Tyson

Stormlight Interlude

6 posts in this topic

Hi all

I don't think there is enough stormlight archive fan-fic around so I might upload a few of my own.

Typed this a while ago on my iphone whilst I was bored at work, thought I'd share it. I know it's VERY rough, but my writing has improved since.

Hope you enjoy, or at least find it readable :)

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Interlude: Ruelle-daughter-Heshyn

Ruelle-daughter-Heshyn rubbed her neck again, an attempt to soothe the tempest within her head and release the weariness that hung heavy on her shoulders. Thirty three days ago they had left the green pastures of Shinovar, but six high storms, seven cities and an insane Aimian had taken their toll on Ruelle. She had once dreamed of venturing beyond the mountains to see Desh and Azir and Alethkar but now she spent her nights reminiscing on the scent of strawberries, the feel of grass between her toes and the whistle of songbirds.

Not that she could recall the sound of birdsong with the persistent clamour of bells. The air rang with the clash of metal, the stone itself rang in annoyance, her head even more so. She rubbed her neck again and turned to wait for her master. He blindly hobbled his way up the Ralinsa with the aid of a long wooden staff twice his height. Ruelle had short supply of patience, maybe that was the reason she was apprenticed with the blind old shaman, but Vallano-son-Razth took an age to do anything and was stubborn as stone. The journey to the top of Kharbranth had taken most of the day and Vallano had refused all offers of assistance, often blindly wandering in the wrong direction whilst tapping the base of the staff in an unusual rhythm.

"Master" Ruelle called to the stooped old man as he almost past her.

"There you are young one" the old man lent on his staff and turned his wrinkled face towards her "you shouldn't wander afar, a blind old man might worry in such a big city" his face screwed up in a smile.

"Yes master" her long brown hair fell over her face as she bowed "I will be certain to remember"

Vallano nodded his bald head in approval and pulled his baggy amber robe tighter to ward off the cool sea breeze. Older than stone itself that one. A stoop made his height laughable, even for Shin standards. He could look an axehound in the eyes if his own would allow.

"I feel a storm approaching young one"

Ruelle looked at the bells above, they rang from the sea breeze, but they always rang so she heard. She didn't enjoy the idea of hearing the clamour during a highstorm.

"We are almost there master" Ruelle put a hand on his shoulder

"I am blind, not stupid. I can find my way to the top of a hill quite fine young one" he shrugged off her hand and hobbled past an apothecary.

"This way master" she called before he went too far down the alleyway.

The wind blew more freely on the final part of the Ralinsa, whether it was due to the height of the city, the thinner crowds or the highstorm Vallano claimed to be approaching she could not say but she tied her robes tighter and her hair back to stop it blowing across her eyes. The palace loomed ahead, carved into the stone itself. Blasphemy, Ruelle thought. A set of guards stood at an archway leading in to palace grounds, another handful sat behind them on a rock, gambling for spheres. She stopped and waited for her master.

“Master” she called his attention “the gate is guarded. Give me leave to stonestep into..”

“There you are young one” Vallano said cutting her question short, “you shouldn’t wander afar, a blind old man might worry in such a big city”

“Yes master but..”

“Let us not linger, we have lingered too long already today” he hobbled off towards the gate “come along young one”

Ruelle rubbed her neck and caught up the old man in a few short steps.

“Kharbranth is a free city young daughter of Heshyn” continued Vallano “free of war, free of Alethi scheming, free of questions. Good evening goodmen, wrap those cloaks tighter there’s a storm coming”

The guards grunted. “Not for another two days old man” said one with a mud brown mustache.

Ruelle stiffly walked past them at Vallano’s side. She listened as the guards continued an argument on the accuracy of stormwardens pausing long enough to stop a thick limbed Horneater entering the palace grounds.

“You see young one. Of what concern is a blind old Shin, when Kharbranth is full of more menacing figures, such as that unfortunate Horneater.”

She frowned, how had he known the man was a Horneater, Ruelle had begun to doubt the old man was blind at all. She looked back the guards who were shouting and making angry gestures at the large red haired man. Something caught her attention as it slipped past the guard’s feet. A crack in the stone floor, it moved erratically dodging between the feet of people walking in the palace yard. It looked like the splintering of ice or as if the ground would split open, but the cracks vanished as it continued moving leaving a trail only an arm length long.

“Master” Ruelle tapped him alarmed “the cracks. They are still following us”

The old man gave her another wrinkled smile as he changed his rhythm of tapping to a faster beat and climbed the marble steps, “Good”.

Vallano claimed the cracks were some sort of spren. Ruelle didn’t care what it was, but she had been trying to shake it off since Vedenar. She peeled her gaze away from the weird little spren and ran up the stone steps.

The hall they entered was filled with the chatter of half a dozen languages. Servants scuttled between the visitors answering questions or leading them away down various tunnels.

Vallano raised his arm and a young man with black and gold hair attended them almost immediately.

“How can I be of assistance sir” he greeted with a bow.

“Well you could start with closing the windows, there’s a storm coming, a bad one. My old bones can feel it shaking the ground”

“Not for two days yet sir” he smirked and looked at Ruelle, she cringed away from his stare.

“I’m down here boy” Vallano tapped the servants head with the end of his staff. The young man held a hand to his black and gold hair and looked at the blind man in bafflement.

“I require an audience with the King” continued Vallano “I have travelled far to seek his wisdom”

“Indeed” the servant replied still holding his head “King Taravangian has been in private meetings all day, he regrets that he cannot attend lesser matters this evening. Perhaps you could give me your name and purpose and I will pass the request on to his majesty. He might deem it important enough to see you immediately, perhaps”

“No perhaps not. I think we will visit the Palanaeum whilst we await a day when the King is less busy” replied Vallano “perhaps”

“Of course, if you would like to follow me”

“No that will be quite fine thank you, I can find my own way to the Palanaeum. I am blind not stupid.”

Ruelle kept close to Vallano as he hobbled away down a side tunnel, the rhythm his staff made on the polished stone floor echoed throughout the hall. The servant watched them go with a mixture a bewilderment and irritation painted across his face.

“We really should have given him our names, the King may have met with you given recent events" sighed Ruelle.

“I had just bashed the boy on the head with a large stick. Our names would have been torn up and forgotten if we had given them to that insolent brat” grumbled Vallano.

They followed the curve of the tunnel that led them deeper into the palace and away from the last of the evening sunlight, infused spheres now lit their path, hanging from wall mounted lamps. The chatter soon died away though they occasionally crossed paths with other servants. The tunnel opened into a small chamber with four smaller tunnels snaking away.

“This way” pointed Ruelle reading the neat writing above the largest and leftmost tunnel. It descended towards the Palanaeum.

“Come along young one” called Vallano who had already hobbled off up a tunnel behind her.

“Master” she called too late as he rounded a bend. She ran on light feet to catch up with him.

“Master, this isn’t the way to the Palanaeum”

“How many times must I tell people. I am…”

“…blind not stupid” she sighed.

“Precisely. If I were searching for a book, then I would go to the Palanaeum. But we are not searching for a book are we”

“No master” they had reached a fork in the tunnel, Vallano paused to tap a new tune with his staff.

“We search for a King, and I say the King is this way” he pointed with his staff to rightmost tunnel and hobbled off.

Ruelle followed behind until he stopped suddenly and turned around.

“I change my mind. I say the King is that way” Vallano used his staff to move Ruelle and hobbled up the other tunnel.

How has he not got us killed already she thought with a sigh.

“And you can stop that sighing nonsense. Anybody would think a blind old man can’t change his mind once in while” he muttered over his shoulder.

They made their way through an endless labyrinth of tunnels. Turning right, then left, then right, then up steps. The tapping echoed around the stone and rang Ruelle's head just as much as the bells outside. Servants only gave them fleeting glances as they past by on errands for more important people. Just as she could no longer hold her tongue the tunnel ended with a heavy wooden door that depicted the Heralds. Jezrien sat a throne in the tempest of a highstorm. Talenel fought alone in a sea of dark voidbringers. Shallash, what was Shallash doing, the majority of her segment had been vigorously scratched out. Two guards cut off their conversation as they approached.

"Think you've took a wrong turn sir" called one with a gentle smile, though he kept his hand tight on the shaft of his spear "These tunnels here are outa' bounds to visitors. The Kings quarters here"

"Ah, really. This is not the Palanaeum" Vallano asked, making a show at looking around confused. Ruelle knew the act, and prepared herself to move. The guards laughed and relaxed again.

"Palanaeum, no, thats back that..."

The guards last words cut off as Vallano hopped forward and jabbed the staff into his gut with unnatural accuracy. He keeled over, gasping for air as the blind man spun the wooden staff at his head.

Ruelle was already in motion. She darted past her master and the gasping guard as his comrade levelled a spear. She inhaled, just as Vallano had taught her and felt stormlight surge into her body from nearby lamps. She easily ducked under the guards thrust and landed a well placed kick at his throat before he could readjust his position. He slumped back against the wall and held his throat. Two punches to his head and he slid to the floor unconscious. Stormlight still raged inside her body, she felt invincible. A smile let a whisp escape her mouth.

"Did you kill him" Vallano asked standing over the first guard who lay sprawled on the floor.

"Unconscious"

"Good. No killing. And if that is a grin i can sense, lose it, it's not a game"

"Yes master" stormlight escaped from her mouth each time she spoke.

Ruelle gingerly opened the door and peeked down the corridor, it was empty for the moment so she slipped inside and moved to the wall on light feet. She crept to the edge of the corridor and looked round the corner. Vallano entered the corridor tapping his staff against the marbled floor. Ruelle sighed and stood straighter, she doubted Vallano knew the meaning off stealth.

"Three guards approaching to our right. Seven patrolling to the corridors on our left" he whispered almost inaudibly though Ruelle couldn't see why, the echoes of his staff on the marble probably woke the Heralds themselves.

"Which way is the king"

"Right one hundred paces then left. He should be in his chambers."

"Do I have leave to surgebind master"

"Granted. Come along, no use lingering"

Ruelle followed. The corridor was decorated with statues, paintings and lamps with more ornate carvings than the lesser tunnels. She inhaled stormlight from each as she passed, leaving dun spheres in her wake. She could hear the approaching guards now. Their boots echoed on the marble near as much as Vallano's staff.

"...god damnation tapping" said a deep voice.

"I 'ear it to" said another.

The patrol rounded the corner and stopped as they saw the two Shin. A man with dark hair and light blue eyes drew his sword in one fluid motion as his two companions fumbled with their spears in shock.

"I think we've taken a wrong turn somewhere" Vallano feinted, looking around "is this not the Palanaeum"

The swordsman kept his stance and a tight grip on his pommel. Ruelle could see a bead of sweat running down his brow.

"Very wrong turn. It's hard to trust a Shin these days. How do we know one of you isn't the assassin in white" his two companions nodded either side of him and kept their spearheads lowered.

"Am I wearing white." Vallano tugged at his robe. "Alas, I must be colourblind. After all these years of believing I was just ordinary blind"

"Are you mocking me, assassin"

Ruelle heard a shout from behind and turned to see a group of spearmen running down the corridor to their rear. She had heard enough, not even Vallano could talk his way out of this one.

"Cap'n she's glowin'" blurted one of the guards.

He fell first as a statue connected with his face from a stormlight enhanced throw. She glimpsed stormlight rushing into Vallano as he burst into action spinning between the captain and the remaining spearman. She turned to the group of guards who were rushing from behind.

She forced stormlight to gather in her hands until it streamed from her fingertips. Crouching she slapped her palms against the cool marble and released a flood of stormlight. The floor rippled like water and the marble surged like an ocean wave down the corridor. The guards tripped as the wave hit their knees, some losing grip of their long spears. Ruelle was amongst them in five steps, she kicked away a spear as a man stretched for its shaft and broke his wrist with a stamp. He howled in agony but she had skipped over him to her text target, the guard had risen to his feet when her kick sent his helm flying away and he collapsed in a silent heap.

One man scrambled away yelling for more guards, she let him go as two others had reclaimed their footing and spears. The stormlight still swirled through her body, she glowed with power and moved with speed and accuracy to evade the spear thrusts. She ducked as one swung a spear at her head and laid her hands on the marble floor again. Stormlight flowed into the marble and the guards shrieked as they sank knee deep into the ground. She released the flow of stormlight and let the stone revert to its usual solidity. The two men scrambled at the ground trying to prise themselves free.

A hand clamped down on her shoulder in a stone like grip, she turned to find the captain gazing down at her with his piercing blue eyes a stark contrast to the blood that ran down his brow. Vallano had gone she realised in panic. He gritted his teeth as he swung his blade with all his strength. Ruelle had a heartbeat to react, she lent back instinctively as the sword blurred towards her face, her fingertip touched the marble floor and she forced all the remaining stormlight from her body. The marble once again liquified around Ruelle and the captain, they slid through floor and landed with a crash on a table in room below.

Ruelle reacted first, she rolled from the table and found her feet, though the captain wasn't far behind. Her body felt sluggish now that she had extinguished the last of her stormlight and the room was dark. She put the table between herself and the swordsman whilst piecing together her next move. The man was faster and stronger than Ruelle without stormlight, of that she was certain.

A door banged open to her left as a man in spectacles rushed in wielding a surgeons knife.

"What...who...what's going on" he demanded, he held a large sphere above his head to illuminate the room.

Thank the Almighty, thought Ruelle. She inhaled and the stormlight rushed into her body leaving the sphere dun. The surgeon watched in awe as she jumped atop the table and over the captains head. She used the jump to touch the ceiling and liquify the stone. The captain tried to turn but Ruelle kicked the sword easily from his grip, jumped again and kicked off his chest with all the stormlight strength she could muster. The last thing she saw was the captain crashing into the wooden table before she shot through the liquid stone ceiling back into the corridor above.

The guards still knee deep in marble gave another shriek as she appeared from the floor.

"Stormfather..." one cried, emptying his bladder across the floor.

Where was her master. She took off down the corridor and around the corner. Two more spearmen lay unconscious on the floor. Vallano's work. She breathed more stormlight from the lamps she passed and flung a handful at the door to the Kings chambers creating a patch of liquified wood that glowed with stormlight. She dived through and landed with a roll.

The room inside was well lit and furnished. The south wall was dominated by a window that gave views of Kharbranth as the last of days sunlight washed over the city and the sea beyond. White haired King Taravangian sat at a desk in front of the window, he looked at her with kind eyes and a tired smile. Vallano had taken a seat at the desk facing the King, he looked around when he heard Ruelle panting.

"Ah, there you are young one. You shouldn't wander afar. A blind man might worry in such a big palace." he said with another wrinkled smile.

She had decided the old man was indeed insane. "Forgive me master"

"Well come along then. We travelled all the way to speak with the good King and your wasting time breathing."

"Yes master." she said as she took position at Vallano's right shoulder. This trip had been even worse than Kasitor. "My apologies your majesty."

"I will pass them on to my guards" he giggled "though I doubt they will accept, having being bested by a blind man and a young girl."

"They say a mans body heals faster than his pride" agreed Vallano smiling. "But please continue your majesty."

"Yes of course. As I have said, my guard has been doubled night and day and I cannot increase them anymore without cutting patrols along the port. Kharbranth makes surgeons not soldiers." continued Taravangian. "If the assassin in white comes for me, there's little I can do to stop him. As you have proved today."

"I understand your majesty." said Vallano, "I apologise on behalf of Shinovar, we failed to truly understand what we released upon Roshar. You have my word I will find him."

"Not too late, I hope." nodded the King.

Vallano stood. "Come along, young one."

Shouts were coming from the corridor now as more guards raced to the Kings chambers. Vallano beckoned her to the centre of the room.

"Time for us to leave young one." held held open his hand full of green broams. Ruelle took three and inhaled the stormlight filling her body with energy.

"Your majesty. We thank you for your time." said Vallano as Taravangian stood. "You must forgive me for the intrusion. I am blind after all"

"Not at all, its been a honour to see a Shaman with my own eyes. Two Shaman's." the King gave another kind smile. "Where are you headed next?"

"My old bones are telling me Kholinar." replied her master as he inhaled stormlight for himself.

The heavy doors where flung open as spearmen piled into the room.

Vallano ignored them and began to glow brighter. Ruelle closed her eyes and copied her master, as she had been taught. Her body vibrated as the stormlight raged within.

"There's a storm coming your majesty." called Vallano. "Don't get caught in the winds."

The stone under Ruelle's feet vibrated. From the highstorm or the surge of energy within her body she could not say. But she left Kharbranth and the clash of bells behind.

Her eyes opened to darkness.

7

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This is very well written, though Vallano's dialogue seems a bit stuffy. Also, if the Shin hold Stormlight as sacred, I don't know if they would really use it like that. last, what Surges does the girl use?

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This is very well written, though Vallano's dialogue seems a bit stuffy. Also, if the Shin hold Stormlight as sacred, I don't know if they would really use it like that. last, what Surges does the girl use?

Yes I completely agree with your comments. I wanted Vallano's personality to break the usual Shin mould but found that really hard to do without making the dialogue sound forced.

The idea was basically Shin Stone shamanism were Stonewards, the only order left as Taln kept the oathpact. (Just a theory I had a while ago). So the surges would be Surface tension and travel?????? A left it very vague.

But as I said, it was just one of many random pieces of writing to help me develop onto my own material. Written within a 7 hour shift in the office so I know it's far from a finished product.

All comments will be really helpful though.

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Yes I completely agree with your comments. I wanted Vallano's personality to break the usual Shin mould but found that really hard to do without making the dialogue sound forced.

The idea was basically Shin Stone shamanism were Stonewards, the only order left as Taln kept the oathpact. (Just a theory I had a while ago). So the surges would be Surface tension and travel?????? A left it very vague.

But as I said, it was just one of many random pieces of writing to help me develop onto my own material. Written within a 7 hour shift in the office so I know it's far from a finished product.

All comments will be really helpful though.

This story is nice - but it's rather disconnected. I think it would be excellent set in your own world, so you aren't constrained by the constructs of Roshar.
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