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Tag Archives: Editing

Chapter 1: Assigned to Utyirth (Ed 3.2)

Here is a second run-through the first chapter (what I call ed 3.2). It’s a bit of a read and I would appreciate any comments.

Chapter 1: Assigned to Utyirth

‘It is an honor to be sent on such an endeavor by our Lord Demigod Emperor, an honor only exceeded by death during this endeavor.’ Philosophical Lessons from Utyirth (Volume I: Captain).

1

Ganis walked back and forth on the deck of the Siren’s Tear, the Sennan vessel which would take her to the distant lands of Utyirth, where she was told the notorious rebel Naa’tas escaped to. She would join nine other Parthans, people from the western reaches of the Nosgardian Empire, in this perilous journey, as she was told by her master, Lord Asclepius of Katabasis Keep.

A cool wind breezed through her blond hair, braided into one thick bundle and held together with a long black leather strap wrapped around it. It was a practical choice for anyone who intended on keeping their hair long while on the front; although she never cared much for wearing it down regardless of how many compliments it brought her.

Why did Lord Asclepius send me here? Ganis thought, her black eyes wandering with fiery anger, haphazardly looking at whatever met their path.

Commodore Habitus shouted commands at his crew, “Stock these crates here…Make certain we have replenished our stocks of heaven’s weed” – his favored pipe stuffing – “and enough rom” – his favored drink – “to last us for twice the journey we plan.” He kept shouting commands to his crew with impossible vigor – of which all seemed to Ganis trivial, never a command to prepare the ship itself for sail.

And Ganis continued to walk back and forth. She cared little for the blue sky above her or the calm seas embracing the Siren’s Tear, reflecting the flight of seagulls gliding in the air. It was, by all means, a beautiful day for anyone who took the time to enjoy it.

A Red Parthan Ona, the most well trained and seasoned warriors the Nosgardian Empire had to offer, would be her new troop, the only link she would have to Nosgard, her home, once they reached the shores of Utyirth.

The Demigod Emperor Servak himself commanded that they discard all things Nosgardian before their arrival – their weapons, armor and all crafts imperial – for it would do little good saved to aid in identifying them in an environment of which they knew nothing.

Utyirth was but recently discovered when a Sennan vessel was lost at sea for many crescents, yet the Cult of Naa’tas – the rebels who rose against the Nosgardian Empire during the events of the recent Ancient’s War, the very first test of the Demigod Emperor Servak’s worth – somehow knew of it.

Against all odds the Emperor managed to keep the people of Nosgard unified against the mighty threat of the Ancients, but the few who doubted his claim escaped his attention, and the Cult of Naa’tas was formed.

After the Ancient’s War ended, the Emperor’s spies, known to a few as the Guild, were freed to investigate and eliminate the rebels. They were all but destroyed. Naa’tas, the leader of the rebellion, escaped to Utyirth with a handful of mercenaries and loyalists.

When Naa’tas eluded all attempts by the Emperor’s forces – the warden order of the Silver Stags, the Emperor’s law enforcers the Peacekeeper Core, and the notorious Guild of spies and assassins – Prince Iolcus, the once-kingdom of Partha’s leader, promised that his First Ona, the very best soldiers Partha had to offer, would be able to bring him Naa’tas, dead or alive.

Yet these events alone would not make Ganis, a servant of the necromancer Lord Asclepius, join the First Ona, for she was not one of them in training or by blood.

A Parthan Ona, always ten, was a selected group of proven warriors who spent enough time together that their minds melded into one. The Red Onas, the very best of them all, were capable of fighting truly as one. Some said that a Red Ona took a life of its own at the expense of ten, but few saw just how deadly a Parthan Ona was and lived to tell the tale.

Ganis had never trained with a Parthan Ona, even though she was defeated by them in the Second Civil War of Man – where she supported the very same Council the Demigod Servak, before he became Emperor, fought against. Her servitude to Lord Asclepius was the Emperor’s punishment for her actions, and Asclepius saw it fitting that she should be sent to Utyirth under Captain Pertinax the Second’s command, the Ona’s leader.

If only I died back then, Ganis thought, boots beating mercilessly on the ironwood deck of the Siren’s Tear. She often thought of how simpler it would have been if she died during the Second Civil War, as an officer in the Peacekeeper Core. Perhaps, she would think, there would be some afterlife awaiting me. The thought never lasted, no matter how bleak things seemed to be.

But now she was not regretful of her past, just angry at being sent away like a common servant by a man she was forced to call ‘Master’, an act she always found demeaning, but could do little to avoid without suffering from an even more demeaning punishment.

Another reason for Ganis’ anger was her ignorance about those she would join on their mission. She knew that they were nine others, two Turians, Ninazu the Alchemist and Sigurd Ironskin, and the rest Parthans, Captain Pertinax the Second, Hephaestion the Scholar, Thalia the Artisan, Priestess Eirene, Monolos the Beasthandler and the Twin Spies Percival and Dindrane. They were many names to remember.

The Turians she previously met were all of incredible determination, a truly proud and capable nomadic people long separated from their lands, and she could but feel humbled by their deeds of which she heard.

Lord Asclepius, she recently discovered, was also a Turian, although he came from a different age and few living Turians would consider him anything other than a relic from the past. His knowledge of necromancy gave him an unusually extended lifespan – a gift he bestowed on Ganis as a reward for her sacrifice during the Ancient’s War, even though she thought it a curse.

She also knew, rather thought she knew, that the Parthans would not accept her as one of them, not with the stance she took against them during the Second Civil War, and before she could see to the Emperor’s mission it was necessary to gain their trust, all while hiding her Dark Gift and the extent of her abilities.

Consumed by her thoughts, Ganis barely noticed the ship setting sail. The Parthans had arrived without her even noticing. They must have discarded their Parthan attire already, she thought. It was time for subterfuge.

2

Everyone aboard the Siren’s Tear was preoccupied with his own habit or duties. Ganis deemed the confusion an opportunity to get acquainted with her new companions. In spite of her objection to being sent away from Katabasis Keep, she knew that the voyage would be even more unpleasant alone.

Like a chain, an Ona was as capable as its weakest link, Ganis had learned, studying the Parthans once during her service in the Peacekeeper Core and once more under the mentorship of Asclepius. To her, being the weakest member of the Ona would be unacceptable. And not to be the weakest required her not only to be strong, but also to be in harmony with them. She would need to belong.

To Ganis, it seemed reasonable to start her introduction with the leader of the group, Pertinax the Second, whom she identified by overhearing some sailors speak. Standing on the edge of the ship’s bow in an attempt to get a better view of the sculpted Siren serving as the ship’s figurehead made the tall white-haired man easy to find.

Once Ganis approached him, Pertinax requested her to hold his hand and secure him if he lost his footing during his acrobatics. She agreed and held his hand, watching as he clumsily hung on the vessel’s grey wood. Once the air started striking his grease-covered hair, running its perfection, he quickly returned and produced a wooden comb from within his cloak.

“Thank you,” Pertinax said, combing his straight white hair. His brown eyes stared directly into Ganis’, attempting to burn an image of her in his mind.

Ganis nodded. “I just wanted to introduce myself.”

“You are Ganis, Asclepius’ companion and former Protector Commander of the Peacekeeper Core. You were captured by the Demigod Emperor Servak, Pax bless him, and sentenced to serve the released Necromancer Asclepius as punishment for aiding the Council during the Second Civil War. Although you were directly assigned to Asclepius, your second and main task was to spy on him…” Pertinax continued to flawlessly recited Ganis’ known history. Once he finished combing his hair, Pertinax stowed his comb back into the pocket of his grey cloak from which it came and continued, “I know who you are. The real question is: do you know who I am?”

“Other than being my leader and serving Servak, I know nothing of you.” Ganis was shocked by her Commander’s assiduousness. She judged that he might be a peculiar fellow from his appearance, but her assessment was far from accurate to the level of his peculiarity.

“As a comrade and a member of our Ona, I believe it important for you to know about me as much as I know about you. My story began forty years ago when I taught at the Parthan School of Knowledge. Signs of the First Civil War started worrying many of the scholars and thus, by their council, the leaders started reacting to those worrying signs.

“I was young at the time, and felt obliged to do more for my kingdom and king. Fueled by youthful passion, I volunteered to join the Parthan forces and was immediately assigned as an officer to serve in a fighting Parthan division.

“My rune-bearing capabilities and education made me privy to the best training and care, thus I was assigned to a high-ranking unit. Once my loyalties were certain and my training complete, I was carved with the same runes Parthan Protectors were required to bare, unless they had already undergone the ritual before they joined the force, of course.

“Shortly after I started my military career, the Civil War of Man broke and my duties were multiplied. Although the Parthans had the best trained and equipped soldiers, we were overwhelmed by a far larger force with far more resources.

“It was not long until the casualties started piling up and we were forced to retreat to a defensive position. With all our prosperity and military might, we were incapable of fighting the world on our own. Once we were driven into our lands, the combined kingdoms of men built a wall around Partha to imprison us, cutting us off from most of our lands and the outside world.

“We then fell into a godless darkness. This, my friend, was when I met Lyra and the Demigod Emperor Servak, Pax bless him. They showed us the path to salvation and peace, the Path of Pax.” Pertinax looked above him and gazed towards the endless blue skies.

“How did you get to be in Lyra’s Ona?”

Pertinax lowered his eyes and looked straight into Ganis’, saying, “Pax led me to her. All I had to do was simply follow the path he set me on. Tell me, Ganis, is there a deity you believe in?”

“No,” Ganis responded adamantly. She had long lost the little faith she had with the last of her dead men. “I do not believe that sins and virtues affect the path our spirits tread once freed from our physical realm. I know that there is no reward for the just, nor is there punishment awaiting the wrongful. Once we die, we just seize to exist and rejoin the earth once again. I believe, Captain, that the Gods have abandoned our kind long ago.”

Pertinax smiled and patted Ganis’ shoulder. “Perhaps one day I could convince you of Pax‘s existence and show you the degree of his involvement. I have told you enough of my past for you to know who I am. The details, however, will have to wait for another time.” Pertinax walked away from Ganis and towards the stairway leading to the lower decks. Before he disappeared into the darkness, Pertinax looked back and whispered to himself, “It will be an interesting journey.”

Although his final words to Ganis were not meant for her ears, her enhanced senses allowed them to be so. Ganis watched the skies for a moment before retiring to her quarters below, her thoughts entirely on the Parthans and the beauty of the sight escaped her.

On Writing: Writeon by Kindle

I recently discovered writeon.amazon.com I wonder how useful it will be. I would appreciate any feedback on my current edit-in-progress book.

https://writeon.amazon.com/read/story/Tarek_Book_of_Kayal%3A_Unity_of_Strength/amzn1.ignite.story.19b4ee305d0a5a04e050007f01004133?ref_=ign_c_rt_st_0

On Writing: Editing after two years

Its been a long time since I edited any of my books, at least 10 months. In that time I have been busy preparing my masters degree, a process that proved to be quite the writing workout.

A week ago I opened one of my older books, the one I have been posting some of its drafts on here (Book of Kayal: Hands of Fate) and started going through it once more. The improvements I have been doing are striking. Everywhere I look, there seems to be room for editing. A touch here…a touch there, until I ended up re-writing about half of the 40% I’ve gone through.

I have to say that the editing process has been this extensive for two main reasons: (1) I have wrote over 400,000 words in total since then; and (2) I have completed two more stories in the series since then and am working on a third one after HoF. Needless to say, the first has directly improved my writing skill while the second has resulted in me adjusting the world accordingly.

Unlike my former attempts at editing, this one has been entertaining. I can’t get enough of this first go, mostly because I have completely forgotten the story and the characters that have been included in the sequels have significantly developed since then.

So to all those who love to write but hate to edit, think about coming back to your books after finishing another story. It will help with the tediousness of the editing process.

On Writing: Project Pause

Yesterday I decided to take a break from the project I am currently working on entitled ‘Deliverance Edge’ so that I can review the first three parts for consistency. So far it reached a total of 80k words and I still intend to write one more part at approximately 25k words – It should end being about 100k word long.

I have posted one of the edits yesterday so that whoever is interested could get to see it, but I doubt you will find it of any use.

This pause, however, does not mean that I will stop writing, or that I will stop working on ‘Deliverance Edge’. I intend to practice editing, a skill I find myself greatly lacking at, by using the first draft of the first three parts.

Today I have begun working on a new project that would be in parallel to the editing of ‘Deliverance Edge’. It is supposed to be of much smaller magnitude, about 40k words, and would require no outline, since I have been thinking about it for a few months now.

Here is the first part of what I wrote so far (It is a first draft and has not even been proofread yet. I would greatly appreciate your comments):

(Stromhaven) was but a small town located in the harshly cold north. The wind blew mercilessly upon its inhabitants, a close and friendly community of simple folk, and brought upon them much hardship, but they persevered regardless.

Located on the peripheries of the Empire, (Stromhaven) was never troubled by the struggles of others. Even traders seldom treaded there and few were interested in the prospect.

Thus in times of war, (Stromhaven) was never disturbed and its dwellers enjoyed their simple and quiet lives. Even the Imperial forces bothered not to recruit from among its few capable inhabitants who could serve in their sinister affairs.

Summer was short and so their opportunity for growing crops that would sustain them throughout the year was never taken alight. For these long days they worked with all their strength to plow and tend the rich undisputed lands. They barely made due and always supplemented their food with the abundant fish dwelling in oceans which surrounded the peninsula, for (Stromhaven) stood amidst three sides of sea and one of land.

Never did one of them leave to seek a life outside their hardship, in spite of their gluttonous and selfish mayor, for they valued the dependence of family above all else. One day, however, a boy named (Da’e) grew curious about the people of the south and their busy lives.

Thus he always waited anxiously for any travelers that would come about. With every visit by a stranger, every two years or so, (Da’e) grew more and more interested in the affairs of this southern kin.

Until one day a bard bearing many stories of heroic deeds came to experience the unusual folk of (Stromhaven) to tell of them tales that none have ever known before. (Shaeer) was his name and he was from the men of Alv. His beard was clean, unlike the native men of (Stromhaven) and his skin was dark. (Shaeer) always had a smile about and carried the most peculiar of instruments which he called the lyre.

He sang of ancient and glorious tales about adventurers long dead, but not forgotten. (Stromhaven)’s folk grew warm in time and valued the company of (Shaeer). They gave him food and a warm bed to rest for as long as he wanted to do so. In return he would write songs about them and sing them wherever he went.

But the day when (Shaeer) came was soon and he left the humble village to seek his fortunes elsewhere. They fold of (Stromhaven) grew blue with his absence, and some even wept at his distancing back.

(Da’e) was most affected by the bard who he spent most of his time with him, unless he had work to do to aid his folk in whatever they required. And a few years later, when he grew big and strong, (Da’e) decided to break away from his people and tread the path of southern heroes. Without informing any of his kin he left amidst the night. His intention was to travel south and enlist in the Imperial force so that he could venture where none of his kin ventured before.

Many years later, when he had been all but forgotten, an old man arrived at (Stromhaven). It was past a difficult war thus it had been along since an outsider ventured there. “Who are thee?” asked a young boy the travelling man. “I am (Da’e), a native of these lands,” responded he.

The boy ran aquick to his folk and said: “Mother, father, ye man of old tales has returned.” And his parents rushed to see he whom their son had spoke of and they remembered him. It was indeed the young man whom they vaguely recalled as children, but this man had grown white of hair and frail of body. (Da’e) was no longer the young man who broke away from his people to join the cause of others.

“Ye hast forsaken us, your kin, for deeds and glory to others,” said the father. His name was (Dwail) and he was a shy man of few words and fewer actions unless work was asked of him. “Why hast ye returned?”

(Da’e) looked at him and said: “I was but a child when I left and sought selfish desires from afar without considering the needs of my people,” – he looked at the young boy with his murky white eyes, – “but the path was not without purpose, it seems, for I have seen he who mightiness follows his wake. I have seen the Divine and he brought me here to spread his word. Boy, what is your name?”

The young boy looked at his father then his mother and knew that he had their consent to break words. He said: “I am (Sageer).” His eyes twinkled with an innocent curiosity and a hint of fear for making his father and mother mad.

(Da’e) looked again at (Dwail) and asked: “Does the mayor (Gaeen) still live?”

“Nay,” said (Dwail), “his son, (Mafgo), hast taken the seat in his stead.”

“And how fares he with the weight of his title? Does he abuse it or exercise fairness?”

But (Dwail) never answered in speech. Instead he looked about and avoided the fierce gaze of (Da’e)’s aging eyes. His twisted face at the mention of the mayor gave away his true feelings, and the fear that has been embedded in him.

(Mafgo), like his father, has also proved to be a greedy and unjust ruler, but the extent of his acts were yet to be revealed to (Da’e).

He looked again at the child and said: “Do not worry, dear child, for I have come to rid you of your agonies and bring forth the word of the Devine.”

On Writing: Content Editing Trial

Today I decided to attempt the editing of the content and style of my current project currently entitled ‘Deliverance Edge’. I worked on the first 1,200 words and attempted to make it a little more fantasy like. For whoever is interested, this post included both versions.

NB: I am not a professional writer, in fact I just decided to write as a hobby about a year ago and still have light years of practicing to produce something publishing-worthy.

First draft:

Like everything else in the Imperial city, the throne room was built from black materials which had engulfed the city once the Emperor had been crowned. Nevertheless, it was brightly lit, in a manner fitting all purposes requiring careful details.

Wearing his usual red trimmed black royal gown, the Emperor addressed his wife and most trusted adviser. “It has been three years since the Sky Wing introduced itself to the Empire. They came bearing promises of peace and affection, an offering contradicting our expectations. Is it possible that all these prophecies about their ruthlessness were wrong?”

Cassandra, the seer and beloved wife of the Demigod Emperor Servak, stood beside her erratic husband. “Do you still mistrust their intentions?”

“I always have and always will. Warnings like these do not spur out of nothing, but are carefully studied and conveyed in a fitting way.”

“Perhaps.” Cassandra directed her eyes shamefully at the floor. “Perhaps it was a mistake for us to wed.”

Servak gently raised her chin and held both her hands firmly. “Do not say such things. Both of us knew back then that allowing our feelings to take over meant the loss of your gift, a loss that I do not regret.”

“But I could have seen the future for you and confirm or deny your suspicions.”

“Cassandra.” He moved away. “Ancient prophecies, history and information gathered by the Utyirth expedition are more than enough reasons for us to take action against them, but this is not the decision I have been reluctant about. What I seek is a way to avoid unnecessary death and shedding of blood. A way to ensure that the Empire, and the peace it brings, would continue after this threat has been eliminated. After all, it has been confirmed that dragons consider us nothing more than a stock of expensive cattle.”

“If you know what needs to be done, then just do it.”

“Matters of this nature require a little delicacy. A good plan must be made before taking action against the Sky Wing.” The Emperor slid his fingers across the base of his black shining throne. “Love, would you please tell me about the first people to spring into sentientism? The Golden Race known as the Elders?”

“Many believe that the story of the Elders is that of an endless cycle. It is said that the Elders were the first race to ever reach a level of maturity which we now refer to as sentientism, the phenomena of transcending instinct. Back then, there was no concept war or strife. They lived in a peaceful world, one even void of predators to their kind. The life they had been granted was ideal for physical and mental advancement. As a result, they developed to be very strong and intelligent, to the degree that they understood their world well enough to spring its elements from mere thoughts and sounds that would reshape the basic building blocks of surrounding minute particles– what we refer to as runes – and discover all of its secrets. But the Elders never satiated their curiosities, and they sailed across the sea to populate other continents, some say they even traveled to different worlds and planes. The Elders flourished and their civilization never ceased to grow in size and magnificence. When all lands were discovered and all of their secrets unlocked, the Elders sought to study creation itself. In their lengthy pursuit, they managed to created great beasts to aid them. Three kinds were born by their hands, the Leviathans of the sea, the Behemoths of the land and the Ziz of the sky. The Leviathans were benevolent creatures to match the element they were bound to, water. The Behemoths were malevolent in nature, but the Elders sought to create them regardless, to match the element of fire. Finally, the Ziz was but one lone creature to roam the skies and fill its blue in solitude. In their pride, the Elders sought to give their creation freedom to roam whatever parts of the worlds they were tailored to, but for the Behemoths it was not enough. Their cruel land children turned on them. Because of their civility and respect, the Elders never fought back. They allowed the Behemoths to kill them all in hopes that it would be punishment enough for their hubris. You see, beloved husband, the Golden Race was undone by their children, a situation we find strangely familiar.”

“The dragons shaped our races, but are far more prone to violence and trickery than the noble Elders.”

“It is a grim reality,” spoke Cassandra. She walked towards her husband and stroked his head to comfort him, a gesture much appreciated by the Emperor.

Servak looked up at his beautiful wife’s face and pondered. “The people have elected me to be their supreme ruler, their Emperor, and I will not betray their trust as the first of my title. They expect me to care for them in whatever way I can and make sure that a worthy heir will succeed me after my inevitable end.”

“Do not speak if such things,” interrupted Cassandra.

“All that lives dies. It is a reality which must be confronted by all, especially the ones in positions such as myself. If I fail to ensure a future to my people, then my soul would never find peace, even in death. I must make sure that one of our two children, the heirs to the throne and successors to my title, rises to the challenge of leading these people to a deserving fate.”

“You have taught them well in all matters familiar to you. What else is there for you to do so that such a destiny would be made a reality some day?”

“I must devise a clever plan to rid at least one of them from the clutches of those deceptive dragons of the Sky Wing. I truly hope that all our information is wrong. I truly hope that the Sky Wing is indeed benevolent in nature and truly seek to help us, but I cannot allow such naive thoughts to stop me from ensuring that my people, the people of Nosgard with all their races and background, would continue to have a future where they are free from any form of slavery, including that of the mind.”

“A future where the true essence of freedom prevails regardless of caste or race,” agreed Cassandra. Her eyes filled with a gleam of hope that perhaps, just maybe by some divine intervention, they would be saved from the enemy who so cleverly infiltrated the minds of many and convinced them that they were friends.

The Emperor had a brief idea of a plan, but he did not refine it just yet. Servak had to ensure that the citizens of the Empire would be left a worthy heir to lead them through the dark times yet to come. He had to ensure, regardless of cost, that at least one of his two sons would rise to the challenge and continue his legacy once he was gone – a fate he knew was very close. A plan was about to be made and set in motion, but he was not the only one plotting for the future of the Empire.

First Editing Attempt:

The Demigod Emperor Servak stood between the black, but properly lit, walls of his throne room, wearing his usual red trimmed black royal gown, and addressed his wife and most trusted adviser. “It has been three years since the Sky Wing descended to Nosgard with their unexpected promises of peace and affection. Is it possible that the prophets of old were mistaken?”

Cassandra, his seer and beloved wife, stood beside her erratic husband and said, “Do you still doubt their intentions?”

“I always have and always will, for warnings like those do not spur absent cause, but are often the result of cunning work.”

“Perhaps,” said Cassandra, directing her eyes shamefully at the floor, “perhaps it was a mistake for us to wed.”

Servak gently raised her chin and held both her hands firmly. “Do not say such things, dear wife. Both of us knew that allowing our feelings to take over meant the loss of your gift, a loss that I do not regret.”

“But I could have seen the future for you and -”

“Cassandra,” interrupted Servak. He moved away and added, “Ancient prophecies, history and knowledge gathered by the Utyirth expedition are more than enough reasons for us to take action against them, but this is not the decision I have been reluctant about. What I seek is a way to avoid unnecessary death and shedding of blood. A way to ensure that the Empire, and the peace it brings, would persist after this threat has been properly confronted. We know that dragons consider us nothing more than a stock of expensive cattle.”

“If you know what needs to be done, then why do you still harbor doubt?”

“Matters of this nature require delicacy. A good plan must be made before action is taken against the Sky Wing.” The Emperor slid his fingers across the base of his black shining throne, caressing it lustily like a mistress of ill repute. “Love, would you please tell me about the first people to spring into sentientism, the Golden Race known as the Elders?”

Cassandra mimicked her husband’s touch to the throne and started, with a fitting air of mysticism, “Many believe that the story of the Elders is that of an endless cycle. It is said that the Elders were the first race to ever reach a level of maturity which we now refer to as sentientism, the phenomena of transcending instinct. Back then, there was no concept war or strife. They lived in a peaceful world, one void of any danger to their kind. The life they had been granted was ideal for the strengthening of both body and mind. Thus they developed to be very strong and intelligent, to the extent that they understood their world well enough to spring its elements from mere thoughts and sounds that would reshape the air to whatever they wished to conjure– in our speech we call these spells runes – and discover all its secrets. But the Elders never satiated their curiosities, and they sailed across the sea to lands far and near. The Elders flourished and their civilization never ceased to grow in size and magnificence. When all lands were discovered and all of their secrets unlocked, the Elders sought to study creation itself. In their lengthy pursuit they managed to created great beasts to aid them. Three kinds were born by their hands, the Leviathans of the sea, the Behemoths of the land and the Ziz of the sky. The Leviathans were benevolent creatures to match the element they were bound to, water. The Behemoths were malevolent in nature, but the Elders sought to create them regardless, to match the element of fire. The last of their creations, the Ziz, was but one lone creature to roam the skies and fill its blue in solitude. In their pride, the Elders sought to give their creation freedom to roam whatever parts of the worlds they wished, but for the Behemoths it was not enough. Their cruel land children turned on the Elders. Because of their civility and respect, the Elders never fought back. They allowed the Behemoths to kill them all in hopes that it would be punishment enough for their hubris. You see, beloved husband, the Golden Race was undone by their children.”

“The dragons shaped our races, but are far more eager for violence and trickery than the noble Elders.”

“It is a grim reality,” said Cassandra. She walked towards her husband and stroked his head to comfort him, a gesture much appreciated by the Emperor.

Servak looked up at his beautiful wife’s face and pondered, “The people have elected me to be their supreme ruler, their Emperor, and I will not betray their trust as the first of my title. They expect me to care for them in whatever way I can and provide them with a worthy heir.”

“Do not speak of such things!” interrupted Cassandra – a lifetime of prophecy and mysticism made hear fearful of such thoughts.

“All that lives dies. It is a reality which must be confronted by all, especially the ones in positions such as myself. If I fail to ensure a future for my people, then my soul would never find peace, even in death. I must assure that one of our two children, the heirs to the throne and successors to my title, rises to the challenge of leading these people to a deserving fate.”

“You have taught them well in all matters familiar to you. What else is there for you to do so that such a destiny would be made a reality some day?”

“I must devise a clever plan to rid at least one of them from the clutches of those deceptive dragons of the Sky Wing. I truly hope that all our information is wrong. I truly hope that the Sky Wing is indeed benevolent in nature and truly seeks to help us, but I cannot allow such naive thoughts to stop me from ensuring that my people, the people of Nosgard with all their races and ways, would continue to have a future where they are free from any form of slavery, especially that of the mind.”

“A future where the true essence of freedom prevails regardless of caste or race,” agreed Cassandra. Her eyes filled with a gleam of hope that perhaps, just maybe by some divine intervention, they would be saved from the enemy who so cleverly infiltrated the minds of many and clouded their minds.

The Emperor had but a brief sprout of a plan which was yet to grow. Servak had to ensure that the citizens of the Empire would be left a worthy heir to lead them through the approaching dark times. He had to ensure, regardless of cost, that at least one of his two sons would rise to the challenge and continue his legacy – a fate he knew was very close. A plan was about to be made and set in motion, but he was not the only one plotting for the future of the Empire.

On Writing: Can’t Wait

I am currently 8 days into my ‘leave it alone phase’ for my first book. The purpose of this phase is to forget about your book so that when you read it again you perceive it differently – and hopefully more objectively.

Not knowing what else to do, after all the researching, I decided to start on the second volume of my story. So far I prepared my outline and wrote 7k words. Hope this book will take me enough time to write to finish my 30 days of  ‘le laisser’.

Just letting you guys know my thoughts. Good luck.

On Writing: Outline

Working on my second book while I attempt to forget the first one, to properly prepare for the third draft. For my second book, I decided to start with an outline. Not an easy feat as I constantly hold back from writing the entire chapter. So far, the outline makes the story-line flow seem more logical and well thought. Details such as conversations and hidden messages will be left to the chapter itself.

Keep it up folks.