Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

Hello! 

Today, I share with you, my NaNoWriMo loglines.  These are my loglines for my story, which will be beaten out over the next few weeks in time for a 50k word novel.

Because I really want to finish a novel, not just hit 50k words this time.

Thanks Blake Synder.

I don’t know which to go with quite yet, so here I am crowdsourcing.

To be clear, all of these stories will take place in the Forgotten realms Campaign setting.  It will be very Dungeons and Dragons style.  Here are the log lines I’ve done.

“While sorting through Ancient ruins, a treasure hunter is struck by a geas, and placed on a quest.” – No Title #1

“A pious ascetic receives a ring of wishes from a dying thief.” -The Vice

“An adventuring aristocrat illicits the help of a former slave trader to solve mysterious disappearances in Waterdeep.” -Ghosts of Skullport

“After a violent ambush, a dangerous artifact of a dead god lands in the hands of a penitent bandit.” -No Title #2

“An out of luck, and out of coin, adventurer is tricked into disrupting a high-born Waterdeep marriage through an elaborate and magical kidnapping.” -No Title #3

“While investigating blight on farmland, an idealistic adventurer rescues a male-drow slave only to draw more ire from deep dwelling drow and even the surrounding surface dwellers.” -The Companion

 

Which story is the best?

 

Prepare for nerd rage?

That is how many people feel about Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit: nerd rage.  Personally, I felt the movie was generally enjoyable.  It was not a train wreck or a disaster.  But then again, I might have gone into it with different expectations.  Without further introduction, here’s my take on the film.

What did you expect?

Before going further, let’s remember a fundamental premise: books are always better than movies.  This seems intuitive, but it is especially true with Tolkien’s work.  JRRT did not just write fantasy.  JRRT created the platonic archetype of fantasy.  He is to fantasy literature what the the Beatles are to pop music.  So if there is any disappointment in the film adaptation, it is because we measure against a standard of perfection.  Any adaptation of JRRT is going to look a bit tarnished.

So this raises another question, what about Jackson’s embellishments of the story?  I know that there is nerd ragers out there that anathematizes this outright.  I am not one of them.  Let’s go ahead just admit this: you can’t really get something as good as the hobbit “right” when you put it on film.  Therefore, I prefer to judge the embellishments by effectiveness in the film, not whether or not they are factually true to the book.

The Dwarves

Let’s start with a favorite of mine: the dwarves.  Thorin Oakenshield was ambitious, embittered, and peppered with a little bit of greediness.  In the prologue, we a saw a dwarf prince humbly black smithing away for human masters.  We got a feel for how he felt about the Elves and why.  They did not lift a finger when his people needed him most.  We got a chance to see the rage he felt when he saw his father killed by the white Orc.  You also got an impression of what kind of leader he was.  Someone who asked for loyalty while keeping his emotions close to his chest.

The opening scene with the unexpected party was very effective too.  The dwarves were rowdy, crude, and foolhardy brave.  Then, they shifted into a somber, baritone-ranged, song of their lost homeland.  It was dark music for dark businesses.  Furthermore, throughout the movie, I got the impression that the dwarves weren’t just foolhardy, gold-lusting adventurers.  They were also homeless and exiled.  Jackson did a good job in drawing this scene in Biblo’s conversation in the goblin caves.

One commenter complained that the dwarves were a bit too much warrior adventurers instead of the hapless, trouble prone, group that Tolkien originally portrayed.  While there is some truth to this (keep reading), I don’t feel like the added fight scenes ruined the books’ vision.  We still got to see the dwarves tied up and roasted by trolls.  We still saw them nearly pee their pants before the stone giants.  Were they a bit more “warrior” than in the book?  Yes they were.  Did it work effectively in the movie?  Mostly.

The Goblin King Boss fight

If I had to pick one thing that was very wrong, it is the entire sequence of the Goblin King’s caves.  It started off okay.  The poor dwarves all fall into a trap, and then are scurried away to certain enslavement or worse.  I was even convinced by the Goblin King’s sudden from overconfidence to sheer terror when he saw Goblin Cleaver.   Sadly, that’s about all that can be said about this scene.

At some point in this scene, every dwarf transformed from a fantasy character to a video game avatars.  They ran the gauntlet of the goblins minions, killing each with their special abilities.  Eventually, Gandalf faces off into a boss fight.  The troupe then falls to their apparent doom, before breaking into the next level.

This sequence had no sense of danger.  No feeling of mortal peril.  No tension at all.  In fact, the 1977’s animated version was scarier than Peter Jackson’s version and did it less time.  I hate to say it, but it looks like Jackson drank the George Lucas kool-aid on this one.  Brilliant CGI and special effects don’t make a scene exciting or tense.  The excess turns a movie sequence into some else’s video game.  Nothing is more dull than that.

The Infamous Albino Orc

The most notable embellishment was the infamous albino orc.  He did have an evil sounding name, but I’m just going to call him whitie.  Thorin cut off his forearm in that epic, Boris Vallejo, worthy battle ages ago.  Now, whitie has been out to get him ever since.  In this film, he played the role of a sub-plot antagonist.  He was Thorin’s shadow.  The white orc after the black bearded dwarf.  Not a bad concept.  He certainly was nowhere in the book, though.

In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with this additional character in itself.  The problem was with the execution.  Whitie the orc is a pitifully written character.  He throws henchmen off cliffs.  He snarls and barks.  The prologue ruined any surprise.  What we have is cliched, generic, nasty villain that actually reminds you that your seeing a movie, thus taking you out of the story.  How so?  The entire “slay the henchmen” thing is overdone.  It doesn’t really make the villain nastier.  It makes him less believable.  How long before a subordinate decides he’d rather fill your shoes?  Whitie the orc belonged in a comic book.

I reiterate that I don’t have a problem with this added character.  The problems was not the idea.  I think it was possible to give Thorin and the party an intermediate enemy.  Problem is, whoever wrote this character didn’t put much work into him.

Riddles in the Dark

There is one last scene that deserves some serious praise.  The famous scene of Gollum, Biblo, and the riddles could not have been better done.  Amazing props to the Martin Freeman.  His amateurish, panicked sword swinging had me completely convinced that there actually was Gollum there.  Props too, to Andy Serkis. Remember when Gollum cheerfully sang while bashing an orc to death?  Only Andy Serkis could’ve made that darkly comical.

Equally good, was the scene in which Biblo spares Gollum instead of killing him.  In fact, I’d say that riddles of the dark sequence really outweighs the bad parts of this movie.

So for those of who are on the fence between seeing the movie and clinging to that $10, I’d say this.  Grab a friend or two, and go see it.  This is not a perfect rendition of Tolkien’s vision, but it is a fun, enjoyable, and exciting movie.  For those of you nerd ragers who are upset, go grab a hardback copy of the Hobbit and re read it.  We all know that books are better than movies.  Even if you think Peter Jackson’s version fell short thematically, it is not as if there are not enough good scenes to make the movie still enjoyable.

This will be the third and final post on the alignments of Game of Thrones characters.  This time, we’re doing the chaotic.  Let’s get going, shall we?

"Precious moments doll?" Call me that again... one more time!!"

Arya Stark is a bit more complicated than her tom-boy introduction shows.  Don’t forget, she’s a noble’s daughter and she knows it, which is why it is unexpected that she would cheerfully play stick fighting with a butcher’s son.  Furthermore, she heroically (and violently) defends said butcher boy against the fucking prince without so much of thought.  She does not understand court decorum and throws a hair pulling fit when she sees her sister lie about the whole affair.  Neither does she understand women’s role in her society and certainly doesn’t understand her older sister’s betrothal to that filthy bastard Joffrey.

Where do we last see Arya?  Well, she’s running off in disguise with nothing but a sword.  She’s among vagabonds, miscreants, and thieves.  Also, her last memory of her father was a forced confession and beheading -right as the living symbol of law or order watched with smug approval.  If all this isn’t a recipe for Chaotic Good, I don’t know what is.

Who stole my tarts?

People mistakenly refer to this character as Joffrey Lannister.  But, his legal father was King Robert Baratheon.  So this prince’s legal name is Joffrey the Incest-spawned-Bastard.  We all love the time that Joffrey the ISB got bitched slapped by Tyrion, but don’t forget why.  Joffrey, unlike his mother, lacks political shrewdness and does not care for court decorum.  Sympathetic (even faked) face time before the Starks would’ve earned him political capital.  He is abject bully, which is demonstrated by his delight in tormenting a random butcher’s son for no reason on King’s Road.  When Joffrey the ISB becomes king he rules with capriciousness and unrestrained cruelty.  It even surprises his mother.  A good king knows when to withhold his strength and when to kill your enemies.  Well, Joffrey, after you’ve made a promise is not the time to kill your enemies.  You also do not kill them if they’re your bargaining chip.  This is why killing Eddard Stark was both openly evil, but also nakedly chaotic.  This little bitch is unhinged, and is probably going to go down like Caligula.  What was that our Lawful Evil character, Tywin, called the result of Joffrey’s execution order?  That’s right: madness and stupidity.

Dare I say it? A tougher beard than Church Norris.

Many people would name Kahl Drogo, the barbaric hero of female-orientated literary porn, as true neutral.  I’ve decided chaotic neutral for a few reasons.

First, Kahl Drogo could care less about keeping promises.  I’ve only watched the series, but it didn’t seem like he was ever going to keep his deal with Viserys, and is quite happy to shaft him.  Also, the guy is pretty unpredictable.  When it came to his future, it only took him two episodes to go from “a king [his future son] needs no chair but a saddle” to hyperbolic, declaration of how he will invade the seven kingdoms, tear down their castles, eat their babies, and skull-fuck their old men.  Whatever this guy does, he does it 110%, but we’re never going to be sure what he’ll do.  Kahl Drogo takes slaves. He burns cities for personal fitness, and then he eats Sunday brunch.  Clearly, he’s not good aligned.  But he also lacks the callous self-serving streak that mark Queen Cersei and Lord Baelish.

Secondly, there’s a lot to be said about Dothraki.  Basically, calling them a dark-age band of warriors is actually a generous term.  The Dothraki operate like a force of nature, or a pack of carnivorous animals following the strongest alpha.   They have a system of authoritative traditions, but “Dothraki Lawyer” is like saying “effeminate football star.”  Whoever holds power in the Dothraki world does so as long as no-one else kicks their ass in a fight.  They might accept tribute from a city, or burn it to the ground.  There is no judicial system or formalized rite of succession.  The entire society strikes me as chaotic neutral and that’s why Kahl Drogo is here.

This is the last in the thread and I hope everyone enjoyed reading it as much as I liked writing it.  If any of you out there are more familiar with books.  To comment here.  Here’s the characters I never put here for their alignments. King Robert, Queen Cersei, Jaime Lannister, Lord Varys, Viserys Targaryen,Sir Jorem Mormont etc.

Feel free to add in the comments.

The next blog, will be back to politics and end-times.  Thanks for reading, and if you like it, than re-post it.

This thread continues my break from theology into fandom to write something fun.  By the way, we all know that the next season is coming up right?

Please see the previous post for an explanation on to “what the hell is going on here” because I’m jumping straight into it.

Assertive? Oh no... that involves balls. Only princes have any balls.

The true neutral alignment is often reserved for non-moral animals, zombies, and rocks.  Our winning piece of dead weight then, is Sansa Stark.  Now some might protest here than Tyrion is great example of True Neutral as is Lord Varys.  There’s an argument to made for both, but I feel that these characters are not so much True Neutral, as very good at keeping their motivations opaque.

Sansa wears her motivations on her sleeves so strongly that they could de-thread: she wants to be treated like a princess and kind of just rolls along with whatever will carry her to that goal.  Her silence during the King’s road wolf incident and her snotty tone towards her caretaker might give you the impression that she’s actually the one evil stark, but that seems counter-balanced that the former is simply inaction and the second is just brattiness.  I don’t  know if Sansa even thinks in terms of good or bad but just seems even power.  She just wants to be liked and pampered.

In the final episode, we start to see Sansa assert herself a bit before Joffrey.  Maybe the brutal execution of her father is causes Sansa to have the first moral feeling she’s ever had.  She even has the guts to look stoic-faced at her father’s head on a pike.  Maybe she’ll pull up her big girl panties, read some Virgina Woolfe, and slap Joffrey back next season.

Until then, she’s just boring old true neutral.

What's in it for me?

You nearly admire this a-moral, cunning little-mother-finger, Lord Baelish who hand-wrote “Neutral Evil for Dummies” on parchment.  He wears his clothes like a stiff piece of armor made from the lies, plots, and anonymous henchmen that all somehow give him a lot more power than you suspect he has.  I think this guy figured out that the true King is whoever sit on the throne long enough and is thus happy to swear fealty as long as keeps things going his way.  You don’t really see overturning laws, customs, or torturing people for fun -as chaotic evil character do- because Lord Baelish knows a potential political asset when he sees one.  Lord Baelish might torture someone for a bit, and then he’d somehow get the victim in his pocket and become his spy.

If I had the misfortune of having to work with someone like Lord Baelish, I’d know I’m only allowed to tell him “no” three consecutive times.  You don’t ever want to become his toxic asset.

Am I right Lord Stark?

I know where to stick it, Sam..... In King Joffrey's throat.

The bastard Jon Snow behaves with arrogance, pride and even  a bit of self-absorption at times.  It’s really amazing that G.R.R. Martin can write a Neutral Good character who acts this way.

Most of Jon Snow’s character comes out during his time on the wall.  His defense and friendship with Sam and his passion for his half-siblings, the Starks, reveal the goodness in his values.  He’s got no problem take a few scars for the people he loves.  Jon is not chaotic: you don’t keep your head down around nobility or take monastic vows if you’re modus operandi is choatic.  Still though, Jon Snow bucks at authority and as a bastard he has no chance to use the Law for good.

Jon Snow’s principle conflict isn’t between an urge to be rebel and desire to be quasi-knight.  That’s not what motivates his midnight ride to join Rob Stark’s war.  His conflict is about who is family truely is.  Ultimately, Jon Snow decides that his family is the men of the night’s watch.  His war is the quest to find his living uncle rather than avenge his murdered father.

My blogs have been a little heavy, controversial, and otherwise overly serious the last few posts.  That can be a bad thing.  As a breather for myself, and for readers, the next few posts will be dedicated to Game of Thrones… which I realize is not exactly a light-hearted series as I sit here and type this.  Nonetheless, what I write here will not denounce any sacred cows -unless some new religion has sprouted from this series.  That hasn’t happened right?

Hopefully, other fans of the series will share their thoughts on the character’s alignments here.

So, to show my high school geek stripes, let’s discuss the alignments of the Game of Thrones cast.  You know Lawful Good, Neutral Evil, True Neutral etc.  This will be divided up into three blogs by the modus operandi of the characters, I.e. Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic.

Oh… and just so I’m clear this is pre-4.o alignments.  The 4.0 continuum is far to one dimensional.

If you have never heard of alignments before, please check out this article here.

Without further ado, here is my first.

I'm Lawful Good, so Lawful Good it hurts...

If alignments have Platonic forms, than we’ve found an incarnation in Eddard Stark.  Professor X and Aragorn wish they were as noble as Eddard.  And speaking Platonism, one of his most Lawful Good traits is his reluctance to take up political power and his slow acquiesce to do so.  Many Machiavellian minded readers might think that Eddard is a naive or lacks will i.e. he sees what’s effective, but is too good and honorable to execute.  I disagree: Eddard sincerely believes that doing the good thing is the effective thing.  How else do you explain his willingness to stand-up against his best friend, and the his’s advisers over the issue of assassination plans against Daenerys Targaryen?

Even when Law and Goodness seem to be in conflict, Eddard tries to keep both intact.  During the wolf incident along King’s Road, Eddard reluctantly carries out the execution of his daughter’s dire wolf -by the Queen’s order- but he does it the most good an honorable way.  He even tries (vainly) to make it up to his daughter later.

And we all know the end point Stark’s goodness and duty lead him.  The point at the end of pike.  So Lawful Good.  So lawful good it hurts.

By the way, all of you table-top RPG kiddies who aren’t quite sure how to play Paladin?  Just ask yourself one question: What would Eddard do?

I'll run you through.... after throwing a fit.

I considered King Robert for my Lawful Neutral -and I still fee like he is- but I chose the relatively minor character Sir Barrister Selmy.  Let’s work backwards.  What offended Sir Barrister?  Was it suddenly being on the same side as his former opponent, Eddard Stark?  No, they had a nice and pleasant conversation.  How about working for a King who some feel decry as usurper?  Doesn’t bother sir Barrister one bit.  What about the next coup, when the queen -with transparently vile opportunism- overrides King Robert’s dying wish?  A little, but not much.

The only time Sir Barrister raised a fuss was when he was dismissed from his duty, and I might’ve cried for the guy.  He’s upset because he can no longer serve.  Who is king and what their values doesn’t really seem to register for poor sir Barrister.  He simply wants to do his dutiful role for the realm.

You only *think* you got me cornered.

Blend together Lucuis Malfoy, Scrooge, and Michael Corleone and you have Tywin Lannister.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Lawful Evil character written this well, and they are hard to write.  Tywin isn’t just some angry, bitter, verbally abusive old man -(and there is more than one in Game of Thrones).  He’s puppet stringing master mind who could have you killed as easily as he wipes his ass with gold-foil.

Tywin Lannister is like a mafia don who has spent years and years getting everyone in his pocket until he is completely untouchable.  Even King Robert admits that he can’t move against this guy or his family.  In the monologue before his son Jaime, Tywin explains that Lions need not fear sheep and their house -the Lannisters- is a house to be feared.  It sounds like the worst parts Neitzche and Machiavelli put together.  Furthermore, there’s no way he qualifies as Neutral or Chaotic Evil.  Tywin, as the head of the powerful noble house, is far too invested in the system to disregard it even if it wasn’t working for him.  And just look at that guy!  Do you want to cross him?

Arguably, Tywin has not done anything heinously evil, but he is very concerned with Lannister name.    When Tywin reprimanded Jaime for his fight with Eddard, it was a reprimand for not killing Eddard.  Do you think that Tywin was ignorant of Cersai’s plots against John Aron, or the letting loose of “the Mountain” on peasant villages?  Hard to imagine him not keeping close tabs on his adult children.  Thus, I don’t think the apples fell far from the tree.  He is guilty -at the very least- by complicity.

For the next blogs, I’ll write the Neutral Good, True Neutral, and Neutral Evil characters.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

For each of these NaNoWriMo, warm-ups, I will be sharing something that I’ve thought about and written. Most of this is done by hand, and is part of a “morning page” process. What that means is that this is thoroughly uneditted. The roughest of the rough draft, and extremely raw, explosive creativity written on pages. Since I am not trying to pick out what is “good” in these, it is up to the readers of this blog to do so. The more input I get from readers, the better this year’s novel will be. So thank you in advance, for helping my crowd source this. I am not looking for what you think is bad or terrible. Chances are, I see that too. I’m looking for what you think is good, and interesting, and then I will do more of that. That said, here goes.

Somewhere in Mons Istelle city.

Arcturo sat as stiff as the chair he was planted in inside a private, quiet booth at Green Imperial Inn.  Across from him was Justine, his travel companion since leaving Northern Province.  She fidgeted while staring at him.  A knuckle cracked under her stress.  To his right, sat Pitr -an elf from the far Eastern Kingdoms.  He sat shorter than either Arcturo or Justine.  One of his hands was stirring an iron skillet of, while the other was calmly folded in his lap.  He inhaled deeply the aroma of delicious chicken and rare spices of the elven homeland.

“Arcturo, it is a dirty job,” said Justine, “but we are both going to be eating like this for a solid month after we do it.”

Arcturo’s toes curled in and he drew his arms towards his chest.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Rizenbalt?” said Pitr as he served a helping to both Justine and Arcturo, “You must know how much I depend on good people like you.  Please, speak to me what burdens your mind so heavily.”

“Let me see if I understand,” Arcturo said, “you want us to enter the frieghter… the…”

“Old Sea Tusk,” chimed Justine.

“Right.  The old Sea Tusk,” Arcturo continued, “We enter the dock hold and … steal… a package for Don Cosmino of House Venteralli.”

“Yes…” continued the elf with almost advuncular smile, “it is a black box with the Venteralli family seal on it.  Please intercept this package for me.”

Arcturo took a moment to listen to pleasant, thought foreign sounds.  It was some stringed instrument that another elf plucked away at with his fingers.  It calm, civilized sound.  A thousand years of refinement in a single flow of melody and chords.

“Tell me,” Pitr continued, “You are outsider here in Mons Istelle?  So am I.  You are stranger to aristocrat family?  So is people here.  And I no ask for killing.  I no ask for kidnapping.  I invite you here so there be no killing.  And you no owe Mons Istelle aristocrat nothing.”

“He’s right Arcturo,” said Justine blunt as black jack, “No one can pull this job cleaner than us.  It’s not thug work if we get it done.”

“Oh see?” said Pitr, “Your friend very smart.  You think elves like filthy hobgoblin you fight on way here?  No.  We civilized people.”

“Well, yes, of course you’re not a hobgoblin.”

Pitr smiled and poured a bit of wine.

“Yes, I make poor joke,” Pitr continued, “Now what I do if you no help?  Must get box somehow.”

Arcturo clenched his jaw, but only for a moment.  Then, with a steady, relaxed hand, he drew his glass and took a nice red sip.

“Very well, Pitr.  I agree” he said looking at the elf straight in the eye, “one job.”

“One Job,” repeated Pitr.

Justine heaved a sigh of relief.

For each of these NaNoWriMo, warm-ups, I will be sharing something that I’ve thought about and written. Most of this is done by hand, and is part of a “morning page” process. What that means is that this is thoroughly uneditted. The roughest of the rough draft, and extremely raw, explosive creativity written on pages. Since I am not trying to pick out what is “good” in these, it is up to the readers of this blog to do so. The more input I get from readers, the better this year’s novel will be. So thank you in advance, for helping my crowd source this. I am not looking for what you think is bad or terrible. Chances are, I see that too. I’m looking for what you think is good, and interesting, and then I will do more of that. That said, here goes.

Another Fantasy Setting.

The rank circular room was lit only by the faint glow of a torch light.  The howling of a gagged half-elf echoed about the room.  Glowing, magical, chains bound him against the wall like insect in a cocoon.  He was some minor acolyte.  Mostly useless at magic, and of ironic importance.

Celise held a gauntlet against her guest’s forehead.  An yellow stone in it center glowed and and flickered like fire on his head.  Behind her stood Thanderson in thick red robes.  He leaned on his rod and let out a grin, barely supressed by wrinkles on his leathery skin.

Celise let up her gauntlet and pulled the elf’s hair back with her other hand.

“Oh… poor you,” she said, “I know this pain must be unbearable for you.  You must understand, this isn’t really my fault after all.”

She flipped back her black hood, allowing her dark brown hair, held back by a leathter strap tied around her forehead.

“You see… it is you clever friends.  They were so clever to suppress a memory….” she hissed as her mouth stretched to a triangular smile, “We really, really hate doing this, but I simply must have what you know.

The gauntlet fleshed with the half elf’s skull again.  She could not so much as see his mind but feel it.  Her hand was reaching into places, feelings, thoughts, days.  Such a tangled mess it was.  Like a blind snake in a labyrinth.

Thanderson thought and thought.  He tapped his fingers on his rod in a rhtymic fashion.

“Celise,” he said off-handedly, “it is possible that the memory was buried to deeply?  Perhaps it was altered entirely?  The poor bastard might really be only a hapless house-mutt.”

Celise turned.  She yanked off her gauntlet and held it out to Thanderson.  There was stone still glowed.

“You could always try yourself…”

Thanderson put up his hand firmly.  “You know my opinion on this method,” he said, “Somus Draught and extraction via dream divination is the surest way.  He would never know.  He would never talk.”

Celise turned back to the half-elf.  His head hung like limp dummy, but his chest heaved in an out against his restraints.

“You hear that, mutt?”  She said as she pulled up by his hair again.  “We could sleep you for days if we needed it… maybe we could give you dreams… more pleasant ones?”

She looked down at him.  His eyes locked with hers.  Was he pleading?  Thanderson couldn’t quite tell.  Celise slipped on the gauntlet again.

“Ahh you’d probably go mad afterwards anyway,” She said, “Those clever friends of yours…”

The stone glow again to its full strength.

“We’re very much in a hurry here.  It took us so long to find you… so I guess you have some fault too?  Either way I am going to ask you one more time….”

She slammed the her palm into his head with deliberate force.  The searing and the muffled howling resumed.

“…WHERE IS ARCTURO RIZENBALT?!”

For each of these NaNoWriMo, warm-ups, I will be sharing something that I’ve thought about and written. Most of this is done by hand, and is part of a “morning page” process. What that means is that this is thoroughly uneditted. The roughest of the rough draft, and extremely raw, explosive creativity written on pages. Since I am not trying to pick out what is “good” in these, it is up to the readers of this blog to do so. The more input I get from readers, the better this year’s novel will be. So thank you in advance, for helping my crowd source this. I am not looking for what you think is bad or terrible. Chances are, I see that too. I’m looking for what you think is good, and interesting, and then I will do more of that. That said, here goes.

Fantasy Setting Again:

Saint Virgil’s Hall was stood on the east of Mons Istelle.  Its beige stone walls were minimally decorated.  Within the walls was a small courtyard and path which lead to the hall itself.  It was a rectangular building stood several stories tall.  On two corners of the building stood circular towers.  It stood as only mainland out post of Paladin’s of Alethia.  Their glory days were lost in history.  Yet their presence here remained both symbolic and frequently -practical.

Inside his office a top on the north tower, Prelate Marcus Stirmahal sat down at his desk and his stoic eyes peered down at at stack of papers.  His large, calloused hands filled through the papers.  One had lazily stroked his grey goatee and he signed at the first letter on his desk.  There would be enough hours of daylight to address each.

The first letter was a cordial thank you letter from the head of the Sandir-Metzens.  Three junior knight’s of the order had escorted niece while traveling someplace and had given the order a sum of some of gold.  The next letter was a request to send a representative to a ceremonial rite of succession regarding one of the minor nobles.  Another was excited report of a knight who had squelched the vile evils of a den of wererats.  Very, dangerous, vile, wererats.

The prelate pushed the papers away and stood up from his ornate, oak desk.  He turned towards the window and open the large window.  The sky was clear enough that he could see the ocean clear out to the horizon.  The breeze was nice.  Not quite strong enough of wind to blow the papers away though.

A rap at the door interrupted the Prelate’s day dreaming.

“Enter, please.” he said.

“Ah, Sire Prelate,” came in a young squire in simple brown breeches and a dirty vest.  He carried a satchel full of  small parcels and a letter, its seal already broken, in hand, “begging pardons.  But Sir Yoril sent me with this.”

Stirmahal winced, but quickly straightened himself in front of the impressionable, eager, squire.

He adjusted his spectacle and began reading the letter.  As he did the wrinkles on his face seemed to grow deeper and his he gripped the paper as if it would fly out of his hands.  He moved to his chair, fell into it, and re-read the letter one more time.  He pushed it aside and pushed his head into his hands.

“Sire-prelate?” asked the squire.

“Aww this…this cannot be… oh it should not,” Prelate Stirmahal muttered as if he had not heard him.  A moment later he straightened up in his chair.

“Please send for Sir Yoril as well as SirReyhad,” he said as he pulled a blank parchment from his desk and dipped his quill in an inkwell, “I will also send a letter to the keep.  It must leave this evening.”

“uhh… very well Sire,” stammered the squire.  He turned, bowed slightly, and left the room in jitter.

Prelate Stirmahal breathed deeply, and gathered himself before he began to write.  He would be careful with what he wished for next time.