Chapter 4: The Seekers of the Spear

Chapter 4: The Seekers of the Spear

A Chapter by Gosia

The Seekers of the Spear

 

 

 

Somewhere in the Dulheim Dukedom

 

 

An exceptionally huge falcon was gliding across the night sky, heading north. The enormous bird was flying rather slow, as night vision was not the falcon’s strength and it had to carefully navigate between the mountaintops of Ard Dioghais. Suddenly, the falcon’s intuition told him to take another way. However, it was already too late.

 

The bird winced, confused, as a small rock hit him squarely in the forehead. However, it was only the beginning of his problem as all the nerves in his body twisted with pain at the same time, when an electric bolt shot through his body. The falcon squeaked stridently, hurting. The physical suffering distracted him enough that he didn’t see the danger approaching from behind the nearest mountaintop.

 

A dark silhouette of a winged man emerged out of the shadows. The stranger outstretched his bat-like wings more and lazily glided towards the bird, which was currently struggling to keep himself in the air.

 

The attacker weighed a palm-sized rock in his hand and with a mocking laughter he threw it at the falcon with an amazing speed. The bird squealed from pain again, as his muscles contracted. His wings were no longer able to support his weight and he began falling to the ground, making a desperate effort to do land slower. The cruel pursuer followed him, accompanying the falcon in his last flight.

 

The bird hit the ground with a loud thud. It tried to crawl aside, but the winged man landed before him, blocking the escape route. He folded his leathery wings and reached for the large axe he was carrying on his back. The bird squeaked in panic and tried to back away, but moving in this form was too difficult.

 

The man observed calmly as the oversized falcon suddenly turned into a man, or a male human-like creature to be precise. His legs were that of a bird and he had wings instead of his arms. The bright eyes stared at the attacker with a silent plea.

 

As the enemy came closer, the birdlike creature squeaked from fear. The man was exceptionally tall and muscular, cruelty and bloodthirsty nature almost written on his face. Clad in a light, but well-crafter armor he looked like a seasoned warrior who saw many battles in his life. He weighed the heavy axe in one hand with such ease as though it weighed nothing, while tracing his black goatee with his fingers. He smirked evilly and lifted the weapon, preparing to strike.

 

“Don’t kill me, please,” the falcon began desperately begging for his life, as he backed away to the steep stone wall. “I’ll do anything, but let me live. Anything!”

 

“Anything?” the falcon-man flinched, when he heard a low male voice answering his plea.

It didn’t belong to the crude bald brute in front of him, but to someone else. The falcon’s bright eyes widened, when he saw the tall figure on a black winged stallion in the back. The beast neighed, scratching the rock surface with one of its clawed paws as the rider lightly jumped off its back and began casually striding towards the birdlike man. The newcomer wore an armor similar to the one the muscular fiend was wearing. The falcon-man gulped, the tiny voice in the back of his head yelling to at him to run. The newcomer was tall, but compared to the first attacker, he seemed to be almost harmless. The man approached him and looked at him from above, his intimidating demeanor overwhelming the scared falcon-man. “Did you find the Key?”

 

“Yes, but….” the bird+like creature answered quickly, wanting to save his life. The stranger nodded interrupting him midsentence, raising his hand in a silencing gesture.

 

“And the Guardian?” he asked in a calm voice, calm and cold as ice.

 

“The child has the Key,” the falcon-man said, cooperating. “We tracked the child, but he masked his scent, so we still search for him and…”

 

“Silence,” the armored man lifted his hand. The razor-sharp claws gleamed in the moonlight. “Where was the child?”

 

“He was heading to the east, towards Farn. It was two nights ago. My clan is about to capture him…” the falcon-man was nervously blabbering. He flinched, as he saw the stranger smirk with satisfaction.

 

“All I have to do then is to follow the foul stench of your kin,” the man stated.

 

The falcon like creature gulped and nodded, trembling from fear. He exhaled, when the fearsome stranger turned with his back to him. The bird-man flinched, when the man turned around, once again focusing his attention on the defenseless injured creature.

 

“Where is the Spear?” the armored man asked quietly.

 

The falcon shook his head, feeling that the sweat was streaming down his forehead.

 

“I don’t know. I…” he began, but the tall stranger interrupted him.

 

“Where is the entrance to the Uaimth Dorchadais?” he inquired.

 

“I don’t know,” the bird-man whispered the man, staring helplessly at the one, who was towering over him. The tall stranger turned his back to the falcon-man.

 

“It is unfortunate,” the rider said, slowly reaching behind his neck. An unpleasant metallic sound was heard, as he slowly unsheathed one of two swords he was carrying on his back and fluidly changed the grip on the hilt.

 

“No, plea…” the falcon-like creature shrieked in panic, but the plea ended up with choking sound, as the blade pierced through his chest. A small stream of blood leaked out of the corner of his mouth, when the bright eyes went foggy. The falcon’s body twitched one last time and the life left him. The stranger didn’t even turn back. He pulled the sword out of the corpse and shook the blood off the blade before sheathing his weapon.

 

“Come, Baltar, we need to hunt.” he said to his companion and mounted the black, winged stallion.

 



© 2013 Gosia


Author's Note

Gosia
Now this chapter is short.

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She was nearly strangled by it in the night.--> She had nearly strangled herself with it in the night. (There wasn't really anything wrong with this sentence grammatically, but I thought rewriting it in active, as opposed to passive, voice would bring it to its full potential--it's a really clever sentence and definitely added a touch of humour at the start!)

After she confirmed that she was looking quite presentable, and for the most part unnoticeable she hurried to the castle gates.-->After she confirmed that she was looking quite presentable, and for the most part unnoticeable, [COMMA] she hurried to the castle gates.

May spotted a young man looking around nervously waiting by the gates of the palace. Rather a boy than a man. He looked like he was her age. He was dressed in warrior attire, but without a chain mail " his clothing consisted mostly of leather dyed black. Even though it was spring and the days were warm, he wore a furry coat on his shoulders. He was armed with a sword, which hung from his hip. His face was round, rather boyish, but quite handsome. He had honest brown eyes and his blonde hair hanging loosely and reaching his shoulders. May thought, that he must be that bodyguard, her fake father had told her would meet her at the gates today to accompany her to the temple. The girl was opposed to the idea of dragging some stranger with herself while looking for clues, but at least one boy was better than the whole lot of the Viking-look-a-likes trailing behind her. She decided to say greet the guy, who would have to put up with her for god knows how long.-->May spotted a young man, whose eyes darted about nervously, waiting by the gates of the palace. (this is just a suggestion, of course, but the close proximity of the gerunds in ‘looking’ and ‘waiting’ seem repetitive to me, so I thought you could replace it with something like the “eyes darted” bit, which would convey the same message). More of a boy than a man. He looked like he was her age. He was dressed in warrior attire, but without [I don’t think ‘a’ is needed…but I’m not sure] chain mail--his clothing consisted mostly of leather dyed black. Even though it was spring and the days were warm, he wore a furry coat [did you mean fur coat?...I guess it doesn’t really matter…] on his shoulders. He was armed with a sword, which hung from his hip. His face was round, rather boyish, but quite handsome. He had honest brown eyes and his blonde hair hung loosely and reached his shoulders. May thought he must be that bodyguard her fake father had told her would meet her at the gates today to accompany her to the temple. The girl was opposed to the idea of dragging some stranger with her [not ‘herself’, which usually implies singularity of the noun it replaces; you could, technically, say her self…but that would be unorthodox and may confuse the reader (though I do things like that sometimes)] while looking for clues, but at least one boy was better than the whole lot of the Viking-look-a-likes trailing behind her. She decided to greet the guy, who would have to put up with her for god knows how long.

Perhaps consider rewriting the bodyguard's description in a comma series instead of simple sentence after sentence, which, to me, makes his description sound choppy (of course, if you were going for that, most definitely leave it as is). Example:
He was armed with a sword, which hung from his hip. His face was round, rather boyish, but quite handsome. -->He was armed with a sword, which hung from his hip, and his face was round, rather boyish, but quite handsome.

Actually, I think you did something like this for most of his description, so ignore what I said there.

The boy blushed and got even more nervous, obviously he was much more nervous than she was.-->The boy blushed and became even more nervous, obviously more than she [was].

“Levi from the Agnar family.” he answered immediately. “I have been honored with the task of looking after your safety.”-->“Levi,[COMMA] from the Agnar family, [COMMA]” he answered immediately, [COMMA] “I have been honored with the task of looking after you.” (It is sufficient to say "looking after you" as it is implied that he is looking after her for her safety).

May called to him as she already set off down the ramp, eager to continue her library research as soon as possible.-->May called, having already set off down the ramp, eager to continue her library research as soon as possible. (It is implied that she is calling to him, as you have mentioned no other presence in the scene).

Apparently the boy was both slightly scared and thrilled by being entrusted with the task of protecting the Duke’s daughter.-->Apparently, the boy was both slightly scared and thrilled from/at the prospect/idea/notion/etc. of being entrusted with the Duke’s daughter.

Not that May had much experience when it came to befriending people…-->Aww :3, I understand your awkwardness May!!

“Levi, are there a lot of dangers outside the castle?” She asked, observing the boy’s face as it slowly turned red, when Levi began focusing his gaze on his feet.-->“Levi, are there a lot of dangers outside the castle?” She asked, observing the boy’s face turn red as he began focusing his gaze on his feet.

“Umm, yes. The dukes are warring with each other, so there are the enemy’s armies, robbers in the forests and demons waiting to devour unlucky travelers.” Levi replied, before adding hastily. “Your Ladyship.”-->“Umm, yes. The dukes are warring with each other, so there are the enemy’s armies, robbers in the forests, [COMMA] and demons waiting to devour unlucky travelers.” Levi replied, before adding hastily,[COMMA] “Your Ladyship.” (nice way to weave the class difference between them into the story again, by the way).

God, the boy is as superstitious as the old professor Hatchets. --> Yay, you had her mention an older character! Good job, because I'd almost forgotten his name!

“No, but I’ve heard stories about them!” he exclaimed, ready to defend himself,[COMMA] “And their favorite foods are little children and princesses.”

“I don’t believe you.” May stated, laughing slightly, folding her arms and nodding to herself. “Demons exist only in people’s imagination silly.”-->“I don’t believe you,[COMMA]” May stated, laughing slightly, folding her arms and nodding to herself,[COMMA] “demons exist only in peoples' imagination, [COMMA] silly.” (“Hello?” May called, looking around the large empty room with the exception of another large wooden statue of Illiana painted golden in the back of the room, where incense had been placed, creating a slightly hazy atmosphere to the whole place. [I THINK YOU MEANT A PERIOD, NOT A COMA] The floor was dusty and rather dirty. (this part made me laugh, it was almost as if May was thinking: "Gosh, who would ever keep a temple this dirty"--notices the fat monk--"Oh, that explains it.")

“What the hell are you doing, stupid girl?!” he yelled-->definitely not the reverential monks from back home, eh?

“Put down the sword, Levi, And skip the introduction.”-->lowercase 'and'

May waited till the surprised young warrior got equipped with a broomstick and the priest shoved him outside so that Levi would sweep the entire courtyard.-->May waited UNTIL-or-'TIL the surprised young warrior got equipped with a broomstick and the priest shoved him outside so that Levi would sweep the entire courtyard

May bit her lower lip, considering whether she should tell him straightforwardly, what she was looking for.-->straightforward

Sighing, she decided to take a risk hoping it wasn’t going to end up with a loss of a body part.--> THE loss

“I expected you to be wanting to pray, princess. Never mind, I should have some scrolls about magical items, so I think, that I’ll satisfy your curiosity.”-->I'd

He climbed up a ladder that was connected to an old book self, tossing the fragile scrolls into the ...-->bookshelf, I think you meant

...but she saw nothing similiar to the mirror, which was to blame for transporting her to the Callesmere Empire.-->similar

Finally he turned his attention to May.-->comma after 'Finally'

May became intrigued. A forbidden evil language?-->Haha, oh I love May's character!

“You’re welcome to come whenever you want. I would love to have my temple cleaned by your bodyguard and you would use a little freedom, wouldn’t you?”--> “You’re welcome to come whenever you want. I would love to have my temple cleaned by your bodyguard and you COULD use a little freedom, COULDN'T you?”

Nice chapter, I like your characters so far, too, each one was established so realistically with a unique personality of its own and in so little time, good job! I can definitely see Levi and Maewyn's relationship evolving over the course of the book (I like their relationship as it is now, too, it's very adorable!). Levi's presence provides a pleasant contrast to May, reminding the reader of the customs and mind of the Callesmereans (is that what you'd call them?). Nice statement involving the shielding of the Empire's history, showing how little the subjects truly know of their beloved home, as many colonial countries/empires exhibit today. The demonization of the indigenous by the empire is a brilliant reflection of how imperialists tend to work, too, distorting the new and unknown and consecrating the cruelty of their acts by whatever god they believe may have told them to conquer. Also, I liked the ending (you have great endings), in that it provided an interesting (possibly unintentional) analogy with making a deal with the devil--oh the irony! Good job!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Gosia

10 Years Ago

You reviewed at last! And it's no ordinary review, my jaw nearly hit the ground when I saw how long .. read more
This chapter was not short. It was the right length and I feel that this sort of length works for you too and much better for your narrative. I absolutely loved your first paragraph and like May even more now. This chapter is also more focused and you've managed to develop three characters! The priest and the bodyguard seem way more alive than the Duke and the people at the castle and that is a very very good thing!

With that said, there are several grammar mistakes here. They stood out so much to me because so far, this was your strongest chapter yet. I won't detail them here though because I've done that before and honestly, one does not write and expect to make no mistakes.

I do have a small problem with the bodyguard, Levi. He seems likable but way too un-bodyguard like. I'm afraid he might end up as a liability. There's no problem with making him seem a little more formidable. Right now he seems wimpish and easy to manipulate. Probably his youth is against him and the presence of the princess isn't helping. You can explain this in your narrative because right now, we're getting his story through dialogue and he appears like a push-over. It would be strange to think that the Duke, who was so afraid of having his daughter wander the lands alone, would entrust her safety to someone who looks like he would die defending her from a wolf, let alone demons.

But he is still a likable character. Needs a little backbone. Of course, the typical way of giving him a backbone through tribulations is expected and I imagine I'd be invested in his story as much as I am with May's. And like May, I like the fat priest too. I picture these three as a band of adventurers in the future and they represent the typical archtypes fighter, healer, damsel.

I loved the idea of an ancient language and the portals. I'm waiting to read more about the priest's acquaintance. That sounds really promising!

And the ending was funny yet heartwarming which made me like the priest even more! I am very interested in the relationship between these three!

All in all, excellent job! I absolutely loved this chapter!



Posted 10 Years Ago


Christopher Angel

10 Years Ago

Hah which prediction? The one about the three of them becoming a band of adventurers? I am wrong?! N.. read more
Gosia

10 Years Ago

Yes, you're wrong about that. I knew you would expect this.
Christopher Angel

10 Years Ago

Haha, well I'm glad to be wrong because when I'm right about predicting these things in a story, the.. read more
Nice chapter. I like the length.

I like May's dyanmic with her bodyguard. The priest is interesting.

on sentence: "it was hard to believe, that a place of cult could be that unkempt." I wouldn't use the word cult there, cuz cults aren't usually considered clean per se.

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on July 23, 2013
Last Updated on October 1, 2013


Author

Gosia
Gosia

Poland



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Hello, my name is unpronounceable for most of humankind, but fortunately it can be shortened to Gosia. I’m an university student in my twenties, about to face the real life very soon. I’ve.. more..

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