Yes I know, that title was terribly rhyme-y and awful. Forgive me, I just couldn’t resist 🙂
I have divided “The Redemption of Velaria” into three parts: “The Plan,” “The Battle,” and “The Aftermath.” I am proud to announce that “The Plan” is officially written all the way through (needs some minor adjustments/additions, but the main stuff is there). My word count is now over 31K and I hope to write 5K more today in “The Battle.”
Today’s sneak peek is the Prologue of the book, the part that tells everybody the background on my story. I think it might help paint a good picture in your mind of how this novel is going to go. Please read/rate/comment, I promise it’s not that long 🙂 Thank you everybody!
Until he procured the great crystal, King Callagan of Velaria was never known for his power, his riches, or his strength in battle. In all of Benedaea, the kingdom of Velaria was the least populous nation and the least cared about.
Benedaea is a “continent” (really more like an island) in the middle of the Tragean Sea. Every country has a coastline and some are mountainous. The many countries of Benedaea are all ruled by monarchs, and are the homes of humans, all races of animals, wizards, fairies, and all manner of magical beings great and small. It was established thousands of years ago by the spirit-lords of Benedome, the place where good spirits live after physical death. The spirit-lords continue to rule Benedaea through the Benedaun—the most gifted race of people, which reigns over the powerful nation of Siranai with wisdom and great prowess.
Velaria was once the second-greatest kingdom in Benedaea, but because of the foolish actions of their original king and queen, the land was cursed and the people lost their ability to use magic. King Callagan was well aware of the hopelessness of Velaria’s plight from boyhood, and after a failed attempt to secure a marriage deal with Ethirian Princess Dahlia, he succumbed to lust for power and became the worst ruler Velaria had ever known.
The wizards, native to the nation of Cromany, were the only beings in Benedaea (besides the Benedaun) that were entrusted by the spirit lords with the ability to create magic of their own. Everyone else could only use the magic they had been given that lived in their bodies. If any wizards turned evil, they were called “witches” and “warlocks” and were sent to the Chief Benedaun, who would strip them of their creative powers and send them into permanent exile. There were certain wizards in Benedaea who met together every 6 months in a secret location to discuss business deals and determine the fates of their magic potions and objects. They called themselves the Wizards Council, and King Callagan, whose father had known them and made deals with them before, was convinced that they would help him if he came up with a very lucrative deal for them. Or at least, a deal that appeared lucrative. He went to the Wizards Council and presented them with an offer they almost couldn’t refuse, promising them an exorbitant amount of riches, clothing, and food per year if they would tell him where the yellow crystal was hidden. The yellow crystal was, according to legend, the greatest source of power that wizards had ever created. Anyone who touched it with their skin became its master and wielded almost complete control over anyone and anything they wished. It was very dangerous; the wizards had guarded it with their lives ever since its creation.
The deal Callagan presented was so irresistible that many of the wizards wanted to take advantage of it, but several (especially older ones) were opposed to placing such power in human hands. They took 3 days to give King Callagan an answer. Eventually lust for riches overcame the majority of the group, and they agreed to sign the king’s contract, but secretly used their magic to add to the contract that if he ever broke the deal, his powers would immediately disappear until he held up his end of the bargain. They then directed the king to the island where the crystal was kept and told him exactly how to get in. He wore a wizard’s cloak and carried a wizard’s staff so the guards would not question his trustworthiness, and then he followed a labyrinth of tunnels (much like a maze) to the place where the sources of all power are kept. At the far end of the cavern was the crystal, giving off a beautiful golden glow from behind the black curtain that veiled it. The instant King Callagan reached inside the glass case where it was kept and touched it with his forefinger, he became the master of the yellow crystal and achieved complete and total control of everything…or so he thought.
When he returned to the Wizards Council to gloat about his success, they revealed the changes in the contract to him and he could no longer break the deal. He foolishly did not anticipate that deals with wizards can never be broken when it comes to magic and power, and realized after it was too late that he had dug himself into a hole he could never get out of.
Because of the outrageous things he promised the wizards, King Callagan was forced to establish some outrageous laws in order to obtain the riches that he owed to the Council. The new laws were:
“I. Women who do not bear children within 10 years of marriage are to be executed, and their husbands are required by law to marry again within 90 days. (this law was put into place because King Callagan needed as many workers as possible)
II. The strongest men in the land are required to work in the mines and in blacksmith shops to make treasures.
III. All women and girls are required to make garments for the wizards.
a. Every family is required to own sheep.
IV. All other men are permitted to own farms or shops instead of working in the mines, but they are required give 50% of everything they grow or make to the king.”
The people of Velaria grew weaker and weaker under the new laws and the king’s debts were often in great danger of not getting paid, so his cruelty grew more and more inhuman. He began taking babies away from people who had not met their “quotas” and placed all the stolen babies in a place called “The King’s Nursery,” where he gave scientists free reign to experiment on them with potions that they hoped would give them superior strength. Most often the potions would end up killing the babies or leaving them in a severely disabled state. He later began stealing women, even men’s wives, to add to his harem if they were pleasant to look at and the head male of the household owed him a debt. Sometimes, if the woman was particularly beautiful, he would give the soldiers permission to take her without an explainable reason. Many people tried to flee Velaria, but guards were stationed on every mile along the border and because of the strength and power they were given by the king, no one could escape. The hopes of the people wore thinner and thinner as 6 years went by and no help came.
I feel like it needs something at the end there, but otherwise, this thing is pretty much done 🙂 I have to say I’m pretty proud of the structure it lays out. Structure is not my strong point, but this novel is turning out really well structure-wise and I think that’s a good testament to all the blood, sweat, and tears it has cost me so far.
Camp NaNo count, by the way, is almost 15K. Hoping to hit 20K by tonight.