Hello Seekers! Thank you for visiting the world of Etherea. We hope you enjoy this taste of the wonders that await in the full novel, Trials of the Innermost. Please comment with thoughts, reactions, ideas, etc. below. Don’t forget to follow us on our various social media outlets. Links will be at the bottom of this post. And remember, by your compass stay true.

-J&K

Trials of the Innermost

from CHAPTER TWO

The inn was noisy, full of laughter and loud voices mixed with the clank and bumps of various cutlery. Still, Kilahym strummed on his dulcimer, accompanying his clear tenor voice as he sang the lay of Agermath the Great, doubtful that anyone  recognized more than a whisper of the music floating in the air. He was the tapestry on the wall; if asked they would know one was hung but they wouldn’t be able to recall its colors or where it hung in the room. Kilahym was comfortable with that – he’d come to this inn in Beechmarsh not to earn coin but to gain lodging before he carried on  to Waverling at moonrise. The other reason being his goal to avoid returning to his parents’ home at the edge of town, though he didn’t want to contemplate the reasons behind that aversion at the moment.

Instead, Kilahym slowly bowed his head over his instrument and watched his fingers play the music between verses. He preferred to hold the dulcimer across his body rather than in his lap, with the neck in his right hand while plucking or strumming the six strings with his left. The dark reddish wood was shaped like an hourglass, though with several more bends and arcs. With his eyes he traced the vine carvings, the sound holes, then up the fret board painted with a bird between each fret. When his eyes returned to his right hand he turned his face back to the people, who filled the tables and ate their meals, as he began to sing the next stanza.

That’s when he saw her. She stood just within the door, to the side, her eyes – their corners angled down unlike most of the inn’s patrons – surveying the crowd. She looked disoriented and out of place with her unconventional style of leather clothing. It wasn’t the material itself, as even Kilahym was wearing leather, though his was black and hers was brown. It was the distinctive cut, the layer over her pants – like a skirt to her ankles, yet split open in the front and back – and the pieces of leather laced up the side of her legs. That combined with the coat she wore, a half cloak, draped over her shoulders to chest and mid back with a fur-lined hood gave her away as a Highblood.

But it wasn’t just that he recognized her as a Highblood. Kilahym knew her. Her unmistakable peach-toned hair, parted on the side, wavy like the ripples made from dropping a pebble into a pond. The three silver bands she wore on her upper left arm barely visible between the leather lacing of her long sleeved shirt. He knew her.

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Posted by J&K

This article has 4 comments

    • We are so glad that you love it! Thank you for the kind words. Another excerpt will be coming as we continue to polish our work. Stay tuned 🙂

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  1. Though I don’t know the time or place of your story, you have brought me back to the Prancing Pony in Bree where Frodo first meets Strider. A place I’d like to be! Good work, I can feel, her, and see the place!

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    • Thank you Cindy! That is high praise indeed. If you click the ‘Books’ tab on our main page, it will take you to a page with a synopsis of our first novel, from which the excerpt you read is taken. That summary reveals a bit more about where and when our story takes place!

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