Prologue and seven chapters down at this point, with the eighth about half finished and probably done within the next day or so. Things are certainly moving along, and considerably faster than I’d originally anticipated, especially with all of the lore and world-building that needs to get tucked away in brief descriptions or conversations.
Besides being a great beta reader, my brother in law is a GIS mapper by trade, and a fine game master and world builder in his own right, and is busily producing a book-ready map (even the first draft was jaw-dropping), along with helping me figure out population densities for the various cities and areas, and even scale and travel times based on foot, horse, carriage, or…train. Some seriously amazing stuff he’s doing.
But anyhow, I know why you’re here, so lets get at it. From somewhere around the middle of chapter 7:
Something woke her as it scurried across her feet and when she opened her eyes as it was as if blindness had taken her. A chittering like mocking laughter sounded in the impenetrable blackness of what had become her world with the ashen sky overhead no true sky but simply a deep and lightless hole in the earth and she banished to one dug even deeper than that and the bars overhead a latticework of iron far out of reach and barely discernible from that stygian backdrop.
How many hours, how many days had she lay unmoving, straining her eyes, counting them. Counting the spaces between. Counting as high as she could go until she forgot what she’d been doing and her thoughts dissolved once more into disjointed musings, repeating a single word over and over for no reason other than simply hearing her own voice in her head. Sometimes she counted out loud, or whispered to herself, whispered secrets that she told to the darkness and the rats.
Water dripped down from somewhere in a slow, steady, maddening, never ending patter and the patter of those tiny feet with their damnable claws and teeth like pincers and the snap of a neck and the working of her own jaws gnawing through the fur and the skin of that diminutive carcass to get to the flesh beneath—
Mozu awoke in a panic, gasping and sweating, disoriented by the unfamiliar surroundings. It took her a few moments to recall where she was—safely in bed in the study of Cordelia Weatherby’s townhouse, a study which was to be her domain for the next half year.
She fell back against her pillows and pawed the heavy curtains aside. The sky above Kingshaven was still dark, the cul-de-sac below lit only by the few lamps along the walk. The details of whatever awful dream she’d been having quickly faded, although a sense of being lost and alone in endless twilight and cold, damp stone remained and she pulled the covers up beneath her chin.