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Paulbee
June 16th, 2014, 11:27 PM
Not sure about this one. I thought it might help give more background to the Hallowed Lands reality. Would really appreciate your feedback.

Prologue

Extract from ‘The Word Of Drood; Book one, chapter one’

Two thousand years ago, a man known only as Drood came from the deserts of the northern Hallowed Lands into Grimmscar. He spoke of how the power in plants and animals, water and earth could be utilised. Dark Magic Warlocks enraged by the challenge to their philosophy, denounced him as an agitator and a heretic. They drove him and his supporters out of Grimmscar into Balsa. News of Drood and his word spread as he journeyed south. He wandered the plains of Balsa for five years, gathering acolytes and teaching his philosophy to all who would listen . Light Magic Priests grew to respect him. Their High Priest Malachi invited him to sit with him at the Temple of Light in Hantel, the capital city of Balsa.

But Malachi had treachery in his heart. He considered Drood to be a threat to his authority. One morning, Drood’s lifeless form was discovered in the street murdered by Malachi, an act witnessed by a Temple handmaiden. The High Priest fled Hantel and travelled north, pursued by Temple agents. At Grimmscar’s border, Malachi claimed and was granted sanctuary. The Temple agents returned to Hantel and reported to Balsa's Grand Elf Brusk.

Demands that Malachi be returned for trial, were refused by Grimmscar’s Emperor Mantis. Finally, Grand Elf Brusk lost patience and sent a force of men supported by Light Magic priests to Grimmscar’s borders. Only one of them returned alive but horribly mutilated.

The War of Magic began and raged on for ten terrible years. Weapons of light and dark magic were used until the Hallowed Lands were devastated. Eventually, a peace settlement was agreed at a small town, Garrison, in what was Balsan territory but suffered the greatest harm and was now known as Greyun territory. Greyun roughly translated from the Dead Language means ‘Haunted’.

One clause of the settlement was that magic would never again be used as a weapon. But the damage had already been done. During the Darkness Times while both sides were rebuilding their towns and cities, people disappeared. Those that returned had lost their minds and babbled of places that defied the imagination. They were locked away for their own safety.

A hundred years later, the Hallowed Lands appeared to be restored to the time before the War of Magic. In Balsa, a new Council that combined Droodism and Light Magic teachings was established. The horrific destruction of the War was never far from peoples’ minds for many generations. Over time though, the memories faded and records of the events only remained in books and songs.

Thus, for a thousand and fourteen hundred years after Drood (AD). A fragile peace was maintained between Balsa and Grimmscar. Magic was still a source of power but only to be used for peaceful purposes. In 1410 AD – a new type of magic emerged in Grimmscar. Not of prayers to gods or Dark Magic spells and incantations but of method, measurable facts and logic. It was the discipline of science. Dark Magic Warlocks examined and dismissed it as harmless tinkering. One of its most notable early practitioners was Doctor Jakobi Frankel. He lived in Darist in Frankel Castle and developed a theory of breeding horses to increase their stamina and strength. The horses that were considered inferior were neutered, eliminating their defective bloodlines from Frankel's stock. Then he turned his attention to humans.

InspektorF
June 17th, 2014, 04:00 PM
Is it meant to be read like it's an excerpt from an old history tome written by an unknown individual in your world? (Or is The Word of Drood the title of your work?) If intended as a historical record kept perhaps by a scribe or other individual, it would work fairly well. As a straight out prologue I think it needs a bit of fleshing out as it comes across as a bit of an info dump.

G. L. Argain
June 17th, 2014, 08:21 PM
I like the idea behind this story - how magic had to be used with limitation, and how science came into play later on - and while I'm personally fine having the prologue being made mostly of facts, most other people would argue that "showing" is better than "telling."

Paulbee
June 17th, 2014, 10:41 PM
The name of the story is 'The Peculiar Chronicles Of Withering Hall' . This post is an extract from a historical tome. Reason for it is to get a feel of the main story that follows. I have also put up a couple of 'other' prologues and they may yet morph into chapters. Two realities are involved and I'm have a problem with trying to show rather than tell. I suppose there is a point in rewriting this as povs of various characters, but at this rate we'll be going back to Adam and Eve.

Nippon Devil
June 17th, 2014, 11:42 PM
Comparing it to the last prologue you wrote, I think this is a lot better. It does feel like an old historic document or a tale told around the camp fire. The clarity of it is also much better.

Something that this shares with your other prologue however is that there seems to be a certain desire to get it over with as fast as possible. You hinted at the fact that Frankel was just a precursor in your other thread, and I think the prologue is more of an obstacle to you than a part of the story. If this is the case, you may want to try starting the story after the prologue and periodically flash back so that we understand how the current protagonists came to be.

If I'm wrong, than disregard that previous paragraph.

Argain warned you about me. I'm that person who says showing is better than telling. It does take a little bit more time to write, but your readers will have an easier time remembering the tale if we know a few more details about all of the historic characters mentioned. Maybe even toss in a line of dialog or two that was so epic it was recorded in history. It happens!

ShadowVafel
June 18th, 2014, 12:12 AM
you nailed it since you wanted it to feel like the reader is reading from a historical text, and the font was a nice touch. though personally i dont like these kind of things. it throws me back all the way to history lessons. i would have described a conversation between two scribes, discusing this part in history and giving their commentaries (which are contradictial) on what happened, allowing us the reader to see things from a few points of view and making his mind on what he thinks happened in between facts.
but again, this is a prologue, and it does give us a certain background on the story, so its a job well done.

InspektorF
June 18th, 2014, 05:32 PM
The name of the story is 'The Peculiar Chronicles Of Withering Hall' . This post is an extract from a historical tome. Reason for it is to get a feel of the main story that follows. I have also put up a couple of 'other' prologues and they may yet morph into chapters. Two realities are involved and I'm have a problem with trying to show rather than tell. I suppose there is a point in rewriting this as povs of various characters, but at this rate we'll be going back to Adam and Eve.

As it is an extract from a historical tome, then I think it works very well. CJ Cherryh did something like this at the beginning of each novel in her Morgaine Chronicles series, to give backstory without having to incorporate the backstory into the novel itself. It let her just get on with telling the story from the point she wanted to.

AMiller
July 20th, 2014, 05:47 PM
I like it. It reads as a historical document which makes it that much more believable and real for me. I like the advent of the "AD: After Drood" Idea. It makes you think this thing is a big deal and something to be worshipped/admired/feared.