Starting off with my basic overall summary - it is big, it is pretty much all-encompassing, and it's far from specific. Certain spots are still big blanks to me. But this is my starting point where I throw everything down regardless of what order it's in, and use this to come back and do specific chapter summaries. I haven't decided yet if I should cheat and count these as my word count. XD I'll probably do seperate counts, one including it and one excluding it.
In times past, the elves were a plentiful race. They were separate from man, and were the only people to study magics. Through their research, they found seven basic essences- fire, earth, water, air, light, dark and spirit. Not only did magic come in these different essences, even the elves themselves showed talents torwards different element.
But magic proved to be an addicting substance, and within a few hundred years it had corrupted them. It was around this time they discovered humans, in simple societies, and took them in. They taught them, improved their cultures, but also used them mercilessly.
Humans began to revolt. Elves used magic to massacre in retaliation. A war was born, thought to be even - elves, few in number but powerful; humans, without magic but not lacking in numbers or recklessness.
It may have gone on much longer were it not for the inherent danger in magic - it destroyed the elves from the inside. It ate away at their own bodies, flesh and muscle, and eventually ate pathways through their brains, sending in haywire. They killed more of themselves through dementia than humans ever killed of them.
Eventually, all who dabbled in magic - only the elves - fell to the disease, freeing humans to muck themselves up. But the elven blood remained, in non-magic users, in half-children whose parents - whose human parents - desperately kept their origins secret.
Chidlren with trace amounts of elven blood remained for many decades, often with no outward signs at all. They tended to be taller, slimmer, with lighter colored eyes- but all of that, too, could be found in pure human stock so it was difficult to make the call. Now and then, a child popped up with pointed ears - and if they wanted to stay alive, they stayed hidden.
For even after a century, fear and hatred of the magic users did not diminish. Only the eldest who remained still remembered, and they were only children at the time; so it was only the horror stories that stayed in humans' minds.
Current story takes place in the city of Agriani. A city with separate worlds - built on a terraced mountain, the outer world is lawful and peaceful, for the most part. At night the undesirables emerge and that which is despised runs rampant in the streets. At daybreak they retreat into their underground world, where the light never reaches. Tunnels originally ran from separate nobles quarters, but commaners began excavating the underground and it turned into a place with no law.
Areas are claimed through lining the excavated tunnels and rooms with stone, but the older nobles' tunnels lack this feature, since at the time of their construction they never expected possible encroachment.
One such tunnel is broken into, and a thief steals into the main keep where the mayor presides, initially only to steal but when he is seen by the mayor's young daughter, he kills her and makes his escape.
The mayor, while a good man and a good ruler, consents in his grief and rage to allow the city's forces to enter the underground to find this man and bring hi to justic. However, the underground has never before been subject to sunlit laws, and the guards use the opportunity to attempt to bring it under their rule. The city erupts into rebellion, at first just a murmur.
But the day the thief is discovered, the city erupts into full riots.
Rue is a girl who lives in this city. She is part elven, and has hte proof of a point to her ears, so she wears a headband at all times. Neither her parents knew before she was born. Her father is dead, and her mother is blind - she makes a living as a seamstress, seeing with her fingers and sometimes, she can identify people. She says she sees auras, but Rue doesn't exactly believe her. She has an older brother, who is off studying the Barren Keeps with a group of scientists, and a cousin, who is part of the city guard. She also has a close friend named Marek.
Rue is caught up in the riots when the thief is discovered. He's trying to make an escape and happens to come within arms reach of her and so tries to use her as a hostage, but threatening her with his weapon causes a gut reaction in her, some sort of magical attack at him. For a half second the crowd is stunned, but then they go apeshit, realizing what's happened in front of them. They converge on her, intent to destroy the monster, until a building to the side of them explodes in debris and tons of thick oil smoke. In that instant she's pulled back, wrapped up in a cloak and thrown over someone's shoulder, whot akes off.
The cloak is removed when they enter a bookstore, and she sees her captors- a younger byo, and a tall, lithe man. She protests, is shown his ears - also pointed - and is convinced to accompany them down through a trapdoor.
Here she learns of the others like her, livingin secret. They have a kind of coalition, to protect each other when needed. After some deliberation they decide to send her out of the city - she's known now, and it's not safe. The boy will accompany her, an explosions expert. They'll go to a known halfblood camp, in the barren keeps. Before they leave, Rue asks them to take her mother into their care. The man asks the boy to teach her what he knows of fighting, to give her a means of defending herself that won't make her an immediate target. He makes diversion with his firey toys while she steals two knives, similar to his weapons of choice. Though he is an explosions expert, he uses his own knives when more subtle means are needed.
-More inserted here. Perhaps one encounter or two as they travel, but the focus should not be on the travel for very long.-
When they arrive at the keeps, they come across her brother and his group that is studying the area. They are studying it because nothing, not even a single blade of grass, will grow there. She tries to convince him to accompany her, reasoning he has the same blood as her, but he refuses - he's never shown any signs and they would be unlikely to welcome him. She and the boy enter the keeps to find the entrance to the camps. Eventually they come across some outriders who take them to the camp. Rue enters a training period - they teach her about the properties of magic, and find she is attuned to spirit, which is uncommon. Mainly, however, they teach her control, and why she must learn control - this is the main purpose of her visit. This control can keep her from unwittingly exposing herself later and can keep her alive. One man offers her more. He secretly teaches her how to use her powers for attack, and how to hide them in swordsmanship.
Since her attunement is uncommon, he reveals to her his life's goal - to achieve the powers of the gods. With someone of each attunement, those powers can be achieved. Already, the power addiction is planting its roots in her, or she wouldn't have learned attack or been drawn to his ideas.
While she finds the ideas intruiging, she's concerned for her mother and Marek back home. She's been occasionally going to see her brother, and when she learns the scientists are heading back to their headquarters in Agriani, she decides to go with.
Unfortunately, upon her arrival, chaos kind of.. ensues.
Volcanic activity was present in that particular mountain range, but hasn't been for the last million years or so; the city was built long since the last one went dormant. But the edge of one pocket of magma has been migrating slowly northwards, and unfortunately for the city, it reaches the very deepest portions of the tunnels. As it begins to flow upwards, it fills each chamber it comes across - but since rock heats and melts very slowly, it takes time for it to actually eat away at the walls. Eventually, however, things begin to collapse, causing minute tremors in the city above. They dismiss it as a minor earthquakes at first. But as they become more frequent, and more violent, the city begins to get worried.
In particular, the coalition's base is in the underground - one entry. That entry is soon blocked by magma, trapping the majority of the coalition inside.
Suddenly, the entire top 1/4 of the mountain city is no longer supported on the inside, as its tunnels are breached and collapsed. The top noble's quarter crashes down into the inside, and magma begins oozing from the crevices thereof. The streets below become fluid before and during this time, occasionally breaking, trapping citizens on floating islands. The poorest, living at the bottom, have the best chance of escape and many do; but much of the more affluential denizens and those living in the underground have no chance at all.
This all takes place over many hours. It is after this time that Rue and the group of scientists come into view, returning on packhorse-type giant birds. She was in contact with Marek prior to leaving - her old friend, who had left Agriani to work in the central government as a minor official - and they had arranged for her brother to detour to the west to pick him up before they return to the city. All three have been close their entire lives, so it doesn't take much convincing. As they come into view of the city from the air, they discover a smoldering ruin; its people fleeing from the mountain's feet and the entire top portion of the mountain caved in. They are, understandably, shocked. Marek especially, as he makes a comment along the lines of "But.. I thought.. I thought they had warned them about the magma!"
A refugee camp is being set up several miles away. The group goes there, to help and regroup and look for their families. Rue's mother is not there, and only a tiny handful of the coalition can be found, who reveal that the majority of them perished underground. Marek elaborates on what he said earlier, and Rue vows to make them pay. The central government knew of the magma pocket - it's not exactly easy to hide from expert geologists. Yet, they never warned the city. The city, trusting the central government to have a complete handle on any possible situations, never even suspects. To Rue, this is tantamount to murder and she vows to take revenge for their negligence. Interestingly, this is out of character. It is her first true outward sign of magic changing her.
Continuing tomorrow, as it's time for tv now!
Total wordcount: 1,826/50,000
Story wordcount: 0/50,000
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