Prologue

Oh god, I’m trying my hand at writing again. What has gotten into me. This is only the prologue, which doesn’t have any of the actual characters in it, ’cause prologues can be crazy like that. I already have the first chapter too, but I need to streamline that a bit more before I post it. It takes place in Alara, because I’m a whore and enjoy literary masturbation. Comments are mandatory. Don’t comment and I will ball you. That’s where I take off your balls. I’ll figure it out for the females among you.

Prologue

Rain. Cold, depressing rain, pouring down through the blackness of night like the anger of the heavens. Thrashing everything it touches, driving even the hardiest to find shelter. All across the Civilized Lands, it rains.

And far offshore, deep in the morass of the Cloudsea, a ship. The storm is worse here; gusts of wind whirl unpredictably, making it practically impossible to sail. The black clouds above descend to the horizon to merge with the equally colorless clouds below; the ship appearing to float on a backdrop of midnight. Solitary and unseen by any observers, the ship is tossed like a toy by the powerful winds, a plaything in the hands of the gods.

On board, figures scurry busily about. They cannot be seen clearly, as in the gloom, they are only silhouettes subject to the occasional flash of lightning. None of the figures is exactly the same, some tall, some uncannily short, and some with horns. All run frantically, shouting commands to each other and desperately attempting to save their ship from the damnation offered by a plunge into the Cloudsea.

In the center of the bustle, somehow commanding all attention without being unique in any way compared to the myriad around them, are three figures. They struggle with a series of ropes, trying to confound the storm.

“By all that is holy, brother, how can you find this relaxing?” shouts the figure on the left, a woman. The center figure, a good two heads higher than his two companions, and obviously the only one truly comfortable with the current predicament, merely goes stoically about his work. “I maintain that we should have met on my terms…” grunts the same figure again.

The figure on the right lets out a short bark of laughter, all the breath he is willing to expend. “Sister, how is a smoke-filled room full of mysteries and secrets any better than a piece of wood teetering on the brink of destruction?” he shouts.

“I can think of a few ways!” replies the woman. The two fall silent for several moments, concentrating on the task at hand. The storm continues unceasingly, and the sailors match its fury blow for blow.

After several minutes of toil, the woman speaks again. “I suppose we should get to business, then,” she shouts over the roar of the storm.

“The sooner we start, the sooner we finish,” replies the man.

“To the point, then: we all know what is coming. The only thing we don’t know is how many of the others know.”

“I think you can be assured our brother will discover soon enough.”

“Of course. All we can do is try to delay that discovery as long as possible.

The center figure, silent and looming, now speaks for the first time. “We can do more than that.” The other two turn to him, questioning glances implied, if not seen in the gloom.

“What have you in mind?

“Yes, what, brother?”

The massive figure straightens, taking pause from his work. “We could swear not to interfere,” he says.

The other two explode immediately. “Preposterous!” shouts one, the woman. “We should have a hand in this, the same as any of the others!”

“Such oaths are not to be taken lightly, brother!” shouts the man.

“It begins on your turf! Would you be a hypocrite?”

“Are we to be helpless in this?”

The center figure raises his hands in a gesture of pacification. “Siblings, hear my reasons! What is to come will come. The presence of our hands will only attract the attention of the others. Far better to leave our influence to be spent towards the end, and allow the beginning to unfold unobstructed!”

The others, now also having ceased in their work, stand in stony silence, contemplating their brother’s words. The figure on the right, the man, is the first to acquiesce. “Brother, you are wise, though how you come by it is a mystery to me. I swear, by my siblings and my children, not to interfere in the events to come.”

The woman folds her arms, glaring bitterly at her two brothers. Finally, she agrees. “As do I,” she says softly. The three stand together a moment longer, silent in their thoughts.

An outside influence breaks the mutual reverie, coming in the form of one of the sailors. “Captain!” shouts the horned figure gruffly, “The storm worsens! What are your orders?”

The figure in the center appears to grin, though his face is invisible in the black rain. “Back to work, my brethren!” he shouts in glee, and takes up a rope.

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3 Comments

  1. May 12, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    “The storm is worse here[,] gusts of wind whirl unpredictably, making it practically impossible to sail.”

    COMMA SPLICE

    Good, though. Now I want to read more.

  2. tuskedchimp said,

    May 12, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    it’s a semicolon now because i hold an unconditional and slightly creepy love for semicolons

  3. esty said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    “Finally, she agrees.” Rather than ‘agrees’, which with the agreement is redundant, I’d say something along the lines of ‘softens’.

    whoarethey


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