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View Full Version : Death to the King - 2 chapters (a dark fantasy)



Michaelj
March 24th, 2012, 01:26 AM
Firstly I am sorry for the way it is presented on the forum. For some reason when I paste it on the forums, my two spaces infront of my paragraphs don't appear on the forum and it all merges to become one?


Chapter 1 is about a deserter soldier whose imprisoned as a labourer and chapter 2 is about a prince of the kingdom. (where the chapter 1 guy came from also).

Initially I posted the story with an external link but it got deleted, I've updated the work a little and I'm contemplating ripping out the prologue, so I haven't posted it. (As it serves no real need to the main plot, has too many flaws and such... But I'll cosider posting it later.) I ask you guys to read my 2 chapters below and please give me honest opinions. Do you find it boring? Are the characters bluntly crap? IF anyone did actually manage to read both chapters... If one chapter intriqued you more, could you let me know please? (since they are seperate characters and could possibly be seperate storys)

PS: I've got some material in here I believe some readers may not like... Its a dark fantasy but if you believe that its simply too harsh or rude please let me know. (Don't worry, doesn't include any rape or incest...)







Chapter 1: The deserter.



They smelled death from the skies. They were truly horrible to look at; these flying things could also be known as rats with wings as they flew about… waiting. The pigeals with their sharp red eyes and razor sharp claws were hungry as they waited to feast on the dead.

They hovered above a small encampment, eager and starving. This encampment had dozens of small, dirty yellow tents and around the tents were men in violet coloured jackets bimbling around casually without a care in the world. Other than the tents and people populating the encampment, there were a few cannons, wagons and horses also in the vicinity. Surrounding the camp was a vast forest and a river to the east of it; men using it to fill up their rusty canteens. Beyond all that were bored sentries pretending to be alert and vigilant.

In the centre of the encampment was a group of ragged men and women in white, shabby shirts who were tied up and restricted to the floor. Men were posted to watch over these people; these people were labourers and some of them were to be executed for no longer being useful.

This was Camp Bloodmoore. It was the place men and women were sent to, to die for their crimes that they may or may not have committed and the pigeals knew they’d be fed well. It was the place prisoners were sent, forced to work into they were so exhausted that they had become so obsolete and useless that keeping them around would be a waste of rations. If you could pity the dead, this dreadful place would most certainly be the right place to.

A prisoner with wild, red hair looked at the sky as the birds roamed about. “Damn ugly things. Don’t yer think?” He asked the man rhetorically sat in front of him, trying to make conversation out of boredom.

The man in front of him didn’t have much to say. He had piercing green eyes, dark wiry hair; his beard was just as dark and scruffy as his hair. Over his right eye brow his growing, greasy hair almost covered a distinctive scar that almost entirely went horizontally across his forehead. He grunted, trying to daydream of pleasant memories. He daydreamed of when he was sat on his lavish couch by the fire; drinking a glass of red wine. He daydreamed of playing sports with his friends and he thought about his friends a lot; he most definitely missed their company. He thought of Snell the big clumsy oaf; a man who was dumb but had a massive heart. He thought of Teon who was over-confident but a damn good man and he thought about Dawn… The woman who he loved but she only loved him as the brother she never had.

The men and women surrounding him were fouler than he was (he didn’t consider himself foul on a typical day). One man decided for some bizarre reason at one point in his life to cut the bags under his eyes with a razor sharp dirk, leaving two huge scars under his pale eyes. A man’s face was covered in red tattoos, possibly to mark him as a slave. One woman daydreamed herself and gave a toothless grin as if she was smiling at some unknown entity. An elderly woman looked like she hadn’t had a wash in her entire life, her grey hair all patchy and thinning.

The days went by and each forenoon two or three people would be put to death. Forced to the ground on their knees, their head placed against the stone pedestal and a pistol aimed at the side of their head.

The executioner rather than wearing a violet coloured jacket, donned a yellow jacket with a red cross on it with three white stripes on his right arm; the coat of the Hupel guard. They was sworn to keep the peace and to enforce the law. The executioner was a fearsome looking man. He only had one eye, his left eye covered with a moss eye patch. His dirty grey hair was receding. He was a very tall man, towering over most people at seven foot tall and his hardened face was scarred and unremorseful as he pulled the trigger.

As day by day went, prisoners were leaving. Lysan the toothless woman, Bert the man with two huge scars under his eyes, Drew the man with tattoos on his face and the elderly woman whose name nobody knew. Their bodies were then tossed aside, flung into a dark pit where the pigeals would feed on the dead flesh.

Nobody knew his name either. He did tell people his name at first. However now he didn’t talk to anyone anymore, people came and people went. Some people came and within a fortnight, they were dead. The man pondered on the fact why he was still alive after five months and ten days and contemplated not eating the stale food and not drinking the lewd water that was given to the prisoners. He felt weak as the days went by.

An elderly man got heaved to his feet, scowling. A wormy looking man, looking elegant in his sumptuous clothing held a piece of paper and told him he was to be put to death for being an oath breaker, a murderer and his time as a labourer was done. The elderly man protested that it wasn’t true and cursed and spat when a priest in a brown robe asked him if he would care for a prayer before he died. The executioner who seemingly didn’t have a conscience ended his life within seconds with the pull of a trigger. The man with dark hair hoped his death would come sooner rather than later.

The dark haired man fell asleep again. His dreams were scary at first but he eventually grew used to them. Dreams of almost being executed only to still be alive as the pigeals dug into his soft and tender flesh, tearing his insides out with their razor sharp claws. When he woke up it was more pleasing for him than when he had the nightmares. He would simply go back to daydreaming of his past and more pleasant memories.

After six months and three days, it seemed to change. He woke up at nightfall sensing that he was being watched upon and he saw the terrifying looking executioner pointing in his direction. The executioner was talking to a handsome man with lightly oiled auburn hair, he had crystal blue eyes and he looked smarty dressed despite wearing a greatcoat.

The executioner marched over. “Up.” He ordered. When the unnourished man with piercing green eyes refused to stand, he simply grabbed him by his right arm and hauled him to his feet. “Perhaps it’s your lucky day, lad. Come now, the major would like to talk to you.” The executioner gripped the rope that was tying the dark haired man’s arms together and dragged him towards the man known as ‘major’, lobbing him to the floor. “This is the man, sir.”

The handsome man stared at the dark haired man who had a hideous scar on his forehead for a few good seconds. “Thank you, sergeant, return to your duties.” The sergeant saluted and walked off in the opposite direction. “Some people in high places have been asking about you, lieutenant. Oh don’t be too surprised, there was a reason we haven’t killed you yet. The real question is: why lie about your rank and name upon capture?”

The man was indeed startled. “…I have already been tried by the courts.”

“I have already been tried by the courts ‘sir’,” The major corrected him. “Come now, we would have words in private, Mister Edwin Freeman,” The major sighed and stared at him for another few seconds, “But this is not your real name is it?”

“No, sir,” He added the sir meekly. “Lieutenant Bartmello Lehanard, but you knew that already didn’t you?”

“Good, I’m Major Arron Piggot. Now we got the introductions out of the way, let’s continue this conversation in my tent.” He held out a hand for Bartmello and helped him up to his feet so that he was standing, his legs still feeling like jelly.

As Bartmello followed the major, he saw that all the soldiers were staring at him with dark curious eyes. Did everybody know? It seemed even the whores of the camp knew who he was, one even giggled as she lifted up her skirt for him as he walked past, trying to not pay any notice. He wondered how they found out the truth and wished he could have just had his brains blown out as an alternative. Arron Piggot kicked a growling dog that was blocking the path towards his tent and the dog ran off whimpering. The major saluted his two guards as he entered his tent and beckoned Bart to follow him inside.

Inside the tent was nothing special; there was a bed, a chest, a chair and a wooden table; on top of the wooden table was documents, maps and a quill. Major Arron Piggot sat down to face Bartmello. “Care for a drink, lieutenant, wine perhaps? I imagine it’s been a while.”

“I am no longer an officer of this army, sir.” Bartmello almost snapped but remained cool.

Arron looked in to his eyes fiercely. “You are an officer, damn you. At least until we or the damned enemy have your head. Or you could have perchance resigned?” Arron apparently didn’t expect an answer and opened up his chest that was near his chair. He took out two wine glasses, placing both on the wooden table, then took out a bottle of wine and placed that on the table also. “Laday Redd Rose, only the best,” He poured the wine into the two wine glasses and handed one to Bart. “Here, drink.” He ordered.

The man with dark hair simply obeyed, it had been almost a year since he had a drop of alcohol. Since his arms were tied together he had to pick up the glass of wine with both of his hands. Once he had downed it, he placed the empty wine glass on the table. “Thank you, sir…”

Arron waved his courtesies aside. “So why didn’t you resign, lieutenant?” He asked as if the alcohol would make him loosen his tongue.

“Don’t really know, why the sudden curiosity, major?”

Arron frowned at him, still with the wine glass in his hand. “I think you know. It wasn’t just people in high places who took a keen interest in you, it was the damned minister.”

If Bartmello was surprised he didn’t show it. “Really, sir?”

“The man with the scarred forehead, Lieutenant Bartmello Lehanard is not to be slain, I would have words with him,” Arron Piggot said with the wine glass still in his hand and the fierce stare, “Minister Drappen’s own writing. Why does he want to talk to you so badly?”

“How’s it your bloody business?” Bartmello this time did snap, “Look, I deserted the army rather than handing in my buttons and I got arrested and tried and sentenced to die as a labourer. That should be your problem, not the bloody fact the minister wants to talk to me! You see-“

“You were tried under the identity of Corporal Edwin Freeman,” The major said calmly and collectively, placing the wine glass on the table, “Why did you desert the army?” The major asked.

“I ran into some problems, sir, over at Jumm Island, I was too scared and ran. I left my men to fend for themselves.”

“You’re a damned bad liar, lieutenant. I already know half the truth. I just need to know what the minister wants with you.”

Bartmello grinned. “If you know half the truth then I’m a dead man, either way. I either get executed here or I die a slow a painful death. What would you choose?” Bart was a little surprised to say the least, but he kind of knew the talk would make it to Stormsand Kingdom eventually. The talk about the mishaps that happened on Jumm Island. The mishaps which caused him to desert and to run away and feel like a coward.

For once the major no longer had fierce eyes but he had a bit of pity in his crystal blue eyes. “I would expect you to do your honour as a gentleman. Even if you don’t look like a gentleman at this current time, you are one by oath and blood.”

Bartmello laughed. “Gentleman? You mean like those heathens at Jumm Island? No, sir, I am no gentleman. I still have a bit of self-honour though, that’s why I allowed myself to get captured. I wanted to die. How that bastard of a minister found out I was captured, is beyond me. Wait. You want me to grass up the minister, don’t you? Oh sorry I didn’t call you sir, sorry, sir. But remember this, sir; I took an oath of fealty to the crown. The minister is part of the crown and I take oaths seriously,” Bartmello played with his rugged beard. “Sir.” He added the sir so indecently that it could have been insubordination.

Major Piggot’s glaring eyes came back. “Then why did you not stay?”

Bartmello was almost jumping in rage. “With those heathens? What do you take me for? A rapist? A murderer of women and children?”

Arron Piggot tried to remain calm. “No but-“

“Now I have a question, sir, if you don’t mind.”

The major was almost relieved for the change of subject. “Yes, go ahead.”

“Why did it take you damn near seven months to question me?”

The major wasn’t use to this type of insolence. If it was a prisoner he was talking to, usually they were extra courteous just so they didn’t end up amongst the dead. “I had to be sure…”

“Sure about what?” Bartmello snapped at the man. Damn the bastard, damn the bastard, I could of died a quick and painless death, bastard, bastard! Bartmello thought, perhaps there’s a way I could kill him? And damn the fact he knew I wasn’t Edwin fucking Freeman!

“That I could trust you, lieutenant.”

Bartmello had gone from feeling like a raged hormonal woman to a confused little boy. “That you could trust me?”

“My men have watched you for a long time, who you talked to and what your actions were. Perchance you were a spy? We had to be 100% sure before I risked this or my head would be on a stake. I have had plans to tell the minister you died of the pox. I have plans for you, lieutenant. If you take honour seriously then you should seriously listen to my proposal.”

“Go on, then.” Bartmello was listening.

“You look a different man with your bushy hair and beard, did you know?”

“I don’t have the luxury of a mirror to look in every day, major.”

Major Arron Piggot frowned at yet another stab of insolence but went on, “I have seen the man you were when you first came here and I see you now. You look a totally different man. I ask you to do one final mission. On completion you will be rewarded with a manor, household slaves, guards and money to last you your entire life. You will be lord of the wolf islands. You and your family will be wealthy for the rest of their days.” Bartmello was intrigued now and Arron could see it. “I ask you to spy on Minister Drappen and report back to me weekly.”

“I already told you, sir, I am no oath breaker.”

Major Piggot looked confident. “You broke an oath when you deserted the army. You will be doing nothing to drastic this time, just merely reporting back to me on his activities. If you are really serious about honour then-”

Bartmello frowned this time and interrupted. “And how do you expect me to spy on him? You want me to simply just dance my way past his bodyguards and to just walk into his household?”

“I will send you on the highest recommendations’ to be his personal servant and bodyguard. Not as Lieutenant Lehanard but as Mister Edwin Freeman.”

It didn’t take Bartmello long to think it through. His life would be changed drastically. The dishonoured Bartmello Lehanard would be dead and he would be known as Lord Freeman of the wolf islands to live the rest of his life as a rich, fat and happy man. If all he had to do was send a few letters to this major of Minister Drappen activities illegal or legal (who was far from honourable) then he would do it. It even occurred to him that he has never even met the man, so how would he know what he looked like? Surely nobody would believe him foolish enough to get so close... Besides the minister was looking for a smart looking officer with a scarred forehead, not a hairy urchin with bushy hair who coincidently also has a scarred forehead. “Do you want me to take an oath?”

“What use are oaths? No, I believe you will serve me just fine. Mister Freeman.” Major Piggot said with a hint of a smile.

Just as Bartmello was about to ask the major to unbind him and to ask for more information, there was a loud gunshot and a scream. Then another gunshot and another scream, “By the gods… What was that?” Arron asked nobody in particular.

Camp Bloodmoor was being attacked.

The major ran outside, leaving Bartmello with his hands still tied up, Bartmello hesitantly followed him outside. It was chaotic. Soldiers… some dressed, some half-dressed and some naked with their manhood’s dangling about were running around in panic. It wasn’t just men wailing; the whores, wives and children of the camp were also wailing. There were dead bodies littered all over the camp, a combination of soldiers, children and women.

Some of the soldiers were armed, struggling to reload there rifles, the army issued the banan rifle; a rifle in which the operator could load rounds faster but resulted in the rifle having poor accuracy. Some soldiers had their swords in hand, unsure of what to do. Fires blazed in the encampment as flesh seared, the smoke thick and black.

Bartmello looked around for the major but he couldn’t sight him anywhere. He did however sight the enemy attacking; men in black robes and black cloaks… This uniform was not issued by the army of Sandstorm. They were riding great horses; there were seemingly hundreds of these men on horseback, running around the encampment with swords, pistols and their own rifles. They hacked down at the soldiers in violet coats who were seemingly so green that they were better off wearing green coats to show how inexperienced they were. They were not merciful to anyone, not even the women and children as they gunned them down in a blood of red rush. The black clothed men were throwing fire bombs in the camp, aiming for tents and wagons in particular. “Mother!” Screamed a little girl as a horseman cut her head clean off. A defending soldier shot one of the horsemen; the horseman fell off his brown horse in a heap on the grass staring at the cold open sky.

Bart was at a loss of what to do. He was tied up and unarmed and the one man who could have helped him was possibly dead; he either had a bullet hole in his head or his head was decapitated. God damnit he thought. He sprinted south of Arron Piggot’s tent, ignoring the dying soldier who was pleading for help. That was strange. There was not a single dead body amongst the prisoners. In fact the prisoners were nowhere to be seen. He only had one idea on how to escape this madness; the pit. He ran and he didn’t stop for anyone, not even the little boy who lied dead in a pool of his own blood on the muddy ground.

He found the pit not too far from the river. It was a ditch in which the soldiers had dug up to throw all the executed prisoners into. He looked into the black void and saw piles upon piles of dead bodies; most half eaten from the pigeals; some still being eaten by the pigeals. He would be safe in there; there was even a rope to climb out. (In case any unlucky soldiers had fallen in by accident).

He jumped.




Chapter 2: Prince Godfrey of Sandstorm.


“I must be on my way soon…” Prince Godfrey ‘Alden’ Godafrid explained to the beautiful woman who was wearing only a skimpy white gown as she lay on her bed.

He put on his black leggings that had golden patterns all over it; patterns that the woman had never even seen before in her life. Over his plain white shirt, he put on his royal robe. A purple robe with even more golden layers sewed on to it. A pattern of diamonds on his left arm and a pattern of hearts on his right arm, the two patterns went on to the torso area and merged with each other, so it looked a combination of golden hearts and diamonds. Underneath the pattern on his left peck, he simply had a small crown with a sword facing diagonally upwards to the left to symbolize that he was a prince. He put on his leather boots last. He was a dazzlingly handsome man, the way a prince should be. His curly hair was as golden as most as his clothing, his sparkling blue eyes matched his golden hair and he had delicate, almost feminine facial features. He was fairly tall for his eighteen years of age and quite broad and strong looking.

Danyella Bloodwind eyed him up, loving everything about him. She had expected he would be leaving soon but he would be back soon enough. He always came back. “So soon?”

“My father would ask why I did not attend the council meeting. My mother would ask why I did not dine and my guards wait for me outside.” The prince said all the words carefully as if he was trying not to offend. He sat down on the edge of the bed, close to where Danyella was. “And he would ask why I persisted to disobey him.” The young prince said.

She folded her arms and frowned. “You mean he is going to call me a whore and-“

“I know. I know,” Godfrey interrupted her and looked at her with a tad of sadness in his beautiful eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“Would it hurt to stick up for me once in a while?” She was angry now. She was used to this argument but she always felt the same rage bellied deep in her.

Godfrey stood up, “There is only so much I can do without disobeying the man. He is my father at the end of the day.”

“Then what am I?” Her eyes flared up. Doubtless, she presumed the prince thought of her as a whore after all.

Godfrey unsure of what to say shrugged his shoulders and looked at the red rug on the wooden floor. “You said you had to leave, so leave.” Danyella rolled to her side to face the window. She watched as the rain dribbled down the window.

Prince Godfrey of Sandstorm obeyed her command and walked out through the door, leaving Danyella to sulk. She’ll get over it, Godfrey thought, always the same argument… He saw the two guards who were commanded to defend him; waiting by the entrance to the house, grinning. “Something amusing, guys?”

“No, my prince.”

“Then, let’s be on our way. I am late as it is.” Godfrey walked out of the building, not checking to see if the two guards were following him.
The weather outside was horrendous; Godfrey regretted he had not brought his greatcoat with him. While the prince slept with Danyella, within a few hours the city was raining and it had become exceedingly windy. His two guards weren’t exactly adequately dressed either but it was more than the prince had. All they had on was the blue coat of the king’s guards, their black caps and their white skin tight gloves. Godfrey could have killed for a black cap, but killing his own guards because of the matter of rain wouldn’t have exactly been seen as noble. He sighed.

Two more guards were stood to attention outside the house; they were despondent, cold and soaked. “M-my p-p-prince, w-will w-we b-be going?”

“Apologies for making you wait so long. Yes, let’s be on our way.” Godfrey urged. Doubtless the guards probably thought that he shove his apologies in a place the sun didn’t shine but fortunately they had sense to keep it to themselves.

The five of them walked down the cobbled path in to the resident area, the sword scabbards pounding against the guard’s legs. The streets were dead, only a few beggars who were sheltered under balconies to populate the street. A beggar wrapped in a filthy blanket greeted the prince and got a princely nod as a reply. Rain poured on to the roof tiles and dribbled down the stone wall on to the yellow pavement. The city was like a maze of stone buildings, and navigating around would be most troublesome for someone who wasn’t a local.

The path to the castle was easy enough to find. You first had to walk through the market; where people sheltered under the stalls were begging people to buy their goods. The market was the most populated area within the town, even on the worst of days. Traders were selling meat, vegetables, tools, ale, wine, the finest armour, swords, and slaves. One trader even thought it was his lucky day and wondered if the prince would be interested in a boy slave to do as he wished. The prince ignored him and walked on, only wanting to get home where it was warm and dry.

It took about ten minutes from the market to reach the great bridge. Underneath the bridge, waves rippled in the small river, the waves spraying the ancient rocks. Two guards stood at the end of the bridge allowing the prince and his guards to walk past, saluting them with their rifles and standing back to attention as they walked past.

There were no stone buildings or market stalls here; only oak trees and the castle which stood at the end of the garden. The castle was enormous, standing at 279 foot tall; looking formidable even against the toughest of enemy’s who may dare attack. The castle walls were rigged with fierce gargoyles that looked like they would frighten away the most evil of foes. The castle looked grey and dismal from the outside, the only thing making it seemingly jauntier were the wondrous stained glass windows depicting angels and gods.

Yet again two more guards were stood at the entrance who saluted as the prince arrived, holding their rifles up against their chests. “My prince,” The prince gave another princely nod and walked inside, the guards following.

“My prince, permission to fall out?” A guard asked.

“Yes, I should be fine in the comforts of my own home,” Godfrey waved the guards dismissed and walked down the long corridor.

The braziers lit up the rugged carpet as Godfrey followed it to the door to the royal dining room and a guard who was stood to attention. He probably should have got changed as his clothes were soaked wet through but he was late as it was and he knew his father would be displeased. “Pardon me, my prince, but-“ The guard went on.

Godfrey ignored the guard and walked through, he knew the guard was going to comment on his outfit and he didn’t care to argue.

The royal dining room was lit up like a festival. There were paintings of won battles on the royal wallpaper, to show the most valiant of victories. There was a huge grandfather clock sat at the other end of the room up against the wall. There were wooden cabinets, filled with trophies, swords and shields. The table was the most marvellous thing in the room. Rare wood from the rarest of trees from the east lands, burnt from what the best of carpentry can provide to form a 20 foot long table. The table was littered with silver plates, cutlery, wine glasses and jugs.

Except there was nobody sat on the extravagant chairs that were set up flawlessly around the table. The guard rushed in. “My prince, your fath-, the king would like a word with you in his chambers.”

“How great. My father ordered you to wait here for my return?”

“Yes, my prince.”

“And what if I didn’t feel like dining?” Godfrey felt he was belittling the man but he felt a pang of rage.

“I d’no, my prince.” The guard didn’t betray any emotion on his face. Godfrey stormed back through the door, leaving the guard to ponder on what other duties he could be doing.

It was about a five minute walk to the king’s chambers, he had to walk up spirals of stone stairs to get there and then walk down even more long corridors. When he found the two guards who were guarding the chambers, they just shuffled out of the way to let the prince past.

His father was sat on a chair, reading a book. If the stories about past kings looking plumb and unhealthy were accurate, the same could not be said about King Alden Godafrid the iron king. He stood a hair over 6 feet tall with a great barrel chest and a flat stomach to make him appeal athletic. His head was completely bold; the only hair remaining on his face was his thick black beard that was combed to perfection. The king had the same crystal blue coloured eyes as his son, but while Godfrey’s eyes looked peaceful, his father’s eyes looked cold and piercing. He looked tyrannical and grim almost all the time. When he wasn’t looking tyrannical or grim, he just settled with grim. Over his crystal blue eyes, he had thick black eye brows that almost looked like a single eye brow. He was always seemingly miserable, his mouth looked like it rarely smiled or laughed. He was dressed smartly in his red royal robe with the crown insignia placed over his left peck. “I told you not to see the whore.” He said harshly still reading his book.

“She is lady from the Bloodwind house.” Godfrey replied.

His father placed his book on the drawer by his bed and glared at Godfrey. “Her mother was a whore and her father was a lord. Just turns out the lord had a conscience when he got the bitch up the duff,” King Alden looked disgusted. “I forbade you to see her, damn you. Do I have to have her locked up in the dungeons to get her rid of you? In the future, you’ll be the king. You will marry only the highest of lady’s whose fit for a king, not some gutter rat. Do I make myself clear?”

Godfrey heard Danyella’s complaint would it hurt to stick up for me echo in his head. “Yes, father, I understand.” However Godfrey couldn’t bring himself to do it. “How did you come to knowledge that I was with her, this evening?”

“Your guards and servants gossip too loudly,” Alden frowned. “You also missed out on the council meeting and your evening meal.”

Godfrey was starved, but he couldn’t let him know that. “I know.”

“Well, don’t you want to know what the council meeting was about?”

Godfrey didn’t, but he couldn’t let his father know that either. “Yes, father, what was it about?”

“We had to send more troops to Jumm and Frostholme. Had more bastard deserters,” Alden scowled. “We are still winning the war by a long shot but if people keep deserting then we won’t have an army to win the war. What do people take oaths for nowadays anyway?” Alden looked at his son thoughtfully. “If you was at the council, would you of suggested anything?”

“Maybe not a suggestion, but a theory,” Godfrey said.

“Well?” Alden was impatient; he never really had much patience, not even for his own family.

“Perhaps our soldiers don’t have the same view on slavery as you.” Prince Godfrey observed.

The king gave one of his rare, spiteful laughs. “They are soldiers. They have no say on the matter on what is right or wrong. All they have to do is do what they are told, and fight when they’re told.

That’s all they’re good for! Don’t get me wrong, they do it damn well. If however the army was based on views, equality and opinions then we’d be the ones losing. Perhaps it was for the best you didn’t turn up to the council.”

“You asked why the soldiers might have been deserting and I gave a theory…” Godfrey said calmly.

“No, I asked for a suggestion for the problem. I swear your little brother Tilian gives better counsel than you do. Why would I care that a private first class feels that slavery is wrong and immoral? Look what good anti-slavery has the done the other countries. We are the most powerful in the world!” Alden was known as the iron king for a reason, he ruled with an iron hand. “The main problem we have is if other countries don’t trade slaves with us, how can we increase the treasury?”

Godfrey felt from the beginning it was an absurd reason to declare war but he didn’t feel like stating that opinion. “Was there anything else at the council meeting, father?”

“Nothing too important. Only the usual tripe and whining about high taxes and increasing costs. The matter about the deserters is what stirs me the most.”

Godfrey believed that matters such as how many soldiers had died and how much the war was costing the treasury was equally as important but he decided against voicing his opinion. “Is there anything else you require of me, father?”

King Alden picked up his book. “No, just finish it with the whore, I won’t ask you again.” Alden dismissed Godfrey and continued to read his book.

Godfrey wondered what the book was about, but decided against questioning his father and just about turned and left the room. The prince was feeling a little exhausted from today’s events and just wanted to crash down on his bed, dreaming happy thoughts; thoughts about Danyella, thoughts about living a different life. The truth of the matter was he hated being a prince, and he felt like he hated his father and he just wanted a more simple life without all this royalty malarkey. He strolled down the corridor from where his father’s chamber was, leaving the guards. It wasn’t too far to his own chambers, a place he could be alone for at least the evening. He walked around the bend; he first had to creep past his sisters chambers before he could get to his own.

That was queer, his sister’s door was ajar and he didn’t see any guards posted. His sister was younger than him; she should be asleep by now. Perhaps I should make sure she’s actually in her chamber before I call the guards back to actually do their job, thought Godfrey.

He gently opened up the door and peeked inside. It was quiet, really quiet but it was also pitch black. He carefully snuck inside the room, trying to make little noise. There was a dark shadow at the end of the room, stood up. “Audrey?” Godfrey called. Godfrey could sense the shadow was looking at him but if it was Audrey she was obviously playing a crude game. “Audrey?” Godfrey called again.

The dark shadow walked towards Godfrey. As the shadow got closer it took Godfrey a moment to realize it wasn’t his sister, it was a man. The man tried to bolt out of the room but Godfrey grabbed him by the waist, making them both tumble to the floor.

As they were brawling on the floor, the man booted Godfrey in the face, breaking his nose. Godfrey yelped as blood flowed, but he knew had to be strong Oh god Audrey! The man struggled to his feet; however Godfrey was able to rise to his feet quickly.

The man had something in his right hand; it appeared to be a knife, shimmering in the darkness. He swung at Godfrey but he jumped backwards and was able to grab the assailants arm yanking him towards himself. The prince head-butted the man on his face making him curse, Godfrey then redirected his punch to the stomach area taking the air out of him. While the man was winded, Godfrey found an object in the darkness, he wasn’t sure what it was but it felt heavy and powerful. Godfrey lifted the object up high and smashed it against the back of the man’s head making him collapse to the floor. This was Godfrey’s only chance, he dashed over to the assailant and continued to use the heavy object on his head… again and again until he sensed the life go out of him. The smell of blood aroused from the carpet, Godfrey could barely see the blood leaking from the man’s caved head.

The prince dropped the object to the floor and stumbled over to his sisters bed and peered, thank the gods, she wasn’t even in it.

“Guards!” Prince Godfrey yelled.

Fallow
March 26th, 2012, 04:26 AM
You'd definitely get more reviews if you split the chapters up into two separate posts. As for the writing, you have a good set up and an interesting world, but you need to work on telling versus showing.

Notquitexena
March 27th, 2012, 05:19 AM
Just a quick post: "rats with wings" won't inspire fear in most city dwellers - that's what pigeons are often called. Perhaps something like "scabrous vultures with teeth"

Elvenswordsman
April 8th, 2012, 03:40 AM
Hmm... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the grammar is a bit off. They, these... I'd reconsider POV, and maybe look at how I'm using my tenses.

Michaelj
April 8th, 2012, 09:36 AM
Perhaps if you elaborated I could re-edit. Besides things have changed, it's not meant to be POV anymore. Think I'm scrapping chapter 2 nd just basing it on chapter 1.

And at the second poster. Their not supposed to be "scary", just ugly. Hard to live in a camp if you're terrified of the birds..

Elvenswordsman
April 8th, 2012, 12:50 PM
If you want a bit more specific, here's some help - I can't remember the last time I edited an entire chapter, however, maybe if my business stops growing and I get some time off from studies. Also, it's a bit daunting to have to scroll through both chapters of your novel - try cutting it down by posting in two separate posts, or even splitting chapters into parts.


They smelled death from the skies.
To start, this isn't such a great intro sentence. First off, we don't know who they are, so that leads me to not care about the smell. I also don't know what the skies are like, so I can't imagine something smelling like death above me. Also, for the context of my post, keep in mind that this has an essence of third-person narrative.


They were truly horrible to look at;

I can't actually believe this is a second sentence. It's not logical that this follows the first. They this. They that. You want to create a feeling of imagery, not just tell the reader what to think, and hope that they get the picture. "The skies above Llorean were covered with ominous, dark-gray clouds. Soaring above as vultures over a massacre, the Pigeals (note comment below on this name) left the town nervous and shaken, especially considering recent events." Notice I didn't have to say anything SO general that made people stop and say "I can't imagine what that would look like." I get that death was the smell, and the imagery of the animal is horrifying; why do I care? Make me care. I don't see anything in the first paragraph that comes close to showing true description, something that would give me an idea of the setting, climate, or context of the chapter. You did manage to do one thing I liked (see below). This is in line with what Fallow said, about telling vs. showing. It's important that you're not trying to get someone to think something by just saying - the sky is red, ocean is pink. Use description more, and it'll come across. "The clouds were ablaze with the fire of the setting sun" or "the ocean reflected such a magnificent pink that, as it appeared, the sky and the firmament above drew no disconnect between themselves." Through use of words, anything can be possible - you want to write, so write. It's not all bad, and the fortunate thing is that the ideas are there - just expand. If you have, say, 1 written down, it's easy enough to go back and write 1,2,3,4. As long as the ideas are there.


these flying things could also be known as rats with wings as they flew about… waiting.

Again, agreed with someone who posted above say "rats with wings" is a common term for a pigeon. Vultures are the bird that is most well known as a predator, especially of the dead (notice you're trying to say the air smelled like death, that means the animal is a good fit).


The pigeals with their sharp red eyes and razor sharp claws were hungry as they waited to feast on the dead.

This is a fantastic sentence. I feel like my heart slows while I read this, that the idea of their claws on my neck would cause me such distress, only added to by the red of their eyes. It's a terrifying moment you've created. Now the critique - it's too short. I just got this lame intro, but all of a sudden I'm becoming terrified, probably feeling the same way as the people who can see these animals. Expand on this thought, on the idea of the terrifying animal - or do better to describe the scenario, using fear and distress as a motif. Also, you have to remember that sounds that are guttural allow for a more terrifying sound - a Pigeal reminds me of several things - a pigeon, a pig, a seal.. none of which terrify me. Try using something closer to the sounds a vulture brings out; saying vulture leaves a feeling in your mouth of disgust, loathing, fear, and distress.

I hope that this helps, and as it seems you need a lot of work on a lot of your chapter, I'll say good luck to you. I'm more than willing to offer advice, but I can't write your book for you. If you need help further, I do enjoy the idea behind your story and would love to read a better-written copy of the first chapter.

As a final word of advice, note that I feel your creativity is not lacking, only your ability to transfer those ideas in your head to the people reading. It's a problem a lot of writers have, and unfortunately today everyone tends to shorten stories by cutting out description. Look at some of the great authors of the past - Charles Dickens would write as many words as he could, because he was paid per word; as was Fyodor Dostoevsky. However, read either of these authors and you'll notice there's barely a page that doesn't have a 10-15 line description of something changing in the setting, or introducing new images. It's how you become great - a story is a movie, that once created in someones head, should be clear and well defined. Imagine watching a film that appears in only one pixel. You may be able to hear the words, but that one pixel lacks the ability to transfer imagery.

Good luck to you, feel free to post questions here if you need more advice, as many writers here are more than willing. If there was anything you should take from my critique, it's that you have potential in your creativity, but your writing is lacking. What books do you read? This will have a great effect on how your writing forms, although I'm not saying plagiarize work by someone else.

Michaelj
April 8th, 2012, 05:13 PM
If you want a bit more specific, here's some help - I can't remember the last time I edited an entire chapter, however, maybe if my business stops growing and I get some time off from studies. Also, it's a bit daunting to have to scroll through both chapters of your novel - try cutting it down by posting in two separate posts, or even splitting chapters into parts.


To start, this isn't such a great intro sentence. First off, we don't know who they are, so that leads me to not care about the smell. I also don't know what the skies are like, so I can't imagine something smelling like death above me. Also, for the context of my post, keep in mind that this has an essence of third-person narrative.



I can't actually believe this is a second sentence. It's not logical that this follows the first. They this. They that. You want to create a feeling of imagery, not just tell the reader what to think, and hope that they get the picture. "The skies above Llorean were covered with ominous, dark-gray clouds. Soaring above as vultures over a massacre, the Pigeals (note comment below on this name) left the town nervous and shaken, especially considering recent events." Notice I didn't have to say anything SO general that made people stop and say "I can't imagine what that would look like." I get that death was the smell, and the imagery of the animal is horrifying; why do I care? Make me care. I don't see anything in the first paragraph that comes close to showing true description, something that would give me an idea of the setting, climate, or context of the chapter. You did manage to do one thing I liked (see below). This is in line with what Fallow said, about telling vs. showing. It's important that you're not trying to get someone to think something by just saying - the sky is red, ocean is pink. Use description more, and it'll come across. "The clouds were ablaze with the fire of the setting sun" or "the ocean reflected such a magnificent pink that, as it appeared, the sky and the firmament above drew no disconnect between themselves." Through use of words, anything can be possible - you want to write, so write. It's not all bad, and the fortunate thing is that the ideas are there - just expand. If you have, say, 1 written down, it's easy enough to go back and write 1,2,3,4. As long as the ideas are there.



Again, agreed with someone who posted above say "rats with wings" is a common term for a pigeon. Vultures are the bird that is most well known as a predator, especially of the dead (notice you're trying to say the air smelled like death, that means the animal is a good fit).



This is a fantastic sentence. I feel like my heart slows while I read this, that the idea of their claws on my neck would cause me such distress, only added to by the red of their eyes. It's a terrifying moment you've created. Now the critique - it's too short. I just got this lame intro, but all of a sudden I'm becoming terrified, probably feeling the same way as the people who can see these animals. Expand on this thought, on the idea of the terrifying animal - or do better to describe the scenario, using fear and distress as a motif. Also, you have to remember that sounds that are guttural allow for a more terrifying sound - a Pigeal reminds me of several things - a pigeon, a pig, a seal.. none of which terrify me. Try using something closer to the sounds a vulture brings out; saying vulture leaves a feeling in your mouth of disgust, loathing, fear, and distress.

I hope that this helps, and as it seems you need a lot of work on a lot of your chapter, I'll say good luck to you. I'm more than willing to offer advice, but I can't write your book for you. If you need help further, I do enjoy the idea behind your story and would love to read a better-written copy of the first chapter.

As a final word of advice, note that I feel your creativity is not lacking, only your ability to transfer those ideas in your head to the people reading. It's a problem a lot of writers have, and unfortunately today everyone tends to shorten stories by cutting out description. Look at some of the great authors of the past - Charles Dickens would write as many words as he could, because he was paid per word; as was Fyodor Dostoevsky. However, read either of these authors and you'll notice there's barely a page that doesn't have a 10-15 line description of something changing in the setting, or introducing new images. It's how you become great - a story is a movie, that once created in someones head, should be clear and well defined. Imagine watching a film that appears in only one pixel. You may be able to hear the words, but that one pixel lacks the ability to transfer imagery.

Good luck to you, feel free to post questions here if you need more advice, as many writers here are more than willing. If there was anything you should take from my critique, it's that you have potential in your creativity, but your writing is lacking. What books do you read? This will have a great effect on how your writing forms, although I'm not saying plagiarize work by someone else.

I find authors in general don't describe as much these days... Perhaps its a change in writing style?

I am a massive fan of Bernard Cornwell and George RR Martin. Bernard doesn't tend to describe a lot of things, and his storys have made it to TV. He also described a Vulture as a rat with wings in one of his books... Also I may of failed but I wasn't trying to describe them as terifying things. Just ugly things who like eating flesh. It'd be hard to live in an encampment (not a town, a labour camp like I stated) if they were terrifying.

Elvenswordsman
April 8th, 2012, 05:32 PM
You're lacking knowledge of modern authors, especially of authors who are considered masters of their craft. Perhaps it's a change in writing style? Haha my ass. Go tell Bernard Cornwell you don't think he uses much description, see what he says.

Bernard Cornwell, an author I am more than familiar with, doesn't use description? Okay, if you say so.

Also, George RR Martin is known for his marvelous abilities of creating images through... Wait, imagery? Use of description? Really??

I'm sorry, don't make me laugh. Just because you produced a poorly described peace, doesn't mean the rest of the writing world has changed. Appropriately, I critiqued your piece based on what you asked for. I never told you one way or another what you were trying to write, only told you to increase your quality of description.

It's hard to live in a labour camp when something's terrifying you? So you're saying they wouldn't be forced to? What about Jews during Nazi Germany? They enjoyed the presence of Nazi troops through the movement from life, to ghettos, to labour camps? And the Nazis couldn't be replaced with Pigeals?

How about - if you want critique, accept what people have to say or dismiss it. Don't tell me I'm wrong, if you're going to claim you have a different writing style. I believe you took my critique personally, and as an insult. It was not meant to be, but you've lost my respect through your claims of modernization of writing.

Again, back to your point about modern writing styles - ever think maybe you skimmed over the description of the battles included in the Sharpe series? Or how about the description of the land in George RR Martins A Song of Ice and Fire series?

So in closing, don't tell me that modern writing is changing away from description. I may have mentioned authors who are considered classics, and also considered some of the greatest authors of ANY time, but sure. You want modern authors who use description magnificently?

Bernard Cornwell
David B. Coe
George R.R. Martin
J.R.R. Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
David Eddings
Raymond E. Feist
Tracy Hickman
Margaret Weis

Those are all fantasy authors, modern and popular, all of whom have been best sellers.

Oh yeah, they also use lots of description.

Also, your grammar and spelling sucks. "Perhaps it's a change in writing style?" "I am a massive fan of Bernard Cornwell..." means you're a fat bloke who likes Bernard Cornwell. "and his stories have made it to TV." "I may have failed... as terrifying things; just ugly things who like eating flesh."

You've not only managed to offend me, but show ignorance of description in two authors works you claim to have read. Maybe you didn't actually read the books, just watched the shows.

Elvenswordsman
April 8th, 2012, 05:49 PM
This comment is included not as an edit of my last, just so you get the full meaning of this comment.

When I critiqued you, my intentions were to imply that your description was poor, and didn't enable me to see what you were trying to show me. Other comments have said similar, where you're telling more than showing.

Please don't be offended, I didn't mean to belittle your achievements. Congratulations on achieving 2 chapters of your novel, you're further ahead than I am. I do hope, should you need critique in the future, you accept that critique comes at the cost of what you've already done. I understand modern writing quite well, and you're right. It's not about the quantity of description, but the quality. Yours didn't give me the images I should have seen while reading.

I'm more frustrated because I believe you could make this better through better use of description, and you chose to shut me down on that post. If anything, I hope that you develop this further. PM me if you have any questions, or would like to chat about what's already been written. As well, I'd like to see the rest of this when you've added another chapter.

Cheers,

Elvenswordsman

Michaelj
April 8th, 2012, 05:56 PM
You misunderstand me! I greatly appreciate your critique, and I was only giving you my opinions! When I meant that thing about Bernard cornwell, I meant describing people and such. I 100% intend to take your advice onboard! I am looking into a full reedit now and adding more descriptions so I'm showing, not telling..

Once again sorry if I came across that way, I meant it as a debate not an insult.

Also you must excuse my English, I'm using my iPhone and I don't care much for adding ' and such.

Also I'm aware of cornwells battle descriptions and George martins imagery, I never denied that.

Elvenswordsman
April 8th, 2012, 06:42 PM
Glad to hear it was a misunderstanding.

Michaelj
April 8th, 2012, 07:50 PM
Glad to hear it was a misunderstanding.

Great and just to let you know I've actually done 5 chapters... I didn't think it a good idea to post 16500 words lol. (But I'm looking at doing a full re-edit on them chapters also). Bernard Cornwell once told me that in the first draft, you shouldn't worry too much about the details, but add them all in the second and third draft? I believe if I can produce a decent story, then I can do well in the re-drafts. So I'm happy to know that my creativity has "potential".. As that's quite important also, right?

I will message you in the future, and I will learn from your critique. :) Just when I mentioned that thing about Bernard Cornwell and his descriptions, he tends to vaguely describe people and scenery and like you said, describe his battles with supreme excellence.. Even George martin admires his work. (As do I)

PS: I am also a massive fan of George Fraser, author of Flashman. Have you heard of him? If you haven't then I recommend his first book, its a detailed historical fiction of the battle in Afghanistan where the British lost 15,000 people and only one survived. Bernard got some of his inspiration from this guy.

Cheers!

Silvers
April 23rd, 2012, 06:27 AM
If you could pity the dead, this dreadful place would most certainly be the right place to.

Quick suggestion. (Not both words are key words ^^)

I think the people in camp would "envy" the dead not pity them. People who pity the dead would feel even worse for these men. I think you are trying to imply that pitying these men would be the same as pitying the dead. I think you could make your point much clearer with less interpretation on the readers part.

"Worldly men may pity the dead, but in this dreadful place men envy them." Or something along those lines.



They hovered above a small encampment, eager and starving

I think eager implies they are looking forward to correct? Wouldn't anxious be the more appropriate word here?

Hopefully I helped you a little

- Silvers