Needle Ash – Chapter 12 “Shards of Reality” Part 1

back to contents Chapter 12: Shards of Reality   Shadathal led them through the mists, a shining bauble of silvery glass in his upraised hand providing light to the path below them, dirty and drifting. The trees above were not aglow, even faintly, like the rest of the realm, but were dark and contained many brown leaves that would not abandon their purchase. The black limbs writhed around and into each other, like many finger of uncountable hands. Pinholes of star and moonlight drifted through here and there, lighting motes of white dust like tiny rods of white light. The…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 11: The Schism, part 2

Back to Contents Turns passed, the endless cycle of the strange realm healing Michael beyond what he thought possible. He felt stronger than before, and took to practicing with his sword. He wished to go riding, to break in and train the horse he had acquired from Batoli, but Shadathal cautioned him not to go afield, afraid he would lose his way back. “The paths do not run always straight here. You may return along the same path and end up somewhere else, since you are not from here,” Shadathal said one day, as Michael rode the horse around a…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 11 “The Schism” part 1

Back to Contents Chapter 11: The Schism   Michael saw a light approaching, not from the softly luminescent trees, or a lamp, but from many sets of eyes and glowing baubles of glass, hanging from tall elven figures or fitted on staves like magic torches. The approached slowly. The men were clothed in robes or in trousers and simple shirts, the women in long dresses of many colors. Their hair was a variety of colors, Michael saw now, of dark brown and red and umber, and their eyes too were of odd shades. “I never got your name,” one of…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 6: The Queen and the King, part 1

Back to Contents Chapter 6: The Queen and the King Michael stood beside his horse, putting on his gloves. He wore a colorful doublet of blue and green, a fine set of satin trousers and his riding boots which, as he had neglected to bring formal shoes, were shined with cooking oil as per Guissali’s suggestion. He watched the pavilion tent in front of the gates having its final stakes hammered in. It was as neutral a location as could be managed; just beyond reasonable firing range from the city walls and equally far from the fortifications of the Artilland…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 4: Turns, part 2

Back to Contents “Are we even now?” Michael said. He had let Calot follow the road at his own leisure, but the beast had chosen to walk beside Rabble-Rouser, Sharona’s claimed destrier. Neither of them had spoken to each other yet. The morning had worn on, a light grey rain falling on the traveling cloaks that obscured the face of each, making the silence tolerable for longer than Michael had expected. “You’re quite a bit taller than me, actually,” Sharona said  at length, her face hidden in the heavy wool of her cloak and her head unturned. Michael shook his…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 3: Strange Company, part 1

Chapter 3: Strange Company   A day and a half after leaving the army, Michael had come upon a little village, nestled in a sparse wood with good vineyards and fields all around. There was no inn as such there, but homely landowner had put him up for a night, recognizing him as the prince. The next day he came upon another town, called Gabora Minor; apparently if there was a Gabora Major it was long lost in the hearty oak woods of the country upland from the village. There he rested in a raucous inn called the Mottled Wyrm,…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 2: The Means of Victory

Back to Contents Chapter 2: The Means of Victory   Michael rode to Angelico, relief flooding him as his friend, dirty and mud-caked, opened his visor to smile. Michael opened his in return. “What are you doing here, sire?” Angelico said as Michael reigned in Calot beside him. “Coming to the real battle. How are losses?” “Not so bad so far,” Angelico said. “Or should I say, they could be worse. They didn’t catch us totally unawares. Our squad mage sensed some magic upstream, as it were. But sir, those dragoons aren’t going to do much on that side of…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 1, part 2

Read Chapter 1, part 1 Michael paused beside Gadero, his sergeant major, on the hill and looked out over the battle plain. Calot, as he called his destrier, was anxious and padded the ground beside Gadero’s lighter horse, which was placid, almost sad. The rain was lighter now, a mere sprinkle, and though the sky was leaden he could see clearly the main infantries of the Artallan and Ferrallese armies as they played their lines in the mud. He watched a shield wall fold in the Ferralla line, watched as Johan’s infantry pushed into the gap, only to fall back…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 1, part 1

Chapter 1: On the Battlefield   The sweets of life are enjoyed seldom and by few; But the bitterness of death is tasted by all, and There you find bitterness is another relative thing Among many other relative, mutable things That make a mundane world you call immutable But for the honorable, there is no death; Only a return to the dream.   For dreams to a living man are like gazing through a clouded mirror, whereas the dreams of death are like crystal water Only beyond the hazy veil of the mundane, the old dreams, shall we meet face…

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Movie Review: The Dark Tower – David V. Stewart and Matthew J. Wellman

Recently I got to watch the new Dark Tower movie, very, VERY, loosely adapted from the epic 7 book series by Stephen King. We didn’t go into the theater with expectations of a true-to-text adaptation – after all, it wasn’t called The Gunslinger and Roland was played by a black actor when he was explicitly white in the book (which actually mattered, as a black character had racial issues with him). This positively affected our experience, but we still felt the movie had significant problems. Watch our video to hear them in detail!