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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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02 December 2012

About Your Book/Idea/Thing...

I've beeb tagged by Rebecca in a book tag in which the questions are just the specs on your book. This is an interesting one, 'cause I had to put some thought into the answers. Anyway, question time:

What is the working title of your book?

The Price of a Throne

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I honestly don't have a real clue. It was mostly because I am a big Tolkien fan, but since a lot of fantasy these days seems to be nothing more than spin-offs of Tolkien, I was determined to write a story which defied all the standards of fantasy. (Well, most of them anyway.) The first bit that came to mind was that the place was called Corridane and the MC was a king named Valun, with no last name.

What genre does your story belong in?

YA fantasy

Who would portray your characters in a movie?

Now this is one I can answer. These answers are straight off the top of my head, since I do not know how to judge acting and about 75% of the films I've seen are Pixar and Marvel, or other animated films. That being said, the people I've chosen are based on the assumption that they performed well in the role  saw them in.

Chris Hemsworth would make a great Richard Longfurrow. Richard is similar to Thor.

Bernard Hill did Theoden almost perfectly. He would do a strong Torlan of Gairbairia.

Russel Crowe would be good as Torlan's brother Railon

Skandar Keynes, the bright spot of the Narnia films, is probably old enough now to be a good John Unnamed

Because Sean Bean deserves a role in which he survives the show, I want him to be Robert Trondale. However, in practice this would be awkward, because if I'm not mistaken Bean is several years older than Hemsworth, whereas Richard and Robert are one year apart, in their twenties, with Robert being the younger. 

Anthony Hopkins would be cool as Valun II

The last guy is the MC, Valun III, who would be played by... WHO KNOWS?! I don't.

And I guess, since I don't know any others, Liv Tyler would be Miranda.

Oh and by the way Tom Hiddleston is obviously a great villain actor, so he should be the EMC, Emperor Kalveston.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your story?

Ummm.... Well... A sheltered prince and his two companions are forced to flee suppression so that they  have the chance to return, redeem their homeland, and learn how to be the leaders they were born to be.

Will you be professionally or self-published?

Honestly, publishing has always been on the fifth burner on an oven with four burners. In the end i'd probably go with self-publishing, because it's probably simpler, and even though no one would know it was out there, I could still say I published.

How long did it take to write the first draft?

About two years. I finished this August.

What books in your genre would you compare your book to?

I can't say I can compare it to any other work. It's more of a contrast, since I set out specifically to write a story that defied all the usual basics. My MCs are nobles and royalty instead of commoners, adults instead of exceptional kids or older teens, and the world has zero supernatural elements; no spellcasters, no Force for them to control, no dwarves and no elves.

who or what inspired you to write this book?

See "Where did the idea come from?" It's the same answer enough that I need not say more.

What about the story might pique a reader's interest?

That's it's not the usual story. Although it's a fine line, in this story the world is blowing up while the characters grow, rather than that the characters are growing because the world is in danger. It's more about the characters finding themselves and taking responsibility than that they are saving the world.

The tagging stops here. I don't know that any of the rest of you are doing sustained writing projects.

P.S. Please vote on my new poll

17 November 2012

The Price of a Throne Personality Test

Who are you? The leader who learns on the job? The fearless champion? Or the rock who was sent along to make sure they both survived? ;)
The answers to the questions below come from the characters of the story I'm working on. The letter A matches one character, letter B the second, and C is the third. I have a feeling some of these questions are loaded for certain answers, but that was not my intention. If you look at this, please comment to say who you are.

1) An enemy champion is spreading ruin in the midst of your forces guarding the wall. You are about to be attacked yourself. You:
A) Face him, you are the leader and must rally your men.
B) Shout your challenge and attack; you are the champion for your side.
C) Can't beat him with weapons, so you dive off the wall holding him in your iron grip.

2) You most value
A) your good name
B) your skills
C) Straight honesty

3) You've been sent from home, not knowing when you'll return. You take: 
A) Nothing. In your heart you don't believe it's true.
B) Your favorite weapon and a memory
C) Nothing that hasn't already been packed for you.

4) You most often find yourself:
A) Being quiet and thinking
B) Trying to wisecrack your way through the ice
C) thinking of reasons why it will not go well

5) To claim loyalty to your house, future patriots would wear a sign of a: 
A) Falcon in flight, the symbol of your house.
B) War helm with a black horsetail crest, "your trademark"
C) Broken sword, which commemorates a family legend

6) The person or thing you most respect is:
A) Your parents
B) Your role model
C) the established rules

7) You'd wear a cape because:
A) You need it to look the part
B) It looks good on you
C) Who'd wear one? The stupid things get in your way

8) When faced with real hard work, you:
A) Jump in without thinking and then find out what you got into and stick through it.
B) hesitate. You don't think yo've been asked to do any such thing before.
C) Jump in willingly, hard work is what you're good at.

9) How responsible are you?
A) Scared of responsibility, but willing to learn the ropes
B) Somewhat, but boldness and excitement often get the better of it.
C) Fully. You know what you're doing, all the time.

10) If you catch a bully in the act, you:
A) hesitate and decide whether you would survive the situation before proceeding
B) Hesitate only long enough to prepare to fight back properly
C) walk in and fight back without putting on airs 

11) As a leader, you:
A) are wary of your own judgement, but take the lead because you are asked
B) Take the lead happily; you are in your native element at the front of a team
C) secretly wish you could be a follower. You are clumsy at leading but forceful through honesty. You lead only if ordered.

03 November 2012

The Price of a Throne: Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The Naibern general marched up the palace stairs, each step pounding the stone like a sculptor’s mallet. His armor was dented and stained, and he now wore a huge scar across his jaw that made the simple act of opening his mouth a painful chore. He knew people were watching his ascent, gaping at his appearance. He did not care. One hour, and it would no longer matter. He deserved it, he thought, for was he not Kalveston, first-born of a great house? The general who had destroyed a great fleet, and put down a rebellion in the wild lands? Where he had walked, none now dared to speak his name. They would gawk. They were docile animals, waiting for a real man to make something of them.
His salute to the palace guard was automatic, a mere symbol of emotion and respect which did not exist. The man could have collapsed at his feet and he would have stepped over and passed on. He waited for the guard to push the door open and announce his presence. They had to see that everything was done naturally.
The throne room was small, with doors leading out from the sidewalls and two behind the throne itself. It was a place to trap one’s enemies. Though it was just after high noon outside, Kalveston found himself staring in the darkness, waiting for his vision to return. When he was able, he looked toward the king, who was seated with a guard at each side. These guards were specially picked men from the deep south. They were dark-skinned, tall and held long spears.  Looking on either side of them, he noted with pride that the war banners he had captured were displayed prominently.
The king, an aging scion of a wealthy house which had simply been more fortunate than Kalveston’s own ancestors, spoke first.
“To the victorious general, greetings! I hope your wound is not too much?”
“It is not, my king. I hastened here to assure you that the danger is not over.”
“How can that be? Your reports proclaimed the invasion crushed!”
“It is because the danger to you is closer to the throne than you realize.” The general gestured brusquely to the two guards. “It is done. Take him away.” The guards seized the king and forced him out of the seat, hauling him toward a side door. Only to have Kalveston stop them short.
“Wait. I wish this fortunate clown to hear what I say before he departs. Our people have grown complacent, too easily satisfied. I will help them return to greatness, remember the glory of conquest! When I die, Naibern will be the world, and the world Naibern.”

Eighteen months later, Corridane

        Richard paused in his single-minded destruction of the wood before him and wiped his brow. From the corner of his eye, he had seen his father running, toward him. Sir Roland Longfurrow never ran. Walked quickly, yes, but never ran.
        Richard met his father halfway.
        “Father, you startled me. Tell me what is troubling you so that might be of aid."
“My son, there are soldiers, foreign soldiers, abroad in the land. That means you must flee.”
        “No! Flee while my family is in danger? Would that not shame me before others?”
        “My son, you asked me just now how you could aid me. I tell you you must ride. I have spoken to men who say the king’s chief advisor is commanding these intruders. If that is true, it is my duty to fight for the king’s honor. As it is yours to guard the prince. Go, do as I say, and return someday to avenge what may come of this. Come now, there is yet time to prepare properly.”
        Resigning himself to the task before him, Richard slid his sword home with a sigh of impatience. Then the two Longfurrow men walked back toward the hall slowly, as if neither of them was unduly disturbed by anything they had learned.
        “I do not understand, father. Is our good king unable to stop these invaders?”
        Roland Longfurrow did not stop, but spoke as he walked. “You have hit upon it in one, my son. Our king is unable to do anything to stop their invasion, because he has disappeared, and no one knows now where he is. Thus it falls to those who are loyal to the good king to take up his cause.”
        Suddenly, Roland began walking even faster, so that Richard, even with his longer strides, was barely able to keep pace over the short distance. “But then why are you sending me away? You know I am good with a sword.”
        “Yes, and what else have you skill in, if I might ask?”
        Richard heard this, but was determined to press his point. “I know you intend to fight. I would fight, as long as I had life in me I would.”
        Roland pushed opened the door with one hand and they stepped inside. Clasping both Richard’s broad shoulders in his large hands, Roland said “That, my son, is why I must order you to take my swiftest steed and ride far from here as soon as you can get yourself away. Though you may take your leave of the others first.”
        Richard nodded and broke away from his father’s grip, intending to go in search of the others of his family. He scarcely heeded his father’s call that they were waiting in the great hall, and then stopped for a moment when he heard the door close once more. But in a moment he had taken control of his feet again, and soon found himself pushing open the second set of doors which opened into the great hall and standing in the presence of his family.
        Richard stood for a moment and faced each of those present in turn. His two sisters were there, seated on simple wooden chairs, on each side of their mother, who sat in the center, in her usual seat on the dais. His four brothers: fifteen-year-old Dalton, twelve-year-old Raymond, and the six-year-old twins James and William, were all there as well. His mother spoke first.
        “Your father has told me, Richard. You must go to make your way in the world as soon as you can. Therefore, I take my leave of you now. Go with a parent’s blessing.”
        “Thank you, mother. But surely that is not all there is to be said?” Richard stepped forward then, embracing his mother and his sisters each in turn. His brothers he treated like men, grasping them each by the shoulders as his father had done to him and saying “I leave you in peace, my brother.” Winking at Dalton and forcing a grin, he added “Perhaps when I return you will beat me, eh? You will have to be a bigger man to do that, but that at least is something all the Longfurrow men can do.” James and Will were last of all. To them, Richard said “Our hope rests in you. Someday, you will take up our banner, and you will carry it to high praise. But before that time comes, being the youngest has its high points, I am sure.” Patting James on the shoulder as he rose, Richard stepped back again and adopted a formal tone.
        “Madams, sirs, I take my leave of you, until you call me back. I wish to take nothing with me but a sword, which I have, food, which I can easily get, and a memory of your faces. But do not doubt that I will return.”
        With a swish of the long cape he had taken to wearing, Richard, heir to the vast Longfurrow wealth, left his ancestral hall at the age of seventeen, convinced that he would make his mark on the world.


        Later that day, on the northern coast of Corridane, a similar scene unfolded on the land of Eric Trondale, worthy knight of the realm.
        Conan halted the plow for a moment, eager to find out what was transpiring on the other side of the field. His father, who had been overseeing the workers at plowing, had been hailed by and was speaking with a rider, whom Conan recognized as one of the men who worked the Trondale fields, who, it appeared, had been sent to the capital to hear what news there was.
        The messenger had by now dismounted, but Conan could see that he was still speaking, while lord Trondale only listened and nodded. Finally, Conan’s father clapped the man on the back and sent him on his way. Conan prepared to begin his work again, guessing that no more would come of this development until the family sat in the great hall.
        Almost at the moment that he had gotten the oxen moving again, Conan heard his father calling, and saw a fieldworker coming over to take the plow from him. Releasing his grip on the handles, he wiped his brow using a cloth he had tied around his head and walked to his father’s side at the edge of the field.
        As soon as he had come close enough to hear, his father said “My son, a dark time is coming upon us. The palace has been overrun by treachery. No one knows where the king is at this time. People say soldiers in foreign gear are taking what they will. More of them are coming up the south road as I speak, perhaps. One thing is clear: we must fight them. This I cannot do however, because your brothers and sister are so young. I must stay until they come against me here.”
        “Do you wish me to lead your men against the soldiers? I was not aware that you thought so highly of me, but I will do what you ask.”
        Eric tried to laugh at the simplicity Conan was revealing. “Send you to lead my men? No, my boy. You are too young by years, and those men who will do as I ask are too few yet. What I tell you to do is something harder than risking your life because an old man refuses to risk his own. I am sure you would be up to that task if you were of age, but your task now is to leave. The prince Valun has been exiled, and my man says he heard that the Longfurrow has sent his boy to go with him. We cannot let two boys like them go riding off without a sturdy man along to keep them on the straight path, so I am sending you to find them, and stay at their sides through everything you meet. Ride with the prince and keep him alive. Do that, and in time, perhaps, you will return here, looking for home. I will fight my hardest to see that you find it, my boy. Now go, the horse is being prepared already.”
        Conan was shocked at the news, and wanted to shout out that he would never leave, even if they tied him to the horse and made it run away he would still turn the animal toward his home and bring it back. But in a moment his senses returned, and he stood straight and took it like a man. Swallowing hard, he said “Thank you, sir.” and turned toward the manor.
        Inside the house, he found his mother in the kitchen looking over the meal that was being prepared to celebrate the onset of his sister Anne’s ninth year. Afraid to darken her mood, Conan stopped in the doorway. He stayed there until the master cook noticed him and came over. “Why, young master Conan. What brings you in here now? I hope it was not the pastries, they’ve just come out, and they’re hot enough to mark your skin.”
        “No, I’ve come to speak with my mother. Ask her to come to the door.”
        “Yes, young master.”
        Conan watched the cook seemed to slide across the floor to his mother’s side at the spit. After a moment, she came across to him alone. Signaling that they should step into the other room, Conan said “Father has ordered me to leave. He says I have no time to wait. There is no telling how long I shall be gone.”
        His mother’s expression instantly changed from curiosity into shock. “But why? And it’s Anne’s birthday, too. What shall I tell her when she asks why you did not come to the feast?”
        “Tell her I have had to travel far to find something I wished to bring her today. After the feast, of course, you can tell her as soon as you like that it was father who sent me away.”
        “Then I shall do that. I expect to hear the full story when you return, however.”
        Conan allowed her to embrace him as he said “I think you will know the full story before I return. But I will be sure to tell the tale anyway, if you wish. I must go now.”
        As they stepped apart, he added “I can buy food on my way. Farewell.”
        He crossed the great hall without looking back, but at the door he took a knife he was wont to carry and scarred the doorframe with it, marking the wood with the first letter of his name. Behind him, he heard his mother demand to know what he was doing. He answered “If, when I come back, I have changed much, ask me who made the mark on the door just here. No one but you and I know it is there, and it will not be easily seen. By that sign you will know your son has truly returned.” Sheathing his blade, he pushed one of the thick oaken doors aside with one open hand and stepped outside.
        Close by the main doors, a servant was waiting with a strong horse, which, Conan noted, had already been loaded with sundry gear. While the man held it in silence, Conan climbed aboard the animal and gave it a slap on the neck. To the servant he said “Farewell. I hope I may see you when I return from where I am going.” To the horse he said “Forward, Bardon. We have far to go and little time to get there.”
        And so, at the age of sixteen, Conan Trondale left his home by the shores of Corridane, taking nothing with him except that which his father had ordered should be put upon the horse.


        Valun was stunned by the news the servant had brought him. His father was out on a journey, not dead. And yet, only weeks after Valun had watched his father pass the city gates, this man, who had been called his councilor and who had promised to obey the son as the father, had turned his coat out and declared himself to be king.
        Valun sat before the large window in his chamber, which looked out on the north country, and thought “Come back now, my father. Your country has greater need of you now than any time before. What can be keeping you from us?”
        Then suddenly, as he sat there, a resolve formed in his mind.
 Crossing to the door, he took down a sword which was hanging there and belted it on. From a hook on the wall nearby he took down a long red cape and put it on. Deeming himself ready to make his case, he opened the door.
        To his great surprise, there were guards standing on either side of the doorway. Failing to conceal his shock, he snapped “Is this the way the prince of Corridane is treated now? Are you here to protect me or to guard against me?”
        They gave no reply, and while he was waiting to hear how they would explain themselves, he noticed that they were not wearing the gear of Corridanes, nor did they resemble the men he had been accustomed to seeing about the castle.
        Upon seeing that his dignity had been stripped from him so far as to deny him an escort of his own countrymen, Valun strode off glowering, without even considering the fact that the presence of foreign soldiers was a clear sign that the usurper Keltran himself was a foreign invader. As he stormed off, Valun could hear the guards marching at his back. “Let them come,” he thought “When I take back my place the first thing I will do is to have them march back to their homeland, with blades on their backs to remind them of the path. This I promise.” He thought that they might stop at the end of the hall and wait there for him to return, but they continued to follow him all the way down the stairs and through the corridors until he reached the doors of the hall of audiences, where the stone throne of the Corridane kings was placed, and where he was sure to find Keltran the spy enjoying the power he had now officially claimed.
        As he expected, Valun found the man sitting on the throne itself, insolently eating the midday meal from a table which had been brought before the seat of power at his command. Keltran did not look up when Valun entered, so the prince was forced to announce himself.
        “You will face the prince, man, and you will remove yourself from that seat, that is disgraced by your presence in it.”
        Keltran looked up slowly, as if he thought it pained his eyes to let them rest on the boy who stood before him. Throwing the meat he was holding in the direction of a hound lying a few feet away, he said “And are you the only one who demands this, or by a miracle have you assembled an army outside the doors to come to your rescue if I do not jump to my feet at this moment? You had better call them, because you see that I am not moving.”  Pointing at a soldier standing near the main doors, he added “You. Look outside and tell me if there is a mob there demanding that I take myself away.”
        The guard dutifully looked out, turned back, and said “There is no mob, my lord. Only your own guards watching the courtyard gate.”
        Keltran laughed and said “There you have it. The people must enjoy my rule, since they have not yet come to protest in your favor.”
        “Have you issued the bulletins calling yourself king? The first I heard of this was only this morning.”
        “But why should I tell you? Or the people either? When a man is king, he does not have to tell the man in the gutter to honor him.”
        “I know there is no mob at the gates only because you have not told them yet to call you king. Anything that you send from here has my name on it, does it not? If you ever tell them, you will have a force to reckon with beyond your control.”
        “I know it will be beyond my control. That is why I sent for so many soldiers only days after your father left. You are finally understanding, my boy.” Laughing again, he drank deeply from the goblet before him.
        Valun could stand it no longer. Drawing his sword, he swung hard at the table before Keltran, knocking it to the floor and spilling some of the food and drink on the man. In an instant, Keltran’s expression changed from one of humor to fury. He leapt up shouting.
        “Are you trying to challenge me, boy? If that is what you intend, I will draw now and squash you like an insect. Do you want that?”
        “I have come for a fight and nothing else. If I cannot have my birthright, I will before I go, make certain that your face is more hideous than it is now, and you will never step out of this palace for fear that the people will be horrified and beat you.”
        “A boast worthy of a champion, but not a boy king. What would your father say to you?”
        “He would say that it was rash, but he would forgive me when peace was restored.”
        “Then, because you wish to die in battle here, I grant you your life instead, so that you may live out your days in with the pain of the knowledge that you could do nothing to stop my destruction of your honor and your father’s legacy. And that, I think, is a fate far worse than a quick death. Guards, come! I declare this boy banished! He has dared to question my place and threaten my life. Therefore he shall depart from here forevermore, and my heirs will be the new house of Corridane.”
        “Snake! Lying dog!” With this cry took up his sword and charged forward.
        However, at that moment, guards came from within the room and from outside it, took him by the arms, and took him out of the hall and into the courtyard by force. As they did so, he heard Keltran cry “He may have a horse, so that he may depart the faster, but be sure it is not the best of them!”
        Thus did the prince Valun depart from his hall, at the age of fifteen years.

        John struggled to get away from the man, who held him by the shoulder in an alley. The man was still talking, but John had stopped listening some minutes ago. He did not understand why the man thought it was so important that he do things in a certain way. If one accomplished his goal, did it really matter how he had gone about doing it?
        Finally wriggling free of his captor’s grasp, John said “No! Why should I? Take me back to my father!”
        “Ah, but your father is many leagues away, boy, and you would never get all that way back to him with no one to help you. So you must do as I say. I will pay you well for it.”
        “But what if I will not take your blood-money?” John replied, backing away in the direction of the street which looked wider.
        The man smirked and laughed at the same moment. “If you don’t, you will die poor and far from your home.”
        “No! I won’t! I’ll work my way back by the honest path, no matter what I have to do!” John shouted back, even as doubts rose in his mind that he would actually follow through with this statement. He had shunned work whenever he could and knew it. As he looked over his shoulder to determine how many yards he would have to run to reach the street, he caught a fleeting sight of three boys in fine clothes riding down the path toward the city gate. Knowing he would get a beating if he was slower than he hoped, he began sprinting down the path toward them, with the man hard on his heels.
        “Wait! Help me!” In a few moments, when he was nearly to the end of the path, he saw the three boys come back in his direction and stop their mounts short. Unable to slow down in time, he ran straight into the side of the large bay being ridden by a tall boy with red hair. Fortunately, the boy seemed to know how to ride, and handily kept his steed under control as John struck it. Pushing himself away. John looked up at the rider and stammered “I’m sorry... Will you help me? Are you...powerful enough?”
        By this time, the man chasing him had arrived at the end of the street himself. “My boy, you will come with me. There is no need to disturb these lords’ sons.”
        Then John heard one of the other boys speak up. “It is no disturbance to us. We were passing this way and heard his cries. We wish to know the reason, so he should speak instead of you.”
        “My lord,” John answered hurriedly, as if he had only a few moments to speak before he disappeared forever, “He is not related to me at all. I have been stolen. He wants me to spy on men here, but I only want to go home.”
        “He’s not your father and you want to go home.” The same boy answered. “That is reason enough for us to take you. We are powerful in this land. Under our protection, nobody will dare to compel you to do anything. Come with us. It does not matter where you come from.”

        When the boy had finished, he and his two friends got their horses turned back in the direction they had just come from and rode away at a walk, while John, grateful for the protection, and the anonymity which had been offered, jogged along beside the third boy, leaving the old man who had brought him there fuming in the dust of the alley.

29 October 2012

Valun, King of Corridane

The Official Personality Profile of King Valun III

I’m calling this a personality profile because I’m still working on world-building around him and if I said much more it would spoil what I have. However, this page does have a few biographical notes thrown in to give you a clearer picture of him.

King Valun is 25 years of age during the main body of the story

He is 6’ 6” in height

King Valun was sheltered in his childhood by a stern but kind father. In consequence, he does not have a complete understanding of what it takes to be a real leader, because he never really learned the world around him. Because of this, he frequently wishes that his father were present to snatch the reins of state from his grasp.

He does know how to mediate, but allows no excuses and very little criticism of his position, but because is unsure of himself most of the time, often asks for and follows advice from those who stay close to him.

Of the three men closest to him, his best friend is Richard Longfurrow, probably because Richard’s family is the wealthiest still living and so has high status long established.

King Valun truly cares for the people who look up to him and often tries to go among them with no regard to the trappings of state, as his father did before him. As a matter of course, he usually does not wear the crown, because the presence of it reminds him that the king does not have full license, and because he does not want it until he is forced to have it. He has himself crowned over his brother because he does not want to upset the order he feels the people expect.

He is sometimes hasty in his judgements and is susceptible to forgetting what he said the last time the subject was brought up.

His sense of duty is more important to him than whether what he is doing is wise or proper. When something seems to be his duty as a man, neither duties at home, vast distances abroad, or attractive princesses, will sway him from it.

26 October 2012

The Lay Of The Land

These are actually a help to me as much as to anyone who looks at them:
I did get them out of order, though. As with the characters, this is not a one page thing.

The mountains of the Corridane-Brandia border look like these...

 Robert Trondale's home property looks like this...

Yes, Gairbairia looks like Egypt.

And Corridane, homeland of king Valun, Richard Longfurrow, and Robert Trondale, looks for the most part, like this.

21 October 2012

And Even More Characters...

This is the last set of images in this style for the story. I almost forgot some major secondary characters.

The strange-looking dark-skinned blond guy above is Dunstan, knight of Gairbairia. He's actually only five feet tall, so as a result of "making his own respect" he's become the best swordsman anywhere.

No villain is complete without a henchman or two. His name was originally Damrod, but I've already rejected that.

 Miran, son of Torlan. He is shunned by his father because his legs and feet are deformed so he can only hobble along with the help of a strong pole or a powerful longbow, which, incidentally, he is fully capable of using. He lives on an island in the middle of the map.

Because what story is complete without a princess to snap at people? ;) It was until today that I realized her name is Miranda, seeing as she is the younger sister of Miran by about 3 years. As you might have guessed already, everybody likes her, but she doesn't really care. I forgot to include them in the pic, but she's almost constantly shadowed by six muscular black guys who've sworn to be her bodyguards because Torlan defeated them in battle.

And David, sometime anonymous servant guy, sometime advisor to king Valun. And a shout out to my best friend...:D

05 October 2012

More Character Images

This is the second set of pictures for the characters of Price of a Throne. These people are not primary characters, but they all have notable roles anyway.

 Valun's father and his brother, Valnor. I had to use the throne room option to get the darkness I wanted. The setting choices are too narrow.

 This is Richard's surviving brother James. Their family and household was massacred in retaliation for the failed rebellion led by their father, who was executed and thrown in the sea.

 Kalveston, general of the Naibern armies, who orchestrated a coup in order to make the people understand what they had. "The people have grown complacent. They are too easily satisfied. I will show them how to take pride in themselves!"

Robert's family. Those guys looking the same is no accident.

04 October 2012

New Character Images

Those of you who looked at my last post on this site may remember that I said I was going to do all sorts of things to improve the story, including putting up pictures of the characters. It took a while, since I can't draw, but finally I found a site that functions for the purpose. I give you the Price of a Throne cast, first wave:
L-R: Richard Longfurrow, king Valun III, Robert Trondale, Corriodanes. John, mysterious foreigner.

Torlan, king of Gairbairia

Railon, brother of Torlan, out upon knight-errantry

Meltran, king of Brandia, exiled by rebels and in hiding in a forest.

All the names are still under consideration for changes. Torlan and Railon live in a desert, so you can't expect them to go about in armor. In fact, they're dressed more like Arabs, but I didn't have that option. So the brigantine is there to stay. Please comment, especially if this is an improvement.

12 September 2012

It Has Come To An End....

 All right, you can celebrate now. I've finally come to the end of this tangled bunch of chapters I think of as 
a story. Thanks to all the people who are listed in the follower box; and I single out those who bothered to try to keep up with the updates until last December. Frankly, I don't think I would finish it either in its current form. But I will keep at it, and in the interim I will put up short stories that I hope will be better and easier to read than the previous "epic".
I can say that when the next draft is complete, there will be artwork, maps, and more carefully laid out backgrounds. The story will also be much more comprehensible and easier to read. We will return to it, I warn you, but not anytime soon. It will not look the same because everything from the name of the sidekick's hound to the title of the complete work is subject to change. Until then it remains

If you made to the bottom of this post, please comment. I'd like to be sure of whether anyone's looking. If not, I will shut this down.


09 September 2012

Epilogue, Price of a Throne


            The inhabitants of the palace rose late the next morning. Some were refreshed, some were still tired, and others felt ready to feast still more. But, in the end, nothing of the sort occurred. Instead, horses were saddled, blades were shined, and farewells were exchanged.
            It was decided between those who were to depart that they should travel south and stop for a time at Falnath Melanar, there leaving Miran and his mother. While Valun mounted his trusty steed who had brought him through the years, he still marveled at the mounts which the Princess and her ever-present band of silent guards had procured for themselves. He had last seen the humped beasts years ago in the Gairbairn capital, at the same great fair which has been mentioned. Miran, having been in seclusion for so long, was not familiar with them and remained in the saddle of his horse.
            The two kings rode at the head of the party, while the others formed a line behind them. The party left the city to an enthusiastic send-off, their ears ringing with the cries of “Health and happiness to you all!” These cheers were acknowledged as cheerfully as they were given out. The party of nobles then turned toward the southern road and settled into a smooth gait which would take them for several miles.
            Near the close of day they reached Falnath Melanar, which was now more heavily protected than they had expected to find it. They identified themselves from several yards away, giving the men time to open the heavy gate they had built in each wall. At a hail, Sir Dunstan himself came out to greet them, bowing low before his own monarchs and giving Valun a soldier’s salute.
            “You have come at a good time, my lord. We have recently begun building your hall, as you said it should be done. We shall have finished before the week is past.”
            “Thank you, good knight. I do not think I could feast again before that anyway. King Elmbran gave us far too much to put down our throats.”
            “And the ladies? Do you wish that they have a house also? The men are tired, but they will do it.”
            To ease the conversation, the nobles began dismounting. Miran put his man’s worries to rest. “No, that will not be necessary. Indicating the litter, he said “My mother will live in my house. My sister has other intentions, though, which she will reveal to you.” With a snap of his fingers, Miran brought forward the guards, who took the mounts and led them away without comment, as was their wont.
            The next day, the people assembled in the central plaza to hear what the nobles had to say to them. It did not take long. Miran went first.
            “My people! Brave swords and hearty workers, who would march all day for me and still fight the battle when it came, because you could, hear me! A new dawn has risen over the lands. The worry of the enemy, who oppressed all, even his own people, has been destroyed by brave men who had much left to gain and even more to avenge. Foremost among them we name Railon the Traveler, and Torlan the Magnificent, kings of the desert land, and of the hardiest people anywhere. The others were less well-known to most, but are equally missed by their houses. Those men we shall honor by keeping their houses in food and gear until such sons as they had are grown to their place. I will not leave you again. In time, we shall return to the banks of the Ishbana and there honor our fathers by toiling as they did. We are men of the desert. It is in us, and we can not escape it. So we will return. And now, listen to the words of my sister.”
            Miran stepped back then and allowed the Princess to come forward to speak. Her speech was softer and more quickly heard.
            “You are my people, and so you shall remain. I have met many of you, and those I have seen I shall not forget. But I can not stay among you. In my heart it has been decided that I should go to the Corridanes to be their queen. They also have suffered great loss, and their lord fears that he does not the way to put a roof on a house.” There were smiles and some laughs at this. Valun, surprised by such a strange announcement, simply shook his head, grinning with the Gairbairns. But then the Princess continued and concluded.
            “And so I must go there, but in spirit I will live in his palace and in this town. And sometimes I will find myself riding here when you would not expect it. Farewell. Man your walls, do not let your banks flood over, and watch for the lady.”
            For the second time, Valun passed down a street lined with people as he departed from them. But this time he was too satisfied with himself to notice. The main road was pointed out to them, they took their last farewells of Miran and his people, and set off.
            An uneventful week passed until they reached the bank of the great river, where they had to wait for several hours before the boat which had brought Valun across finally appeared. The crew was surprised by the change in passengers, but a few words set them to rights and the boat started off.
            Several more slow hours passed while the boat crossed the river. They disembarked at the Carribeasa dock, from which place they moved on to the central hall of the city. At this point, the captain of the city’s garrison, having been notified of the king’s approach, came out and gave his sword over to the king, saying “The city is yours.”
            Valun promptly handed the blade back to its owner. “Keep it in my name. On the fourth day from this, give the people a holiday.”
            “Your word is law.”
            Valun, the Princess, and her guards then departed from the city. In the few succeeding days, they passed through several villages, not all of which acknowledged his presence. Out of respect to his friend, Valun did not lead the party across the boundaries of Longfurrow land, even though it was both within his rights and a shorter path.
            It was about noon of the third day that they reached the capital, where Valnor had long since finally put men to work rebuilding the walls, along with the city itself. A sentry, whom Valun recognized as James due to the distinctive helm he wore, signaled acknowledgement from the walltop and then disappeared. When the king reached it, the gate had been opened. He entered through it slowly, relishing the gradually increasing cheers as he passed through his city. Fittingly, the cheers he was hearing now were the most enthusiastic he heard in years. By the time he reached the palace, he felt deafened by the volume of them.
            There upon the steps of the palace, to consummate Valun’s rising to be a true king of the Corridanes, Valnor and the old priest were present. While Valnor handed off the royal power, the priest intoned “By brother, by mother, and by friend named in life, by father named by death, take now upon yourself the power to command all men in the land. See that you do it well.” As Valun placed the crown upon his head once more and stepped back to say a few words to the priest, Valnor took his place to cry the ritual statement once and for all.
            “I, Valnor of the house of Valun, pronounce my lord Valun III, a blood descendant of the house of Valun, worthy to mount these steps and be crowned king of the Corridanes under The One!”
            Before departing, Valun stepped forward one more time to announce to the people “There shall be a holiday tomorrow, for I have found the lady who will be my queen! By her own choice she comes here, and it took her long to decide that much!” The people close enough to see saw that the king was laughing, and so they joined in, which eventually resulted in the whole crowd chuckling. The Princess, who was watching from the side, took it peacefully, for she could see that the jab was a response to her statement to her own people regarding a proper house. She decided that the coming years would be a very happy time in Corridane.
            The next day, Valun and the Princess walked together to the temple, which they entered, and later emerged as king and queen of the Corridanes.
            In the course of time, it passed and the people thrived, feeding off the cheer which the king and queen both displayed. It was a time of plenty in the land, and little strife in the city which Robert and his men did not succeed in rectifying. First James and then Robert sent for and, paid well, the best architects from all the lands to rebuild their halls according to the plans in the memories of themselves and their acquaintances. Both halls were built to the lords’ full satisfaction, and several builders went away from Corridane with heavy purses.
            In addition, masons built a cairn over Richard’s remains, and a statue in the plaza of the capital which recognized those men known now as the Twenty; their names became known only to bards, who were also already singing speculative versions of Richard’s last ride and Robert’s defense. The king and queen, now that all turmoil had passed, memorialized Roland Longfurrow and Eric Trondale at the seacoast, where it was generally believed that they had been unceremoniously interred.
            In the middle of the next year, Valun rode alone with his brother to the northern coast where he had met his father so long ago. As had been arranged at last, the ship came over the horizon, and after a farewell and a few words to the boatmen, Valnor departed with the teachers, and Valun turned back to live out his life among his people.
            About a year after the Princess’s arrival, Valun again declared a holiday. From the steps of the temple, where all the great step were taken, with the queen at his side, he announced that she had borne a son, who had been named Ryal.
            Years passed, and James Earl Longfurrow asked for and was accepted by Anne of Trondale, even though he was three years the younger and still sometimes acted that way. By this time, Robert had himself found an admirable girl to perpetuate the honor of his house.
            And finally, word was received from Gairbairia that the city by the river had been completely rebuilt and that the king wished for his sister’s presence at the celebration. Meanwhile, a new man who understood ruling had risen in Naibern. There was peace in the land.
            Some time after hearing of this, and before his queen returned from her homeland, Valun went alone to the monument he had erected over his father’s body.
            “It has all come to pass, father. The people are content. They came together as you asked of them. There is honor, peace, and justice in all the lands. But still I am alone, and still I wish for you at times.”
            Suddenly, Robert stepped out of the shade which was situated close by the tomb, making Valun jump. “But, my lord, you have done it, and you are destined to be one of the people’s favorites.”
            “You think so?”
            “Duty before peace. As you know, it is…”
            Together they recited “The price of a Throne.” Companionably, with little notice of rank between such old friends, they made their way back to the city, where the spires of the temple shone in the fading light.