11-14-2007 09:39 PM - edited 11-14-2007 09:39 PM
The sun shone defiantly in the chilly air as the white sails of the [i]Hataras[/i] made their way with all speed towards the coast of Darmica. Several of the ship’s company were out on the riggings, and many were up on deck gazing off at the coast. Rugged hills could be seen through the mist, along with the dim peak of the tallest tower of a palace. While many of the ship’s people watched the coast, the younger passengers were grouped in a clump, listening to a man who paced back and forth in a dignified manner in front of them.
The man was Katir Hataras, the ship’s captain. He stood holding a dagger and demonstrating techniques to the huddled bunch.
Katir was thirty or so, a strong, tough man who was also uncommonly handsome; the years had only made him more so. He held the dagger firmly and skillfully, and in his work he was solemn and serious. Anyone who remembered him as a boy would wonder at what he had become; the young Katir had been light and cheerful. His voice was not loud, but his charismatic air was unmistakable, and the group of teenage girls and boys sat hooked to his every word.
“You all know that after this voyage, the Council and I will choose my successor. One among you will be chosen, will end up by my side, learning the skills necessary to be not only the captain of the ship but the leader of the entire Hataras clan. This boy or girl must show talent in all areas, from book-learning to fighting to the art of selling our goods. Rali, would you mind stepping forward?”
The boy who had been called walked up to the front, picked up a dagger, and tossed it in the air, catching it again by the hilt as it spun. He looked to the group as if hoping for some sort of applause. He tossed back his jet-black hair, strode leisurely up to the front, and smiled lazily towards the girls in the front. It was the general consensus among most of them that he was perfection embodied, at least in looks.
He took his position facing Katir and when Katir nodded, Rali lunged. Katir went in and before anyone could blink an eye, Rali’s dagger was on the ground, sliding across the deck.
“Really,” Katir said, “I haven’t yet seen a lot of potential with any of you bunch. Except possibly… Cass and Jasmin, show us how it’s done.”
Jasmin got up gracefully, like a dancer. She was a slender girl, with a braid of silky black hair down her back and large, slanted dark eyes like a cat’s. Her name was Jasmin, and her voice was catlike too, silky but never far away from a laugh. None of the boys would really fight Jasmin in lessons. They’d let her win while she giggled and they imagined being close to her in a far different context.
Cassah was Jasmin’s best friend, but the two of them were nothing alike. Cassah was pale for a Karikan. She was pretty but not stunning, and she did not laugh as easily as did Jasmin. she was not afraid to speak her mind to anyone. She took herself and her schooling seriously, and she had a talent for the fighting arts. Cassah was as practical as Jasmin was beautiful, and the two of them basked in each other’s glories, inseparable, to the point that when one came up in conversation, the other was sure to follow. As a result of this, no one realized that Jasmin had real talents, and no one realized that Cassah could be considered attractive. They were the smart one and the beautiful one.
It was probably this that most of the spectators were thinking about as the two girls began to practice fight, Jasmin smiling, Cassah intense, unreadable. They went through motions that they had been taught with daggers that could not hurt each other. On the mainland, they carried real daggers. The Masks were not dead everywhere, and it was always best to be able to defend oneself.
Suddenly Cassah stopped. She put down her dagger, and Jasmin had to pull back to avoid hitting her.
“What, Cass?” said Jasmin, her defined features arranged into a perplexed expression.
“Did you hear that?” said Cassah, looking around.
“That voice… it just said, ‘Ah, so I’ve finally found you.’”
Now the bemused expression spread to the rest of the people gathered, including Katir. “Cassah, there was no voice,” he said firmly. “Right, class dismissed.” He turned away, as if he was hiding something in his eyes. The group was suddenly uneasy and silent; the very sound of the waves seemed ominous. The sun in the cold air seemed too bright, even malignant. Everyone alternately looked at Cassah or looked around for the source of Cassah’s voice.
Then a boy called Ari laughed, a sort of nervous giggle. “Cassah, you are bloody crazy. Always known it.”
Message Edited by jadescarlett on 11-14-2007 09:39 PM
11-16-2007 10:34 AM
nice to meet you! really enjoyed your post. you should definately post more!!!
if you want to know about me, read some of the thread "can you tell me the truth about you?"
here are some of my nicknames here:
page(my real first name)
pahe(mistyped...then it got catchy)
and so forth...
again, loved it!! post more!!! like right now!!! got it!!!
oh, and welcome!
11-16-2007 02:03 PM
I am Aspen
Or Hope (The delusional but lovely MrsRonWeasley gave me that one)
I HOPE you will post more!
Your opost was great I am a romance poster myself. What your writing reminds me of Julie Garwoods "Gaurdian Angel" Girl pirate. Fabulous...
Anyway, got to run I am going to march with the Writers Guild Today at Sony Pictures. If you want join me! I will be the one holding the sign.
P.s If u haven't already READ all Julie Garwoods books starting with her Historicals!
11-16-2007 06:47 PM
french final tomorrow and look what i'm doing. haha
With that the mood dissipated; but the question was still in the minds of the assembly, especially Cassah’s.
The thing was, odd things in the life of the Hataras clan did seem to revolve around Cassah. First and foremost was the way in which she had come to live with them. She had been the child of outcast Karikans, killed by the Masks in the Islands. When she was three, she was brought to the ship by Tyrai of Rikol, a young Islander noble who had run away from home and found herself smack in the middle of the turmoil happening in the Islands in those days, and her lover Thaki, a boy sorcerer who was born a peasant and ended up working for the leader of the Masks before joining the forces against them in the end. The two of them had been like parents to her, and she still called Tyrai “Mum.”
After the Battle of the Mask, Thaki, Tyrai, and Cassah had left the ship, gone to the University. Less than a year later, Cassah came back with Tyrai alone, and since then, the two of them had lived on Kas Karikan with the clan, taking the occasional voyage out with the ship. No one spoke of Thaki. Cassah barely remembered Thaki the person; but she did remember when Tyrai said they were leaving the University that had become their home, and Thaki wasn’t coming with them. They’d left at night; Tyrai hadn’t wanted Thaki to see them leave. Cassah remembered the nights in little inns, looking out the window at the dark shapes of people walking by, and wondering what Thaki was doing. She remembered how Tyrai sat up at night and told her stories with a sad look in her eyes that had, Cassah thought, never really gone away.
So Cassah’s real parents were unknown; the story of the people whom she thought of as parents was equally mysterious. As a result, when Cassah heard a mysterious voice, it was only another notch on the list of odd things relating to the girl.
Ari Hataras, the boy that had called Cassah crazy, found Cassah on the deck later that afternoon, practicing with her daggers.
“Cass, put those things down for a second?”
Cassah obliged and turned in his direction. Although she scoffed at most girls who adored him, Cass would admit that Ari was a handsome sort, tanned from the constant sun on the ship’s deck. He wore traditional Karikan clothing, a loose, flapping shirt, sailor’s pants, and black boots. His hair was swept back as if by the wind, and his eyes never quite met those of others, seeming instead to look above or to the side of a person when he spoke. He had a constantly relaxed air about him, and had mocked Cass for her studiousness for years.
“So. Cassah,” he said slowly. “What are you going to be doing in Kalien?”
“I don’t know. Selling things.” The Karikans bought and sold, from the Islands to the East.
“After we sell things, Cassah,” said Ari rather exasperatedly.
“Looking around?” Cassah had expected that she and Jasmin would explore the city and do a bit of shopping, much as they had in previous years.
“There’s a tournament up at the palace, you know. The Kaliens have contests where they and a bunch of other people try to knock each other off their horses, it should be just your thing. I went last year, it’s a good bit of sport.”
“Good to know, maybe I’ll go there,” said Cassah, a bit confused. Why was Ari advertising tournaments? She turned back to looking out at the coast.
She turned back around slowly to face him and raised her eyebrows.
“Why don’t you come with me?”
The knowledge that Ari and Cassah were going to the tournament together spread throughout the ship rapidly. Like in most such things, speculation and rumor went far beyond actual fact. Everyone had an opinion on it, and very few people refrained from sharing that opinion.
Katir was the first of them. “So Cassah, you and Ari are going to the tournament?” said Katir sharply.
“For the life of me I don’t understand why you want to watch those Kalien brats knock other people off horses with long sticks.” There was an odd sort of bitterness in his voice. “You do know that Devon---”
The Kaliens had two “brats.” Cedric and Devon. They were twins, Cedric the oldest by a few minutes and therefore the heir to almost everything. Very few specific facts about the two, or the Kalien rulers in general, were known to the Karikans. Consequently, like everything that involves both mystery and quite a bit of money, there was a pack of rumors surrounding them. Katir told the rest of the ship’s people that Devon had tried to kill Cedric to take his place on several occasions. Jasmin hadn’t seen the boys when she was in Kalien the previous year, but she swore she’d met girls in the City that insisted that they had spent a night with Cedric, Devon, or both, usually behind some inn on a side road. Ari said that the Kaliens had rooms filled with treasure, gold coins, gold jewelry, and precious gems, filling the entire basement of their massive palace.
"I know, I know. They're awful people. We're just going to have a bit of /fun/."
"Don't take that tone with me, Cassah." Katir had always tried to be a father figure to Cassah, ever since they arrived sans Thaki. For the past few years, Katir and Tyrai had had an on-and-off relationship; each looked at the other wishing that they were someone else.
Cassah rolled her eyes and ducked down the ladder to the bunks.
Later that night, Cassah heard something that made Katir’s response seem perfectly amiable: whispers from the room of two other girls.
“I can’t believe Ari asked /Cassah/ to the tournament.”
“I know. I thought he went for a different type.”
“Yeah. A /pretty/ type.”
“Cassah is attractive, in an… /exotic/… sort of way.”
“/Exotic/? Well, everyone knows she’s no proper Karikan.”
“Yeah. Child of outcasts, but even outcasts look like us. She looks like an Islander.”
“And to think that Katir’s thinking of choosing her to take his place? The only reason that’s happening is because Tyrai gives Katir a little something every night.” This was said with an air of forbidden triumph, the air of someone who knows.
“Well, she is… /decent/… with her daggers.”
“Or Katir gives her easy opponents every time. Her friend, Jasmin? Biggest---” Cassah couldn’t make out the word, as the girl spoke quietly, but she was sure it was something accompanied by a rude gesture---“I’ve ever met. She’s got plenty going on and not much time to practice, I’ll say.”
I'm worried that some of the backstory isn't clear... I will explain a lot more later on, but do you basically understand it?
And how do you make real italics?
11-16-2007 08:30 PM
still love it! and yes, it's perfectly understandable.
well, i really have no clue how to do italics, sorry!
11-17-2007 12:34 AM
can't show you what they look like without making italics myself...
SHIFT , and SHIFT . (the greater-than and less-than arrow keys)
open arrow (SHIFT ,) i closed arrow (SHIFT .) will do italics
open arrow (SHIFT ,) b closed arrow (SHIFT .) will do bold
open arrow (SHIFT ,) u closed arrow (SHIFT .) will do underline