PDA

View Full Version : Throne of Division



josh23
October 3rd, 2010, 07:37 AM
Before you read i just wanted to bring to everyones attention that this is not the beginning of the novel, its the fifth or sixth chapter, basically whats happened is the Kingdom has went into a civil war and this guy got shipwrecked as well as the introduction of a few characters.

Also i dont blame you if you dont read it all its about 5500 words so kinda long, but if you do try to read it and find you just cant for whatever reason i would appreciate it if you told me what you thought of it :D

Enjoy



Waking up Yorik felt as though he had been keelhauled, he opened his eyes groggily and tried to take in his surroundings. He was lying in a small cot, naked as his name day, but he had no idea how he had arrived in the bed.

On the nightstand was a small tin cup filled with water and a candle to give him light, seeing as the building, or shack unless he missed his mark had no windows. Even without windows he could tell the storm was over though, a blind and deaf man with no feeling whatsoever would have been able to tell the storm was over if he had been in the middle of it.

Just a few feet beside his, two small beds were fitted snugly beside the wall, and on the faded dresser were bottles of every color some empty, others full. He could see a few worn clothes lying in what looked to be a very old basket, if its condition was any indicator.

Feeling for his necklaces he felt bile rise in his throat when it was not around his neck. He tried to sit up but found himself unable, turning his head to the night table he quickly scanned it hopeful that his necklaces would be there. I can’t have lost them! He screamed silently, it was all he had to remember his mother by, he had never met his father, the closest thing he ever came to a father had been Eagan. Which is pathetic when you think about it. He laughed a coarse, whispery laugh, he had been Eagans hostage, suddenly the door creaked open and he stopped laughing suddenly and closed his eyes, pretending to sleep.

He could hear two women whispering among themselves quietly, talking mostly about him. As the younger of the two, he guessed, walked over to check on him his arm sprang from beneath the covers and he grabbed her throat forcibly.

“ Where am I!” He roared, though he sounded more like an old, dying man than anything else. Even with what felt like an iron grip to him the young girl easily pried his hand from around her throat.

“ Is that the thanks we get for nursing you back to help?” An old woman scolded him, the younger girl began to lift the covers before he stopped her.

“ My clothes, and my necklaces, where are they?” He asked hoarsely, silently the younger woman picked up the tin cup and slowly poured the water into his mouth. Drinking it as fast as he could he could feel his eyelids growing heavy, he could only vaguely tell that she had finished removing the blankets.

“ Is your daughter a mute,” he asked, the darkness quickly taking him.

When he woke again he thought it must be night because the candle was out, and everything seemed much quieter. He remembered seeing to beds and wondered if the old lady and the young girl were sleeping, but it was to dark for him to see.

Suddenly he remembered his purse of gold and bolted upright easily, temporarily forgetting the money he smiled to himself, he was still sore and weak, but he was getting better. On the bed closest to him he could hear whomever was sleeping stir, damn thieves are probably just holding me ransom. He thought, why else would they keep him alive after robbing him.

Slowly he got out of the cot and tried to stand, he was able to stand as long as he was holding onto the wall, but doubted he could make it five feet before he fell.

“ Lie down and go to sleep,” the old woman spoke quietly but with confidence that he would listen, and why not there wasn’t much else he could do.

“ My necklaces, ring and my money! Where are they!” He shouted, his voice was stronger now but he doubted he had even woken the girl.

“ When your strong enough they’ll be returned to you, unless of course you want to destroy the necklaces when you thrash about in your sleep.” He was silent and he could hear her chuckle under her breath. Lying back down he looked at the ceiling and sighed. Whether he liked it or not it seemed he was stuck here for at least another week, if not a fortnight.

He woke up, what he believed to be the next morning to the sounds of seagulls and the sound of eggs cooking, though he had not seen a stove. The beds were all neatly made, except for his of course, and the young girl sat on her bed combing her hair, unaware that he had woken up. Her hair was a golden blonde that shone in the candlelight, he was oddly fascinated that her hair was so clean, when the rest of her appearance seemed so ragged and dirty.

He was about to ask her for her name when her mother placed a plate of hot eggs, some kind of meat, and a cold glass of milk in front of him.

“ I take it you can feed yourself?” She asked, her eyes twinkling as though she knew something he did not.

“ Yes, my-” The girl squeaked as she realized he was awake, but her mother cut him off.

“ You ask about those necklaces one more time and I will throw them into the sea!” Normally this would be when he backhanded the old hag, but he wasn’t sure he could overpower, even her at this point in time.

Lowering his eyes he sat up in the bed and turned so he was facing the nightstand. His feet touched the floor, and he tried to put force on them but found himself still unable. So its only been a day, he thought.

Picking up the fork he began eating the eggs under the watchful eye of the mother, he laughed despite the circumstances. He couldn’t remember his mother, at the age of eight he had run away, at ten he had been taken on as a ship hand, and at six and ten he had four ships under his command. The last time he had seen him mother had been when he’d returned at twelve for his tattoo. He could remember the old hags face better than his mother.

“ So what are your names,” he asked between mouthfuls, the eggs were quickly gone, and in absence of a knife he tore the meat apart, which took more energy then it should have.

“ My names Else, my daughters name is Jessica, and you would be?” He coughed choking on the meat, hitting himself in the chest he managed to swallow it, taking deep ragged breathes he looked at them curiously. Only Jessica’s eyes showed anything, fear, he thought, Else’s dark grey eyes gave away nothing.

“ Why would you help me If you don’t know who I am?” He looked at Jessica again, but why is she afraid of me if she doesn’t know who I am? Then again he had tried to choke her.

“ Would you rather we let you die on the beach?” He shook his head, he was thankful they had saved him, he just couldn’t understand how they benefited from helping him.

Chewing the meat he looked around, hopeful for some sign of his belongings, but of course there was none.

“ Would you mind if I walked around outside? I’ll need a stick to lean on.” Else reached under the bed and pulled out a large stick, it was thick and long, but the perfect size for him.

“ Just don’t get lost, and try not to get yourself hurt.” He nodded, stuffing the rest of his meal into his mouth and drank the milk quickly. Leaning heavily on the stick he slowly made his way outside.

As he had guessed the small hut was just one of many, he imagined it was a small fishing village, either with no lord, or a lord that did not care about them. Their were several small boats out at sea, just on the edge of his sight, and several more moored to a rotting dock. As he walked around the village he watched as children and adults alike tended the herds of goats, one of the larger houses even had a small herd of cows.

Even though he owed his life to this backwater village, he found himself calculating how much he could make from looting it. Not much, all the money would come from the cows, the boats he could sell as well but not for much. Not that he had any plan to attack it, he might be a pirate at heart, but he had honour when it came to certain things. He honoured oaths, and he always repaid favours, but other than that he didn’t care much for honour. Honour was a shield the knights of the kingdoms hid behind to mask their heinous acts.

He kicked the door in forcibly, the ship was his, the sailors dead or captured but still someone was screaming. Stepping backwards he gagged on the taste of death. Inside a man had been strapped to the wall. Burn marks covered his chest and in between what was left of his legs was covered with maggots. The floor was blood red, with tools of torture thrown carelessly around.

“ Burn the damn ship, and lock the crew in here.” He walked towards the man and lifted his chin gently so his one eye was looking into Yoriks.

“ Bring this man our best wine, and mix some poppy dust in with it.” The mans eye spoke volumes of gratitude, his eye filling with tears. But he no longer screamed or yelled.

“ What is your name man?”

“ Jacob Silence.” He stuttered, each word obviously painful to say.

“ Jacob, would you live, or accept the gift of mercy?” Jacob looked down at his knees, where his legs ended.

“ Mercy milord, if ye would be so kind.” Yorik nodded, he had killed many in his life, but he would never torture someone after seeing Jacobs pain stricken face.

“ Bring what’s left of the crew in here.” When the wine arrived Jacob drank it down thankfully, his eyes quickly dilating, and a thin smile returned to his face as the pain dulled.

Yorik had stood in front of him talking and making Jacob laugh until his eyes closed momentarily while he thought of his home. Yorik had asked him of it and the dust was clouding his thoughts.

The moment his eyes closed Yorik swiftly eased the dagger under his chin, and into his brain, and instant and painless death.

The rest of the crew was brought inside while Jacob was untied and lain at the helm of the ship.

“ You will serve as this mans honour guard into the next life.” Yorik slammed the door shut and locked it from the outside, ignoring the yelling coming from within.

“ Burn it.”

He fought down the memory as he watched a group if children play tag, they ran around the small field with such vigour and excitement, he was almost sad that he had been raised among the Windborn. Living in Windscar had always been a rough life, the few islands that were controlled by the ruling family were ill fitted for growing crops, the seas were violent and it stormed often. Depending on the family you were born into you either lived in luxury or fought for your life every day. Despite his family he had chosen to live in a life of squalor, and earn his living, which was why he had run away so early in life.

“ Do I know you from somewhere?” A young man just a few years older than himself asked, looking him up and down Yorik was surprised to find him missing and arm.

“ I doubt it, what happened to your arm?” The man sat down beside him on the grass, Yorik sat as well and waited.

“ When I was eighteen I had joined the kings navy, on our first voyage the damn Windborn attacked our ship. Some bastard cut off my arm and threw me into the sea, taking me for dead. That’s how I washed up here.” Suddenly he remembered the man, it was the last ship he had attacked before he was defeated at Snowport. The man had been standing at the bow of the ship cowering while the rest of the ship had fought and died. While Yorik had never touched the craven, he had commanded his right hand man, to kill him.

“ You don’t say, I washed up here myself, but why did you stay?” The man laughed softly and patted Yorik on the back as he stood up.

“ I have one arm my friend, who else would want me.” Still chuckling to himself he walked away slowly. Closing his eyes Yorik lay down and tried to fall asleep, in the shade a leaning willow.

Walking back to his little hut he was deep in thought and never saw Jessica until he bumped into her.

“ My apologies,” he murmered respectfully.

“ Mother told me to fetch you, you’ve been out here for hours.” Walking beside her quietly he was amazed to smell perfume.

“ How can you afford perfume? No disrespect meant but this does not seem like a wealthy village.” She blushed a deep red and looked away, her hair shone warmly in the afternoon sun and he had the distinct feeling she washed it every day.

“ A lot of things wash up here, perfume as well as people.” She said quietly, and I’m probably responsible for half of it. He thought silently.

“ So tell me, how long ago did I wash up here, and were their other survivors. The ship I was on had twenty odd seamen.” She shook her head sadly, he guessed that they probably had a lot of wreckage wash up here. Which would explain why the huts were all made of the same faded and worn material.

“ Only you washed up, naked as a babe, all you had one you was jewellery and your purse strangely enough. Were you the captain of your ship?” He knew why she was asking, most sailors did not walk around with a small fortune in his pocket.

“ Not that ship, but I used to be a captain, that floating piece of junk is a disgrace to ships. It was barely seaworthy.” He spit on ground at the memory of the mast, above the sun was covered by clouds and he could feel the winds picking up.

“ By tomorrow morning the bay will be crammed with all sorts of things, if your strong enough you can come with me and salvage what you’d like. That’s where I get most of my things.”

After a few more minutes walking they arrived at the hut and for the first time he understood why they had built the hut so close to the bay. That way they could get to the junk that washed up first, the women were poor, no doubt about it, but they were smart.

“ Thought you two had run off.” Else scolded as she set the table,” You can eat at the table I take it?” She never waited for an answer, instead placed dinner on the table and began serving herself.

There was a large trout, that had been browned on both sides, there were potatoes that had been mashed, and what he thought looked like cooked goat. Sitting himself they ate in relative silence, before long the rain was drumming loudly against the roof and the walls shook with the wind.

The next two weeks went by at a snails pace, not really differentiating, to him it was infuriating relying on Else and Jessica to survive. The most interesting thing that happened was salvaging things in the cove. While he hadn’t found anything he could use Else and her daughter found an entire chest full of cloth, and a small bolt of green silk. They also found a few silver utensils and some more wood they could use to patch up the holes and cracks in their house.

Waking up he quickly got out of bed, the pains he previously felt almost all gone, he was almost fully recovered and was preparing to leave at the end of the day. Though he still had not managed to get either of the women to give him his things.

Opening the door quietly he went outside to go running, weeks of being bedridden had considerably weakened his legs, and he planned on strengthening them again. Around the village people we still just beginning to stir. Else would be getting up soon to prepare breakfast for herself, Jessica and their guest.

Before he began his run he started stretching, since he had started running a week ago he had brutally pushed himself, he often came back to the cabin an hour or two later limping and dehydrated.

Starting a slow jog he ran around the cove, as always looking in the clear waters for something, he had a feeling that the one day he didn’t look for something he would run past a secret treasure that someone else would find. The sea breeze refreshed him with the sea water spraying him in the face, running around the cove he always felt closest to home. He grinned enthusiastically when his running partner, a stray dog, fell in beside him. As the dog gained speed he pushed his legs to keep up with it, soon they were racing through the forest. The pup ran beneath fallen logs while Yorik leapt them, his legs crying out in pain each time he did, the branches scratched his arms but he barely felt it. He felt alive as he chased after the dog, just an arm length behind it. Before long they had found their way back into the village and children chased after him and the dog, while the women looked at him with disapproval. But he couldn’t care less about them, all that mattered now was the dog.

His lungs screamed for air, and his legs burned but he never felt more alive, pushing himself harder and harder he began to overcome the young dog, he surged forward his eyes concentrating on the dog when it turned sharply. Following it he turned the corner sharply and leap over a pair of boys playing, landing heavily on his feet, twisting oddly to avoid crashing into a young lady he watched in dismay as the dog sped ahead of him. Off balance he tripped over his own feet shielding his face with his arms and tumbled into the ground hard. Doing a somersault and rolling a few times he lay on the ground, aware of the cuts on his arms, and his ragged breathing, each breath brought a spike of pain to his chest.

The dog came back when it realized he was no longer chasing it, and started barking, urging him to start running again. When barking didn’t budge him the dog started to lick his face and push him with his head. Laughing he picked the dog up with both hands and lifted it into the air, and scolded him.

“ Your things,” Else had arranged the little he had on his bed, closing the door behind him he was not for the first time, amazed at Else’s honesty. As she had promised all his things were there, no worse for the wear. While Else and Jessica ate breakfast, talking about the days chores he sat on the bed and emptied the purse. He had not realized before how much money he had on him, he had at least forty gold crowns, a bit of silver and a few copper. Putting it back in the purse he carefully held up the ring and inspected it.

He was amazed to find it in still pristine condition, although it been through quite a bit, more than a few fights, not to mention the tidal wave. The last thing he checked was the necklaces, for minutes he simply held them in his hand, thankful that they had survived the storm, wondering how the tiny string and chain hadn’t been ripped from his neck.

“ Who gave those to you, your wife?” Questioned Jessica, Else had also turned her head and was watching him.

“ No, my mother,” he murmured, slipping it around his neck he kissed it as he had done thousands of times before. “ A friend gave me the coin.” He slipped it around his neck still gazing wonderingly at it.

“ I think I might come back here sometime after I leave, just to check in on you two.” He grinned boyishly and sat at the faded wooden table.

“ Why are you so anxious to leave? Whats so great about the rest of the world?” Jessica asked, at first he thought she was joking and then he realized she probably had never been outside the village.

“ I don’t know,” he admitted sheepishly, “ Myself I’ll be happy with a deck under my feet and strong wind.”

“ Your Windborn aren’t you?” Else asked him anxiously, he could understand her anxiety, his people were not known to be friendly.

“ I was raised with the Windborn yes, but you must have known that when you found me, not many other cultures tattoo a kraken onto their peoples chests.” Else nodded silently, Jessica seemed to feel the tensions growing between them and tried breaking them.

“ Have you ever been far inland?”

“ I’ve seen most major cities in the kingdom, but their not all that great, their a wonder to see but you see people starving every day. Its less than you can say about the village.”

“ The outside world is full of hateful and dangerous people,” her mother warned her, she averted her eyes quickly but he had seen her looking at him.

“ Well, I best be off now, thank you for your hospitality ladies, hopefully I see you in the future.” Else walked him outside to have a few last words.

“ You know who I am then?” He asked quietly when they were outside.

“ I always knew who you were, or at least suspected, I heard from a travelling merchant that the legendary Yoric Ironsail had fled Minos back to the North. And I just assumed that if anyone survived that storm it would have to be you.” He nodded, it made sense really, a ship could only move so fast, and Else doubtlessly had come from the outside world.

“ Why raise her here? You could easily move and raise her in a richer town? She could probably marry a small lord.” Else nodded as well, she had thought of it on more than one occasion, but she hadn’t wanted Jessica to grow up in fear.

“ Where will you go now? What will you do?” She asked, quickly changing the direction of the conversation.

“ Snowport, I have a ship there, with good weather I’ll be able to sail it back to Shipwreck Bay in Windscar and get myself a crew. From their I’ll doubtlessly raid some ships, loot some villages, maybe go get married. And you?” He told her his entire plan, except that he didn’t plan on stopping there, with his whole life laid out before him he could amass quite a fortune, perhaps even become a great lord if he played his cards right.

“ We’ll stay here, I’ve been thinking of teaching Jessica to sail but-”

“ Let her come with me,” he interrupted.

“ And then what? Sail the sea’s attacking merchant ships, never have a full nights rest?” Else cut in sharply.

He raised his hands in submission, “ was just a thought Else, “ but when the war eventually reaches here, and it will. She’ll be safer with me than with the villagers.” Else leaned against the wall and groaned loudly.

“ I’m old, Yorik, I’ll be alive maybe five more years if that, and Jessica won’t know about the world.” Else opened her eyes and for the first time he realized how dull and listless they were, he had previously mistaken her sullen face for age.

“ If she wants to go with you she can, I won’t stop her.”

Later that day he and Jessica were riding down the dirt road that lead to the village, he had paid a gold each for the two packhorses, a ridiculous price. Unless you considered the number of horses in the village, just two.

Though they were mounted they originally made about the same time as if they were walking, Jessica had never ridden a horse and he was just awkward with horses. As the day wore on however they both became more accustomed to the horses.

“ Where are we going first?” Jessica asked cheerfully, this was doubtlessly the farthest she had ever been from her home, he expected she would not be so cheerful after a few days away from her mother. He had felt much the same way, fortunately he’d had a job to distract him from the homesickness.

“ We’re going to ride up queens road, that will lead to Icefang, I need to grab a few things there. Then you and me are going to ride to Snowport, and sail my ship to Shipwreck Bay.”

“ But I don’t know how to sail even a tiny boat, let alone an actual ship,” she protested loudly.

“ You’ll learn, there’s no need to worry about it right now. Just try to enjoy the sites.” The trees were covered in golden leaves as Autumn wore on endlessly, before long the snows would descend past the ice line into Sekrah and Lyreth. If the winter was as bad as last year it would reach half across the kingdom, raging across Preop, Kreya and the northern regions of Minothere. With last years pathetic harvest, it had the potential to cripple the kingdom.

Snowsrise had its turnips, Preop and Kreya its corn, but Sekrah, Lyreth and Minothere had produced the majority of the harvests since the regions had been conquered under Minothere almost a thousand years ago.

As they turned onto Queens road Yoric was surprised to hear singing coming up the road. He heard to late the men hiding in the trees and dove off his horse as they burst out of hiding. The horses panicked throwing Jessica out of her saddle onto the ground, is it a trap for the singers, or are they part of it?

“ Run Jessica,” he roared as the first of the men came at him, turning she began running down the road towards the singing. He could only hope that they would be friendly, and hopefully armed.

As the man raised his sword just ten feet away Yoric reached for his own, remembering to late that he no longer had it. As the sword began to descend Yoric burst towards the man, closing the gap in an instance, and removing any advantage a sword would have given him. With overwhelming strength Yorik wrenched the sword from the mans grip as they wrestled for it, though it felt likes hours it had all happened in a matter of seconds. Heavy footsteps alerted him of the second man and he raised his sword in a blind, but viscous backhand cut. Steel met steel and Yoric spun to his right with the momentum of the sword just in time to block another vertical slash.

Recklously fighting his way back to his feet he remembered the third and final man and dove to the left away from the three of them. Jumping to his feet he could see the man who’s sword he’d taken pull a dagger out, separating they surrounded him.
Without hesitating he charged the first man with the dagger, the others quickly rushed towards him swords raised. Faking a left cut at the hips he arced it towards his neck. Using the tiny dagger to block a cut at his hips that never came the mans eyes went blank as the steel sword sliced deep into his neck cutting through, spinning with the force he parried a thrust and sidestepped an overhand slash.

The poorly dressed men gave him no respite though, hard on his heels they followed, their arms never still as their swords sprang forward, cutting high and low. Grunting he dropped to one knee, sparing a moment he looked back in horror at the arrow sticking from his left leg. The swords clashed again and again, never a moments rest, these two were grim methodical fighters, slowly they were cutting him apart. He lurched to the side, trying to get behind them, safe from the archer but they cut him off with a quick side step and attacked anew. These are assassins! He roared as a sword cut deeply into he arm and bulled his way forward, his left leg dragging uselessly behind, his clothes were soaked in blood and he was beginning to have trouble seeing.

Twisting away from a violent thrust he swung his sword in a large horizontal cut, which was easily blocked by one of the men while the other rolled beneath it behind him. Unable to block both of them the man behind him slashed deep into his back. Ss he spun, swinging wildly he barely saw the man jump just out of reach from the sword.
The thrum of a bowstring was followed by a piercing pain in his chest, collapsing to both knees he looked down at the arrows shaft halfway through his chest, just below his heart. With his heart pumping adrenaline he gathered his strength, roaring and leapt forward his sword ringing loudly as his cut was blocked. Hammering down on the tiny man he quickly beat him down. Raising his sword he kicked the man in the gut, momentarily forgetting the raised weapon the man lashed out, his sword slicing neatly into Yorics stomach, only to be cut almost in half a moment later.

Blood ran down his legs in thick, red waves to pool on the ground below, collapsing he could hear the hidden archer drawing back another arrow while his only living partner walked calmly, and confidently up to Yoric.

My skills have gone to rust and rot in my sickbed, he thought silently, it took all of his strength and concentration to keep from going unconscious.

Suddenly he felt a weight fall on his back, driving the broken arrow shaft deep into his chest. Crying out in pain he pushed the weight away, surprised to find the last assassin lying face down in the dirt, with three arrows in his back. The archer had fled he guessed, groaning he raised his head and saw a small company of guards riding towards him.

He pushed himself to his knees, blood dripping from his mouth, the guards wore the white bear of house Snowsrise.

“ Get the master, he doesn’t have long.” Yoric looked up and smiled grimly, out of all of Eagans guardsmen he hated Steelhorn the most.

Olly Buckle
October 3rd, 2010, 08:57 AM
A bit before I go off to try for Glastonbury tickets,


Waking up Yorik felt as though he had been keelhauled, he opened his eyes groggily and tried to take in his surroundings. He was lying in a small cot, naked as his name day, but he had no idea how he had arrived in the bed.

On the nightstand was a small tin cup filled with water and a candle to give him light, seeing as the building, or shack unless he missed his mark had no windows. There is a comma missing after “Mark” and I think you should leave out “seeing” Even without windows he could tell the storm was over though, a blind and deaf man with no feeling whatsoever would have been able to tell the storm was over if he had been in the middle of it. This is illogical, if he was in the middle of it it would not be over.

Just a few feet beside his, “Within a few feet”, but you will need to rephrase to make it work two small beds were fitted snugly beside the wall, and on the faded dresser were bottles of every color some empty, others full. He could see a few worn clothes lying in what looked to be a very old basket, if its condition was any indicator. That it looked to be and its condition being an indicator are the same thing.

Feeling for his necklaces he felt bile rise in his throat when he found it was not around his neck. He tried to sit up but found himself was? unable, turning his head to the night table he quickly scanned it,comma hopeful that his necklaces would be there. I can’t have lost them! He screamed silently, it was all he had to remember his mother by, he had never met his father, the closest thing he ever came to a father had been Eagan. Which is was pathetic when you think about it Or even if you don’t think about it, unnecessary phrase. He laughed a coarse, whispery laugh, he had been Eagans hostage, Full stop here I think suddenly the door creaked open and he stopped laughing suddenly and closed his eyes, pretending to sleep.

He could hear two women whispering among themselves this implies more than two, “together”. quietly, Is there another way? talking mostly about him. As the younger of the two, he guessed, walked over to check on him his arm sprang from beneath the covers and he grabbed her throat forcibly.

“ Where am I!” He roared, though he sounded more like an old, dying man than anything else. Even with what felt like an iron grip to him the young girl easily pried his hand from around her throat. This sentence is confused, try re-ordering, The young girl easily pried his hand from around her throat, even though to him it felt as though he had an iron grip, not to her obviously, superfluous

“ Is that the thanks we get for nursing you back to help?” An ? The? old woman scolded him, the younger girl began to lift the covers before he stopped her.

“ My clothes, and my necklaces, where are they?” He asked hoarsely, silently the younger woman picked up the tin cup and slowly poured the water into his mouth. Drinking it as fast as he could he could feel his eyelids growing heavy, he could only vaguely tell that she had finished removing the blankets.

josh23
October 12th, 2010, 10:32 PM
Eh thanks for the review, havent had much time to myself lately so was really nice to read this and see what i had to fix :D

joonho1
October 13th, 2010, 10:15 PM
I only read a section, and so far it's pretty good. Someone (Olly?) got here first and outlined all the nitpicks, and I was about to say the same thing. Keep writing! :P And can I (we?) have the first section or so? I just want to see how it begins.

namesake
October 15th, 2010, 12:38 AM
I read a section and I think it needs more direction for dialogue. It was great, just make sure you know how to make the dialogue tense. It slackened a little and was good. Looking foward to seeing more. The world building was nice and it was a promising beginning.

josh23
October 26th, 2010, 10:37 PM
This is first chapter or what not, hope u guys like it, and thanks for all the reviews so far :D

Also, did this quickly so some of the paragraphs may be kinda messed up, enjoy!




Yoric Ironsail gazed longingly across the vast sea. He stood silently on the bow of Storms Fury, apparently the fastest ship that had been moored in Minos. Yet despite the hard work of the crew, he had found it sadly lacking. He had paid a fortune for passage back to the North, although the snow covered mountains, the icy roads and the blistering cold held little sway over his heart.

Since the young age of Eight Yorik had lived most of his life at sea. The comforts others found in a warm bed, a calmly burning fire and family, he found at sea. The swaying of the ship and the fury of the great storms pitting their might against his will excited him, in a way few outside his people could understand.

His people held their peers as well as themselves to certain expectations. They were expected to spend most of their lives at sea, and had no fear of drowning. Dying yes, but not drowning. Hence they wore armour while at sea, which gave them a distinct combat advantage over the average sailor.

Through out his life he had lived with his peoples prejudices. Whenever he went on shore people expected him to act aggressively. And for good reason, his people were largely regarded as pirates. As long as anyone could remember the Windborn had raided the Empires coastline. Though they rarely ventured far from the seas occupied by the Preop and Kreya merchants.

Yorik could not help but smile every time one of the sailors glanced at the row boats, these men still feared the sea as much as they may love it. Ironically, the row boats were all placed on the side that was dipping. When all the men ran towards them the ship would capsize, smashing the tiny boats mercilessly. A flash of lightning lit the sky momentarily revealing the endless sea around them, if the ship capsized he doubted anyone else would survive. He might, he was a strong swimmer. He’d learned just how strong after his first raid.

He had been barely twelve when under the command of Ulrik Horner when he and forty other brave men stormed an Empire battle ship, quickly overwhelming it despite their inferior numbers. During the fighting he had ventured to near the rail chasing the enemy captain. Absorbed in the battle Yorik never saw the man coming from the side. His axe cut deep into Yoriks shoulders, carving through bone it drove almost to his elbow. Taking him for dead the two had simply thrown him overboard, he had swam for almost an hour with one arm before being rescued.

Three years later, he commanded his very own Skei, with a hundred brave sailors under his command, though in truth they had joined him to connect themselves to his uncle.

Because of his lineage Yorik was third in line for the Windborns throne, his mother was the daughter of the Windborn king, Meribald Windborn. It was well known that his mothers eldest son would not likely live past twenty five, and his mother was dead leaving Yorik the likely heir.

He had never met his father but he was Eagans younger brother, meaning he was fifth in line for the throne, after Eagan four children.

Slowly he became aware of the weight dragging down on him and was torn from his thoughts, his cloak had frozen and he was slowly descending into hypothermia. He knew the feeling well, his speech would be slurred, his limbs stiff and his skin pale. An average person would probably undergo mood changes such as extreme anger, but Yoric had dealt with it for years. Ripping the cloak off he tossed it into the sea without a second thought. In mere seconds it was out of sight.

He sighed tiredly, and turned around to watch the sailors and the captain. Torrential downpours drove them to their knees every time the ship was hit by the monstrous waves. Only Yoriks knees did not buckle under the weight of the freezing rain and the relentless winds. Only he remained standing, his face carved of stone and his eyes revealing no emotion despite the memories swimming inside his head.

Erik Bolton, king of the Empire had died just two months ago, and Yorik had accompanied Eagan Frost and half of his family to Minos for the funeral.

Eagan was the warden of the North, his family had ruled Snowsrise for centuries, but in the end his royalty and power had proven a thin shield against Eriks wife and son. With the law unclear as to how to proceed when a son, and sister were alive, Queen Brienne intended to place her son on the throne of division before it was thoroughly investigated. However Eagan declared that Eriks sister, Ashley Bolton was the rightful heir. The queen immediately arrested Eagan on the grounds of high treason, and she forced the churches hand in crowing her son Korbal.

As the trial against him ensued, it became transparently clear that Eagan Frost, would be found guilty regardless of evidence proving him innocent. It was already, if not officially, decided that Frost was guilty.

The grizzled captain beckoned Yorik over feebly, the storms had taken its toll on the old man. Judging by his ragged face he no longer had the will, nor the strength to fight anymore.

“ She’ll hold son, she’s been through worse.” Yorik barked a laugh disrespectfully, he’d spent years sailing the worst storms conceived by god, and even he hadn’t been through worse. Hadn’t even heard of worse.

His ship might have been able to survive it. But then his ship had over a hundred crewmen, and weighed ten or twelve times the Storms Fury. With massive ballasts in the keel to keep it stabilized it would be much harder to capsize. And the iron plating was very difficult to pierce, there would likely not be any leaks. But in a storm such as this there was no telling what could happen.

“ I have no doubt, captain.” His eyes told another story however, when he had boarded the ship he boarded simply out of necessity. The hull was patched in more than one area, there was ample evidence of termites and the mast looked like it had been nailed back on. All in all it shouldn’t have been classified as a ship.

The ship shook violently suddenly, as though the very nails and boards were being torn apart by the sheer force of the raging waves. The cold began rapidly seeping into his bones but Yorik hardly felt it. A minute later Yorik bent over, his body taken by a violent shaking.

“ You should go below son, you’ll freeze here.” The captain warned dangerously.

Its not the cold, he thought silently, but heeded the captains warning nonetheless.

By the time he was sixteen he had amassed a small fleet of ships, and looted three ports, the fourth however smashed his fleet to a ruin, and he was captured by Eagans captain of guard, Steelhorn. Yoric had spent the last four years in Eagans house as his honoured guest.

Despite his circumstances, Yorik had grown to respect and admire Eagans sense of honour and his unending loyalty to family and friends.

While the sailors worked feverishly to keep the ship balanced and steer it towards the shore Yoric stumbled below deck to his cabin.
Leaning heavily against the wall he fell down the last few stairs and lay staring at the roof sullenly. The ship would capsize sooner or later, or be torn apart, that he knew for a fact. And he would be damned if he was going to drown with them, and to prevent that, he would have to warm himself for the long swim to shore.

Walking below deck he had been disheartened to see a foot of water filling the lower quarters of the ship. At this rate the ship wouldn’t last another hour, even if it managed to stay balanced.

Pushing himself up he began trudging through the water and quickly reached his quarters only to find most of his belongings floating around disorderly.

Wrapping himself in a blanket he looked around the dank cabin quickly, he had brought only what he felt he would have needed, and that list had just been cut to almost nothing.

Rummaging through his bag he quickly found that most of his possessions had floated out of it when the water rose. Throwing it against the wall he cursed loudly, it would take forever to find what he wanted.

He fell to his hands and knees, almost ready to give up, yet determined not to.

His hands moved in large circular motions, searching hungrily for anything that could help him.

A damn candle would be nice, a torch even better,” he thought bitterly.

“ Bloody hell,” his had shot out of the water with a deep gash across his palm. Gingerly he continued searching, for something that could improve his chances of survival.

The ship groaned loudly as it began tipping, he braced himself against the wall as the water in his cabin rushed towards him. “ Use your weight to balance the ship!” He roared just moments before the torrent smashed into him forcibly.

Somehow, the men on deck must have heard him because a few seconds later he could hear heavy footsteps running across the deck to the other side of the ship.

Fortunately, as the water redistributed itself his belonging were left on the floor surrounding him. He quickly found what he had been looking for, a bottle of fish oil. Quickly removing the lid he downed it without a second thought, he had heard it kept you warm in cold water. Whether or not it was true he didn’t know, but the taste would probably keep him awake. He fought down the urge to vomit, instead concentrating on the task at hand, and trying to put the taste at the back of his mind.

Laughing he threw the bottle back on to the floor and kicked it, there was absolutely nothing he had brought with him that could save him. His sword and armour would only weigh him down, they were useless though very expensive. All the money he had brought was useless though he decided to tie it around his waist, the two books, the few clothes, everything it was all useless, except a single gold coin on an iron chain. The most treasured thing he owned, but even it couldn’t help him here. Which he quickly grabbed and put around his neck, alongside his mothers seashell necklace.

It was all pointless just as the trial had been, thinking of the trial brought a torrent or memories flooding back.

When Eagan had demanded trial by battle, as his rank entitled him to, queen Brienne had positively gloated. The crown of course only being permitted use of the Kingshield, a group of twelve men, that were officially if not truthfully the greatest soldiers in the Empire. She had chosen her cousin Alexander Poladium. Eagan had chosen him.

Yorik had cut Alexander to pieces, mercilessly pursuing him as he retreated away from Yoriks great sword. The trumpets blew loudly as Alexander had entered the sandy arena, Yorik was greeted silently except for the jeering of the crowd. He wasn’t sure why he remembered that, as it was the least important part of the entire day. When the child king had sat the battle had begun, Yorik quickly rushed Alexander parrying his thrust and catching a slash with his shield, hard and quick the cuts came, from high, low and every angle imaginable, yet Yoriks sword met them all while smoothly flowing to block the next. Alexander overextended a slash which Yorik easily sidestepped to the left, as he pulled his sword back Yorik began a furious counter attack, Alexander caught the first three cuts with his shield and launched his own backlash which Yorik easily caught on his shield, never pausing. As he pushed Alexander harder and harder his face twisted in rage, yet his eyes held a desperate gleam, but Yorik gave him no respite.

As Alexander back-pedalled away Yorik stayed with him, ever pressing him towards the wall, as the clouds had cleared Yorik had moved quickly to put the sun to his back. Squinting Alexander had not seen his vicious slash, crying out in pain he dropped his sword as Yoriks sword sliced through his boiled leather deep into his thigh. At the sight of blood the crowd had erupted into a frenzy, but even with the noise he could distinctly hear Briennes shriek.

“At him!” Yelled Korbal, desperate to see Eagans champion fall against his uncles blade. He stepped back allowing Alexander to retrieve his weapon, by then he was limping badly and his leg was covered in blood. Positioning himself so Yorik faced the sun Alexander grinned as he picked up the sword, hopeful that this small advantage would help him.

Throwing sand in the air Alexander charged him as Yorik ripped off his helm to get the sand out of his eyes, as he heard Alexanders footsteps he dove to the left and rolled, scrambling to one knee before Alexander was on him again. His sword seemed to gain speed as it came speeding towards his head, but somehow he had managed to raise his shield and caught the cut just in time. Recklessly counter attacking Yorik slowly fought his way back to his feet, Alexander began yet another attack, his cuts however were sloppier and he no longer raised his sword so high.

Smooth as silk he quickly moved to the side as the sun blinded Alexander, swung a violent downward cut, his sword crashed uselessly into the sand while Yorik brought his own sword up in a vicious backhand cut. Blood sprayed the stands and women and children screamed. The blade had caught in the middle of Alexanders head, when he had wrenched it loose half of Alexanders face came with it. Even before the lifeless body collapsed he heard Brienne screaming, not only had her favourite cousin just died in front of her, Eagan Frost had won his freedom. Or so they had thought, Korbal however had a different plan, being a boy of just fourteen he had never thought of the ramifications of executing Eagan still. Not an hour after the fight, Eagan had been beheaded, the remainder of Eagans family had fled Minos and the North declared war against the empire, lead by Erika Frost.

Stripping down he was momentarily shocked, as he always was, at the kraken tattoo on his chest. As with all highborn Windborn children, he was tattooed after his first successful raid. Since he had been successful so early in life, the tattoo had stretched and lost much of its color and shape as he grew. Not for the first time he considered going back and having it redone.

Deep cuts ran between the long, winding tentacles and scars marked almost every portion of his body from previous battles. His body was lean but muscular, each muscle in his body well defined as though it had been chiselled from stone.

The wounds that had only inconvenienced him before were what was killing him now. The arrow wound in his side was badly infected, and the deep cut in his thigh was badly inflamed, more than likely infected as well. For a few days he had been feeling nauseous and had noticed a slight fever, but decided it would work itself out. After all, a few infected cuts were nothing compared to what he’d been through.

His side and left thigh were bleeding profusely, puss oozing out of his side mixing with the blood as it ran down his legs.
The recent wounds had not had the time, nor the medicine to heal properly. And the weight of the water throwing him against the wall must have reopened the wounds. Slowly, they were killing him.

He grimaced as he touched the wound in is side, an archer had put an arrow through it. That probably hadn’t been the best idea the man had made, but at least he’d had the idea to poison the arrow.

The ship lurched dangerously bringing him back to reality, the ship would soon sink and pull him under unless he was far enough away. As the ship groaned he forcibly pushed his way past the other panicking passengers.

Climbing up the steps he was alarmed by a sickening crack, just ten feet in front of him he could hear the mainsail breaking, at the same time a massive wave smashed into the ship sending two men overboard.

“ Forget them!” Yorik roared over the tumult surrounding him as he climbed the last few steps, “their already gone!” Nodding grimly the captain continued steering, a steely determination filling his eyes.

They paid the lost sailors only a moments thought before turning back to the task at hand. Around him sailors looked at him as though he had lost his mind. Walking around the ship naked, he must have lost it, but what he needed to do had never been more clear.

The mast began to lean perilously and a strike of lightning finished what the sea had started, the mast began to fall.

The captain blindly unaware of the danger was crushed beneath the massive weight, and his broken body was thrown into the salty sea along with half of the helm. The wreckage was swept away in mere moments, and Storms Fury began taking on water.

The remains of the ship shook violently as it was rocked by the relentless waves, to either side of him he watched as the crewmen raced to climb aboard the row boats. He laughed cruelly despite the circumstances, the freezing rain had turned the deck into a ice rink, but he ran across it with ease. The rowboats would last minutes at best, and any of the men whom survived their destruction would be disoriented and lost, they had a better chance swimming.

All semblance of discipline had evaporated among the crew as they fought to release the rowboats. He laughed again when one of the rowboats fell when the frozen rope snapped. Before it even hit the water three men had jumped into it. Within seconds the boat had been smashed into the larger ship, wood and bones breaking simultaneously.

Above him lighting lit the sky, thunder filled his ears and the storm raged on with still growing ferocity. He stood on the edge of the sinking ship as it began tipping, the waves drowning out the sound of the thunder. Kissing his mothers necklace he spit into the cold waters, closed his eyes and jumped. This would not be the first time he had defied the storm gods wrath, and it would not be his last.

Diving into the ice cold waters his lungs quickly contracted forcing him to surface almost immediately as his body grew accustomed to the rapid temperature change. As long as he kept himself moving he would be okay.

Glancing over his shoulder he laughed viscously as the ship finally capsized crushing nearly every rowboat beneath it. Concentrating on regulating his breathing and putting one arm in front of the other, he felt, rather than saw the wave behind him. Concentrating too much on his breathing he had forgotten about the waves, he should have swam beneath them, but it was to late. He quickly gained speed as the wave picked him up and he was helpless as it grew and became larger and larger.

Forty feet below him he could see the dagger reef, the fool captain had been steering them towards oblivion. Ships rarely ventured near the reef because of the mountainous rocks that lay just out of sight. Waiting to rip apart the hull of a ship, and shipwreck a crew where no one ventured.

Suddenly he realized the captain may have noticed the mast break, perhaps he just hadn’t cared any longer. His ship, his livelihood was gone, what else was there to live for? The feelings resonated strongly with Yorik, he had felt the same way when he’d lost his ship but he hadn’t given up, he’d had to much to live for.

It had to end sometime, he thought, referring mostly to his life. As the wave hurled him towards the frothing waters, he closed his eyes and cursed the storm god. He never felt a thing as he flew through the air, nor when he penetrated the raging waters at an incredible speed. But he felt bones break when he slammed forcibly into the seabed.

Opening his bloodshot eyes he was surprised to find he was alive, but he was disoriented, confused and winded. As his lungs burned for air he swam calmly to what he believed to be the surface. When he crashed into the seabed again he twisted violently, his lungs crying out for air, and clawed at the water uselessly. His last coherent thought before the blackness took him was that he was drowning.

namesake
November 13th, 2010, 05:50 AM
The ending ended with a cliffhanger. Anyways your style is easy to digest. I decided to look back at this thread that I replied earlier. You seem to have a good driection for action, which imo can sometimes make the reading more engaging. The only thing I can say that I didn't like is that the charcaters have no agenda it seems. Been a while since I read the chapter before the last one though.

josh23
November 17th, 2010, 11:40 PM
ya at this point in book its still more concentrating on introducing the characters, none of them REALLY have an agenda yet lol. Thanks again for the post, somethin i will have to work on :D