rainstardragon: Shen's Tale Icon (shen)

Shen's Tale centers around a mysterious wanderer, and her interactions with the spirits of the McCloud area. This is including her adventures with laying to rest The Wraith, a mysterious and dangerous being taking advantage of a natural vortex. Can Shen help the area, or will she meet the end that numerous others have done?


 Several minutes later, Shen pulled herself up onto another rock, farther downstream. A couple small children looked at her curiously as she lay there, coughing out the water, and before long, there was red hair and blue eyes looking into her own.


"Are you ok? Did you slip on a rock or something? Never seen anyone go over the falls... not like that."


Shen coughed a bit more, a bit disconcerted that the face was one that she knew, but not from her own memories.


"Yes." She croaked, doing her best to avoid the young woman's gaze. But this was difficult since those blue eyes had the same sort of penetrating quality as her own.


"Alright..." She didn't sound convinced. "Hey Auntie, did we bring down that extra towel?"


Another voice replied, older and tired, but with enough energy to know she had a long way to go yet before she would give in to whatever her battle was. "Yep. Almost there. Not as able to run on rock as I used to be."


"Toss it here, you'll hurt yourself..."




Turning her head toward the voice, a rather tiny woman had, in that short time, rolled up the towel vaguely like a football and tucked the ends to secure it, and was in the process of lobbing it to the young woman beside her. The toss wasn't very good, but at least it made it. The towel was settled around her.


"My name's Briana." The red haired girl offered a hand to help her up and they began to make their way over the rocks toward where the older woman and a young blond haired woman were. "Hope you don't mind my asking, but how did you get your hair so white?"


"Don't know. It's always been so." Shen looked at Briana again, and then the other two waiting for them, who seemed to be getting some food ready to share with her. On a hunch, she asked "what do you know about the black being that chases the spirits?"


"Yeah, we know it." Briana mumbled while guiding her over to the aunt and other girl. "I'm guessing you had a run in with it?"


"You could say that..." Shen nodded, taking a seat on the rock indicated, after bowing a greeting to the other as yet unnamed women. The dark haired woman, though older, looked even younger closer up, as hard to pinpoint as she herself was. Her blue eyes were also regarding her carefully, and perhaps with a small amount of recognition.


A chill ran up Shen's spine, and the odd sense of having known her somewhere before.


"Shen, this is my sister Bethany, and my aunt Aeraena."


Both returned Shen's bow, as naturally as if it was their own usual greeting. It was then that the colors of the woman's bathing robe struck her, or rather lack of color. As white as her own, it knotted plainly at the waist, and there was the air of something missing about the plainness.


"Pleased to meet you... again. I think." Aeraena murmured, her face smoothing back from the furrows of concentration.


Both girls looked at their aunt oddly, right along with Shen, then shrugged it off.


"You asked about the Wraith?" Bethany queried, while handing Shen a cup of cool sweet tea from a thermos cooled in the river.


"I suppose I am. I was hiking the trail and going to one of the other falls for a spiritual cleansing, since I was in the area, and then I was knocked over the cliff. I suspect that one of the local spirits is currently either taking refuge or stuck within me as a result."


None of the three looked surprised, as most people she had encountered would. Instead, they all looked as if such things were normal occurrences for them.


"It chases things, people and spirits. We get a lot of refugees. Well, Auntie mostly gets the refugees. Certain spirits that live with us don't let too many outsiders in our house, and Auntie's set some pretty strong wards." Briana took a cup of tea herself during the statement.


"And if she can set wards, why hasn't she done anything about it?"


"I have children. My brother and sister-in-law work, my mother is a long drive away, and I'm not able to find a babysitter to watch them while I go out, track it down, and attempt to appease or seal it on my own. So my responsibility has been to keep the spiritually sensitive people as safe as I can, as discreetly as possible until such time." Aeraena replied, tealess and staring into the passing river. "They are currently at their grandmother's for a while though. I came today to cleanse myself and ask the Kami for some help."


Shen thought a moment, sipping her tea.


"I do have some training. Not as much as I'd like, but I can help."


Aereana nodded. "Good. There is a particular spot it haunts most. We can look there first."


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This will be the location for various serialized stories I am working on, as I have decided to experiment with this style again, due to the success rate that I used to have while writing fanfictions. Please use the tags if you have a particular story that you wish to navigate to, and feel free to bring your friends. I also will occasionally post news here related to my own manuscripts intended for regular publication and their availability.

For reference, the THG StarDragon Publishing Blog, though sometimes it goes long times without updates, is the place to watch for news regarding not only my own books, but those of the authors that have chosen to work with me in getting their own works ready for publication. My personal journal is located at livejournal (same name as here) and will be the place to look for random stuff (though if you want super random, I do admit the "sin" of having a Facebook). Artwork can be viewed on my DeviantArt account, or you can visit the THG StarDragon Publishing website or the Lulu Storefront. Also, some titles are going to be found at my Smashwords page. Don't forget to check Amazon and Barnes and Noble for print and ebook versions. Please note that the author is a full time mother and also takes university courses, so she unfortunately does not get to write or paint all day.
Comments are welcome, as I would like to experiment with how reader questions can help shape stories. Also, if you would like to donate to help fund my time (and help buy coffee to think and do neat things for the kids) I do accept Paypal. Just use the button at the bottom of the post.

You can find the table of contents for my serials below.

Contents Selkies' Skins )
Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well (book one) manuscript wordcount: Currently 131,693 for chapters 1 through 39, front matter, the glossary, and author bio. It will be followed by a second book covering the second half of Kirsty's testing, and likely a third book or fourth book to deal with other important bits that are not focused on in Kirsty's Skinquesting. There is also an audiobook version currently being recorded, narrated by Illya Leonov. He is also expected to narrate the books of the Dragon Shaman series.
You can also read it on a dedicated site for the stories.

Selkies' Skins 2
Selkies' Skins 2 )

The manuscript for Selkies' Skins (book two): Temple and Skinquest is currently sitting at 41,338 words in the full file as of April 20, 2016 and is in progress.

The manuscript for Dragon Shaman (book three): The Forge and the Well is in progress at roughly 20,000 words

Contents Shen's Tale )

Why is the Kirsty Picture gone? Who stole the selkie? David, are you hoarding her with the fish tin again? Ok, I'll do the button this way... Kirsty, that is MY can of smoked oysters...
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rainstardragon: Shen's Tale Icon (shen)
Shen's Tale centers around a mysterious wanderer, and her interactions with the spirits of the McCloud area. This is including her adventures with laying to rest The Wraith, a mysterious and dangerous being taking advantage of a natural vortex. Can Shen help the area, or will she meet the end that numerous others have done?

Looking around, Shen took stock of what there was to work with... It was not much. Twenty feet of basalt rose on each side of the river where she was, and the water continued to pour through the gorge and around her perch, far downstream of where she had fallen in.

"Help! Down here! Help!"

The words poured out of her, though she wasn't sure they would be heard. Predictably, no one came.

"Of all the days not to stay home..." She sighed and sat down, resting her head on her knees. "It's going to be hours until anyone realizes I'm in trouble..." She moaned.

Of course, that did nothing, either. No angel materialized, no rope magically dropped down. She did the only thing that she could do in that situation... Wept like a small child. Time had no meaning, so she had no idea how long her tears lasted, only that the waters continued frothing and running.

The banging in her breast eventually settled, as if something else had begun to settle. A strange feeling spread over her body, a liquid unfurling and stretching, and for the first time in a long time, Shen became truly aware of what her body felt like Inexplicably, her arm rose, and she found herself gazing at her arm, frowning as cloth stuck to skin and the little hairs prickled against it. A foreign presence pressed curiously against her mind.

Her heart began to pound again, and suddenly it seemed as if was even colder than it already felt when being wet. The presence pressed again, and an involuntary shudder rose up her spine at the sheer undesired intimacy.

"Human?" The word thought rose in her mind, coalescing more in the vague image of one before her brain provided the word. "Why?" came next, the being taking stock of things and casting about, using her eyes to see as much as it's own.

Shen thought back to what she had been doing, also wondering why. As her memories came, she felt the other being direct them and bring them into detail, as if it was listening, and then images of a darkness flashed across her eyes, and streaking through the woods, then out into space. An impact replayed, and the terrible feeling of entrapment... and being weighted down.

Shen put her hand over her face and sighed. "Oh, I've lost it... I think I must have developed a split personality, or I've got a concussion from the fall..."

A wave of irritation not her own washed over her, and before she knew it, she was back in the water rushing downstream.

rainstardragon: Shen's Tale Icon (shen)
Better Title will probably come as I go farther in. Suggestions are welcome.

Shen's Tale centers around a mysterious wanderer, and her interactions with the spirits of the McCloud area. This is including her adventures with laying to rest The Wraith, a mysterious and dangerous being taking advantage of a natural vortex. Can Shen help the area, or will she meet the end that numerous others have done?

The sounds of the forest lay heavy in the summer air. A steady drone mingled with the sporadic birdsong of uncounted species, as lizards scrambled through leaves and over rocks. A rock fell into the gorge and splashed into the river. Laughter rose up around the river, a scream, a splash.

The river flowed on, watching impartially. Racing over rock and sand, swirling around swimmers, and caressing fish and plant alike, it touched them all. Consciousness spread out through the water as had been done for eons, it burbled about snowmelt and recent rains.

Elsewhere, the forest sounds were not so peaceful, and unheard. A form crashed through the manzanita and darted between the pines, leaping and bounding, spacing steps as far apart as possible.

"Kyeah!" A swirl of energy, a branch fell behind the retreating entity, still invisible. An angry scream resounded as a second being lay trapped beneath it, the cedar temporarily disempowering the being. The hatred rippled through the forest like a detonated bomb. The first spirit slipped away, headed in the direction of home.

"Nanimo?" Half a mile away, a hiker in white paused on the trail, looking upriver, clutching her staff and omamori. Straightening, she strained her spirit forward, bodily features hardening, slate eyes sharpening. The wind brought the scent of freshly down cedar, stirred dust... animal sounds had silenced, and for her it seemed that even the swimmers at the watering hole were gone. And then, the wave came. Icy blue panic washed over her, closely followed by red and black slashes of pure hatred.

She pulled her spirit completely back into her body, packing it all in her dan'tien, the center, even though she screamed against such rough treatment of herself. Spiritual shields blazed into life around her, deflecting the wave, allowing it to pass over. To mortal eyes, if any had seen, they would have seen someone frozen in time, her white hair spilling behind her, black backpack a little out of place against bamboo staff and white robe.

Just as she let down her shields and expanded back out to her normal size around her body, it seemed a smaller onslaught came. The world reeled when the force slammed into her, sky below her feet, ferns and hemlock passing by. The rocks seemed to wave a farewell as she plummeted past them, and the frigid snowmelt that had been rushing below now eagerly embraced her body.

Her breath stilled, and eyes opened. Instinctively, she began to kick for the surface that she could see. The sun's light called out to her, and with effort she breached the river surface. A rock shot by, and she grabbed for it, clinging.

"Great Kamisama... what the heck just happened?"

Her bosom burned, and not only from the results of water inhalation and shock. Thuds and struggles filled that region.

"Oh no... this isn't good..."

Surveying the area around her, the water continued to rush through the gorge as she climbed her way onto the rock and out of the water.

If you like this, or any other work that I've done in my DeviantArt account (AmehanaRainStarDrago) or any other site I maintain, and can afford a tip, it would be appreciated but not necessary. Any tips go toward helping me support my kids.


April 2019

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