All in Fantasy
To look at, it’s nothing special at first glance. Agriculture, with cows and sheep plodding over gently rolling green fields, golden swathes of grains hemmed in by low rock walls on one side, wire or trees on the other. Oats, obviously. They grow a lot of them here.
The old oilskin had been cold and greasy to the touch when he’d put it on, but now as the wind dug icy claws into his skin and sought the cracks in his clothes, he was thankful for it. The old castle loomed above him, dark even against the blackened sky, and before him lay the path.
Hundreds of thousands of feet had wound their way to the Augur’s house over the centuries, deep in the marshes, from peasants to kings to thieves to priests. Everyone, when they turned twelve, went to see the undying Augur, and came back bearing their fate.
Overhead, the trees began to grow tangled and thicker, the dim patches of darkening sky strangled by encroaching greenery. The smell of soil and rotted leaves hung thick in the humid summer air.
On the day she was to be given to the dragon who lived in the mountain depths, Sukhon took the wicked knife she had laid beneath her mattress and hid it in her voluminous silken sleeves.
“I don’t know!” Amanda bellowed back from behind the relative safety of the kitchen island bench, clutching her grandpapa’s recipe book to her chest. Eyes screwed shut, as if it might go away if she didn’t look at it, she pulled her knees closer to her chest. “You were supposed to be a pie!”
Schools of memories in whirling, gleaming whorls and twisting dances scattered at her advance, flashing into darkness with bursts of light that illuminated, for the briefest of moments, their attendant thoughts until the dusky river swallowed them whole.
Hopefully it was territory-bound and wouldn't leave the cavern. I didn't know. I'd never encountered a manticore before.
The sigils were etched into the floor, carved deep into the highly polished wood with adze and awl and knife.