Wading through the blowing sands of Keldar, I continued work on Mykal’s thread. Oh, he’s bad, very bad, and not at all a trustworthy sort of character. (Which is likely why I’m so intrigued with him.) He has a very devious plan indeed, but oh, where did this plan originate, hmmm?
Goal today: I’d love to break 47K.
FYI: Mykal is reeeeally loving the Nickelback album, Dark Horse. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which song(s) he might like best. *winks*
Today: 898 dark & early;
NaNo total: 44,447 words
Snippet: four tals, the chieftains of the most powerful tribes of Keldar, meet in the darkest hour before dawn. Gah, just realized there’s a reason I liked “Rashan” so much – I already used it! Doh! So the tal’Cobra needs a new name.
He didn’t have to relearn, exactly; the knowledge was there. He simply had to filter it through layers of silt. Occasionally, very disturbing memories filtered up through the murky water of his past, little pockets of miasma that chilled the marrow in his bones.
Nightmares, he whispered to himself. Only nightmares.
I am Mykal tal’Mamba and I have a purpose.
Not even hidden pockets of quicksand could prevent him from achieving it.
Rashan tal’Cobra gripped the hilt of a wicked scimitar in one hand and a short sword in the other. “If we’re to Dance the Blades at dawn, why meet now without our ravs?”
“So he can set us one upon the other,” Gana tal’Tellan retorted. His face was so heavily tanned and lined by the punishing sun that Mykal couldn’t make out his markings. It didn’t matter. Tellan claimed to be the holiest and purest of all tribes in the desert, the last hope, the remnant that would be saved.
Yet they had proven to be the most corruptible. So much precious White blood given to them in the beginning, only to be squandered in their thirst to claim the title of azi, supreme tal’Keldar. As sands blew constantly in the face of the storm, so had Tellan lost all they held dear. [tie this to Given in Fire. See, I do leave notes to myself!! And yes, I’ll be finishing Given in Fire before I turn Return over to my editor so that this all makes perfect sense.]
“You don’t even bring a White to sacrifice,” Nijar tal’Gaboon sneered. “How can you hope to challenge us for azi?”
The Gaboon had been well named; the man had very long fangs but less potent venom. Mykal smiled, holding his hands out empty of all weapons. “You bring a White? A true White?”
“Absolutely,” Nijar retorted, drawing himself up proudly. “I have the granddaughter of the first azi.”
Rashan hissed, muscles coiling for battle. “You filthy jackal. You would sacrifice one of my blood after swearing to treasure her?”
Shaking his head, Gana merely laughed. “This child couldn’t possibly be the granddaughter of the great Zahak, for his munakura was barren. You should be a slaver, Rashan. How much water did Gaboon pay for your precious kin?”
“I can guarantee us a true, precious White.” Mykal spoke softly, but his low voice carried, even to the bickering tals. Silenced, all three stared at him.
Gana finally voiced the question they all burned to hear. “How?”
“There’s only one White Daughter left in all the world,” Mykal whispered. “Only one who still smells of roses.”
Rashan spat on the sands, a grave insult, but Mykal saw the whiteness of the man’s knuckles on his weapons and the grooves of strain about his mouth. “You lie.”
A faint shudder shook Mykal’s shoulders at the memory. “Smoldering roses that grow thicker with her desire. Is that not how a White should smell?”
Releasing a rumbling snort of challenge dragon to dragon, Rashan took a step closer and raised the scimitar over his head. Roaring, he asked, “How could you possibly know this?”
The creature inside Mykal stirred. Scales slithered against his spine, claws clattering beneath his ribs. He stiffened, fighting to keep his face smooth despite the rolling, prowling beast crawling inside him. Dragon spawn indeed. “I have my ways.”