Critique Group – Keldaris

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Keldaris – by Emmitt (A Prologue)

Cindread walked alone in the empty grey expanse, once considered to be one of the greatest salt infuser to live, now reduce to a vagrant, a wanderer in the desert. The wind tore at his clothes and blew sand into his eyes. He could feel his life being consumed with each wearying step. The setting sun cast uncertain shadows over the desolate landscape. Over two centuries of life, and it is ended in a single moment. Years ago, the thought would have seemed absurd to him, what was death to one with the infusion of health? He would only have to drain his salt… his salt, more than anyone had ever owned, with it, he could continue his miserable life.

But after so many years of existence, he began to wonder what meaning his life had; every moment was agony, every step burned at his soul, and yet, he still moved forward. Solaris, the first moon, began to rise, casting a violet hue over the Keldari desert. The chill of death began to course through his limbs, his eyes began to grow dim. He stumbled along through the dunes, his life draining with each step. He stumbled over a stone, too tired to arise, he laid where he had fallen, and let the wind covered him with sand. His heart began to slow, his breath coming with a great struggle, his eye sight growing dimmer. The last sight that filled his eyes was Solaris casting her violet rays over the Keldari desert. And Cindread, The Great Lord of Infusers, died, a lone figure in the sand.

***

Dusk began to fall over the great city of Keldaris. The Emperor Ai’Saad stood on the battlements of the Eastern wall and watched for the coming of his friend. He sighed, Cindread was expected to arrive before sundown. The sun finally sank and the lights of the city winked on. Sighing, he turned from the wall and walked down the stairs where he found his honor guard waiting for him. They all bowed using the title ‘Aisa’ali’, the Keldari phrase for anointed one. The captain of the guard bowed before speaking, “My Lord, a man and a woman await you at the palace” Ai’Saad thought “Ah, the Barion twins”

“Yes sir, they are awaiting you in the chamber of thrones, I and my men have come to escort you back to the palace, if you would come with me.” The Emperor gave his consent and was led through the city. The city of Keldaris was named after the desert in which it was located.

The buildings were made of white sandstone that had been intricately carved; the same stone was used for the palace, though more complexly carved. He walked up the steps to the main hall, servants bowed as he passed, when he reached the door to the chamber of thrones, a guard announced his presence.

***

Faetanah inspected the room they were in. With vaulted ceilings, complexly carved stonework and polished marble floors, the room was an architectural masterpiece. On every wall a relief was carved, depicting a scene from the history of Keldaris, the stained-glass windows cast complex patterns on the floors, and in the center of the room there was a half circle of carved thrones, in the center of these was a raised platform where a golden throne sat. This was a room that was designed to amaze. She walked over to one of the reliefs, it depicted the coming of Arnanth the Endless, the only Infuser to carry all five infusions. She was brought out of her trance when she heard one of the guards at the door announce the Emperor. She turned to see Ai’Saad standing before her, she bowed and used his official title of ‘Aisa’ali’ her brother approached and did the same. The emperor nodded his head in appreciation. After a moment of silence her brother spoke “We heard you have a mission for us, my lord”

“Yes, you know that your father served me faithfully until the last years of his life?”

“Yes my lord, he was your informant was he not?” The Emperor smiled “In a way he was, but so much more, he was my advisor and a close friend.”

“My brother and I would be more than glad to fulfill half of the services my father accomplished for you.” This appeared to please the Emperor, for he smiled at them and seemed more at ease “I need the two of you to find a young man for me.”

“Who is this young man and were might we find him?” Faetaris asked.

“I appreciate your willingness, you will be able to find him the northern highlands, other than that I cannot be certain of his location”.

“I ask again who is this young man that you should take such interest in him?” The Emperor hesitated as if he was unsure if they could be trusted with such information, “He is my nephew.”

Faetaris’ eyes widened “I did not know that your sister was with child before she died.” The Emperor chuckled “As we do not know who his father is, it is not something we wanted discussed among the house staff,” surprised, Faetaris asked “What is his name? What does he look like?”

“According to your father, he is a tall man, by now he is likely in his late teens to early twenties, his hair is the deepest black, his skin is darker than the Highlanders though lighter than the Keldarians. His last known location was in the village of Barrowstead, just east of the sea, but, he has been known to move from place to place.” Faetanah went over these facts in her mind, “You will of course give us time to prepare?”

The Emperor laughed “Yes, yes, you have three days to leave, but if you can leave sooner rather than later, it would be for the better.” Faetaris looked to his sister, a grin split his normally stern face, “We can be ready by early tomorrow morning. “Good, stop by the stables and take your choice from the royal horses.” Faetaris’ grin widened further. With a few words of thanks, the Emperor bowed, and bade them goodnight.

Critiques January 27 2017

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2 replies

  1. Emmitt,

    It looks like you’re creating an intriguing story world with a mysterious beginning. Good job.

    I have a lot of editing suggestions, far too many to describe in a comment box, so I actually edited the manuscript with tracking changes turned on. Notice the link at the end that says “Critiques January 27 2017.” Click on that to see the edits and comments. If you have any questions about them, let me know.

    The most frequent issue is the lack of periods to end sentences. I inserted a lot of them.

    Also, I think this beginning needs a goal for the characters that adds a bit more tension. We know they need to find this nephew, but why? What will happen if they don’t? Putting in at least a hint of the consequence of failure would help, even if the twins are told something that isn’t true.

    I hope that helps.

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