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Tonic
March 31st, 2004, 08:21 PM
Hello, well I just registered here and I was wondering if anyone would want to read the prologue of my story. Ill post it here but please tell me what you think whether the response be short or long. Oh and I know the grammar is horrible, you can comment on it if you want to but I haven't really editted that part of it just so you know. Comment on anything whether it be plot, chracter, grammar anything :) If you guys like it then just post me a reply sayingg for me to post the next chapter and Ill go ahead and do that.

The Emerald Hawk
Prologue
By:Evan K. (Tonic)

The numerous peaks of The Midnight Mountains stood out bleakly against the evening sky of Westoren. Night was home to the cliffs and crags making the mountains forbidding in their eternal darkness. The icy wind howled like wolves on a hunt while the lone wanderer struggled through the gale that frequented these sinister mountains. The danger these icy cliffs possessed gave reason enough for many not to travel the northern boundary of Westoren. The land was uninhabitable and home only to the fiercest of creatures that dare brave winter year round. Many of the populace of Westoren believed that if you travelled long enough in these mountains that you would forever be lost until death came to take you from this world.

Even though the man himself looked all the part a nomad the horse beneath him must have been worth a King’s ransom. The man who was known by many names was not overly tall and wore the clothing of a mercenary. His tunic and leggings were both a deep earthy brown while his cloak was as black as the night sky. His boots were polished black as was his belt and gauntlets. He had the deadly look of someone who was an adept in swordsmanship and had an undertone of muscle that came from the training. He had piercing emerald green eyes, orange-red hair and the good looks that came from all those of his line. His hair reached the nape of his neck but was tied behind his back so as not to prove a nuisance while fighting.

He looked much like his father at that age but attempted to conceal it for fear of recognition. It was a danger to him to be wandering around Westoren alone, especially without any guidance from his friend and mentor. Though he would never admit to it, many still called him a petulant child. The strain of being parentless grew every year since the fateful day when his parents were tragically murdered. At best he was reckless and made his decisions for all the wrong reasons but no one could take away his fierce sense of pride and bravery. He had the kindness and tenderness his mother showed toward her friends and the mercy his father showed his enemies. The good natured personality he had was a rare thing among the fierce warriors he had lived with for over twenty years. He would never shy away from a challenge and would not give up until it was completed and that was what made him one of the best mercenaries.

The man’s sword was one of the items which he had allowed himself to have even though it was something that could prove his true identity. It was of the most expensive and rarest steel that did not rust or dull while aging. Its ornate hilt carried the ensign he most tried to hide even after being covered with a rather large emerald. The scabbard was the darkest shade of black with the same ensign as his badge. The badge on his left breast was one known throughout Westoren as the insignia of the most dangerous of mercenary troops. The badge was dark green and was in the shape of an upside down triangle. If looked at closely a small black script could be seen running along the inside of the triangle, the language was seldom spoken anymore and was seldom understood but many knew that it was the language of the Ancients. The inside of the badge contained a picture of three black wolves with piercing emerald eyes. They were in the midst of a hunt and could be seen running in a barren field topped with snow.

The mercenary band may have been the best in Westoren but was disliked by some including the King of this troubled country. The usurper King Drake Logarth was a merciless man with no compassionate side, he treated everyone as an enemy and desired to rule with entirety obliterating all opposition that crossed his path. After taking the crown by force, no person had enough power to oppose the usurper, practically giving him invincibility. There were some who secretly opposed him and the lone mercenary who travelled the mountains was one of them.

The rider came to a slow stop in front of a an overhang in the mountain that was made of ice and rock. He dismounted from his beautiful mare as one does who spends much of his time with horses and slowly tied the reigns to an all but dead tree. He unbridled the horse and brushed her down until he was satisfied with the amount of comfort he could afford her. He started building a small fire from the little wood he could carry and then went about the tasks of setting up camp swiftly with the look of one who had done this numerous times. He prepared a small stew with his meagre amount of supplies and left it simmering on the fire.

After such a long journey one would have thought that this mercenary would have been tired and want to sleep but he remained standing as if listening to some sound on the wind. When he was satisfied he exited his camp and walked for about five minutes until he faced the front of an icy wall. He raised his hands up to the wall and moved them as if trying to grasp some unseen handhold. After about a minute of this he finally grasped the unseen crevice and pulled with all his might. Slowly the wall moved sideways and he was hit with the smell of must and pent up air. Gingerly he crawled into the small space and carried out a brown bundle. The wanderer slowly unfurled the oilskin cloth until it revealed a broken crown that symbolized the reign of the last true king of Westoren. The crown was pure gold with three jewels imbedded inside, a large emerald stood in the centre with two slightly smaller sapphires on either side. On the opposite side of these jewels stood the ensign of the former house that ruled Westoren. The rare emerald hawk of House Arrenor stood in stark contrast to the gold of the crown.

The man cradled the crown as if it were a child and silently cursed the world for the path that took the House of Arrenor to it‘s downfall. He sobbed over the crown for a long time and when he was finished, the broken symbol of the former rulers of Westoren was drenched in salty tears. The rise and fall of the prosperous empire that was ruled under the emerald hawk had already taken place. The only thing left by that house now was a twenty-three year old man named Nicholas Arrenor the would be King to the throne of Westoren. Who holds the missing crown that the usurper had put such a hefty bounty on. A person who’s false name is Trevor Finn an experienced warrior and adopted son to the leader of the mercenary troop called lupine. A man who should be King, a man who the usurper despises and a man who has begged the Ancients for powers that will aid him in ridding his empire of such a disgraceful ruler.

*****

In a place that seldom thought existed the words of an heir gently floated into each of the beings minds. It was not usual that they listened to the wishes of humans but if the words carried enough import then it would come to them each in time. The boy wished for powers that could only be given by the Ancients, powers seldom given and rare to be seen. They each conferred with one another and it was finally decided that this man, this Nicholas Arrenor, otherwise known as Trevor Finn could be given the powers. Though they each decided that the powers will be given without the knowledge of how to use them and being taught will be his concern. But if he does not get taught in time then they will unleash themselves upon him and those he loves. With the powers will come that tidbit of knowledge but nothing else. Satisfied with themselves the beings known as the Ancients rested in the utter bliss of peace.

Chade
March 31st, 2004, 09:40 PM
It seems like a good introductory with various classic fantasy elements. It's hard to be too critical based on a prologue only, however it also seems to have several "borrowed" themes. With continued character and plot development, and maybe some distictive original concepts( which you might indeed already have in the main sections of the Novel) it could be a decent story.

ironchef texmex
April 2nd, 2004, 05:34 PM
Despite your warning about the grammar your prose isn't half bad. It has a decent flow to it and I thought it was easy to read. Not a bad start.

Something you might want to consider though it that it's not actually a prologue. A prologue is almost always told from 3rd person omniscient. Your indeffinate comment about the man's horse brings into question how much your narrator actually knows. I also can't think of any prologue I've ever read that spent that much time following the movements of the main character and giving away that much personal information. Be patient. If you're going to play up the secret identity aspect ( and Chade is right, it's been done to death) then at least keep the identity a secret for a chapter or two.

As for the other information it should probably get the 'show, don't tell' treatment. His demeanor is something that would best be observed in action, let the reader decide what he's like.

All in all I would say that if you want to keep that as a prologue you would be better off commenting more on the region and surroundings and less (alot less) giving away the specifics of your main character.