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Clnow3088
March 1st, 2014, 10:44 AM
Tulon hunched forward in his throne, the lines of worry heavy upon his face. His amber eyes were sunken and his blonde hair was greying at the edges. Even the heavy fur robes he wore could not keep the ice of winter from his blood. The throne room was unearthly quiet, only the hand of winter’s wind sang its hollow song through the halls. Tulon’s gaze lifted from the stone floor to his people, huddled together in waiting, in waiting of news, that would destroy the kingdom forever, or save it. Such a heavy burden for one man to bare, to hold the fate of so many and yet, he felt destruction was the only path to walk. For he did not believe he could force what was needed to save them all. The sting of tears stabbed into him, but a king did not weep, he stood tall and strong, and did what was best for all. He would do as was best for the kingdom. Slowly, with creaking bones and a shaking breath, King Tulon rose from his throne; but a gentle hand upon his gave him pause. Emerald eyes gazed longingly at him and with more desperation than his fragile, aging soul could take. He wept now, openly, his people did not berate him of it, for they too understood his pain. Such sorrow in those green eyes, so much fear in the face of his daughter, and nothing within his power to change the fate that must befall them. The ice of winter crept deep into Tulon and froze his heart. He pulled his hand from his daughters and turned to his people.

His voice was deep, the edges singed with sadness, but he spoke as a king. He spoke with authority and finality. “My people. We have long suffered this war. You know why I call you all here on this evening. Our enemy, Lord Darren wishes a joust to end this madness. My finest warriors against his. The winner…” he paused and looked back to his daughter. She knelt next to his throne, her face ashen, hands clasping the arm of the chair until her knuckles were white. Her head shook back and forth her beautiful blonde hair moving with her every movement. Tulon’s frozen heart shattered, leaving him empty inside. He cleared his throat and looked back to his people.

“The winner will receive my daughters hand in marriage. I will step down as king and the winner of the joust will rule this land side by side with Lord Darren. Rose…”

Tears fell from her emerald eyes as she stood. Her long black gown fitted and cut to show her off. She reached for her father and he took her hand. The people bowed before their princess and wept with her.
“Rose will do as I command and willingly marry the man who wins. Lord Darren is sure that he can win this Joust and that I will finally fall as I should have years ago.” Tulon stopped speaking, feeling Rose shaking next to him. He heard her cry, he heard her breath falter as she tried to speak. He squeezed her hand and she straightened her shoulders, looked out to her would be people…

“I will do this to save you all. Lord Darren… would let us die in these harsh winter months… starving us as he is... he agrees to treat you as his own if I agree to wed the man who wins the joust.” Every word hurt, felt like daggers opening deep wounds in her skin. But the people of Hagen rose and began to sing, in honor of the sacrifice. Their king, their princess wept with them and listened for one last time to the song of the kingdom as the voices rose ever higher on the wind, echoing in the empty halls of a crumbling castle. Fate was set in stone, destinies were meant to be obeyed. It was a kingdom filled with love and heart, of hope and joy. All fell silent, all kneeled to pray, royalty and commoner were equal one last time. Only one man stood, only one man watched from the outside world, sent to try to change fate.

escorial
March 1st, 2014, 01:10 PM
I always struggle to put short pieces of fantasy work into any context..while understanding emotions and experiences the fantasy theme leaves me with more questions than answers but here you have given a detailed account..nice to see you back C388

dagrar
March 1st, 2014, 06:38 PM
Nice work I really liked the story. My only critique would be

"Every word hurt, felt like daggers opening deep wounds in her skin."

Maybe a little deeper than skin would better. Other than that good job.

Clnow3088
March 1st, 2014, 10:35 PM
Esc- Thanks! It's good to be back. It's been a very busy year.

Dagrar- reading it back now, I agree. I feel it would more hurt the soul.

dagrar
March 1st, 2014, 10:50 PM
That's where I was going.

iron_aufschlag
March 6th, 2014, 08:20 PM
The last sentence at the end confused me. "Only one man stood, only one man watched from the outside world, sent to try to change fate." I have no clue who you are talking about. I think I know what you are trying to do though, but it doesn't work. Way too Sunday comics Spiderman to leave a cliffhanger and throw in a new character who we know nothing about.
Other minor things that interrup the flow, such as, "He squeezed her hand and she straightened her shoulders, looked out to her would be people…" you may want to change "looked" to "looking". Go through and fix these things and perhaps don't talk about his frozen bones and stuff. You mention how cold and wintery it is like three or four times

Zeynith
March 9th, 2014, 01:38 AM
I thought it was pretty good overall. Little too emotional for me. The way everyone acting I thought someone was going to die. I can understand the princess being upset but it seemed a bit much, especially since the joust hasn't even happened yet and she doesn't know who she will be marrying.

Caragula
March 9th, 2014, 09:16 AM
It's overwrought. I think the events of this scene are powerful and clear in your head and you are using adverbs and the kind of words to amplify that because you are concerned that we also understand how important this all is. It's a form of 'tell', an unwillingness to let us fill in the gaps and fill out the faces and moments for ourselves, your words are an emphatic encyclopedia of the scene, rather than a guide.
Stinging tears stab, burdens are heavy, you mention the princess's eyes are emerald twice in a few paragraphs, longing is desperate, souls are aging and fragile, words feel like daggers that create deep wounds, not ordinary ones, hearts freeze then shatter altogether etc.
The ice of winter is in Tulon's blood at the start of the new paragraph, but creeps into it by the end of the first paragraph.
The princess's blonde hair moved with her every movement...yes, but this feels clumsy.
I don't think you need to tell us that his voice was singed with sadness, given everything else you've said up till that point, there are tears enough here to fill oceans :)

Here's an edit of the first two paragraphs, my intention being to show that the scene stays pretty much the same despite me taking an axe to it. You may disagree:

Tulon hunched forward in his throne. His amber eyes were sunken and his blonde hair was greying at the edges. Even the heavy fur robes he wore could not keep the ice of winter from his blood. The throne room was unearthly quiet, only the hand of winter’s wind sang its hollow song through the halls. Tulon’s gaze lifted from the stone floor to his people, huddled together waiting of news, that would destroy the kingdom forever, or save it. He did not believe he could force what was needed to save them all, but he would do as was best for the kingdom. Slowly, with creaking bones and a shaking breath, King Tulon rose from his throne; but a gentle hand upon his gave him pause. Emerald eyes gazed longingly at him. He wept now, openly, his people did not berate him of it, for they too understood his pain. Such sorrow in those green eyes of his daughter, and nothing within his power to change the fate that must befall them. He pulled his hand from his daughters and turned to his people.

He spoke as a king, with authority and finality. “My people. We have long suffered this war. You know why I call you all here on this evening. Our enemy, Lord Darren wishes a joust to end this madness. My finest warriors against his. The winner…” he paused and looked back to his daughter. She knelt next to his throne, her face ashen, hands clasping the arm of the chair until her knuckles were white. He cleared his throat and looked back to his people.

Caragula
March 9th, 2014, 09:17 AM
accidental double post

Outiboros
March 9th, 2014, 09:51 AM
A bit too gooey for my tastes. The prose is incredibly thick through the entire piece, with kills the pace somewhat, as well as letting the moments that do matter drown in those that don't. I understand it's an introductory piece - and it gets the information across - but the emotional overtone is so strong it just becomes another baseline.

I'd say it'd be better fitted for either a longer piece or one that's more streamlined. Especially in the beginning, there's a lot of sentences that are doing all the work of two:

Tulon’s gaze lifted from the stone floor to his people, huddled together in waiting, in waiting of news, that would destroy the kingdom forever, or save it.

The sting of tears stabbed into him, but a king did not weep, he stood tall and strong, and did what was best for all.

Oh, and why is his daughter looking at him 'longingly'? I'd expect her to look anything but.

Outiboros
March 9th, 2014, 09:53 AM
Servers decided to post my reply twice. Sorry.