Worldbuilding The Ruon Chronicles and Some Fiction
Some micro fiction for spring, worldbuilding the Nithin of Agravér, and an excerpt from a draft of a Ruon Chronicles novella.
Hello again, Fellow Adventurer!
And happy spring to you as well (if you’re in the southern hemisphere… otherwise enjoy autumn)! Seeing as how the world is now coming alive with blossoms and bright green leaves all around me, I thought about a micro fiction piece I’d written a while ago for Paragraph Planet. They publish micro fiction of exactly 75 words, so it’s a nice challenge every now and then!
Microfiction: When I came there, she was gone
When I came there, she was gone. The tree which had kept her safe throughout the winter was cracked and broken, yet the branches sprouted bright green leaves. From the cracked trunk of the tree led a path of spring flowers following in her footsteps. I found her at the end of the flowering path, breathing spring into the woods. All around us the trees came alive and blossomed. I leaned in to kiss her.
Worldbuilding The Ruon Chronicles: The Nithin of Agravér
The Nithin – Ruon who live in Agravér and some of the tribes in the Cloudstepped Mountains – have become twisted in that they now follow the Shadow and no longer use their Nith to heal or help.
Although they can be seen as a type of Vidolf, the Nithin do not use the twisted charms of the Vidolf, but charms all of their own; except for the hiding charm that they use on their hiding cloaks.
While the hiding cloaks of the Ruon are a midnight blue colour with blue or white embroidery, the Nithin’s cloaks are white with black or white embroidery. The white-on-white cloaks are worn by the senior Nithin.
The head of the Nithin in Agravér – also called Wislic as the Ruon’s leaders are called – is the queen of Agravér. Rather than choosing the next Wislic according to blood, the Wislic is chosen based on strength, etc.
In Agravér, the Nithin will accompany the men on the raids when the new fighters need to prove themselves. However, in the mountains, the Nithin will often fight alongside the men and the Wislican will lead them into the fray.
In both Agravér and the tribes, the new Wislic takes the old one’s place at the death of the Wislic. It’s only in rare cases that the Wislic is killed in order for someone else to take her place.
It’s important to note that all Nithin are women – male Ruon are killed as soon as their Nith becomes known. All children are tested between ages 5 and 13 on a yearly basis during the Choosing to ensure that there are no Ruon in Agravér or the mountain tribes that aren’t trained as Nithin.
Excerpt from a draft of a Ruon Chronicles novella: The Choosing
She barely remembered the night the Nithin was supposed to take her. Her mother had given her some foul tasting concoction that dulled her senses before she was placed between the other children around her age. They spent the night outside on the village green. Around midnight the two Nithin came. Dressed in midnight blue hiding cloaks and their faces whitened with ash to make the black tattoos they wore stand out more. Nea could only remember her mother’s words vaguely through the dulling of her senses.
“Do not look at them. Never at them. Look away or past them. Never make eye contact. If you do, they will take you away.”
She did as she was told, gazing off into the distance before moving her gaze in the direction of her house. She thought she could see her mother’s shadow at the window.
“Look, the Nithin has come!”
Nea, started at the voice and for a moment thought it had been her own. But it was another child who had spoken and now pointed directly at the two approaching Nithin. The women started circling the group of children.
“There’s nothing there,” Nea said. “You should not lie.” Nea looked to her own home again, but the child kept repeating and pointing at the two Nithin.
“Don’t you see them?” he kept asking. None of the children dared to look in the direction the boy was pointing. They all knew what it meant if you saw the Nithin on this night.
“You are just excited,” Nea said. “There is no one there. You must be seeing shadows.” Nea tried to get sense into him, but it did not work. Just as she was about to press his pointing hand down, the boy gasped and clutched at his neck where a speck of blood now appeared. He fell backwards, his head hitting the ground sharply, but he made no sound. Nea stared at the dead boy, willing herself to look at his dead eyes instead of looking back at the Nithin who had killed him for being able to see them. It was all the proof they needed to know he had Ruon blood.
The other children screamed and ran for their houses. Nea stood as well, backing away before stumbling to her house. But, unlike the other children, she did not have to beat upon the door before being let in. The shadow at the window had been her mother and now she gathered her child in her arms and slammed the door against the night and the Nithin.
Outside the dead boy’s mother started wailing at the death of her son. Nea watched in horror as the Nithin threw another hiding cloak over the boy and carried him off. To his mother his body would simply have disappeared.
“This is just a dream,” Nea’s mother said. But Nea knew it was a lie.
“Where are they taking him? Are we not going to bury him tomorrow?”
“He will not get a grave in the family grove,” her mother said softly. “Those with Ruon blood never do. The Nithin –”
“But I could see them. Does that mean I am Ruon?”
“If you were Ruon, you would be dead right now.” She started at the sharp voice of her father.
“You will never utter those words again, do you hear me? You have survived tonight. That means that you cannot be one of the Ruon. You are safe.”
Only then did she see that he had been crying.
Some early spring flowers from the garden!
Until next time, stay safe and well!