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Myth and Legend - Chapter one

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Old 10-04-2006, 06:59 PM
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Myth and Legend - Chapter one


History in any world of my creation - has a nasty habit of repeating itself - sometimes in a good way - most times not...There are a few social complexities I haven't completely worked out - but hope to by the end of next month. As always feel free to ask anything you like - who know might just be something I overlooked and that would be bad.

Thanks in advance - lethe

and if your interested in reading the beginning: Prologue: Tisholu



0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o
Myth and Legend

Chapter One
Torah
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Once the world of Tisho settled into a regular rhythm of day and night, the Ji'sho: Sho'tolu, Chi'tolu, and Do'tolu descended from the heavens to get a closer look at their creation. They found the world they'd made to be a wild and dangerous place and it was this element of danger that fascinated the Ji'sho.

While most of the rifts healed themselves, a few still existed. The Ji'sho knew if left alone they could one day grow large enough to harm the still young world of Tisho. Remembering Tisholu's wish that they remain together, the Ji'sho took time to ponder before they parted ways. Deciding it would be faster to separate, they agreed on a time and place to return and with sadness, the three children of Tisholu, said farewell to one another. Now each following their aspects, explored the rifts to see if they might be brought into balance.

As they traveled, each of the Ji'sho sensed the balance they'd gained in the creation of their world diminished in the absence of the others. Having this aspect of sho'dochi revealed to them, left Sho'tolu and Chi'tolu ill at ease and both determined to find something else to fill the void growing within their hearts.

Sho'tolu found the strength of his heart drawn ever nearer the fiery places of the world. Sinking himself ever deeper into the earth, he traveled within the volcanoes of the world. Still not satisfied, Sho'tolu traveled to the very center of their creation. Embracing the fiery heart of the world, and for a time becoming a part of it, Sho'tolu found himself once again at ease.

Chi'tolu, as well, keenly felt the loss of her siblings. In her loneliness, she drifted as leaf on the wind, until she became the wind itself. Still dissatisfied, Chi'tolu fell into the sea her laws had created and it was amongst the deep currents she felt the pulse of their world and at last found her peace.

Do'tolu, unlike his siblings, better understood the world of their creation. The intricate web of living things he'd created allowed him to do more than watch the living things of the world. By becoming each in turn, he explored the places they lived as well. Shifting constantly from plant to insect, bird to bison, he traveled the length and breadth of the world, growing in his understanding of life and shadow.

At the appointed time and place the Ji'sho returned, each having discovered an over abundance of left over bits of the threads the Ji'sho used to create the world. The Ji'sho named these small pieces of themselves; Sprites, and they fell into six types; Earth, Shadow, Water, Fire, Air, and Life. Traveling together the Ji'sho stopped at each place and collected excess sprites until they felt the imbalance healed. This was not difficult since the sprites remained attracted to their basic aspects. To Sho'tolu came Fire and Earth. To Chi'tolu, Water and Air and Do'tolu, Life and Shadow.

Now the Ji'sho scoured the world to find a haven for these displaced ones. Their search ended at a great barren plain. This land was hard and dry. The sprites they'd collected told the Ji'sho this place was once much smaller, but now stretched for many miles and was devoid of any of the living things Do'tolu had made. Too much salt in the soil made it impossible for any plants to grow and with no plants, no animal would set foot here.

Once the Ji'sho decided to correct this imbalance, Chi'tolu explained the best way to use her laws to make it a lush and green oasis. Her brothers agreed with her plan and they set to work again but having been apart for so long the older of the Ji'sho were surprised at the difficulty they experienced combining their threads. Do'tolu suggested they use the sprites, first to undo what existed, and re-work the threads from there. They agreed and Sho'tolu wove his fire sprites directly into his threads, and pushing them deep into the ground, he broke up the hard earth.

Chi'tolu wove into her threads, a portion of the water sprites. They turned the dry earth to mud and as the soil mixed with the water; the salt broke free and remained within the water sprites. Sho'tolu set the Earth sprites to block the salt from returning to the soil. Do'tolu's threads used shadow sprites to push the now saltwater sprites into the center of the muck and a great pillar of salt rose high into the air.

The Ji'sho pondered what to do with this salty pillar. Chi'tolu's laws said that if they left it where it was, the salt would leech back into the ground. Sho'tolu wanted to send the whole mess to his fiery mountains. Chi'tolu argued there were living things there as well and they need to find a place where the salt would do no harm. Do'tolu knew no such place existed, but thought the sea as a good place to disperse the salt. He explained to his siblings that though he was concerned for the creatures of the deep, he was confident they would adapt to the change if it happened slowly enough.

The three agreed, so Sho'tolu sheared the pillar at its base and held it as Do'tolu bound a portion of the Life sprites to the pillar's threads to insure the salt could not escape too quickly. Chi'tolu wove air sprites into hers and the pillar rose from the ground and added over everything, the new laws that would now govern the deepest parts of the sea. The sprites winked out with their cargo and the Ji'sho looked out at a new place.

A portion of the area was not arid as before. Instead, it appeared dark, rich and Do'tolu released some of the life sprites into it. Grass appeared and covered the mostly flat area. A small section did not clear up and Do'tolu left it unseeded and it remained a muddy swamp. This accomplished the Ji'sho decided there needed to be a warder for these sprites and as one the Ji'sho set to binding the sprites that remained into one being.

When they were finished, a creature unlike any other floated before them. Her face held the shining light of Tisholu and though she possessed only six limbs to their mother's eight, the Ji'sho called her Daughter. Her name: Torah, or beacon of light.

Together the Ji'sho instilled into her, her purpose; it was now her responsibility to collect displaced sprites and bring them to this new place. To aid their new daughter, Sho'tolu wove her a skin of his strongest threads, making her impervious to the elements. Chi'tolu added her knowledge of all things natural, and to aid Torah in her search, Chi'tolu fashioned wings of two of Torah's limbs, strengthening them with gossamer strands of light. Do'tolu's threads gave her body life, but the youngest of the Ji'sho also breathed his love of all things living into her heart, giving her the ability to heal any creature in need of it. They cocooned this child-like creature, using all the threads of their aspects. The Ji'sho now returned to heaven to watch her awakening. However, the trip to Tisho left them wearier then they expected and the Ji'sho again fell into a deep sleep.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shun glanced at the wall clock as he pulled on a clean uniform. It was almost ten so he had a few minutes to spare before he headed back to the kitchen. Shun stopped in front of the mirror and dragged a comb through his still damp black hair. Of all the dumb luck to have one of the Chitoh show up, Shun thought as he tossed the comb back on the table. Opening the door, he growled at his sister. Jun was only slightly smaller than him, but a contrast with her lighter hair and slender frame. Her deep blue eyes, narrowed as Shun pulled his door shut and pushed past her.

"Hey!" she cried after him. When he continued to ignore her he heard, "Shun, wait!"

"Not now, Jun," he said over his shoulder, "go bug Cal with your problem, I'm busy."

Not wanting her to follow him, Shun made a quick turn down a side hallway and he exited the dorms into the courtyard. The still open doors to the kitchen showed some of his friends were already there, so Shun jogged the short distance and stopped before entering. Looking carefully around the room, he didn't see anymore of Cal's threads lying about but Shun was sure there were at least a few left after they'd triggered most of Cal's traps. That meant that either Cal already came back and collected them, or more likely the Chitoh did.

Better get to cleaning this up first, he thought. Since Bran and Tok were busy with the syrup, Shun studied what his other two friends, Jes and Bol were doing with the flour. The students on kitchen duty would be here in less than twenty minutes to begin preparation of the noon meal. Jes and Bol were trying unsuccessfully to get the air sprites to cooperate and Shun was struck by an unusual idea.

"Jes, Bol, come here, that's not gonna get you anywhere. As far as those air sprites are concerned, you two might as well be invisible. Jes, you do what I do and try to keep up. Bol get the flour sack and find a sifting screen."

None of the students were allowed to use their thread work for pranks, but this trick he'd learned by accident during Dochi training with the shadow sprites. Shadow sprites, by nature, enjoyed bending the laws that bound them, and Shun was happy to oblige them. After drawing out a thread about six feet long, Shun ran it through his hands until it crackled with static. Calling to the resident shadow sprites, Shun instructed each to cut and grab a length every hand span or so. Jes was struggling more than he normally would with his three feet long version, but Shun decided to worry about that later. His would have to do. The sprites flitted everywhere through the air, attracting flour to the static laden threads. Only one sprite found itself stuck in a pile of syrup, but Tok came to the sprite's rescue and soon there were no signs of the morning's earlier events. Instead, there were several fist-sized balls of flour floating about the kitchen.

While this went on, Shun carefully wove a thin layer of threads above to the small mesh screen Bol found. They needed to get the dirt out of the flour before they put it back in the sack. Shun was regretting ditching his Chido training, since those classes were where they learned to control multiple threads. The beginnings of a thread headache made him blink, but Shun was determined to finish early. So, he pushed himself to hold his thread layer in place above the screen, while Jes and Bol held the flour bag open. When they were ready, Shun sent the sprites crashing into the mesh.

When the last of the flour-covered sprites dove through the mesh, Shun winced but waited as Jes tied the sack shut and lugged it toward the pantry. Unclenching his jaw, he let the threads above the mesh collapse and dissipate. Shun looked up at the clock; only a quarter past ten, made it with five minutes to spare. His head was pounding and he felt a little sick and Shun rested his head in his hands over the counter and heard one of his friends say, "She's coming."

"You alright, Shun?" Tok asked.

Shun forced himself upright and nodded just as the Chitoh appeared in the doorway. The boys fell into line and stared straight ahead, as she made her inspection.

"It appears everything is back in order. You four are dismissed," she said pointing at Shun's friends. They edged their way out of the kitchen and when they were all out of sight, the Chitoh said, "Shi-Shundo, you will report to Master Toh's office with your sister. There is a matter we need to discuss."

Shun's thread headache was making his head spin and more than a little confused he stammered, "Y-yes, Chitoh." He waited until she left the kitchen before he turned, a little unsteady, back toward the courtyard. His headache was getting worse, which he thought strange since he'd done things with his threads a lot more complex than what he just done in the kitchen. Why am I so woozy? he wondered, and forced back the urge to vomit as the dizziness got steadily worse. Shun'd head was swimming and he was forced to stop and sit down on the grass. He pushed his fingers into his temples in a vain attempt to stop the pain.

When he minaged to look up again, he saw a very angry Jun headed toward him across the plaza. Then there were two of her and the closer she got, the more of her there were. That was the last thing he remembered before waking up in his bed with a damp cloth over his eyes.

He could tell it was late; all the lamps outside were lit. Jun was asleep in a chair next to his bed. Shun carefully sat up and glanced about and noticed Cal was nowhere around. He poked his sister awake and asked, "Jun, where's Cal?"

"What?" Jun asked, as she started awake. Looking at her brother, she snorted and said, "About time you woke up."

"Where's Cal?" He asked again.


"I'm not sure, the last time anyone saw him he was headed toward Master Toh's wing. Just what happened today Shun?"

"A little comeuppance from my little brother is all, certainly nothing unusual for Cal anyway," Shun said with a smile. Jun was staring at him blankly so he continued, "Cal rigged the kitchen full of thread traps and had the bad luck to have one of the Chitoh wander by."

"I thought they were all in Council today?"

"So did I."

"Which one?"

"I don't recall her name, she's the new one."

Jun let out a horrified gasp and said, "Not Chitoh Rynn..."

"The Chitoh said I should report to Master Toh's office and bring you along, but she didn't say why, only that she had a matter to discuss with us."


"She wants us all?"

Jun slumped back in the chair looking a bit pale but it was the note of panic in his sister's voice that left Shun uneasy.

"I guess," Shun said, "but what difference does that make?"


"How can you be so blank?" Jun asked taking a swipe at his head. "Weren't you paying any attention at the last assembly? She's part of the Selection Committee, they're here to select candidates for Torah Sho'dochi training. If she's the one who sent Cal to detention, he could be expelled or worse, Shun."

"But why would they? It was just a joke, Jun. A messy one yes, but Cal didn't mean any harm. Don't worry, it'll be fine, you'll see." The look Jun shot him said she thought otherwise and Shun decided to change the subject, and asked, "How did you get me here, by the way? I know you didn't carry me."

"I got kinda lucky in that," Jun said blushing a little. "One of the older students from the Upper Temple happened along and helped me bring you back here. He stayed with you while I went to class, he said his name was Kell."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A lone figure sitting on the edge of the fountain, in the middle of the darkened courtyard smiled when the voices he'd been listening to via one of his threads suddenly went quiet. Other threads he'd left behind were much less obvious but he'd heard enough and Kell's dark eyes opened to find Chitoh Rynn in front of him. Standing up, he stretched the kinks from his legs and looked down at his sister. He dwarfed her slight frame in comparison and were an odd pair as they started toward the main Temple.

"He's awake then?" she asked.

"Yes, and you should know my thread was cut, so he knows I was listening."

"Really? That's unexpected. Losing our touch are we, Shitoh Kell?"


"Not especially, I just wanted to see if he could find it."

"What about Jun?"

"Still with her brother and terrified you'll expel them all."

Rynn let out a snort. "For that prank?" When Kell nodded Rynn smiled and said wryly, "I didn't realize I was laying it on so thick."

"Obviously the great Chitoh Rynn has forgotten the effectiveness of her icy stare," Kell said and chuckled as he ducked his head to get through the door to a small chapel. "I think your right, though, Jun most likely is the binder of the three. I have no idea about the other two. Shun's a little clueless now but he's one of the few who realizes a restraint has been put upon the temple sprites. He's not worried just yet, although I think, he may be reconsidering that. Cal is a different problem. He learns new tricks, a little too quickly. We'll have to be very careful with him, or he'll burn out like the others before we want him to."


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Last edited by Lethe; 10-10-2006 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: is the little things that stick out sometimes
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:37 PM
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Just thought I'd take a peek at your chapter this evening. One thing I noticed right off the bat is that there are too many character names with apostrophes in them. It's overly noticeable is what I'm trying to say. Keep 'em in some, let 'em go in others. Comments in text & a summary at the end....

Once the world of Tisho settled into a regular rhythm of day and night, the Ji'sho: Sho'tolu, Chi'tolu, and Do'tolu descended from the heavens to get a closer look at their creation. They found the world they'd made to be a wild and dangerous place and it was this element of danger that fascinated the Ji'sho. [A little 'telling' here rather than 'showing' - what is the element of danger they found?]

While most of the rifts healed themselves, a few still existed. The Ji'sho knew if left alone they could one day grow large enough to harm the still young world of Tisho. Remembering Tisholu's wish that they remain together, the Ji'sho took time to ponder before they parted ways. Deciding it would be faster to separate, they agreed on a time and place to return and with sadness, the three children of Tisholu, said farewell to one another. Now each following their aspects, explored the rifts to see if they might be brought into balance. [Large block of information here - this is called an 'infodump' - provides a lot of backstory and 'telling' info, but it prevents me from actually 'seeing' what is going on]

As they traveled, each of the Ji'sho sensed the balance they'd gained in the creation of their world diminished in the absence of the others. Having this aspect of sho'dochi [<---what is 'sho'dochi?] revealed to them, left Sho'tolu and Chi'tolu ill at ease and both determined to find something else to fill the void growing within their hearts.

Sho'tolu found the strength of his heart drawn ever nearer the fiery places of the world. Sinking himself ever deeper into the earth, he traveled within the volcanoes of the world. Still not satisfied, Sho'tolu traveled to the very center of their creation. Embracing the fiery heart of the world, and for a time becoming a part of it, Sho'tolu found himself once again at ease. [Very distant in the narrative - it's written well, but I feel as if I'm hearing it from someone 'telling' me the tale but I'm not actually 'experiencing' it].

Chi'tolu, as well, keenly felt the loss of her siblings. In her loneliness, she drifted as leaf on the wind, until she became the wind itself. Still dissatisfied, Chi'tolu fell into the sea her laws had created and it was amongst the deep currents she felt the pulse of their world and at last found her peace.[<---'Show' me Chi'tolu - in a scene with action and dialogue]


...snipped text....

At the appointed time and place [<--what appointed time & place?] the Ji'sho returned, each having discovered an over abundance of left over bits of the threads the Ji'sho used to create the world.


...sniped text....

Now the Ji'sho scoured the world to find a haven for these displaced ones. Their search ended at a great barren plain. This land was hard and dry. The sprites they'd collected told the Ji'sho this place was once much smaller, but now stretched for many miles and was devoid of any of the living things Do'tolu had made. Too much salt in the soil made it impossible for any plants to grow and with no plants, no animal would set foot here. [<---good description, but still too 'distant' - put me, the reader, in Ji'sho's shoes (so to speak)]

Once the Ji'sho decided to correct this imbalance, {<---'how' did he correct this balance?] Chi'tolu explained the best way to use her laws to make it a lush and green oasis. [<--maybe show this in dialogue form] Her brothers agreed with her plan and they set to work again but having been apart for so long the older of the Ji'sho were surprised at the difficulty they experienced combining their threads.


...snipped text.....

[Comment - the description of the entities creating (or recreating) the world feels as if its going on a little too long. Suggestion would be if you want to keep the 'fable-like' feel to it, cut it way down. There's a lot of backstory for a reader to get through before the actual scenes begin in the latter half of this chapter.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Shun glanced at the wall clock as he pulled on a clean uniform. It was almost ten so he had a few minutes to spare before he headed back to the kitchen. Shun stopped in front of the mirror and dragged a comb through his still damp black hair. Of all the dumb luck to have one of the Chitoh show up, Shun thought as he tossed the comb back on the table. Opening the door, he growled at his sister. Jun was only slightly smaller than him, but a contrast with her lighter hair and slender frame. Her deep blue eyes, narrowed as Shun pulled his door shut and pushed past her.
[Good scene-building here]

...snipped text.......

None of the students were allowed to use their thread work for pranks, but this trick he'd learned by accident during Dochi training with the shadow sprites. [<---maybe describe this training - it's a complete mystery to someone who doesn't knwo what it is] Shadow sprites, by nature, enjoyed bending the laws that bound them, and Shun was happy to oblige them. After drawing out a thread about six feet long,

....snipped text.....

Shun's thread headache was making his head spin and more than a little confused he stammered, "Y-yes, Chitoh." He waited until she left the kitchen before he turned, a little unsteady, back toward the courtyard. His headache was getting worse, which he thought strange since he'd done things with his threads a lot more complex than what he just done in the kitchen. Why am I so woozy? he wondered, and forced back the urge to vomit as the dizziness got steadily worse. Shun'd head was swimming and he was forced to stop and sit down on the grass. He pushed his fingers into his temples in a vain attempt to stop the pain.

[excellent description & dialogue in this scene]


....snipped text......

A lone figure sitting on the edge of the fountain, [<---no comma] in the middle of the darkened courtyard smiled when the voices he'd been listening to via one of his threads suddenly went quiet. Other threads he'd left behind were much less obvious but he'd heard enough and Kell's dark eyes opened to find Chitoh Rynn in front of him. Standing up, he stretched the kinks from his legs and looked down at his sister. He dwarfed her slight frame in comparison and were an odd pair as they started toward the main Temple.

"He's awake then?" she asked.

"Yes, and you should know my thread was cut, so he knows I was listening."

"Really? That's unexpected. Losing our touch are we, Shitoh Kell?"

"Not especially, I just wanted to see if he could find it."

"What about Jun?"

"Still with her brother and terrified you'll expel them all."

Rynn let out a snort. "For that prank?" When Kell nodded Rynn smiled and said wryly, "I didn't realize I was laying it on so thick."


[liked the dialogue - flowed very well & sounds natural]


...snipped.....
Very well-written but some parts in the beginning drag on a little long and need to be cut down to the bare essentials - keep only what you absolutely need for your story. The second and third parts of this chapter are excellent - I was able to visualize your characters much better and follow the story. Liked the mounting tension toward the end with the plot buildup (e.g., the cutting of the thread, and so on). Nicely done. Reminds me of Native folklore in a big way and in that respect it's beautifully done.

Best wishes & keep writing,

Jillian
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:09 PM
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First of all- the first part of the story. Is that being used for an introduction for the story? It seemed to me to be a prologue. It's not fast-paced enough to really get readers into the minds of the story, so if it's not an intro, you might want to develop some interest as far as that's concerned. You create a fairly engaging mythology, however, so I'm interested in seeing what comes next.

I'll try a bit of nitpicking here: sorry if it's too anal. (It very well may be, don't feel compelled to make every change I suggest.)

Once the world of Tisho settled into a regular rhythm of day and night, the Ji'sho: Sho'tolu, Chi'tolu, and Do'tolu descended from the heavens to get a closer look at their creation.


This might work better like this:

Once the world of Tisho settled into a regular rhythm of day and night, the Ji'sho - Sho'tolu, Chi'tolu, and Do'tolu - descended from the heavens to get a closer look at their creation.


That way, you have a slightly more linear progression of what happens.

They found the world they'd made to be a wild and dangerous place, and it was this element of danger that fascinated the Ji'sho.

While Most of the rifts healed themselves, but a few still existed. The Ji'sho knew that if left alone they could one day grow large enough to harm the still-young world of Tisho.


Deciding it would be faster to separate, they agreed on a time and place to return. and With sadness, the three children of Tisholu, said farewell to one another.


Who is Tisholu? Their father? If so, that should be clarified a bit more.

Having this aspect of sho'dochi revealed to them, left Sho'tolu and Chi'tolu ill at ease and both determined to find something else to fill the void growing within their hearts.


Once again, I'm not entirely sure of what you're trying to say here. What is sho'dochi? What leaves them ill at ease? This revelation? It's a bit confusing.

This isn't my full critique. I'm going to spend a bit more time with this, thinking over each part in turn. After all, I want to make sure this is as thought-out a critique as I'd want as a writer. Hopefully, though, those few opening ideas will help you a little bit with your writing. ^_^
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:57 PM
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Hello and thank you both for the critques -

I was going to respond sooner but that didn't work out to well - so I've been trying to wait for an opportune moment...it still hasn't arrived - so I'm gonna wing it in between the distractions.

[A little 'telling' here rather than 'showing' - what is the element of danger they found?]
[Large block of information here - this is called an 'infodump' - provides a lot of backstory and 'telling' info, but it prevents me from actually 'seeing' what is going on]
[<---what is 'sho'dochi?]
[Very distant in the narrative - it's written well, but I feel as if I'm hearing it from someone 'telling' me the tale but I'm not actually 'experiencing' it].
The first parts are written in that 'distant narrative' for a purpose but I think the overall problem is how this information is being presented. (I need to re-think it but thankfully there are only two rather skeletal chapters written - so again I've hit a mini road block of sorts and will have to stop until I resolve it)

Names always the bane of my worlds and I've taken an odd liking to them so I'm not sure I can change them at present - but who knows.

Straight narrative has never been my strong suit - I know this but it is something I'm working on and your comments on the subject are most appreciated.

Sho'dochi is just a fancy word for balance - I covered this in the last chapter - and I tend to be disinclined to repeat myself in chapters that are back to back - but I will look a better way to deal with that.

None of the students were allowed to use their thread work for pranks, but this trick he'd learned by accident during Dochi training with the shadow sprites. [<---maybe describe this training - it's a complete mystery to someone who doesn't knwo what it is]
I would explain that - but I haven't quite nailed down all the mechanics of it. I also tend to take the magics of my world for granted. The note page I keep is getting longer, but those aspects are lagging behind

I do agree about the length though and may actually split that part in two and rename the chapter (o.o)

-----------------------
ronoxQ

Most of your questions regarding the plot can be answered in the prologue - there is a link provided below - I got lazy when I posted this and forgot to add it as I intended - so yeah. I will have to have a closer look at the changes you suggested - hopefully before the weekend.

Believe that I take all comments quite seriously - is undisturbed time I lack and my forum time is limited at best. Most of what I've written so far, almost always happens on Friday's between 12 and 3 am. This of course assumes my husband has gone to work, my children are asleep, and I haven't fallen asleep on my keyboard.

Prologue: Tisholu

Thank you again for reading, I do so appreciate the input.
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