I have been debating this – like any writer I am never pleased with what I have done… maybe a fear of getting bad feedback. However, without it how am I to pick up on things?
Anyway here is the Prologue from my upcoming piece.
There was only one thing going on.
A sudden attack was laying waste to this small village on the eastern island of Xenoc. The thatched homes burned with a raging intensity as if the flames themselves were possessed. The night air was filled with a thick, acrid haze that was choking both villagers and attackers. Blood soaked the ground. All was lost.
Kasten dived through a gap before the stable ceiling collapsed under the fiery plague. He scrabbled like a startled animal for his sword. He was the village leader and protector of the ancient Lupian sword that was regarded as a treasure worth dying for.
The blade was in danger and Kasten was desperate to seal it away with the incantation. He was one of the last in a line of ‘Casters’ – the people who infused mystic powers into objects to make them unusable by anyone other than themselves. Trusted by the ancient mystics, these people had been hunted and killed; many of them failing to cast anything into the objects they protected.
He swung the endangered sword around and caught his pursuer, slicing the long silver and green blade across his gut and spilling his entrails onto the ashen floor. Kasten’s leg was a mess from a couple of arrows and was slowly festering from the noxious poison that had been on the tips. He could feel his heart pounding against his chest as he gripped a beam of wood to hoist himself over a flaming corpse – so many had died in this slaughterhouse.
Screams echoed from the heat; the souls of many villagers already trapped in the middle realms between life and death. A single tear parted the dirt on Kasten’s face as he ran, the sword held firmly in his burnt hand. More attackers, dressed in heavy leather armour, charged at him emitting deep howls that wrenched his stomach with a sense of despair.
He felled them all with clumsy slices and stabs before falling forward, his head flickered with searing pains. The people of the village were lost – sealing the sword was his only concern now. No evil-minded force was allowed to lay their hands on any mystic object, especially one with immense destructive powers.
Towering sheets of flame crept in upon him. His eyes were fuzzy and oozing from the fast-acting poison of the arrows. He breathed heavily; his legs were like stone. The stench of death was ever near as Kasten staggered forward still, the casting shrine within reach.
He toppled carelessly over the small slate wall surrounding the sacred grounds in the western part of the village – a place of much history and magical wonder. The shrine itself was a sturdy, cylindrical granite structure rising to six feet. Silver lines were wrapped around like vines on a tree trunk and they emitted an ethereal glow which was almost hypnotic.
Blood splattered onto the flattened grass as he vomited, saliva trickling down his chin as thickened rouge. He hacked up violently as the sword fell from his grip. His mind whipped from side to side, the voices creeping up on him calling his soul. The ashes that had blackened his light brown hair tumbled onto the floor as he coughed.
The sword – he had to cast the seal quickly.
His lips trembled as he stood up, the weapon held to his side. The words jumbled through his mouth haphazardly. He swore. The attackers were closing in fast.
‘Come on Kasten,’ he mumbled to himself gruffly. He could hear the screams.
A sudden surge went through his spine as ancient words spilled out into the murky atmosphere.
The shrine glowed.
Kasten lifted the sword above his head and his eyes went pale and filmed over. The silver vines ebbed mystically, vibrating the air around the stone column. Infusions of lost magic whirled around in elegant, mist-like forms, but remained intangible to mortal fingers.
An arrow split the harmonic ambience causing time to stand still. The sword fell and clattered onto the ground, sending ripples through the night as Kasten’s chest crumpled from the impact. He flopped to the ground, his lungs wheezing out gargles of terror. The casting was incomplete.
A heavily armoured figure shadowed into focus outside the shrine, two archers poised behind him. He let his crossbow fall to his side. He sniffed the air from underneath his dark green helmet, the subtle sound of purring perforating the thick metal. His yellow eyes squinted through the visor.
‘Stop him,’ the figure roared to his people.
The arrow quickly pierced Kasten’s forehead, delivering the fatal blow with god-like precision. The armoured figure swore continuously before he turned to the archers.
‘If you two morons hadn’t missed the first time then we would have that sword in our possession and completely unsealed.’ His howling, raspy voice grated the inside of his helmet as he scathed them.
They both apologised profusely.
He removed his helmet to reveal a mound of short fur. His ears twitched on the top of his head as he smoothed out his whiskers. He purred harshly as he walked over to the dead caster, his paw-like fingers slipping around the hilt of the sword.
The mists cleared swiftly with a soft whoosh; the disturbance of the feline warrior’s presence bringing the airs of evil to the shrine. The silver glow dissipated from the column as if wilting like an elderly flower.
Regardless of the casting he smiled; his small fangs sliding out over his bottom lip menacingly. He rested the cast blade on his shoulder, the gentle clang of metal on metal resonating against the silence. The air was clearing slowly.
One of the archers stood to one side as the warrior walked away without a look to either of them. The other slung his reflex bow over his shoulder and stepped after him.
‘Sir? What do we do now?’ he asked nervously. He was obviously scared of him.
The leopard-spotted figure stopped and held his head upwards. ‘We are withdrawing,’ his voice boomed. ‘This casting is incomplete – at most it will last a few decades. For now we will add it to the collection.’
Constructive criticism is highly encouraged! As many feedback comments as possible would be highly appreciated!