his people, constantly trying to make mortals sound nicer than they really are, somewhat of a loner.
Known to say: “Liriel, my friend, a little tact might be useful.”
A sad smile played on his lips as he shook his head, eyes glimmering in the uneven light. “And for what, Liriel? Did I convince our king to send aid to the mortals? Did I bring them hope? Is the beast dead and winter’s threat defeated?” He shrugged, fixing his gaze on the fire. “You were right, you know. They’re all right: I’m a fool. A starry eyed idealist who can’t even change the mind of his own father, let alone the world.”
My ridiculous, rebellious, selfish, sociable idiot who draws on the walls and has no regard whatsoever for emotionally charged moments.
Known for: Giggling, acting like a two-year-old, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time (on purpose), annoying everyone, swooping in to save the day at the last minute, calling Liriel all sorts of patronizing names. (Like ‘Ducky’, ‘Darling’, ‘Milady’, and ‘Spritey-whitey’.)
Known to say: “Hi-ho, my pretties, what a merry joke!”
With at least a dozen flourishes, the interloper bowed. He was an old man, with the strangest pale blue eyes Liriel had ever seen. Tangible joy burst from them in rays and beams, threatening to blind the room. It took a great deal of will-power to stay sorrowful in the presence of those eyes—looking into them was like looking into laughter.
Yet there was something not quite right about him. Liriel had the feeling that if she were to go beyond the laughter and the joy and the sunshine, if she were to truly immerse herself in those airy deeps, she would find only emptiness and a dusty skull.
My wild medieval cowboy with serious anger issues and a enough bitterness to make coffee seem sweet.
Known for: Grunting, growling, exceptional hunting skills, eternally pessimistic and generally ticked off at something, hates Sprites, Aeterna, and anything immortal, and is surprisingly good with children.
Known to say: “Idiot Sprite.” (Among other things of the same ilk.)
“Do you know what it’s like to be trapped? To be treated like an animal, caged, alone in the dark? To have a mountain full of love forced into a tiny wicker basket in your heart?”