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The Legend of He Who Endured: Prologue

by StupidSoup


Sythril stepped onto the rocky overhang just as the moon floated above The Mountains of Teslanar. Maybe he had overestimated himself, after all, killing a king was no small matter, especially when this particular king happened to preside over the most powerful empire the world had ever seen. 

Shaking his head to clear his doubt, Sythril jumped down the overhang and easily landed the forty foot drop, well inside the king's property. He smirked. The king's defenses were more than enough to keep out normal men but since when had Sythril been normal? Silently, he crept through the lord's outer courtyard keeping well out of the the torch lights the sentries carried as they did their nightly rounds. 

Prowling through the shadows Sythril reached the first of the four towers circling the inner wall. Gathering his strength he leaped twenty feet in the air and managed to grab the lip of the first level window. Heaving himself onto the sill Sythril balanced on the balls of his feet. Taking a deep breath he reached outwards with his mind and found the sphere of energy hidden within his thoughts. Carefully, he entered the sphere and accessed his weapon, one well known across Tol' Solie, from within his cerebral arsenal he withdrew The Cardinal's Shield.

The familiar tingle of energy ran through his arm as the fabled shield formed in his hand. Few people had the power he possessed. Those who did were called magicians, ruler's of the arcane. For a time they were tolerated in the cities of Tol' Solie but ordinary men and women began to fear them and their powers. Soon, riots broke out in the street. The people grew more afraid of magic, they knew how to kill with a sword or a spear in honest combat but when they saw magicians taking down legions of men with naught but a few words, then even the boldest of men would drop his weapon and run. Thus, magicians were banned from the cities of Tol' Solie. Doomed to roam the barren chasms between cities. This was where Sythril had grown to manhood and perfected his forbidden practice.  

Grasping the jet black leather handle Sythril put one of the spikes on the shield to the glass and soundlessly cut a hole through the window. 

Slipping through the hole he landed in the well lit halls of the king's servant's quarters. The lustrous quartz walls almost blinded him as they reflected the light from the bronze lantern hanging at intervals along the hall. Silently, he padded  his way down the velvet carpet which adorned the floor and through the hallway until he found the door leading to the servant's lounge. Smiling Sythril strode through the portal and was met by the surprised stares of a dozen servants, all wearing their traditional black and white aprons. Sythril eyed their clothes, taking a mental note of them, they would be important for the second part of his plan. 

With a single bound he closed the distance between him and the servants. Holding his shield to his side he swung in a wide arc cutting through the necks of the first four servants. Taking another bound Sythril turned his elbow and struck the next servant in the cheek with savage strength sending him crashing into the wall ten feet away. Following through with his blow he turned and decapitated three more servants as they desperately scrambled backwards. 

By this time most of the other men had drawn the daggers hidden within their clothes and, with a desperate cry, charged their attacker. Parting his lips in a vicious grin Sythril leaped into their midst and bisected his first few attackers with inhuman speed. Raising his shield, he blocked a knife as it raced to fulfill it's deadly purpose and returned the favor with a quick blow to the throat. Dodging another dagger, Sythril ducked behind his assailant and slung his arm around his neck, turning him to block the last three men who lunged forwards in a futile attempt to gut him. Their knives slipped into their comrade's chest, instantly killing the man. Throwing aside his meat-shield, Sythril quickly minced his few remaining enemies as they stared in horror at what they had just accomplished.

Finally, the room was empty, devoid of life. Sythril stood in the midst of the carnage. He began undressing, slipping out of his jet black tunic and tossing it aside he donned the white apron of the servants casting it over his angular head. His slit like eyes held a sense of malicious purpose. Sythril had not taken this job on his one volition. No, someone powerful enough to remain anonymous, even from him, had put him up to it for a certain something Sythril had been searching for for the last twenty three years. This certain something held the power to make him the most powerful warrior in the history of Tol' Solie. Once he had this...particular object he would be able to bring order to the world. He could bring peace, prosperity, perhaps the longest golden age Tol' Solie had ever known. Sythril had never known peace. He wanted no one to go through what he had experienced. That was why he must do this one thing, this one act of violence so unimaginably powerful that it would tear the nation into pieces. Slowly Sythril slipped out of the room leaving nothing but death behind him.

Closing the door softly he turned and again delved into the sphere of energy within his thoughts. Drawing upon his inner magical aspect he spread his hands out to his sides and cried, "Shadar Xythil!"

The hallway suddenly darkened as the words of power took affect.  Sythril's shadow seemed to grow until it covered the entire hallway. Slowly, the wall of darkness churned and weaved itself into a mass of human shaped figures that steadily gained definition until a line of two dozen clones stood beside him. Reaching into his network of shadows, Sythril gave them the characteristics of the king's servants, what each of resembled, their likes and dislikes, even recent memories. Withdrawing, Sythril sent his servants to the main hall were they would be needed and, once they had dispersed, set off towards the castle barracks. 

The trek from the servants room to the barracks was easy yet tedious. Many times he had to duck into an empty room to avoid being detected or silently murder the people who were quick enough to catch a glimpse of him. Finally, a tense and aggravated Sythril threw aside the most recent body who had detected him. Grumbling to himself, he halted outside the door. Did he have to go in there and kill all the guards? No! No more killing, there had to be a better way. Fumbling around in the language of power he finally muttered, "Uerthe"

A film of magic slowly encircled his body until it was if he was looking through a blurred window. On the outside of this bubble, Sythril knew he looked like the captain of the guard, a tall, muscular man with a block like face and only one arm. Grimacing, Sythril stepped inside the guard house and feverishly prayed for the real captain to not be there. To his surprise, and immense relief, he was not. The men who were immediately jumped to their feet and saluted. He stepped in, surveying the guards then growled with a commanding tone, "I have news that there has been a security breach in the outer wall. We need to double up on the perimeter and make sure no one goes in or out till i say so. Think you swine can handle it?"

Sythril was greeted by a loud "SIR YES SIR" from the men in the barracks as they quickly filed out into the night. Sighing, Sythril released the spell surrounding him and allowed himself a pleased grin. His diversion wouldn't last long but it would be enough to keep security out of his hair until he murdered the king. Sprinting back to the grand ballroom took only a matter of minutes this time for there seemed to be no one in the halls. As he neared the ballroom, Sythril heard the sounds of laughter and music, the signs of the king's anniversary party. A perfect time to plan an assassination, when all the lords from across the empire whether friend or foe were invited and all placed into one room. No one would possibly suspect an outsider when all the king's enemies were in the same place.

Striding down the side stairwell, Sythril entered the grand hall. The noise hit him like a physical blow, paralyzing him as his mind took in the cacophony of sounds surrounding him. Forcing himself to think, he took in his surroundings. He was standing in an enormous chamber shaped like a huge square. The walls were of marble and lavishly decorated with bright red banners bearing the royal crest . Sidled around the side of the party, Sythril caught site of a hallway to the far left of him. 

Making a note of this as well, Sythril delved once again into the sphere of energy hidden 'neath the folds of his thoughts. Casting around, he found his trusty bow and summoned it to his hand. The next few seconds were a blur. Somewhere to his left, Sythril heard a man shout, "waiter!" Without turning, Sythril had shot him between the eyes. The crowd of people gasped and cried out as the man slumped to the floor but Sythril payed them no mind. He fitted and loosed an arrow at the king himself who sat on a mock throne encircled by a half moon table of his most prominent guests. The king shouted, "Rehvindr!" and Sythril's eyes widened as the word of power took affect and sent him and the arrow spinning backwards.

Sythril growled as he pushed himself out of the rubble of a destroyed table. He had not counted on the king being a magician, especially one strong enough to destroy his wards along with pushing him back. Casting his thoughts towards his shadows who were in the room this very moment, cowering behind tables like the body they impersonated would have, Sythril erased their identities and replaced them with his own. He watched as the shadows abruptly stood and walked to his side. Grinning, He launched himself towards the king, sending his shadows off to kill every other person of prominence in the room. His mysterious benefactor had ordered him to assassinate every other lord and lady as well as the king. Hating himself for it, he had excepted the condition and convinced himself it was for the greater good. 

Drawing another arrow, he loosed it in the kings direction and was startled by the king's show of swordsmanship as he deftly flicked the bolt aside. Allowing the bow to disintegrate in his hand Sythril once again summoned his shield. It's spiked triangular form appeared in is hand and he quickly slashed at the high king's chest. Parrying, the lord struck back, forcing Sythril to avoid the deadly blade.

In this manner the two warriors fought, exchanging brutal blows as chaos reigned around them. Suddenly, Sythril flinched as one of his cerebral connections was severed. Realizing one of his shadows had just died. he shouted, "Favindr!" sending the king crashing down the marble hall. Sagging slightly, He turned and surveyed the battle now raging across the grand hall. The guards, having heard the commotion, had returned to fight Sythril's shadow's. Turning back to the king, he saw the tails of his cape slip around the corner and out of sight. Snarling, he lunged forwards and turned were he promptly stopped and stared dumbstruck as the the king drew an Arch-blade from his mind. 

The Arch-blades were one of the rarest, most powerful swords ever created.They were crafted by the ancients and utilized one of the four elements found on Tol' Solie. In this case, the king's sword held a steely gray aura matching the description of ice. Slowly waltzing forwards, The king waved the huge blade in front of him. Suddenly, he struck the ground, sending a burst of icy spikes towards Sythril, intending to impale him. Nimbly stepping aside, he leaped forwards but was again driven back as the Arch-blade sped towards his throat.

Sythril, did not attack again. Instead, he and the king stood circling each other like rival cats, both seeking the best way to kill the other. Slowly, the sky brightened above as dawn broke the chaos of night. The rays of weak light filtered through the skylight over looking the two warriors and illuminating the glorious marble walls. Sythril's breathing slowed and his muscles, previously tense, now relaxed. This was the way he had won every one of his battles, by examining his options. He knew the Arch-blade was to long for him to get within striking range, he also knew that the Arch-blade was stronger than his shield, he would be hard pressed to over power it. That left Sythril with one option. Speed. 

Moving faster than the eye could see, Sythril feinted left then spun right and raced forwards. The slate gray edge of the Arch-blade followed him as he sprinted towards the king's side. At the last moment, Sythril jumped sideways and watched as a line of deadly spikes raced by him, a hairs breadth away from slicing him in two. Leaping upwards, Sythril cleared the wall of ice separating him from his prey and with a roar, drove his shield downwards. As he anticipated, The Arch-blade was to big to move at a quick pace. The heavy stroke the king had dealt had left him unbalanced and with his guard down. Looking upon his victim, Sythril saw the king's face pale as he looked up. That was the last thing the king ever saw before his life ended. Extinguished by an assassin wearing an apron. 

Sythril came down on top of the king. His shield had sliced through the lord's skull. Bile rose in his throat and he looked away quickly. Sythril's remaining shadow's, having dispatched all the guards and nobles in the area had returned to their master. With a quick word he dismissed them and stood shaking as physical and magical fatigue took it's toll. For a while he stood there, then, with a sudden movement, grabbed the Arch-Blade by the hilt. And added it to his arsenal. Turning, he walked out of the hallway, through the gore splattered dance floor, and out the main entrance. And thus, a new age came to pass and the sun rose into the sky to reveal the night's chaos.

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158 Reviews

Points: 3874
Reviews: 158

Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:38 am
Corncob wrote a review...

Hello, 15253! Do you have a nickname? Here to review, as promised!
1) The king's defenses were more than enough to keep out normal men but since when had Sythril been normal?
Needs a comma; run-on sentence. Should be something like:
The king's defenses were more than enough to keep out normal men, but since when had Sythril been normal? (By the way, nice character name. I like it!)

2) Silently, he crept through the lord's outer courtyard keeping well out of the the torch lights the sentries carried as they did their nightly rounds.
More commas needed; this time between courtyard and keeping.

3) Okay, so there were a lot of points I saw that needed commas, and I'm not going to mention every example. Just proofread this carefully and find your inner Punctuation Nazi, my friend.

Slowly Sythril slipped out of the room leaving nothing but death behind him.
(needs a comma after slowly, by the way, and after room) Nice line you've got here. Presents a cool imagery.

Well, I read through this, and it's pretty good. All the nitpicks I have involve commas and other such, so I'm not going to mention all of those or this review would go on for a page. Just abide by the aforementioned advice, and all will be well again in Punctuation City.
The plot was very interesting. As methrirr123 said, some of the lines you had in here were pretty great. The way you described things combined with the exceptional words you used really provided excelling imagery and set the scene for your character and his actions.
I think the last line is a great ending line as well. However, since you have not written any other follow ups to this piece, I can't yet tell you if I think this would be better as a first chapter or is rightfully titled a prologue.
Keep writing, I honestly do not have much to say. That might be because I'm not exactly an expert at reviewing fantasy, but I tried ;).
Overall rating: 7/10
Keep writing, bro!

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54 Reviews

Points: 524
Reviews: 54

Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:55 am
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StupidSoup says...

Guys, I love love love the reviews but please, you gotta make it more specific. KatyaElephant You wanted me to split up the chapters. How so? How should i split them?

Please be a bit specific. I really appreciate it guys!

AdmiralKat says...

XD If only you put this as a reply to my post, then I would see this. Sorry I wasn't very specific. It's just some people already know what I mean and so when I explain it to them, they get really annoyed. You can split it up by making it into parts. I don't know why I didn't specify that. XD You could just split it in half(now for the prologue to be full, that's okay but for some chapters it may be too long)

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54 Reviews

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Reviews: 54

Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:38 am
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StupidSoup says...

And methrirr123? epic picture XD

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56 Reviews

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Reviews: 56

Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:57 pm
methrirr123 wrote a review...

Hello, 15253. I am Methrirr. And I do not frequently review novel chapters written by 13-year-olds.

So. To buisness.

First things first, I'm gonna quickly tear this thing appart. At first, it didn't seem any good as a prologue. I was under the impression that the character who's point of view I was given was the protagonist. You made him very over powered very early on, and that was my first clue that this was not the protagonist, or at least not the main protagonist. When you do that, you leave little to be learned. Every protagonist has to undergo a challenge that the reader can believe is impossible for the protagonist, to make it all the better when it is overcome.

Furthermore, your paragraphs are big and bulky. There are some lines that I would omit completely. So many, in fact, that if I listed them all, I'd be here forever.

Another thing that I found numerous was your grammatical errors. I forgive you, though, because you're thirteen. My brother is thirteen, and he writes stories. Your skill now far surpasses his, and even what mine was at thirteen. You, for your age, have a remarkable vocabulary.

And now, I'm gonna talk you up.

His shield had sliced through the lord's skull. Bile rose in his throat and he looked away quickly.

Thank you. Thank you so much for this line. I love this kind of stuff. If you like this, I strongly recommend a series called "Gotrek and Felix". It's full of this kind of stuff.

Also, I like some of your terms that you've invented. The whole Sphere thing you've got going, the world you've built, and the names you've invented, are all very creative. As a dungeon master with his own campaign setting, I know the difficulty of world building. It's tough. I respect any who even attempt to do so.

So, all in all, I'm giving you a 6/10. This was hard to consider anything of a prologue until I got to the end. Until about three quarters of the way through, it read like a first chapter. Also, there were a lot of spelling and grammar issues.

Keep writing until your fingers bleed, friend, you've got some creative stuff.

Methrirr, out.

Ps. If you write more chapters, I'll be there to read them.

15253 says...

Thanks! :D This is my first time writing a story book with a prologue and chapters so any specific things you want me to change? Also, I would like to hear some of the things you would omit, don't worry. i don't need all of them. Finally, your right, this isn't the protagonist, he is one of 3 or 4. If ther is anything you want to change about him i would like to hear it!

methrirr123 says...

I would have you change nothing. This is your novel. More work for me if I try and get you to change anything, so I'll just let you do you. And seriously, look up Gotrek and Felix, you'd love it.

15253 says...

ok :)

Corncob says...

@methrirr123 Bro, your avvie is HAWT lol

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240 Reviews

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Reviews: 240

Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:45 pm
AdmiralKat wrote a review...

Hello! KatyaElefant here for another review! Let's see what we have right here...

NITPICKS(You have a bunch of minor mistakes so I'll list them off right here):
"keeping well out of the the torch lights the sentries carried as they did their nightly rounds."
Remove the extra the.

"a knife as it raced to fulfill it's deadly purpose and returned the favor with a quick blow to the throat. "
It's should be its. You use it's when you want to extend it to it is.

"Sythril had been searching for for the last twenty three years"
Delete the repeated for.

"The hallway suddenly darkened as the words of power took affect."
Wouldn't it be effect and not affect?

I think that first of all, you need to split this up into two parts. People don't enjoy reading things this long on the website, most YWSers enjoy reading something that is short and then going onto the next part(if you notice, things in the spotlight are usually short). You need to improve a little bit more on your grammar and spelling. It's just minor mistakes and if you did this without any spell checker, this is pretty impressive. (If you want to double check your spelling, just copy and paste your work into a spell checker XD). I think that you need to improve your organization a bit. The paragraphs are quite large and some need to be split in half. Wouldn't you agree? That's all that I have caught so far that is wrong.

I think that your plot is really great. I have no idea what you are going to do with this but I think that this has a lot of potential. Prologues are great for what you did here. History is always hard to show in the present(when you are writing something) and you decided to use a prologue to show this. Your imagery is great, just like what I want to see in any story. I could see everything. *For I am the great Wizard of Oz, the all seeing* Overall, great job. I think that you could improve on somethings, but good job. Have a nice Review Week. Keep calm and keep writing!

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54 Reviews

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Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:06 pm
StupidSoup says...

Hey, I'd appreciate it if you left reviews. Thanks!

AdmiralKat says...

I'm going to make one right now. :D

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— Francis Bacon