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The Thief and the Queen, Chapter 1: There is a Thief (Rough Draft) (Part 1)

By Greatshield17 · Jul 15, 2020 · ·
  1. Chapter 1
    There is a Thief
    Haroman saw many orange glows in the direction of the capital city of Háloma. He was traveling southeast pass the capital.

    What an unusual night this is! He thought to himself. Is the capital really on fire!?!

    Haroman turned and headed straight east towards Háloma. He passed through the farmlands and orchards of the outer rural area, it was September and the crops were ready for harvesting. The thought of stealing some of the food crossed Haroman’s mind. He was a thief and has no qualms about stealing anything. In fact, the only thing that made him decide not to steal any food, in addition to the fact that he had plenty, was that it seemed too petty a thing to do.

    As Haroman passed through the outer rural residents of Háloma, he noticed more flickering orange glows, not from the city, but off to his left in the same rural area he was in, far from the walled city itself. A camp! A large one! Haroman changed directions yet again and creeped towards the large campsite. Reaching the peripheries he observed the site carefully. The campsite was full of soldiers, many of them had dark-coloured hair and eyes, and olive-tone skin, just like Haroman. Their shields, tents, tunics and banners bore a diverse array of crests and motifs; but the most common one, was that of a black and violet raven on a bright-red field with a blue bordure on it, which was an alternating pattern of castles and snow-capped mountains.

    Haroman frowned with confusion, these soldiers were clearly native and clearly loyal to the Kingdom of Inhabia.

    What are they doing outside Inhabia’s capital while it seems to be burning down? He thought, and why are they camped to the west of the city?

    The eastern side of the city, ultimately faces towards the Pass of Dédonia and out towards the neighboring Kingdoms; as opposed to the westside, which faces inland and ultimately towards the western coast of Inhabía, which was also westernmost point of the entire continent. Tonight clearly was much stranger than Haroman first thought.

    ***

    In the camp’s main tent, Andromé, the Queen of Inhabía, along with her eldest children, Prince Ilúrigos and Princess Bidalé; and her only general Zenordos with a handful knights and noblemen, were planning their next move. Háloma had already fallen, and Queen Andromé and her court were on the run. They had escaped through a secret tunnel in the royal palace, which led the rural outskirts where they had now set up camp. Zenordos was the only general Andromé had with her, all the other generals had been captured or killed by the invaders. It was one general’s wife, from the Northern Adolese Duchy, along with the Duke of Porçena and his court, that arrived in Háloma to warn the Queen of the coming invasion. But the Queen only had enough time to gather whatever armed forces she had available, before the capital was besieged and conquered.

    A commanding officer entered the tent and genuflected before the Queen and the military leaders.

    “I give you permission to speak, young man.” Said Queen Andromé, not having time to ask for the officer’s name.

    “Your Highness, my Lady, we’ve spotted a large Waréang army heading west along the main road, we believe they’re heading towards the Duchy of Abèrca.”

    The Waréangs, were the ones who were invading Inhabía, their Kingdom was the largest and most powerful in all of the continent of Occidencia. They owned massive tracts of conquered land, and a powerful well-armed army to keep their subject subdued, and fight off any enemy that crossed their path. The Waréangs employed powerful war chariots and war wagons, called Karridhorês[1] and Turnidhorês respectively. But what made the Waréangs a truly powerful and dominate force in the world, was their relations with the elves, indeed, their very capital was named Eifenstand, which in their own language literally means “Elvish City.” The original homeland territory of the Waréangs, sits right along side that of the elves, sometimes even overlapping with their territories. The Waréangs proved to be much more crafty in bargaining trade deals with the elves, than any of their neighbouring human nations. The Waréangs now had access to Elvish technology and weapons. Weapons such as steel, a powerful iron-like metal that in this day and age, only elves can craft; (though in the past, the old Sáebtellaian Empire was also able to craft steel before it’s terrible downfall.) also, Elvish Fire, a flammable liquid more powerful than any human-made incendiary weapon, it was this very weapon that had set Háloma alight.

    “My Lady,” General Zenordos politely spoke up, “it is as I had speculated; they have their eyes set on Abèrca, and probably the duchy’s capital of Juncción.[2] The Waréangs hate the Abèrcans!”

    It was strange for the Waréangs to invade Inhabía, apart from the minor controversy regarding the mutiny of Abèrcans serving in the Waréangs’ Auxiliaries, relations between the Waréang Kingdom and the Kingdom of Inhabía had been very good. The current king’s grandfather, King Karlwald V, had ridden to the aid of the King of Inhabía, when a huge horde of goblins and ogres threatened to occupy Beticulura Mountain Range which surrounds Inhabía; thus enabling the peoples of Inhabía to continue their peaceful lives, free from the threat of goblin raids. What caused the Waréangs to invade Inhabía was a troubling mystery to the Queen and her court.

    “I see,” the Queen replied thoughtfully, “then I suppose we are all, in an overall accord; we will head north, for the Duchy of Telíca, we shall gather loyalist there; in our effort to retake the Kingdom.”

    “It will be as you say my Lady,” replied Zenordos, “I will relay news to the troops. We will leave at daybreak.”

    To be continued...


    [1]In Waréangese, “dh” is pronounced as hard “th”like in the word “the.”
    [2]In Síac, the “j” is pronounced as a guttural “h,” Juncción is pronounced “Hoong-shun.”

    About Author

    Greatshield17
    A revert to the Catholic Faith who has developed and interest in literature and wants to use his literary skills, to explore and share the truths of this world.
    Thinx, Karamazov and Loren like this.

Comments

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  1. Thinx
    Intriguing start, Haroman seems potentially interesting, and you raise some questions for him to pursue. Bit too much detail here, and could you say a bit more about Haroman, slightly describing him?

    The Queen and her situation sounds interesting, but again, I think there's too much detail here to really have the interesting important bits shine through, can you edit away some details?
    1. Karamazov
      Yeah, there is a lot of exposition in the narrator’s voice: maybe pruning some out to be revealed in later chapters, and weaving some of it into conversations between characters?
      Air of mystery/use what’s important enough to mention for which person to double up world building and character building?
    2. Greatshield17
      I am thinking about cutting out some of the information on the Waréangs in this chapter.
    3. Karamazov
      Yeah: I think that’s probably a good idea.
      Let them & their superior tech have some mystery for purposes of ominousness.

      I think setting up the box of ashes scene, (which is a great idea btw: looking forward to finding out if the ashes have any fey powers) but in a vague way might be good.
      Maybe the thief is handling the box in some way and thinking of how he got it, his father, their relationship.... ?
      (Unless that’s a lie?)
      So the box is introduced, but not it’s true significance.
  2. Karamazov
    Ah, ok.
    Maybe try taking a scene/scene fragment from this and working up a descriptive variant? (As an experiment: what is the queen wearing for instance, fabrics, colours, comfort: is she in some form of ceremonial costume that is unpleasant to wear but a symbol of office she must bear with, or practical travelling clothes... or the thief character in the prologue section: what bushes is he creeping through, are they thorny, is it damp and wet or dry. That sort of thing.) Find out what works for you :)
      Greatshield17 likes this.
  3. Karamazov
    Going well I’d say. :)
    How much description of the materiality of the situation are you thinking of working in?
      Greatshield17 likes this.
    1. Greatshield17
      I'm not sure, I'm still thinking about it.