I am grimly determined to finish Hearts of Tabat before the end of this year: I have my list of scenes and will get them finished by November 15, then crunch through a quick and hasty polish and get that to beta readers. At the same time I’m working on a couple of bespoke stories, several collaborations, and a few stories for Patreon.
Here’s a piece from this morning’s work on a Tabat story that is somewhat connected to the events in Hoofsore and Weary, which appeared in Shattered Shields.
You cannot smell the roses in the hours before dawn. It is only when sunlight touches the vast blossoms, each as large as a human head, that crowd the tallest branches of the Hedge, that the petals loosen. The perfume seeps out into the air then, first as a hint of sweetness, then stronger.
By midmorning, the smell is so intoxicating that approaching enemies lay down their arms and sit, staring into the air, nostrils flared, breathing, smelling. It grows heavier and heavier throughout all the day, and only begins to ebb when the sun completely slips below the ocean horizon to the west. The Hedge borders the Rose Kingdom on three sides, and on the west is that blue line.