14 Jun 2014

Exams Are Over

My exams are now officially over.

After 125 pages of revision (no, that is not a typo) and 16 past papers (not a typo), and 24 hours of exams (are you getting the gist of this?) I am finished.

I’ll say this: these 12 GCSEs of mine better be good, and they better count for something. I think the school was too optimistic on both counts, especially with the last—having a shedload of GCSEs isn’t that amazing; what counts more is having a couple of very good GCSEs.

In any case: I will be doing History, Philosophy, Maths and Physics for my A-levels in the upcoming two years. I am confident about all except Maths. That will be hard. But—I’m not certain I want to do law. And my best options after that are computer science, engineering and economics; all of which, as you may have guessed, require maths.

Let us leave such heavy matters aside though. No exams means no stress. No exams means more time. And more time means—more blogging!

My Internet connection is rather unreliable (curse BT) but I shall try and write poems, blog posts, and even get my novel and novelette on the shelves.

Speaking of which—here’s an extract from the Necromancer. It’s the Prologue, in fact. Maybe it will interest you, and my little foray into the world of writing will not have been in vain.

PS: I shall be in Romania for most of August. My grandmother has a better Internet connection than we do, but there will be some occasions where there won’t be any updates—we’ll be going to the mountainside (hopefully) and to our country home as well, in which case, Internet is not a certainty. Anyway...

Under the cold, unforgiving light of the full moon, under the harsh shadows of the Northern Mountains, there lies a forest.

The moonlight reflects off the trees to give them a stunted, unnatural feeling, like mutated giants; the moonlight reflects off the crystalline stream to give it an almost ethereal appearance, like a river into Hades; and so does the moonlight reflect off the mage.

Her eyes are bluer than polished diamonds, but in the darkness they appear more like imitation crystals. They betray anger, determination, and fear.

Her hair is light blond, like spun silver. Her robe is silver too; its fine weavings are visible even in this twilight gloom.

And she runs. She is running from him: the Necromancer.

“Come now little bird, wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for daddy now would we?” he croons sadistically.

The mage keeps running.

Damn. I should have realised their master would come running here when I killed those things. Stupid, Eiliara, stupid!

A shadow comes towards her. Its tenebrous form slides and slithers like the supernatural snake it is; it travels quickly, too quickly for a human to evade. It bypasses the streams, that being its only hindrance.

It has reached the mage.

It grips her in its icy tendrils, attempting to carry her into the dark, pitiless void from which it originates.

But the mage is ready.

“Allear Nesmbotal!” The spell makes her voice seem distorted, as if from some great chasm. It rings out, staying in the air longer than what any natural sound should. Power follows it.

The Wraith splutters, and screams, and twists. But the mage has used its greatest weakness: magic. There is a brief sense of saturation, the way a storm is just before it drops its deadly hammer. There is a brief flash of light, as if from some unseen plane. Then the creature is gone.

Stupid Neshvetal. Why send a Wraith – a being of magic – against a skilled mage? she thinks.

Moments later, the answer presents itself.

There is a sudden WOOSH of power, and the Necromancer appears.

His eyes are balls of azure light, glowing with deep, unnatural power; his hair is darker than the darkest of nights, yet it reflects the scant moonlight like some fantastical lake. His form is tall – his posture, arrogant. A cruel smile lights up his long, aristocratic nose and handsome (if rather dark) features. He knows he has won.

Maybe he has, the mage thinks. Stupid Eiliara. Of course it was bait – your magic alerted him to where you were!

“Hello my pretty,” the Necromancer says. Smugness tinges his voice.

“Damn you, Neshvetal! I am a Silver Mage in the Order of Peacekeepers: you should not be able to defeat me!” the mage replies. Her bravado is false, of course. She knows she cannot defeat this strange, alien being. She knows it deep in her heart; and although she has been trained to never feel hopeless, to never feel crushed, that is exactly what she is.

“Foolish mage. You are arrogant just like the rest of them. You think you can rule Arachadia all by yourself, sharing the wealth of the petty, unwanted Queen.

“But hear this: I will end your corrupt tyranny! No more shall Arachadia be ruled by the incompetent. No more shall peasants fear the tax collector, and no more shall the Peacekeepers exist – for I will be its new leader!”

The Necromancer attacked. Eiliara’s wards – her magic defence system – absorbed the first ball of icy blue fire that came towards her.

But she swayed.

Damn. He’s powerful.

She made a futile attempt to counter-attack. But as the words of the spell formed on her lips, she was struck by his mind.

She was enveloped in a storm, the storm of his telepathic barrage. Darkness, hatred and madness were its clouds – and behind that, there was a deep, underlying anger. She spun and spun, trying not to fall into its malignant, twisting vortex; trying not to meet the fate of the damned.

As if it were possible, the attack intensified. The mage had been trained to combat such attacks: counterspells, shields, bluffs and misdirections had been hammered into her head from day one.

None of them do her a shred of good. The Necromancer is simply too skilled, too powerful.

But before her mind finally succumbed to the darkness, before she could be overwhelmed, she summoned one last, desperate spell.

A telepathic message. It narrowly passed through the invisible magic surrounding her, finding its way to her friend – Terrin.

There was no detailed report of her findings, no vainglorious warning. The message was simple:

The Dead have risen.

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