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(WIP Title)- Prologue pt.1

by ThePatchworkPilgrims


Prologue

The sun was low as three men and a woman hurried across the small plain to an abandoned store. Around them, the sound of distant thunder was mingled with the distinctive sounds of fighting and battle, close, yet for the moment not engulfing the plain.

The building they were moving to was on the corner of two streets leading into the plain, one of which was obstructed with fallen debris from the surrounding structures. Although hard to distinguish in the quickly fading light, the wooden façade of the store seemed to be painted in varying shades of green, and had burn marks on the side facing the blocked street.

Making their way passed the door and setting it back into its frame to appear closed, the four entered the front room of the store, which was otherwise unlit save for the two windows facing out onto either street. The woman, who was carrying a seemingly ordinary pine box, sat down on one of the few pieces of furniture still standing upright.

‘Do you think they noticed us slip out?’ one of the men asked as he shifted an upended table aside to peer through one of the windows, adjusting his monocle as he did so. His question was followed by another roll of thunder, closer this time.

‘They didn’t. I made sure our escape was masked,’ a low-voiced man replied, ‘but we should still make sure we’re not outside when night falls. Especially not while we’re so close to the fighting.’

A sudden gust of wind made the structure creak dangerously, yet remarkably it remained secure. As the wind died down, the light outside had seemed to grow faint and darker, and sombre clouds could be seen developing in the direction of the thunder.

‘We can’t stay here though,’ the third man said, drawing his purple coat across his chest as he searched for something to use as a light source, ‘there’s no telling when these support beams will give way. Why don’t you help look for a light or something?’

‘You won’t find anything in this mess,’ said the Monocle man, turning from the window to look back into the room they were occupying. In the now dimmer light of the room, he could make out the silhouettes of his three companions, the table beside him, and a staircase against the far wall of the room.

‘Might as well go ahead and do this,’ he continued, ‘Phainei.’ As he said the last, the stone in the head of the staff he carried started glowing, producing a blueish light to illuminate the room they were in.

‘Have you lost your mind, you fool?’ the woman said angrily as she looked up from the box she was holding in her lap. ‘Do you want to get us caught?’

‘It’s a simple lighting spell, no one will notice us while we’re so close to the battle.’

‘And don’t you think that they might have placed tracing spell or something on this box or one of us?’ the woman retorted, ‘Your ‘simple lighting spell’ will amplify their ability to find us, once they realise we’re gone.’

‘If they haven’t already.’ Low-Voice remarked, opening a fallen over display cabinet to only to reveal a small spider working on its web.

‘My concealment spell was better than any of the ideas you came up with, which, by the way, were none at all.’ Monocle man said, annoyed.

‘Hey, I know we are all tense, but let’s not start fighting one another when we’re still not safe.’ Purple-Coat said. ‘Anyway, I’ve found this lantern and some oil, thanks to the light of your spell, but now we really should refrain from using any magic, basic or not, unless absolutely necessary.’ He looked at each of the other three as he lit the lantern.

After a few seconds of only the wind, thunder and battle sounds filling the room, Monocle man spoke again. ‘You’re probably right. No need to get all worked up about a lighting spell when there’s so much at stake. Zophos.’ Saying the cancellation spell, the stone in his staff ceased glowing, leaving only the lantern’s light to dance on the mostly wooden walls of the store. Various display shelves and cabinets lined the walls, all devoid of everything but dust, splinters of glass and other rubble.

‘Seems like the fighting has been in here too,’ remarked Low-Voice, pointing at various charred spots in the room.

Outside, the clouds had completely overwhelmed the sky, and rain had started falling, the patter of the drops dampening the sounds of fighting to a mere persistent din now.

‘Come, let’s see if there isn’t a back exit or something to this place so we can get a move on.’ Purple-Coat said, turning to move towards an arch beside the staircase, leading to the backroom of the store.

This backroom was cluttered with broken flasks and fallen over shelves, dark stains of dried up pools on the floor where some of these flasks had fallen. Although faint, the distinctive scent of Elf’s Tear could still be smelled in the former potion room.

‘Must’ve been quite a successful establishment before the war,’ Low-Voice remarked as they proceeded through the room, stepping tentatively over the glass shards, ‘I see several flasks that used to contain Moon Candle nectar. Probably stolen by looters or emptied by the owner. At the current prices that’s quite a penny.’

‘Focus please,’ said the woman, still carrying the box, ‘none of this talk of market prices will matter if we’re caught because you lot aren’t concentrating.’

As they reached the back of the potion room, they were met with two doors. ‘One no doubt leading to the brewer’s station, the other outside to either a greenery or a small garden,’ said Low-Voice. ‘Judging by the direction from the plain we moved, I’d say the door in front of us leads outside.’

However, much to the four’s chagrin, the door leading forward refused to open. After trying to use the unlocking and opening spells and failing both times, the four decided to see where the other door, to their left, led.

Behind the left door they found the brewer’s station. The stone walls of the room were covered in soot and moss, and had several lantern hooks and a broken roof lamp. Most of the potionry equipment was gone, but the room seemed otherwise untouched by looters or battle.

‘Now what?’ Monocle man asked, scanning the walls for any signs of a hidden door or passage, as could be afforded by several wealthier store owners.

‘We’ll just have to either go back out the way we came in or break down that other door,’ Low-Voice said, starting to make for the door leading back into the potion room.

Just then, several voices caused the four to freeze. Purple-Coat quickly snubbed the lantern, lining himself against the stone wall of the brewer’s station, readying his wand as he did.

‘Are you sure the trace led us here?’ a raspy voice could be heard from the main room.

‘Affirmative. I have never heard of a Dioco charm leading someone astray.’ A woman replied to the raspy voice. ‘I am just unsure of where they went from here.’

‘Why? Didn’t you just say…’

‘Yes, I did. But I knew the potion master to whom this store belonged. Being the paranoid elf that she was she always placed anti-tracing charms on her belongings, which in turn is now causing inference. Meaning I could trace those bastards entering, but not where they’ve gone from here while I’m inside.”

‘So what now?’ another voice, high-pitched and posh-sounding, asked.

‘You four search the building while I try and break this anti-tracing ward. It will probably take a few minutes, but seeing as I didn’t pick up that they left before we entered, they ought to still be inside.’

Purple-Coat felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see the outline of Low-Voice man standing beside him. ‘We need to break through that other door,” he whispered, “it’s our only way of ensuring our work was not in vain.’

Still echoing from the main room, the four could hear the raspy voice person giving out orders to the others. ‘You two go upstairs and clear whatever you can without bringing the building down on us. The count and I shall clear this room of any hidden doors and then proceed to the back.’

‘Let’s move.’ Low-voice said, making his way passed the third man and gesturing for the other three to follow. Quickly reaching the obstructed door, Low-voice man turned to face the other three and hurriedly formulated a plan.

‘When I blast open this door,’ he said, pointing his staff at the door, ‘you three run like there’s a chimera behind you, while I hold them off as long as I can.’

‘I’ll stay with you,’ Monocle man said, ‘we all came on this mission with the purpose of retrieving what’s in that box, no matter the cost.’

‘Very well then.’ Low-voice sighed, before turning to Purple-Coat, ‘But you must go with her and protect that box. Now, stand aside.’ Glancing back at the arch leading to the main room one last time before aiming his staff at the blocked door. ‘Laketai.'


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Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:00 pm
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Vil wrote a review...



Hey there, @ThePatchworkPilgrims! I'm here for a quick review because I thought I had already reviewed this!

I feel like this is a well-written work, although your language and imagery feel a bit weaker at the beginning. For example, you wrote "[the building] had burn marks on the side facing the blocked street." I think that if you sprinkled a few metaphors and/or similes into your descriptions, it would really spruce up you writing! :wink:

‘I’ll stay with you,’ Monocle man said, ‘we all came on this mission with the purpose of retrieving what’s in that box, no matter the cost.’

You either need to place a period after said and capitalize "we" OR use a transitional word/phrase. "Because" would work best here, but it would sound a bit awkward, so I would recommend going with the former.

There are a couple more errors like that, but I think you'd be able to see them with a quick skim of the work :)

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




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Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:30 am
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Stormblessed242 wrote a review...



Hello, Stormblessed here!
Great prologue! I can't wait for the next part. Rosewood and Waterspout pretty much covered my opinion on storytelling, so I'll just point out the grammatical errors, which are few.

First of all, when characters are speaking, their dialogue should be put in quotation marks, not apostrophes.

yet for the moment not engulfing the plain.

You use the word "plain" a few times. Try other description words like "the green" or "plaza," maybe.

Making their way passed the door

"Passed" should be "past" here.

Any other awkward parts are will just iron themselves out as you become more practiced at writing.
Anyway, good job, and I can't wait for the next part!

Hope this helped!
Stormblessed242
Image






Hey Stormblessed, thank you for your review :)

With regards to the apostrophe/quotation marks, we wrote dialogue more as a stylistic reason than anything else (essentially, we noted that several fantasy authors, most notably Tolkien, use apostrophes, especially when they (will) have characters recounting things other individuals have said, which we do. It's an easy thing to change though, so we might switch back to quotations as we go on writing.

Thank you for pointing out the repetition of words like plain, and the mistake with passed/past (our constant working with classical languages made us miss Making as a verb there) We'll rectify that in our personal draft :)

But, all that being said, thank you for your review :D





Your welcome, and great job!



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Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:27 am
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WaterSpout wrote a review...



Hello ThePatchworkPilgrims! I saw you put 'high-fantasy' in the description and decided I will go check it out. One thing I will say is you surprised me with a lot of things. I like your storytelling, which might not always be refined at its best - no offense, really, but it does still keep me engrossed in your story. The characters are done well, the plot I still don't understand with this prologue. To me, I think that's what the prologue is partly for. It establishes the characters, maybe not all of them, but at least the main one, which this does do. The prologue is also supposed to introduce the problem, summarize it, or even at the very least hint to it. If you disagree with me, I have no problem with that. I kinda can't even back it up, it's really what I've grown to expect. Of course, you can use prologues for different purposes other than introducing the characters or even the plot. I think the prologue is to give more background information to the story. And this works more like a chapter in the middle of the story.
Okay, I probably already started my review. My plan was to mention the grammar and move forward from there, but I guess my brain decided otherwise.

About the grammar, I will mention you did a great job. I noticed fewer errors than most stories I read. I will also say you made a couple of mistakes with commas, but everyone does. Good job!

About the spells, did you make up the words? Is it a combination of different languages? I tried using Google Translate(I know) and found no results. And if you did make it up, I envy you. I always tried to at least make up one word, but oh well.

I hope you find this useful and in no way offensive. I tried to do my best to actually providing a useful review. As always, happy writing!
With caution,

WaterSpout






Hey WaterSprout, thank you for your review :)

We really don't take offence easily, so no need to apologise for any critique ;-)

We agree with you that a prologue can be used for many purposes. The main purpose we're using the prologue for is to give more background to part of the main plot (What's in the box, and most importantly, Where is the box) We wanted to show that, though this box may look ordinary and normal, people are willing to die/kill for it, which wouldn't be quite set quite the same if the box was suddenly introduced in the main chapters.
We also try to use this prologue (especially part 2) to "set the scene/tone" for the story. It shows that magic is part of this world and takes many forms, and, in part 2, introduces one of the bigger lore/plot points of the entire world (The idea that magic itself can also cease to exist)

Regarding the spells, they're a combination of transliterated classical Greek (we studied ancient languages at uni) and a language we started designing in high school already (so about seven-eight years ago), so it's not a surprise you couldn't find them :D We'll add a short appendix to future chapters to explain the spells ;-)

Anyway, thank you for your review :)



WaterSpout says...


Ohh ok, that makes sense. Wait, you started designing a language in high school?! That's awesome!
And no problem :D I really enjoyed reading this.



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Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:17 pm
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Rosewood wrote a review...



Nice beginning! I really like fantasy, and this held me fast with the believable dialogue, interesting plot, (so far), and the well-written details.

‘You won’t find anything in this mess,’ said the Monocle man, turning from the window to look back into the room they were occupying.


‘Hey, I know we are all tense, but let’s not start fighting one another when we’re still not safe.’ Purple-Coat said.


‘Seems like the fighting has been in here too,’ remarked Low-Voice, pointing at various charred spots in the room.


I see that you've done this with multiple of your character, so it was intentional, but I don't think you have to capitalize the 'M' in monocle, 'P' and 'C' in purple-coat, or 'L' and 'V' in Low-Voice. (Just my opinion, and I can see why it'd help differentiate the characters a bit!)

The only other thing I'm worried about is that use use the words 'fighting' and 'battle' repeatedly on multiple occasions. It felt a little too forced and I started getting distracted from the actual story.

Other than that, I loved this! It was well-written, and the language for that that time period felt point on. I'm interested in finding out why they're on the run from the battle and what's going to happen next. I cant wait for part two of the prologue and tag me when you post it!






Thank you for the review Rosewood :D
We capitalized them more for ourselves so we could remember their defining features, especially since some of them do become prominent in later parts of the novel (and we didn't wish to include names in the Prologue)

We thank you for your insight with the repetition of the words fighting/battle. We often become so focused on the story, that we forget it's actually being written and not represented in a visual medium (basically, we want to point that hey, this war has been going on for a while, and is still an ever-present threat)
If we were to interchange some of the repetitive words, or show the "scars of war" using other means, this might hopefully be resolved.

Anyway, thank you again for your review, and we have added you to our list of people to tag when we post part 2 (probably by latest on Friday ;-) )
~J&O



Rosewood says...


I see, thank you for clarifying!




Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
— Joseph Campbell