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Prologue: A Fourfold Destiny
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3071
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Prologue: A Fourfold Destiny  

An idea I kicked over and finally decided to post. Just something to get back in the swing of things. Enjoy.
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The Children of Leyond

Prologue: A Fourfold Destiny

The bells tolled the news far and wide across the land, the Crown Prince had fallen, Leyond mourned her royal dead. In the palace in Eresinne, King Astor's court wore fashionable cuts of mourning black and the old King seemed to sag a little further on his gilded throne. However, across the length and breadth of the land, the people rejoiced. The Tyrant Prince had fallen, praise be the Gods. Caur had never been loved by his people and they took a certain satisfaction in the fact that the war-like and brutal Crown Prince had been laid low by an allergy to a mountain wildflower. An allergy undetected due to the scarcity of the flower in the southern regions. Men joked in taverns around their ale that Crown Prince Caur's appetite for female flesh had finally gotten the better of him and that one virgin had finally defended her virtue with a posy basket and the luck of the Gods.

Indeed, the news was also well received outside Leylond's boarders. In the north, in the frozen kingdom of Rhimefaust, Dhakkon Lord Thrym threw back his bearded head and laughed aloud, calling for a twilight celebration. His people raised axes and swords around pyres and called for sprigs of the wildflower to wear as ornaments, stamping fur wrapped feat against frozen ground in outlandish dances.

In the Southern land of Jhadir, where the sands burned with white hot fury and the men were browned from birth by it's scorching heat, the Sahime Vi'jinn ordered his craftsmen to make an ornate gift for the king of Leyond. And then he ordered that his armies be readied to carry it north. Vi'jinn had many reasons to hate Crown Prince Caur and now that his death had stolen his right of vengeance against the man himself, he would ensure that King Astor knew full well Vi'jinn expected a certain recompense.

In the East, in the mountain vastness of Haga'dir, King Elim settled a little deeper on his throne. The Storm Lords had truly graced him this day. Had they not shown their favor? He was not an old King, he had many sons and a pair of grandsons even, his line was secure. All he had to do now was wait, and when King Astor was claimed by the Black God then Elim would finally take bride price for his despoiled kinsman. Take that swath of fertile farmland in the hills that had been denied him and spit on Caur's grave. He gave not a care for the rest of Leyond, only for those acres in the hills.

And in the western lands of Falverald, where rivers wandered between lush orchards and rich fields, there did High Justicar Maldrin mourn. True, he'd held no love for Caur and his foolish, brutal ways, but Maldrin's daughter had been wed to Caur's younger brother Darald until the white lung had carried the younger Prince of Leyond off. And he knew that soon enough, the crows would gather to pick at the corpse of the nation. Thus his armies gathered, readying a show of force, after all...his granddaughter was the only legitimate Heir now.
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"I've brought them your Majesty."

King Astor turned, glancing down at the kneeling man who offered up the scroll cases to him, and waved that the man should stand. The aging King of Leyond reached for his wine goblet, taking a sip of the light vintage. "No need for such formality Sek, we're alone here. Now, tell me what you know."

The man had risen at his King's command, taking a seat when the King gestured to it. His sandy hair was tied back in a neat tail, his spectacles perched on the end of his nose. "Your sons had a total of five children between them. Caur has three bastard offspring from less than savory relationships, Darald had twin girls with his wife Eradana. Of those five offspring, there are four remaining. All three of Caur's bastards have survived and are actually thriving. One of Darald's children was lost in the same outbreak of white lung that carried him off."

He paused for a moment, gauging King Astor's reaction, before going on. "The oldest of your grandchildren is Alasdair, son of Caur and Sojolta Thrymsdottar. It took me a few days to confirm this but apparently the daughter of the Dhakkon Lord decided to give her son a southern name to reflect his heritage. Due to some of their more obscure customs, he's not considered a bastard among his people. Something about the date of conception and such, it was one of their festivals I believe. Anyhow, the lad has been dedicated to the house's emblem itself. He's known as Alasdair Dhakkonson. He's the spitting image of his father according to reports, but he's about as different in temperament from Caur as the sun is from the moon. He's not distinguished himself in any real given manner but we've had odd reports that he's a practitioner of those odd barbarian magics. But you know what wives tales that is."

Again the man paused, gauging the reaction of his king, and when none was forthcoming he continued. "The next in age is Khafi, son of Caur and Sahrissa Vel'jeer. You'll remember during the last great conflict between Leyond and Jhadir, a caravan was raided by your son and prisoners were taken. Apparently, that 'slave girl' he took a liking to was one of Vi'jinn's sisters. The woman died in childbirth but apparently she made some kind of deal with her brother because her son has been raised and trained in the royal complex. Apparently having just that unaccented name is a sign of great shame. The boy is, by all accounts, able and quick though. Paler of skin than any of his brethren and a head taller, he's supposedly quite the artist with a dagger. He also, unfortunately, seems to have inherited his father's hot temper."

He could see the King was rolling the stem of his goblet thoughtfully between his fingers, as if concentrating, but since he hadn't been told to stop, Sek continued with the list. "The third in age is the last of Caur's bastard children a son named Lukan. His mother is Syvlania Stormrunner, cousin of Elim Stormshadow. King Elim has been seeking recompense for his kinswoman for some years now but the plot of land he claims must be ceded to his family to cleanse the affront to their honor cannot be taken from the eastern provinces. He's demanding practically all their farmland...it would result in widespread hunger. Lukan, however, doesn't seem to have suffered any from his uncle. He's distinguished himself as a bit of a daredevil and rumor has it he may have inherited a portion of his fathers recklessness."

Finally, Sek nudged the last scroll forward, his job nearly complete. "The last is your Granddaughter, Tessa the only remaining child of the union between Darald and Evaginia Sammerhalt. She and her younger sister Constance were quite the fixture here at court...until the outbreak of the white lung that claimed Constance and Darald three summers ago. Apparently she's been rather influenced by her mother, living mostly in her Grandfather's court in Cahalt, and the loss of her twin has affected her mind. She's...well she seems to be a bit of a hedonist sire. There are accounts that she rides like a man, drinks like a man, and is possibly a bit of a harlot. Although the last is only a rumor. Still, she's a powerful woman by all accounts and resembles her mother for exotic features."

Sej fully expected the King to grow angered over the frank description of his granddaughter, but King Astor said nothing. He merely gazed at the scrolls that the man had handed him for a long time. He unrolled each one, gazing at the information within, and then suddenly glanced up.

"Sek...send for them. Send for them all. We shall throw them all into a great and powerful confusion. The likes of which hasn't been seen before or since. Tell them...tell them I'm considering them all. That any one of them may just yet be the new King or Queen of Leyond."

And still chuckling at his plan, King Astor stood and left the bewildered Sek, with his spectacles falling off his nose, to carry out his plan.
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Four very different royal children from four very different kingdoms. One royal thrown up for grabs. Let the backbiting and infighting begin!
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Muaddib



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 1765

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject:  

Ah! Gritty fantasy, I like it. It reminds vaguely me of a book I recently read, "Prince of Thorns." Look forward to the first chapter.
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Lilith



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 1597
Location: Happily curled up in a Daemon's lap

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject:  

Ohhhhhh! I demand more, Rai! Can't wait to see how this one turns out, like if the siblings will be at each other's throats and murdering each other for the crown?
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject:  

Welcome back to the Fantasy Forest Rai!

And I'm very much in agreement with the others. Fabulous prologue, and I can't wait to see where the story goes next. Roll on chapter 1! ;)
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject:  

An interesting set up. Good to see a new one from you. :)
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Andolyn



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 852
Location: sitting barefoot in a tree in the beautiful land of Ardara, writing my tales...

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject:  

LOOOVE this!! very dark...very intriguing...i like it! forward!!
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Shillelagh



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 398
Location: Kansas

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject:  

Interesting approach, although I'm drowning in names here. I guess there's not much that can be done about it... just keep in mind that you have a huge cast of characters when you're writing and reading our replies. If you're not constantly supplying context, we the audience could easily get lost. Especially since you're using nothing but Fantasy names. They start blurring together after a certain point.
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