Posts tagged arbour
Poisonroot - Chapter 29

Oh my goodness.

It's finished. It's finally finished. Now, a corollary to that; NaNoWriMo is very much NOT finished yet. I am ahead of par, to the extent where I could, in fact, take a day off. I won't, of course; that would be stupid. But I'll be writing something completely different for the last couple of days of NaNo because Poisonroot is DONE.

The last chapter... I'm proud of it. I'm not often pleased with my writing, but Victor's character has started to change in so many subtle little ways. I think he's still a bit of a bastard under the surface, but it's more that he's starved of contact with other people, or he's deliberately starved himself. Forced to communicate daily with Trip and Lauren, things have changed for him.

Anyway. A sequel is definitely coming.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 28

So I can finally add the missing chapter of Poisonroot, the one I wrote when I was having mild writer's block. It detailed the aftermath of the fight, and was another Interlude chapter... except this time it isn't an interlude.

This is essentially the start of chapters that are Anila-centric but are not interludes from the main action. I foresee a sequel to this (am, in fact, already planning a sequel to this) where Anila is a main character with her own POV chapters, alternating with Trip.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 27

Whooooooooooo! Epic fight scene is epic! Ok, so I listened to almost the entire Portal 2 soundtrack (Songs to test by) while writing this. It's actually really good for writing epic scenes. Lots of electronica-assisted soaring orchestral riffs.

This is quite a wonderfully epic scene for me and it's already got me thinking about how I can top it in the future. Tricky stuff. My inspiration for the Hork-construct monster is part Chernabog from Disney's Fantasia, part 18 colossus from Shadow of the Colossus and a healthy dose of body-horror from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

PAM is entirely grown from the D&D campaign. Thanks guys!

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Poisonroot - Chapter 26

Almost done, I think! Can things get any worse for Trip and company? Rennin swoops in the save the day and Sabir kicks ass, but will it be enough?


All over the room city-dwellers shuddered as the fruit did its work.

“What have you done to them? Lauren said, her voice almost a whisper as she stared round in horror. Trip and Victor looked at each other briefly; this was too similar to Deep Round for mere coincidence.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 21

Wow, this was hard to squeeze out. Like a cat trying to pee out of a sewn-up bum, to borrow from Sir Terry Pratchett. We were busy all afternoon with guests, then it was 'well let's eat some pizza and watch a film' and that turned into 'lets have three Coronas and watch a second film'. We watched The Big Lebowski, which is weird but good fun, and Stardust, which is also weird but good fun, and both weird and good fun in different ways.

I finally got my wordcount updated on the NaNo site at four minutes to midnight. Close run thing. But seriously, it took about five hours to get 1670 words out.

Hopefully there will be other, easier, days.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 19

Halfway through! Good grief, and what a day to actually pull ahead of the par for the first time this year. This set me wondering; is it an anticlimax to just finish the last chunk on the last day, exactly on par? First time I completed NaNo, it was with a mammoth 10k on the last Sunday of the month. That was actually the 28th, so I finished early and in style, mainly because I'd been behind almost all month. This time it looks like I'm bang on par. We shall see!

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Poisonroot - Interlude 3

Sneaky sneaky stuff from Anila here. I love her character; religious zealot, daughter who desperately wants to impress her father, highly-skilled agent. She's great.

Warning: Mild defenestration.


“You let them escape?”

“No, Father,” Anila protested. The scratches on her face caused her pain every time she spoke but she ignored it, pushed it down. It wasn’t as important as this conversation. “You told me he was a Gargorian agent; they helped him to escape! That proves it, doesn’t it? I was attacked. Brought down.”

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Poisonroot - Chapter 17

There was no update yesterday. D&D kind of interceded. I'm still virtually up to date though, due to the lengths of some of the chapters. I'm hoping to get ahead for the first time this week. Whee!

As the nobles around him started to shout, Trip found his voice drowned out.

"You must listen! That's not what's important," he cried, a little voice inside him denying it the whole time. "Something terrible is happening! The-"

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Poisonroot - Chapter 16

A new character, and a ladyfriend. Young. Rich. Potentially powerful. Also a bit wet at the moment; that might change.

Only a short update today; lots to do this weekend. Going to see Skyfall this evening!


They had been resting for a few hours in the plush confines of the guest room when a tap came at their door. Trip looked up from the book he had been reading.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 15

Chapter 15 already! NaNo is going great, I'm a little behind due to getting flu (which I'll go back and edit later when the wordcount is right) but I'm still due to finish about the 5th of December, so I can pull that back no problem.

This showdown in the throne room is actually my second attempt to write this scene. In the first one I simply pulled it out of the aether; Victor was more likeable, Trip was a bit less empowered, the Duke was more obviously nuts, High Father Hork didn't exist and the daughter's name was Amanda. Oh, and Trip and Victor came in under their own steam, not as criminals.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 13

Oooh. 13. Unlucky for some. Seems to be fairly unlucky for Trip and Victor but then it wouldn't be interesting if they got to the Arbour and there was a large 'to end plot, press here' button.

As it's unlucky for some, I want to take a moment to talk about people who deserve to be luckier than they are. I donated to NaNoWriMo last year, the year before and I will do again this year. Especially as a teacher, I believe in getting people writing, particularly children. Imagination is a wonderful thing and it's entirely too possible that a generation of imagination is being stunted by the plethora of media available. Now, believe you me, I'm not a technological zealot; I love my technology too, but it has a place, and that place is aiding the expansion of an imagination, not replacing it.

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Poisonroot - Interlude 2

So another nice little excerpt from Anila's life. It's good to see things from another's perspective; it allows me to describe characters afresh and also keeps things from going stale. Also, I have plans for Anila. Plans.


The guard rooms in the Fennican north barracks stank of stale sweat and beer, despite no alcohol being allowed there. Anila wrinkled her nose and reached into her assigned cupboard for her uniform.

It had been a long month. After the caravan had arrived in Fennica, her father had assigned her to mingle with the guards. 'Familiarisation', he had called it. It had seemed more like an arbitrary punishment for a crime she hadn't committed.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 12

Turns out my flatmate and very awesome friend Chippy is also doing NaNo. She needs some cheering on :D


With a thump that shook the Belle and dented the deck, the tree-demon landed between Victor and Trip. It roared, crouching, leaves bristling on its back like fur on a trapped animal.

When he looked back on it later that day, Trip wondered how the thing was able to move. Clearly seen in the daylight were the squat legs, like logs, obviously built for powerful leaps; its arms hung all the way down to the ground, ending in claws as long as Trip’s own forearms; by comparison, its boy was tiny, stick-thin. Its head was the strangest, looking like nothing more than a huge round walnut seed that had split; instead of a delicious nut, the mouth contained only teeth and a ridiculously long tongue.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 11

Chapter 11! Short post today as we've got a lot on. I'm back at work and generally things are motoring but I still found time to do this, so that bodes well for future updates.


“Get this crate loaded on, lad. Chip chop.”

Trip shook his head, levering himself up from the crate he was sat on. The sun was high in the air and they had been moving heavy objects for hours. Wearily, he turned and picked up the unwieldy wooden box. It had ‘Fragile: arbarometers’ stencilled on to the top with some sort of paint.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 10

Still ill. However, Chris is down this weekend. An awesome friend, he was my best man at our wedding and he is ALSO doing NaNoWriMo! Wish us both luck ^^


His eyes took some time to accustom themselves to the low light in the workshop. Trip moved further in, stepping carefully around the piles of brass workings and leather sheets.

“Hello?” he said, his voice swallowed by the huge jumbled space. He cleared his throat. “Anyone in here?”

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Poisonroot - Chapter 8

The Mayor of Everywhere is a character that we use in D&D. He's a short guy in a black robe with a book and a wonderful bald spot. Essentially he's the character we use when we need a mayor or another official.

He makes a cameo appearance here as the Mayor of Deep Round.


Trip awoke. It was warm, dark; too warm, suddenly. He took a deep breath, stale sweat and worse filling his nostrils. He was suffocating, buried under a pile of bodies, quiet breathing all around him. He let out a howl of fear, struggling against the weight of so many people on top of him.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 7

So, a challenger appears!

This year's National Novel Writing Month seems like the perfect excuse to come back to Poisonroot. Now, I know it's supposed to be a new piece you start, but the story of Trip and Victor is just too wonderful, and the world is just too rich, to let lie. So I'll be finishing Poisonroot during NaNoWriMo.

Here for you today is Chapter 7!


His heart pounding, Trip crept through the lines of pews as silently as he could. Every one carried the signs of some sort of struggle; discarded hymn books, torn clothing, a small purse that jingled when he picked it up. Feeling a pang of guilt, he put the purse inside his habit. Maybe he could find the owner.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 6

I'm going back to work next week. Can't help feeling slightly trepiditious for a number of reasons. That's not even a word, but I'm claiming it.
I'm worried I won't be able to fit in writing, D&D and schoolwork; the latter pays the bills, though I sorely wish the former did. I have to concentrate on that. However, I'll be putting as much of my time as possible into this project.

I'm also now unsure who the audience is for this. It's turning into a sort of young adult type thing. Do those sell, I wonder?

Anyway, Chapter 6 after the jump!

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Poisonroot - Chapter 5

The next chapter; thanks to everyone who's commented, it means a lot. I managed to bash this out today while sat in the Barbican, London; it's a really interesting space, coffee nearby and small tables in the carpeted area. Lots of people there today as it's Bank Holiday Monday!


Abruptly, Victor turned and grabbed hold of Trip’s arm. “We should not be here,” he ground out. Trip struggled against the iron grip but could not break free, stumbling as they walked back to the field gate.

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