Obsidian Trilogy

-- Illustrated fantasy novel --
Updates thrice a week

Page 48


The drizzle turned into proper rain. There were very few people in the streets now. Most sought shelter from the rain in stores, inns, or their own homes. The ones that stayed outdoors, opened colourful umbrellas above their heads. Those little contraptions took Kangassk’s attention for a while. A desert dweller, he didn’t know such things existed. The idea of carrying a portable, foldable little roof with you was clever and the simple unfolding mechanism seemed curious, so Kangassk promised himself to buy one of those things as soon as he had a chance.

Meanwhile, Sereg led them through a small park toward something that looked like a small arbour. Only it wasn’t one. Kan guessed that as soon as they entered the strange structure. The place gave him that “tingling” feeling that hinted at its connection with magic. Kan’s suspicions got confirmed when a little dishevelled boy, drenched and panting, ran into the arbour before them and disappeared. Like in thin air.


“Wow!” exclaimed Kangassk, in a hushed tone, of course, Sereg’s gloom still hovering upon him. “Is it like a public Transvolo?”

“Transvolo is draining. Why would anyone waste energy on one within a city?” Sereg snorted and stepped under the arbour’s roof. “No. We transport people with Sprung here. It covers distances within a three kilometres limit.”


Kangassk noticed a heavy stone slab by the arbour’s wall. It was old, mossy, and sported a wide collection of sparkling crystals mounted into its surface. All of them had little, semitransparent pictures inside with various landmarks of the city.


“So Sprung is a machine?” asked Kan.

“No,” answered Sereg. His gloomy mood was as strong as ever yet for some reason he decided to humour the mortal by explaining the basics to him. “Sprung is a spell that relies on the properties of these crystals. They are connected in pairs. Touching one triggers the spell and transports you to the other. You won’t see the starry void as you jump and the distance is three kilometres tops. As you see, it has nothing to do with Transvolo. In my Uni, these two spells are even being taught at different faculties. Also, Transvolo is high magic and Sprung is just ordinary magical crystallology.”


Having done with the lesson, Grey Inquisitor pressed the central crystal, the darkest of them all, holding a picture of some old, time-worn building so unbecoming to this beautiful city. So that was where the Grey Council sat. What a strange choice.

After his experience with Transvolo, Kangassk expected Sprung to be spectacular as well but it wasn’t. No distant stars, no light flashes, no mysterious sounds, nothing, just a swift change of the picture: the moss on the stone slab changed its position a bit, the light fell on it from a different angle, a little tuft of grass appeared between two old tiles on the floor; the other details followed those so fast that Kan couldn’t keep track of them… The shifting took maybe a second. The arbour they shifted to stood on the open ground, in the middle of a small square. There was more light and less moisture, so the moss had a harder time surviving there but grass felt more welcome. The square, unlike everything Kan had seen in Capital so far, wasn’t intended to be eye candy. It didn’t shine and had no colours on its cobblestones. The cobblestones themselves, to Kan’s surprise, resembled the rune-covered bricks of the Kuldaganian trading road. Only those were enchanted to repel the sands and these had some other purpose; the core of the runic composition was the same in both cases, though.

Kangassk shared his thoughts with Vlada and was rewarded with a surprised expression on the ancient worldholder’s face. Sereg, too, gave Kangassk a thoughtful look.


“Is something wrong?” Kan asked, just in case.

“Nothing,” replied Sereg and smiled to Vlada: “He’s very observant, isn’t he?”


They crossed the square and entered a wild park beyond it. Ancient pine trees reigned there, upturning the magical cobblestones with their gnarly roots and blocking the sun with their branches so that only they could grow on this land. The air under their crowns was cool, damp, and had a strong resinous smell. The magical stones on the ground seemed to be slowly losing their power and drowning in dry pine needles, just like their Kuldaganian brethren half-swallowed by sand.

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Random stuff: I wrote "Cold Obsidian" when I was 20. Translating it into English has been my dream since.
Random stuff: "Obsidian Trilogy" is the reason I decided to learn to draw. I was too poor to pay an artist but wanted my novels to have beautiful covers.
Random stuff: The biggest obstacle in translating my novels into English was poetry. The poems included in my stories couldn't be removed and I couldn't translate them. Without Alan Jackson' help, there wouldn't be the translation of OT. (English poetry is still a mystery to me).
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Random stuff: Obsidian Trilogy is currently my side project. My main progect is Gifts of wandering ice (a sci-fi webcomic 750+ pages long)
Random stuff: I didn't simply translate the novel into English, I rewrote and added a lot to make the story better. Can't help feeling proud.
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Random stuff: Every story begins with a spark: a small idea in the author's imagination. For "Cold Obsidian" it was a dream where a warrior woman was shopping for weapons and chose one made by an apprentice, not a master.
Random stuff: I wrote "Cold Obsidian" when I was 20 and rewrote it while I was translating it into English at the age of 36. Why rewrite it at all? Because there were too many scenes that made me exclaim: oh my! What was I thinking! It doesn't make sense at all! Scratch it!
Random stuff: The name Kangassk was inspired by Kangaxx. If you played Baldur's Gate 2, you've sure met that guy.
Random stuff: I made the first illustrations for "Cold Obsidian" by hand but later moved to Krita because drawing there was faster and easier.
Random stuff: I'm new to illustrating novels, so I'm experimenting a lot and would love to hear what you think of the different styles I'm testing.
13th Dec 2020, 7:40 PM

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Author Notes:
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Ah, I wish our city had such a way of transportation. I hate buses and riding my bike to work is okay only when it's not raining or snowing outside.
User comments:
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dani, the geek (Guest)
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this is quite a nice story, and there is at least one person reading it!

(i am a little confused about a bit at the end of the Sprung explanation. he says the spells are taught "at two different faculties". i think you mean either "at two different facilities" (buildings) or "by two different faculties" (groups of professors).)

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I meant that they are different professions/courses.

Thanks for reading :) And for letting me know that you're reading!
I really like this site but it feels a bit empty.
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well, I'm reading this story too and thoroughly enjoying it!
I'm giving you some constructive criticism because I see two instances of awkward or incorrect English on this page.
#1 "There were more light and less moisture" should be "There was more light and less moisture".
#2 "Kangassk shared his thoughts with Vlada and was rewarded with a surprised expressed on the ancient worldholder's face"
should either be
"Kangassk shared his thoughts with Vlada and was rewarded with a surprise expressed on the ancient worldholder's face"
"Kangassk shared his thoughts with Vlada and was rewarded with a surprised expression on the ancient worldholder's face"
Just trying to help!
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Thank you!
I fixed the text.
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