September 23, 2013

Prologue of Book 2 and 2000 likes!

Hello and hoorah!! Well, I've been getting quite a few requests for how the book is going and some personal requests i.e. more romance, make me a character--all the normal demands, and I thought without further ado AND in honor of breaking 2000+ "likes" on Facebook... I should post at least something, so you all know I'm not just facebooking or looking at cat pictures on the internet all day.  That's half the day.  Here's a snippet of proof, the rough draft of the prologue of book 2, currently only months away from finish as a whole:  

A Fallen Hope / The Sacred Fire

Book Two of the Ronin Saga

PrologueGolden Lies

  Before the Patriarch, all of Farhaven lay. Standing high in the great keep of Vaster, city of sun, he could see the world beneath him, stretching out endlessly.  As if waiting to be opened like a book beneath his hands.  With his level of the spark, all of it was just beyond his fingertips…  To the south, the turquoise waters of Cloudfell Lake and its town, cast in perpetual low-lying fog; to the west, the shadowed Narim Foothills, and nearby, the great Kingdom of Covai, a land of man and beast, toiling beneath the religion of the Mortal Being; hundreds of miles south of that, the vineyards of Sevia; and closest still, was the breathtaking landscape of the city of Sun.  He breathed in the faint aromas of trees—evergreen’s strong enough to withstand the bite of the harsh winters and a brilliant sun, so close it filled the sky with its presence—hardy bushes, and bleak cliffs of stone; all upon the rolling hills far below the grand keep. Farhaven was the world of magic, of possibilities—a world without limits. A dying world, the Patriarch knew. A man cleared his throat, and the Patriarch turned, smoothly, to see a liveried servant; a stooped, gray-haired man, with a thickly lined face like a dried prune.  He was old enough to look as if he’d survived the Lieon itself.  But with no Spark, the Patriarch knew the old man’s age was infantile compared to his own.  This high in the great fortress of Sun, he was obviously a high servant of Lord Nolan.  Faint beads of sweat formed upon the man’s temple as he opened his mouth as if to speak, but no words came out. He raised a brow in question, calmly.  “Yes?” The man bowed to his waist, his gaze falling to the polished floor; more in fear then deference.  “His Majesty, the great Steward of Vaster, Lord Nolan will see you now, your eminence,” the servant said, croaking out the words. The Patriarch dipped his head, and the servant led the way. They maneuvered their way through halls with richly woven gold rugs, passing large, elegant rooms filled with priceless vases, and other.  On the walls, mosaic windows let in colored light, showing the varying nine kingdom’s symbols and their corresponding colors: leaf, stone, water, sun, moon, flesh, steel, fire, and even wind.  In between those were ancient tapestries depicting battles over a thousand years old.  The Lieon, the war that had nearly destroyed the world.  He remembered it still, like a dream within a dream. Nearby, guards in silver and gold armor stood like figurines at the mouth to every hall and room, each bearing the sun kingdom’s mark on their resplendent plate mail.
sun symbol
It was much like his own emblazoned upon the cuff of his pure-white robes. The sigil of the Citadel—the great kingdom of Fire. At last, they reached a grand double door of hammered gold.  In its center was a huge insignia of sun.  Each door was likely the weight of a twenty men, and the worth of a city.  The Patriarch sighed inwardly.  Such needless things we mortals do to prove ourselves. The old servant stopped before the doors, looking nervous again. “Shall I introduce you, my lord?” he asked. The Patriarch touched the man’s arm, gently.  “No need,” he said and wove a thread of flesh, intricate but subtle, and the tension in the old man’s body seemed to visibly evaporate, as he breathed a sigh.  “Be at ease, old friend.”  With that, the Patriarch issued a thread of the spark of metal.  The huge doors glided open as if weightless.  Hinges fused with magic—artifacts from the Lieon, the Patriarch knew. Inside, a man in brilliant plate and white silks stood staring out the window.  Upon his entrance, the man turned swiftly.  Nolan, Lord of the sun kingdom, was tall and broad shouldered, which made him nearly the Patriarch’s imposing height.  He had a youthful face, which now wore a deep look of concern.  His hair was still brown and full, but parts were graying with age and the stress of his station. Despite being a lord in title, Lord Nolan was only the steward of Vaster—the kingdom of Sun had no king since the great war had disposed its last ruler.  However, he wore several pieces of armor made for a king upon his white robes; robes less brilliant than his own.  Upon his shoulders sat golden epaulets emblazoned with the sun insignia; his wrists were clasped with gilded bracers depicting an eagle in flight; and a golden belt cinched his waist.  But for all his grandeur and surroundings, the difference between the two men was as clear as the distinction between dawn and dusk.  Still, Nolan was a proud and allegedly virtuous man, a man full of light—a trait all of the sun kingdom were said to possess.  But standing before the Patriarch, the most powerful wielder of the spark in all time, Nolan was just a man. “Forgive me, my liege,” Lord Nolan said sincerely, bowing almost as deeply as the old man before.  “As soon as I discovered it was you who they had waiting, I told my servants to bring you to me without hesitation. I assure you—your delay was completely unintended, though still inexcusable.  It’s just… you must understand, no guest so prominent has ever arrived without an entourage in tow.”  The sun lord scratched his graying temples, and laughed, holding the Patriarch’s gaze.  “Honestly, I’ve had minor governors of my provinces arrive with a small fleet of guards, servants, and practically their whole house in tow, and you… a ruler of a great kingdom arrive alone, and unarmed.” That much was true, aside from being unarmed—he was far from that. “Unnecessary heraldry,” he replied calmly.  “And as you know, I do not need an army.” And all knew it well. “No, the Patriarch is an army unto himself—or so the stories say,” the man said, hiding a shiver and gave a sly smile.  “Luckily, I am too young to know a time when the world was not at peace.” The Patriarch glanced around at the furnishings.  He stood upon a floor of snowy marble.  A golden sun sat in its center; the ceiling was tall, constructed of hundreds of gold-colored glass facets, letting the sun stream in and fill the chamber with gold luminescence.  None of it mattered to him.  He was searching for something else. He felt a presence lingering in the air. A woman. With threads of flesh he tried to decipher it, but sensed only a strange, ancient darkness.  The feeling he had only recently grown to recognize.  Fear and hate rose inside him. A Darkwalker. All other threads of the woman’s presence were masked.  She’s powerful.  Not nearly as much as him, but she had had time to cover her tracks.  My unintended delay, he reasoned, hiding a bemused smile.  No matter.  The petty perfidy of nobles, or the squabbling of kingdoms was of no import to him. What mattered was the world—a dying world. “Bring in the rest of the nobles,” the Patriarch declared looking out the window, “I have ordered all of the Great Kingdoms here, if that is acceptable…” He spoke with the resonance and authority of his rank to make even the proud sun lord hesitate. “All of the great kingdoms?” Lord Nolan gawked. “My presence—” the Patriarch began, turning back.  “I am here for a reason, Nolan.  As we stand, the world is on the precipice of a new age, one balancing between light and darkness.” “You speak of the rumors…” “We would be blind to ignore the truth.  Whispers spread of a darkness rising within the deep mines, black caverns beneath Yronia.” Nolan shook his head.  “Yronia was destroyed in the great war.  It is dead,” he said in a flat tone.  “Walls bashed in by the enemy.  Nothing lives in those dark halls anymore.” “Nothing but death,” the patriarch answered. Nolan’s brows furrowed.  “What do you mean?” “Upon hearing the rumors of Yronia’s wakening, I sent some of my best Reavers to investigate alongside several dozen Devari two weeks ago. They have not returned, and they never will,” he said plainly. Nolan’s eyed widened.  “You cannot mean…” His hand wavered to his side, fingering his belt inlaid with scrolls of gold, as if seeking his sword that was not there. A missing sword.  Ironic, he thought, for a man of sun.  “Whatever is in those halls, it's nothing of light.  The darkness has spread beyond Yronia.  Nodes are appearing in great numbers, trying vainly to hold the deserts north of the Gates together, magical beings are dying.  Those creatures of magic not dead are hiding…” he said.  “Something is awakening…” “You mean the ancient evil, don’t you?  But they,” Nolan hesitated, “those nine, they were destroyed in the Lieon, during the great war—” “No,” he interrupted smoothly, “that evil has been banished and put to rest, for now at least.  This darkness is a something else entirely; an insidious disease that masquerades itself as strength, but it is not.  Even as we speak, it seeps into every home in the guise of truth and light.” “Then what do you propose?” “If we wish to save Farhaven, the time to act is now.” At his words, a knock sounded. Nolan looked shaken, but he called out without turning.  “Enter!” A woman servant entered, closing the door behind her as if she was being chased.  Sweat poured down her face, dampening her livery.  She caught her breath, trying to gather herself before the two powerful men. “My lord—“ she said.  “The kingdoms… they are here.” “How many?” “All of them.” The sun lord´s jaw clenched. The Patriarch turned grandly, and reached out.  With a flick of his finger, the huge double gold doors flung open, slamming against the walls and shaking the sun-lit chambers. A stream of monarchs entered clad in rich silks, ceremonial armor, thick pauldrons, gold, silver, and more, entered.  All polished to gleam, and several simple robed individuals, but those were even more formidable. Darmin of Covai the Kingdom of Flesh with his soft face and ripe belly, those plump fingers encumbered with glittering gold rings—yet his eyes were deceivingly sharp, Dryan of Eldas in his lavish pale green armor, Teruma of Menalas, and Havas of Ester,  and so forth.  Each powerful rulers of the world, hailing from all over Farhaven. “So, this is it?” said King Uman, sovereign of <the kingdom of Water.> “It seems so,” said another, Havas, ruler of Ester, who seemed nothing more than an old man, save for his cane that was made entirely of rare blue and white gems from Ester’s renown mines. “The meeting to decide our fates.” Lord Nolan rushed forward, addressing them all in grand tones. Calmly, the Patriarch turned, ignoring his words as he looked out the gleaming windows, back onto the land—they sat high above it all, looking down protectively upon the denizens of the world.  And he knew the full circle quirk of fate.  It was much like the meeting within Morrow that decided future of the lands thousands of years ago.  His lips curved, slightly, glad for it.  Hands clasped behind his back, the fading sun basked his face as he inhaled deeply, relishing that scent that was not a scent.  Here, in the gleaming mirrored columns that shone with the fading sun, aside from the perfumed guests, there was no smell. Absence, he thought, curious. The room had grown quiet; a stillness settled that he felt to his ancient bones.  Turning back, he saw the monarch’s faces, hard, or soft, impatient, or serene, but all proud, and all anticipating. As the Arbiter of this meeting, all were waiting for his word. It is time, the Patriarch thought and threaded bits of light and flesh into his voice so his words soared, “As the rulers of the lands, we are upholders of all that Farhaven stands for, but the peace and serenity we have treasured and even taken for granted for these last many years is on the cusp of change.  Evil is rising.  A darkness takes its form, sinuous and pervasive, but still cloaked in shadows…” He raised his hands and orbs of fire appeared in the air, and the hundreds of mirrors burst with light, banishing any trace of darkness in the golden room.  "Now is the time of vigilance, for watchful eyes to turn to your own fair borders and beyond.  Now is the time for unity.  Scattered and broken from the Lieon, we are a family who has lost their brothers and sisters… Seria of water, Narim of moon, Lander of stone, and Yronia of steel… Their losses have made us reclusive as a widow, sheltering ourselves behind our high walls, but we must see ourselves whole once more, for broken, we will fall.  For that is why I have gathered you upon this day… a day that marks the tides of change, and the eve of a new age,” he intoned grandly. Each ruler hung on his every word, ready and waiting. And the Patriarch smiled, evenly.  “Shall we begin?” ~~~~ Well, more to come soon!  Hope you enjoyed.  Thanks so much for the support, and keep looking here and facebook for more news on book 2!  Keep telling your friends about the book, and if you have time, a review is a thank you I appreciate through and through. Sincerely, Matt Wolf Back To Ronin Saga Blog