PDA

View Full Version : Fraellah (Very Mild Language) - Rough draft/first chapter



Tipseas
January 21st, 2013, 07:08 PM
There is a prologue to my WIP, though I am not sure if I want it to be chapter 1, without a prologue, and the excerpt below be chapter 1 or 2. (I will post the prologue, eventually.) The red is words I am replacing with the blue words. I am having a hard time deciding what to call my "elves", as you can see I try for men and nobs. Any ideas? I don't want to create a new race. I want to keep their race simple. (I just realized, I cut it short of the 'mild language'.)



Chapter 2 or 1: Chance Encounter




Nothing stirred in the forest. All was silent. The oaks were still, no birdsong filled the air, not even the hum of an insect reached the quiet.

A makeshift camp bordered a small lake, two animal hide tents clustered around a fire ring. The tightly knitted tree branches constructed a dome overhead, making the early morning humid and drowsy, locking in the heat. A curious squirrel poked his nose inside a patchwork leather bag lying close to a tent, searching for breakfast. Finding nothing, he moved on to the next bag where he was lucky, he sat on his haunches and nibbled a moldy pumpkin seed.

Nearly fifty yards from camp a loud twang sounded in short succession by another twang disturbing the hushed calm of the morning. Whooping and loud smacks sounded from the east end of the lake, while silence followed the sound of the arrow that came from the south end. Twigs snapped and branches cracked as someone or something rambled toward the fallen stag. Still quietness from the south end, nothing moved.

“Looky what we have here Ragna, I wage ye he is a ten spear tipper,” a deep voice sounded.

“Killios, there are two arrows in that stag and yours isn’t the downing blow,” another male voice replied.

Ragna pointed to the two arrows poking out of the stags flank. One was heavier than the other, larger, with no colors or ornaments, and was hanging from the stag’s belly. The other arrow was smaller, lighter in appearance, with stripes of yellow paint at the shaft with silver feathers glued to the end. This one had gone straight, piercing the chest and most definitely the heart.

“I don’t see no body comin’ to claim him,” Killios said. His bushy brows waggled in comical glee. He was a short man, known for his robust health and good cheer. Also, for his quick temper and slow wit. He looked unkempt and in badly need of a shower, shave, and haircut. His stomach was slightly paunchy and his legs were two large trunks tapering to large and hairy feet. Although he was vermin free, his greasy brown hair fooled many an upstanding innkeeper. He wasn’t a full blooded dwarfnanus, but with his current appearance, it was hard to convince many people otherwise.

“Not yet, but I have my suspicions they are watching us,” Ragna exclaimed. He peered into the surrounded area. He pushed his blond hair away from his face, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his shirt sleeve. He was neither tall nor short, being an averagely built man, with a slender body. He wasn’t a laborer or a slacker; more of the scholarly type and it surprised a lot of gentlefolk to know he went on and enjoyed hunting excursions.

“Well come out ye brother and let’s make a truce of it,” called Killios. His call was met with silence.

No one stepped out from the overhanging branches; they didn’t hear a twig crack or a rustle of leaves. Nothing greeted them, but the sound of their own heartbeats in their ears. Ragna and Killios weren’t daunted, but very wary of the situation. Normally, if another hunter or hunting party happened upon the same stag or doe they were tracking, the parties or persons would either cheerily or grumpily agree quickly on what to do with the remains, if they had each hit the target. Or decided on who would continue the trek to hunt the deer separately or as a larger, single hunting party. The latter was in rare cases, only when a large herd had been spotted, and the two parties were after the same goal. Many of these types of hunts ended with plenty of meat, mead or wine and everyone agreeing to be brothers upon parting.

Killios shrugged and walked over to the bleeding deer. He pulled a small knife from a pocket in his boot and kneeled beside the animal to cut out his arrow. He made precise cuts around the embedded shaft and after deciding it couldn’t be saved, he snapped the arrow in two. As he was reaching for the second arrow, he heard the creak of a branch to his left.

“Do not touch it.”

Killios swiveled his head to better see the late arrival of whoever had come to claim their prize. At first he didn’t immediately see anyone. Upon closer inspection of his surroundings, he was able to pick out the darker greens in the persons garb against the foliage of the forest. His rival wasn’t an overly large man, tall but slender, in the way of a man who spends many of his days working, but not continuous backbreaking labor. He had long black hair to just past his shoulders and noticeably tapered ears. He held a long slender bow at his side with one hand, his free hand held in front of him, palm out, fingers straight. It wasn’t a signal to stop, but more of I mean you no harm gesture.

Somewhere behind the tall man, someone shuffled and sneezed. Another someone blew out a long breath in a huff, while someone else sighed agitatedly.

“Can we come out now Siere,” a young man asked.

Siere lowered his hand and nodded his head slightly. He was marginally irritated that his fellow comrades had decided to make themselves known and had been robbed of a surprise attack, if things had gone badly. Three men stepped from the dimness of the forest and into the brighter clearing, the stag still laid in a congealing pool of deep red. The shorter of the band of men walked up to the stag and studied the remaining arrow.

“It’s a clean kill. True. Your arrow made its mark Siere,” he said.

“That may be so Bren, but we do not know how long our brothers have been tracking him,” Siere said.

Ragna caught no hint of spite in the comment, though someone, perhaps someone as hot blooded as Killios could be, might take it as a jab. He quickly stepped closer to the men, putting Killios slightly behind him and raised his own hand, palm outward, the Elvin signal for a peaceful greeting.

“We do not ask for a share. We have only been out just this morning, arriving and making camp after we found the tracks at dawn. We set up over the next rise. Come let us help you pack him on your travois and then maybe we can go have a cold drink,” Ragna proffered.

The Elves looked at each other, a silent signal passed among them. Ragna wasn’t for certain if the signal was acceptance of his offer or if they meant to haul the deer away with a curt and brief farewell or if a farewell would even be shared amongst them. The one named Siere seemed to hold the highest rank among these comrades and Ragna posed his next invitation towards him.

“We have a carafe of wine, a round of aged cheese, and a loaf of the best Musaceae bread this side of the mountain.”

He swept his hand towards the west indicating the location of Killios’ and his camp.

“Now just ye wait Ragna, I don’t purpose we break bread with these here men at our camp without knowing who they be first,” Killios said gruffly.

Siere eyed the squat man from head to foot, then back to head. He held the man’s gaze for a few seconds that felt like minutes to everyone else present. They each had heard the slight slur when Killios had referred to the Elves as men. It was a long standing thorn in the side amongst many elves who dealt with actual red bloods or true men on a reoccurring basis. The topic of interest among many tavern tables or even the grandest hall of all, was if Elves were species of men or just another being altogether separate from the red bloods. Elves of different races, which numbered in the thousands, were no less of a man in appearance than the red blooded men themselves. The only differences between the Elves and the men, were the Elves ability to perform magic and their affinity for animals, weather, their surrounds, and of course their tapered ears.

“I shall like to join you. I cannot speak for my companions, for they are of their own mind. I am Siere, man of the Elves,” he bowed slightly.

The elder of the Elves stepped forward and also bowed slightly, ”I am called Lowell. I greet you and thank you for the opportunity to dine with you.” He was as short as Killios, but where Killios was portly he was very thin. His hair was a shaggy mane around his bony wolf-like face, half hazardously clipped to keep it from falling in his eyes. He had a long jagged scar that started from his left eye and ended below his chin. It gave him a slight menacing physique, though Ragna sensed gentleness about him.

The man closest to the deer, and who had spoken first, bowed clumsily and nearly tripped over his own foot when he tried to retreat behind the other elves.

“I’m Bren, nice to have met you,” he said, half hiding behind Siere.

Still standing in the same location as he was when he revealed his presence, the last Elvin man, neither gave them his name nor did he greet them. He seemed aloof and mute. Killios snickered when he caught a glimpse of his long, thickly braided red hair, which nearly reached the elf’s lower back. Killios had only seen women with hair that length. Even Elvin men, who had a penchant for wearing their hair on the long side, didn’t wear it that long in this day and age. Upon hearing the dissonance from Killios, the mute elf eyed him coldly, and abruptly vanished into the forest.

“Don’t mind Ezek. He hasn’t secured game in several moons,” said Bren.

Siere swatted at his head clumsily, “Watch your glibness cousin.”

Bren laughed and skirted around Siere, feigning a punch at his mid-section. Siere retaliated in a mock jab to Bren’s jaw, then quickly and deftly turned and tripped Lowell. Killios and Ragna stood by with curious glances between them, as the three hobs circled in their play fight. Killios was thinking them rather odd to be jabbing about in the middle of the wood with strangers. Ragna decided it was a nice way to break the ice, and wondered if they would allow him to join in. Before he could ask, however; the one named Ezek reappeared rapidly.

“Hush, I heard something not far off. Sounds to be Orcs. Perhaps three, maybe four,” he said, half whispering to the group.

Killios reached for his sword, “I don’t suppose ye lot have ever had a hand in fightin’ the Orc, have ye now?”

SarahStrange
January 24th, 2013, 01:22 AM
Honestly, I have no critiques. And this never happens. This is very well written. The imagery is strong without being too flowery and the characterization is good, even so early in the story.

I think 'nobs' is a really interesting name. It sounds more like something that the dwarves would call them though, as a sort of nickname. Like how rabbits are really names 'rabbits' but people call them 'bunnies' too. Nobs=bunnies. 'Men' also works. This could be their real name, but the dwarves call them 'nobs' as a joke.

Very good overall! I really really like it.

Saeria
January 24th, 2013, 09:59 AM
Epic read :) The story was instantly engaging and easy to follow and the dialog was easy to follow. The only real crit I can give (mind you, I have the technical understanding of a rock) is that there are many complex sentences strung together. Maybe it would flow beter if some were condensed or separated into new sentences. Also there a few places in which complete clauses were separated by commas in places where a semi-colon would fit better. Hope this helps.

Tipseas
January 24th, 2013, 04:22 PM
Honestly, I have no critiques. And this never happens. This is very well written. The imagery is strong without being too flowery and the characterization is good, even so early in the story.

I think 'nobs' is a really interesting name. It sounds more like something that the dwarves would call them though, as a sort of nickname. Like how rabbits are really names 'rabbits' but people call them 'bunnies' too. Nobs=bunnies. 'Men' also works. This could be their real name, but the dwarves call them 'nobs' as a joke.

Very good overall! I really really like it.

Thank you Sarah, if I may call you "Sarah".

I have really enjoyed writing this, thus far. There is more to this chapter, I just cut it off right before the Orcs came into play. Can't give away all my secrets, can I?
Nobs will be the name "others" call the elves. I would have liked to create my own race, but I think it took away from where I was going. The biggest fear when writing a story with elves and dwarves, is that people will relate them to "Lord of the Rings" material. Though, I do have those type characters in my mind, my characters tend to look different to me. I am glad you liked the descriptions and I didn't go overboard. I tend to get over-descriptive at times.

Happy Writing,
Tippy

Tipseas
January 24th, 2013, 04:23 PM
Epic read :) The story was instantly engaging and easy to follow and the dialog was easy to follow. The only real crit I can give (mind you, I have the technical understanding of a rock) is that there are many complex sentences strung together. Maybe it would flow beter if some were condensed or separated into new sentences. Also there a few places in which complete clauses were separated by commas in places where a semi-colon would fit better. Hope this helps.

Thank you Saeria!

I do tend to go way overboard with comas and semi-colons. That is my bane, I just love comas and run-on sentences. :)

Happy Writing,
Tippy