The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcome!)

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The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcome!)

Postby wingsofsilver » Fri May 24, 2013 8:25 am

Chapter 1 (Feel free to comment)

The day was new with a cool mist clinging to the land like a thick, woolen blanket. The sun had barely risen in the east to burn off the shimmering silver clouds that rested among the trees. Despite the apparent serenity that seemingly promised to show its favor, something wasn’t right. The land was uneasy and the birds had yet to start their sunrise symphony. Even the creatures that walked or crawled remained huddled in their beds when they would have otherwise been greeting the morning. The cold silence was broken by the sound of hooves pounding on the earth.

A rough group of horsemen galloped at breakneck speed through the forest, urging their mounts forward with no regard to their safety or that of their horses. They rode as if hell was on their heels, ready to swallow them whole. If a horse broke a leg during their frenzied rush, the rider would be left behind. Their business was of the utmost importance and they did not dare to slow down. Especially when the entourage that followed them was more than capable of taking their lives should they fail. It was not easy to see where they were going. Their target was ahead of them, hidden in the fog. The only clue they had to the quarry’s whereabouts was the faltering beat of massive wings echoing in the air.

Each rider was equipped with a sword and bow. Quivers were secured to their saddles and occasionally one of them would set an arrow flying into the sky ahead of them, specially tipped to pierce through tough hide. The horses were exhausted, foam flecking their mouth and skin, but their riders laid their crops to their flesh and never let them rest. One rider launched another arrow through the air and was rewarded with an agonized shriek. He shouted in triumph and the group cheered with hoarse, throaty shouts. The sound of snapping trees and something large colliding with the ground slowed them for a moment.

Just ahead, the mist had begun to thin. The riders slowed almost to a walk as they arrived upon the scene of shattered forest and the prone body of a dragon. The exhausted men began to dismount as they surveyed the area around them while one man, obviously the leader due to his size and stature, stepped forward to examine the creature. She was large, almost forty feet long. Her body was covered with emerald green scales that faded to a deeper green, almost black, toward her legs, tail and wingtips. Her feet supported impressive claws and her mouth gaped to show sharp, serrated teeth as long as knives. A simple diadem of woven gold rested on her head, held in place by delicate chains that attached to her curving black horns.

Though she was still, she was not dead. Not yet anyway. One wing lay crumpled beneath her and several arrows stuck out along her sides, the fatal one just behind her left front leg. Her sides rose as she took in rattling gasps and a bright amber eye watched the man as he came nearer. There was no kindness or mercy in his face, only emptiness. He stopped a few feet away from her head just as the second group of horsemen arrived. Their leader did not bother to get off his horse. He sat there, glaring down at the dragon with cold, calculating malice.

“So, this is how it ends for the line of Sath'hara. I almost pity you. You could have had a more dignifying end, you know, but instead you chose to flee like the coward you are.”

It was never wise to call a dragon a coward, especially with all the teeth, but he had her at a disadvantage. The dragon switched her not so benevolent stare from the rider in front of her to the man in elegant robes of crimson. Her slit-eyed gaze, like that of a cat, narrowed in and a low hiss escaped her jaws. Every man there felt a chill race down their spine, a primitive response to the sound of an angry apex predator.

“I expected a better greeting from you, High Chancellor Malthar. More along the lines of one speaking to someone above his rank. Couldn’t come up with anything better or is it too early in the morning for you?” the dragon responded in a deep, cultured voice.

The High Chancellor glowered like a squat toad before motioning to his personal guards. They dismounted and surrounded the wounded dragon, lances pointed inward. “You are in no position to be so bold with words, Your Majesty. Your mate lies dead in your chambers and those who support you have either been wiped out or have fled for their lives. Rest assured even they will be hunted down. Your line has ended and with no heir to your throne it will be me who sits upon it come evening.”

The emerald dragon’s gaze narrowed to slits and she struggled for breath. “Well, at the very least you have addressed me properly, but my line will not end with me. There will be others to challenge you, those who know that a human can never rule on the dragon throne.”

The man’s face turned blotchy and red in anger, making the dragon queen chuckle until a wracking cough had her spitting blood onto the dirt. “Forget to take your medicine this morning? You should be careful. You might keel over before your plan is complete.”

“Finish this,” High Chancellor Malthar growled, wiping sweat from his brow. He would be more comfortable when he was back in the cool marble halls of the palace. “Remember, I want Queen Sath'mera’s death to be a secret. Make it look like she has fled the country.”

Her strength failing as her sides rose slower with each breath, the dying queen couldn’t even lift her head to defend herself. A man was pushed forward, trembling as he held his sword in front of him. Sath'mera gazed at him calmly. Her end was near and there was no way to persuade the Fates for a little more time. The leader of the horsemen put a hand on his shoulder and he looked up.

“Get it over with, Vilard. I want to be home before lunch.”

The man named Vilard approached the failing queen with trepidation, but he could not back down without being killed himself, and he had a family to think about. Sath'mera watched him for a moment before closing her eyes. Vilard almost thought that she had passed away on her own and that he would be spared the grisly task, but her eyes flicked open again, piercing him where he stood. Before he could swing his sword, a soft breath washed over him and he was lost in the image of another time and place.

An cream colored egg lay nestled in a bed of heated sand hidden in a cavern. “Find him, Vilard, son of Vilhan. Find him and set him in his rightful place.” Queen Sath'mera’s voice floated through his mind though her mouth never moved. It ended so quickly that he wasn’t even sure it had happened, but the next moment his sword swung down and the dragon finally breathed her last. Vilard backed away, glancing at the men standing around the dead queen and passing around the gold coins that was their payment. When no one seemed to have heard or seen the vision, he relaxed.

The High Chancellor frowned. Something bothered him, but he had no time to think about it. He had to return to the palace to set everything straight before anyone started an uprising. “Clean this up,” he said before turning his horse and leaving the matter to the lackeys he had hired. His guards left with him as the horsemen readied their tools, leaving Vilard sick behind a tree as dark, almost black blood slowly soaked the ground. When they were finished, there was almost no trace that the reigning dragon Queen of Sathraea had been murdered before the sun had blessed the land with its rays.
Last edited by wingsofsilver on Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Sun May 26, 2013 4:48 pm

Bump. Chapter 2 will be posted soon.
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Tue May 28, 2013 3:50 pm

Chapter 2

The house was a small one, but it was well kept with loving hands and had been in Vilard's family for many generations. Built from light grey stone and mortar, the quaint little cottage was picturesque as it sat near the edge of the small town of Havanaa. Window boxes held brightly colored flowers and herbs that could be used for cooking and healing. A small dirt path lined with round river stones ended at a door painted bright blue.

Vilard paused at the end of the path and looked at what had been his home for all his life. He had been born there, as had his father and grandfather before him. He could not remember a day that he had not come home to that little house and the love that was abundant inside its walls. Shoulders slumped and back aching, Vilard sighed and walked inside. He was met by the usual smells of simmering meat and baked bread coming from the kitchen. A dark-haired young woman poked her head around the door and smiled.

"Da, you're home. I've been keeping some fresh bread warm for you and some of that venison stewing. Sit down and I'll get you some."

Vilard nodded and sat at the wooden table that had been carved by his own hands years past, a wedding present for his belated wife. As he rubbed at the grain in the oak, his thoughts drifted to the incident that had plagued him all the way home. The day had started well enough. He had been on his way to the carpentry shop that stood next door to his cottage with the intention of finishing the rocking chair for Grandmother Willa. Instead, he'd been stopped before he could go inside, accosted by several strange men. The group of men had him on a horse before he could protest and he was given directions along the way.

These hired men weren’t afraid of the law, that much was clear. Vilard had been so startled that he hadn't had time to turn back and explain that he was a decent kind of man. The leader was a person who, with one look, had silenced him completely. The coldness in his eyes made the hairs on the back of Vilar’s neck stand up, a instinctual reaction that had saved him more than once back when he’d been a soldier for the king. Outnumbered and unarmed, Vilard had gone unwillingly. The fact that the man had drawn a wicked looking knife helped to seal his lips.

It had all happened so quickly. Running a hand over his face, Vilard wanted more than anything to forget what he had been forced to do. He'd ended the life of a dragon and a queen at that. He could still see her piercing amber eyes as they bored into him, making him feel like his soul had been laid bare.

Queen Sath'mera ruled on one of the dual thrones in the neighboring kingdom of Sathraea. Its border lay approximately seven miles to the east of Havanaa, less than a few hours walk on foot. He tried to hold the guilt at bay, to think that because of his actions, she was dead. He should have done something. Anything. He should have refused, tried to escape. Vilard shook his head. No, he would not bear that burden, could not. What might have happened to his family should he have died along with her? It was because of the High Chancellor's actions that she was dead. Murdered in cold blood.

The sound of a bowl scraping the table brought his attention back from his troubled thoughts. The smell of venison and vegetables wafted up and made him realize how hungry he was. His last meal seemed so long ago. Vilard smiled up at the young woman as she put down a small loaf of bread with butter and cheese.

"Thank you, Viannysa. It smells wonderful."

Viannysa's answering smile lit up her face and reminded Vilard of her mother. She had been a dark haired beauty too, though he could see his chin and his bright green eyes peering back at him. It had been five years since his wife's death and it still sent his heart into aching pangs when he looked at his daughter.

"Eat up, Da. You look tired. Is everything all right?" she asked as she sat down across from him.

Vilard nodded, swirling the meat in his bowl with his spoon, but his daughter would have none of that. He was usually a quiet man, a man a few words, but his daughter knew him well.

”Come on, Da. You're bothered by something. Tell me what it is."

He sighed and set his spoon down. How much should he tell her? Was it wise to say anything? He didn’t want to think that she would be in danger, but if he revealed all that had happened, she surely would be.

Viannysa waited patiently, knowing her father would tell her sooner or later, but it seemed that he wasn't quite ready yet.

"I need some time, Vi. Give me a little time and I'll tell you everything. I just don't think I can right now."

Vi pursed her lips to keep from questioning him any more. She knew pressing him would only make him clam up about it until he was ready. Not quite willing to give it up for the moment, she pulled off a piece of bread and chewed. After a few minutes, she tried again in a roundabout way.

"Grandma Willa is sleeping, but she finished the cloak she was making for you. She wanted to know where you had gone when she didn't find you at the shop."

Vilard knew she was trying to get him to talk again. She didn't give up easily, even when she knew it was a futile effort. Scooping some stew into his mouth to avoid answering, he watched her frustration with growing amusement until she left the table to get her own meal.

Satisfied that Viannysa would let the matter be, Vilard finished his lunch and went to finish Grandmother Willa's rocking chair. His mother, bless her soul, was getting older in years and rarely left their cottage. She was still sharp in eye and mind, but her body rarely let her go farther than the front gate so she sat and wove on her loom for as long as she could manage.

Seeing her father had escaped out the door, Viannysa sat down in a huff, her curiosity burning. Her thoughts were a jumbled mess and she couldn’t make sense of them. Her father was rarely bothered by anything, but the look on Vilard's face when he had come home troubled her as much as his thoughts troubled him. He'd had such an expression of loss and guilt that she was sure something was terribly wrong. That he refused to talk about it only made her wonder more. What had happened to make him drift off without telling her about it? More importantly, where had he been all morning?
Last edited by wingsofsilver on Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Fri May 31, 2013 2:03 pm

Bump.
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby ☾αρтαιи w e ѕ т » Fri May 31, 2013 7:10 pm

Good work! I like this a lot! c:
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby Dragongirl00100 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:38 am

Its good so far!
Hello, I'm Dragongirl00100, but you can call me Dragon or DG.
Here's a little bit about me:
I love to draw and write.
I love animals.
I am currently in college, so sometimes I can get busy.
I love horseback riding (probably the only sport i like tbh)
I love reading (My favorite genres are: fantasy, adventure, fiction and the like, though I also like some romance, sci-fi, and non-fiction. I read a lot of fanfiction too.)
I also like movies and anime. (Typically the same genres as the books I like.)

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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:10 pm

Thanks! Hope to have Chap. 3 up real soon. :)
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:10 pm

Chapter 3

The dark curtain of night settled over the cottage and the shop was quiet. Cool air stirred the branches of the oak tree next to the cottage, the rustling leaves creating a soothing summer symphony. The crickets chirped their choruses, oblivious to the stars that shone above. The shop was lit up from the inside like a lantern, the glow spilling out onto the ground and attesting to the still unsettled mind of the carpenter’s daughter. It wasn't unusual for Vilard to work late into the night when his thoughts would not slow down enough for him to sleep.

Viannysa peered through the kitchen window at the flickering glow of warmth from the shop before closing the rippled glass to keep the night chill at bay. The stone oven helped to heat the loft above the kitchen where she and her father slept. Grandma Willa was too old to climb the ladder so she slept in the cottage’s only spare room.

Wiping her hands dry after cleaning the dishes, Vi headed back to the main room to push the logs back in the hearth so no embers would fall on the floor in the middle of the night. The afternoon had been uneventful after sharing lunch with her father. In an attempt to settle her nerves, she had gone to the garden out back to prune and weed before the sun went down. It needed a lot attention to keep the weeds from taking over. Her skirt smudged with dirt and grass stains, she set it aside to wash in the morning before changing into her shift and poking her head around the door of the spare room.

Grandma Willa sat in her old chair, her grey head bent over her work as a new project unfolded on her loom. She looked up at the appearance of Viannysa and smiled.

"Off to bed, dear?"

Vi nodded and stepped inside the room. "Is there anything I can get you, Grandma? A cup of warm milk?"

The old woman huffed and waved a hand at her granddaughter. "Don't you bother yourself with me. I'm fine. You get yourself to bed. Maybe we can cheer your father up tomorrow since it's his Naming Day."

Viannysa brightened considerably. Naming Days were one of her favorite celebrations.

"Oh! I had almost forgotten. I should set out the ingredients to make him that butter cake he loves so much."

Grandma Willa nodded in approval as her fingers guided the shuttle back and forth. Vi's butter cake was famous in their little town and many people came to ask her to make it for their own Naming Day, the day when babies received their name after surviving one year of life. Vilard would certainly look forward to it.

"I'll tell him when he comes in. Go get some sleep, child. Everything will be all right in the morning."

Giving her grandmother a kiss on the cheek, Vi headed went up to the loft with Grandma Willa chiding her all the way up the ladder. The old woman wasn't usually one for displays of affection in her old age.

Viannysa settled down on her soft pallet of hay covered with a warm sheet and blanket. She had always enjoyed the scent of fresh cut hay and its scent helped to send her off to the land of dreams.

~~~~~~~~~~

Vi found herself forcibly shaken a few hours later. Startled out of her sleep, she almost cried out, but a hand covered her mouth to stifle the scream. Eyes wide with fright and on the verge of panic, she looked up into the wrinkled face of Grandma Willa. A stern look told her to be quiet and Vi nodded her head to show she understood, but she couldn't help the questions that bubbled forth like a new spring from the ground.

Grandma Willa shook her head and in a voice so soft she could barely hear her, she spoke.

"Hush child. There's no time for questions. You have two minutes. Dress for travel; dress light. I'll be getting you some supplies. Don't dawdle now, get up!"

Viannysa didn't understand what was happening, but she didn't stop to question her grandmother. There had been something in the old woman's eyes, something that told her that all was not right.

As quietly as she could she reached for the old oak chest in the corner and pulled out a pair of breeches and a shirt. Over that she covered it with a vest and her hunting belt. Pulling on her worn, leather boots, Vi marveled at how fast Grandma Willa had scurried down the ladder. Even now she could hear muffled sounds coming from the kitchen below.

Following her downstairs, Viannysa paused in the kitchen doorway. She could see the flicker of bright, orange light pouring through the kitchen window from the shop. Frozen in place, one word flared to life.

Fire!

Deep male voices were yelling outside and shadows ran back and forth.

"Here, child. It's all I could grab in so little time." The hunched shadow of Grandma Willa stood before her. Vi felt a heavy piece of fabric being pulled around her shoulders. It was the cloak that Grandma Willa had made for her father. A pack was thrust into her hands and she clutched at it before being pushed back into the main room. A rough, guttural word emerged from the darkness, and Viannysa heard the sound of soft click, like a lock being opened.

Staring in disbelief, Vi gaped at the hole that had suddenly appeared in the floor. In all her seventeen years, she’d never known there was a trapdoor in the middle of her home.

"No time, no time," muttered Grandma Willa, pushing her toward the edge of the hole. "You must go, child. Men are here and the shop is already ablaze. I fear for your life. I must try to help your father. Go, follow the tunnel. It will lead you to a safe place. Go!"

With no time to protest Viannysa staggered down into the hole and fell what seemed to be several feet. The hidden door swung shut and disappeared. There wasn't even a crack for her to see into the cottage above. Heart pounding in her ears, she stared for a long time at the floor above her head before sense finally kicked in and she turned. Had her father gotten out of the shop in time? Who were the men and had they harmed her family? They must have been vandals for she could think of no other reason to destroy her family’s shop. Unless… it wasn’t the shop that was their target.

One moment she had been asleep and the next she was down a deep, dark passage that smelled of old earth and wood. Putting her hands out in front of her, Vi could feel wood lining the tunnel. She kept one hand on the siding and walked forward. There was nothing to block her path and the floor was flat and hard. Her boots made soft thuds on the ground and she wondered who had kept the tunnel in such good condition. She didn't even smell mold or wood rot. There were so many questions in her mind that she couldn't even focus on one long enough to get some kind of sense of what was happening.

When the tunnel kept going, Viannysa began to feel desperate. While she could still feel the wall, she couldn't see anything. The thought of a fire was quickly squashed. There were no torches for her to use and it only brought her mind back to what her grandmother had said. Her father's shop was on fire. Men were there. She couldn't imagine a group of thieves trying to make off with the four hundred pound table her father had been carving for the mayor.

Vi expected to reach some kind of door or a metal ring in which she could pull open. Instead the tunnel went on. How long had she been walking? A mile, two? Surely it wasn't endless. Viannysa chided herself for being silly. Grandma Willa had told her it would take her to a safe place. Squashing her rising sense of panic, she continued to look for a way out.
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Re: The Chronicles of Sathraea (Comments and Critique Welcom

Postby wingsofsilver » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:17 pm

Revised and edited all chapters. Chapter 4 coming soon. :)
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