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 Post subject: THE KINGDOM: A multi-part medieval epic
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:12 am 
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Landsman
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:48 pm
Posts: 230
Location: At the NOPPCM Headquarters, preparing the world for Chris.
NOTE: This is not all of Part 1. The remaining chapters of Part 1 will be released within the next few days. Then I will put out Part 2. Part 3 is in progress, and Part 4 will be written after Part 3 is released. Here is the first half of Part 1:

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PROLOGUE (THIRD-PERSON)
This story takes place about five centuries ago, in a kingdom in the middle of what is now England. At this time, a king ruled the land with his wife, who was, of course, the queen. The two of them had many knights to protect them, and the kingdom. This story is about one knight in particular.
He was the leader of the knights. He had carried that position for years, and no person who had ever taken it before him did as well as he did. He was never addressed by his given name; everyone called him The Silver Knight.

CHAPTER I – THE ARCHER
It was just before sunset. We locked eyes for a brief moment, and then raised our swords and clashed them together. His was shining from the reflection of the descending sun. Mine, however, was not. It looked like the tip of an enormous quill with dark red ink.

Our swords collided several times. When I finally found an opening, I took advantage of it. Holding my sword above my head and gripping the handle with both hands, I ran towards my opponent and swung my arms down, sending the blade into the opening in his helmet.

He fell to the ground, blood pouring from his face. I wiped the blood from my sword onto his metal armor and put the sword in its holder.

I went through the door and walked back to the castle. The door opened, and I walked on the burgundy carpet to the king’s throne.

“He is dead, your majesty,” I announced, bowing slowly. “You need not worry about him any longer.”

“Good work, Silver,” he congratulated, “and thank you. He was a problem, and a great threat to our kingdom.”

I stood, nodding, and went back outside. Grey, my friend and rookie, was waiting outside.

“Any new developments?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he answered. “I killed my first Orc today.”

“Really?”

“Yep. He was about five times my weight and size. Tried to break in.”

“Well, I’m amazed. Not bad for a rookie.”

“Yeah, I’m getting better all the time.” He reached into his pack and pulled out a small bottle of rum. When he started to pull off the cork, the bottle suddenly shattered into pieces.

We looked over to see an archer in a dark green outfit. She had long, brown hair and emerald green eyes. She placed her bow in its holder on her back and gave us an irritated look.

“You’d think the Silver Knight would know better than to let his rookies drink rum,” she said. Slowly, she walked over to us.

“And you are…?” I asked.

“My name is Ryan,” she answered. “Since the last archer leader succumbed to illness, I’ve taken over.”

“Ryan is an excellent name for a girl,” Grey complimented.

“Thank you,” she replied, “but don’t press your luck.” She turned to me. “See, this is exactly why you shouldn’t let your rookies drink rum.”

“He was celebrating,” I explained. “He bought it himself. Besides, he never drinks much.”

“Great,” she said. “All we need is an intoxicated knight protecting our kingdom…” She turned and walked away.

I looked over at Grey to see that his eyes were locked on her, and that he was daydreaming away. I shoved him as hard as I could to get him to snap out of it.
“Focus,” I ordered.

“Sorry,” he replied.

“I don’t want you focusing your attention on her when the king is in danger.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Just concentrate on your job, if you want to keep it.”

He appeared to be a bit annoyed. It was now sunset, so we went inside the castle. The chefs were putting the food on the dining table. The king was upstairs, so I called for him.

“King!” I shouted. “Dinner!”

CHAPTER II – THE SECRET
As usual, dinner wasn’t quiet. Everyone was discussing the king’s new plan of defense if the neighboring kingdoms were to attack us. It sounded like it would work quite well…to me, at least. He had been working on it for days, and had drawn it completely by himself. There were symbols and arrows all over the parchment. I had a good idea of how hard he had worked on this.

He explicitly explained the plan to everyone. I looked over at Grey. He was daydreaming again. I kicked him in the leg as hard as I could, but it didn’t work. He just gave me a dirty look and then went right back to his daydreaming. The king finally noticed after a while.

“Grey,” he said. Grey jumped, and turned his head the king’s way.

“Yes?” he asked, trying to seem innocent.

“Are you paying attention?”

“Sorry, m’lord, it’s not easy to focus when you’re in love.”

“You’re not in love,” I argued.

“Yes, I am, Silv,” he replied.

“Whom are you in love with, Grey?” the king asked.

We heard the door open, and all the heads in the room turned that way. In walked Ryan.

“Um…” Grey said, turning his head towards the king again, “no one…”

“Sorry I’m late,” Ryan apologized. “I had to deal with an intruder.”

“No need to apologize, Ryan,” the king assured. “Please have a seat.”

“Thank you.” She sat down in the only empty seat that was left—well, besides the queen’s, but she was sick—and it was the one directly across from me.

“You know,” I said to the entire room, “I was once in love.”

“No,” Grey exclaimed, “you weren’t!”

“Yes, I was. It wasn’t the silly ‘love-at-first-sight’ love that you seem to think is real.”

“Really?” Ryan asked.

“Really. I was once married to a beautiful woman. Well, almost married; we were engaged. I loved her so much. On the day of the wedding, a group of knights grabbed her and took her away. Seven years have passed now, and I am still searching for her. I’m afraid that I’m beginning to lose hope…”

“What was her name?”

“It was Susan.”

“Hmm,” the king said. “Very interesting. I never knew that about you, Silver.”

“Well, up until now, I’ve kept it a secret.”

“Oh,” Grey said. “That reminds me. How is the queen, your majesty?”

“She’s feeling better,” the king replied, “but she is still very ill.” He looked at the empty seat beside him.

“Well,” I said, standing, “I’m finished, so I’ll go back to guarding the doors.”

“Alright,” the king said.

I left the dining hall and walked out of the castle, back to my post.

CHAPTER III – THE DREAM
I walked up to the entrance and stood guard at the castle doors, keeping a watchful eye on everything around me. Nothing happened for a long time, but eventually I caught a wizard trying to sneak into the castle.

“Halt!” I commanded. He froze dead in his tracks. “State your name and business!”

“My name is Evan,” he said, “and I am only here to help.”

“Prove it!”

“You are the Silver Knight, yes? I have heard your story, and I’m here to assist you on your quest to find Susan.”

My eyes widened. Despite my reaction on the inside, I said only what I was supposed to say.

“Alright,” I said, “but no funny business.”

He nodded, and walked inside the castle. A minute later, the door opened again, and Grey and Ryan walked out. I could tell he was trying to impress her again. I felt sorry for her.

“Only the best knights can protect the king,” he explained to her. “I’ll prove it to you, using Silver as an example.” He pulled his sword out and gave me a gesture.

Sighing, I pulled out my sword as well. From the way he was acting, I could tell that he actually thought that he was going to beat me. I took him down within two seconds. He wasn’t hurt, but he still had trouble getting up with all that heavy armor weighing him down. I walked over to him and looked down at him.

“Great demonstration, Grey,” I said, putting my sword away.

As I was walking away, I heard him mutter, “Lucky shot.” I chuckled to myself, and went home to turn in for the night.

That night, I dreamed that I was holding Susan in my arms. We were by ourselves by an endless field of green blanketed by a million dandelions. The sun was shining bright in a nearly cloudless sky, as if it were a golden badge pinned on a beautiful day, boasting of its presence. The scene was absolutely beautiful.

I remembered where I had seen what had happened in my dream before: it was my proposal to Susan, seven years ago. Somehow, I had dreamt of it again. I had no idea why, though—I hadn’t in years.

In the dream, we were sitting on a small hill by the meadow, in the shade of an immense oak tree. Everything was perfect. The dream was just like how the real thing was. But before I could get to the proposal, I woke up.

It was almost sunrise. I went to the castle entrance, and stood at my post. I stood there, waiting for an intruder, like always. Glumly, I sighed to myself.

CHAPTER IV – THE WAYS OF NATURE
Just after sunrise, I noticed an Orc, trying to get through the gate. I didn’t worry, though, because the gate was made of only the strongest steel. But the Orc apparently figured that out, so it decided to try to break a hole in the stole walls surrounding the kingdom—and it managed to do so.

I ran over to it and started swinging my sword at it. I narrowly avoided its powerful attacks as I fought with all my strength to defend myself, and the kingdom. We kept fighting, until suddenly, a voice called from behind us.

“Stop!” it cried. I stopped attacking the Orc, and it stopped attacking me. I turned around to see Ryan running up to me.

“What?” I asked. “It broke down the wall and started attacking me.”

“Have you no respect for animals?!”

“Hey, it’s my job to protect the kingdom. Like I said, it started attacking me.”

“Why? Did you scare it by charging toward it?”

I said nothing. She said something in Orc language, and the Orc left. She turned to me again.

“Where’d you learn Orc?” I asked.

“I’ve been learning it for years at the library,” she answered. “When you’re in the woods as much as myself, you have to learn the ways of nature, and all of its animals.”

“I see. But what did you say to the Orc?”

“I told him that you were just trying to do your job, and not to break into the kingdom anymore?”

“Do you know why he did in the first place?”

“He was a little…confused, I guess.”

We heard a loud roar in the distance, and we ran to see what happened. In the middle of the woods, we found Grey, standing beside the body of an Orc, wiping blood from his sword. Ryan gasped. She stormed over to Grey, ripped the helmet off of his head, and slapped him in the face as hard as she could.

“You idiot!” she yelled. It was apparent that she was in tears. She stormed off without saying another word. I looked at the Orc, and from the scratch marks on its body, I could tell that it was the very same Orc I had just fought with.

“What’s her problem?” Grey asked, putting his sword away.

I just looked at him and shook my head.

“What?” he demanded.

“Why did you kill it?” I asked.

“Maybe because we’re supposed to. Come on, use your head, Silv.”

“Don’t be a smart-allec! It’s against our rules as knights to kill people or animals if they haven’t tried to kill us first."

"She’s not interested in you, you know. Quit being a suck-up.”

“Oh, you’re a fine one to talk. You only killed that Orc because you were trying to impress her. Maybe you should have found out a little more about her first.”

“If I hadn’t killed it, you would have.”

I rolled my eyes. “I almost did, until she stopped me. It invaded the kingdom. But it was just a little confused. It didn’t mean any harm. But what you just did broke the rules. You killed it in its own territory.”

“You just said it invaded the kingdom!”

“It was heading home. Ryan talked to it.”

“God, you are such a hopeless romantic.”

I laughed. “No, that’s you. Besides, I’m still trying to find Susan. I dare not love another.”

“Whatever.” He started to walk away, but I ran over and grabbed him, shoving him against a tree.

“Listen, rookie,” I ordered. “You’re one screw-up away from losing your job. No one is impressed when you kill an innocent creature, no matter if it is four or five times your size. Some might be, but most aren’t, so grow up, or you’ll be relieved of your knighting duties. Understood?”

“Loud and clear,” he answered, rolling his eyes. I let go of him, picked his helmet up off the ground, and threw it at him. I started to walk back through the gate, but I stopped and turned around.

“And what makes you think that she’s interested in you, anyway?” I asked. I turned around again, and walked on.

On the way back to the castle, I decided to check on Ryan. I went over to her house and lightly knocked on the door twice.

“Ryan?” I called.

“What do you want, Silver?” she asked, her voice shaking.

“Are you okay?”

“I just want to be left alone, okay?”

“Okay. But, just so you know, I gave him a good lecture.” I started to walk away, but a few seconds later, the door opened.

“Silver…” she said. I turned around, and she smiled. “Thanks.”

Smiling back, I nodded, and walked back to the castle.

CHAPTER V – THE COLLECTION
When I got to the castle, Evan was walking out of the entrance doors.

“My work here is done,” he announced, walking away afterwards. From the look on his face, I could tell that something bad would happen soon. I had to keep a more watchful eye on the castle from this point forward.

A while later, Ryan came out of her house, and, as I expected, Gray immediately walked up to her and started talking to her. I could see that he was annoying her, so I went over and told him to leave her alone. But, of course, he had a response planned ahead of time.

“Shouldn’t you be at your post?” he asked. “Why aren’t you doing your job?”

“I am,” I said. “My job is to protect the kingdom, and everyone in it. Why aren’t you doing your job? Do you want to lose it?”

He looked at a me for a minute, and then walked off, grumbling.

“Thanks,” Ryan said.

“Anytime,” I replied.

“Come here, I want to show you something.”

We walked back to her house and went inside. She went over to her bookshelf, and pushed it to the right, revealing a trapdoor in the floor.

“Come on,” she said, opening the trapdoor and stepping inside the secret room. I went in after her, closing the door above me.
She lit a lantern and set it on the table in the middle of the room. Now I could see shelves of bottles, each with a different liquid inside them.

“This,” she said, “is my private potion stash.”

There were so many different types of potions. Some were in small bottles, some were in large bottles, and some were in jugs. They were all different colors, too. And, each bottle had a different number on each one.

“Which one is which?” I asked.

“Here,” she said, feeling around the wall for a minute and then pulling out one of the bricks.

She reached inside the hole where the brick used to be and pulled out a small brown book. Setting it down on the table, she opened it up and flipped through the pages, stopping at a page and running her finger down it.

“Okay,” she said. “On the second set of shelves from the left, two shelves from the bottom, there is a bottle with a yellow label with ‘25’ written on it. Please bring it to me.”

I grabbed the bottle and took it to her.

“That’s a truth potion,” she said. “A very important potion when you’re one of the king’s guards.”

“I’ll bet,” I said. I put the bottle back on the shelf.

“Alright,” she said. “Two shelves to the right of the truth potion, there is a bottle with a light blue label with an ‘8’ on it.”

I grabbed the bottle and brought it to her. She turned to another page and ran her finger down it.

“This potion takes away a person’s ability to feel pain,” she explained.

“Hmm,” I said, putting the bottle back.

“And the one right beside it,” she continued, “the one that has a ‘3’ on its green label…” I took her the bottle, and she flipped to a different page. “…Reverses the effect of disguising potions.”

She closed the book. “Alright,” she said, “let’s go. Please put the lantern out on your way out.” She went back to the trapdoor and went through it.

I grabbed a bottle from one of the shelves, put it in my pack, and blew out the flame in the lantern. I went back up through the trapdoor, closed it, and moved the bookshelf back over it.

_________________
MY FORUMVERSARY'S 3-3-09 ON MY OLD ACCOUNT BUT 12-5-09 ON THIS ONE
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