I'm most of the way done with the formatting. Just have to build the Table of Contents and commence with the uploading of things.
That said I am depressed as fuck tonight, and I have no idea why. Things always get a little emotional around book-drop day, and given the absolutely fucking amazing thing you guys did for me with the Indie-Go-Go thing, and the amount of horseshit I had to deal with in my personal life this last month...this one's a little rougher than most.
I think some of it is not writing or blog or internet related at all. It's probably just the healing process, and understanding that holy shit, the crap I went through this past year should never have happened, and I get to feel guilty not just for letting it happen to me, but for getting out of the way so it can continue to happen to other people and there is nothing I can do about it.
And whenever I get emotional, it turns self destructive and it turns on my writing first. I should be better than this. It shouldn't be such a struggle to paint, or if it's going to be a struggle I should be better at it than I am. I shouldn't have to pay somebody else to clean up the stuff I'm too lazy to handle. I used to tell everybody I'd rather fail at writing then succeed at anything else, and I guess I kind of have. I just always kind of thought, when I was saying that, that I'd be the one to make it...
...and I have to remind myself that my first impulse when I am upset is to hurt myself in a way that distracts me from the real pain, and that it's not just hurting myself physically to get away from internal stuff. That sometimes I hurt a part of me that is ultimately blameless--my creativity--because I would rather hurt that and make myself cry over that then I would let myself face whatever it is that really bothers me. And that's not okay.
So I'm going to stop talking about that nonsense and go play with a book now.
(I am sorry if this review isn't a lot of hilarious fun for you guys, but I get to rant on a topic I really love for a while, and that makes me happy.)
So when we last left our heroes, The Knife Althalus has to find is in the hands of Eliar, who is lying in the dungeons of the Arya Andine, who all of us will probably want to murder in very short order.
Althalus, being wiser than his two thousand years, thinks that he should probably let Eliar die. Emmy has a problem with this:
What I’m getting at is that everything is connected. Nothing happens in isolation. Eliar’s probably some crude, unschooled barbarian from the backcountry of Arum, but he did pick up the Knife back in Albron’s arms room. It might have been a whim, but we can’t be sure of that until we test him.
So basically picking up random junk can turn you into an official Child of Prophesy? Well, fuck, what if the McGuffin turns out to be a thumbtack or a bottle cap. What if you pick up the Penny of the Chosen One? God, pawn shops must be like Russian Roulette. Like, "I gotta get something for my kid. How much for this flute?"
"Well, it'll be twenty five bucks, but if you walk out with it you have to go slay the dreaded dragon of Camelot."
"...what about that video game set?"
"Yeah, it's vintage, but you'll have to go into outer space and rescue an entire space federation from rampaging psycho-nauts with bug-helmets."
"Don't get me started. They're still scraping that last dude off the side of that volcano. "
" What about that sword?"
"The one with the gold?"
"And the jewels and tassles and the demon head for a pomel?"
"Yeah, that one."
"It's a cheap replica of a movie sword. Five bucks."
"I'll take it."
Anyhoo, Althalus and Emmy head off to Othos. Emmy starts trying to figure out how to get Eliar away from Andine and Althalus is like "Eh, I'll just buy him off her."
Althalus, Eliar’s a person. You can’t buy people.
“You’re wrong about that, Em. Eliar’s a captured soldier, and that means that he’s a slave now.”Yep. Our heroes. This is the full extent of their moral debate.
Althalus then declares that he needs to go cut a lot of purses to be able to afford the cost of one brand spanking new slave. Emmy has a better option. They ride off to find someplace to dig up gold. Althalus is less than thrilled about the prospect.
She makes him start digging in a hill that's buried a very old house. Althalus complains fairly steadily until he hits floor, opens the floorboards and discovers a basement. This basement is very large and it is absolutely full of gold. And by "large" I mean "The light from the hole in the roof does not reach the sides" He takes twenty bricks, leaves the rest, and spends about a page making absolutely sure that nobody can find his very special Deus ex Machina hole in the ground.
So Althalus basically has a book full of words that will let him do anything, a hole in the ground that, for all intents and purposes, produces infinite money, and he's got a goddess in the hood of his cloak.
There is "overpowered as fuck" and then there's this.
He goes into the city, buys clothes and then--you guessed it--he hits the nearest tavern. He aims for one full of city officials, though, and they tell him to stay away from Andine, because she was difficult before, but now she's impossible.
Althalus starts planting seeds for his next con. Apparently he's now a slave trader in need of labor and he'd like a very special appointment with Ms. Andine. The official sees gold and decides that taking Althalus to see Ms. Andine is just the very best thing he can do.
Andine, we find out, is about fifteen years old and she has very dark eyes. That's all she gets for description, but she's also got Eliar chained to the nearest post, and she's watching him from her throne and playing with that all important dagger. Eliar killed her dad, and the only reason he's alive is she hasn't figured out how to kill him nastily enough to make up for it.
Emmy jumps out of Althalus's hood and snuggles Andine. Immediately she goes from Imposing Warrior Queen to "OH LOOK AT THE KITTY"
Yeah, even Barbarians of WHAT FUCKING TIME PERIOD ARE WE understood the power of LOL cats.
Althalus starts his pitch: He needs slaves. He'll buy them at an insane price if he can have Eliar so that he can stick that strapping young lad at the front of the chain and swindle the bejeezus out of the salt-mines. Emmy is working on pushing Andine into going with Althalus--so she's being swindled by both a God AND Henry Gondorf-with-a-wand--but she needs another push. Althalus tells Andine all about the nasty terrible awful lives of slaves in salt mines...which, he admits, really are that bad. At one point they take a break so that Emmy can work on Andine some more, and one of Andine's supporters takes Althalus aside and says, basically, GET THIS KID AWAY FROM HER RIGHT FUCKING NOW. They also bump into Khnom (...nom nom nom) who does exactly "Jack" and "Shit" upon seeing Althalus. They inspect the other mercs in Andine's prison and come back up. Althalus goes right back at it, and finally Andine agrees to sell Althalus the lot at his quoted, VERY generous price...
...IF she can have Emmy first.
Althalus is all like WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT and Emmy is all (telepathicly) GET THE KNIFE. GET THE KNIFE YOU FECKING MORON.
Finally they strike a bargan, and Althalus takes his new chain full of slaves out into the woods of Kanthon.
They start plotting his murder almost immediately.
Althalus expected this, and decides to do a demo of his magical powers by throwing one of the ring leaders up into the air and letting him hang there for a while. Then he explains that he's letting everyone but Eliar go, please tell Sargent Kahlor to tell Eliar's mom he's alright, here's the chains, here's the keys, get the fuck out.
The mercs, being wonderfully loyal to their comerades, run as fast as they can in "home's" general direction. Eliar is still tied to a tree.
Althalus settles in and waits for Emmy to show up.
She does. No explination for how.
She has Althalus read the knife. His Magical Word is "Seek." Also, apparently reading the knife gives other people--namely, Emmy and Althalus--ultimate power over your every movement and action.
Being the upstanding Deity she is, Emmy promptly uses this to make Althalus do stupid people tricks. She also tells him that the sight of the Knife will make Ghend, Khnom (nom nom) and Pekhal run screaming in agony in the opposite direction. It'll do the same thing to anybody allied with them.
So just to recap:
-Hole of Never-ending wealth
-Cat-Goddess in hood
-Magic knife that instantly inflicts the Cruciatus Curse on your enemies.
AND THESE ARE NOT THE BIGGEST DEUS EXES IN THIS FREAKING BOOK.
So Althalus goes back to Eliar and makes him read the Knife. Eliar's Magic Word is "Lead". This time it's Althalus's turn to make Eliar do the stupid people tricks, but it doesn't really impact Eliar because, now that Althalus is on Sargent Kahlor's side--apparently all it took to convince Eliar that Althalus is his pal is the whole "I know Sargent Kahlor" and "I just bought you from slavery, good-bye" thing--Elair would do whatever Althalus wanted.
Also, Eliar is hungry. Althalus magics up food, and has trouble keeping up.
This will be Eliar's running gag for the first half of this book.
Emmy reads the knife, declares that the next person they'll need for their little team is in a place called Awes, and the chapter ends.