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Greetings and salutations! ‘Tis the day of the week the WIPpeteers fling off their hats with graceful flair, bow low before the Grand Mistress, K.L. Schwengel, and offer up their novel excerpts. Sundry snippets are given for the enjoyment of any who wish to read them. You can find each and every one here or go to K.L.’s blog to click on the cute, little frog. ‘Tis easy to play along, if you so desire. Bring your own offering, by way of your blog, that somehow corresponds to the date. Then add your URL to the linky list.

As I mentioned last week, my extract this week is longish, so let’s get on with it. I have 16 paragraphs for you today. 15 for the date plus 1 to grow on. 🙂 A few fellow WIPpeteers wanted to know a little more about Arvid’s mom. I’m not sure I’ll keep this info. dump, but it’s here for now. 🙂 If nothing else, it will go in my notes.

Oya swam nearby. “I brought your work dress and a fresh apron. They were hanging on the line so I didn’t have to go in and disturb your mother.”

Arvid’s shoulders slumped. “She didn’t take the wash in?”

“No. Is she mad at you for something?”

“She was, but I thought I made up for it.”

“You’d think she’d be proud of you just for being,” Oya deepened her voice and threw her arms wide in an elaborate bow, “Arvid of the Prophecy.”

Arvid rolled her eyes. “Mother hates that women are trained for battle, even if it is only to defend the town from sneak attacks while the men are away. She only trained long enough to learn basic archery and only because she thought it would be practical in case she ever needed to do the hunting.”

Oya shook her head disapprovingly. “I don’t understand women like her. If the Raven Nation ever attacks like they did before-“

“She’ll hide with the children.”

“Wasn’t she there? Didn’t she see how bad it was? The Raven Nation didn’t spare anyone.”

“She was there. Her mother was one of the ones to die fighting, by evisceration. Mother saw it happen.”

“But she still doesn’t believe women should be trained?”

Arvid shrugged a bare shoulder. “I think she resents war. Her father didn’t make it back from the battle, either. Her aunt only agreed to keep her as long as she worked hard, and only until her rite of passage. She was twelve when Father found her living in an alley. He found an Elder to marry them that night so she would have a home.”

Oya’s face twisted into appalled sympathy. “How awful. He didn’t-“

“He left her alone until she asked him for children.”

“That’s a relief.” Oya dove under the water. She emerged near the riverbank and reached for her work dress. “Do you think they love each other?”

“Yes. But not the way you and Kiano do.” Arvid waded toward the shore. “It’s more like esteem than passion.”

The Battle of Issus by Jan (the elder) Brueghel, 1602

The Battle of Issus by Jan (the elder) Brueghel, 1602