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Above Kings

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Above Kings

Postby doodstormer » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:44 pm

So I'm working on this novel. Not sure whether I'm going to publish it or not, what do you think?
I've got the first chapter done, and I've got an ending in mind, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Above Kings

Chapter 1

The courtyard was beautiful to behold. Cobblestone pathways twisted and turned around and through the well kept garden, overlooked by finely crafted stone balconies. A large mural was carved into the wall around the garden, depicting brave heroes of old fighting long-dead evils. The castle guard in their colorful uniforms patrolled along the balconies, and commoners and gardeners milled about in the garden.
The King had paid to have all this built, the People’s Garden. He had hired the finest carpenters and sculptors, and it had paid off. He made this garden free to all the citizens of his kingdom, and maintained it out of his own pocket. The people loved their king, and he loved his people.
Arthur was a captain in the King’s Army, in charge of the 27th Legion. He had a well built frame, and long, clean brown hair and a well trimmed beard. He was known amongst his men for his unorthodox methods of fighting, and had been nicknamed “the Clever Fox”.
A heavy rain was falling this autumn day, as Arthur darted down the path, weaving his way between commoners and gardeners, leaping over a gardener’s cart along the way. He came to a stop at a large wooden door, and hurriedly put his bold blue and white soldier’s uniform into order, straightening his scabbard and tightening his belt. After taking a minute to catch his breath, he pounded on the door.
“Who’sit?” barked the voice from behind.
“It’s Arthur, sergeant. Let me in!”
“Oi! Why didn’t ya say so Cap’n?”
A loud thump was heard as the sergeant unbarred the barracks doors, and shoved them open. Arthur quickly shuffled in, and the sergeant slammed the doors shut behind him hastily.
Several soldiers lounged about in the Inner Barracks, sitting around the fireplace munching on their plentiful rations, provided by the King of course. A large yew log burned in the fireplace, and provided both warmth and light for the entire room. Some of the soldiers saw Arthur enter and saluted him quickly. He nodded his head in greeting and headed for the stairwell that led up to the balconies. Arthur scaled the steps and walked along the balcony, stopping at a door being guarded by two armed soldiers. He quickly saluted the men and entered.
The War Room was a very cramped room. Maps and charts covered the carved stone walls, and even these were covered in notes and scribbling from the various commanders who had been in here. A large oak table sat in the center of the room. Upon it were several stains and impurities, papers and documents of war, and a few more maps, as well as a few half burnt candles, which provided sufficient light for the room. A long dagger was stuck in the table, almost 3 inches deep. Apparently no one had ever bothered to remove it. Around the table were several wooden chairs, each in various condition and appearance.
Arthur selected one of the slightly less damaged chairs, and took a seat. This was an unusual happenstance for him; a captain was very seldom called into the War Room. As he pondered the possible reason for this, he heard the General approaching.
General Lukas was a tall, aged man. He had a wiry build, and a thin, rugged face. His coarse white hair, streaked with black, came just at his shoulders. His sharp nose complemented his cold, grey eyes. His left leg had been lost long ago in a distant war, and now was replaced with a sturdy pine peg. Due to this, he had to walk with a thin ivory cane. His cane clicked with his every step, followed by the thump of his wooden leg. His presence sent chills down Arthur’s spine.
The General entered the room, and sat down in the first chair that he came upon. He turned a cold gaze toward Arthur, then turned to the table and began rummaging through the notes and documents, casting many of them to the floor in disinterest.
“You called for me, sir?” asked Arthur, breaking the chilling silence.
“Yes,” the General replied, not looking away from the papers.
“Can I ask what for, sir?”
“Not right now, you have to wait for the others to get here.”
“The others, sir?” asked Arthur, now somewhat interested. The General ignored Arthur’s question, and continued to rummage through the papers.
“Sir?” persisted Arthur.
“You sure ask a lot of questions, Captain Arthur.”
“It’s not every day an ordinary captain is called to the War Room, sir.”
“It makes no difference whether it’s happened before.”
“You said something about ‘Others’, sir?”
“You’ll see.”
“Sir, with all due respect-“
General Lukas cut him off. “Do you ever shut up?” He glared at Arthur coldly. “They’ll get here eventually, just give it a rest.” He gestured towards a pitcher at the far end of the table, with a few wooden goblets discarded around it. “Get something to drink, it might be a while.” As Arthur got up, the General muttered under his breath. “Cunning Fox? More like Chattering Squirrel.”
Arthur thirstily grabbed the pitcher and poured himself a drink. As he brought the goblet to his lips, he almost immediately spit the drink back out. Arthur hated the taste of aged grog.
He heard a wooden tapping sound down the hall. It was unmistakable as the Wizard’s wizened old staff. The Wizard was a short fellow, clothed in heavy, tattered blue robes and a large, pointed, and somewhat worn hat. His long curly white beard almost touched the ground as he shuffled into the room. The Wizard looked over Arthur, and then carefully sat down in one of the more cushiony chairs. He propped his staff against the table and removed his hat, letting his unkempt long hair fall about him.
Arthur had only heard about the Wizard from old housewives’ tales and the dusty old tomes the Librarian fussed over so much and kept in such good condition. He was a crafty inventor, a wise scholar, and a great master of magic as well. Every one of his deeds was considered legendary by most standards, and, indeed, he was a marvelous man.
The Wizard was followed into the room by the burly Lord Hector, who clattered into the room in his full armor. His long, deep blue cloak seemed to fill the room as he walked, billowing and twisting with each step he took. He strode to one of the chairs at the far end of the table, and dropped into a chair. Much to Arthur’s surprise, the rickety chair did not collapse under the weight of Hector’s armor. After taking his seat, he reached up and began to undo his helmet. After a brief struggle with the chinstrap, he took off his helmet and carefully placed it on the table, exposing his face to the dim light provided by the candle.
Sir Hector had lost an eye long ago, as was apparent by his weathered leather eye patch, and the long, jagged scar running down his face. His one good eye was of an unearthly, sickly green, gleaming like an emerald in the dark room. He ran his fingers through his black hair, glancing over the items of the room. The “Old Raven”, he was called.
Lukas, upon seeing that the ‘Others’ had arrived, loudly cleared his throat, to call the attention of those in the room. The Wizard, Sir Hector, and Arthur all turned their attention towards him, waiting for him to begin this unlikely meeting.
“Alright you sorrowful lot, lets get this over with.”
The General reached into his cloak and withdrew a fresh scroll, recently bound with new cord. He snapped the cord and unraveled the scroll.
“’These are the King’s orders’,” he read. “’The Order of the Shield has been a thorn in the side of our kings for many a century. As is known by all in the land, there is a plentiful bounty for those who operate under this order.
“’Word has reached my ears of a Friar Harlow, leader of the church in the village of Greenthorn. This Friar Harlow, let it be known, has long provided for the Order of the Shield and its followers. All previous attempts made to arrest him have been met with failure, for the order holds him dear and protects him at all costs.
“Therefore, I have chosen the four of you to arrest the Friar Harlow at any cost necessary. Killing him is to be your final resort, as I would prefer for the honor to be that of the Common People, whom he has harmed so in his actions.’”
Sir Hector was perplexed. “That’s it?” he queried, now interested.
“Well, pretty much… Yes it is,” answered the General, who was now scribbling something on one of the less used pieces of paper.
“Wait,” questioned Arthur, “It mentions in his orders that previous attempts were failed… Does it say anything more about that?”
The General picked the scroll back up off the table, and eyed it thoroughly. “No, not from what I see. What’s the matter, you afraid of what some friar’s friends are going to do?”
“Well, if said ‘Friar’s friends’ can dispatch soldiers of the King’s Army, wouldn’t you suppose we should be a tad cautious?”
“The lad does have a point,” added the Wizard, “You of all people would know how well they train the King’s soldiers.”
“…I suppose you’re right.”
“Are you familiar with the Order of the Shield, Arthur?” asked Hector, turning towards the captain.
“I’ve only heard about them. I hear they’re a bunch of religious nutcases, always going on crazy crusades against the ‘unclean’, whatever they are.”
“Well those ‘religious nutcases’, as you so eloquently put it, have been giving the King trouble long ago. They used to be paladins, in the Royal Order of the Flame,” began Hector.
“So they left?”
“Actually, they were cast out, for their… questionable judgment. They were known for jumping to conclusions. Rumor has it they were responsible for the big fire that burned down Stormwich.”
“I thought that was a forest fire.”
“You were told it was a forest fire. The King didn’t want his people to get all up in arms, as they surely would if they knew there were a bunch of rogue paladins running around burning down towns.”
“And why are you telling me all this then?”
“We chose you to join our group. The King gives us his more… secret problems. We’re the Trust Order. It’s our duty to keep the King’s secrets, and protect them, should need be.”
“Enough with the storytelling, Hector,” interrupted Lukas, “You can save that for another day. I say we let the Captain handle this one; he needs to prove his worth.”
“Me, sir?”
“Yes you. Sir Hector will go with you, to see that you don’t mess this up. All you’ve got to do is arrest the friar, that shouldn’t be too hard.”
“And if anyone tries to stop us?”
“I believe a soldier should be familiar with the laws of this land. You know what to do.”
“Yes, sir,” said Arthur. He got up out of his seat, and saluted the General.
“Oh, Arthur, one more thing.” The General dug around in the papers for a minute, and then pulled up a shining silver badge. It was molded in the shape of a shield, with a black fleur-de-lis in the center. The General tossed it to Arthur, who looked it over carefully.
“What’s this?”
“That’s your badge, Captain. Welcome to the Truth Order.”
Last edited by doodstormer on Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Prince Imdol » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:40 pm

This is a very good start to a nice story. I doubt doubt you will get it published any time soon. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly great material, and quite a good start, but it will take a ton more than just this. I have tried multiple times with my story, and failed.

Your description is very good in the beginning, but as Arthur enters the war room, a lot of important dialog begins to happen. This is good, it is very easy for a reader to get lost in a lot of dialog, therefore, take a break every once in a while to show what is going on with the characters.

Keep writing!

Thomas C.
"Sow a thought, reap an action;
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny"

"Don't let school interfere with your education."-Huckleberry Finn
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Postby doodstormer » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:43 am

Chapter 2 completed! Excitement and jubilations.

Chapter 2

The lively port of Greenthorn was almost abandoned this night, as the rain poured with more intensity than many of the citizens remembered seeing. Almost abandoned, that is, except for two shadowy figures on the slick docks, carrying crates. One of the men slipped, almost dropping his crate into the dark sea.
“Hold it steady, Greth. Don’t want to drop it now. Not once we’ve got this far,” muttered the first man in a dry, raspy voice.
He had a hunched posture, and a spindly frame. He was wrapped in a ragged brown cloak, which he clutched to himself firmly.
He looked off into the foggy distance, out towards the sea. After squinting and craning his neck for a minute, he turned to the second man.
“Greth, hand me the glass.”
Greth pulled a small telescope out of his belt, and made a sloppy attempt to wipe the rain off the lens with his sleeve. The second man snatched it out of his hands and began scouring the dark, foggy horizon.
Through the pouring rain, he could make out a misty lantern, swaying in the dark.
“Aha!” he cried, pointing into the dark expanse, trying in vain to get Greth to see the light in the distance.
“They should get here any moment now, we’d best let them know we’re here.”
“Get the lantern from that boat over there, Greth. That should do the job quite nicely.”
Greth set his crate down on the dock, and then walked over to the small fishing vessel, snatching the lantern from its weathered wooden bow. He reached for his flint, but couldn’t find it. He must have dropped it somewhere on the docks.
“You got a flint, Louis?”
“Sure, here,” said Louis, handing his flint to Greth. He swiftly kindled a fire in the lantern and set it on a post on the dock.
The lantern slowly came into view, revealing a rowboat with two burly men rowing as hard as their large, weather-worn, soaking bodies could. Sitting at the back of the boat, clutching a cold steel sword, was the man Louis and Greth were there to see.
The boat soon arrived at the dock, and Greth tossed a rope to the oarsmen, for them to fasten their boat to the dock. As the man got up out of the boat, Louis sauntered up to the man, a wicked smile appearing on his thin, bitter face.
“Ah, glad you made it, Sergeant Borough.”
Sergeant Borough was a massive man, dwarfing even his two burly oarsmen. He carried a chip on his shoulder, as well as a steel two-handed sword of foreign craftsmanship. His bulky face was covered in the scars of an old battle he had with a lion while being held as a prisoner of war. According to the stories of many eyewitnesses, he slew the lion with his bare hands. Judging by his appearance, there were few who doubted the possibility.
Sergeant Borough glared at Louis with intensity, causing him to slink back meekly.
“Do you have it?”
“Yes, Borough. Right here, the-”
“Silence yourself, Louis! The Truth Order has ears everywhere.”
“The Truth Order?” interrupted Greth, “You actually believe it exists? It’s just an old wives’ tale. There ain’t no justice around this kingdom, just a bunch of quarreling orders of superstitious paladins and hypocritical monks.”
“If you’re fond of your head, you’d do wise to shut it,” answered Borough, his anger apparent. “Only ignorant fools just believe what the King tells them, and you’re just another of his mindless pawns.”
Greth, now somewhat subdued, shrugged and wandered away, and began fiddling with things on the dock. The Sergeant looked down the dock, into the quiet city.
“When is he going to get here?” he questioned, with a tone of impatience.
“Friar Harlow is a slow one; he takes his time you know. Bu he never fails to deliver!”
“Thank you, Louis, for that oh-so-helpful input. Anything else I should know?” muttered Borough, with strong scorn in his voice, silencing Louis once more.
A few minutes passed, until in the distance they saw a thickly robed man, carrying a lantern, slowly walking down the dock, struggling against the howling wind and pouring rain.
The friar finally reached the men, and set his lantern on top of one of the crates.
“I’m telling you, I don’t think we should be doing this here, I have a bad feeling the Truth Order’s spies are here…” he complained, casting suspicious glances at the men gathered on the dock.
Greth once more spoke up. “Again with the Truth Order! It doesn’t exist, never has, never will!”
Icy glares from Harlow and Borough stopped him from saying any more.
“Well, I’ve had Greth and Louis bring it for you.” Harlow motioned towards the crates.
“It’s disassembled, and one’s a decoy crate. The real one has the King’s crest on it.”
“Good, good. One of our trusted blacksmiths should be able to reproduce it with ease.”
Borough placed the two crates in his rowboat, and covered them with a thick cloak. He nodded to one of his men, who drew his sword and started towards Greth and Louis.
Greth drew his sword to defend himself, striking out at the man. Louis cowered behind him, and cried out in rage, “What is the meaning of this? We’ve served you for many a year! Not one dishonest deal!”
Borough climbed into the rowboat, and turned towards the two men. “The Order of the Shield has deemed you no longer suitable for service.”
“The Order of the Shield? You mean you’re one of those lunatics? You cursed scum, I’ll-”
Louis was cut off by a cry of pain from Greth as the swordsman cut him down. The soldier swiftly stabbed Louis in the chest, and his lifeless body fell to the ground.
“Toss the bodies in the sea. They should know how dangerous it is to go out on the docks after dark,” ordered Borough, with a vicious smirk.


Arthur went down to the stables, and prepared his horse, Winterheart, for the journey to Greenthorn. He strapped two large sacks to Winterheart, and tightened the saddle strap.
Winterheart was a hardy white horse, with a black mane and tail. He had carried Arthur into battle on many occasions, and could be ridden for days without needing rest. He would certainly be needed on this journey, as the port of Greenthorn was a few days journey from the capitol.
The road to the town took a long curve around the mountains, which made the trip considerably longer. The length of the journey didn’t bother Arthur, as he liked to see the countryside and explore the kingdom’s lands. He was always fascinated by the variety of people that lived in the kingdom, from busy old housewives to charismatic woodsmen; he never failed to meet interesting people where he traveled.
Sir Hector walked into the stable’s doorway, and called out to Arthur.
“We ride soon! Hurry whatever you’re doing, we have a long journey ahead.”
Arthur finished adjusting the saddle and mounted Winterheart, riding out of the stable and into the courtyard. Sir Hector was looking over his map, and upon seeing Arthur emerge, stuck the map back into his saddle bag.
The two rode out of the castle, and onto the long dusty road. Their journey had begun.
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Postby doodstormer » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:41 am

Sorry for the ULTRA LONG SUPER DUPER delay guys.

Chapter 3

The two men had ridden several miles from the capitol, the highest towers of the castle long faded from view. The sun was beginning to set, illuminating the mountains ahead with a strong glow.
Hector raised his hand, signaling for Arthur to stop. “I have heard word from several merchants and travelers that there is a shorter path then to go all the way around these mountains…”
“You mean through the Green Sea? One of my messengers was telling me about that route. But isn’t the forest the realm of outlaws and highwaymen?”
“I’m sure we could handle any rabble of outlaws and petty thieves, and with the added speed to our journey we could catch our friar friend off his guard, should he know we are coming.”
“True, we might as well try it.”
“Well onward we go, then!”
The two started off again, riding into the calm forest.
The Green Sea, as it was called, had well earned its name. It expanded for miles, around mountains, over hills, and even over rivers. It was no wonder so many criminals and thieves had made it their home, the King’s soldiers avoided it with extra care.
The two hadn’t gone far before they heard the sounds of a flute and singing. Dismounting quietly, they tied their horses to a nearby tree and stealthily began to creep towards the sounds.
They came upon a small clearing, in the middle of which was a small campfire, over which was roasting two scraggly and measly looking chickens. The light of the fire illuminated a large, burly minotaur and a scrawny little kobold. The minotaur was clothed in a combination of chain mail armor and animal skins, and was busily sharpening a large, battle worn axe.
The kobold was cheerily piping away at his flute, which seemed to have had better days. He was dressed in a tattered gentleman’s suit, with long coattails and a ratty old cloak. At his side was strapped a soldier’s dagger, big enough to serve as a sword for him.
Suddenly, one of the chickens caught fire, as both had neglected to turn them. The kobold, startled, dropped his flute and started jumping and yipping at the minotaur. “Oi!! Og’Thuk! Da chikkins be flamin’!”
In a single swift motion, Og’Thuk knocked the kobold out of his way and extinguished the fire. “Burnt chicken for dinner again, Thikkanik. You should really start paying attention to your cooking.”
“Feh! Noble bahd’s cannae concern daselves wit’ dis ‘cookin’ you talks ‘bout.”
“If that’s the case, this “noble bard” you talk about might want to get used to burnt meat.” Replied the minotaur, dropping a piece of blackened chicken on the kobold’s plate.
“Hmph, evvyone’s a buncha critics,” muttered the kobold, stuffing his face, “stupid bahnt chikkins again…”
Arthur stepped backwards, snapping a twig underfoot. The minotaur stopped. “Wassit Og’Thuk?”
“We aren’t alone here, Thikkanik. Have your sword ready…”
The minotaur slowly picked up his axe, and started towards the place where Arthur was hiding. Arthur drew his sword, but before he could do anything, the minotaur had grabbed him by the hair and hurled him into the clearing. In an instant, the kobold had pounced on Arthur, and had his sword at Arthur’s neck. “If’n ya moves I slits ya gizzid!”
Hector jumped at the minotaur from behind, grabbing hold of one of its horns. The minotaur bucked his head, flipping Hector onto the ground, and pinning him with his hoof.
“Make it fast, I’m not too patient when it comes to spies.”
“We were merely making sure you weren’t one of the outlaws in which these forests abound.”
“Well we aren’t outlaws, we’re just travelers, on our way to Greenthorn to get a ship.” The minotaur took his hoof off of Hector and helped him to his feet. The kobold disappointingly sheathed his sword, and Arthur got to his feet.
“Interesting,” replied Hector, “We were heading there as well, although with a… different motive.”
“You’n’s be goin’ ta Greenthorns fo’ sumthin’ otha’ den a boat?”
“Aye, we’re arresting a traitor, we intended to catch him earlier then he might expect by cutting through these woods.”
“I see. I’m Og’Thuk and this is my companion Thikkanik.”
“Dat’s mista Thikkanik ta you,” added Thikkanik, indignantly.
“Well I’m Sir Hector and this is Captain Arthur. Do you mind if we join you in your journey? Judging by how you fought us, it would definitely be safer to travel with you.”


The four made their way through the woods, using the now rapidly dwindling sunlight to their advantage. Thikkanik was perched on the minotaur’s shoulder, playing an odd, merry ditty on his flute.
Just as he was getting to the chorus, an arrow whizzed past his face, offsetting his balance and sending him tumbling to the ground. Arthur and Hector had their swords drawn in a moment, and the minotaur raised his axe and began scouring the trees for any signs of the aggressor.
Another arrow whizzed by, and in an instant Og’Thuk dove into the trees. Before the archer could notch another arrow, he was cut down. Two more rogues charged at him with their swords drawn, yelling their battle cries. Og’Thuk swatted the first one aside, smacking him into a tree, and brought his axe down on the other, snapping his sword and slaying him.
Arthur looked around into the woods, cautious for any other signs of more foes. He heard a loud rustling, and saw a group of three more men coming at them. He blocked an axe blow from one, while Sir Hector engaged a second one.
Thikkanik stabbed Arthur’s foe in the leg, causing him to drop his sword in pain. Arthur quickly cut him down and dismounted, he hated fighting on horseback. He dodged a swipe from the third man’s sword, and struck him on the side of his face with the flat of his blade. The bandit gave him a bewildered glance, and clumsily swung at him again. Arthur blocked the blow and kicked the man in the chest, knocking him on his back. In a swift motion his sword was at the bandit’s neck.
“Surrender, and I’ll see that you get it easier when we get back to the capitol.”
“Bah!” the bandit spat at Arthur, “There’s nothin’ you royalty dogs can gimme that I want!”
Another bandit had been sneaking up behind Arthur, his knife drawn and poised murderously. As he was about to strike, Thikkanik had pounced on him, clawing and biting at his face. Arthur swiftly stabbed the defiant outlaw, and in the same motion slashed the chest of the brigand behind him.
Sir Hector had finished off his foe, and was riding in pursuit of what Arthur assumed was the last of the outlaw gang. He looked down at his sword, bloodied from the recent battle. He almost never used it, as he preferred fighting with his spear. So many more uses for a spear then a sword, he had always thought.
Sighing, he wiped his blade off in the grass and sheathed it, looking over the bodies. He saw one that was still living, slumped against a tree. Walking toward the man he now saw that the he was clutching a sword, the blade broken. He saw Arthur approaching, and weakly lifted the blade.
“I’ll gut you. I’ll gut you, you royal dog. Like the scum you are, I’ll gut you.”
Arthur, amused at this, replied. “You don’t look like you’re in any position to make threats, outlaw.”
“Minotaurs can’t do nothin’ to ol’ Jack, I’ve got bones of steel.”
“Right now, your bones more resemble broken glass, Jack.”
“That shows what you know!” replied the indignant robber. “Just let me get up and we’ll see who’s got glass bones!” He started to get up, but winced and slumped down.
“Dah. What’s the use? Ol’ Jack’s luck’s gone out. To think, a stupid cow man swats me aside like a little gnat.”
“Indeed he did. At least you weren’t slain by the kobold.”
“There’s a kobold? By the gods… What else killed them? A little fairy perhaps? A small yapping dog?”
“Thikkanik is probably a bit of both, Jack.”
“Enough talk, soldier. When are you going to read my rights and send me off to the King’s cellar?”
“You seem a good enough fellow, I might not do that. Any requests?”
“Give me a crown and a pretty chair so I can be everyone’s master.”
“I’m afraid that’s not in my power to do.”
“Then stuff me in the basement and let me age with the wine. I ain’t got anything important to do.”
“Now that I can do. Greenthorn probably has room in their prison for another misfit.”
“So are you going to patch me up or just stand around and talk about what a bad little peasant I’ve been?”
“Oh, we’ll get to that in due time. Right now you just stay where you are while we set up camp, nightfall comes soon.”
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