The horses pulled the heavy carriage along the Ice Passage. Davos was optimistic that his horses would be able to heave the carriage through the mountains, although a heavy blizzard had made the passage almost impassible. Not to mention the travelling north was harder than going south, something the Plysters hadn’t realised when they made their way down to Praevalidus. As a safety measure, Made Blythe suggested placing bells on the lead, rear, and mid horses to ensure the cavalcade stayed together. A party of a hundred travelling through the Dythe Mountains was dangerous enough, but a cavalcade of more than two-hundred was near suicide. The jangles of the horse bells bounced off the granite mountain faces, only to be absorbed by the thick fog mixed snow that had descended onto them.
The day didn’t feel the same to Isaac. A lot of things had happened over the past two weeks, but today, he felt empty, like part of his soul had been lost. In some respects, it had. Praevalidus, the great Legion Fermata, rulers of the Southern Regions, were now obliged to serve the Plysters under the new monarchy that would be initiated within the next half a year. It had been a roller coaster for him. The weeks and months leading up to him signing the treaty with the quill that had been passed down to him by his father had been a constant battle against stress and inadequate planning. But the endeavour had paid off somewhat, with the Plysters gaining very little from the treaty they had signed with the Fermatas, and the latter keeping what they believed was the most important thing to fight for during the deliberations, their sovereignty.
Only time will tell whether the treaty will bind Pravum together.
Rae-lyn grabbed the reigns tight and kicked the horse with his heel, prompting it to ride fast. It did as she commanded, and galloped, sprinting in an attempt to catch-up with Rugyard, not losing a single footing, its feet sticking to the ground firmly, getting faster and faster. She was riding down a small, slightly steepened slope, and wasn’t sure whether the stallion would be able to handle the gradient at this speed; her scepticism quickly proven wrong. The stallion threw itself down the slope, its breathing getting deeper, eyes fixated on the ground in-front, meticulously placing its hooves on the firmer bits of dirt and worn-down grass at such a speed, that it was difficult for Rae-lyn to comprehend what was happening. The amateur, yet highly experienced, hunter, sat-up from her saddle, keeping the reigns close and tight, kept her body low and close to the horse’s back, emulating Rugyard’s posture.
The two Guards kept the two, excited and amorous hunters, within eyesight, but not so close as to interrupt with their activities. They also didn’t want to gallop at the same speed into the Rhine woods, since they weren’t participating, but would intervene if needed.
The Rhine woods were a densely-populated area of tall trees, with a medium to high canopy, only allowing but little sunlight to touch the ground; it wasn’t dark however. The trees were tightly packed together, but not so much that it was impossible to gallop between the spaces of the trunks. Thin green leaves, hanging firmly to the branches, were in close proximity of one another, almost creating a blanket over the trees, concealing the ground from the wonders of that lay in the Magnanimous Moors. Some trees were aged, some were small saplings, that would soon be trodden on by the hooves of the four horses that had entered the thick wood. Copious undergrowth was intruding the space on the path Rae-lyn was following, littered with prickly bushes and spiny needles at the end of leaves; but this didn’t faze the determined hunter, she didn’t feel the contact between her leg and the ends of the leaves. All she felt was the blood rushing through her body, the adrenaline pumping inside as she dashed through the woods, her mind hungry for a clean and impressive kill.
So, I’m back in the flow of writing right now, and writing about a long journey from the Southern to the Central Reaches of Pravum, of course, there is a lot of description. But, I especially liked this one, for reasons I can’t explain, so, I’ll post it up here to see what everyone thinks! Enjoy!
Once the cavalcade had cleared the moors, they then entered the Lyntherian Forests. It took an entire day to clear the densely packed maze of oak, spruce and birch and pine trees, whose branches had become so entangled, it was almost a small replica of the Deep Woods in Integer. The forests, although scary, dark, and intimidating, offered comfort to those that respected nature and her beauty. Common people would look at the forests in two ways. One sending frightening and chilling vibes through one’s spine, the second, offering comfort and safety amongst the branches and leaves, mostly the great salix trees, that towered above all the others. Whose thin smooth, white branches hung from the top, and falling all the way to the ground, creating a circular wall around the trunk. The circular wall of branches made by the great salix is used by many animals for mating, and raising new-borns, particularly the dragons of the Southern Reaches. Quite often, the Guardian’s would find their dragons sleeping under the safety of the great salix, their massive bodies curled around the trunk. Within the centre, in the small space between the dragon and the trunk, would be the young, new-born dragons. Their eyelids protecting them from the sun’s intensity.
I’ve had these before, but today, it’s pretty bad. My head, for once, feels heavy and overused. How on earth did this happen? Well, it’s exam season, assignments have been finalised and submitted, I’ve been busy with cycling, and I’m at a scene where I have to really think about the story. I do anyway, but this is intricate, like the bottom of Jenga, f*ck up the bottom, and it all comes crashing down. Plus, there’s a lot of explaining to do and I want write about the scenery and stuff, but the cavalcade is in the middle of plains. So that’s a bit boring. Anyway, my head hurts and I’m stopping for the day. I only wrote four pages! This is slow progress!
It was the late afternoon, and preparations were well underway for the dinner celebrations. After Faizel had announced that his daughter would be his successor, he called for a momentous celebratory dinner in honour of the future queen of Integer. Maral, the petit, long ginger haired, blue eyed, girl was sitting quietly in her quarters looking out beyond the capital city to the large plains that seemed to be never ending. She had requested that she be left alone to consolidate on the events of today until she was ready for the maid to prepare her for dinner. By her right side was a small round wooden table, with a glossy coating, with a glass and a jug filled with her favourite wine on top. It was a gift from her mother after she had been named her father’s heir, and hadn’t been touched. Maral wasn’t crying, she didn’t know how she felt, she was neither happy nor upset about the decision, her mind was a void and she couldn’t quite compute what had happened in the Great Hall. Wearing her favourite dress, an embroidered purple and white dress that hung loosely over her legs, and tightly around her chest, leaving her arms and shoulders exposed. She looked over at the jug of wine and the glass next to, wondering about having a drink, her mouth dry, she didn’t feel particularly thirsty, or hungry, but reluctantly leant over and poured herself a large glass of red wine. Holding the bottom of the glass between her middle fingers in her right hand, she swished the wine about and took a big gulp. The taste softened her throat and calmed her nerves slightly. She continued to drink the wine until her throat was no longer dry. Feeling slightly better that she had drunk a couple of glasses of her favourite drink, she stood up from her chair and walked over to her armoire to look at her various outfits. Loose and tight fitting dresses along with her night-gown and horse riding outfit, so many, so pretty and elegant, and yet, she had still not found someone to admire her wearing them. She stroked the width of all her dresses when there was a knock on the door.
‘My lady, are you ready?’
Maral looked over and closed her armoire doors, ‘Yes, do come in Beth’
Maral’s maid walked in, closing the door behind as she did, ‘How are you feeling now my lady?’
Maral sat at the end of her bed, he hands clasped between her legs, ‘Better now thank you Beth’, she said, forcing herself to smile
‘I’m glad to hear it my lady. It’s always worrying when you’re not yourself’
‘I’m fine, I just needed some time alone to compose myself…I can’t quite believe father chose me to become his heir’
Beth gestured for Maral to stand up so she could be undressed and dressed in her dinner clothes, ‘You are a strong woman my lady, and he is proud of you and what you’ve achieved in your life’
Maral looked reflectively at her maid, ‘And what would those achievements be Beth?’
‘You have followed in the footsteps of your father, you have represented him when he is away from the city, you have proved yourself to be a strong woman’
Maral smiled at her maid, this time genuine, ‘Thank you Beth, you are ever so kind’. Maral always liked the company of her maid, even though it was her job to serve her, she always appreciated Beth’s kind and considerate words of support when she ever went through rough times.
Across the Faraday sea lie the eastern lands of Integer. The hotter, varied topographic and diverse lands hold many secrets in every community. Secrets not understood, and legends only told by the wisest of wise men. The lands were lush with rich harvests and vast green fields. Ruled mostly by the Ghadia’s, the isolated landscape is protected by the remaining three powerful families. The eastern region had seen many battles and wars over the centuries, some of them resulting in illustrious victory, some resulting in catastrophic defeat; there is no doubt that the eastern region is tainted by bloodshed and horror. It no longer resembles it’s past, now, Integer is a land full of hard working and committed people, ruled by powerful families and authorities.
The capital of the region, Integer city, was built centuries ago at a time of great slavery and greed. Located in the middle of the region, it’s towering central castle, and limestone buildings are a landmark for a safe haven, riches, and competition. Blocks of houses, tightly packed together within a small vicinity of one another, are inhabited by large and ever growing families. The streets of Integer are constructed from rough, uneven cobblestone, topped with a layer of forever present dust, which made living around the worker’s streets unbearable. Family sizes range from at least three, stretching to ten children, many of whom are tainted and plagued with deadly diseases. The worker’s street are dangerous places, countless numbers of pickpockets, aggression, beating, and sex workers, the poverty stricken part of town is swept away by the avaricious family Ghadia. The issue of the worker’s town is always ignored in council meetings, many state that trying to restore order and stability is a ‘lost cause’, in truth, the Ghadia’s want to spend their money accordingly, either on their army, or for themselves. The slave trade was abolished many years ago during the Guardian Age, until the Ghadia’s rebelled against them to regain independence. The corrupt house won the war and took back control of their lands, and in turn, took control of the people, the majority of which work as slaves to serve the monarchy.
Away from the slums and worker’s towns that riddle and rage within the city walls, lies the central castle and home of the Ghadia family. The castle is a combination of spiralling towers, with a large central column, where the most important occupants live. The castle itself is blocked from the rest of the city by its’ own walls, which stand high above the slum towns. Dotted around the wall are guard towers which ensure no imposter or conspirator enters the castle grounds. The only way into the unnerving castle is through the main, or side gates, protected by squads of highly disciplined soldiers, whose loyalty to the house are so high, they swear themselves to silence for the rest of their lives. Of course this regulation is impossible to enforce day-in, day-out, the authoritarians cannot constantly watch the soldiers whilst fulfilling their own duties. The soldiers are kept in check by their own peers, they sleep together, they eat together, and they guard together, becoming a soldier for the Ghadia’s, turns a free man a slave.
So yesterday I made a small post about why I hadn’t done much writing recently, and at the end, briefly mentioned that I am halfway through writing this book.
Thinking about it last night, I didn’t emphasise how important this was, and was only made aware when I told my editor and my friends about it. So this is a special post to say thank you to all my followers, visitors, and viewers for all your support! I hope in the coming year that I’ll further build up my fan base as the book progresses, and the content I post captivates yourselves as much as your favourite book (maybe a bit too ambitious)!
To finish off with, I’ll quickly update you about where I am with ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’. We’ve finished with the events taking place in Pravum (the main plot for the series) and are now heading to Integer for an event of mourning and sorrow for a character that died fairly early on (I won’t say who). The story surrounding Integer won’t be as intricate and meticulous as the plot in Pravum, but will still be desire and supremacy orientated, with people fighting for power.
Keep tabs on things!
‘Stay cool, hot one out there today!’ – Parks and Recreation, Season 5
So it has been a while since I wrote something about the book, which is what this blog is all about. But, again, I have been busy with both cycling and Uni work, however, last night was different, last night I got things going, starting to wind things up now! I have finished the negotiations chapter, and the chapter after, describing what the other people were doing briefly during the treaty signings, now, Palt and Scott have become ‘temp investigators’ trying to decipher one of the militias at Dalimaey, using the information Scott acquired from Nathanial. Everything fitted into place, like an intense game of tetris. Loose ends now have meaning, and the setup for the rest of the book, and the books to come are now in place, it’s just a case of executing it well enough to keep you interested.
The Plysters and Fermata leaders have now left Praevalidus, to travel to Mentior for the coronation…which I’m really looking forward to writing. However, this won’t happen until summer, at the earliest! But fingers crossed!
And another thing, I am now, officially (according to mine storyboard) halfway through the book! 😀