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View Full Version : The Peculiar Chronicles Of Withering Hall Prologue 2nd draft



Paulbee
June 12th, 2014, 03:59 PM
(Took on board some of what you guys said and decided to split the prologues in two. This, the first, will take place in the Hallowed Lands reality. The second prologue, in the Withering Hall reality is still under construction.)

Prologue One – Hallowed Lands Reality

Date: 1700. Time 2300 hours; Location: A room in Castle Frankel, Darist, Grimmscar.

Head Proctor Gammel stared up at the Castle Frankel. Two storeys at its bottom topped by a pyramid structure that stretched upwards for another seven storeys. One of the five wonders of Grimmscar. Designed by the ingenious but suspected devils worshipper Strath dak Sligigle for Frankel’s grandfather about two hundred years ago. Flying buttresses and carved gargoyles adorned it in the much favoured gothic style. He sighed,
“Captain, let’s get this done with. Try and kill them both if possible.”
A quick death rather than burning them was the least he could do. The churches had decided
they were heretics and that was that. A couple of accidental bolts fired in panic would be his report, the result was the same. The sadistic bastard that headed the Combined Church and Dark Magic Council could take it or leave it.

In the castle’s dank master bedroom Dr Frankel pushed the last of his notebooks into the leather satchel along with a large purse of gold coins. White, wispy hair fell acros shis face he raked it back over his head with a ‘tut’ of annoyance. His betrothed, Emma, stood at the window, she was rangy and tall with remarkable blue eyes. She said softly,
“The Head Proctor has the City Guard with him. We must go.”
“Soon, my love, soon.”
They both wore grey, hooded cloaks, leather jerkins and dark cotton trews. Fashion awareness was not their forte. A hammering on the thick, oaken doors. He looked at her and shook his head,
“They call me blasphemer because I used science to try and make the world a better place. Damnable fools with their gods, religions and magics. Why can’t they see…….”
Emma stopped him,
“Dearest Hector, I really don’t think it’s the time for impassioned speeches. We’re about to be burned at the stake. ”
He nodded and hoisted the satchel by its strap. Closed the bedroom door behind them for the last time. They raced downstairs, into a narrow passage that led them to the stables. Their massive grey and black battle horses were already saddled. The doctor’s grandfather had experimented with the breeding for purity of these fine animals before turning to experimentation with humans. His son, Jakobi continued the work and Hector Frankel was the latest in the bloodline and refined the technique. The result of their efforts was Emma. The other attempts had proved to be inferior. She and the doctor mounted their horses and vanished into the fog.

Outside Darist’s massive walls, they stopped. Emma raised an eyebrow,
“Three options my dear Hector. The main highway to the border and into Greyun territory. The Bracken Marshes or the Grey Forest.”
Frankel replied sourly,
“Grey Forest with the Delf clans to deal with. Bracken Marshes from where nobody has ever returned or face down the border guards?”
She nodded. Frankel made his decision, clicked his tongue, urging the horse down the highway.

Back at Castle Frankel, the doors burst open and the guards dashed in, crossbows at the ready. It soon became obvious that the place was deserted. Gammel tightened his lips. Emperor Greston was not going to like this at all. Then a guard shouted,
“Over here.” And pointed to the passageway.
Soon they were in the stable yard, cursing their luck. The Head Proctor murmured,
“Well now, two steeds missing. Must have already been saddled. They knew we were coming. Who the hell told them, I wonder?”
The guards looked at each other nervously. An informant in the ranks meant trouble unless he could be caught. One of their number moved into the shadows. Gammel caught the movement and walked over to him,
“Draxal dak Slipshud, what would your mother say?”
Dak Slipshud hissed,
“She’d say it was better to die fighting than live under the rule of a lunatic.”
The Proctor rolled his eyes to heaven,
“Very melodramatic. She should stop watching those theatre productions in my opinion.”
He shook his head,
“There’s an outpost in the Northern Desert. You’ll be able to reach it in a couple of days. Or you could stay and let your squad mates deal with you.”
Dak Slipshud opted to travel North.
They left the castle and Gammel sighed,
“The paperwork for this shambles is going to be a bloody nightmare.”
He spoke to a guard,
“Get a messenger hawk over to the border. I suspect they’ll be heading for Greyun land.”

At the border, four guards blocked the way. One of them waved a lantern as the couple approached. Their captain, Abel dak Shashe hissed at him to hold the light steady. A hawk rested on his glove and dak Shashe was reading a note delivered by the hawk. He looked up at them,
“I’m sorry, Doctor, but you can’t go any further.”
Emma moved behind Frankel, opened the cloak and unhooked a bolas from her belt, her other hand rested on a sword hilt. Frankel shook his head,
“And I’m sorry but we’re going across the border. Easy or hard way, your choice.”
A Greyun stand-off, mused the border guard captain. One wrong move and there would be blood spilled. The woman was now by the doctor’s side. The captain grunted,
“Let them through, Jekel.”
“But sir.”
“But nothing, corporal.”
Jekel raised his crossbow,
“We got orders to take them two back to Darist, sir.”
Emma’s bolas hissed through the air, wrapped around his neck and stunned him with one of the wooden balls. His crossbow fired a bolt into the night sky. The captain gazed down at the corporal,
“Nice shot miss. Interesting weapon as well.” He handed it to Emma. She returned it to her belt. Doctor Frankel and his betrothed crossed the border and were never seen or heard from again in the Hallowed Lands. The generally accepted explanation fortheir disappearance was they had met with Seekers from the Hidden Kingdom of Jorvik and accompanied them to that mysterious land.

The Wars of the Gods rumbled on for a hundred years. The Castle Frankel fell into disrepair. It was said by the city folk of Darist that it was haunted. One hundred years after the end of the War, a man known only as The Tyrant arrived with his vanguard of D’Maj, sourcerers who employed the darkest of magic to impose their will on the people of Darist, spreading their influence gradually throughout Grimmscar. The Tyrant moved into the Castle Frankel and renamed it Bloodskull Castle. The reign of terror had begun.

Nippon Devil
June 14th, 2014, 10:08 PM
Not a bad story. It was a little rough in the first few paragraphs, but I did manage to make it to the end.

you drop a lot of names in a very short period of time. I found myself looking back to see who was who or what. Frankel, Darist, Grimmscar, Gammel (thought it was the last name at first glance) and another Frankel that is inside the castle with Emma. We aren't even at the halfway point yet. consider easing the reader into the story a little slower so that we have time to grasp all the important stuff. I found Frankle and Emma's scene in the castle kind of redundant since Gammel got into the castle anyway. He even knew they had saddled horses, what their fate would be, etc.

There are also some nagging details that I'd have liked explained before this half of the prolog was over. Like some hint of what the reserch was and a clue as to who I'm suppose to be cheering for. There's no clear protagonist that I can see. I won't say much more about that since you only have half of your prolog up, hopefully the other half will remove the confusion.

I eagerly await part 2.

Gofa
June 15th, 2014, 01:32 AM
(Took on board some of what you guys said and decided to split the prologues in two. This, the first, will take place in the Hallowed Lands reality. The second prologue, in the Withering Hall reality is still under construction.)

I'm on an IPad so harder to edit. Underlined suggests replacement. Bold just notes / questions

Prologue One – Hallowed Lands Reality

Date: 1700. Time 2300 hours; Location: A room in Castle Frankel, Darist, Grimmscar.

Head Proctor Gammel stared up at the Castle Frankel. Two storeys at its bottom topped by a pyramid structure that stretched upwards for another seven storeys. One of the five wonders of Grimmscar. Designed by the ingenious but suspected devils worshipper Strath dak Sligigle for Frankel’s grandfather some two hundred years ago. Flying buttresses and carved gargoyles adorned it in the much favoured gothic style. Worth a paragraph here
He sighed, “Captain, let’s get this done with. Try and kill them both if possible.”
A quick death rather than burning them was the least he could do. The churches had decided they were heretics and that was that. A couple of accidental bolts fired in panic would be his report, the result was the same. The sadistic bastard that headed the Combined Church and Dark Magic Council could take it or leave it.

In the castle’s dank master bedroom Dr Frankel pushed the last of his notebooks into the leather satchel along with a large purse of gold coins. White, wispy hair fell across typo his face he raked it back over his head with a ‘tut’ of annoyance. His betrothed, Emma, stood at the window, she was rangy and tall with remarkable blue eyes. She said softly,
“The Head Proctor has the City Guard with him. We must go.”
“Soon, my love, soon.”
They both wore grey, hooded cloaks, leather jerkins and dark cotton trews. Fashion awareness was not their forte. A hammering on the thick, oaken doors. He looked at her and shook his head,
“They call me blasphemer because I used science to try and make the world a better place. Damnable fools with their gods, religions and magics. Why can’t they see…….”
Emma stopped him,
“Dearest Hector, I really don’t think it’s the time for impassioned speeches. We’re about to be burned at the stake. ”
He nodded and hoisted the satchel by its strap. Closed the bedroom door behind them for the last time. They raced downstairs, into a narrow passage that led them to the stables. Their massive grey and black battle horses were already saddled. The doctor’s grandfather had experimented with the breeding for purity of these fine animals before turning to experimentation with humans. His son, Jakobi continued the work and Hector Frankel was the latest in the bloodline and refined the technique. The result of their efforts was Emma. The other attempts had proved to be inferior. She and the doctor mounted their horses and vanished into the fog.

Outside Darist’s massive walls, they stopped. Emma raised an eyebrow,
“Three options my dear Hector. The main highway to the border and into Greyun territory. The Bracken Marshes or the Grey Forest.”
Frankel replied sourly,
“Grey Forest with the Delf clans to deal with. Bracken Marshes from where nobody has ever returned or face down the border guards?”
She nodded. Frankel made his decision, clicked his tongue, urging the horse down the highway.

Back at Castle Frankel, the doors burst open and the guards dashed in, crossbows at the ready. It soon became obvious that the place was deserted. Gammel tightened his lips. Emperor Greston was not going to like this at all. Then a guard shouted,
“Over here.” And pointed to the passageway.
Soon they were in the stable yard, cursing their luck. The Head Proctor murmured,
“Well now, two steeds missing. Must have already been saddled. They knew we were coming. Who the hell told them, I wonder?”
The guards looked at each other nervously. An informant in the ranks meant trouble unless he could be caught. One of their number moved into the shadows. Gammel caught the movement and walked over to him,
“Draxal dak Slipshud, what would your mother say?”
Dak Slipshud hissed,
“She’d say it was better to die fighting than live under the rule of a lunatic.”
The Proctor rolled his eyes to heaven,
“Very melodramatic. She should stop watching those theatre productions in my opinion.”
He shook his head,
“There’s an outpost in the Northern Desert. You’ll be able to reach it in a couple of days. Or you could stay and let your squad mates deal with you.”
Dak Slipshud opted for to travel North.
They left the castle and Gammel sighed,
“The paperwork for this shambles is going to be a bloody nightmare.”
He spoke to a guard,
“Get a messenger hawk over to the border. I suspect they’ll be heading for Greyun land.”

At the border, four guards blocked the way. One of them waved a lantern as the couple approached. Their captain, Abel dak Shashe hissed at him to hold the light steady. A hawk rested on his glove and dak Shashe was reading a note delivered by the hawk. He looked up at them,
“I’m sorry, Doctor, but you can’t go any further.”
Emma moved behind Frankel, opened the cloak and unhooked a bolas from her belt, her other hand rested on a sword hilt. Frankel shook his head,
“And I’m sorry but we’re going across the border. Easy or hard way, your choice.”
A Greyun stand-off, mused the border guard captain. One wrong move and there would be blood spilled. The woman was now by the doctor’s side. The captain grunted,
“Let them through, Jekel.”
“But sir.”
“But nothing, corporal.”
Jekel raised his crossbow,
“We got orders to take them two back to Darist, sir.”
Emma’s bolas hissed through the air, wrapped around his neck and stunned him with one of the wooden balls. His crossbow fired a bolt into the night sky. The captain gazed down at the corporal,
“Nice shot miss. Interesting weapon as well.” He handed it back to Emma and she returned it to her belt with a nod. Doctor Frankel and his betrothed then crossed the border and were never seen or heard from again in the Hallowed Lands. The generally accepted explanation for their disappearance was they had met with Seekers from the Hidden Kingdom of Jorvik and accompanied them to that mysterious land.

The Wars of the Gods rumbled on for a hundred years. The Castle Frankel fell into disrepair. It was said by the city folk of Darist that it was haunted. One hundred years after the end of the War, a man known only as The Tyrant arrived with his vanguard of D’Maj, sourcerers who employed the darkest of magic to impose their will on the people of Darist, spreading their influence gradually throughout Grimmscar. The Tyrant moved into the Castle Frankel and renamed it Bloodskull Castle and so began the reign of terror.
some spelling and a few suggestions
you write with a nice fluid style and your characters carry realism with them through the little things. Very nice touches