Ascencion Gate: Rewritten (round1,epilogue)The strings of the bard’s lute twing noisiy and pull the room from their hush as he swings the instrument around onto his back and stands quick enough to knock over the chair he was sitting on.
“That’s it, that’s the end of my story.” He declares bluntly. “The sun is rising, I have sung all night. The tides will change soon, go do what’s right.”
And with that he clatters across the room, drawing his hood up over his head as he goes and stepping out into the early morning pre-dawn with a wince.
A horse is tied to the side of the stable and it wickers at him as he approaches, nudging his arm with its nose as he tugs the twisting knot free of its hitch and swings onto the animal’s back.
But he does not get to kick the animal into motion before small hands reach out, grabbing the bridle and demanding his attention.
Outside in the light, the boy with the scarred face seems even younger, and the bard stops, thumping heels into the animal&
Ascencion Gate: Drawn Knives (round1,part4)“Were working together the both of them?” The woman on the bench sits upright now, frowning at the bard and fingering the butt of the gun strapped to her leg. “Were it not better to just take their ship?”
“Steal a ship from them?” The bard raises his eyebrows at her and she shifts on the bench. “Then who would be the captain of the hot air balloon? Tomdril was a sailor, not a pilot. He understands the wind, but only when it fills the sails of his ship, not when it is burned and trapped in a pouch hanging over the land!” The bard laughs, folding his arms over his lute and sighing. “No, he cannot even fathom such an act. He uses them instead.”
“It does not take long for the two, Tomdril and Frederick-called-Fritz, to mend the balloon, and as night falls, they lie together in the wagon, covered with sail, pointing out constellations and arguing over which star is the dove’s beak, or the sailfish’s tail. When the
Ascencion Gate: Humming Strings (round1,part3)“Sky people?” The scar-faced boy interrupts, and the bard cuts off his song with a strangled choking noise before sighing and holding up his hands in surrender.
“I was trying to be poetic and describe the world as Tomdril saw it then, child. No, of course they were not sky people, there are no people that live in the sky.”
“Then who were they?”
“They were from Montefeath.” The bard nods his head as if that explains everything, but the child still looks at him for clarification. “A secretive culture, boy, that has been closed off from the world for nigh half a century now. They are the ones that build the flying machines you sometimes see passing overhead? These were gas balloons. Primitive, by their standards today, but for the time, rather advanced.”
The boy thinks that over and then nods resolutely, leaning back in his chair.
“Are there any other questions before I continue? No? Thank the gates. Alright.” He pres
Ascencion Gate: Go On (round1,part2)The bard pauses to tip his own mug back to his lips before setting it down again with a content sigh.
“Where was I? Ah, yes. And so Tomdril plays with the men, talking to them for hours. Tomdril does not understand everything the men tell him, but he listens well, glad for the company that does not ask for his clan markings, and that do not first recount his life through his skin before deciding if he is worthy of their company.”
He switches from the soft strumming to tapping on the face of his lute, the tune rough and heavy. It’s a chant from the mountain folk, and he carries it out well despite not having the proper drums.
“They were traders from the mountains in the west, delivering sheep’s wool to the cities farther east. The same route is used today, although now the road is paved and maintained. Back then, it was little more than a winding path along the coast with stone markers every few miles. Of course, even this Tomdril did not know, and as he fo
Ascencion Gate: Fresh Water (round1,part1)“Tomdril Batynos! The son of the sea! Without family or friend- a cast out was he. Living alone with the nightmares, the gate full of dreams. Tossing and turning all night, his mind filled with the screams!”
The bard lets his lute carry on his tune, smiling down at it as he picks out a traditional sea folk chorus. When he speaks again, his voice is soft.
“But I would be rude to start this story in the middle. Before you can know what Tomdril did, you must know who Tomdril was.”
A boy, young and yet still bearing a puckered scar over his cheek looks up from his mug with a sneer. “He was a merman.” He spits the word like a curse, and the Bard’s fingers stop on the strings as his eyes turn towards the interruption. But he does not frown, instead his dark weathered skin crinkling as he gives the boy a warm smile.
“Tomdril takes no offense at that term, child. For you see, he was born many long years ago. Back before the sea folk w
AG-OCT: The Start of the Story (audition)The hearth crackles, the fire burning low. There is a hiss when the haunch roasting drips fat onto the logs. It’s a warm night, and stifling in the little inn, but there is already a larger crowd than the room can handle. A horse clops past, pulling a cart of fish up from the docks, and the smell of the ocean wafts in through the caulked windows.
Every bed is taken, every bedroll spread out in any available corner. The regulars sit hunched at a table to the side of the room, their own conversation low and unobtrusive.
There is an understanding among all there that tomorrow, when the tides change, some of them will find themselves on boats headed out into the seafolk’s domain, and others will find themselves left behind, watching the few lucky ones making their way to the gate.
There are a few seafolk at the bar, their dark skin and light hair setting them apart, a little island of similarity within a sea of difference. They speak in low slow accents, drawing their wor
AG-OCT: Tomdril (reference sheet)GENERAL
Name: Tomdril Batynos
Height: 5’9”-ish. Average
Weight: Average for his height
Build: Swimmers build, he’s got more lean muscle than actual strength
Skin Tone: Dark brown, tanned from living most of his life under the sun
Eye Color: Olive green
Hair Color: Grey
Wardrobe: Wears a thin, baggy white shirt and a brown vest that leave his chest exposed, with sleeves rolled up to above his elbows. Brown pants that have been ripped and worn and patched with sailcloth and whatever other materials he has laying around, as well as a dark blue sash embroidered with silver thread tied around his waist.
Presence: Stands tall and straight, but shoulders droop as if he is carrying a heavy weight constantly. Speaks softly and makes eye contact. His movements are usually slow and reserved, and he is more used to living on the sea than