Saryin and Felwin – An Excercise in Characterization
Like a promised, tonight I’m posting my alternate take on this post sans machina. Not quite, though, as I guess I kept the van? I cut Wrylna out, in any case. I like to think that this piece is better than the other one, since I wrote it from memory, which included tweaking it, instead of transcribing the original. But enough of my prattling, on with the story!
Bump. Bump. Bump. A pause…but then bump. Saryin lay there, counting the bumps in the road as he drifted in a lazy half-sleep. In this state of pseudo-awareness, the concept of living in a moving metal box struck him as quite a bizarre one. Sharamancy truly changed the world, he mused, but nothing’s ever that easy…The infantile light of a rising sun crept towards Saryin from the back window, blissfully unaware of his distaste for its presence.
Blink. Blink. Blink. Mustn’t…blink. Felwin leaned against the wheel, trying to focus on the road as he feebly tried to fend off sleep. He was a decent driver, better than his brother at least, but it still wasn’t easy. Sharamancy truly changed the world, he mused, but nothing ever comes with a manual…The rising sun reflected off of the side mirror in such a way that it woke Felwin slightly and irritated him strongly. He took some solace, though, from what sunrise signified. It was switch time.
Some cursing emanated from behind Felwin. “Can’t I have five more minutes?”
“No. It’s your turn to drive, so drive. Besides, you’ve been lying awake for about an hour. I could tell from your breathing patterns.”
“If you were somebody else, I’d swear you were making that up.”
“But I’m not. Now get up here and drive.”
“Fine, fine, I’m going…”
Saryin dropped in into the seat, virtually synched with Felwin slipping between the sheets, and looked around him. Their van, useful as it was, could be summed up in one word: junk. Fortunately it at least had food, as Saryin picked up a piece of bread. A normal person might say the bread was old, or that it was already toasted. Someone smarter might say he pulled it from a toaster. But in the seconds between its discovery by hand and mouth, Saryin had toasted it with a minute spark of fire magic. Such precision was a bit difficult in his current state, but it still didn’t remotely measure as a challenge to him. It did however merit a small cheer, since he had some food. This cheer proved short-lived, however, as he was quickly distracted by the sight before him.
In the back, Felwin was fast asleep. As such, he didn’t notice when the vehicle came to a halt. Nor did he notice when the cabin door slid open, nor when Saryin walked silently into the room. What he did notice was when Saryin picked up a sheet of metal and proceeded to hit it with his sword.
“WHAT?! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS SO URGENT, SARYIN?”
“We’ve arrived. These ones look pretty old, too.”
“AND YOU COULDN’T, I don’t know, LET ME SLEEP FOR AT LEAST A MOMENT?”
“What? Of course not. That’s what these were for.” He held up his instruments, a grin on his face. Saryin stared at him.
“Fine then. Let’s just get ready and go…”
It could not be said that Saryin and Felwin were the most secretive of people; you could get a lot of information just by asking. For example either could tell you that they were twin brothers, average height, average weight, black hair. And they could both tell you that the sword-wielding, red-shirted junior was Saryin, and that the staff-wielding, white-robed senior was Felwin.
But there were some aspects of them that varied depending on who you asked. To Saryin they were a pair of treasure hunters, and he constantly led them to new adventures. To Felwin they were junk collectors, and he was constantly having to get them out of the numerous and often painful situations that his brother landed them in. But they would both agree that it was a good life, not one they were apt to trade in anytime soon. They had enough money to survive, but more importantly they got to see the world.
Felwin managed to pull himself into a sitting position, and then he managed to get up. Saryin was alert enough to quickly gather loose fitting clothes, his sword, a hood, and a backpack. Felwin, on the other hand, was much slower, throwing his robe on over what he was wearing, and then standing still as he lost track of what he was doing. Shaking off his weariness, he walked over to a corner of the room. A precise stomp to the floor sent a small ring spinning through the air. An equally precise movement brought the ring to rest on Felwin’s finger, still spinning slightly.
“Sometimes I wonder why I’m the fighter,” quipped Saryin.
“Let’s see…For one thing, you suck at magic. For another thing, I have speed but lack strength. There’s also the fact that I’m not expendable. Need I continue?”
“Let’s just get this over with…”
As Felwin picked up his staff and shouldered his pack, Saryin slid open the door. Light flooded in as a warm spring breeze danced through the cabin. Saryin leaped out triumphantly, probably lost in some fantasy. Felwin stepped out cautiously, shielding his eyes from the bright light.
“I love the smell of ruins in the morning!”
“That’s funny. I love the sound of idiots cracking their skulls in the morning!”
Their bickering was swiftly silenced by a strange creaking sound behind them.
“You’r…What was that?”
“That? That was the sound of the roof of our van bending inward. What you should be wondering about is what caused it…”
As they turned their heads, a growl met their ears before the beast met their eyes. Perched atop their van was a creature, and a very large one at that. It was quadrupedal, with a body so long that its front claws hung over the side of the van. Long fur covered it from its tail to its snout, obscuring its eyes completely save for a red glow. Pointed ears twitched and swayed in the wind, almost belying its menace.
“That…that doesn’t look friendly, does it?”
“What could’ve given you that idea? The size, the claws, maybe the GLOWING RED EYES? Of course it isn’t friendly!”
The beast seemed to have sensitive hearing, as Saryin’s voice caused it to growl, bare its fangs, and crouch down as if to leap at them.
To be continued…
It won’t actually be continued, most likely, since it was simply a rehash of the Wrylna chapter with no conceived continuation or endpoint. But it seemed dramatic to say so at the time. You might note that this is the first non-“From the Vault” story I’ve posted, since it’s never been posted here despite its age. Perhaps this is the beginning of a pattern, as I have a few more unposted items up my sleeves. In any case, I’d be more interested in comments on this story than the other one, since I wrote it a bit later, and a bit better. That’s all for now!