This is the first few, very short chapters of a possible story i am working on.
|This is a very rough draft of an idea ive been working on. I have the first chapter written down on paper somewhere and have yet to type it out, though if the second reads good without it i may omit it and add it in at a later date. Everywhere you see a blank space where a name should be or a ___ it is actually a working name that i havent been able to think of one yet for. there are many more to come so please let me know what you think and any suggestions, and remember; this is a very rough draft. Thanks guys! ps, transferring this to the website took out all of paragraph spacing so it may be difficult to tell where one ends, but chapters are clearly marked.
Rolan awoke, head pounding. He looked through blackened and bruised eyes at the scene around him. He was in a cell. It was dark and damp and it smelled heavily of unwashed bodies, blood and waste.
“Ugh..” he groaned and rubbed his head. He gingerly felt the bridge of his nose. Sudden pain shot through his face. “Definitely broken,” he muttered. He began to call upon his magic to set and bind the bones in place. His eyes glowed a dull silver. Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing happened.
“Damn, this cell must be designed to negate magic. I've got to find a way out of this place. I won't die here, not yet.”
Laughter cut through the darkness and caught Rolan off guard. He gasped and quickly looked around for the source. He found a small bearded man peering at him from the corner of the cell. Without his magic he had not sensed the old man.
“Listen to me boy,” the bearded man began in a shaky voice, “don't waste your time or energy. I've been here fifty years and still haven't found a way out!” The man cackled.
“What? Fifty years? What did you do to get a sentence like that?”
“Doesn't matter, boy. What matters is what you did. I've heard the guards gossiping about some magician and how he defied the General ever since you were thrown in here. Would that magician perhaps be you, boy?”
“I'm afraid it is. I underestimated him greatly and now I'm to pay a severe price for it. You said 'ever since they threw me in here,' how long have I been in here?”
Oh since about midday two days ago. You've been layin' in your corner tossing and turning, but you haven't woke once, not til now at least.”
“Two days ago? I must have used up way too much energy. Have you, um, heard anything about an execution and when it's supposed to happen?”
The old man looked at him with sullen eyes. “Aye boy. I've heard talk of an execution, to be had a day from when you awoke.”
“I guess that gives me a day to find a way out of this shit hole then.”
“I'm tellin' you boy, there's not one to be had!”
“Damn it old man, my name is not boy! I am Rolan.”
“I see,” the old man bowed. “Very well then, I am, or was, Walter. Walter O'Kite.”
“Walter O'Kite? That's impossible! You died fifty years ago! The Emperor himself slew you at the battle of Cerulean!”
“I know, I know. I've heard,” he chuckled. Rolan sat on the floor abruptly. To be in such legendary company was humbling.
“I. I can't believe you're actually alive. What happened? I mean, why aren't you dead? Why...”
“Enough questions, boy!” Walter interjected. “We need not worry of me or my past, what of you? How did you come to be where you are now? And I do not mean in this cell. I have been alone in here for a very long time. My last cell mate hanged himself twenty some years ago. I'm in need of a story, of some proof the outside world still exists.”
“Uh, sure. Where do I start?”
The beginning, boy. Every story has a beginning, just like they all have an ending. You are gifted with magic I assume, start from there. How did that come about?”
“Well,” Rolan's mood shifted from surprised to dark very quickly. “It started with a raid Walter. A raid on my village. I hid, while every other man tried to protect it.”
Rolan ran. The horns were sounding. To the armory his swift feet carried him. His father was there handing out whatever could be used as a weapon. He spotted Rolan quickly.
“Rolan! Here, take this pole. It's all I have left, the swords are all gone.” Rolan accepted the shaft nervously.
“Come one boy. I know your scared, but the village must be protected, you know it as well as I that we have no trained soldiers here, we need every able hand we can muster. Come now!” At that Rolan's father turned and left, a small group of pitiful looking villagers wielding anything they could find.
Rolan followed at the rear as best he could. After several minutes of marching a cry cut through the air followed by the sound of a body collapsing into the dirt. The party froze for a split second. A bow twanged in the night air, another cry and thud as another fell. Then, all hell broke loose. The villagers screamed and ran in any direction. Rolan was knocked down and nearly trampled. When he regained his footing what he saw was heart wrenching and sickening. His father stood in the center of the chaos brandishing a scythe as he bellowed to the villagers to fight, to regroup and push back the invaders. Many were running but a few tried to acknowledge the call and stand. The few that did finally stand fought violently and brilliantly for what seemed like forever before being crushed helplessly. The last Rolan saw of that skirmish was his father fall to his knees. He looked at Rolan. He smiled and a tear rolled down his cheek before a soldier's sword severed his head.
Rolan did the only thing his body could register. Run. He ran. He ran to his home to find no one standing in the kitchen. He dashed to the cellar doors and tore them open. He stumbled down the steps into the dark.
“Mother? It's Rolan.”
“Oh Rolan! Your unharmed! Is it over?” she questioned.
“No Mother, it's not. I saw..” he could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He thanked God it was too dark to see his face. A man would not cry like this. “I saw Father-” he was interrupted by a loud bang.
“I wonder what could be down here?” a gruff voice snickered above the cellar doors. Rolan and his mother fell silent. The doors flew open and a form cursed as it tripped down the stairs. A loud crash sounded when the silhouette reached the bottom of the steps. A glint of armor could be seen. Rolan realized he still had the pole his father handed him. He did the only thing he could and swung at the disoriented man. The pole made contact with his face and sent the man sprawling out on his back with a groan.
“What was that?” a voice from above sounded. “Didn't Jenkins just go down there? You two better check it out. These stinking village rats can be dangerous when they're backed into a corner.”
Another silhouette came down the steps. Rolan waited until he was within range and swung his weapon. A hand shot up and caught it, almost inhumanly. “No you don't, rat!” the soldier swung a mailed fist at Rolan's head and made contact. The blow sent Rolan sprawling head over heels across the dirt floor.
He struggled to hold his head up when he came to a stop. His vision flickered as he made out the shape of one of the men dragging his mother across the room by her hair. The man snickered again as he produced a slender object that reflected the small amount of light that existed in the cellar. “Rolan!” his mother screamed as the blade descended on her throat. The world was black when he heard a final agonized scream. “ROLAN!”
Rolan awoke with a start as thunder boomed. The dog that shared his single room hut began to growl. “Quiet, boy! It's just a storm.”
The mutt shuffled its way from the corner to Rolan's blankets in front of the small fireplace. A flash of lightning blinded the two lone inhabitants of the shack and thunder sounded again. Rolan looked out the window and could see the sun rising behind clouds in the distance. He still had a good two hours to sleep but he found himself restless and he was eager to have the day over. He got up and pulled on a shirt, and the donned his cloak. He stalked to the door with the dog a step behind. Together they exited the shack.
Outside the rain had stopped, but the clouds still looked as if they had a million more gallons of water. Rolan closed his eyes and felt the energy of the world. A small shiver ran from head to toe. He reveled in the feeling it provided. He began walking towards the town as thunder sounded in the distance.
The wind tousled his hair as he neared the town. People eyed him nervously as he trudged on. Many avoided his eyes, and those that didn't quickly looked away, finding something else to hold their interest. He hated the way they treated him. But, he supposed there was nothing he could do about it. The people of this town had superstitions that didn't die easily. Within minutes of entering town he arrived at his destination.
The small crater sat empty, as it had for four years. The ground was bare, nothing ever grew there now. Rolan knelt and scraped a small handful of the barren dirt, letting the wind drag it away through his finger. A single tear slid down his cheek as he stood. He turned away from hole and shuffled to two small headstones nearby. With his body open to the energy of the world he could sense others' eyes upon him.
Finally, Rolan and the canine that followed him turned towards the merchants hut. He desperately needed supplies to fix the leaks that were starting to form in his roof. He hadn't so much as taken two steps in the direction of the merchant's store when he saw the glint of mail. He stopped quickly, peering about for a way to get by unnoticed. He calmed himself and thought to himself that he was over- reacting. Just because there were soldiers in town didn't mean anything of importance. He resumed his walk until he heard his name come from the soldier's lips.
“Have you seen Rolan? We need to take him into custody immediately.”
The merchant eyed the armored soldier warily, “No,” he replied. “I haven't seen the boy in about a week.”
“Well, where can we find him?” the soldier replied in what was probably his nicest voice.
“H-he he has a shack on the outside of town, you can probably find him there.”
That was all Rolan needed to hear to know he was in danger. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end as he turned to sprint away
“Hey!” the soldier yelled. “Stop!”
Rolan looked back to see the distance between him and the soldier growing greatly. When he looked forward again all he saw was black as he collided with something. Something solid. That something sent him sprawling in the street. As he slid to a stop he looked up. An emotionless face stared down at him. He started. It wasn’t a face, it was a mask. A hooded masked man meant only one thing. Magic.
Rolan began to focus his mind. It was difficult, considering the circumstances. They knew. They knew it was him and now they were here to kill him, or worse, torture him. So he focused as hard as he could. No sooner had he felt the power gathering in his hands did he go cold. Everything was cold. Even his mind was numb with the cold. Then he felt something he'd never felt before. He felt he wasn't alone within his mind. A voice sounded within his head. I wouldn’t try that if I were you, the voice was as cold as the chill around his body.
You may be one of the most promising young magician in the Empire, but if you attempt to harm me in any way, my soldiers would gut you before the thought left your head. Now, get up. And do it slowly.
Rolan struggled to his feet. As he did he could feel the feeling return to his limbs. The tall masked man shifted slightly, as if a weight was lifted from him. “Guards, restraints please.” The man's mask seemed to see right through Rolan. The guards took Rolan's hands behind his back and placed shackles on his wrists. Rolan stared defiantly at the man in front of him.
“Who the hell are you? And why are you doing this?” he managed through bared teeth. By now a crowd had gathered and was watching intently. “Hmm? Oh yes! Where are my manners? You may call me .” he said with an exaggerated bow. Even as his head swept low in his bow the mask did not move. Rolan wondered what kept it adhered to his face. There were no visible straps or strings. “Now, if you think you're going to escape, we're not as stupid as you think. These are designed to give you just the tiniest shock if you try to focus anything more than enough magic to warm you. And as for what we are doing? I believe you know full well why we are here.” The gaze of the mask was unnerving, Rolan had to avert his eyes.
As he looked away he noticed something he didn't catch in the excitement. The dog was gone. He looked around quickly with his eyes, but to no avail. His companion was nowhere to be seen. Usually the canine would be there by his side. He had been for the past five years. “Now, move!” ordered as he grabbed Rolan by the front of his shirt and shoved him in front of him. He trudged away, changing directions as barked at him. People watched from the houses and alleys. The streets were completely empty, no one dared get in the way of the small group.
After a few minutes of walking they approached another small group of soldiers joined up almost out of nowhere. Moments later they were outside his small shack. “You may go in and get a three things to take with you. Don't look at me like an idiot. Go get what you need.”
“I-I thought you were taking me to kill me? Why do I need to take anything?”
“You thought we were going to kill you? Hah! That would be a tremendous waste of talent. While it is true that you have the potential to be a great threat to us, the disadvantages of killing greatly outweigh the advantages my young acquaintance. No, we shall not kill you, we intend to harness you. You have a great talent, but it's raw and dangerous if left unchecked. You know not how to control much of it, though you may think you do. We plan to take you to the capital and make you our own.”
“And if I refused to be used? What then?” he asked defiantly.
“Refuse? You are in no position to refuse anything Rolan. But, if we take you there and you prove to be more difficult than first thought, we shall break you, and if that fails then there is but one option. We kill you. It's that simple. Though not many go unbroken, there's always a thresh hold we just have to find it.” he leaned close, the last he said in a threateningly deep voice.
Rolan trudged into his poor excuse of a home, suddenly embarrassed that he lived in such a place. The tall mage was behind him. “All I need is that cloak...” his eyes downcast to the floor. “It was my fathers'.” _____ stooped and picked up the cloak of the pile of blankets on the floor.
“Is that all, Rolan?”
“I believe so. It's all I have, except for some more clothes. Should I gather them too?”
“No. You won't need them. Everything shall be taken care of. Now, we must leave.”
With that Rolan shuffled towards the door. Outside the small group formed a line. Two soldiers in the front, Rolan and ___ behind them and two other soldiers bringing up the rear. They began down the road that led to the forest. Rolan looked behind him, between the two soldiers that trailed him at his home. He was leaving it. He would likely never see it again. He started as his vision blurred. It took him a moment to realize that there were tears in his eyes. He would miss it. He grew up there, and it had been all he had known. He didn’t want to leave. Rolan supposed he could try and fight. He may even win if he tried hard enough. But then he remembered the shackles on his wrists and the fact that these were highly trained soldiers. Rolan knew he could handle the soldiers, it was ____ that frightened him. He could feel the power dripping from him. As he resigned to his fate, and a single tear fell, he heard a deep, vicious growl. A soldier screamed in pain.