Firesword

This is as good as a draft of my proposed fantasy novel, with the working title of Firesword. I am writing it on Protag so people can give their feedback and I can see what I'm doing right and wrong. This is a redraft of my untitled fantasy adventure, which remains unfinished as the computer it was stored on crashed.

Prologue

The princess was fuming.

She paced the darkened room. Her heart pounded frantically as the thoughts tumbled over in her headstrong mind.

She had made it clear to her father where she stood. She would not be swayed. And if he was not going to back down ...

A small, handmade pack lay on the floor before her. Her father would have been ashamed - that his daughter should sink as low as peasants when she was heir to the throne? ... but his anger only proved to her that she was simply a tool, a thing that her father barely understood.

She shouldered the pack and left the room.

Usually there was a guard on duty outside her door. He was asleep, his head lolling almost comically on the wall. The princess smiled wickedly ... old Burda's sleeping potion did work, even when slipped into a mug of herbal tea ...

The guard didn't so much as stir as the princess stepped past him. She was sixteen, with raven hair and sharpened blue eyes, hollow cheeks and a slim but athletic build. She was dressed entirely in black for camouflage in the half-darkness, and her pale face was soon consumed in the dark hooded cloak her slum-dweller friend had sewn for her.

She had chosen her night of escape wisely. Attention was not focused on her, as the king had summoned a large gathering of his nobles and was holding court in the drawing room. Most of the guards would be downstairs, innocently unaware of their sleeping comrade three floors above.

Finally emerging into the main corridor, the princess moved stealthily towards the stairs, avoiding the haloes of flickering orange light blasted by the torches on the walls. Before long she was on the ground floor, slipping past the grand Langard tapestries with their glorified, flaming eagles emblazoned on deep scarlet canvas. She used the tapestries as cover to move around the antechamber, towards her secret bolt-hole and freedom.

No-one knew about the bolt-hole except her and the slum-dwellers. It was a passage dug long ago by raiders and looters intent on plundering the castle's treasury. It was strongly built, so instead of caving it in the masons had sealed it up. But the princess had unsealed the entrance on expeditions with her slum-dweller friends, and it was now no trouble to leave the castle unnoticed.

By the time she had emerged on the other side, she was on the other side of the river, deep in the slums. She almost laughed in satisfaction from amongst the ramshackle dwellings, looking up at the castle nestled proudly against the bend in the river, its towers looming arrogantly into the inky sky.

This was her father's fault, not hers. If he wanted to use her as a tool to fix his problems, he would have to come and get her first.

The End

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