No More Than Pen&Ink

Since I am lazy (and because I have been reading through No More Than Pen & Ink again) I decided to not actually write a blog post. I’ll just post this little excerpt from Pen and Ink, that will probably make no sense to someone who doesn’t know anything about the story.

"In our world using too much magic had little effect; you just ran out of magical energy, you could still fight, and other things, unless you took it so far that you burned your talent out of yourself. But that was rare and hard to do." She said. "Here, your magic is tied to your strength; a frail body can handle less than a strong body. Magic drains your strength in this world, if you use too much, you can pass out, or even die."

"And that is what happened to you?"

"No, not quite, I was weakened by those effects, that was when I faltered and Grend Hartra managed to get past Seer and his defenses. The hourglass restored my strength, health and magic. Jinarvial Kandorel faced a similar thing; he was tired, and lost control of the spell that Sandra was helping him to weave. The backlash killed him."

"But Sandra survived."

"She is a tough lady." Tom said. "There is more to her than meets the eye." She paused. "You know the white dragon that flew to our aid yesterday?"

Sam nodded.

"It is commonly ascribed to Nayvoryan’s intervention, though I believe that it had more to do with Sandra than it did with any world-building god."

"Remember where you are Tom." Sam said. "There may be more to her than meets our eyes. But in the end she is no more than what we are."

Tom muttered. "No more than pen and ink."

"Was that why you fought so recklessly yesterday?" Sam asked. "Because you thought that life was worthless if it was no more than a story?"

Tom looked to the ground.

"Do you truly wish to die, just because you are a character in a story?"

"Everything that I lived for is false," she said. "Everything that I thought was real does not truly exist!" She said sharply.

"Does the fact that it was created by a pen make it any less real?" Sam asked. "Just because it started with an idea written down does not mean that it is worth less than the world that spawned it.

"It is real to us. It was real to those that created it, and it is still real" He continued. "Does anything else matter?"

Does it matter that we cannot go back? Seer said, stalking out of the tent.

Sam looked at the grey cat, confused. "Why do you say that we cannot go back?"

Unless you would like to be a shadow, without a real body, you cannot go back to your normal life. The world will tie you to the shadow realm and make you a servant of the mirror.

"We can’t go back." Sam said, stunned.

Even if you could find your mirror his personality is changing from your own, his circumstances diverging. Maybe slowly at first, but they will change. And even if you tired to create the mirror bond again you would still be tied to the mirror, rather than to one another.

"Why were you thinking of this?" Tom asked.

Because, he said quite simply, nobody else is.

"The world is falling to pieces around us, we have to find my friends before they are taken and killed as magic users. I find that Tom is upset about being nothing more than a character, and then a cat comes and tells me that there is no way home." Sam said, almost hysterically.

Tom touched his arm. "At least we can all be upset together."

Sam looked at her and paused, than he laughed, and took her hand. "We can be upset together," he agreed. "Of all the people who could have come with me, I am glad that you are the one who came with me."

"We are characters in this story together," she said, her hand tightening in his.

"Even though we are nothing more than parts of this story," he said. "We are still in control of our own lives."

"How is that?" she asked

"There is no author controlling what we do." He whispered. "At least, no author who is making us do things that we do not want to do."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because we are not truly part of this story. We have had our choices, we chose to stay here and fight." He said. "And we chose to remain here now."