I finally got back to work on Wandering Wizards, the third installment of the Moonstone Chronicles. In fact, I wrote this whole chapter that needs to be inserted a few chapters ahead of where I actually left off in the book. Unfortunately, it needs a bunch of changes because it needs to agree with information in the other two books.
I actually had two separate things going on, but when I wrote it I had it as just one thing. Or maybe it’s not. I have to rethink at least half of that whole chapter. This is one of the drawbacks of being a pantser and publishing a series as you go along - you can’t go back and change stuff. Well, I guess you could, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people who’ve bought the first two books in paperback.
At any rate, that’s not the scene I’m going to share today. The scene I'm actually going to share is sort of the ripple effect result of the scene I’m still working on. Which is why it’s important I fix the other one.
To set this up ... Jessica and her friends are trapped in the sanctuary inside of one of the elven realms, surrounded by dark elves who don’t know they’re there. Howard and the others were investigating the reason why all communication appeared to have been cut off from this realm and were supposed to report back to Aracelia (Jessica’s elven grandmother). Jessica and Dominic ended up there when Howard nearly died from a dose of elf bane and needed Jessica’s magic to cure him.
From chapter twenty...
“We need to get a message to Aracelia,” Ellen said. “She needs to know what’s going on, to warn the other elves.”
“I tried to summon a wind imp yesterday, but was unsuccessful,” Kaelan admitted. “Perhaps someone with more power...”
“No problem,” Jessica said, turning to root around in her pack. “I can contact her with my mirror.”
Once she had the mirror in her lap, however, she just sat there looking at it.
“What’s the matter?” Dominic asked.
She looked over at him. “It’s just...” she bit her lip as she hesitated. “This will be the first time I’ve spoken to her since our blood relationship has come to light.”
“You nit,” Howard chided her. “She’s thrilled about you being her granddaughter. And we could tell she was really unhappy about keeping the truth from you.”
“If you say so,” Jessica said dubiously. Deciding it was best to just get it over with, she held the mirror a little more firmly and chanted the activation incantation, then waved her free hand in front of it.
She frowned when nothing happened and tried again.
“Shouldn’t something be happening?” Ellen asked.
“Yes something should be happening, it just isn’t,” Jessica snapped. She tried a third time with no better luck. “Maybe I’m getting the incantation wrong. Here, you try.” She thrust the mirror towards Dominic who snatched it out of her hand to avoid being jabbed in the midsection.
“What makes you think I’d have better luck than you?” he asked. “You’re the one with all the power, I’m just the muscle.”
“But you know more about magic than I do, and I just worked a major healing,” she said, gesturing towards Howard.
Dominic sighed, but did as she asked, unsurprised when he had no better luck that she had.
“This can’t be good,” Ellen said. “Maybe it’s broken.”
“Or maybe something’s interfering with its magic,” Kaelan said slowly. “Perhaps the changes the dark elves have made to the barrier are blocking your magic.”
“Like a jamming signal,” Howard suggested. “It makes sense. If there were any stray elves hiding out, they wouldn’t want them to be able to tell anyone on the outside what’s going on.”
“Okay, so how do we get in touch with Aracelia?”
“You need to boost the signal,” Ellen said. “Like on Star Trek.”
Jessica rolled her eyes. “That is so not helpful. This isn’t a T.V. show - I can’t just tell Scottie to give me more power.”
“What about this?” Howard asked, pulling the moonstone pendant from his shirt.
“What about it?”
“It was made by the elves, and it has ties to Aracelia. What if you used it with the mirror? I don’t know, wrap it around the handle or something. Maybe it would help boost the signal.”
Jessica looked at Dominic. “What do you think?”
He shrugged. “Couldn’t hurt to try.”
She took the chain from Howard and wrapped it around the handle of the mirror with the actual pendant resting on the back of it. Taking a deep breath, she tried the incantation again. This time there was a ripple in the glass.