Chapter 1 - Part 1

Chapter 1 - Part 1

A Chapter by Gaelan_Hamilton
"

In the first half of chapter 1, we meet the royal brothers Casren and Baelir, who are summoned to the mysterious Collisphere by their father

"

The castle training yard was all but empty. Usually it would be humming with activity from various soldiers honing a variety of fighting skills; such as archery, fist-fighting and swordplay. But this early in the morning, when the sun's ochre light was only just beginning to spill out over the city, there were only a few manservants hurrying around to set up before their masters arrived.

  For Prince Casren, the conditions were perfect for practicing; he could work away quietly on the training dummies, his concentration unhampered by the clangs and thuds of others sparring in the background. As a member of the royal family, he could have had his own private training area constructed so that he could sharpen his abilities in private whenever he wished. He felt however it would lack the other important feature that enabled him to work so well here - the connection between himself and all the other warriors who had trained here, pouring their energies into learning how to fight for their King and their people. Even now he could feel their presence, encouraging him to push his body into the brilliant heat of exertion.

  Casren closed his eyes, steadying both his mind and his hand as he raised the sword aloft. Exhaling softly, he reopened his eyes, conjuring the image of a fully armoured enemy to replace that of the straw dummy before him. He then targeted the weak spots on the armour - knees, elbows, shoulders, and neck, where typically there was either leather or rivets between metal plates to aid movement, leaving the area exposed. Bringing the sword down sharply, he cut and sliced at his targets, twisting his arms so that he could change the direction and angle that each strike was coming from.

  Were he able, he would do this all day, letting his thoughts wander and his body sharpen into a deadly weapon. Princely duties prevented him from doing so however, despite what his younger brother Baelir believed. Baelir had a tendency to ignore his responsibilities, misspending valuable hours in the Merchants City of Pecunis when he could be using them on making Patharis a more secure place for everyone. But traditionally the younger brother in a family was meant to be mildly reckless, whether he was of royal blood or not. The difference between Casren and Baelir was that whilst they both had the option to do as they pleased, Casren could not let himself act fecklessly -he dedicated himself into learning what it took to be a good and just King for his people. Baelir on the other hand believed it would come to him naturally, and that there was no point trying to force it when there was plenty of other more entertaining ways to occupy himself.  Baelir was only his younger brother by a matter of minutes; non-identical twins the physicians had called them, their appearances contrasting as drastically as their interests. Casren had very soft features, his perfectly curved jaw and cheekbones enhanced by his curled blonde hair, whilst Baelir was all sharp angles and a bedraggled shock of black hair.

  Lowering his sword, Casren paused to rest and catch his breath. Experience had taught him that in combat training it was just as important to take breaks as it was to push himself, otherwise his muscles would overtire and ache the next day when he was due to continue his regime.  Looking around the yard, he noticed a pitcher of water had already been set up by a manservant for their master when they arrived. He walked over and poured himself a cupful, as surely whomever it belonged to wouldn't notice that a small amount was missing. Lifting the cup to his lips, he gulped the contents down greedily, finding himself more parched than he had originally thought. The water was satisfying, despite its slightly raised temperature due to the suns heat. It was surprisingly warm for so early in the day, his shirt already hugging to him with sweat exuded not only because of both the heat and his swordplay.

  Just as he was about to help himself to a second cupful, a shrill cry interrupted him.

"Hey you! Put that pitcher down at once!"

  Casren turned to see who the deafening screech of a voice belonged to and saw a scrawny looking Halfling boy marching towards him with such a hot fury on his face that it would bubble the flesh from Casren's skull were it possible. As he drew closer, the rage cooled off, freezing instead into a block of fear as he realised who he had been shrieking at.

"P-Prince Casren! I'm so sorry, I didn't realise it was you, please don't tell my master he'll-“

"It's my fault, I took some water because I was thirsty and it was close at hand - I should have fetched some of my own instead of taking yours," said Casren, smiling warmly in an attempt to calm the Halfling, "What is your name, boy?"

"Delsan, your Highness," replied Delsan, bowing humbly.

"Well Delsan, please accept my apology and my promise that I will not take your water again."

"T-thank you, your Highness! I should not have shouted as I did; it is my first week in this position, and I don't want to disappoint my master. He...He can be unpleasant when annoyed," said Delsan, flinching as a painful memory resurfaced to sting him once more.

"Ah, I understand. Would you like a bit of advice to stop this from happening again?"

"Oh yes your Highness, I'd be honoured!"

"Always serve the water last. That way no one can take it when you are away getting everything else and the water will still be fresh when your master drinks it."

"Of course! Sir Mathion will be most pleased!"

"Sir Mathion? That's who you serve?"

 Mathion was a member of one of the most significant noble families in Patharis: the Strauswalls. They were the representatives for the Military City and were infamous throughout history for being insatiably bloodthirsty, constantly on the lookout for a potential fight between the other noble families - even Casren's own family Enndosius. A few hundred years ago they had gone as far as to try to overthrow the King, but they had thankfully been unsuccessful. Whilst they hadn't attempted anything so drastic in recent years, they still openly spoke out against Casren's father, disagreeing with nearly every decision he made.

  Just under seven feet tall, Mathion was an utter brute of a man, his body lined with large, bulging muscles  and his mind armed with a shockingly quick temper. Casren had undergone a few conflicts with him in the past at court, where the man had become manic with rage when he had disagreed with him. In their last argument, Mathion had actually been removed from the council meeting, as he had become so wild with rage that he had drawn his weapon and lunged across the table at Casren. The guards had barely managed to tear the savage man away from Casren before he had knocked him unconscious. He therefore found it very believable that the young Halfling boy would be frightened by Mathion. Surely there was a way to protect this young boy from Mathion without causing too much damage.

"Well then, perhaps there is something I can do about that," said Casren.

"Y-Your Highness?" stammered Delsan, "I don't want to cause any trouble."

"No, no you're not, don't worry. What I'm going to do is employ you as a member of my personal staff, if I have your permission of course. It is well within my right as Prince to hire a new assistant. You seem capable enough, if a little inexperienced.”

"Your Highness, I couldn't possibly-“

"Mathion is a loathsome specimen of a human, and I won't have you working for him a moment longer. If you won't let me hire you, then at least let me offer you some money so that you may leave his employment and search elsewhere."

"It’s not that. I have two younger sisters to look after; if something were to happen to them because I left Sir Mathion's employment, the Gods themselves would never forgive me," said Delsan, deeply regretful that he could not accept Casren's offer.

"As a member of my staff, you and your family will receive lodgings within the castle. Not even Mathion would dare strike at you from within its walls, I promise," assured Casren.

"Then I accept!"

"Excellent. Your first duty can be to take my sword to the blacksmith just down that path and to the right for sharpening. Then you are free to go and tell your sisters the good news. Report to Mattila Strotsam tomorrow morning at the Servants Wing and she will assign you your accommodation and duties," instructed Casren, handing Delsan his sword in its scabbard, which was more than half the boy's height.

"Yes my Prince, thank you, you won't regret this!" cried Delsan as he ran merrily off down the path, carrying the sword awkwardly as he went. 

  Casren smiled as he watched Delsan leave. Not only had he acquired an enthusiastic young servant, but he had removed him from a horrible master that would no doubt have made the young elf's life miserable. He would send Mathion a polite letter as was required, informing him of Casren's employment of Delsan. Still, it would probably be best not to be around when the juggernaut found out his servant was no longer in his service.

  Looking down at himself Casren frowned. His shirt was sodden with sweat and covered in dry dirt he had kicked up from the ground as he sparred. Perhaps it would be best to return to his quarters and change before doing anything else. Leaving the training yard, he walked up a small set of stairs that led into the North Wing of the castle, which contained the royal family's quarters. The wing also held; the Great Hall, an enormous room that his family and any visiting nobles would feast at a chapel where any inhabitant of the castle could go to pray to the Four Gods; the Council Chamber where meetings and plans for the future were made, and other less important rooms such as the kitchen, the larder and storage cupboards. The servants and their families were housed in the East Wing, which contained everything they required to perform their daily duties. The West Wing was essentially a small military base, with a smithy, barracks, jail cells and the training yard in which Casren had just sparred. Finally there was the Collisphere to the South, but no one went in there with the exception of the King, Abareth and his acolytes.

  Casren continued on through the corridors, which were beautifully decorated with all forms of artwork. Handcrafted by the finest inhabitants of the Crafters City, each piece was whorth a small fortune, whether it be a painting, tapestry or statue. Casren had seen the majority of them over the years, but they were dazzling no matter how many times he passed them. His favourite by far were the paintings, as they plucked a moment or person from time and recreated them in artistic splendour so that they may live on long after their death.

  As he reached the door to his personal quarters, he was surprised to find the door already open. He was certain he had locked it this morning, yet the door hung open invitingly. This unsettled him and he instinctively reached for his sword that normally hung from his belt, but instead his hand met nothing but air. He briefly panicked before remembering that he had sent it away with Delsan to be sharpened. Scolding himself for picking today for the task, he crouched down and rolled up his trouser leg to retrieve the dagger he kept in a sheath strapped to his calf. He was thankful he at least had some form of weapon, no matter how small. Casren pushed the door fully open slowly, walking carefully so as to avoid alerting the intruder of his presence. The room felt perilously threatening compared to the usual comfort it granted him. A floorboard creaked under his weight, alarmingly loud compared to the hollow silence of the room. So much for the stealth approach, he thought bitterly, as he edged further forwards with his dagger held at the ready.

  Based on appearances, his room was untouched; the bed sheets still as crumpled as he had left them earlier and his ornate furniture perfectly in place. Still unconvinced that nothing had been taken he walked slowly towards the dresser at the end of the bed to check its contents. Sliding the drawers open one at a time, he found that everything remained neatly arranged within. There was no sign of any theft, but he could not bring himself to lower his guard with the feeling of inhospitality still lingering and clawing at his subconscious.

  He heard his assailant before he saw them, air whistling from behind him as his attacker rushed forwards to strike.  Instinctively, Casren snapped his arm backwards to block the blow with his dagger. Catching the attacker off guard, they fell backwards unsteadily. Casren leapt at the opportunity and crouched down to push himself forwards off the ground towards them, knocking the figure clean off their feet before landing with a dull thud.  Holding the dagger at their throat, Casren kicked the weapon the intruder had been using out of reach before turning to attempt to identify them.

"Baelir?!" Casren gasped in disbelief, staring at his brother now pinned under his legs.

"Hello, big brother," Baelir grunted uncomfortably under Casren's weight.

"By the Gods Baelir, I could have killed you! Whatever possessed you to break into my room and attack me?" Casren demanded, lowering the blade and climbing off his brother.

"Boredom, mainly.  I'd been waiting for over an hour and then I thought 'To the Glass Forest with this, let's sneak up on him for making me wait so long.' Who's out of their rooms this early in the morning anyway?" said Baelir, clambering to his feet.

"People who don't want to waste away their mornings in bed like some I could think of."

"Me? Lazy? Casren, you wound me," teased Baelir. "Anyway, there was a reason for me showing up other than to let you knock me off my feet and hold me at knife-point. Which, by the way, you wouldn't have managed if I wasn't going easy on you."

"Oh really?" smirked Casren. "Are you sure it wasn't just because I'm a better fighter than you?"

"Please, if I had wanted to, you would've been flat on your back the moment you walked into the room. I just didn't want to bruise your already oversized ego. Anyhow, Abareth and Father sent a message for us to meet them at the Collisphere, but that was, what, two hours ago? So we're already late thanks to you."

"That's unfortunate. Did they say what for?”

"No, but it must be important if it's the two of them together - they can barely exist in the same castle together without wanting to rip each other apart."

"I know what you mean. Very well; if you'll wait outside, I want to change out of these clothes,” said Casren as he held the door open for Baelir.

"Sure, just don't take too long prettying yourself up. It's not as if Father's going to sign you up for the Culling for looking a bit scruffy," jested Baelir, pausing before leaving the room and adding, " And by the way, there are much more fun ways to work up a sweat than hitting a straw dummy over and over again, assuming that was where you were for so long."

"Baelir!"

"What? All I'm saying is that I know plenty of...free-spirited young women in Pecunis who would love to show you how," said Baelir, winking mischievously.

“Out! Now!”

 "All right, all right; don't shout too loudly or the guards will come running, the melodramatic, brain-dead b--"

Casren shut the door behind him, cutting Baelir off midsentence. He was still smiling at Baelir’s brutal honesty as he walked over to his cupboard to change his clothes. If nothing else, he could always rely on his brother to make him smile, with his endless, jovial attitude and aptitude for humour.

 Whilst he selected his new outfit - a simple but smart looking white shirt with dark brown leather trousers " he mused over the possible reason behind the summoning. Baelir may not have expressed it in the most eloquent way, but he was correct in saying Abareth and their father did not have the most harmonic of relationships, in fact Casren could not think of a single thing they had ever agreed on. If he or Baelir ever asked about it, his father had only ever said that is was due to a “difference in interests”, but there had to be more to it than that. No two people could be so uncomfortably familiar and so opposing for that reason. With that in mind, he found it difficult to believe they would be working together on anything less than vital to Patharis.

  Loud banging on the door broke Casren out of his ruminations harshly, reality thundering back into view.

“Get a move on Casren, I’m sure you look lovely,” Baelir jibed from the corridor.

“Just a moment!” called Casren, tying his shoelaces hurriedly.

They were already late and he didn’t want to keep their father and Abareth waiting any longer than necessary. Tardiness was not a desired quality in a prince after all.

  His shoes tightly laced, Casren left his room and locked it behind him. Baelir slouched against the wall next to him with vacant boredom across his face.

“I didn’t know you could pick locks,” said Casren, hoping that an explanation of the new skill he had picked up would stop Baelir from deciding that his time would be better spent elsewhere. That was his usual conclusion if inattentive for any period of time after all.

 “How’d you know you didn’t just leave the door unlocked,” said Baelir grinning.

“Because I never do that. “

“Fine then spoilsport. I learned how to not that long ago, it’s very tricky to learn, but I had a really good teacher.”

“I don’t suppose it was one of those ‘free-spirited young women’ you mentioned earlier?”

“Maybe,” grinned Baelir, confirming Casren’s suspicions.

 With the door securely locked, the brothers headed towards the Collisphere, praying that Abareth and their father weren’t too displeased with their late timing. 



© 2014 Gaelan_Hamilton


Author's Note

Gaelan_Hamilton
Decided to upload chapter 1 in two parts so it's a little easier to digest! Will upload part 2 tomorrow.

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Wow, I'm really impressed! I feel like I can 'see' everything so clearly, and the dynamic between the brothers is very strong. I like how its mysterious, but at the same time you don't feel lost. It's a strong start and I can't wait to carry on reading!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Gaelan_Hamilton

8 Years Ago

Wow thanks so much! I was so nervous about posting Charge of Gods because it's my most important pie.. read more



Reviews

WoW, pretty cool, i mean you are really talented, and hope tomorrow will keep on reading it just blowing me up and making me more passionate to read more of your writings

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a very fun opening chapter! I am looking forward to reading more. it was fast moving enough to keep my attention, and there was not excessive detail overload. I look forward to learning more about this world

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow..Nice writing. Keep writing. If possible then Do u read my writing Anguish?

Posted 8 Years Ago


Wow, I'm really impressed! I feel like I can 'see' everything so clearly, and the dynamic between the brothers is very strong. I like how its mysterious, but at the same time you don't feel lost. It's a strong start and I can't wait to carry on reading!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Gaelan_Hamilton

8 Years Ago

Wow thanks so much! I was so nervous about posting Charge of Gods because it's my most important pie.. read more
Really good opening chapter (well, first half of the first chapter anyway). I'm enjoying the dynamic between the two brothers; the idea of 'two sides of the same coin' is coming across strongly, especially in regards to their differing appearances and respective interests.

LOVED "to the Glass Forest with you"! I'm guessing it's the equivalent of Hell for your characters in this? It's certainly an interesting idea anyway.

There's a couple of spelling and grammar issues: you missed an apostrophe in 'sun's' near the bottom of the fifth paragraph; you spelled worth as whorth in the paragraph before Casren finds his door open; there was also an issue with the structure of a sentence in there somewhere but I've lost that now. Will keep you posted if I find it again!

Other than that, it's sounding really promising. There are loads of questions I have and a lot of intriguing ideas coming across. Excited to read more!

EDIT:

Found the sentence I was talking about!

"The wing also held; the Great Hall, an enormous room that his family and any visiting nobles would feast at a chapel where any inhabitant of the castle could go to pray to the Four Gods; the Council Chamber where meetings and plans for the future were made, and other less important rooms such as the kitchen, the larder and storage cupboards."

You've used a semi-colon after 'held' where I think you need a colon instead. Colons are more commonly used to introduce a list, which is what you've kind of done here by reeling off the other rooms in the wing. And to keep consistent with your use of semicolons to separate the different rooms, I think you need another before 'and' - where you have a comma instead.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Gaelan_Hamilton

8 Years Ago

Ooooh yay glad you like!!! I really need to start proof reading these before I put them up, it was s.. read more
You write a mythologycale type story which I like most. Their myth, their brave heart, their war. Thanks, I loved it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Gaelan_Hamilton

8 Years Ago

Oh believe me, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet :P

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

412 Views
6 Reviews
Rating
Added on January 23, 2014
Last Updated on January 23, 2014
Tags: fantasy, mage, magic, wizard, adventure, royalty, elves, dwarves, halflings, gods, swords


Author

Gaelan_Hamilton
Gaelan_Hamilton

Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom



About
I'm an aspiring writer from Scotland currently studying Professional Writing Skills at college in Glasgow. As part of the course and also in my free time I write a lot of poetry, short stories and .. more..

Writing
Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Gaelan_Hamilton