So I’ve finished 1,000 words in my NaNoWriMo novel (only 49,000 to go!) This is the first chapter of the novel; please let me know what you think.
Adok said at the edge of the world, as he had so many times before, looking out at the endless sea beyond him. He let his legs hang over the cliff’s edge and felt the warmth of the air rushing up from the waves far below as it thundered past his ears. He let his hands rest at his side, gently caressing his palms into the black grass around him. The red glow of God burned dimly just beyond the thatan horizon that only barely held back Dene’s icy blackness which emanated from what the Dahk referred to as the Darkness.
The deadness of the space around him was continuously apparent to Adok who pensively ran the thick fingers of his left hand through his dark beard. There were no animals which floated on the air. There were no animals which wandered through the vast sea. Even those on land were increasingly harder to find, especially with the blight.
Has Thamos cursed us? Adok wondered. Is he punishing us? How may we seek forgiveness for something we don’t know we committed?
He felt weak, though he’d almost forgotten how to feel otherwise.
“I curse you,” Adok hissed through gritted teeth.
How long had it been since the blight first appeared? The dori herd had begun to show signs of the blight just after leaving plains and entering the Opedes forest, or at least that’s what the Dahk called it. It just looked like another forest to him.
Shortly after, the herd had gotten sick and the meat of those animals who exhibited signs of the blight would in turn cause members of the tribe to get sick, and eventually die. It became necessary for the hunters like Adok to recognize the symptoms of the blight and not hunt those dori which were sick.
The symptoms were very easy to spot. The dori’s normally luminous hair would fall out in patches, and their skin tone beneath would turn a slightly green hue. The whites of their eyes would grow a sickly yellow and green mucous would encrust the folds of skin around them. The same mucous would dribble out the dori’s snout and ears. They’d begin to make distressed noises and behave erratically, attacking others in the herd. Adok had witnessed that if another in the herd was wounded by a dori who was infected with the blight, that dori would also begin to show signs of the sickness.
The sound of the waves below him cascaded about his ears.
They were trapped now.
They couldn’t go back through the forest; not with the Yvaere patrolling, stalking them. They couldn’t follow the cliffs tema, to the thatan horizon; that would bring them into the court of God where their blood would boil and they’d burst into flames.
They also couldn’t venture resa, to the land of the ice goddess, Dene, forever enveloped by the cold dark. The only real choices were Hetta, into the sea and Inessa, behind them, back into the woods.
But of course they couldn’t. They were trapped between the cliffs and the edge of the forest behind them.
The Dahk was supposed to give her divine revelation about their situation that night at the fire; but Adok had ceased to believe in her gods and their ability to intervene. The gods had stood by as Tressa was killed by the Yvaere, and Adok could never forgive them for that.
She had been a strong warrior; brave and resourceful. She could hold her own with any of the Evehe warriors.
Had Thamos not seen her power in battle? Adok closed his eyes, trying to remember her face. She would still remain if he could remember her face.
Her dark black eyes; her slender, misleading frame; the ferocity of the being inside herself which she could not contain…
“Adok,” The voice was instantly recognizable. It was the Dahk. “What are you doing out here?”
A short, stubby man appeared behind the the Dahk and began laughing heartily. “An Evehe warrior thinking?”
Adok despised the little man.
Ysper was a servant to the Dahk. He was nothing.
How dare he address a member of the warrior with such disrespect?
The Dahk raised a hand to silence Ysper and the coward retreated behind his mistress.
“Adok,” the Dahk spoke an airy, yet forceful voice which rose over the raging cacophony of the roaring waves below them. “Why do you sit here while the rest of us prepare for the revelation?”
He couldn’t really tell her that he no longer believed. No one could know.
“I’m troubled, Dahk,” He answered instead.
“By what, Adok?”
“What have we done to God and the gods?” Adok rose from his spot in the black grass, towering over the diminutive Ysper who disappeared further behind the Dahk. “Why have they cursed the dori and why do they send the Yvaere to kill us?”
The Dahk was silent. She just peered at Adok with a almost pitying stare that made Adok, though he didn’t know how, feel ashamed of even speaking the questions aloud.
“Why did Tressa-“
The Dahk cut him off, “Don’t mourn, Tressa.”
Tears had begun to trickle out his eyes; he was ashamed of that too. Adok turned to face the sea.
“Tressa is now one with all the ones who have come before and she will come again,” The Dahk said with a dismissive motion of her hand that caused a shiver to run through Adok.
Will she? He wanted to confront the Dahk, but how could he? He could never…
“The ceremony begins soon, Adok.” The Dahk said as she turned back around, towards camp. “We need all in attendance.”
“Don’t be late,” Ysper sneered.
Adok just glowered at the short, paunchy man at it was enough to scare him into hurrying his pace back to the camp.