Travis Posted August 8, 2011 Share Posted August 8, 2011 (edited) Title: One Who Masters Magic Rating: PG-13 Rated for: violence, language, sexuality Critique level: Critique Requested This is my third serious attempt at producing a novel. Instead of science fiction, I have decided to go with fantasy. This is something I have been developing for well over a year now and have many, many ideas as to how it will play out. Unlike previous attempts, I have a far more defined plot developed and know far better where things are going. Characters have been planned out more and the plot itself is far more complex. A little of the world. This is a fantasy universe, but it does not have the traditional elves, dwarves, or orcs/goblins. Humans are the primary self aware species here. There are fantasy creatures as well. Magic is most definitely present, but divided by practitioners. That means a mage is different in skills than a wizard or a sorcerer or conjurer. Gender also plays a part in it, too. More will be explained as the story progresses. I built up a map for this (of which I am most proud as I think it looks awesome). I would post a direct link, but the file itself is 15 MB and is far, far too large for photobucket, so I must direct people to my DeviantArt account. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Prologue "Prophecy is both a gift and a curse. It can gift a man with insight into the future that can benefit all of mankind, but it can also curse him with knowledge that others will kill to obtain or to silence." ””Terrand of Malorez, Master Prophet The sound of iron shod hoofs clanged against cobblestones as three dozen men rode hard toward a drab monastery before them. The men ignored the cold winter wind that bit at their cheeks and the looming darkness from the shortened days. They knew the way to their destination well and the simple road guided them even in the dim light. All of these men were dressed in shining plate armor with mail beneath and carried spears in their hand and a sword on their belt. Each wore the crest of their emperor on their chest plate which seemed to faintly glow from some internal source. The leader had no spear, but instead carried a red and gold standard that fluttered behind him as they rode. Their horses had armor of their own that was a combination of small plates on the head and chest and polished black leather on the flanks. Even without ample light, these men all but shone in prim and proper form from the meticulous care spent to every detail of their armor and mounts. Both man and beast were grim, determined, and driven to the task at hand. Their destination seemed a mockery of their dress and manner. The monastery was already lit with torches and a large lamp at the highest bell tower, but the light showed only the dull brown and tan surfaces made from stone. There were no bright colors or fancy standards to be seen, only a line of laundry drying to the side. A few cloaked figures milled around accomplishing various tasks or simply meditating. The monastery itself was not impressive to the eyes, either. Its highest point, the lit bell tower, was only twelve feet high and the rest of the buildings were simple structures meant to house those who lived inside. There was a perimeter fence, but it was designed to keep the chickens in rather than as a defensive barrier. As soon as the riders approached, the cloaked figures looked up to identify who it was. When they did, they ran inside to alert the others there. By the time the riders came to the front door, a dozen of the inhabitants had assembled outside. One stepped forward and said with a strong but non-aggressive voice, "You are not permitted upon these grounds." The leader of the riders handed the standard to another rider and dismounted. He took two steps forward and replied, "By the authority of the emperor, I command you to bring forth the prophet Terrand." The cloaked man who had first spoken stood firm and repeated, "You are not permitted on these grounds." The rider set his jaw and said in a harsh voice, "Stand aside, acolyte, or we will cut you down where you stand." With a glance to his brothers on either side, the cloaked man freed his hands from within his cloak and said resolutely for the last time, "You are not permitted on these grounds." True to his word, the rider pulled out his sword and ran the acolyte through. The other riders sprang into action and either threw their spears or dismounted in complete silence. That many of the thrown spears found their marks in the chests of the acolytes was a testament that their shining armor was not merely for show, but that its wearers were skilled warriors. The dozen men who had gone out to meet the riders fell in seconds, their blood staining the cobblestone road or repainting the walls behind them. The riders now all dismounted and spread out into the monastery leaving four of their number to watch the horses. There were no cries of pain or fear from the squat buildings even as its inhabitants were slaughtered. The riders offered no sounds of their own, but just went forth with their grim task in silence. In minutes, only one cloaked man remained alive. He stood calmly in the central courtyard while his brethren were slaughtered around him. The man was of middle age, clean shaven, and wore a simple dark blue robe. The riders killed all else, but none touched him until the massacre was complete. When all was done, the leader of the riders stepped into the courtyard carrying a torch taken from the monastery. "Prophet Terrand, you are commanded by Emperor Caterin of Angvard to return to Angvard and to reveal to him your latest prophecy in its entirety, omitting nothing. The penalty for not doing this is the most painful death and the destruction of your Order." Terrand looked at the seasoned warrior in front of him and took note of the blood dripping from his sword and armor. He did not shrink back as the man approached, but stood his ground with a calm, almost serene expression. "You are a most interesting man, Captain Wasitpan," he said in a melodic voice. "Your fate is known to me, and it is not one you expect. Your death will be long in coming, but you will wish for it to come far sooner. Do you wish to know the manner in which you will die?" Captain Wasitpan growled and slapped the prophet across the face with his gauntleted hand. "I will not hear of your lies!" he spat out. From the ground, Terrand smiled and made no effort to get back up. "Very well, young Captain Wasitpan, your fate shall remain known only to me." He paused and looked upward to the twilight sky. "The prophecy your master wishes is a complex one indeed, dependent on many factors all falling into place. Should any of those factors not come true, all shall collapse in on itself into meaningless." He paused and raised a single finger. "But should the Elements properly conspire to bring forth the needed factors, your emperor has much to be concerned about." With a small chuckle””the first emotion the man had displayed during the entire massacre””he continued, "A time will come when one will come into being that will change the world. He will command armies mightier than any Teladia has seen before, all will answer to him wherever he goes. He will unite the lands in true harmony and rule over them all. "Beware, dear captain, for he shall be known by the following. War will not be his choice, but it will dominate his life. He will be a leader of men but will not seek to lead. He will give up that which he holds most dear, but will gain that which is necessary in exchange. He will fall before he rises. He will have no children, but all will call him father. He will be a stranger in many lands, but be welcomed in them. He will be strong and fierce against those who oppose him, but gentle and kind to those who join him. When he is needed, he will arise to carry out his purpose of saving us all from the Coming Darkness. All will bow before his strength, for he is the one who masters magic." The captain was not satisfied, but kicked the prophet. "We know this to be true, it has been confirmed by others. What has not been confirmed is who this man is, where is he from. You alone have seen this and that is what the emperor demands!" "My poor captain, I would not tell you that for all the wealth in the world," Terrand said with another chuckle. "Not all prophecy is meant for all ears. Your emperor will never know my prophecy, neither will his heirs for generations on end. Not until it is too late will his line know that their end is at hand." Wasitpan kicked the man again and replied with confidence, "We will see about that. A few weeks in the torture chambers will loosen your lips." Again, he was greeted with a chuckle, this one a little louder. "No, for you forget that I am a prophet. I have known this day would come for years. Indeed, my end is nigh, but you shall not lay another finger upon me." As if to disprove the prophet's claims, the captain reached down for the bruised man. Before he could reach him, a strange sound like the popping of a large bubble erupted from the intended victim. Wasitpan was thrown back across the courtyard. His torch was blown out from a mighty rushing wind that caused the worn robes on the laundry line to flap violently. The light from the torch was no longer needed, though, because Prophet Terrand was consumed in flames that lit the entire monastery like a bonfire. Wasitpan's men shielded their eyes from both the wind and the sudden light, but they could not shield their ears from the sound of the prophet's laughter as his own body was consumed by the fire. After a handful of seconds, the wind, fire, and laughter died out leaving only a small pile of ash where the prophet once was. Edited June 10, 2012 by Guest Click for the best site ever. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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