Okay. Confession time. I’ve been delaying posting the beginning because I’m a little embarrassed. This first Arc is really quite rough, as (obviously) it was the very first part I wrote for Fall of Kings. In the hundred and twenty pages or so since that time, the story has evolved and changed and I keep going back and editing and tweaking the first sections, but there is still so much to add in and I keep having random plot bunnies appear and lead me down winding trails… I know I want to add in scenes to replace some of the lengthy narrative progression. Arc 1 is complete and Arc 2 is mostly complete, with some patchwork holes and some overhauling. Arc 3 ventures into much murkier territory and Arc 4 does not exist at the moment. What you’ve seen thusfar is Arc 5 territory, venturing into the sixth and final Arc. And there you have it. I do want to update and get going on the beginning, though, because there are definitely some fun parts that I quite enjoyed, and posting parts motivates me to continue working on the rest of it. Comments appreciated but not necessito. My spam filter keeps me pretty busy anyways ;] Total Word Count (not affected by my revisions, sadly): 54,653. Cue the THX theame.
No one was quite certain what provoked it. Only that once the classist rage had been awoken, it was a sleeping dragon that would rampage throughout the Northern Kingdom with a vengeance, wreaking havoc and overturning whole villages, whole kingdoms.
His advisers told King Richard to remarry, to have another child – one that proved more fitting to rule. One that was more regal than the pale, sickly infant with a smattering of jet black hair and icy blue eyes. The babe had barely survived his journey into the world – which was more than any could say for his mother, the concubine.
Looking back, no one wanted to claim that they were the first to urge the King to divorce the Queen and take the concubine who would produce such a child. But the King was running out of time – he needed an heir, and he was quickly falling prey to a wasting disease acquired in the southern provinces.
Amongst the nobles, fear-mongering and rumors flitted about like butterflies in spring – stating that the child, born half-royal and half-commoner, would bring the downfall of the monarchy and civilization as they knew it.
They were right.
One of the few things that the king had done for his son was to name him. Edmond Amadeus Holloway. Born during a thunderstorm, fighting to survive the same complicated birth that took his mother’s life, his existence would be marked by similar storms.
Advisers and nobles of every rank encouraged King Richard to remarry. He might have honestly been considering taking their advice to heart. However, before he could take action he succumbed to his disease.
As the pallbearers carried the casket to the ship at the Royal Pier that would bear their departed leader into the Beyond, Tatsuo, the Grand Duke and the king’s chief adviser, sighed grimly. The realization settled in that however sickly and unwanted the common heir was, they were stuck with him.
From his vantage point at the end of the northernmost pier of Castle Fortinbras, Tatsuo had a perfect view of the ship as it was tugged eagerly along by the frigid winds and into the Frozen Sea. Flames from the ship’s forecastle steadily spread across the fuel-soaked deck and consumed the mast. Yet still the ship sailed on, observed by mourners gathered at windows and balconies across the castle. Flaming pieces of wood and sail fell in graceful arcs to the freezing waters below – a beacon in the early morning light.
And all who watched its solemn journey knew that everything was about to change. Continue reading