April 16, 2018

N is for Nulif

        Oru swung himself down from his klaameleh and stepped forward, hand outstretched.  “I am Oru Hamar-azh, secretary to the vizier of Empress Kahan-Atar of Sisoa and Yuwara Ul Sahd.  She has ordered me to come and ask you about what you’ve found here in Sisoan territory.”
        One of the Minarians stepped forward, eyebrows raised.  “I had no idea Sisoa knew we were here,” he said, holding out his hand in turn.  “I am Nulif of the Family Atsu, leader of this research expedition.   Come, sit down and share our meal, and I’ll tell you about it.”
        Although he spoke the common speech, his accent was completely unfamiliar to Svarnil, with a sort of rolling sing-song quite unlike the clipped speech of the Sisoans.  Svarnil slid wearily from her saddle, staggering slightly as her feet hit the ground.  She stretched gratefully and followed Nulif’s gesture toward the fire circle.  While Nulif brought a bowl of water and invited his guests to wash themselves, the other two Minarians hurried to carry some split logs to the fireside until there were seats for everyone.
        Svarnil looked curiously at the Minarian men.  All three of them had their hair tied neatly into short ponytails at the back, and all three had closely trimmed beards, although the beard of the youngest looked soft and sparse.  They wore vests and knee-length kilts in bright colors now looking rather dusty.  Nulif himself was a young man, with dark hazel eyes which Svarnil thought had an open, earnest look.  She found him eyeing her as curiously as she looked at him, and he said, “Perhaps we should start with complete introductions.  As I said, I am Nulif.  I am a researcher for the Great Collection in K’Ten.”  He paused.  “Have you heard of that?”
        When Svarnil and the Sisoans nodded, he continued, “Several weeks ago I was given a manuscript by a trader.  An incredible manuscript.  I’ll tell you more about it later, but for now let me just say that the Head Librarians of the Great Collection sent me here, to the area where the manuscript had been found, to look for others.  These gentlemen - Bolekwa…”  The grey-haired man inclined his head.  “… and Jadogwa…”  The younger one nodded curtly.  “Are my fellow researchers on this expedition.  And now would you tell us more about yourselves?”
        Oru introduced his two aides briefly, then smiled at Svarnil.  “I’ll let you introduce yourself,” he said to her.
        “I am Svarnil of the Tungoldroleth, of the Fellowship of Bards.  I too am a researcher, in a way, and Oru was kind enough to let me accompany him, although I have no connection with Sisoa or her queen, because I was curious to learn what you might have discovered.  That is my calling as a bard, to discover all that I can about the history of the Otherworld.  Can you explain what you’ve found?”
        Nulif’s eyes lit up with enthusiasm.  “It’s too dark to show you tonight,” he said, “You must see it tomorrow to do it justice.  It is simply incredible!  But I suppose you won’t understand why this is so important to us.  What do you know about the Chebik-lan?”
        “For myself, not much,” answered Oru, and Svarnil and one of the aides also shook their heads.
        “Very well,” said Nulif with a twinkle in his eye, “Tonight’s lesson will be on Minarian religion.”

        Nulif from Vision Revealed, fourth book in a high fantasy
series for middle school-or-so through adult (excerpt from Chapter 2: Svarnil learns of the Chebik-lan).  More information here, or “Look inside” at Amazon.

[Picture: Drawing of Nulif by AEGN, 2018.]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter N

4 comments:

  1. These are such fabulous hooks - I'll be reading the series post-April.

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    1. Thanks! I think there's a lot in them that you'd appreciate about finding beauty, learning your path in the world, looking for spirit all around...

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  2. Sorry I was distracted by your bio "negligent housekeeper," that's me! LOL! Can't wait to check out your books.

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    1. Well, there are just so many more interesting things to do than cleaning! lol

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