So, it's been a long time since I've posted a story for critique. I'm open to anything given and I will repay the favor to any critique (as long as it's more than a one-liner type response of, "I liked it." or "I don't like it."). The premise of the prologue is an event that takes place two decades before the main storyline and pot and majorly is used as foreshadowing and build-up. I think this is the most updated version of the novel selection. If there is one that is more complete, I'll edit it.
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery
Word Count: 1062
A ferocious sandstorm veiled the skies for leagues, stretching in all directions immeasurably throughout the province of Salrozo. Hidden within the fatal, scathing winds was a cloaked man, alone in the labyrinth of the desert. He strode purposefully through the gale with a long, silver blade, with a red-laced hilt and black circular wiring. The man carried the weapon with the tip to the ground, the point creating small swirls gracefully in the white sands while it trailed behind him. The cloak covered head to toe, tattered, brown, and plain with no insignia of region or alliance, and blew vigorously with the storm.
The sands gusted through the air in a cyclone, the sound deafening and silent at the same time. It pushed at the man, the penetrating sands sharp as glass and cutting away at the cloak, leaving tears that blew the slivers of fabric swinging in the winds, some still slightly attached to the source while others became lost to the gale. The body below the fabric began to receive the same cuts, at first very thin, but as it continued, began to rip and tear at the flesh. Small chunks of skin, muscle, and blood fled the body into the wind and circled the figure as he walked without interruption. The blade never lifted from its drawn state, never a twinge of agony as the winds tore flesh from bone. It simply followed the berated man that continued through the gale with purpose and reason. His mind consistently replayed variables and outcomes to his mission, some favorable and allowing him to finally rest in peace, while others reminding him of his eternal servitude.
Thick black vines tore from the skin, peeling away from the body and spiraling about with the brown fabric, growing longer from the body but never completely detached from the pummeling shards of glass-like wind. A hiss bellowed from the trailing plant, an ear-splitting resonance that crackled louder through the sounds of the sand blizzard. As the ebony fauna from his flesh shrieked in pain, his skin and muscles slowly started to regenerate, though the blood seeped and gushed from every artery and vein the sand could cut. The regeneration was gradual and savage, but it was necessary if the figure was to complete his task; a mission that had been handed down to him millennia before.
The sand finally had torn the last strand that hid the face of a magnificently handsome, young man with lightly tanned skin, strong cheekbones, but deceptively old eyes that burned with countless eons of knowledge, power, wisdom, and fury. His light brown hair shaven close to the scalp, as if it had never grown, and was barely noticeable. The sand tore at his skull with the same ferocity, and just as quickly, it repaired itself with the vines hissing and sewing the wounds shut. He didn’t squint, blink, or flinch as the sand bit and took slivers of his grey-blue eyes that shined brighter than the desert sun. The dryness and heat of the air assailed his body, the lack of water or substances overbearingly noticeable to even him, though not necessary. He reprimanded himself for the weakness of feeble mortals as he continued to drag the blade in the sand through the storm towards the Salrozian Dunes, the clever hiding place of a secret power. The mystical force was small and a manifestation of a magical energy, and it was the only item that could lead him directly to his goal.
The Deities of Nyx could not sheath the blade of vengeance, rage, and pain that figure carried. Those gods and goddesses had trapped him in this vortex of time to the Cackra, the very being of ultimate power. The Deities knew of his master’spower, and fled willingly from the planet. A power similar to the Cackra’s was poorly duplicated in others in a feeble attempt to thwart his master, but he knew the truth about the replicated power: only he, the man called by many the Sin of the All-One. He had lived long enough to laugh off all the other names: the demi-devil, the deathwalker, the Dedra’s Breath. He was merely Sinuos, the blade of his master, the steel of the Cackra.
Sinuos slowly climbed the first mountainous dune that was starting to rise as he thought of the many things he would face in his attempt to complete his undertaking. His trek up the continuous ridge of sand would lift him high above the desert floor, allowing a perfect position for him to see leagues afar. The wind gave way only long enough for it to masterfully change courses and berate him from the other side, causing the same amount of damage. Pieces of Sinuos’ cloak blew above his knee, allowing the shrapnel to attack skeletal bones that were healing much slower than his other wounds had. The bones reconfigured, sinew and marrow forming, bones crusting over, tendons attaching to the bones, muscle tissue and for the first time in ages, his skin completely reformed. The sand had no effect to the damage time and death had already caused until it had finally revived itself fully. His battered and worn leather boots sank into the ever-slightly rising dune he treaded. Towards the top of the scape, the gust brought up a wall of pure white, glass sharp sand that would push over and tumble any other man, but for Sinuos, it was air. Only the sword felt its might. The sand scratched at the battle-worn sword with the red-laced hilt and black circular wiring, sharpening the weapon.
At long last, he had reached the top of the dune, but steadied only long enough to take in the view of thousands of dunes spreading across a sea of sand as far as the eyes could see and further. The desert whirlwind continued for just as many leagues, shifting the dunes south inch by inch. Without an emotion, thought, or stall, he continued into the perdition in search. Sinuos may have been thwarted by circumstance before, but he wouldn’t fail his master this time. In times past, the odds were still always in his favor, and they hadn’t changed.
He would find and deliver the Aurora or it would die by his blade.