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valondon
December 1st, 2011, 09:34 PM
Welcome to what I'm sure will end up being a wonderful journey. Today I embark on a challenge to write a novella or novel length story within the month of December. As of this moment, I only a preview of what's to come. Over the course of the month I will be posting the chapters in their rough rough draft form. After the month is over, I will undergo revision and change what is needed. Why is this? I want to let everyone in on my writing process from beginning to end, to find where improvements need to be made everywhere. This story will be 10 chapters long and a prologue. Without further ado, here is our preview:

Samil was an assassin for King Drake when our story begins. You see, in this world of shadow, doubt, fear, greed, and corruption, one could always find solace in the art of extermination. So King Drake hired top tier assassins, including ones such as Asazi and Samil. During this time in our story, there is a rebel uprising, threatening to over throw the king. King Drake realizes the threat these rebels posed to his kingdom, so he chose one of his most new and promising assassins to lead the war against the rebels: Samil. Asazi (another up and coming assassin) becomes jealous of Samil for being chosen for this task, and disappears from the map as he plots his revenge. Samil meanwhile, eagerly embraces his task. For you see, assassins arenít all about cloak and daggers, but about precision and finesse, which can be applied to the very subtle art of war. It is a chance to prove himself to his king, and to squash an uprising that could threaten the foundation of peace that the people of Asku have known for many a decade.

Will be updating the thread with the story as it gets written. Please bear with grammar mistakes, as they will be fixed after this challenge is over. It shouldn't be too bad, but if it is bad enough, I'll postpone posting updates until I'm able to go back and do my first round of editing. Hope to see you all for the prologue when its ready!

outoftheblue
December 1st, 2011, 10:09 PM
That's quite a challenge you've set-up! I believe it was Agatha Christie who said, 'A novel shouldn't take any longer than 6 weeks to write'. But I think a month is VERY optimistic, unless you write 5, 000 words a day! How come you're in so much a rush to write it within a month? Not that I'm complaining about this challenge, but curious as to know why?

And I'm guessing this thread is the Blurb to your story? :thumbl:

valondon
December 1st, 2011, 10:36 PM
That's quite a challenge you've set-up! I believe it was Agatha Christie who said, 'A novel shouldn't take any longer than 6 weeks to write'. But I think a month is VERY optimistic, unless you write 5, 000 words a day! How come you're in so much a rush to write it within a month? Not that I'm complaining about this challenge, but curious as to know why?

And I'm guessing this thread is the Blurb to your story? :thumbl:

Yeah it is. It will be updated as I progress through the story.

As to why... Hmmmm. Well let's start off with some basic facts on story length. Novella is 25,000 - 49,999 words long. That itself isn't hard to do within a month. A minimal length novel is 50,000 words. December has 31 days. So 31/50,000 = 1,613 (rounded up due to decimal). So you have to write just short of 2,000 words a day if you write the same amount each day to hit the 50k mark. Now, I expect this story to be just around that 50k mark. In reality, this story is a background story on the character Samil, a character that stars in a trilogy I'm writing.

Now, as to the "why"... It started as an idea. There is a international November writing challenge. But it was way too far into November to take part of it. So, I posed a challenge to some of my friends, and they accepted. They're all writing shorter length stories than I am, and I just wanted to get some good feedback on mine so I came here. This is really a "just for fun" and "can I do it" thing more than anything else. Winter Break is in two weeks for me and I can spend a lot more time writing then also =D

outoftheblue
December 1st, 2011, 10:49 PM
It does sound like a fun thing to do and I wish you luck with it!:very_drunk:

I guess every writer has a different method of working. Myself, for example, can't sit down before writing a novel and estimate how many chapters, or how many words my book could be. I literally have no idea. I just write until the story reaches a natural conclusion and then it is what it is. But I appreciate that we all work differently, and have different expectations and experiences that go with them.

I wish you luck, hope you pull it off.

valondon
December 1st, 2011, 10:58 PM
It does sound like a fun thing to do and I wish you luck with it!:very_drunk:

I guess every writer has a different method of working. Myself, for example, can't sit down before writing a novel and estimate how many chapters, or how many words my book could be. I literally have no idea. I just write until the story reaches a natural conclusion and then it is what it is. But I appreciate that we all work differently, and have different expectations and experiences that go with them.

I wish you luck, hope you pull it off.

Thanks!

In reality, I take a different approach with every story. Maybe I'm a bit off with my estimated word count, but that's fine by me. It's just an initial estimate so I know how much I need to work each day... At least to begin with. When I first came up with the challenge, I immediately went and wrote an outline for my story. That way I always know what happens next so I can just write - something that will greatly increase the speed of the project which is needed for the challenge. I hope it works, if it does - I may be applying it to my other stories.

Thanks again =) To be honest, I'm quite excited about it. Unfortunately I can't write today probably due to the large amount of homework I should be doing instead of talking on internet forums ;)

QDOS
December 2nd, 2011, 03:58 PM
Hi Valondon

Not entered, but tried this style of NaNoWriMo writting a novel in a month. My output was rubbish and I never got beyond the thirty thou words mark. That said I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing your results.

I note that Assassins Creed by Oliver Bowden is a bestseller series.

QDOS :santa:

valondon
December 3rd, 2011, 12:28 AM
AN: Gather round, gather round, good ol' Val has a story to tell. We now begin our journey in the country Asku as war breaks out. Today I deliver the first piece installment in what will surly be an epic piece. I present to you - the Prologue.

Prologue



The cries of war echoed through the courtyard. Men were screaming in utter agony as their life was ripped away with a slash of a blade. Swords clashing, shields shattering; it was a demoralizing sight. Men were dying left and right, and not just soldiers, but civilians as well. Tattered bodies lay strewn on the ground, with mourners bent over the bodies of loved ones crying and praying. Soldiers would run by, whacking them in the neck with their swords and sending them to the afterlife with their families.

General Aphorian looked upon the scene, eyes alight with something akin to sorrow. The country of Asku has known nothing but peace for the longest of time. Ever since King Drake took control of the government, he has demanded peace and given prosperity – at least officially. Aphorian couldn’t even remember the last time there were even rumors of war, and now war was upon him.

Aphorian was in charge of the defense of Ankou, a city of nobles. Now, those with whom he was charged to protect lay dead on the ground, and his men lying with them. The magicians were off protecting the sacred orchard, within the heart of the city. Re-enforcements probably wouldn’t arrive for a week at the least. News of the attack would take time to reach Anokii, the capital, and it would take even longer for the king to devise a counter attack. They didn’t even know who their enemy was. Resigning himself to the fact, general Aphorian led the final charge of the day, with battle cries that would go down in the books of history for generations to come. There was no turning back – war had begun.

WriterJohnB
December 3rd, 2011, 03:47 PM
Good start. I marked a couple of typos and verb tenses. But it's good writing and catches the readers interest.

John B


AN: Gather round, gather round, good ol' Val has a story to tell. We now begin our journey in the country Asku as war breaks out. Today I deliver the first piece installment in what will surly be an epic piece. I present to you - the Prologue.

Prologue



The cries of war echoed through the courtyard. Men were screaming in utter agony as their life was ripped away with a slash of a blade. Swords clashing, shields shattering; it was a demoralizing sight. Men were dying left and right, and not just soldiers, but civilians as well. Tattered bodies lay strewn on the ground, with mourners bent over the bodies of loved ones crying and praying. Soldiers would run by, whacking them in the neck with their swords and sending them to the afterlife with their families.

General Aphorian looked upon the scene, eyes alight with something akin to sorrow. The country of Asku had known nothing but peace for the longest of time. Ever since King Drake took control of the government, he had demanded peace and given prosperity Ė at least officially. Aphorian couldnít even remember the last time there were even rumors of war, and now war was upon him.

Aphorian was in charge of the defense of deleteAnkou, a city of nobles. Now, those with whom he was charged to protect lay dead on the ground, and his men lay with them. The magicians were off protecting the sacred orchard, within the heart of the city. Re-enforcements probably wouldnít arrive for a week at the least. News of the attack would take time to reach Anokii, the capital, and it would take even longer for the king to devise a counter attack. They didnít even know who their enemy was. Resigning himself to the fact, general Aphorian led the final charge of the day, with battle cries that would go down in the books of history for generations to come. There was no turning back Ė war had begun.

valondon
December 3rd, 2011, 04:04 PM
Good start. I marked a couple of typos and verb tenses. But it's good writing and catches the readers interest.

John B

Thank you, I'll certainly take that into account when undergoing revision. Like I warned, this is the roughest version of the story. I contemplated waiting till I had the story finished, but since its for a challenge the whole point is to see what I can do in a month.

josh.townley
December 5th, 2011, 02:55 AM
Hi Valondon.
Sounds interesting. I've wanted to try something similar to this, but I can't commit to the time requirements at the moment.
The overview you gave at the beginning sounds promising, but one bit confused me. If the kingdom has known nothing but peace and prosperity for so long, why is there a rebel uprising? I would have thought they are usually born of oppression and tyranny, not when everything is going great. I'm wondering if things aren't as rosy as we're led to believe in the beginning, or if another group is trying to plant one of their own on the throne? Guess I'll have to wait and see. :)
I'm looking forward to following it.

valondon
December 5th, 2011, 03:31 AM
Hi Valondon.
Sounds interesting. I've wanted to try something similar to this, but I can't commit to the time requirements at the moment.
The overview you gave at the beginning sounds promising, but one bit confused me. If the kingdom has known nothing but peace and prosperity for so long, why is there a rebel uprising? I would have thought they are usually born of oppression and tyranny, not when everything is going great. I'm wondering if things aren't as rosy as we're led to believe in the beginning, or if another group is trying to plant one of their own on the throne? Guess I'll have to wait and see. :)
I'm looking forward to following it.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in and read. All I will say is, if there is nothing but peace - why does the king need assassins?

valondon
December 10th, 2011, 02:25 AM
Seeing as this thread is for two things, reading and critiquing the story and following my progress throughout the challenge to see how it goes, I'm going to post an update... Even if it's without a chapter. Unfortunately, I had to take a short break from writing due to getting sick at the worst possible time. Good part is, I'm now back, and happily writing chapter 1. More bad news, I have finals and school next week so that will further impede my progress with this. Hopefully I can get a lot done over winter break, but the chances of finishing in time are looking somewhat bleak due to... the not so great stuff... mentioned earlier

valondon
December 11th, 2011, 04:29 AM
Chapter 1



It was a relatively peaceful night in Anokii; the moon was shining bright on the city as the residents relaxed into their houses with fires softly burning. The thought of danger didn’t even enter into the minds of the civilians as they went about their lives. The soldiers stationed in the barracks and guarding the city walls were lazily pouring cups of coffee for the long hours, and playing cards to stay entertained.

Azoul, the head of Asku’s army was spending time with the soldiers guarding the front gate. They were in a house just outside the wall, playing card games and laughing joyfully. Azoul spent his time as general rotating post to spend time with all of his soldiers – it boost the unity of the army, which was something he prided himself on.

There was a loud thump as a soldier named Boridian boasted, “Ha! Won again! By the time you all go back to your wives, you’ll be put on the couch for your inability to win a bet!”

There was a loud guffaw as the archer Kuthin replied, “Yeah, and you all will be in even more trouble when they find out that your money just went to Boridian here buying a new girl for the week.”

It was the usual banter that went on during the soldiers games. If it kept up, it would only be another hour before they all passed out on their post. Azoul shuddered at the memory of when the king found out that Azoul let his men get that drunk guarding the city. It was at this thought that Azoul whistled, gathering the attention of the soldiers in the room.
“Alright you lot, that’s enough with the beer. Put it away, it’ll be my head if the king catches you all anymore drunk then this.”

There was grumbling as the men stuffed the beer back into the cabinets in the kitchen. Once they settled back in, the games resumed, albeit a little less obnoxiously.

After finally losing a round, Boridian called out, “Azoul, you see what you did! The beer is my source of game power!”

Azoul turned a wary eye to Boridian and remarked sarcastically, “Or maybe the other soldiers just sober up a lot faster than you do, ever think of that?”

Boridian stared Azoul for a long second as his brain tried to process what was said. Azoul begin to think that the man had gotten himself drunk before even reporting to his post. He’d seen Boridian fight, and he was a good soldier. The only problem was, he lacked the social grace that a soldier of the king should have in the presence of others. At times, the guy was a bit more trouble than he was worth.

Azoul sat next to the window sipping coffee and listening in on the soldier’s conversation. It would be a nice night, one where they could just relax. No travelers or merchants were expected for at least another few days, so they didn’t have to be completely presentable.

While these were nice thoughts, they were unfortunately short lived. The sound of hooves slamming into the ground filled the little house, and a few of the guards drew their swords as the bustled toward the window. In their haste, one of the men tripped over the leg of a chair and knocked Boridian into the ground. A stream of curse words exited his mouth as his face was smashed into the wooden floor.

Azoul beckoned for a few of the battle ready soldiers to follow him. They walked outside, a few of them with swords drawn and the rest with their hands merely resting on their swords, ready to fight if need be. Kuthin had an arrow knocked, but the bow was pointing at the ground.

As the horseman approached, Azoul got a better view of him. He gasped; it was General Aphorian, blood-soaked and nearly falling off his horse.

Azoul barked at his soldiers, “Weapons down men! Get the general inside the cabin immediately. Kuthin, go get a healer… Wait on second thought, go get the king also! Bring them both here as fast as you can!”

Kuthin nodded then started to jog off in the distance. Azoul didn’t even spare him a second glance as he ran toward Aphorian and helped him off his horse. He beckoned another soldier to him, who then helped him carry Aphorian inside.

As Azoul entered the house, he barked at the soldier still crowded around the table, “Clear the table! This guy needs to lie down.”

Boridian placed his arms on the table then proceeded to swipe everything off of it, effectively knocking it to the ground. Azoul and Re’bin, the other soldier carrying General Aphorian, gently laid the general on the table. Aphorian coughed up blood which fell to the wooden ground of the house, and started gasping for breath. Azoul started removing what was left of his armor to let the healer get better access to the wounds when he or she got there.

Once all the armor was off Aphorian’s chest, Azoul kicked into toward a corner then asked, “Can someone get me a wet rag, we need to clean the wounds.” He held out his arm with his hand open, and a second later someone placed a damp cloth in his hand. Azoul muttered a quick, “Thanks,” and then proceeded to wipe all the blood of Aphorian’s body.

Once Aphorian’s body was clean of blood, Azoul let out a massive sigh and collapsed against a wall. Aphorian was drifting in and out of consciousness, and Azoul wanted to wait to question him until he was sure that Aphorian was not delirious.

About thirty minutes had passed when the sound of hoof beats again filled the house. Azoul jumped right to his feet, but slipped again on Aphorian’s blood. One of the soldiers gave a small laugh then offered his hand to Azoul. Taking it, Azoul lifted himself up again, making sure to steer clear of the blood on the floor this time.

Walking toward the open door, Azoul spotted four men on horses, King Drake on a majestic, pure white horse. The king was dressed in the royal rob, a dark yet vibrant red with gold littered around it. Riding on his left was a man in white robes – a healer. The man had shoulder length brown hair and a face wrinkled with time; he was a seasoned man, with many years of practice in his art. The third person was but a shadow on the kings right. He was dressed in all black with a black hood and bandana. His horse matched him, as black as the night. They blended right in with the night; it was one of the king’s assassins. All that could be seen of the assassin were his eyes, hazel but with green being prominent. He stared at Azoul as he trotted behind the king on his shadowy horse, and Azoul had the impression that this assassin was going through at least a hundred different ways to kill him. It was slightly unnerving. Behind the three of them sat Kuthin on what was most likely a borrowed horse of the king’s.

Reaching the stable near the house, the party dismounted and tied their horses up. Well all of them except for the unnamed assassin who left his free to wonder around. The party shuffled into the house, but this time the assassin came in the back with Kuthin taking his place. Once inside, Kuthin went over to a corner and set his bow and quiver down, then pulled up a chair to watch the proceedings.

Addressing Azoul, King Drake asked, “General, please tell me what happened. All this young archer here, Kuthin I believe, was able to tell me is that my general stationed in Ankou arrived beaten up on a horse.”

Azoul nodded in acknowledgment then said, “We don’t know anything else. As soon as we got Aphorian down on the table he started slipping in and out of consciousness, we thought it be best to have the healer work on him first.”

King Drake stood for a second contemplating the situation, then waved his hand at the healer, signaling him to go to work. The assassin moved from the shadows where he had been lurking and walked up to Aphorian’s body. His gloved hands traced some of cuts as the healer was muttering spells and Aphorian’s body shone with a light blue glow. The assassin’s eyes narrowed as he examined the shape of the cut.

Suddenly, he turned to the king and informed him, “This cut was made by one of our blades. It seems our citizens have turned on us.”

The king’s eyes rose slightly and his mouth formed a perfect ‘o.’ “Are you sure of this?”

“Positive. I’ve been to many lands and we’re the only country that makes bleeds that make jagged cuts like these. You all best pray that whoever turned on us doesn’t have outside support though. The necromancers hiding in the darkest places in the world have been itching to spread their darkness.”

“Yes well, let’s hope that doesn’t happen. Uthi’len, how long should this take?” The king questioned the healer.

Uthi’len looked up at the king while still hunched over Aphorian’s body and replied, “Not sure, maybe five more minutes to get him stable and conscious, but he’ll need a week or two to recover from the injuries.”

The king nodded and replied, “Well get him conscious, I want to hear what he has to say before I react to this.”

Uthi’len nodded and went back to work. The others sat around watching him work. The assassin walked around the room examining different parts of it. Growing bored, he pulled up one of the chairs from under a soldier, knocking him to the ground, then sitting down. He unsheathed one of his swords, a short, narrow, and sharp blade with a hilt that fit perfectly in his hand. It had a red blade, but gave off a dark glow. The assassin started twirling the sword around, trying to provide entertainment for himself.

Azoul took a couple steps back then rested against a wall. He kept narrowed eyes on the assassin as he listened to Uthi’len’s muttered spell casting. The room was now lighting up with a soft blow glow as the wounds closed.

After five minutes had passed, Uthi’len looked up saying, “It is done. Do you want me to wake him now, or let him recover a bit more?”

The assassin retorted, “Do you want to end whatever revolt this is or go to sleep and hope it doesn’t get any worse over night?”

The king stepped in, “Easy there Samil” Turning his attention to Uthi’len King Drake continued, “Go ahead and wake him. While… rude, Samil has a point.”

Uthi’len nodded, and then spoke, “Ric nic le.”

Aphorian’s eyes fluttered open, and a light groan of pain escaped his lips. King Drake, Azoul, and Samil circled around Aphorian while the other soldiers gathered around them. Samil grabbed Aphorian by the head and held his mouth open, while fumbling in a pack on his leg with his other had. He pulled out a vial with a purple liquid in it, then proceeded to pour it down Aphorian’s throat.

Letting go he said, “Swallow, it will ease the pain.”

Aphorian swallowed and nodded. He looked around at the people circled around him, with his brow creasing and eyes narrowing with confusion.

Azoul took pity on him and started first, “What do you remember? You arrived here with blood and cuts covering your body.”

Aphorian’s eyes slammed together as he tried to remember. After a few seconds, he started with his story, “Ankou… It was burning. Fire everywhere, screams… Death. I gathered our forces, and we charged into the city. We didn’t have enough, they overwhelmed us. The civilians were fleeing behind us, as we were being slaughtered in the city with those that lagged behind. The enemy, they were rebels from the northern cities. Remember, the ones who refused to pay their taxes a few years back? Looks like their stepping it up. If I had to guess, I’d say this was being planned for awhile. From the looks of it, they’re trying to cut off Anokii from the rest of the country.”

Silence fell as the group took in what Aphorian told them. Samil walked over to the window and stared out at the stars, lost in thought. King Drake rubbed his temple as he took all of this in. He hasn’t had to fight a war since he took power in Ankou, when the country was divided between each city as nobles tried to claim the title of king for themselves. Now his northern cities have turned against him with swords and shields. This was something that needed to end quickly.

He sighed then turned to Samil, “How much do you know of our northern cities?”

He took a second contemplating his answer then replied, “They’re rather independent people, and as you should know, isolated. They’re probably feeling too far off from Asku to be under your rule. They’re going to cut you off of resources and force you to cave in and grant them their independence.”

The king nodded then asked, “And what would you have me do to stop this?”

“Gather your army en mass as fast as you possibly can. Send them to Ankou and reclaim the city. Send scouts ahead and find out exactly which northern cities have turned against us. As soon as Ankou is recovered, send your army north and eliminate the enemy cities – then dismantle their leadership.”

Azoul spoke for the first time since Aphorian woke, “Yes, that would work, but we need something a lot more specific and soon.”

Samil countered, “Obviously, but we need more intelligence on the enemy before we make our move. This is a very delicate matter at hand. We cannot just go in and crush every single person that lives in the north, then we’d have the whole country against us.”

The king responded, “Yes, Samil is right. This war will require surgical precision… The type of precision that Samil exercises in his operations for me. That’s why I want him to lead our army in this war. Aphorian, I want you to amass as many troops as you can and start a war camp right outside of Ankou. Samil, wait a week then ride to Ankou’s outskirts and take control of the army. Before then, I want you to work with our military tacticians here about possible strategies you could employ. I expect this war to be over with rather quickly, understood?”

Both men responded with a quick, “Yes my lord.”

The king said, “Alright, you know what to do. Get to work. And Aphorian, go home to your wife and rest. I’m sure she’ll appreciate having you back after what happened.”

Aphorian let a ghost of a smile grace is face, “Thank you, my lord.”

QDOS
December 11th, 2011, 01:20 PM
Hi Valondon, sorry to hear youíve been ill, and all the best for those exams.

I assume you have something of a minimal synopsis as to how your story will pan out.
Iíve read the Prologue and now Chapter One.

Yes, there are errors, typoís, sentences that need a bit of reconstruction. Nevertheless, this only the raw draft. Itís somewhat courageous of you to share, I look forward to seeing how you progress.

QDOS 8-)

valondon
December 11th, 2011, 02:02 PM
Hi Valondon, sorry to hear you’ve been ill, and all the best for those exams.

I assume you have something of a minimal synopsis as to how your story will pan out.
I’ve read the Prologue and now Chapter One.

Yes, there are errors, typo’s, sentences that need a bit of reconstruction. Nevertheless, this only the raw draft. It’s somewhat courageous of you to share, I look forward to seeing how you progress.

QDOS 8-)

Yes, I wrote an outline for this about two weeks before I started writing.

I am going to come back to this when I'm done for editing. I believe I stated my reasons for posting it in its raw form... This is a challenge to see how far you can go in a month, so to stay true to that challenge I need to just write and see what happens. Also, with this being a rush job, there may be some larger errors than just typos or sentences that could be worded better. So posting as I progress would help me catch those more dangerous errors to a story. Normally I wouldn't want to post like this. In my experience, if there are typos or grammar issues, that is the only thing you're going to get crit on. Helpful - yes, but not what I really need. I already have a strategy for that side of the revisions ;) I'm going to read through it myself when its done and fix all the errors I see, then I'll have my girlfriend (honorary editor) read through it and catch the rest the mistakes. Though I try to keep the huge typos out of the version that's posted here. After I finished writing chapter 1, I noticed that I wrote Aphorian instead of Azoul a lot, so Aphorian would both be knocked out on the table and standing around the table lol. Glad I fixed that ;)

Thanks for reading, do you have any stories posted?

Robdemanc
December 11th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Hi. You are doing very well for first draft. The prologue and chapter one are well written and I admire your motivation for aiming for one month completion. That is a good idea, you will then be able to relax a little and review your story. Last year I managed to write a first draft in 6 weeks, but I have spent the last 12 months rewriting and editing the story. Good luck with it.

valondon
December 11th, 2011, 03:26 PM
Hi. You are doing very well for first draft. The prologue and chapter one are well written and I admire your motivation for aiming for one month completion. That is a good idea, you will then be able to relax a little and review your story. Last year I managed to write a first draft in 6 weeks, but I have spent the last 12 months rewriting and editing the story. Good luck with it.


Thanks for your kind words :). I just feel as if I won't make it in time due to the setbacks the first week has brought me... and what this week will bring. Thanks again :)

QDOS
December 11th, 2011, 08:16 PM
Hi Valondon,

Thanks for asking Ė see my Inception Trilogy and Apprentice posted here and Taliesinís Gift posted under main Fiction heading. Iím planning to post a short - Devil Incarnate under the main Fiction heading for a Christmas read. If you have time over the hols, take a break and have a look.

Feedback is always welcome
QDOS :cool2:

valondon
December 12th, 2011, 02:47 AM
Hi Valondon,

Thanks for asking Ė see my Inception Trilogy and Apprentice posted here and Taliesinís Gift posted under main Fiction heading. Iím planning to post a short - Devil Incarnate under the main Fiction heading for a Christmas read. If you have time over the hols, take a break and have a look.

Feedback is always welcome
QDOS :cool2:

Alright, I will make sure to check those out once finals are over :)

YohannIan
December 14th, 2011, 12:45 PM
Very bold attempt there. I think I've heard of this one month novel thing. For me it's too much of a rush job to complete what I'm working on.
Because proper planning is a necessity for me.
But for you, I think its a great exercise and way to improve; seeing how you're doing this to measure how far you can go in one month.
By the way, try to use words (every now and then) that capture the attention of the readers.
For instance if you're painting out a battle scene, instead of just saying 'tattered bodies', you could use 'broken bodies'/ or you might want to add "severed limbs..etc"
But that would meaning upping the level of gore in your story. However, the point here is that you need to use words that would invoke the imaginations of the readers. Its kind of like having to get them to ask themselves "Did I get read that right? Let me read it again"
Its your story. The level of gore or violence is entirely up to you. But make sure you capture their imaginations.
Keep it up!!

valondon
December 15th, 2011, 03:12 AM
Very bold attempt there. I think I've heard of this one month novel thing. For me it's too much of a rush job to complete what I'm working on.
Because proper planning is a necessity for me.
But for you, I think its a great exercise and way to improve; seeing how you're doing this to measure how far you can go in one month.
By the way, try to use words (every now and then) that capture the attention of the readers.
For instance if you're painting out a battle scene, instead of just saying 'tattered bodies', you could use 'broken bodies'/ or you might want to add "severed limbs..etc"
But that would meaning upping the level of gore in your story. However, the point here is that you need to use words that would invoke the imaginations of the readers. Its kind of like having to get them to ask themselves "Did I get read that right? Let me read it again"
Its your story. The level of gore or violence is entirely up to you. But make sure you capture their imaginations.
Keep it up!!

Thanks for the feedback =) Though, one thing... " Its kind of like having to get them to ask themselves "Did I get read that right? Let me read it again""... That's something I try not to do considering I hate when I ask myself that as a reader. It makes the book more annoying to me.

Keep in mind, all I put out so far war wise is a vague painting of a battle scene... It may or may not get more gruesome, I'll decide on that when I get to our first real battle. I've written both gory and non gory stories, so the gore doesn't bother me... It's just a question of - does it fit this one?

valondon
March 31st, 2012, 09:58 PM
First thing's first... I obviously didn't make the challenge. My computer decided it didn't want to live anymore and I had to revive it with an OS re-install. Being the forgetful person that I am, I failed to realize that I would need Microsoft word after this wipe and didn't have any disc... Weeks later, I landed myself with a pair of Microsoft Office disk but I was already back in school and struggling. Now that I have a grip of things again, and spring break is coming up... I've had time to write. So I present to you, Chapter 2 =)


Chapter 2



The sun had just fallen to give rise to the moon and the night. It had been exactly one week since Aphorian arrived at Anokii bringing news of the attack. Samil was riding the same horse he rode to the guard’s house, Shadow Step, or Shadow for short. The week spent with the ‘genius’ military tacticians was worthless. King Drake chose him to lead this war because he knew there was a need to fight it differently than what the Asku’s army was accustomed to. Brute force wouldn’t work, which is all the tacticians talked about for the whole week. Though Samil supposed the week of meetings was necessary to appease the generals – they would not take kindly to being ordered around in war by an assassin. This was after all, their area of expertise, not his.

As he rode, he noticed movement in the forest to the right of him. He was on a dirt path that the citizens of Asku made centuries ago when they cleared a path in the forest between the cities. These types of roads connected every city next to each other, at least the ones surrounded by forest. The west end of the country (where Anokii and Ankou lay) was largely forest, but the further west you went, the more open the environment become. The east end was largely made up of farmers who supplied the rest of the country with food.

Samil was tempted to ignore the movement, but his gut told him that would be a vital mistake. Dismounting, he told Shadow Step to stay as he drew his two swords. One was the same blade that he was playing with in the guard’s house a week ago, and the other one had the same physical makeup, except the blade was green, it was laced with poison.

The blades were something Samil prided himself on, the red one would make his victims bleed more with wounds that were almost impossible to heal. The green one was laced with a poison that he stole from the necromancers in the Wolfpeak Forest. They were still rather peeved with him for it. The poison was extremely fast acting and would cause complete organ failure of all the victim’s internal organs. The best part was, he devised a spell that would keep the blades from ever losing their abilities. The mix between his blades, being naturally stealthy, and the ability to use magic made Samil one of the king’s most deadly assassins, even in the short time that he’d been working for him. It was also fortunate that he was so new to the game; no one knew who he was, making it even easier to avoid detection.

Letting himself blend into the shadows, Samil crept toward the trees, eyes darting about for another sign of whatever creature, human or not, that first caught his attention. The further he got into the woods, the more uneasy he grew. His stomach was sinking as he got the impression that he was being hunted, not the other way around. Suddenly, there was a snap as a twig broke and Samil spun around, noticing a blur of movement behind a tree. Samil backed into a tree and let himself be completely absorbed by the darkness.

A minute or so passed, then whatever was stalking him started to move again, assuming his prey had moved on. As the shadow moved in front of the tree that it was hiding behind, Samil’s eyes widened, it was another of the king’s assassins. It was Asazi, another new recruit. The king hired him about a month before Samil. Samil sheathed his swords and drew two small daggers that were sheathed on his legs. He didn’t want to kill Asazi, at least not yet. He wanted to know why this assassin was stalking him, ready to kill.

Asazi passed right in front of where Samil was hiding, and Samil leapt forward, and landed on Asazi’s back. He slammed one of the daggers into Asazi’s right shoulder muscle, then flipped the assassin over and pressed the second dagger into his throat.

“Why were you following me?” Demanded Samil.

“I followed you and the king to the house, and overheard what was going on. I deserve your job more than you do! I’m a senior assassin!”

“You’re new, just joined a month before me. And I’m sure King Drake had his reasons for selecting me, despite whatever crazy thoughts you came up with. Why didn’t you try to kill me in the city? Why follow me out here?”

“It’d be too suspicious in the city; I could blame it on rebel scouts out here.”

Samil nodded his understanding then looked into Asazi’s eyes and warned him, “Go back to Anokii, and don’t ever let me catch you trying to usurp me again. Understood?”

Without waiting for an answer, Samil knocked Asazi on the head with the butt of his dagger. He pulled the other dagger out of Asazi’s shoulder, and whipped it clean with Asazi’s clothes. He ripped off Asazi’s shirt and carved the world ‘Traitor’ into his chest. As he did this he muttered the spell, “Luc me nu,” which stopped the wound from bleeding. He didn’t want the assassin to bleed out before he could be properly shamed.

Standing up, Samil called Shadow to him, and the horse stayed true to its name, emerging from the shadows just a moment later. As Shadow walked up to him, Samil cleaned the blade of the dagger that he used to mark Asazi with, and then sheathed it. He climbed on top of Shadow and urged him into a trot while directing him back toward the road.

The rest of the ride to the war camp was peaceful. Soon the scenery became a blur as Samil rode on. As the hours ticked by, the moon started to fall and light was to be seen from the horizon. Taking a hand to wipe sleep from his eyes, Samil urged Shadow to run faster – he could sense the camp drawing near.

As the war camp came into sight, a sigh of relief exited the assassin’s mouth. If it took any longer to get there, he was liable to fall asleep and slide off Shadow into some ditch on the side of the road. Not the most glorious fate for the upcoming assassin.

As he neared the gate, a guard called out, “Who goes there? This is a restricted area!”

Samil urged Shadow into a slow walk and he went up right next to the guard. He drew his sword and placed it against the guard’s throat. The blade gleamed as the rays of the early morning sun. The guard stumbled back as the other guard standing on the opposite side of the gate drew his sword and pressed the tip against Samil’s back.

Samil spoke in a commanding voice, “I am Samil, one King Drake’s trusted assassins. And it seems I’m to be your all’s general in this war. Now I suggest letting me past – unharmed,” he added to the other guard, “so I can do my job.”

The second guard sheathed his sword as the first one stumbled backward, till he hit one of the wood planks and fell. A ghost of a smirk graced Samil’s lips for a fraction of a second before it disappeared again as he lightly tapped Shadow, signaling him to start moving forward again. If there was one area where Samil would criticize himself in – it would be his need for dramatic entrances.

As he entered the camp, Samil took in the sight of many men bustling about in a hurried fashion. Some were sharpening swords, others polishing armor, and even some were gathered around fires laughing with nervous excitement about the battles to come. Samil could taste the nervousness in the air, many of these men have never seen battle aside from the sparing arenas back in their basic training. On the other side, the rebels were soldiers from the northern cities; therefore they had regular experience in combat due to border skirmishes. This was going to turn into a real mess.

After a few minutes of slow paced riding, Samil arrived at the command tent in the center of camp. Dismounting, he gave Shadow an instruction to vanish but stay close by. Again, deciding on a dramatic entrance, Samil let himself blend into the shadows and crept into the tent. As he entered, he noticed several high ranking officers sitting at a squared table and bickering amongst each other as General Azoul sat at the head of the table and had a look of exasperation on his face but wasn’t uttering a word.

Samil slowly walked up to the table and silently pulled himself on top of. He then proceeded to walk to the middle of the table, taking care not to make the wood squeak or make any other noise. Once he was in the middle, he drew a dagger and slammed it into the wood as he let himself exit the shadows and become visible again. Silence fell within seconds.

Samil stared at the officers as he moved in circles to get a good view of each and every one of them. After a brief period of silence he spoke, “We don’t have time for your all’s nonsense. What are you even arguing about? Who gets credit for what? You’re wasting your time and breath. I was sent here for a reason, and it would do you well to remember that. We are just gathering intelligence now, not fighting – so why fight amongst ourselves?”

No one replied, but General Azoul let a smirk grace the edge of his lips. Samil smiled on the inside, it was a good thing he had the general on his side. Being an assassin, he was a rather anti social being and didn’t handle others very well. Samil jumped off the table then headed to the empty set on the other end. Taking a seat, he once again stared at the officers and motioned for them to fill him in on info.

A young general spoke, “Sir, we have reports that the rebels are already amassing their army to march out of Ankou and straight into Anokii. They have several war camps outside the city, not that far away from ours. If they know we’re here – which they probably do – they’d be able to march in secret around us and strike the capital without anyone noticing.”

Samil nodded, taking in the information. He grabbed a map on the table and examined it. He circled some spots around the war camp and said, “I want to place scouts in these areas. Two at each circle – one to spot and the other to act as a messenger back to the main camp. If they try to go to Anokii, we’ll know. What else do we know about them?”

A captain responded, “I’m sorry sir, this has been all the information we’ve been able to gather. They have archers roaming outside their camps preventing us from getting close enough to collect intel.”

Samil turned his attention to the captain and asked, “And who might you be? I don’t remember captains being allowed into the command tent to devise strategies.”

The captain responded, “I’m Captain Gorian, sir. I’m here because I lead the elite squads during special missions to make the main army’s objective easier to complete. My input and ideas are… valued by the other officers here.”

Quite a few of the officers muttered the agreement with Gorian and Samil nodded satisfied. To be honest, he really didn’t care, but King Drake instructed him to keep up the appearance that he cared about military protocol for the men’s sake. This type of thing wasn’t in the job description.

Samil sat in silence for a minute before he spoke again, “Ok, so I’m going to rectify our issue of a lack of info. I’m going to take a team of scouts and try to slip past or eliminate the rebel archers outside the camp. I’ll have the scouts guard my exit as I slip into the rebel camps and see if I can find out anything about what they’re doing and their defense system for Ankou. Hopefully we’ll be able to retake the city by the end of the week.”

__________________
AN: It's not perfect, I know. I want to do some serious editing in some places... maybe even re-write certain portions of the chapter. However, I'm forcing myself to wait till the story is complete, and I promised that I'd take you through my writing process, rough draft included. It will be edited later, I promise you that. I'm currently 732 words deep into Chapter 3. Hopefully I see you all soon! :smile:

valondon
April 1st, 2012, 01:17 PM
AN: Here's chapter 3! Quick update yes, get used to it? No. Chapter 4 won't come this quickly.

Chapter 3



The sun had set giving rise to the moon and the ever oppressing darkness. Samil was sitting on the top of a tree in its highest branch just outside one of the rebel’s war camps. He let a smile light his face as the breeze blew slightly past him, rustling the tree’s leaves. This was the type of task that he was comfortable with, unlike his job arguing with a bunch of officers about the best course of action. Samil naturally did see the necessity of planning; he just preferred the use of his swords over his mouth.

He took a look around noting the fires that the rebels were gathered around as bards sang songs telling epic stories of wars long past and stories of the future when the rebels would have their own country. He also noted the positions of guards in makeshift towers, looking out upon the forest waiting for an attack. There were large bells in each tower to sound the alarm if King Drake’s army was spotted. Samil prayed that the scouts that he brought with him wouldn’t be caught; he didn’t know if he’d be able to save them from the onslaught that awaited if they did.

Samil made a motion with his hand, signaling the scouts to quickly and quietly kill the rebel guards and scouts wondering in the forest. Counting on them to see and follow orders, Samil leapt down from the tree with a silent ease and landed on top of an enemy guard and slitting his throat with a knife that he pulled out during the fall. With his hand over the rebel’s mouth preventing the scream of surprise and pain from escaping, Samil sat on top of the rebel as he bled to death.

Once the rebel’s legs stopped thrashing signaling that he was dead, Samil released his grip on his head and got off the rebel’s back. The members of his scout team gathered around them. A couple had their bows in hand, held loosely at their sides. Others had some blood splattered on their clothes with daggers or swords drawn and bloodied.

Samil looked at them then said, “Alright, create and hold an escape route for me. I’m gonna sneak into the camp and try to see if I can find out anything about their plans and defense.”

The scouts nodded in reply then dispersed into the forest, disappearing into the darkness of the night. Samil edged his way against the wood pickets surrounding the camp. Once he was up to it, he slung a back rope over the edge, lodging it on the top of a pick. Grabbing it, he used it to help him climb up the pickets. Once he was at the top, he yanked the rope off and tied it around his waist. Balancing himself at the top of the pickets, he quickly checked to see if anyone was looking before jumping down, landing with hardly a sound.

Samil’s eyes darted around, making sure that his landing went un detected. A rebel guard came walking toward Samil from the right, and Samil let himself fall back into the shadows cast by the fires of the camp. As the guard moved past him, Samil stuck his leg out, tripping the guard. While the guard was falling, Samil leapt out of hiding and jumped on the guard’s back. While in motion, Samil pulled a sword from its sheath and effortlessly slid the blade into the guard’s back. The guard didn’t even have time to scream in pain before the tip of the sword poked a hole into his heart, unleashing a torrent of blood into the rest of his body. The guard convulsed for a second or two, before his body crumpled into the dirt.

Pulling the blade out of the dead guard, Samil glanced around, wondering about where he was likely to find any plans. As he cleaned the blood off the blade, he reasoned that since they rebels were a part of Anokii’s army, they would follow the same military procedure – which included having the command tent in the center of the camp, making it hard to reach from all possible areas of attack. As he sheathed the sword again, Samil decided to work his way to the center of the camp, and hopefully stumbling upon something useful. If not, well… He’d think of something.

As he moved through the camp, he let his body shift with the shadows. One dead guard in the camp was risky, any more would surely set off the alarm that there was an intruder – or worse – an incoming attack. As he moved, he caught snippets of conversations. Soldiers were fighting and laughing over various card games and other entertainment going on. Others were standing to the side, with amused smirks on their faces as they watched their comrades make fools of themselves. There were even little areas where a soldier was alone crying, missing his family. On one such occasion, Samil stood still, watching the soldier as silent tears fell from his eyes as the flames from the fire danced, lighting and darkening his face.

Criticizing himself for getting caught up in the rebel’s affairs; Samil once again began moving further into the rebel camp. As he progressed, he noticed that the light was shining brighter up ahead, and there was a rebel flag waving high for everyone to see. Once he got close enough, Samil could see a large tent centered right in the middle of the camp. Smiling at his good prediction, Samil let the shadows engulf his body as he tried to silently move past the great bonfire sitting just a few feet before the entrance to the great tent. Despite his expertise in the art of invisibility, Samil still prayed that no one was paying attention. It was hard to remain completely unseen with such light so close by.

Eventually sneaking through the entrance to the tent, Samil turned and walked into a corner and let out a breath that he didn’t know he was holding. After taking a second to collect himself, he took in the room. There were lanterns lit in the corners and about twelve people seated at a table in the middle of the room. There were kegs of ale pushed to the back of the tent and cups of ale littered across the table. Many of the rebel officers were smoking pipes with deep lines of concern and concentration lined covered their faces.

One of them spoke, “We’re in no good position. The King’s army is on our doorstep, we have to move now!”

Someone replied to him, “We can’t move! If we do, Ankou will be left undefended!”

The first officer replied back, “We’re going to lose the city anyway. It can be a strategic lost though if done right. We need to leave enough soldiers around the outer border of the city to maintain the illusion that we are entrenched deep within the city. As the King’s army attacks, we can march with our main force to Anokii. If we take Anokii, we can force the King’s hand. If we force the King’s hand, we win the war. If we win the war, any lose here is trivial.”

The second officer replied, “Hmmm. I see your point. Stein, what’s your position on this?”

The person on the far end of the table leaned forward, his face leaving the shadows. There was a scar running from his chin, across his mouth, up and across his right eye, and disappearing into his shaggy hair. His face was lined with premature aging and concern. This man had fought in many battles and has lived a hard life. Despite him being part of the rebel resistance, Samil couldn’t help but admire him for that. ‘Too bad he would be dead before everything is said and done,’ Samil thought.

The man called Stein spoke, his voice deep and gravely, “I say we go for the illusion plan. I want this war over with as little cost to us as possible. These boys deserve to go back home to their families.”
The second officer said, “And so it shall be. We’ll mobilize our troops and have the majority out of here within a week. Hopefully we have enough time before the King’s army attacks.”

Samil had heard enough, and he quietly slipped out of the tent. Following the same path he took to the command tent, he mulled over what he had overheard. There was really no good move that he could make. Either he would have to attack them full force and lose a lot of men, or he would have to let them reach Anokii, and his employer. This wasn’t a good situation to be in.

Reaching the picketed fence that he originally climbed over, he whistled and heard one in reply from the other side, signaling that it was all clear. He grabbed his rope again and threw it to a tree on the other side of the fence. The rope caught, and Samil used it to leverage himself to the top of the fence once again, and jumped down. He whistled again and Shadow came trotting up to him. Samil swung himself onto his horse and made a hand signal, motioning for the scouts to follow suit.

The team of scouts galloped back to the King’s camp at a relatively fast pace. It was well past midnight, but well before dawn, and Samil was growing tired. He had been up for over a day straight and it was starting to take a slight toll on his body. Not really detrimental, but annoying all the same.

The ride back to the camp was a largely silent one. The sound of hooves striking the ground repeatedly could be heard from the scout’s steeds, but not from Shadow. Like his master, Shadow was a master of the unseen arts – including the ability to remain silent. Smirking at the sound the other horses were making, Samil ran his hand up and down Shadow’s mane.

Reaching the King’s camp, Samil and the others swiftly rode past the guards and to the command tent. Reaching the tent, Samil dismounted and nodded his head to Shadow, signaling to the horse to find a nice spot to sleep. The horse was only too happy to oblige and found a nice patch of grass to curl up on and went straight to sleep.

Samil looked at the scouts and said, “You all did a good job tonight. Go on to bed, you deserve it.”

It wasn’t the best speech, but speeches weren’t really Samil’s thing, and it was getting late into the night. Walking into the tent, Samil was relieved to see that it was still full of the officers as they discussed possible strategies. His entrance remained unnoticed, so he let out a slight cough – signaling that he was there. In an instant, every eye the room snapped up and was focused on him. Samil started circling around the table as he began his narrative of what had transpired and what he had heard in the enemy encampment.

Once he was finished with his recount, someone asked, “So what are we supposed to do? It seems like both obvious options are the wrong ones. But I would say we should just attack them now, we can’t risk them taking Anokii.”

Samil took a second, his brow creased as he thought, before he replied, “I was wondering the same thing the whole way back here. And I think I have something.” He paused before continuing, “We’re going to wait until they split their forces.”

A chorus of what’s and why’s rang out in the tent. Samil waited for them to settle down before he continued, “We’re going to retake Ankou without suffering any major losses. That would be detrimental this early in the war. However, we cannot lose Anokii either. So, I want our scouts hard at work, creating a trap for the rebels. I want as many of them as possible harmed on the way to the capital. And for the rest, I want the way blocked, and the only way to get through the seemingly natural barricade is to harm themselves. I cannot think of anything more specific than that though, you all may want to talk to someone who’s more used to this kind of thing. Maybe some of the hunters that live their whole lives in the woods.”

The officers nodded their consent to his plan after considering it. Azoul spoke up for the rest of them, “That sounds like a great plan Samil. It may just work, and if it does, you’ve avoided a massacre. When do you want to strike?”

“I want scouts placed all around the rebel camp, and as soon as they make their move, we make ours. I want the construction of the trap to be started tomorrow morning. Azoul, you can pick the scouts that would best be suited for the task. If that’s all, I’m heading to bed.”

Without waiting for a reply, Samil turned around and stalked out of the tent, ready for a sleep that he had been longing for ever since he left the rebel camp. It would be a dreamless night.

valondon
April 28th, 2012, 11:58 PM
Chapter 4



The skies were turning grey with the malice of the God’s as the King’s army stood outside the gates of Ankou. Their armor was a dark black mixed with specs of red, designed to intimidate the enemy. Each soldier had a nearly identical expression to the one next to him. They were wide eyed; their mouths were thinned as they pressed their lips together tightly. Each soldier had some nervous twitch; an arm slapping a thigh, a leg that couldn’t stay still, a shaking hand.

Samil sat on Shadow, about a yard ahead of the body of the main body of the army. His face was covered with a black scarf, with an accompanying and matching hood to go with the scarf. For the time being, his two swords rested harmlessly at his sides, safely tucked away in their sheaths. Shadow grunted in anticipation, he could smell the fear in the air and it was feeding his own anxiety on what was to come, though the horse would not let it control him.

Samil gave a nod to General Azoul, who then spoke out in a projected voice, loud enough for the rebel guards to hear, “By order of the King, this city is to be retaken. Resistance is futile. Fight and suffer the consequences. This city shall be reclaimed in the name of His Majesty.”

A voice from within the walls replied, “We will never surrender, do your worst.”

Samil smiled grimly and muttered to himself, “You asked for it.”

Samil gave another hand signal to Azoul, and seconds later orders were being shouted as the soldiers broke into action. The archers drew their bows as the swordsman rushed to the gate. Large chunks of the wall fell crashing to the ground with thunderous impact as catapults hurled huge stones into the walls. Rebel archers appeared on the top of the wall, running to get into position to repel the oncoming horde.

Arrows were traded between the two sides, as a countless number of the attackers crumpled where they stood, and as numerous rebels fell from on top of the wall. Their lifeless bodies slammed into the heads of some attackers, breaking their necks – further weakening the assault.

Samil still sat on Shadow, in the same position he was in before the attack begun. He stared at the chaos as holes began appearing in the wall, granting small room for the King’s army to advance into the city. However, it would be narrow and they’d be slaughtered the moment they squeezed through. It was a death trap. In fact, it was already happening. Piles of dead soldiers were piling up on the inside of the holes as they were either stabbed or shot as they made their debut into the city.

Realizing that if they kept this up, the rebels would keep the upper hand. Thinking quickly, Samil shouted, “Aim the catapults at the door! Forgot the walls! Smash the door! We need breathing room!”

Thankfully, the soldiers manning the catapults were quick to follow orders and hastily re-aimed the catapults to smash down the great wooden door acting as a gate into the city. The soldiers who were already there trying to smash it down quickly moved out of the way, so the rocks didn’t crush them. In a few vital moments, the door was in splintered pieces on the ground.

Within seconds, soldiers were climbing over the splintered wood, rushing into the city. Clangs were heard as metal scraped metal. The battle had truly begun. Samil urged Shadow forward, and pulled his bleeding sword, Kravitch Ungal. As he neared the entrance, Shadow leapt over the wood, landing cleanly on the ground without even leaving a print. As he rode past enemy soldiers, Samil swung his sword, slashing the soldiers. Even with a small cut, the soldier was on the ground – dead in a second due to the blood loss.

Once he was deep in the chaos, Samil dismounted Shadow and whispered to him, “Find a safe spot my friend, and wait for my signal. I have a feeling that we’re going to need to bust out of here.”

Shadow neighed his understanding and trotted off, deep into the city. Samil drew his poisoned sword, Forglit Svard, along with Kravitch and was quickly darting in and out of the rebels, stabbing and slashing at them. Soon piles of dead bodies lay where Samil swept in and out, pools of blood forming on the floor. As soldiers ran by, some slipped and fell into the blood, becoming easy targets for enemy archers.

Soon the outer wall fell as the rebel defense grew overwhelmed. Hordes of the King’s soldiers were swarming into the entrance of Ankou, quickly overwhelming the soldiers that still resisted in the outer defenses. Samil was killing soldiers left and right, desecrating their ranks. His eyes were turning a blood red as he soaked himself into the goriness of battle. His black assassin’s clothes were becoming stained with blood, wet spots forming at random areas in the outfit as they become blood soaked.

A horn sounded from the right of the King’s Army. Samil’s head snapped up as he peered into the distance, frantically searching for the source of the sound. Squinting, he made out a large blur moving toward the King’s Army, from the backstreets bordering the right side of the city wall. It looked as if the Rebel army that was left in the city was coming at him in bulk.

Samil spun around, his eyes darting between all of the soldiers until they landed on one with a horn. Running up to the warrior, he yanked the horn off its rope and blew into it, getting his army’s attention. He pointed Kravitch in the direction of the oncoming attack, and charged. His men weren’t that far behind, and soon war cries began to ring aloud again within Ankou.

Reaching one of the back alleys were the attack was coming from, Samil jumped up, grabbing onto a rope that hung from a building’s ceiling. He leveraged it to pull himself on top of the roof of the building, and he sprinted forward. Rebel archers were beginning to climb on top of the roofs, and Samil quickly dispatched them with swift and calculated swings of his two enhanced swords. Their bodies fell back down to the streets with loud splats as their blood further splattered Samil’s clothes, however the sounds were largely lost to the louder sound of overall battle and mayhem.

Dashing forward, Samil swung Kravitch in a wide arc, lopping off the head of a rebel archer, who was taking aim at Azoul from a building’s rooftop. Samil jumped off the roof, not even giving time for the head to touch the ground. He landed in a narrow alley with soldiers of both sides mingled about. Some had lost their weapons, and were wrestling each other. A rebel soldier was lying on top of one of the King’s, strangling him. The rebel’s veins were bulging with the effort that he was putting into silencing his enemy. Another duet of soldiers were having a sword fight just a few paces away from Samil. The King’s soldier swung his sword upward, undercutting his opponent, and sliced off his hand. The rebel crumpled to the ground, screams of agony bellowing from his lips, ricocheting off the buildings, then silenced by the sounds of war. The King’s soldier slammed his sword into the rebel’s neck, sending his head flying of his body. Blood was squirting from the headless neck as the heart pulsed, and then it stopped and started oozing out of the neck as the lifeless body lay on the ground, getting desecrated by its own blood, trying to escape with surprising swiftness.

Samil felt a deep searing pain in his right arm, jolting him out of the trance that he was in. His head jerked right and noticed a rebel soldier standing there, raising his sword to strike again. Quickly Samil stabbed him in the stomach with Forglit and sliced his neck with Kravitch. The soldier crumpled to the ground, his armor covered in the blood pouring from his neck. There was a dull thud as the rebel touched the ground.

Samil berated himself for the near fatal lapse, and took a look around. The alley was deserted and the sounds of war were fainter, as the King’s army pushed further into the city. Wiping sweat off his brow, Samil once again begin running off toward the fight, eager to rejoin in the chaos of battle.

Nearing the courtyard, Samil could see a group of rebels bundled up against a door, as if desperately trying to protect it. Samil raised an eyebrow as he started walking quickly to the group. As he walked, he unhooked a smoke bomb from his belt and tossed it at the group. Within seconds, spluttering and coughing could be heard where the group was standing, but was replaced by smoke. Within seconds, Samil was within the confusion and was ducking and weaving through the rebels as he swung his swords, cutting them down one by one. Within half a minute, the smoke cleared and Samil stood, holding his swords low to the ground, standing amongst scattered dead bodies.

Curious about what the rebels were guarding on the outskirts of the battle in the courtyard, Samil sheathed Forglit and kicked in the door, still holding Kravitch by his side – read for use at the slightest movement. The door gave way and revealed stairs leading downward, into a dark passage. Due to the inability to see that far ahead, Samil grabbed a torch that was placed on the inside of the door and cautiously proceeded forward.

The climb down was a dark and slow one. Samil had to move slowly due to his inability to see more than a couple feet around him, and the stairs took sudden sharp turns at random intervals. After ten or so minutes, Samil finally reached the bottom of the stairs, and his senses were assaulted by a horrid smell. It was as if the dead bodies from above were left to sit for weeks down here in the condensed room.

Samil took a look around, and immediately noticed where the smell was coming from. He was in a make shift prison, bars separating one half of the room from another. On the side opposite the bars from Samil, there was a group of twenty odd people, and not all of them alive. Some were laying motionless on the ground, deep gashes in their bodies, with worms and other insects making their way through the remains. Others looked as if they had just been thrown down here, as if done hastily right before the battle begun. One such person was a beautiful young girl, who looked about Samil’s age. She had shoulder length vibrant red hair that danced with the flames of the torches lining the walls of the room. Her eyes were a captivating brown color, that pulled Samil in, in the brief second that he looked into them.

Shaking his head, he cleared his thoughts of this captivating girl and thought quickly. If the rebels were guarding this lot, they were probably their prisoners, seeing as the rebels wouldn’t be familiar with who were already criminals in the city, and this didn’t look like an official prison. Since they were prisoners of the rebels, they would most likely join in Samil’s cause of retaking the city. The more arms the better.

Making his decision, Samil whacked the lock on the gate with his sword, breaking it off. Thankfully, it was a hastily made lock and wouldn’t hold against much force. As soon as the lock broke, those that had strength came rushing out of the gate and up the stairs, before Samil even had time to react. In fact, he barely had enough time to jump up, out of the way of the stampeding horde. However, the pretty young girl came slowly walking out of the cell. She had a nervous look on her face, but her mouth was slightly curved upward, showing gratification for freeing her.

Samil choked a bit when he tried to ask, “May I inquire after a pretty young lady’s name?”

The curve of her mouth grew slightly larger, “You may. My name’s Avari. I’m the daughter of the noble Susastin.”

"A pleasure to meet you my lady," replied Samil, trying to impress for once in his life.

It looked like Avari was about to say something when there was a loud crash from above as a building crumpled to the ground. Samil quickly shoo'd the prisoners up the stairs and grabbed Avari's hand and took off behind the rest of the prisoners.

Up and up they climbed, many of the prisoners were wondering if there would ever be an end to the stairs or if everything was just a clever ploy to crush their spirits. Finally, after several long minutes, they reached the top. One of the large prisoners at the top slammed his body into the doors repeatedly until they burst open. Light shined through the now clear opening and many prisoners raised their hands to cover their eyes, not used to real sunlight.

Samil quickly pushed his way to the front, dragging Avari with him. He found a dead rebel and relieved the corpse of his sword and handed it to Avari, whispering "stay safe," to her.

Samil quickly gathered the prisoners' attention and barked, "Turn right and head out of the city. When you reach the guards we left at the gate, tell them what happened and that I said to take you to the encampment. Pick up whatever weapons you can find on the way out to defend yourselves. Now go!"

Instantaniously, the prisoners started rushing toward the city gate as fast as their starved bodies could take them. Samil watched for only a second to make sure everything was safe, then he gave one last look at Avari then took off toward the courtyard.

As he neared the center of the city, the sound of fighting intensified. There were screams of rage and pain as swords flashed with red. Samil pulled out Kravitch and Forglit as he neared the battle.

The courtyard came into view and Samil noticed the rebel army was huddled up into a semi circle, entrenched against buildings, and probably within the alleys. In the center of the rebels, stood an older man with elegant armor, bloodied sword raised, and a look of determination upon his withered face. This was the general that Samil spied upon in the rebel camp.

Thinking quick, Samil dashed across the courtyard to join in the front lines. He shouted to the King's soldiers to gather round him for a push. The King's army lunged forward like the tip of a spear into the rebel's defense line - which melted like butter when met with a scolding hot knife.

As the King's Army once again gained leeway, Samil tried making a path the rebel general. He swung his two swords around with an expertise fitting of the Gods. Rebels crumpled before him as he carved a bloody path to the rebel general.

As Samil and his soldiers neared the general, the general dropped his pose and started hacking and slashing at any soldier that came within the arm's reach. His arms were abnormally long, and his sword only served to double the length and make it lethal. Samil quickly sheathed his two swords and pulled out a dagger, then suddenly flung it at the general's leg with precise accuracy. The knife went between the plates covering his lower and upper leg and he crumpled to the ground with the sudden pain. As he fell, his other foot slipped in the pool of blood and the general fell face first into the ground.

Several of the King's soldiers rushed forward, trying to kill the man that dared kill their brothers. Acting fast, Samil shouted, "No! We need him alive!"

Quickly but reluctantly, the soldiers backed off and let Samil seize the general. Samil flipped him over and removed the knife sticking out of his leg. Pulling the general up by his arm, Samil clutched him to his chest and put a knife to his throat. He motioned with his head to the soldiers and started backing up, with the soldiers forming a defensive wall around him.

Once he was out of sword length of the rebels, Samil bellowed, "I have your beloved general! Surrender or he dies!"

The cease in fighting was almost instantaneous, and the swords of the rebel soldiers dropping to the ground just took another short second. However, the surrender wasn't universal. One rebel stepped forward with defiance in his eyes and a loyal group of comrades stood with him.

The defiant rebel stared at Samil then shouted, "What gives you the right to demand our surrender! You are no king! you aren't even a general!"

Hearing this, some murmurs of agreement came from the remaining rebels. A scowl of disgust graced Samil's face for a second, before it vanished again and his face became stoic again.

Samil glared at the rebel and replied back, equally as loud, "King Drake put me in charge of stopping your worthless rebellion. So that's what I'm here to do. To avoid pointless battles that you will surely lose, I'll even make an offer. Surrender now, and we'll let you return home in peace. Keep fighting, and you and your families will be crushed."

"You can't make such an offer, you're lying..." started the defiant rebel, before an arrow thudded into his chest and he collapsed on the ground, joining his fallen brothers.

Samil grinned triumphantly as the rebel's faces grew pale, and with a smirk he said, "Any other objections?"

His question was met with dead silence, with no rebel soldiers daring to even breathe the wrong way.

"Good," Samil continued, "Then you will be escorted to Anokii to be processed then let free, albeit, less free than you were before." Turning to the King's army, Samil shouted, "The city is ours!"

valondon
June 1st, 2012, 02:15 AM
Chapter 5



There were soldiers bustling about the camp, gathering supplies, eager to move into Ankou briefly and enjoy the comforts of the homes in the city. At least - what homes survived the onslaught earlier that day.

Samil was walking through the camp, making a straight beeline toward the command tent. He needed to meet up with the other officers, and more importantly - catch another glimpse of Avari, for the prisoners were sent to the command tent for processing by the officers.

Samil had lost his bandana during the fight, and his hood was cut off during the final charge. This left his face exposed to the public for the first time since he enlisted as an assassin for the king. He had pitch black hair, cut semi short to avoid it getting in the way. It had several messy strands sticking out on his head.

Reaching the entrance to the command tent, Samil pushed open the flap and walked in. A couple officers were sitting with the prisoners, questioning them about what went on in the city. A few others were mingling about, socializing light heartedly with each other, trying to relieve the stress of the battle. Aphorian was sitting at the command table alone, his right hand holding his head up, his expression skewed from deep concentration.

Samil walked over to Aphorian and plopped down into a seat right next to him. The noise broke Aphorian's concentration and he looked over at Samil, one eyebrow lifted in question.

Samil asked, "Has any news been heard about what happened to the party that was sent to intercept the main bulk of the rebel army?"

Aphorian nodded and replied, "Yes, we got news back from a runner several minutes ago. A brief skirmish broke out, but the rebels quickly turned around and vanished into the woods. Scouts were sent ahead to follow them, and they reported back unfavorable news."

Samil's face stayed emotionless as he replied, "Oh?"

Aphorian sighed then continued, "The rebels have pulled back and are retreating to towns they already control. They're solidifying the new border they made with their own city's and us. We'll have to fight extra hard to reclaim these towns before we can even enter into official rebel territory. To be honest, I was hoping with a victory in Ankou and in the forest today to ensure a quick end to this nonsense." He sighed again, "But instead, I only got one of those victories, and it looks like our toughest fight is ahead of us."

Samil sat there, his face blank, but his eyes flashed at the news. If the rebels retreated so easily while their goal was within grabbing distance, they were either weaker than Intelligence believed, or this was a trap. Either way, they wouldn't keep the border towns.

With a calculated expression, Samil stood up and begin circling the table at a slow pace. As he circled, he began to speak, "Either the rebels are weaker than we originally believed them to be, or we're being led into a trap. The former is believable - they may have very well exhausted several resources on coming this far and taking as much as they did without word reaching us. And even if it is the latter, they won't be able to spring it in a border town. We have too many options when it comes to choosing which ones we retake. No, if there is a trap, it will be within the heart of rebel territory."

One of the generals inquired, "And how do you suggest we go about this?"

Samil continued, "We simply retake the border, and walk into their trap."

There was a loud outcry as many of the officers stood up and started shouting at Samil. Many of them were pointing fingers at him, spit flying from their mouths as their faces turned red. Samil just quietly sat there, taking the abuse as the volume level raised and it was impossible to hear what anyone said.

Suddenly, there was a loud clang as Aphorian slammed a sword into the table and yelled, "Shut up! At least let Samil here elaborate before you 'effin burn him at the stake!"

Samil shot Aphorian a subtle nod before he resumed, "As I was trying to say - we can split our forces into three armies. There are three border towns that we absolutely need to maintain control over if we're going to launch and successful assault upon the rebels. Unfortunately, these towns were probably the first to fall in this war, so it's our job to take them back. As I said earlier, it is extremely doubtful that there is any kind of significant trap within these towns. So what I'm going to do, is have our three armies attack the towns simultaneously. I'll take Anthunin with Aphorian, and you all can decide amongst yourselves who takes what. I don't really care, I just want everything to fall at once."

A captain asked, "And what are you going to do once we have the border towns? We can't choke them to death, they have access to both the sea and the various countries north of us."

Samil answered, "Ah yes, that does present a problem to what would be an easy and effective way to end the rebellion. No, after we take control of the border again, we're going to concentrate our army into one large forcer again, and march straight to the rebels capital city. I will have the city surrounded and have it suffocate to death as the rebels struggle to feed their own people. If they still don't surrender, we will begin sacking the city and eventually invading it, hopefully fighting significantly weakened enemies. Any more questions?"

His question and plan was met with silence. Seeing as no one else had anything to said, Samil turned on his heel and walked straight out the tent, right into the military camp.

***

"You alright?" Samil asked Avari with concern.

Avari was hunched over, her knuckles pure white as she clutched it as tight as she possibly could. Her face was pale with a sick tint to it. She looked up at Samil with bloodshot eyes. The area around her eyes were slightly damp. Samil's stoic expression wavered, replaced with a mix of concern and the usual stoic expression. His mind was reeling, he wanted to be open to her and gain her trust, yet his mind struggled with the concept of showing emotion.

Finally, Avari spoke, "No... My family... They're all dead. I watched them get slaughtered with the rebels attack. Dad tried to defend our home... Mom tried to defend dad. It was horrible... Then they saw me... I screamed for help but I think one of them knocked me out."

Samil sat there for a moment before replying, "I'm sorry... For what you saw and went through. I know that whatever I say may sound callous, I'm a contract killer after all, however... What happened was wrong. I don't support the killing of innocents without reason. I'm an assassin, not a butcher. There has to be a reason that someone is marked for death. Your parent's death was wrong and tragic. I um, know how it feels. My dad was killed when I was a kid by some rogue necromancers. They kidnapped my mom and dragged her into Wolfspeak forest. The rangers that set out as a rescue party came back and said she was killed in some ritual they did. It didn't need to happen..."

A tear leaked from Avari's eyes as she closed the gap between herself and Samil and wrapped her arms around him. She laid her head on his chest and quietly asked, "Why are you here? Why'd you share this with me?"

Samil stood there silent, thinking about her question. Avari waited patiently on his reply, and was eventually rewarded for her patience when Samil spoke, "There's something about you Avari. I haven't found myself emotionally attached with anyone since my parent's death. You... I felt pulled to you since I first laid eyes on you. I'm not normally one to express my feelings at all. It's a weakness when you're job is to kill. But around you, I can't help it. I've never felt like I could confide in anyone before I met you. I guess I just kept it all bottled up for so long that it all just came out right there. I'm sorry if you didn't want to deal with that. Your parents just died after all..."

Avari interrupted him, "Hey, it's fine. We both got to vent our feelings."

She went silent and her grip around him tightened. Slowly, Samil brought up his arms and draped them around Avari, and then held her just as strong. The two stood there embraced in silence till the hour grew late and both separated to head to their private tents and sleep.

***
"Sir, our spies within the camp have reported that Samil seems to be attracted to a young woman named Avari Uthulani, daughter to the noble Sustain Uthulani, who was killed during the rebel attack on Ankou," reported a servant to Asazi.

Asazi contemplated this news and then replied, "Good. I'll help the rebels set up an Ambush for Ms. Uthulani. Samil will get what's coming to him."

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AN: Come on people, how am I doing? How's character/plot/world development? I'm getting lonely in this thread =(
EDIT: Oh, and if you find any plot holes, please let me know. They're bound to happen with how many different places my mind is in (I'm currently making two video games on this world along with the stories I'm writing).

Gerry_VDS
June 3rd, 2012, 08:51 PM
This story sounds great!! Good job!

valondon
June 15th, 2012, 01:03 AM
This story sounds great!! Good job!

Thank you! =)