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Chapter One: Bold As Brass
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Chapter One: Bold As Brass  

And so it begins...
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Chapter One: Bold as Brass

Lukan hadn't meant to get to the Leyondese court first. It wasn't some great plot on his part, he wasn't trying to put one over on anyone. In all truth, he'd been the last one to receive his summons to his Grandfather's court in Leyond's capital city of Eresinne. Due to the strained relations between Leyond and it's eastern most neighbor, the teleportation and levitation magics that made travel and trade in the region easy were...disallowed to eastern outsiders. Thus, the messenger had needed to find a sturdy mountain ram, and a guide, and good weather before attempting to climb into Lukan's family's lands.

And then there had been a flurry of activity as first his mother debated the worth of him going at all, citing that he had two half brothers and a cousin, all with stronger claims. Secretly Lukan believed that his mother had simply worried too much about him being gone. She couldn't smother him with pointless fetters and rules if he was out of her sight. Like no flying at night...who didn't fly at night?! And no drinking after the first hour of morning...who stopped drinking then!? That's just when things were getting fun.

Either way, she'd been pressured into it by higher powers, and the packing had commenced. Lukan had been ready to go before the day was out...just a few extra sets of clothes and a pouch of gold in his saddle bags and he'd wanted to wing his way to his Grandfather's court. However, his mother had won that argument and he'd brooded about for a week while the rest of his entourage was assembled, chafing at the delay.

Actually getting underway had been hard, perhaps one of the hardest things Lukan had done in his life. He hadn't expected that, nor had he expected to feel the tremble in his mother's arms as she'd hugged him so tightly he'd feared for his ribs, whispering to be careful for her sake. And then she'd shooed him away, calling him a rascal, just as she had a hundred thousand other times.

He remembered Beak had been restive that day, the big creme and tan hippogriff testing the wind every few seconds with a stroke of it's wings while it's killing talons had torn up the pebbles of the yard. Lukan had barely been able to contain him once Beak had been given permission to seek out the skies and had flown in lazy loops around the other people in Lukan's party. At first that had been enough for Lukan too, who'd made a game out of it. Hiding in this or that cloud bank, seeing out close to a rocky outcropping he could get before Beak had to swerve to miss it.

But the days following that first day seemed to pass at a crawl and both young man and hippogriff had grown ever more bored with flying laps around the floating caravan that was accompanying them. Hence the reason Lukan had decided he'd 'scout' ahead. In fact, he'd ditched them, pressing Beak for speed and winging his way through the sky with whoops and cries of delight. Both youth and beast had twisted and tumbled together, carving clouds into fantastic sky-shapes as the patchwork quilt of the land had changed steadily with every wingbeat. Had it not been for Lukan's map, likely he'd have gotten lost somewhere up there, having no landmarks on the unfamiliar lands below.

Eresinne had proven impossible to miss though, with the white tower of the palace rising from the center of the city. It had also been the first hill Lukan had seen in forever, rising alone and lonely from it's surrounding grasslands, like a lone peak in the fog. From the air, the city had reminded him of a carved top, sitting upside down, so that all it's brightly pointed ridges faced the sky.

Another thing he'd noticed about Eresinne...it was woefully unprepared for an attack from the air. Angling for the palace, having no other choice as Beak was beginning to tire, Lukan had come swooping in over the walls before a single archer or guard had brought trained either arrow, bolt, or spell on him. Indeed, it took a few moments after he'd landed before that ring of spell and steel had closed around him as guards with pikes had leveled their weapons at Beak and himself.

He'd calmed the hippogriff first as Beak neither liked the enclosed feeling of the crowd nor the threatening display of the men. Then he'd turned his limited negotiation skills on the crowd, waiting patiently until they could fetch someone to talk to him. He'd expected a diplomat of some kind, an ass-kissing boot licker that would sneer down his nose and speak in a pinched voice, like many of the fops he'd seen in Court back home. He had not expected his Grandfather.

Lukan's first impression of King Astor was that he was an old man who worried far too much. There were no smile lines on the face of the King of Leyond and far too many creases in the space between his brows. The second fact to register is that Astor still a powerful man. Despite the fact that his hair was now silver-gray, his shoulders were slightly stooped, and his hands shook with palsy...he was almost larger than life. He was two inches taller than any man there, Lukan himself included. He was dressed head to toe in mourning black and the stare that he'd regarded Lukan with had been...chilling. Not even his mother had mastered putting that much disapproval into one look.

And then, the King had spoken. [b]You must be Lukan, bold as brass and rash as your father ever was. I take it that your party is coming but that you saw fit to discard them somewhere? Small matter, your rooms are ready now and they shall be shown to them when you arrive. The Stable Master also has a suitable accommodation ready for your mount but I trust you'll care for the animal yourself, Leyond has a shortage of grooms with prior hippogriff experience. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to and no time to babysit."

Astor had turned then, leaving Lukan fuming at the insult and red in the face from embarrassment. And then, the King of Leyond had paused, turning back to stare at his youngest grandson. "And Lukan...your life belongs to Leyond now. Until I declare my successor, you are Her Prince. If you risk your life again, I'll see that you're put somewhere...safe. Under guard. I must protect Leyond's interests after all."

He'd stood for a moment, cold from something besides the autumn wind, and then he'd moved to carry out Astor's will. He'd seen that Beak was stabled and cared for the hippogriff and his equipment. He'd packed his saddlebags, unwilling to accept the timid offers of servants as he'd followed a young page to the set of rooms set aside from him. The boy had been shy at first, but Lukan's easy nature and quick turn of phrase had brought the boy out of his shell quickly enough.

Servants were often a treasure trove of information and it was always best to be friends with them. Not the kind of friends bought by coin either. The young page, Ollie, was no exception. It was from Ollie that Lukan learned he was the first to arrive and that he hadn't been expected for some time yet, even though King Astor had ordered rooms readied...just in case. It was also from Ollie, that Lukan learned which of the others was due to arrive. And thus, evening found Lukan standing in the window...pondering that arrival and what it would mean for him.
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Who is this next arrival? How might they interact with Lukan. The choice is yours.
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Hope you liked.
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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: Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:16 am    Post subject:  

Loved it, Rai! And loving this character too. When I first read the prologue, and of the challenge that the four of them would be undertaking to win the throne, I knew that I would be very likely rooting for one in particular, as I'm sure everyone else will be. And I can see this one being rather hard to beat, for me personally. I like him already. Friendly enough (he seems so anyway, due to his treatment of both servants and his pet), but also his rashness and spirited attitude, makes one think that he will be an exciting character to follow.

All in all, very well done! :)


Just one little thing that I noticed...

Quote: And then, the King had spoken. [b]You must be Lukan, bold as brass and rash as your father ever was. I take it that your party is coming but that you saw fit to discard them somewhere? Small matter, your rooms are ready now and they shall be shown to them when you arrive. The Stable Master also has a suitable accommodation ready for your mount but I trust you'll care for the animal yourself, Leyond has a shortage of grooms with prior hippogriff experience. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to and no time to babysit."

This [b] needs changing into a ", but such a teeny, tiny thing, I hardly know why I even mentioned it. ;)

I would also have had the text as a paragraph to itself, seperate from 'And then, the King had spoken', but in this case, it's not like it's attached to a big lock of text, so it doesn't really matter. There are a few moments like that, but all are much the same as this one.


Okies, for the dp...I'd like the next to arrive to be Alasdair, purely because I like Lukan at the moment, and I would like to see him bond with his eldest brother first, as, in the prologue, it says that Alasdair is entirely different from their father (and the other two don't seem quite so much so). So I'm guessing he's going to be a pretty nice guy. The other two are a little iffy in that respect, though I'm sure the clashes between them all would make for good reading. :)


Excellent first chappie, Rai! I'm very much looking forward to reading more. ;)
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Shillelagh



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 398
Location: Kansas

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:12 am    Post subject:  

Interesting, interesting. Not much forward plot development, but if the story is going to be about the four candidates, then there's no point in rushing ahead without developing their characters first.

If we get to see a lot of barbarian magic, then I'd root for Alasdair. Otherwise, I'd like to see Tessa next. I'm a sucker for strong feminists.
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Muaddib



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 1765

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject:  

It was quite well written. There was not much action, but that's to be expected since you need to get character introductions out of the way.

One thing I noticed with regard to grammar was that you weren't consistent with your usage of tense. For most of the chapter you used simple past but then occasionally you strayed to past perfect and even present tense.

I'll give you a few examples that caught my eye:

Quote: Lukan's first impression of King Astor was that he was an old man who worried far too much. There were no smile lines on the face of the King of Leyond and far too many creases in the space between his brows. The second fact to register is that Astor still a powerful man.

Quote: Astor had turned then, leaving Lukan fuming at the insult and red in the face from embarrassment. And then, the King of Leyond had paused, turning back to stare at his youngest grandson.


As for the decision point - you might as well put the remaining three candidates to a vote straightaway.
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Lilith



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

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject:  

Liked it a lot Rai! And while I would like to meet Alasdair next too, what would happen if the last 3, including Tess, arrived at the same time? Wouldn't it pit the rest of them against Lukan? :lol: Enjoy, Rai!
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject:  

Lily, while the idea of having them all arrive at once is interesting, it would be detrimental to the story and my mental health. Because it would end up written in the style of an UnderDark chapter, with three long posts from three different points of view.

Also, how each of them reacts to Lukan being there is dependent on their individual tempers. You all have some insight into Lukan's behavior...all you have on the other three are hastily given second hand reports. It's best to meet them and then my your decisions from there.

Also, to address the lack of action, that will be taken care of in this next chapter in one of three ways depending on which character is chosen.
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Lilith



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

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject:  

Bah! Why not Khafi?!
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