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Author Topic: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)  (Read 536 times)

Offline Cana

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The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« on: July 27, 2018, 09:08:23 AM »
Hi all.
I'm reworking my 'choose your own adventure' to a straight read. It is written deliberately in present tense.
Any feedback on tenses would be most welcome.
I'm currently proof reading and trying to nail down my illustrator.
Enjoy.


The leaves gently sway on the breeze, causing the shadows they cast through the woodland canopy to dance like swarms of Dragon Fireflies. There was no sound to be heard as Xantor slowly moves through the woods in search of his prey. His quarry was woodland boar, a wily foe, not to be trifled with should one happen upon a mother with its young. He continues through the trees as quietly as possible, all the time taking care to stay down wind of the small group he'd been tracking for some time.
He comes to a large oakenfall tree, the largest, most revered trees to be found in all of Eternia and slowly, he edges around it. Sure enough, ahead, a family of boar, a mother and two runts, were rifling through the leaf litter, searching for scraps to eat. Xantor knew his aim must be good, for if he were to miss his target, another opportunity would not present itself again anytime soon. He slowly draws an arrow from his quiver and aims towards the mother boar. Pulling the arrow back, he steadies his aim and 'CRACK,' someone or something had stood on a twig behind him, the boars scatter, squealing as they go. Xantor's arrow shoots off into the air, clattering through the branches. He drops his bow and spins round, fumbling for the sword at his side; these woods were dangerous, with foul tempered grizzlers and ferocious felines that could kill an elf with one swipe, only to hear.
“Hello Brother!”
It was Canastria, his younger and sometimes tiresome sister.
“Did I put you off your shot?”
“For the love of Avelion Canastria!” Xantor gripes. “You know how long it takes to track these boars!”
“Indeed I do and in your case Brother, too long!” she chuckles. “I on the other hand track boar much quicker!” she proclaims proudly and stoops down into tracking mode.
“Yap-yap,” Xantor thinks to himself.
Annoyingly when it came to tracking animals, Canastria was a master; her ability to move light footed and her knowledge of the beasts was second to none, with nothing to be said for her agility with a bow and owl-like hearing. Canastria was a Bow Maiden of the highest order for her age and she never missed an opportunity to remind Xantor of that fact. 
Already, Canastria was thirty yards ahead, moving with fluid grace, when quite suddenly she stops and ducks down low. She turns, waving her arm for her brother to get down. Xantor duly obliges and watches to see what she does next. She tucks her head into her chest and closes her eyes; she was listening for something but what? Canastria could identify a creature by tuning into its energy vibrations and Xantor knew from experience that this could spell trouble. He grips his sword tightly and his eyes dart around the scene, to him there was no sound but for the gentle swaying of the branches. Suddenly Canastria jumps up and readies her bow.
“FELINE!” she yells.
The Mountain feline was the most feared of beasts in the Ruined Mountains, with its razor sharp claws, and sabre-like fangs; they had killed scores of Mountain Elves down the centuries. Without making a sound the feline was upon Xantor, leaping at him from behind. He just manages to parry its attack but not without being caught by at least two of the beasts formidable claws. The creature turns to face him, hissing its intent as it prepares to strike again. The blood streams down the prince's shoulder, soaking into the leather armour tunic his father had given to him only a few weeks before. Just as the feline prepares to leap again the whistle of an arrow and thud ring out as Canastria's expert aim finds its target. The foe thrashes around for a split second before the spirit of Ammolit takes him and the lifeless body of this once awesome predator twitches on the ground and then falls still.
Canastria runs back to her brother and quickly rips some cloth from her shirt, hastily  securing a makeshift bandage to his wound.
“We need to get you back to Elliana!” Canastria insists, the wound was deep and the pain was beginning to make Xantor feel light headed.
The pair waste no time in heading out of the dense Hazdrubel Woods and down the hillside in the direction of Elliana. They follow the rivers path, now lit by dragon fireflies, which were beginning their evenings display, and eventually come to Lake Hazdru nestling between the hills.
The wind casts ripples across its surface and a Fisher bird dives into the water in search of a meal, sending ever increasing circles across the water. How Xantor loved this place and briefly he remembers the times he, his sisters and cousins, would come to fish and swim in the cold water. For a moment they both stand gazing across the lake, completely lost in its beauty. Xantor turns to Canastria with a wistful smile and his mind turns to the present.
“Canastria, did Ame come back today?” he questions.
She slowly turns towards him and her face foretold what she was about to say, Xantor knew her too well.
“No, still no sign of her. Mother and Father are very worried now, she should have returned from Dasteria two days ago!”
She turns back and stares blankly at the lake for a long moment.
“I hope she’s alright.”
“I’m sure of it,” he tells her reassuringly, and puts his hand on her shoulder.
“Come on, it’s getting dark, let’s get home. I'd better get patched up!”

They leave the serenity of Hazdru lake and continue along the path following the river downward. Before too long they see above them the smoke from the town rising up into the sky. As they walk over the brow of the hill, they see ahead their home town hugging the river below, its wooded walls stretching up high above the ground.
As Xantor and Canastria approach, two guards at the entrance bow their heads as they pass through the heavy oakenfall gates that keep the town safe after dark. Inside, the market is closing up for the night. Derithan the meat seller unhooks a Stamfore Beast with a hook on a large pole, taking it inside and down under his shop. The last of the trade folk finish bringing their goods into their houses and people are heading for the warmth of their homes. The sound of a mother calling out for her two Elflings to come home fills the air and as they pass the Inn, the Innkeeper, who is outside sweeping the front, waves as they walk by. Several people tilt their heads, recognition of their standing in the Kingdom, as they head towards the Royal Bridge, the most elegant of structures made from the largest tree in Eternia and crafted over ten years. Every inch of it was created to tell the history of the Elves and was a place where children would often spend hours playing. Despite his wound Xantor strides proudly over the river to the Royal Residence. Canastria heads towards the Throne Room and Xantor heads to the west wing, where Kalistria practices her healing, and knocks on the door.
“Come in!” Kalistria says from inside.
Xantor opens the door and walks in. Inside the huge room were several rows of books and scores of shelves with bottles and jars. In the middle of the room was a very large, stout table with all sorts of pipes, vials, scrolls and various ingredients for potions. Kalistria was deep in thought whilst mixing some ingredients in a large bowl. Her long brown hair was somewhat messy with one or two of her ingredients firmly lodged in it. She looks up and instantly spots the blood soaked bandage that Canastria had placed over Xantor's' wound.
“Oh Xantor, for the love of Ammolit himself!” she exclaims. “What happened, come here quickly, sit down!”
She pulls a chair out from under the table and hastily turns to gather bandages, some ointments, and a bottle with a red potion in it.
“Looks like you've had a run in with a Mountain feline,” she says with a concerned look, as she peels off the bandage and eases Xantor's leather armour down from the gash.
“Yes, whilst hunting boar in Hazdrubel. Thankfully Canastria was with me, else I’d be in a much worse state!”
Kalistria rubs ointment into the deep cut and Xantor winces at the stinging effect it has.
“Let's get you stitched up!” Kalistria orders, as she fetches a small curved needle and some delicate silk to close the gash on Xantor's shoulder.
“Seven stitches should do the job cousin!” she tells him as she sets about closing up the raw wound.
A few minutes later she is finished and Xantor had barely felt a thing such was the anaesthetic effect of the ointment.
“Drink this potion, it will help the healing process!” Kalistria says, as she thrusts the red liquid into Xantor's hand. He knew that Kalistria was amongst the finest healers in the whole the Kingdom, so wastes no time and gulps it all down. It sends a warming sensation throughout his entire body.
“You should be fully healed in a few days or so,” she tells him with a warm smile.
Xantor stands up and adjusts his armour, which would certainly need to be repaired. He thinks what the injury would have been like if he'd had no armour on at all, so sharp are mountain felines claws, it probably would have torn his arm from its socket.
“Thank you Kalistria”  Xantor says sincerely. “It feels much better already!”
“You’re very welcome Cousin.”
“Is there still no news of Ameliana?” she says changing the subject in an instant, her face turning to one full of concern.
“No, still no news,” Xantor replies as he turns to leave.
“If there is anything you need, just come and see me.”
Xantor leaves closing the door behind him and heads for the Throne Room where Canastria is sat by the fire and his mother and father are deep in conversation with  Dalarnium, who was Xantor's grandfather and also Captain of the Royal Guard. The Throne Room of the Royal Residence was very grand indeed; a huge dining table, thirty feet long dominates the centre, swords and armour hang from every wall, and a row of shields circle around the hall's entirety. The roaring fire warms Xantor's' face as he passes it by, and above the mantle the head of a Mountain grizzler stares, emotionless.
King Darwent notices his sons entrance and breaks his deep conversation with Dalarnium.
“Xantor my son!” The king's face was one of deep concern. Dalarnium bows his head as Xantor approaches.
“As you know we are deeply worried about your sister, Ameliana. She is two days late from her trip with Balovan to Hilltop Market, I should never have agreed to let her go. As you know, it is very unusual for Balovan to be late and with the increase in hostilities between Esipiona and Flavaria we must take action. We must send someone to Raven Cliff and if necessary all the way to Dasteria, to find her!”
  The king turns and walks towards the roaring fire, staring blankly at it. The young prince faces his mother, the queen, and forces a reluctant smile; she notices the fresh bandage and tilts her head to one side.
“Tria told us you had a run in with a feline.”
There was a hint of scorn in her voice and Xantor in response merely shrugs his shoulders. She wraps her arms around him in a tight embrace.
Dalarnium, dressed in full plate armour and with a mighty battle sword at his side, steps forward.
“Xantor, you are no longer an Elfling, you are a skilled warrior! Now it is time for you to realise your potential! Relations with the Southern Elves are again at breaking point and my son, your Uncle, is as we speak in the Therapus Hills, just in case the situation deteriorates further. Unfortunately the truce with the Flavarians, which has held for fifty years, grows strained and the Queen of Flavaria is weak. Dark plans are afoot since your great grandmother Queen Canastria died and war could soon be upon us!” 
King Darwent turns from the fireplace towards his son.
“Xantor we want you to find Ameliana!”
A wash of excitement and trepidation floods through Xantor's veins. He'd waited for an opportunity to prove himself to his father and now was his chance. He only wished that it was in better circumstances. He places his hand on his sword, gripping it tightly.
“Father I am ready for this task!” he announces with determination in his voice. “Where should I go first?”
“Good my son, I know you are ready!” replies the king reassuringly and then Dalarnium speaks with authority.
“First you must prepare for your journey, then rest tonight. You will set off for Raven Cliff at first light. You will need to go to the Sapharian village of Torla in the Therapus Hills and find shelter for the night. Do not attempt to pass through the Grizzler Woods at night Xantor, the journey through that dark place is long and at night you will not be able to see your hand in front of your face! Now go and see Kalistria to obtain some items for your journey and report to Pengaratt and Revissome to upgrade your equipment.”
Dalarnium smiles and adds, “Oh and you might want to visit your grandmother, you know how much she thinks of you!”
“And may the love of Avelion go with you!” adds the queen.
“I want to go as well!” Canastria proclaims, as she stands from her chair by the fire and marches into the group.
“You cannot go Canastria!” says the king sternly. “It is too dangerous. I have one daughter away from me, and I do not want another!” he finishes with that, turns and walks away.
“Mother!!” protests Canastria as her father disappears from the hall. “You can't keep me here forever!”
The frustration in Canastria's' voice was apparent but she knew her father's mind would not be changed so she heads for the door and Xantor follows. As he leaves he stops by the giant map of Eternia that hangs on the wall opposite the fire place and wonders just where he might have to go to find Ame. He ponders for a few moments then leaves to head for the west wing.

He arrives at Kalistria's door and knocks.
“COME IN! COME IN!” she shouts.
Kalistria has her head buried in a book, she was always studying and furthering her  knowledge. She looks up.
“Back so soon Cousin?”
She puts the book down on the table and stands.
“What can I do for you? How is that shoulder?”
“Oh it is feeling a bit better, that potion has killed the pain!” he says as he gently rubs his bandage.
“My father wants me to go and find Ameliana, I was hoping you might have something to aid me on the journey.”
Kalistria turns to the shelves behind her that sprawl with potions and ointments.
“Well I’ve several potions that have use.”
She reaches for the same potion she gave him before.
“One of these!” she says, then picks up several ointments, replacing them on the shelf, until finally, “ah yes this one will do it!” and she hands him the items.
“Be so very careful Cousin, Eternia is a wild and unforgiving place!” Kalistria knowingly informs him.
“Have you ever travelled outside the Ruined Mountains Kal?” Xantor enquires.
“A few times Cousin! I've spent some time in the Wizards Realm. Fendleborough is the place to study alchemy. I've never been west of the Eternal river though. They say Avelton is like nothing ever seen. The Lowland Elves' Kingdom is vast Cousin and if you have to go all the way to Hilltop, be aware that the sun gets very hot in that region.”
“Thanks Kal.” Xantor says with a broad smile.
“Come here for a moment would you?” she says insistently.
Xantor walks over and stands before her. She places a hand on his shoulder, bows her head and begins to mutter something, like a chant, in a strange language. Xantor feels a warmth slowly spread from his shoulder and his heart beats a little bit faster. After a few moments she stops, looks up and smiles warmly.
“What language was that Kal?”
“That Cousin, is the language of the Holy Order, it is a blessing that will give your heart strength for the journey ahead of you.”
With that she kisses Xantor on the forehead.
“May the love of Ammolit himself go with you Cousin!” she says sincerely.
Xantor nods and leaves Kalistria to her practice.


Offline geethr75

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 06:01:02 AM »

His quarry was woodland boar, a wily foe, not to be trifled with should one happen upon a mother with its young.

Sure enough, ahead, a family of boar, a mother and two runts, were rifling through the leaf litter, searching for scraps to eat. Xantor knew his aim must be good, for if he were to miss his target, another opportunity would not present itself again anytime soon.

Annoyingly when it came to tracking animals, Canastria was a master; her ability to move light footed and her knowledge of the beasts was second to none, with nothing to be said for her agility with a bow and owl-like hearing. Canastria was a Bow Maiden of the highest order for her age and she never missed an opportunity to remind Xantor of that fact. 
Already, Canastria was thirty yards ahead, moving with fluid grace,

she was listening for something but what? Canastria could identify a creature by tuning into its energy vibrations and Xantor knew from experience that this could spell trouble.

The Mountain feline was the most feared of beasts in the Ruined Mountains, with its razor sharp claws, and sabre-like fangs; they had killed scores of Mountain Elves down the centuries. Without making a sound the feline was upon Xantor, leaping at him from behind.

How Xantor loved this place


 
In the middle of the room was a very large, stout table with all sorts of pipes, vials, scrolls and various ingredients for potions. Kalistria was deep in thought whilst mixing some ingredients in a large bowl. Her long brown hair was somewhat messy with one or two of her ingredients firmly lodged in it.

A few minutes later she is finished and Xantor had barely felt a thing such was the anaesthetic effect of the ointment.

He knew that Kalistria was amongst the finest healers in the whole the Kingdom,

Xantor leaves closing the door behind him and heads for the Throne Room where Canastria is sat by the fire

The Throne Room of the Royal Residence was very grand indeed;

The king's face was one of deep concern.

There was a hint of scorn in her voice

now was his chance. He only wished that it was in better circumstances.


but she knew her father's mind would not be changed


These were all the tense confusions I could find. The premise is very interesting, and I would love to read more of this. Just take care of the tense and also the grammar. All the best.

Offline Cana

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 06:08:16 AM »
Thank you for reading.. After much deliberation, I decided to convert to past tense. I will post a bit more continuing from where I left off (you get a bit more then). on fb 'Eternia-Anadaria' for more stuff. i'm targeting 22nd September to publish but trying to do it with professional editing is probably a mistake. :)

Offline geethr75

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 06:40:52 AM »
Are you self publishing or have you got a publisher? All the best anyway and hope you do well.

P.S. The past tense works better in this genre

Offline Cana

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 07:02:23 AM »
Self publishing on kindle. Yes past tense is good when you get your head into it. Originally this first book was a choose your own adventure so it was written in 1st person tense tense. When I realised that using kindle to publish it was completely impossible, I had to convert it to a straight novel, which took it into a present tense (but the tenses were shot to heck) so I finally bit the bullet a couple of weeks ago and decided to go fully past tense. It is amazing how difficult it is to self edit, but the process has been educational for me as a writer. Unfortunately maths and science were my thing in school and English, especially grammar, is something I'm having to relearn. I might have to seriously consider paying for a pro editor but outlay costs for art work and promo have already made it so I need to sell 400 copies to break even. Difficult decision to make.

Offline Cana

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 07:03:19 AM »
*1st person present tense.. self editing fail lol

Offline geethr75

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2018, 07:13:25 AM »
I can do some editing for you for free, if it's all right with you. Not that I've much editing experience, but I've done it for a few friends, and it'll be a fresh pair of eyes in any case.

Offline Cana

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2018, 07:30:08 AM »
Sure, would love that. How can I share with you. On here or email maybe?

Offline geethr75

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Re: The Search for Ameliana (half of Chapter/Day 1)
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2018, 07:38:39 AM »
email might be better. I'll PM you my email ID since I've not enabled the email contact option here.