I have redone my entire prologue after having a massive brainstorm last night. It is now 6 and a half pages long in 10 size font, instead of 1 massive page long.
I have attempted to paragraph better, fix punctuation, and increase the overall quality of my writing with this.
You will notice that there are three stars (***) in between paragraphs. I have seen this in many books and find it an effective way to transfer scenes in one chapter without dragging the story along useless, boring tangents.
To make it easier, I will put the story in a spoiler, and make a new spoiler after every set of dots (scene change).
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it, and all feedback, good or bad, is welcome.
Legend of the Silver Flame
Chapter 1: The Girl with the Auburn Eyes
A soft, cool breeze swept over me as we came into the port at Luthanon. A small bump signaled we had stopped moving and the crewman onboard the Plokstanis started to patter about, unloading barrels and crates of supplies for the populated island. I quickly gathered my few possessions and began to make my way onto the main dock.
I don't really own much, most of it hardly even worthy of being called possessions by most folks. In this time of prosperity, I own little more then a wind flute, a few ragged old pieces of clothing, and 300 tritans. It's not much, but these items are more precious to me then life itself, for without them my life would cease to exist.
Speaking of my life, it's not the greatest story you've ever heard. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall, with orange hair and deep aqua blue eyes. I've got a sort of lanky build, and I can eat non-stop. Despite that, I way a mere 134 pounds and I continue to eat like a pig whenever the opportunity presents itself. They say it'll all catch up with me in the long run, but I don't care, I live in the current not the future.
I don't really know where I grew up or who my parents were. All I have left of them now is my collection of ragged clothing. They were given to me by the maiden of the orphanage I came from, and I've treasured them ever since. That was back then of course, back when times were tough and the days next meal had to be scrounged for or even stolen. Times are different though. I've long since left those distant memories in search of a greater life, in hopes that the prosperous age the world is in can somehow help my odds.
As I stepped onto the main dock, I took a look around so that I could take in my surroundings. Massive docks filled with majestic houseboats and freighters alike were on either side of me. The hustle and bustle of the busy docks coupled with the Dark Seas calming waves seemed to bring a certain life to all of the boats. They were just sitting there, glistening in the constant spray of water and sun, as if waiting to be set free into the wide open blue. As I turned my gaze towards the island of Luthanon, I was taken aback by what I saw.
The village was magnificent! Everywhere you looked, there were merchants selling memorabilia and people were running up and down the streets with all kinds of assorted goods. In the far left of the city was an amazing cathedral, decorated with what looked like sequins and shells from the shoreline. I giggled to myself as I tried to find the shore amongst all the docks, but failed and continued to scan the village. There was a path right down the center of the village, with several shops and roads branching off into all sorts of directions. A small, dusty path at the end of the central road caught my attention as it seemed to lead nowhere. Further to the right I noticed Luthanons famous lighthouse. Carved into the very mountain itself, it was about 400 feet high and was intricately detailed. It appeared to have writings and pictures along its sides, possibly the tales of its construction or even of Luthanon itself, but visitors were only aloud about 100 feet up, rest of the tower seemed to be restricted to personal only.
All of a sudden, I was nudged off to the side. Regaining my focus I noticed a couple of the Plokstanis' crewman wheeling barrels along the dock, and decided to make my way into the town, out of their way. It was off into the village of Luthanon, the great island of refuge, to find myself a new life.
Bells chimed as I walked through the door. The smell of ale and pine flowed past me and out into the open air. It was a rustic sort of place; wooden beams, tall ceilings, and lots of seating. I took a few steps in and the door slammed hard behind me, but nobody seemed to notice or even care for that matter. I walked up to the bar and called over the keep, but got no response. The laughter and noise of cutlery clinking and glasses clashing was loud, so I called to the keep again. A short, plump man raised his hand towards me to acknowledge me, and began to make his way over. About halfway, he stopped and began to chat with another customer, and I began to get frustrated. Still, this was a new town, a new life, and I absolutely had to make a good first impression. Looking around, I noticed that a small girl was staring at me. I gave no hints that I noticed, but instead continued to scan my surroundings.
"What can I do for ya then?" The voice startled me and I stumbled off of the counter I was leaning against.
"Sorry about that, I just recently arrived here and I would like to know what I can get as far as a room and a hot meal. I've got about 300 tritans with me."
"Only 300 tritans you say," His look started to change to a glare, and his face became less welcoming then it had been before. "300 tritans isn't much around here boy, but since you seem nice enough I'll see what I can do fer ya," And with that, he walked through a door behind the counter and was gone, leaving me alone in silence amidst all the locals.
My gaze started to sway back over to where the girl was, and she remained there, occasionally glancing in my direction. My thoughts began to wander, wondering about the things to come and the things that had been. A shout across the room broke my concentration, and I was suddenly the target of over a hundred eyes. I gulped, turned, and walked to the far edge of the counter where I found a lonely stool to sit on. As the room began to fill with noise again the girl I had been staring at unknowingly came over towards me.
"You're not from around here, are you?"
I was stunned. Her voice was high pitched, and was almost child-like. It was the exact opposite of her figure; 5'2", short ocean blue hair, fully developed body, she was like no one I'd ever seen before. She wore tacky clothes, consisting of a blue kimono type dress that looked like it had been tailored by a blind old lady, and her eyes of auburn could stop an eagle in its tracks.
"Are you listening to me? Can you even speak?"
I struggled to pull myself together and somehow managed to mutter out the word yes. Before she could continue, the keep came back out and came up to me.
"Alrighty son, fer yer 300 tritans I can get ya a small cot when everythin closes down and you'll get yerself a warm meal before the night is through. Do we have a deal?"
Scrounging through my meager belongings, I found the money and handed it over to the keep. "I've just arrived so I'm going to look around the village before I turn in, where can I leave my things?"
The keep looked around and pondered for a moment, "Seeing as you don't have an actual room, I suppose I can take yer things and hold em for ya back here. Just remember to be back before sundown, or ye might not be able to get back in." I thanked him and turned to confront the girl only to find she was already gone.
The door slammed shut behind me, and I started to make my way across the village. I decided I'd do a big loop going around the port, and heading back along the outside of the merchants. As I made my way towards the port, I took in the sweet scents of the sea and the Ling flowers. There were lots of Lings on the island of Luthanon, an almost absurd amount. Lings are flowers of legend, consisting of a long stem with two leaves spiraling up it. The top part of the flower is a mere four petals of soft lavender, with a single golden stigma standing upright in the middle. The four petals represented the elements of the universe; Water, Earth, Air, and Fire. It is because these plants are found mostly on Luthanon that they are considered plants of legend, as people say a legend was born here. I'm not exactly sure what the legend is about, still these flowers have an intense and powerful meaning to me.
The buildings in Luthanon are mostly single-story homes, built in perfect rows near the mountains. Each home has its own grassy front yard, no more then twelve feet by twelve feet in size, and stone path leading to the house. The outer walls of the homes are made with colored tile which are manufactured using the rocks and stones from the mountains of Luthanon itself. Each tile has a large variety of color from being mixed and compressed with so many other stones. The walls almost look like kitchen flooring to me, and remind me of the orphanage and the days of sneaking into the kitchen for food that wasn't our own. The roofs appear to be thatched, but I am unsure of what they are exactly made of. Probably another plant that grows on this island, but I'm not entirely sure. They give off a nice bright green color to contrast with the swirling grays and whites of the tiled walls. Matching white fencing along the entire row of houses pulls it all together, and seeing these homes instills a feeling of hope inside me.
As I reached the coast on the west of the island, I decided to walk along the beach that I had missed from the main dock. It had a spectacular view of the dark sea, and was littered with all kinds of shells, sequins, and other assorted marine life. Looking out to sea I spotted a family out on their houseboat, drifting around on the waves. They seemed happy and at peace with their surroundings, as care free as can be. I couldn't help but imagine what my life would be like if I had known my parents. Where would I be? What would be different? I pondered these questions as I walked along the beach, and finally pushed them aside. After all, I live in the current, right?
Making my way back to the central path of the village, I looked to my left and saw the Plokstanis leaving the port. I gave it a short wave and continued north to the merchant section. There were wondrous sights to behold and incredibly crafty vendors all over the place. People on stilts were selling binoculars, and merchants everywhere had hand-made memorabilia of the legend of the island. One particular vendor had an item of incredible craftsmanship. It was an intricately carved image of Luthanon and its original settlement on a smooth, round piece of redwood about 14 inches in diameter. Since I had no money, I could not buy this amazing piece of art, but instead I took a free mental image of it to keep with me for all time. Such things are priceless to me as my possessions are few but valuable in sentiment.
As I continued on my tour of Luthanon, the sun started to set and merchants were closing up shop. I happened across a merchant who had just finished closing and hooked his shop up to a mule; heading towards what I would imagine would be his home. They weren't much, these merchant shops; woven out of the same material as the roofs of the homes I'd seen before, they looked lightweight. Counters and shelves made simply by placing a plank or two of wood in between the walls during weaving. Some of the merchants used driftwood and slightly burnt weaving materials to give their shop a more rustic, culture rich look. As the shops left the market area one by one, I started on my path back to the pub.
It was an uneventful walk back, and nothing stopped me, except for the dusty trail. I had seen it from the dock earlier that day, and was now looking down into the abyss of the open plains. There wasn't much down this part of the island. Plants, most likely the thatching material, grew abundantly here and the area was littered with Lings. It was an open, desolate area that filled me with despair in the setting sun. It to, reminded me of the orphanage, and the sadness that clung with those memories.
The bells rang above my head as I entered the pub. It was getting late so I slowly closed the door to avoid the loud slam it usually created. It was quieter now, only a few remain scattered about the tables. The empty ones were already cleaned and had the chairs placed on top of them. I went up to the counter to retrieve my things, and was shown to the cot I would be sleeping in that night. It was in a small nook underneath the stairs, and was essentially hay and feathers underneath a couple of comforters. A small pillow was placed on top and a sheet thrown over it all for me to use. I placed my precious belongings on the far side of the bed, against the wall, to avoid theft. Just as I was getting ready to call it a night, a familiar voice rang out behind me.
"I've been waiting for you. You sure took your sweet ass time getting back." I turned around to find the girl with the auburn eyes standing behind me. All I could think about was first impressions,
"I'm sorry for earlier, I was just staring into space and;"
"Enough, that's not why I yelled at you;" She cut me off. I hate it when people do that, but I must keep quiet. "I was merely trying to get your attention. If you hadn't looked so suspicious in the first place nobody would have noticed." She seemed a little less scary and a little more caring now. Maybe she was upholding an image, maybe it was just bad luck.
She came closer and I stumbled into my bed. She looked at me and giggled a bit, "My you're a clumsy fellow aren't you. Here let me help you up." She grabbed my outstretched hand and pulled as hard as she could, forcing the two of us together.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to;" I looked at the floor out of fear and embarrassment as the blood started to flow to my cheeks.
I felt her hand on my waist, slowly pushing me away. "I'll see you around sometime, and try not to stand out so much. You look like a tourist that got mugged," And before I could say anything the door to the pub slammed shut and the bells above it were gently ringing throughout the room.
I struggled to gather myself after what had just happened. I sat down on my bed, and made sure all my stuff was still there, after all, one can never be too careful. The last of the customers were leaving, and the keep had finished cleaning up around the pub. He bid me "silver sleep" and went off to his own room behind the counter. I lay back on my cot and started thinking about the girl from earlier. Pictures of her face kept racing through my mind, those auburn eyes glaring into your soul. The last thoughts in my head were of my old orphanage, my old life, and of the life to come the next day.
"GUARDS! SEIZE HIM!"
I bolted up and smoked my head off of the staircase. A sharp, stinging pain jet through me like a bolt of lightning in the night sky. I suppose it was a mix of the now dull headache and the sudden beams of light bleeding into my eyes that made it hurt so much. I quickly gathered up my things and bolted for the other side of the room.
"Why are you after me? What did I do?"
The keeps voice rang across the empty pub. "You STOLE your 300 tritans back! I put you up; fed you, AND THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME!"
"But I haven't stolen anything, honest!" Making a bolt for the door, I hear some jingling and feel a small thud every second step against my waist. I reach down and feel a small ratty pouch, no bigger then my fist, hanging down beside me. That woman from before, when she helped me up, but why?
SLAM! Down the path I come to a crossroads, guards in tow. Left towards the dock or right to the abysmal unknown? I take a left while watching behind me. The second the guards were out of view I hid in an alley, waiting till they passed, then headed back towards the dusty path. No more then a day has passed and I'm already in with the fugitives. This is perfect, just perfect. This is what I left to get away from! I didn't want to repeat my mistakes in a different village, I wanted to amend them. Too late now I guess, right now I just have to find somewhere to lay low until I can get back to the docks and get off Luthanon.
I duck in between the mysterious vines that grow in the plain, trying to conceal myself from the guards as best I can. Some rustling forces me to a halt, and I strain to hear where it's coming from.
A scream echoes across the plain. I know that voice, that despicable voice. That voice got me into this mess, that, that girl! I hope she pays for what she's done. I turn to continue running when another scream echoes across the canyon.
I can't run. How could I run? I came here to amend my old ways and this is what I choose to do, run from a damsel in distress. I'm sick inside, disgusted with myself and the thought of leaving the poor girl alone. I turn towards the screams and head full speed in her direction.
"HELP! PLEASE HELP! SOMEONE GET IT AWAY FROM ME!"
I come to a clearing to find the lady with the auburn eyes being surrounded by two wild dogs. Teeth glaring, drool dripping down from their mouths as they growl menacingly at her.
I have to help, but what do I do? Looking around, I find a couple of sticks lying aimlessly on the ground. I quickly grab them up, rip down some vine, and stand there doing nothing. I've got what I need, so why don't I help?
"You, from the pub, help me please!" she noticed me, now I have to help, but I can't move. I'm frozen in place. "Please, help me, I'll do any; AAIIEE!"
Without thinking I quickly bolt into action. I catch one of the dogs off guard and tie the vine around its throat and one of the sticks. I jam it into the ground, limiting his movement and pinning him close to the ground.
The other dog shifts focus and lunges at me. All I could do was hold the stick in between us.
I collapse to the ground, the weight of the dog bearing down on me. The lady is just standing there, frozen in place, looking at what I've done.
Using all of my strength, I push the dog off of me and quickly get up; unaware of the other dogs location. Just as I get on my feet, the dog breaks loose of the vine and calmly walks over to his brethrens side. Sniffing the corpse, it decides to not take its chances and takes off into the field.
I'd done it.
Someway, somehow, I'd rescued the girl with the auburn eyes. I grab her hand and take her deep in the field towards the mountains, where we stayed until morning came. I watched over her all night not risking another attack. I couldn't sleep anyways. Too much was racing through my mind; too much was making me wonder.
Her eyes glistened in the sunlight, the auburn seeming brighter than ever before. There was a smoldering pit, where I had a fire from the previous night.
"The view is nice up here." I was standing on a small hill, gazing out at the vines and lings covered in the dew of the night.
"Ahem;" I turned around and looked at her with eyes like daggers, a facial expression which I could not explain. "Thanks for; you know; saving me and all,"
I could see she was struggling and hurt, even embarrassed that she needed help. I was still angry about the tritans, but I knew I shouldn't say anything. It was neither the time nor the place for such a discussion. Too late.
Before I could stop myself from saying it, the words slipped out in one massive angry slur."Why did you steal the tritans and plant them on me?"
She looked down at her feet, as if hoping the ground would give way and she would not have to divulge her answer. "I;" She paused, as if trying to figure out the real reason for herself. "Well, I overheard your conversation with the keep and how you had little money, so I thought you'd like it back. I was only trying to help you."
I lightened my spirits. She wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. Maybe I was jumping to conclusions too fast, like the people from my old life had done to me so many times before. I tried to take her mind off of it in hopes of brightening her mood as well.
"What is the legend that belongs to this island?" I was after all still oblivious to the facts of the legend, and was more than eager to find out what it was all about. I wanted to know what made Luthanon so famous and prosperous. She walked up to me and we both sat down facing the field.
"The legend goes as such; Long ago in a time of chaos, commoners from the mainland sought refuge amongst the islands of the dark sea. There were several ships sailing in a convoy, and among the commoners was one boy in particular. His name was Trist. One day as the boats were nearing the island we now know as Luthanon, the Dark One sent a horde of demonic figures to attack the ships in hopes of forcing them back to the mainland. When the invasion began, the ships started scattering all over the place. Several ships were destroyed but a few got away. The survivors of the ships deemed the Dark Ones ruling to be the Chaotic ages because of the slaughter he committed on the Dark Sea that day."
"Little did anyone know that Trist had survived the attack. He swam as fast as he could to the east side of the island, and tried to climb through the mountains to reach his people on the other side. While trying to find a safe passage through the mountain, he stumbled across a cave filled with magnificent crystal beams. He followed the caves path and found a great alter with a silver flame perched at the top. By this time, curiosity had taken over and he climbed the alter and touched the silver flame. It is said that Trist was engulfed in a bright light when he touched the flame, which granted him magnificent powers beyond any ones imagination. It is said that he went and destroyed the Dark Ones powers, but no one knows anything for sure. The Legend of the Silver Flame is mostly based upon the bravery and heroics of Trist on his journey to dethrone the Dark One."
I was both astonished and confused at the same time. I had so many questions to ask, but no idea where to start. "Was the cave ever found? Is there proof of the legend? Are you born of the original settlers?"
She put her finger up to my lips and hushed me. "Yes I'm an original settler, and no, no one ever found the cave. In fact, no one is allowed in the mountains. It's been restricted to protect the legend, since it's the main income of this island." I was a little upset that the story ended in such an abrupt way, but before I could ask another question, she started to ask questions of her own.
"You were really heroic back there you know, sort of how Trist might be. Where did you grow up? It must have been somewhere great for you to be so heroic like that."
O man, she asked about my past. I can't tell here the truth, she'll turn me in to the authorities. Think fast! "Yeah, it was real great. My parents were famous explorers and had lots of money. They hired a personal trainer for me, and he taught me how to use wit and skill to win fights instead of just using brute force."
She looked at me with a puzzled expression, as if something was amiss. "I thought you had no money, that's why I stole it back for you after all." Crap. I completely forgot about my money situation. No sense digging the hole deeper right.
"Yeah; Truth is I'm not from a wealthy family. I don't actually know my parents either. I grew up in an orphanage on the mainland, and I had to scrounge for my food everyday. I'm sort of known as a thief from my village and they banished me. That's why I came to Luthanon, for a fresh start, but now they think I've stolen here as well. I'll just have to move on to another place, that's all."
I looked at her and smiled to show that I was ok with it and I didn't blame her for the incident with the guards.
"So, what's your name?" Suddenly it hit me like a brick wall.
"I don't actually have a name, I was never given one. I was always just called you, or thief;" I looked down at the grass, which had long since dried in the sunlight.
She grabbed my chin lightly and pulled my face towards hers. "Well, it was very brave of you to tell me the truth about your past." She kissed me lightly on the nose. "So far, you've shown me both bravery and heroics. I think I'll call you; Trist." She rose to her feet, stretched out her arms, and started to walk towards the trail. "You coming Trist? By the way, my name's Lynnie."
I've never had a name before. A name signifies importance, power, wealth; all things I don't have, yet she's given me a name. Auburn eyes, no, Lynnie has given me a name.
again, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as i did writing it. This particular part took me (9:30 -> 6:00 = 8.5 - 1.5 = 7) 7 hours or so to actually finish, then i took a break and came back to proof read it. Good and bad criticism greatly appreciated
P.S. I edited this because the spoilers did not work O.o couldn't figure them out so i just removed the spoiler tags and left it all out.