Prologue

Prologue

A Chapter by Nicole
"

Silvanus, out of all of the many characters that I've created over the years, still stands to be my greatest creation. He is my brainchild and a man after my own heart.

"

Prologue

 

 

The rain fell in torrents that day, washing blood from the mud-caked sandals of the passer’s by. It soaked through layers of finely sewn silk, down billowing lengths of flawless black hair, dripping from his bruised and swollen features. He dangled like a lifeless doll, held to his feet by a company of soundless guardsmen. No one spoke a word. No one would dare make a sound to rival the silence this day, no one other than the rain. But the rain did sing along the cobblestone streets, even as the last son of Arhboris was led to his solemn retribution. Each breath pained him, drawn through lungs that were battered and bruised, the guardsmen taking his full weight as they drug him to the city square. Death was his just reward, high treason his crime. Although his sentence had yet to be formally laid out, there was little doubt that death waited for him at the end of a cruel-edged sword.

 On any other day, the judgment of a traitor in the city square would have been marked by a large gathering. The square, however, was silent and still; empty of all but the ones who would preside over his final breaths. A small host of his fellow nobles, aeterni by birthright, gathered here, each bearing a retrained look of disgust and satisfaction. But not even they, in all their so-called majesty, would be the ones to decide his fate. She who held his life, stood beneath a black canopy, her slender form hidden away in folds of silk and satin. About her, from the canopy’s top, a curtain of black lace obscured her from any wandering eyes and so shielded her from the rain’s touch. The eyes of the commonfolk would not be permitted upon her, as was custom, and the aeterni nobles stood ‘round her with veils of their own, ringing the square with drab, rain-soaked colors.

A platform stood in the city square, stained by more noble blood in these latter years than had ever touched it before. It hungered for more this day, it seemed, and the rain fell in pity of him. The guardsmen drug him forth, a final shove sending him to his knees upon stone platform. He fell into a heap there, upon his hands and knees, lengths of ink black and green robes soaked, tattered, and stained with his blood. His broad shoulders hunched forward, face obscured by long locks of disheveled black hair, as he quavered under the glares of a hundred hating eyes. A lean framed man, he could have been no more than twenty to the eyes of a commonman, but the aeterni nobles enjoyed decades of sustained youth. He had barely touched his second century, still a youth by the standards of his breed, but old enough to know the penalty for treason.

“Look to me, Son of Arhboris.” Her voice made the raindrops shutter upon the cobblestones as the guardsmen withdrew, hands upon their swords and rain peppering hollow hearted songs upon their brass armor.

His head rose slowly, looking to where she stood behind her veil of fine black lace. Even in spite of his battered condition, blooding oozing down his face from his brow and between his teeth, his features were sharp, defiant, and utterly fierce. His skin was a ghostly white and his eyes, the asset of the Arhboris line, were a vibrant lime green. But no measure of grace or obedience would save him, or so it seemed, and he stared at her with unfaltering hatred burning in the molten depths of his eyes; the line of Arhboris, defiant unto the end.

“You have been found guilty of high treason against your bloodline, your kindred, and your queen. What say you, son of the forest?” Her voice was as sharp as it ever was, cutting past the rain and thick feelings of loathing to strike him where he cowered upon the butcher’s block. “How would a noble beg for his life?”

A noble might beg. A noble might plead and gravel for some measure of mercy. But a descendant of the Arhboris bloodline would sit as he did and stare at his impending death, without so much as a word or expression. The woman who cursed him from behind her veil knew this, and had taunted him in spite. She hungered for some kind of response, some measure of drama to sate her lust. He could see her pacing there, a lioness beyond the bars of his cage, snarling and prowling and wanting for his blood. Caerulia, queen of fools, would have it. He bows his head again, submitting to the pounding of the rain against his beaten back. No words. Not this time.

“I do pity you,” She sneered again, looking ‘round to gather the shocked expressions of her company, “Indeed, who would not? The last surviving heir to your family? Cursed to carry the secret to eternal life to whatever grave awaits you.” She looked at him pointedly, though no one could see it, and placed a smug smile upon her lips, “So what does a good and just queen do with such a man? Look upon me, traitor of your own breed, and know this, I am kind.” She raises her arms out, taking a step towards the front of her canopy and beckoning to the host of aeterni nobles, “I do so love my family and in doing so, love you. Though you hardly deserve it. So what does a loving, compassionate queen do?”

Beneath his own curtain of falling black hair he set his jaw, eyes shut tight at every word that stung with malice and sarcasm. He bore them bitterly, wanting at a savage return of words but keeping his silence. His hands did, however, make fists against the ground and his throat allowed a slighted growl. The guardsmen keeping watch heard the ungodly rumbling of his throat and took a firmer grip upon their swords, eyes wide with fear.

She, however, did not hear it. “You disgust me. Your every breath insults me. But I do love you. I am gracious. I am kind. There is no death that would suit your crime that would please me… save for one.” A sudden hush fell over the square, one that even the rain was driven to follow. No breathing sounded, not even so much as a gasp from the lady nobles. There were a thousand ways to kill a man, a thousand more to kill an aeterni. Caerulia had chosen one fit for treason, one fit for the last son of the Forest Spirits. So now his fate might be dealt. “You have forsaken your bloodline and oath to the Earthen Council, and so now it will forsake you. Let him be stripped of his immortal life. Let the fool die a mortal death.”

A resounding gasp came from every mouth answering her decree… including that of the traitor himself. No such punishment had ever been placed upon any noble for thousands of years. The shame of such a thing was thought to be unbearable, such that the bearer might take his own life. But he did not falter from where he crouched, head bowed low and shoulders slumped. The cloth of his robes stuck to his skin, outlining muscled features and his angular body shape. He would have been, to any common woman’s eyes, a gloriously handsome man. But no measure of celestial allure would deter passing eyes from such a curse.

“So it is decided, so shall it be done.” Caerulia finished, gesturing to her handservants to pull back the veil of her canopy. She stepped into the dripping rain, white robes trailing behind her through puddles and rippling over the stone. It was as if a goddess moved among them, adorned with a crown of elegant cream-colored ivory set into her curled dark hair. But she was no goddess.  Her face, once framed with delicate beauty, was now warped into something that stank of madness. The members of the Earthen Council, proud as they were, suffered under the iron fist of their Ivory Queen who had suddenly gained a liking to the taste of blood. Now, however, it seemed she hungered for something more. Shame. Utter and complete humiliation. She stepped up onto the platform, looming over him with blue eyes frozen in a state of insanity that made her subjects shutter and tremble. The lioness snarled down at him, claws extended, fangs dripping from beautifully haggard jaws. “Look at me.” She hisses from behind hungering lips, “Look at me, Silvanus.”

He did, turning his face up to meet her gaze with a heated glare of rebellion. The fires in his eyes burned still, despite the rain, and would not be stifled. She was taken aback and her brow wrinkled in rage, raising a hand to one of her guardsmen to demand his sword. He never broke his lock upon her eyes, drawn into that moment and thrusting every ounce of hatred he could muster into her face. He barely saw her raise the sword. Barely felt the touch of the rain on his skin. All was lost in those blue eyes that gazed back at him. Eyes that were as lost as he was. Eyes that…with all their bloodlust and unchecked rage, were more afraid than he had ever seen them. And he pitied her.



© 2010 Nicole


Author's Note

Nicole
Content not edited.

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Reviews

Very nice. I got a good sense of the world and how it works without being beaten over the head with details. I like the juxtaposition of "flawless" and "battered and bruised" images in the first paragraph. My main critique thought is "What point of view are you using?" Is it third person omniscient? third person limited? You had at least three different points of view in this piece: the woman, the criminal, and the guards as a group. Consequently, this read more like a movie scene than a novel chapter. That's not to say I didn't like it! I love it! But I would love it even more if you were to pick a point of view and stick with it. Get inside the criminal's head: what is he thinking? how much pain is he in? What are his exact thoughts as his sentence is read out? Just how much does he hate and pity the woman? These are the things that will turn your chapter from really good to AMAZING.

Also, drug should be dragged. Drug is not the past or past participle form of drag; it is a regular verb, and therefore should be dragged.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Wow. The start to this was intense. I can't wait to keep reading!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Great start, I love the detail and scene! I really hope too read more!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Truly, this is amazing. every scene is written beautifuly in detail and after writting for seven years you deserve much more credit for this! the characters and perfectly introduced, and you grabbed my attention at the very beginning!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on December 2, 2010
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Tags: romance, novel, fantasy, fiction, romantic, love, lovers, dragon, human, elves, fairy, fairies, elf, prince, princess, queen, royalty, rogue, lord, of, the, rings


Author

Nicole
Nicole

Wichita Falls, TX



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