(Project) Draegoan: Prologue

(Project) Draegoan: Prologue

A Chapter by Zethsayber

In the land of Sarasar, the keys to a dark secret are being locked away.



The woman sat alone in the dark room cradling a small bundle in her arms as she rocked gently back and forth. Silent tears cascaded down her face, dripping onto the cloth bundle, causing it to stir slightly. A soft ray of moonlight crept through the room’s solitary window, illuminating the woman’s gentle features. Her bright green eyes and proud, high cheekbones belied her actual age; soft dark curls cascaded around her noble features. She looked up, tears still faintly rolling down her unblemished face, staring with intensity at the locked door several feet in front of her. The small cargo she clutched to her breasts jumped at the sudden racket of a hefty fist banging on the heavy wooden frame. The sounds of muffled footsteps and the faint swishing of a cloak indicated the presence of several people just beyond the room. Without warning, all noise seemed to be sucked out of the very air. Silence reigned over the room for a few moments, until a faint pop restored the sounds of the night. Another pop, just barely loud enough to be heard over the noises of nocturnal animals from outside, found the woman surrounded by four men, each dressed in battered traveling gear. The woman clutched her bundle closer to her body causing it to let out a faint noise. One of the men stepped forward. He was tall and slender with short, spiky hair. His swept back face and hooked nose gave his narrow face a sweeping, almost hawk-like appearance. Slate grey eyes glinted harshly in the faint moonlight.

                “You know a simple locked door cannot impede us, Elmina,” his voice was hard and unfeeling, though not cold or evil, “We have come for the child,” he added, his colorless eyes moving to the cloth bundle, which was now moving restlessly.

                “Please, no, don’t take him from me!” Elmina pleaded, her shoulders shaking with her sobbed request.

                The tall grey eyed man spoke again, “Now Elmina, you knew what the scrolls said. It cannot be any other way…” his eyes wandered around the room, his voice trailing off, before he turned back to Elmina, “We’ve already sent the key away. Now all we need is the boy. Then we can truly be safe from those despicable creations.”

                Elmina fixed her stare upon the man, her face a mixture of sorrow and rage.

                “Now, now Elmina, don’t blame me. I’m simply doing my job. I certainly don’t enjoy stealing little children from their caring mothers…much,” his mouth turned up into a cruel grin as his emotionless eyes narrowed, “Besides, you brought this upon yourself. You should have known better.”

                “This is not what the scrolls stated!” Elmina countered.

                “Then perhaps you should learn to read between the lines,” he replied coolly, “What is written is not always what is implied. Either way, you can still watch the boy from afar.”

                “But that is not enough!” She pleaded.

                One of the other men stepped forward. His proud face was framed by sleek silver hair, “Let me take over Feirne,” he said, turning to Elmina, “This entire fiasco would not be an issue, Elmina, if firstly you had not wormed your way into this situation in the first place, and secondly if your choice in the child’s father were more, shall we say, well thought out. He will not be welcome in our lands as he grows. If you had not been so rash, exceptions may have been made, but you chose wrongly and these are the consequences. You should have realized this.” The woman glared at the speaker, but she did not respond.

                “We’re wasting time. And we’ve already wasted enough,” a voice called from the shadows. The speaker stepped forward into the light. His fierce dark eyes and rugged face set him apart from the others in the room; an equally rugged and gravelly voice denoted his growing age, “Let’s take the boy and go.”

                Feirne nodded to the speaker, “Of course, Galeth. And you, Aemon?”

                The man with silver hair, Aemon, also nodded, “Of course,” he turned back to Elmina, “You’ve had your time. We need the child now. He does not belong here, and we will all be safer the further he is from this place. Cease your tears and hand him over!”

                Elmina’s eyes burned with hot anger as she faced Aemon, “Never!”

                “Fine then. I did not wish to do this, but you leave me no choice.” He faced the two men who had not yet spoken, “Do as necessary,” he said, inclining his head in their direction. The two returned the nod, and began tracing small patterns in the air with their hands. Elmina began to rise to her feet, when all of a sudden a fierce wind whipped through the window and rushed around here. The child began wailing in terror as the wind increased in intensity, throwing Elmina’s hair around her wildly. The two men traced several more symbols; the mother was forced into a sitting position, he arms pinned to her sides by the whirling tempest of winds. She struggled to lift her arms to grab her child again, which was now left sitting in her lap screeching with fright. Feirne stepped forward again, unharmed by the whistling air which immobilized Elmina, and took the terrified child from her. Her eyes blazed with hatred towards him.

                With his free hand, Feirne rubbed his ear, grimacing, “Aemon, please silence the child’s cries. He is beginning to give me a headache.” Aemon nodded, his silver hair shining in the pale light. A few symbols in the air and a blackish-purple glow left the young boy dozing peacefully.

                Galeth, the rugged faced man, strode further into the light, dark shadows enhancing the craggy wrinkles on his face.

                “Let’s get moving. Feirne, if you would be so kind?” As he spoke, he relieved the spiky haired man of his sleeping cargo. Feirne began a slow, whispered chant, accompanied by a few delicate symbols and patterns. As he did so, the other men moved to place a hand on his shoulder. The moment the two other men stopped their chants, the wind prison around Elmina lifted, but before she could get up to stop the men, the familiar popping noise sucked the very sound out of the air again and a wavy distortion surrounded the five intruders. Another pop was heard and the vanished from the room. Elmina collapsed to her knees, her delicate body racked by her sobs. Long into the dark she wept, occasionally drifting into sleep, but only to be reawakened by nightmares of what had just occurred. Dawn’s first light had only just begun to tinge the sky before the devastated woman slept in peace.

© 2008 Zethsayber

Author's Note

I breezed over this to double check if it was the right version. If you find anything about pointy ears, let me know, as I'll need to fix that. These aren't supposed to be elves, and I don't intend to include elves in this story. Not sure what's up with the indenting.

Also, this piece has not been updated according to the reviews, but restored as it was before the site crash.

My Review

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Dang, that is one HARSH paragraph indentation you’ve got going on. For your single-lines, it almost looks like they’re centered because of it. Also, a little redundancy in some of your word-choice, as well as a couple punctuation misses.

Those aside, it’s a very jarring and emotionally-impactful prologue. It definitely had me hooked from start to finish. I was honestly concerned for the mother’s life from the moment Feirne cracked his grin. And, of course, I definitely want to read about what happened to the child. And I love thought-out magic and all, which this seems to have. This was dang-near the perfect way to begin a story, and this is definitely going in my reading list. I’m even sensing it going into my favorites by the times I’m done reading.

Posted 8 Months Ago

Oops, I read Chapter 1 first, but this seems to be a completely different part of the story. Great descriptions and good dialogue flow.

Posted 11 Years Ago

I like this. It seems very well thought out. Make sure your reader knows only what your point of view character knows and nothing more. This will add a little more mystery to the piece and not give away to much. Overall this was very easy reading.
Are you sure this is a prolougue and not chapt 1. Keep in mind a lot of readers will not even read prolougues.
Write on!

Posted 12 Years Ago

I like this piece Zeth. You made very few mistakes. It's not often I find someone with a knack for writing description, and I feel you have that knack. There is an element that was missing from the piece, though, and that element is personal dialogue.

Usually it's a good idea to get inside the head of a character and tell us how they feel. You do this anyway by telling us her eyes are angry, etc. but showing us her actual thoughts could add even more intensity.

Something like, "Elmina was determined that her arms would not move from cradling her precious child. There was no way they would be seperated.", and things like that.

The dialogue is done well too, it sounds believable. Many people falter in dialogue by making it sound too formal. I do have a few areas where you can improve:

--- The pop you describe that blocks out the noise was hard for me to grasp. Maybe you can liken the pop to a noise we are familiar with to help us get it, and imply a little more strongly it is supernatural rather than an ordinary noise.

--- I would make the reason for them taking the child a little more vague. As writers the general rule we follow is 'Show Don't Tell'. You give us *alot* of story information in this short prologue. Usually you want to bate the readers appetite and make them hungry. Imagine what effect the story would have if the readers weren't sure why the child was taken; they would want to read the next chapter immediately to find out why. Since you tell us it's because of his lineage, and imply the child is a monster, we lose that sense of urgency and I think people might be inclined to put off reading the next chapter till' later.

--- You mention there are five intruders at the end. At the beginning you mention there are only four. I realise that Galen was hiding in the shadows, but it's hard to have so little light in a room that you can only see what's immediately around you. Most lights will let you see a whole room clearly. Elmina should have noticed there were five intruders from the start. You might change this to mention that she noticed a hooded figure obscured by the other four intruders.

This is a delightful little piece Zeth, I will be reading more of this. But I definately encourage you to try and save some of the reasons of the child's capture for later in the story. Good luck with this piece!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on May 9, 2008



Ashburn, VA

I am a student of industrial design at Virginia Tech. I do mostly drawing, but I also enjoy the act of writing. Poetry and prose, anything is fine, though I don't prefer essays and much non-fiction; i.. more..

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