In honor of my fantasy writing series, I’m going to share with you the bones of a fantasy story I’m writing that I’ve totally fallen in love with. It obviously needs SO much work, but it highlights so many things I love about fantasy.
This story progresses further by various writing prompts given in Author’s Tale, so the direction of the next section is never really known by me until I get a prompt that I can incorporate.
Prompt: He thought there was no such thing as true love until that moment their eyes met.
If you like this, share it. If you love it, suggest a prompt to continue the series. The more vague the prompt, the better.
*** True Love***
Kru’Nah felt the pull of the rope around his waist and followed the tension as they walked. The squall had blown up before they’d reached the outpost and now Kru’Nah was tied to guards in front and behind. He’d drawn his cloak around himself tightly and kept his head down to keep out the cold. He could no longer feel his feet nor his hands nor his face. He had no idea how long they’d been walking, but after what felt like ages, he was pulled through a doorway and into relative warmth.
Standing tall, he shook out his cape. His normally iridescent, peachy hands were completely white and barely moved, no matter how much he willed them.
“Build a fire!” barked Tra’Khil.
All around Kru’Nah, men scrambled, pulling together wood and tinder and firestarting materials. A set of hands pulled off Kru’Nah’s cloak.
“This way, sire,” said an unknown soldier. “We have fresh, warm clothes for you.”
Kru’Nah followed stiffly to a nearby, spacious room. The windows revealed the absolute white of the storm raging outside. The soldier opened a closet full of royal clothes and began pulling out clothing – from thin underlayers to thick outer layers. He laid them on a large wooden-framed bed in the order they should be put on.
As the soldier worked, Kru’Nah tried to get his stiff and frozen fingers to work so he could change from his clothes. Out of the corner of his eye, Kru’Nah saw the soldier open the door then turn to look at him.
“Sire,” said the soldier quietly. “I can help.”
Kru’Nah looked at the soldier. Usually they were not disposed to such charitable actions. There were slaves for such menial tasks. Kru’Nah hesitated for a moment, just long enough for the soldier to reconsider, quickly bow, and leave.
Kru’Nah stood in the middle of the grand room next to the bed still slowly flexing his fingers. As he moved to look out the window, they were no closer to working than they had been when he arrived. A loud knock on the door startled him and he turned to see the door open. Three soldiers filed in with wood and they quickly built a fire in the fireplace. They bowed as they left, closing the door behind them. Kru’Nah rushed to the fire, grateful for its warmth.
As his hands warmed, they began to itch and then it felt as though they were swelling and about to burst. Their actual size remained unchanged, but the agony of their warming brought Kru’Nah to his knees. He slowly slid to the floor and concentrated on his breathing. He knew the pain would pass, but it would take time.
Kru’Nah was unsure how much time had passed, but finally the pain in his hands subsided. The day had darkened into night, but that didn’t mean much this far north. There wasn’t much daylight to begin. He lifted his tired and heavy body off the floor, his muscles feeling like gelatin under his skin. He clumsily undressed and redressed, finally emerging from the room.
Outside his room, the outpost bustled with activity. Tra’Khil gave orders, the smell of food wafted from the kitchen, men dressed to go outside and others were undressing from being outside. Kru’Nah didn’t know what was going on and no one seemed to notice him either and for this, he was surprisingly glad. Now that it had passed, he found he completely enjoyed not being treated like royalty. He and Allyandrah, for their short time together, had found a semblance of existence that didn’t revolve around their social status and he found it refreshing. Now that he was back in the real world of being a prince, he found himself suffocated by its position and decorum.
One soldier finally spotted him and bowed. Within a matter of moments, all the activity ground to a halt and Tra’Khil approached.
“Sire,” he said. “We will be here for several days it seems. We should have enough supplies to weather the storm and make it back to the castle.”
“Very well,” Kru’Nah said, his mind elsewhere.
“I will have someone bring you food,” Tra’Khil continued.
For the first time in his life, Kru’Nah wanted to eat with everyone and be at their level, but resisted the impulse to break tradition. He knew he was now relegated to his room, everything passing through that one doorway. He nodded. “Have my things cleaned,” he said, forcing his royal detached, yet commanding, voice and then walked back into his opulent prison and settled into one of the chairs near the fire.
Within moments, a knock came to his door.
“Come,” Kru’Nah said wearily.
The door opened and two soldiers entered. One carried a tray of food and other picked up his clothing.
“Is there anything else you need, sire?” one asked.
“No,” said Kru’Nah. Both soldiers bowed and disappeared, closing the door behind them.
Kru’Nah sighed as he dug into the food. Even though it was simple a soldiering meal of bread and some kind of mush, he devoured it, clearly hungrier than he’d thought. Standing and pacing around the room, his mind wandered to Allyandrah, picturing her sleeping, her blue face and cropped blue hair. He smiled as he remembered the shaggy appearance of her hair the last time he saw her. Without the royal impositions, and no means of keeping it short, her hair had grown. Kru’Nah wondered if she was actually still alive. He found himself desperately believing what Parg’Noth, or at least the shell of the man, had told him in the forest.
Fatigue began to eat away at Kru’Nah and he resigned himself to sleep on the bed.
A loud knock startled Kru’Nah. His brain was heavy with sleep and his eyes fluttered for just a moment before closing again.
Suddenly Tra’Khil was at the side of his bed. “Sire,” the commander said.
“Yeah?” Kru’Nah said, lifting his head and struggling to open his eyes in the direction of the voice.
“Sire, we must leave immediately.”
“Why?” Kru’Nah asked, still struggling toward waking.
Tra’Khil hesitated, pursing his lips. Kru’Nah sighed and dragged himself to a sitting position. He rubbed his face and yawned. He tried to summon his best royal posture.
“Why are we leaving?” Kru’Nah said again.
“Sire,” Tra’Khil shifted slightly. “It’s not safe here.”
“Not safe, why?”
“We’ve lost another man.”
“Lost another man?”
“To the Guardians, I suppose.”
Kru’Nah rubbed his face again. He wanted to go back to sleep. When he opened his eyes, Tra’Khil was kneeling in front of him. Kru’Nah began to remember the story of Parg’Noth.
“Did he say something?” Kru’Nah asked.
“Yes.” The slight lilt in Tra’Khil’s voice betrayed him. Kru’Nah knew he was getting somewhere now.
“Commander. You will tell me everything,” Kru’Nah finally mustered his royalness and used it against the commander of this unit.
“Sire,” Tra’Khil said and stood.
Kru’Nah climbed out of bed and sat in one of the chairs by the fire. “Sit,” he commanded Tra’Khil.
Tra’Khil followed and perched on the front edge of the chair. He looked directly into Kru’Nah’s face. “Sire, we must leave. Peri’Nuah was lost and by the time he was put down, he’d already said this fortress would fall and any inside would be killed.”
“Were those his exact words?”
“What were they?”
“His exact words were ‘She is coming. You will not get away.’”
“Is there any other way to interpret his words?”
“I don’t think so, sire. Who could he mean but your mother? After all, she has upset the Guardians. She would be coming to take care of you. Of us. We are not safe here.”
Kru’Nah was still too tired to comprehend what Tra’Khil was telling him. He simply nodded.
“I will have your outdoor gear ready for you and some portable food. We will leave soon.”
Kru’Nah nodded again and rested his head in his hand. With his eyes closed, Allyandrah’s image once again floated through his mind. He remembered their brief time together in the cave, the way she looked at him as they recognized each other. He’d never known such feeling before, never known of love, of true love, until that moment. He shook his head to clear the image. It was time to focus again. It was time to become Prince Kru’Nah again. He sighed and stood up. Crossing the room he opened the door to the buzz outside. He was helped into his winter gear, given a satchel of food, and then they were off again into the cold, wind, and snow.
To Part 7.
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