Friday, September 20, 2013

Redemption of Althalus--chapter 25

Okay, updatey-things.

Everything has gone wrong this month. Everything.

I'm about halfway through the Gray Prince book. Due to unforseen circumstances which I should have foreseen, I'm going to have to delay the third part of Dragon Breath (these circumstances being money shenanigans) (Unless you guys are okay with the last third being unedited. You probably aren't) until I have the editing money saved up. Pretty much the only thing I've finished in the last few days is formatting a print book.

I'm sorry guys. Next month will be better and cool and things.

So when we last left our "heroes" Eliar was flattened by a stray axe. Well, now they've lost the Not-Tardis (and by extention, the Money Pit) so things should be getting better no--

No!” Andine shrieked. She rushed to Eliar, fell to her knees beside his limp body, and clasped him to her, weeping uncontrollably.
 Get her away from him, Althalus! Dweia’s voice crackled inside his mind. She’ll only make it worse!
Dave. Can you stop being casually awful to your female characters? Please?

Dweia shows Leitha how to look into the physical parts of Eliar's brain. Somehow. Leitha reports that Eliar is bleeding internally. The fact that he got bashed with an axe and is lying unconsious would have been your first clue. Unfortunately the axe didn't break Eliar's skull and the pressure is building up.

Also: Apparently Dweia is well trained in twentieth century medicine.

Meanwhile all the characters are screaming "We're screwed" like they aren't bloodthirsty mercenaries who spend their whole lives doing war WITHOUT the aid of a not-Tardis. Althalus and Khalor get Eliar to a tent.

Hey, we haven't been awful to Andine for a couple pages.

“Good. Dweia wants you to shave the back of Eliar’s head.”
 “Althalus!” Andine protested. 
Put her to sleep, Althalus, Dweia said abruptly. Use “leb.” She’s just going to be in the way, and she doesn’t need to watch anyway.
So glad we could fix that.

Althalus drills into Eliar's head whenever Leitha points out a bleed. Dweia has Salkan the Shepherd bring her some herbal remedies that borderline on herbal homicide, and they mix together a surgical antiseptic and make Althalus wash his hands with it.

I'm serious.

This isn’t permanent, is it, Em? Althalus asked, looking at his hands after he’d washed them in the peculiar syrup they’d concocted from several different ingredients. I might have a little trouble explaining how I came to have green hands. 
It’ll wear off in time. Now swab the back of Eliar’s head with it, and let’s get started.
Then Althalus drills into Eliar's head with magic. Eliar promptly shoots blood at him.

Don't ask me. This isn't my book.


It’s an astringent, dear. It constricts the blood vessels. It’s something on the order of the way sour fruit makes your mouth pucker up. That’s why we needed the greenberries. They aren’t really all that poisonous, but they’re so sour that people believe that they almost have to be deadly.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TIME PERIOD THIS IS. I can buy that Dweia would know where to find naturally occurring astringents, but would the word "astringent" exist in Althalus's vocabulary?

So after the magical jury-rigged surgery using magical jury-rigged surgical antiseptics and a magical jury-rigged astringent, we get a jury-rigged time dosage device.

“No, it’s a little more precise than that. Eliar needs very small doses at regular intervals. That’s what the glass tube’s for. There’s a line around the tube to show you just how much to give him. You take the tube, dip it into the medicine as far as that line, and then you put your finger over the upper end of the tube. Then put the tube in Eliar’s mouth and lift your finger. That lets the medicine drain into his mouth. Try it once, so that you’ll know how to do it.”
And the person she's talking to is, naturally, Andine. Because what could the trained-from-birth ruler of a country constantly at war have to contribute to a front lines battle where the general plan just got flushed down the tubes?

We also compare controlling the flow of blood to the brain with tuning a lute.

Althalus then calls Dweia and talks at her for a while. I'd love to say "Tries to co-ordinate a battle strategy" but he pretty much ignores all the potential of having a goddess in a time-traveling house at his beck and call and tells her to do things she'd be able to do on her own, like spy on the bad guys for them.

Leitha is worried that Ghend and Gelta are using her gift against her, so instead of trying to spy and potentially getting another member of her team hurt, she stands near the main tent and chants random numbers under her breath so the other side's mind-reader can't pin down anybody else's thoughts. I guess mind reading is kind of like counting--somebody else shouting numbers at you will ruin the whole game.

Eliar starts getting better, so Althalus decides to do the very best thing a good guy can do, and lie. He tells Salkan that Eliar is dying so that Salkan will think about it real hard and convince Ghend his plan worked. Great.

The chapter ends with Althalus and Leitha discussing how very much Salkan wants to murder all the Ansus. Mission accomplished.

Yeah, I think I am officially disgusted by everyone in this book. I can't bring myself to hate them, but I'll definately fling cow-pies at them for a good long while.

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