I've finished chapter 5 of the first draft of The Path and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Ok, so we've had the villains make their appearances, the heroes of the main storyline of the story, and a bunch of dudes who we don't quite know about yet show up, but where's all the people from the last book? They're finally making their appearance in chapter 5. This chapter is told from Sam's point of view, and there's a few reasons for that, one of which is a plot twist so I won't tell you about it right now, but some others are that Gabriel already had his story told. He's gone through his struggle and come out a better person. So has Kari. Now it's someone else's turn to do so. Also, something was bothering me a bit about Sam's character as I finished up with Spires. She's an extremely capable woman. She's managed to survive in about the harshest world imaginable all alone without being raped or killed all by her own intelligence and abilities. She learned how to survive and has done so alone since she was 10 years old. And what did I have her doing in Spires? She was a guide, sure, I guess that's admirable, but then she does a lot of whining, complaining, and she gets captured and rescued TWICE, though she does come to the rescue for Gabriel once to offset one of them. But he sends her away to face the Apostle alone, which is fine since that was HIS story, but I pretty much wasted a very interesting character on things that are frankly beneath her.
So i've got this capable woman, who knows how to survive in a dangerous, awful world, and all she does is complain and get captured and rescued. So what I wanted to do with her is let her show off some of her skills and intelligence and be the hero of the story now. I've decided that the reason she hasn't shown off her abilities until this time because she's always tried to keep others from noticing her in order to protect herself. In this current storyline her NVM alterations make it so that she is the only one the group not knocked unconscious by a strange trasmission, so she's the only one that is capable of saving the others. She'll be showing her capability more and more after that, as her conidence grows, and she realizes that she doesn't have to hide how smart and skilled she is.
Like Spires of Infinity, half of this book will be made up of rewritten short stories from my large stockpile. This chapter marks the beginning of a story I wrote in eight grade called The Obelisk, Which was inspired, in part, by playing Heroes of Might and Magic with Chris. It was about an outcast wizard in a tower that wanted revenge against hte people in the village below, so he made something that put everyone in a coma, but one man managed to resist and killed him, waking everyone in the village. Sure, it's not the most imaginative story ever, but I was in eigth grade, it's not like i'm going to be writing shakespearean sonnets. There are obvious changes, the Wizard is Stark, the one who resisted is Sam, and the strange transmission affects the entire world.
I'd also like to point out that this chapter takes place chronologically BEFORE chapter one, but chapter one had to come first to introduce the villains and the fact that they're plotting something nefarious. Like Spires of Infinity, I'm taking a bit of liberty in the timeline and rather than putting everything in chronological order, I'm putting the chapters in the order that makes the most sense in flow of the story.