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Thread: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

  1. #61

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter X

    Previously...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Temerior Ianas, a struggling young writer, is tasked with helping the old exile Radalar Voladas compose his memoirs. Cramped in a small monastery room and divided by decades, they struggle to connect while Radalar dictates his past deeds.

    He starts from his childhood: after his mother’s death, he was taken to the kingdom of Aspia by his grandfather. There, he saved the life of the heir to the throne, Prince Filior Astalis, son of king Emilar III. For his feat, Radalar is made companion to the young prince, joining the pious Ionad and mischievous Madual.

    Trained by the great kor Nadlas Altirada and disciplined by the insufferable sister Asabil, Radalar learns how to survive. When king Emilar leaves to defend Imerria from an invasion by the Empire of Efa, Radalar, Filior, and their companions are left behind. During the distant war, the four boys grow in the sunlit court of Astalis. While Radalar continues to learn, he falls in love with the young sister Teresis. Filior trains to defeat his arrogant swordplay master, kor Fabiar Tolesis, Ionad prepares to join the knights of the Holy White Habit and Madual takes every opportunity to surrender to idleness and deviance. Even Filior’s shy younger brother, prince Sansior, seems to thrive.

    Aspia’s rule is assured by a regency council – the queen, Elianis of Narlac, the king’s aunt, Beotrid Astalis, the king’s sister, sister Asabil, the king’s chancellor, Liostar Reromedes, and the knight kor Zaladiar Himenas. After the war is won, Emilar stays in Imerria and the council decides to initiate Filior and his companions on the art of government. Soon, Radalar finds himself on a sensitive mission.

    Without the prince’s knowledge, he leaves with kor Zaladiar, Ionad and Madual to the city of Saldaras. There, they meet Belerias Meremel, a captain that found a new sea route to the distant Orient. After he presents ambitious conditions to declare his allegiance to Emilar, Radalar and the others set sail to Imerria, where they must present the deal to the king.

    Meanwhile, after a discovery in the monastery’s library, Temerior has to face the fact that his early arrogance and distrust of Radalar were unfounded…

    Book I

    Helerion's Choice

    Chapter XI.1
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Temerior wrote in focused silence. Radalar could hear the scratching of the quill and the fire crackling.

    “Is everything alright?” he asked.

    Temerior didn’t raise his eyes from the paper.

    “Yes, excellency.”

    From his tone, it wasn’t.

    Outside, an orange sun was disappearing behind the mountains, leaving the frost and the darkness by themselves.

    “Well,” Radalar said. “it’s been a long day. I’m sure you’re tired. We can keep at it in the morning.”

    Temerior cleared his throat.

    “If your excellency wants to continue, I’m willing.”

    Intriguing. He could go on, exhausted and bored, wasting his time with the made-up deeds of an old fool? Something had changed.

    “How did it go in the slosabas?” asked Radalar.

    “Well, there was sufficient information.” the boy looked at the window. “I think my knowledge of the war is good enough to keep up with your excellency, but should you want a detailed chapter about it, I’ll have to consult more sources.”

    “Of course.” Radalar nodded. “What did they have down there?”

    “Perior Delanas’ book. And one on the Imerrian journey.”

    “I see. Did you discover anything of note?”

    “Nothing, no.” the boy sighed. “So, does your excellency want to continue?”

    There was nothing to lose. And maybe more time would loosen his tongue.

    “I think I do, yes.”



    “Emilar was in Teladomaras, in Western Imerria. It was a small village with a beautiful palace, cramped in a valley bathed by the streams that fed the lower Telado. The mouth of the river was next to the city of Mitarissanas, and we had to sneak past its prying eyes to get to the king.

    As we sailed, we kept to the captain’s cabin, out of the sight of passing ships.

    “I think this is all a waste of time.” Ionad kept saying. “And a violation of our duties.”

    “Come on, Ionad.” Madual lost his patience. “Did you really expect to live every day of your life as righteously as a kaiar while being a companion to Filior? He’s going to be the king! He’s going to rule over his brothers of faith. He’s going to deceive them. He’s going to kill them!”

    “I’m not an idiot, Madual.” he said. “But I’ll be a knight of the White Habit. I won’t be able to help him with all that. I’ll do what my vows allow me and no more.”

    “Then you won’t be that useful…” said kor Zaladiar.

    Kor Nadlas is.” Ionad shrugged his shoulders. “And so are all knights of the Habit.”

    Kor Nadlas goes well beyond his vows, I assure you.” I said.

    “And so does the whole order.” kor Zaladiar shook his head. “Shall I tell you about their dismissal of worldly possessions during the war?”

    Ionad kept his mouth shut at that one. Kor Zaladiar told him anyway.

    “First – the slaves. How very holy, that whole business. We all know the White Habit vows permit the knights and monks to own them, on the condition that they are converted. But they are forbidden to sell them.”

    “That’s correct.” Ionad muttered.

    “Well, the order needs money. So kor Nadlas offered most of the poor souls who they enslaved during the war to king Emilar, who then proceeded to make a kind donation of their total market value to the White Habit.”

    “And what about the elephant?” asked Madual, grinning.

    “Ah, that’s right! That one.” kor Zaladiar looked Ionad in the eyes. “Have you heard about it?”

    “Some rumours…” Ionad answered.

    “The empress mother brought her son’s own pet elephant to ride into battle.” said kor Zaladiar. “Its name is Mizardar, I believe. An enormous beast, always carrying its own weight in finery. Tusk ornaments in polished iron, a gilded litter, a saddle made of god knows what expensive cloth… And everything encrusted in jewellery, of course. When the king beat her at Bederises, she fled on horseback and left it behind. Guess who found it?”

    “The White Habit knights.” said Madual.

    “That’s correct.” kor Zaladiar smiled. “And then, just like they did with the slaves, they made a pious offering of the elephant and all it was carrying to king Emilar, not knowing what to do with such riches, I’m sure.”

    Ionad refused to face him, looking at the floor.

    “The royal donation in correspondence to half of the total value was delivered just four months month.” announced kor Zaladiar. “I can’t forget to ask forgiveness for the delay in name of the regency…”

    “I think one of their monasteries is about to get a whole new wing!” said Madual.

    “This is just a fraction of the loot.” said kor Zaladiar. “With everything they earned, they may build a new one entirely, if they want.”

    I didn’t join the mockery. I may not have been as deluded as Ionad, but I was fond of kor Nadlas. Besides, there was no need to ridicule him like that.

    “If they build a new monastery, it will be in service of the lord.” said Ionad.

    “You see!” said kor Zaladiar. “That’s just it! The service of the lord – the divine or the earthly! That’s what the deal with Belerias Meremel is about! That’s what all bargaining is about! We all want the same as you, boy. We just don’t believe that praying and swinging a sword at every problem will solve it.”

    Ionad nodded, not convinced at all.

    ***

    The galley laid anchor close to Mitarissanas’ royal arsenal, and we waited for the captain to go ashore and make arrangements for a discreet passage to Teladomaras.

    It wasn’t easy. As you may imagine, Emilar gathered a lot of attention. The city was full of travellers, traders and spies. And they were all going to Teladomaras, looking for an audience, a chance for profit, or some glimpse of the king. Many came from Aspia itself, particularly from the small ports in the east, less than a day away by ship. To them, and many others, kor Zaladiar was a familiar face that wasn’t supposed to be there.

    The captain came back with Amarbal Urcas, son of count Ferdinad Urcas. They were loyal to the king and knew how to keep their mouths shut. And, better yet, they had a plan to get us to the king without even having to go ashore. The second anniversary of the naval victory at Firre was due in a few days, and Ferdinad Urcas was offering Emilar a festival in Teladomaras. He wanted to recreate the battle in the waters of the Telado with music, choirs, fireworks, salvoes, hundreds of men and, of course, real ships. Another galley wouldn’t hurt, so we had an excuse to go up the river.

    The estuary was filled with treacherous shoals, and Amarbal had to fetch a pilot and some skiffs to safely guide us around them.

    Mitarissanas was on the left bank, and the captain did his best to keep us as far away as possible. On the right side, only a handful of farmhouses and shacks could be seen among the sunbathed pines.

    Still, the estuary was filled with fishing boats and, in the shallow waters and beaches, bigger vessels were undergoing reparations.

    As usual, we stayed in the captain’s cabin.

    “Well, I’m glad we have one more ship for the battle.” Amarbal Urcas told us. “My father will be pleased. The Imerrians and Palatians keep thinking themselves our betters. Let’s show them that the Aspians can offer a proper spectacle.”

    “Were you in the real thing?” I asked.

    “I was.”

    “Tell us about it!” Madual begged.

    “It was…” Amarbal looked through the window at the calm waters. “It was like being swallowed by a thunderstorm.”

    I never forgot that. In time, it would be my turn to be swallowed. And I sure did remember his words when I did.

    ***

    It didn’t take long to get to Teladomaras. The town was truly beautiful, with rivers cascading under stone bridges, and a thick forest around it. In almost every direction, green hills rose above the trees and roofs.

    When we reached a deep lagoon, we couldn’t sail any further, as there were rapids and waterfalls upstream. The palace overlooked the lake, and the craft that would play a part in the mock battle were all gathered close to the banks.

    It was already getting dark, and I only remember the palace as a collection of bright lights and windows.

    Amarbal Urcas managed to sneak us though the guard house. Dozens of soldiers, actors and labourers ran between its storage rooms and the dock, preparing the forthcoming show. Concealed by our cloaks and carrying boxes and canvases, we had no trouble getting through the crowd undetected.

    Your friend kor Perior Delanas received us on an archway that went up to the palace. We must have interrupted him while writing notes for his book, as I clearly remember the dark circles under his eyes.

    “Follow me.” he said, leading us through narrow stairways.

    The passage was designed to provide a quick escape and it led straight to the royal quarters’ backdoor. The king was hosting a feast downstairs, in the great hall.

    Kor Delanas took us through the rooms and into a corridor. We could hear music, shouting and laughing below. To one side, the wall was made of wood and, through openings in its intricate pattern with sculpted trees, deer and nymphs, we could see the scene below.

    Kor Zaladiar stepped back, afraid to be seen.

    “Don’t worry.” said Delanas. “We can see them, but they can’t see us.”

    The clever trick was apparently very fashionable in the Lassaralian halls, but it was the first time I came across it in Emilar’s lands.

    We approached the web of wooden figurines and gazed at the feast.

    There were two long tables for the Aspian and Imerrian nobles and courtiers, who ate separated from each other and seated according to a precise hierarchy. On one end of the tables, where the lowest ranks found their place, the kitchen doors inundated the room with light, heat and a constant stream of servants. On the other end, a third table was perched atop a rich wooden platform. Sitting on it was Emilar. His food came from a second kitchen, next to where he sat.

    Above the guests, but below our vantage point, a host of musicians filled the room with merry tunes.

    I hadn’t seen Emilar in years and, even from the balcony, I noticed that the war had taken its toll. He was fatter and his back was becoming curved. His black hair, cut in the Imerrian fashion, had lost its deep blackness. He had also trimmed a lot of his beard, giving him a feebler look.

    I noticed that those who ate closest to him weren’t from Aspia or Imerria. It was the Palatian nobility – descendants from the mighty houses that had lost almost everything with the fall of the Second Empire.

    Let me tell you: that feast looked like something from twenty years later…

    Anyways, I had had some glimpses of the Palatians before – the Antakamaras, the Kictris, the Hipaikas and many others. They didn’t lack lands in Aspia and Imerria: some were their ancient possessions, others were taken during the chaos of the Efarid Conquest, and a good part was given to them by Emilar and his predecessors. Still, the titles they used – grand duke of Eldassas, duke of Kictris, duke of Hipai and so forth – were fictions of a bygone era. Styling themselves lords of lands deep in Efarid territory, they ached for a resurrection of the Empire, and their old glory with it.

    The problem for Emilar was that, after centuries of being distant dreams, the old seats of the Palatian nobility were now on just over the horizon. With Imerria completely overtaken, the king’s domains now bordered Efarid-held Palaxia, the ancient heartland of the Empire.

    The Aspians and Imerrians clearly envied the Palatians’ rising power. I could see them whispering with each other while looking and pointing at what was left of old imperial bloodlines.

    What I couldn’t see was any sign of kor Nadlas. The Aspian White Habit was scattered throughout their table, according to the knights’ rank. None of them looked anything like my old master.

    “I can’t say that I like what I’m seeing.” said kor Zaladiar.

    “What? What’s happening?” asked Madual.

    “Nothing.”

    Kor Zaladiar looked at me and I nodded. I didn’t understand the problem fully, but I could feel the dark clouds gathering below.

    “I’ll try to bring the king upstairs sooner.” said kor Delanas. “Wait here.”

    Before he left, I asked him where I could find the privy. The trip up the river hadn’t been kind to me.

    I was making my way back to kor Zaladiar and the others when a familiar voice greeted me in the dim hallways.

    “Hello, Radalar.”

    I turned around. There was a hunched bald man with a thick black beard. He wasn’t on his feet, but sitting on a strange chair with a wheel on each side. The white habit couldn’t hide his broken legs, crushed by a horse that was shot dead at the battle of Bederises.

    It was kor Nadlas Altirada. Or what was left of him…

    --
    Here's the first part of Chapter XI. Since it was threatening to be rather big, I decided to upload it in easier to read halves (or thirds, we'll see).

    I've updated the "previously" section. It's alomst identical to last chapter's, but if anyone's lost, it may be useful.

    @Alwyn: I'm glad the memory aid was of some use and that you enjoyed my portrait of Saldaras and its people. As for Belerias, only time will tell what will become of his ambitions. The rest of Chapter XI will have more on the matter. And how it all connects with Emilar's other worries...


  2. #62
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Good update! It sounds like the White Habit knights are skilled at raising money, I wonder if their methods caused internal tension or conflict. I'm intrigued by the city full of travellers, trade and spies, and the idea of the feast looking like something from twenty years later.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Thank you Alwyn! As you will see later, there is some conflict going on in the White Habit, but it isn't necessarily due to the "money raising"... As for the bustling city and court and that hint at the future, perhaps there will be a development concerning those themes quite soon...

    I've got almost half of what's left of the chapter done, but I'm afraid the new year hasn't brought a lot of free time with it... I'm confident that I can get the rest of XI up quite soon, but at least until the end of the summer, I'm going to be very erratic (I guess that's really the usual with me ).

    EDIT: You can now see Emilar's arms on my avatar, as described in Chapter V: "On the centre, the golden hawk of Astalis clapped its wings over a black field. Around it, the shield was divided in four. Opposing themselves diagonally, the arms of Emilar’s kingdoms were guarded by the bird’s gaze: Aspia with the eight golden banners of its ancient kings over red and Imerria with its two green towers* over white."

    * After the completion of the Imerrian conquest, a third tower was added.

  4. #64
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    You're welcome! I like the design of Emilar's arms and your thinking behind it.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Hello Admiral!

    Thank you kindly for the welcome. I'm starting my dark descent into madness adventure in the Gilded Halls of creative writing, and of course I had to drop by. I've read the first chapter so far.

    I love that your CW is set in it's own world, and seven years in the making at that. It speaks of hard work and dedication, and I'd like to congratulate you for working on it for that long. The 3 lines that you use to describe this CW is gripping and sucked me in immediately. Are the two pictures of the old man and the boy hand drawn, by any chance?

    I am also a sucker for nice fonts and formatting, and you certainly have that with your headers.

    Radalar seems to have one foot in the grave, sadly, the way you describe him it's like he's about to knock on death's door. Especially the part where he can't even stoke the fire himself, and the excruciating manner in which he tries to move from his chair. I do hope he has time to make his memoirs. Speaking of which, the boy supposed to do that for him seems rather pompous and ill suited to the task. Great character descriptions, and of course the humor is there with Cassidas. A rather entertaining read, one I very much enjoyed. Will be back for more!

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  6. #66

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Thanks for stopping by, Swaeft!

    I'm glad you enjoyed what you've read. It's always a pleasure to have someone else roaming around my world and characters.

    Much of you what you said about Radalar, Temerior and Cassidas is exactly what I wanted to convey to the reader, so I'm happy that it worked!

    And yes, the portraits are hand drawn by myself.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Hand drawn portraits! That's a big plus for me. It's always a pleasure to read something interesting, especially a world created for seven years!

    Edit: Now I've read prologue part 2.

    Radalar's giving me a Yoda vibe, lol! What with the way he speaks and the slight humor he is exuding (not even sure if he knows he's doing that). It's nice to see Cassidas still caring about Radalar's back despite the rather blunt way Radalar treats him. I also like Lassaraliia's descriptions, and how Radalar remembers the time he spent as a youth (especially the scene by the beach, that was lovely). The universe you have created seems like a really good place to live in, where do I buy my tickets?

    Radalar saved Filior, eh? That sounds like a crucial plot point. Also, I cracked a smile when I saw Temerior's reaction to that. Will be back for more when time permits
    Last edited by Swaeft; January 16, 2019 at 09:45 AM.

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  8. #68

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying Radalar's personality, Temerior's skepticism and the scenery (altough my world may not be as pleasent as it seems to you right now...).

    About that beach scene: it was amazingly evocative to write, I had a very clear memory of my own childhood on my mind while putting it on paper (or rather, on the screen).

  9. #69

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    It's difficult to not enjoy good quality work And I agree, it's always a powerful moment when you write something from personal experience, it just has that additional touch that makes it sound all the better.

    Edit: So I've read chapter 1. Didn't expect you to transition so quickly to Radalar saving Filior, but I suppose that was to be expected given the end of the prologue, and it flows really nicely. The dialogue between the prince and his friends, as well as young Radalar, is pretty well done. Seeing Temerior's skepticism towards Radalar's tale also adds some humor.

    But by far what I liked the best was the court scene with the King and his sons. I think the punishment for the guards to be a little too harsh, but that's the fault of the King, not you! The King should have known by now how his son likes to sneak away from his guards and go adventuring with his friends.

    Very well done, I loved it. Eager to see how Radalar adapts to his new life!
    Last edited by Swaeft; January 21, 2019 at 08:32 PM.

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  10. #70

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    So now I've read chapter 2, and I must say you write interactions between characters very well. It flows nicely and is very believable. The scene between the two knights a case in point. I loved that one. Your description of the great council was pretty good as well. Please keep the great work up.

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  11. #71

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Thank you Swaeft! I'm glad you're enjoying the interactions!

    I'm really busy with rl work right now, but I shall continue when I get a breather, don't worry.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Don't worry man, I've got a long way to go before I get caught up on this. Take your time!

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  13. #73

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    So after a looong while I've read chapter 3.

    Some pretty hilarious banter between Radalar and Filior's companions, I love it! A rather interesting twist at the end of the chapter too, which makes me want to read on, but alas I am out of time for now. Great work again

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  14. #74

    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    I've read chapter four now, had to re-read a few chapters to remember who is who, but it was worth it! The dialogue, the character interactions are all very impressive, and I find myself more eager to see more of this world you have built. Interesting to see Radalar take the rap for Madual, I certainly wasn't expecting that...

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  15. #75
    Laetus
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    Default Words of the Forgotten Chapter XI 1

    Its fabulous isnt it that first conversation with a special girl and the wondering of whether this time its going to be the "babbling like a motor mouth " or the "words fail me" whatever the situation you can guarantee one of those is going to come out of the wood work for me Im honestly not sure which is worse

  16. #76
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Words of the Forgotten | Chapter XI.1

    Welcome to TWC, DavidUnuck, thanks for commenting!

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