Tag Archives: Sunday Snippet

Sunday Snippet, May 9, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride. 

This month we’ll get to see Pashevel… well, let’s just say that the ways of a Bard are subtle and sharp.

 

“I said he is my guest. He is the Bard from the tavern last night. Surely you saw him speaking with me.”

“And if you didn’t,” Pashevel said, his voice soft but pitched so that the king could hear it, “then you were doing a poor job of guarding your prince.”

The guards flushed and he stepped past them, greeting Hierik with a warm smile.

“Thank you, Your Highness, for honoring me with the invitation.”

“Thank you for accepting it. Pashevel, may I present my father, King Kurtzen. Father, this is Pashevel, a most excellent Bard that it was my pleasure to speak with last night.”

“My son’s guest, is, of course, welcome,” Kurtzen replied smoothly, although Pashevel could clearly read his displeasure at his son’s choice of guests. “Being a Bard, perhaps you would play for us later?”

Hierik caught his breath, wanting to protest, but Pashevel smiled. “It would be my pleasure,” he said. “If the court musicians would do me the honor of sharing their stage with a guest.”

Hierik fought back an urge to laugh as Pashevel smoothly gave Kurtzen a lesson in protocol and manners.

 

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Sunday Snippet, May 2, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride. 

This month we’ll get to see Pashevel… well, let’s just say that the ways of a Bard are subtle and sharp.

 

The castle doors opened and Pashevel fell in with the nobles as they began making their way toward them. The King and the Prince stood just inside the doorway, greeting each noble and accepting their congratulations and well-wishes.

The guards crossed their halberds to bar Pashevel from entering but Hierik intervened.

“Let him in. He is here as my guest.”

They hesitated, looking past him to the king.

The monarch shrugged and Hierik flushed. “I said he is my guest. He is the Bard from the tavern last night. Surely you saw him speaking with me.”

“And if you didn’t,” Pashevel said, his voice soft but pitched so that the king could hear it, “then you were doing a poor job of guarding your prince.”

 

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Sunday Snippet, April 25, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

“My son!” the king announced. “Prince Hierik, Crown Prince of the Realm!

The cheer that went up was somewhat less enthusiastic than the one for the king had been and Pashevel saw the way the prince’s head fell, noticed the harshness in the way that the king turned to him. Slowly Hierik raised his head, looking out at the crowd and they stilled, waiting for him to speak.

Seeing his hesitation Pashevel took a half step as if shifting position to get a better view, but it was enough. Hierik noticed the movement in the otherwise motionless crowd and smiled, relaxing as he locked his gaze on the bard he had met the night before.

“Welcome,” he said. “Thank you – all of you – for coming to my birthday celebration. I hope you will enjoy the food and entertainment that will be provided for you, and I am looking forward to meeting you as I begin my Travels.”

The speech, Pashevel realized, was formulaic, delivered as if it had been memorized since early childhood, and the crowd responded as if they had heard it before – six times before he would wager – and Pashevel added public speaking to the list of things that Hierik needed to learn.

Two years. He had two years to teach the Crown Prince everything he needed to know in order to rule. Two years to teach what should have been learned over a lifetime.

Two years.

Two years to keep him alive.

 

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Sunday Snippet, April 18, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

They leave the morning after their sixteenth birthday and must return by sundown of their eighteenth.”

“And if they do not?”

“Then they are mourned as dead and the next eldest travels in his turn. Hierik is actually not the eldest. In fact, he’s the last of the King’s legitimate heirs. The others never returned from their Travels.”

“And if Hierik does not return?”

“Then either the king produces another legitimate heir – unlikely at his age – or he promotes an illegitimate son or a grandson if any of his own get produced offspring.”

Pashevel nodded, lost in thought, not liking the suspicions that were entering his mind. 

“How many older brothers does Hierik have?”

“Six. Well, had six. And a couple sisters. His brothers are all considered dead now, whether they are or not.”

Another fanfare from the trumpets drew their attention back to the balcony.

 

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Sunday Snippet, April 11, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

“Tell me more about this traveling that he has to do.”

“It’s a tradition for the Crown Prince to travel the lands and get to know the way the world works so that he will know how to rule it. But that one.” He spit onto the cobblestones. “Maybe it’ll do him some good, but no one is holding out much hope for him.”

Pashevel frowned. “You almost make it sound like there is a way for him to fail.”

“It has happened,” he said. “But no one is ever sure what has happened to the ones that did not return, if they chose not to return or fell to some illness or met with foul play, but the law of the land is that if they do not return on their eighteenth birthday they are mourned as dead.”

“They travel alone for two years?”

The man nodded. “They leave the morning after their sixteenth birthday and must return by sundown of their eighteenth.”

“And if they do not?”

 

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Sunday Snippet, April 4, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

“… as he begins his Passage to manhood.”

“Manhood my left foot,” someone near Pashevel muttered. “He’s nothing but a sniveling child. Can’t even make up his mind about his travels.”

“Know him well, do you?” Pashevel asked, amused. The speaker was well dressed in fine clothes and he marked him as one of the lesser nobles.

“I do indeed. My father is one of the Royal Tutors and my sons have taken classes along side him since he was big enough to hold a quill.”

The king was still droning on and Pashevel half listened, most of his attention on the man he was speaking with.

“I’ve heard people saying that the young prince is book smart,” he said.

“He is that,” the man conceded. “My father is always going on about how quick he is at lessons. All of the tutors favor him and not just because of who his father is.”

Another piece of the puzzle slid into place for Pashevel: being a favorite of the tutors would not have earned Hierik any friends among the other students.

 

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Sunday Snippet, March 28, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

“His Royal Highness, King Kurtzen!” the herald announced. He stepped aside and a tall bearded man stepped through a heavy curtain and onto the balcony as a cheer went up from the crowd.

As the king waited for the crowd to quiet – and made no effort to quiet them – Pashevel assessed him. He was tall but heavier than he should be, although still managing to look regal and powerful. And he from the way he enjoyed the attention and being in the limelight he would be easy to flatter and manipulate, and Pashevel had another insight into Hierik – he couldn’t please his father because his father didn’t want to step down and yield the crown. 

“People of the realm,” the king began when the cheering had subsided. “Sixteen years ago today my wife presented me with an heir, my son, Hierik. I watched as he took his first steps as a toddler, and now I am pleased to see him take his first steps as an adult, as he begins his Passage to manhood.”

 

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Sunday Snippet, March 21, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet. 

The castle courtyard was filled with vendors and crowds of people celebrating a holiday, the birthday of the Crown Prince, and Pashevel roamed from booth to booth, sampling the foods and listening to the conversations.

From the commoners he gathered that the prince was not well known, that most would not even recognize him, and that all that they knew of him was what they had heard from servants – either of the castle or those belonging to lesser nobles.  And none of it was flattering.

From the other nobles he learned little new; their comments merely reinforced what he had gathered from the tavern the night before, and what Hierik himself had told him.

But there was a slight uneasiness among the nobility, especially those who were close in age to Hierik: a fear of being chosen as his traveling companion.

He also took note of those who were speculating about the fitness of the Crown Prince to eventually lead the kingdom. He was too scholarly, said some, and not decisive enough. It was rumored that even the palace guards and servants had little respect for him, and Pashevel began to get a deeper picture of the boy, growing up alone, friendless, mocked by those who should have supported him. And now there was a Crown Prince who lacked the confidence of his people because he lacked confidence in himself.

A fanfare of trumpets interrupted his thoughts and the crowd quieted, turning toward the castle. Pashevel turned with them, caught up in the expectation.

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Sunday Snippet, March 14, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet. (This snippet is a touch longer, but it hits up against the end of the chapter so there wasn’t any good way to continue next week.)

“I didn’t dismiss you,” Hierik blurted, and Pashevel smiled. 

“No. No, you didn’t. However it seemed that our conversation was at an end – or at least an impasse.”

“No. Please.” Hierik took a deep breath. “Tomorrow is my sixteenth birthday. There will be a feast at the castle and I… I would like you to come.”

“I would be honored to perform for you, Your Highness.”

“No. As my guest.”  Hierik took a deep breath. “Also tomorrow starts my Passage. It… It’s a tradition for the oldest male in my family to leave the castle and travel – on their own – for two years, to learn the ways of the world.” He swallowed hard and met Pashevel’s eyes. “We are allowed to take a traveling companion, and I… I would be honored if you…” He faltered for words that didn’t sound like a command or a plea. 

“I would be honored if you wish for the two of us to travel together,” Pashevel said, saving him.

“Thank you. And, yes. I – I would like for the two of us to travel together. I – I would like to learn… about friendship, and how to be a ruler.”

Pashevel smiled. “And it would be my honor to teach you, Hierik, son of Kurtzen, future King of the Human Lands.”

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Sunday Snippet, March 7, 2021

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I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.

Hierik’s lips curled into a smile. People would treat him the way he let them treat him.

He could command the guards to go after the Bard, stop him and escort him back to the table. But that would raise questions. And they would not willingly step away from their table to go do it. And he had no real way of enforcing his will on them.

He sighed, his smile fading.

He scanned the room and smiled again as he saw the lithe figure of the Elven bard gathering up his instruments, and he stood up sharply. He still had a chance…

Pashevel turned to face the young prince as Hierik put a hand on his shoulder. He bowed slightly. “Your Highness?”

“I didn’t dismiss you,” Hierik blurted, and Pashevel smiled. 

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