Rough Draft of Story

Extremely rough draft of 3 chapters and prologue. Spelling and grammar errors are every where. Only people and place names SHOULD be misspelled

The Dukes blue eyes teared over as he watched the sunrise over the river. Small craft filled the water, waiting for the noon time feast, knowing what today brought. The knighthood of the Dukes only child, Caspian. Most of the populace of LaGore, the county named after the Dukes long line, was going to be in the castle this day. As every year on the Summer Solstace, the peasents not working unless their jobs impacted the saftey of the County.

Waiting for his cue, the Duke thought back to the last few weeks. The hard training in both warcraft and statescraft. The games of chess to teach his son the value of not only strategy, but also of sacrificing others for the greater good.

“My Duke, it is almost time.” The sound of velvet cut through the air, as Perzia spoke the words that the Duke was waiting to hear.

“Yes Perz, I’m ready.” The Duke turned towards the woman, and not for the first time wished he took more lovers. She did not have the body of one of the town pretties, but he found her attractive nontheless. Her skirt was shorter and tighter then what is considered proper for anyone but a woman of the street, but noone said a word against her. Her long hair was pulled into a bun, a slight smile on her face.

“The Duchess said she’ll be down in a moment, my Lord.”

The clang of metal filled the training hall. Two combants circled each other, drenched in their own sweat, breathing heavily from the wieght of armor. Suddenly, they met, swords connected between them. Cheers rose from the assembled knights and men at arms.

Caspian grunted as he held his ground. He knew that Sir Henry would come hard on his left side, as the larger knight had many years on the young man. As the flurry of attacks came at him, all Caspian could do was defend himself. Stepping backwards, he felt the point of a blade at his neck, and he knew that he lost.

“I give, my good knight.” Caspians deep voice boomed through the hall, as cheers filled everyones ears. He knew that he gave the knight much more then any other man in the room. Removing his helm, he ran his gauntled hands through his hair. Sighing deeply, and held out his arms so that the men at arms could remove all his armor, listening to the words that carried on the air.

“Cas, you do know that today is the day of the feast, correct?”

Caspian turned towards the voice, seeing a small man with a walking stick walk up to him. Caspian watched as his tutor walked up to him, and waited. Knowing the man would not leave till he repeated the sacred words that would make him a man.

Caspian took a deep breath, and said the words in the sing song voice that the nobility must use for all offical situations. “Today I am no longer a child, but a man of the Kingdom. May the gods look onto one as low as me and rejoice, as I am now one of theirs.”

The old man nodded twice, and smiled. He turned to leave the hall, but asked over his shoulder. “And which god are you going to dedicate you life to, Cas?”

All the men in the room stopped to look at the young man, waiting with baited breath. All the eyes seemed to pierce through his soul, asking the same question. Would he dedicate himself to the God of War, or the God of Statescraft. Even Caspian didn’t have a clue.

Chapter 1

My name is Doctor Thomas Fitzwinkle. Even though I do not believe that I can claim the title of Doctor anymore. At one time I was the premiere educator for King Highland, teaching his children and the children of other nobles the arts of reading, writing, and numbers.

But this tale is not about that, but a time after I had fallen out of the Kings graces. Leaving Mia Fort was one of the hardest things I ever did, but was much easier then my meeting the next day. Well, my necks meeting with the noose.

A few days after leaving the Fort, I found myself in a deep dark wood. For most of the day, the sounds of nature were abundant, various birds called, and fluttered about. In the distance the howls of wolves gave me chills. But there was nothing I could do, but countinue on my way. I knew it would take months of travel, but I would find myself out of the country, away from the hang mans noose. I don’t know what scared me more, the unknown of a new land, or the anger that my liege lord had towards me the day I was caught with my trousers around my ankles, and his daughter in my bed.

I don’t know how long I traveled, but the forest seemed to take on a more and more ominous cast, the shadows deepened and the normal sounds of the area seemed to leave. One moment I heard the birds chirping, and the next there was nothing there. Not being a man of the woods, I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was that something was wrong. A sense more primal spoke to me, telling me that there was something happening, but what it was, I had no idea.

Reports of bandits had filtered through to the fort, but I had only paid half attention to them. I had never thought that I would have to worry about bandits attacking the fort, with hundreds of armed soldiers, nor had I any thought that I would be slowly riding through the wood alone. Now though, images of bandits with swords over their heads filled my mind. But still, there was no worry. In my naivity, I felt that the Kings law would save me, never mind the irony of me running from that law. I knew I was in the county of LaGore, but had never met the good Duke, nor had I taught his renegade son, Caspian. Never did I think that I would meet the young man soon.

After a few moments of riding with nothing happening, the relaxing montion of my mount calmed my nerves. Keeping my eyes moving back and forth over the ground, I should have seen the attack coming, but I did not. One moment the road was clear, the next moment two men with swords blocked my path. Turning my head, I saw more men come out of the woods, each had a wicked grin on their face. Wearing no sign of house or home, their dirty clothing seemed to hide most of their appearnce. None of them looked the kind to offer a man the chance to walk away, with or without his money.

“If you hand over your coin, we will make this quick and painless.” The man who spoke was the largest of the gang, a slight chuckle leaving his throat as he ran his thumb up and down his blade. “Then again, Luje here enjoys men, so it may not be quick or painless.”

The men slowly walked forward, and I am afraid that I fainted.

I don’t know how long I was unsensable, but eventually I awoke in an armed camp. The smells of cooked meat came to me nose, and a hunger I had never felt in my life came to my stomach. Stretching my arms and legs, I was shocked to find that I was free of any bonds or ropes, and that I had no pain in any part of my body. Finally opening my eyes, I came to realize that I was in a tent of some sort, firelight flickering through the flap. Looking around I found a desk with parchment and a quill, sand for bloting, and a small meal laid out for me. Or at least I thought.

As I looked around, I missed the flap opening and a well dressed man enter. Sitting on his heels, I would have fallen down when I saw him but for the fact I was allready laying on the ground. He wore the clothing of nobilty, as well as the long sword of state. For my readers outside of the Kingdom, I will explain. At the time of majority, the first born son of the nobles receves a sword, a large jewel in the hilt. I had only seen one once, and it had never been used. Even in the low light of this tent, I could tell this sword had seen use. Not knowing if I should run scared or not, I just sat dumbfounded.

“You have nothing to fear from me,” the man said, a smile crossing his face, “at least, not at this point.” The man glanced around, and motioned for me to sit at the desk and eat. Slowly crawling toward the food, I didn’t know what to do.

“Father, let me put it this way.” The man glanced around, and slowly stood. Seeing him straighten out, I now knew that I was in danger. This man moved like a coiled spring! “If I wished your death, I would have had it these last three days. Instead, I may have an offer for you. My men need book learning, and someone to stitch them up. Seeing your bags on that mangy horse, I can see that you have the abilities to do as I want. Now, I can’t say that I can pay you, but I may have other ways to aid you in your flight from the King.”

I don’t know what crossed my face at that point, but I do know that I was scared. Scared worse then I had ever been in my life.

“You will be our Doctor, the Doctor to Lone Wolf.”

At those words I fainted again.

Chapter 2

When I awoke for the second time, I didn’t know what to do. Here was a warrior, which meant that I was in an armed camp. And what was I to do? I couldn’t do a damn thing. Why? I’m a scholar, not a warrior. So the chances of me getting out of this alive was slim. But I had to think of something.

The man seemed to be waiting on me. Looking at him, I realized that it was possible that I was in deep trouble. This young man looked the part of a noble, not a bandit. Slowly, I reached up to my throat, and sighed.

“What do you wish of me, my lord?” I asked, tasting my own fear. “I am sure you know I am wanted by the King?”

Chuckling, the man just shook his head. He motioned around the tent, and slowly walked to his desk. Something about him made me feel that I might be safe here, but I could not be one hundred percent sure about that.

“My good doctor,” he started, looking at something on the desk, “I’m not sure that the Kings warrent applies here. You are in my fathers lands, and I have the choice to either follow the Kings…recommondation, or to allow you to live. And, if you wish to survive, you will take my offer. It is good for the next day, but no longer.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. A nobels son, saying that he would overlook the Kings law? There was defenitally something odd going on here, but I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Not trusting my ability to speak, I just nodded.

It didn’t take but an hour after I agreed to the Captians idea for me to understand what was happening. I was ordered to teach his men how to read and write, but I could figure no reason for this. Most of those that he had assembled didn’t seem to be the kind to wish to know those skills. I even said as much to him.

“You must realize, Doctor, that I don’t care.” His words were not unexpected. “I wish these men to know how to read my orders, so any one can follow plans. If their commander falls in battle, each man needs to know what to do.”

“Captian, why would it matter? Shouldn’t each warrior allready know their place? Shouldn’t each one know what the next order is at that point?”

The Captian just shook his head, and smiled. At this point, I knew there was more to this man then I had forseen. And I still don’t know to this day if that was a good thing or not.

“Good Doctor, first you will call me Caspian, as that is my name. Then, you will find armor and a weapon, as no man in my command will be defensless. And, soon, I fear, you will understand more about what is going on.”

Swallowing my fear, I just nodded, and left the tent.

Chapter 3

My first full day with the army was nothing to write about. At least to me. It now seems that there was nothing important done that day, but my readers my feel another way.

Almost as soon as the sun rose in the sky, I was kicked out of my bed. A man stood at my bed, wearing what I would find was normal for the men when they are not in the field. A green jerkin with the armies symbol, a wolf, stiched to it. Trousers of whatever color and make that they could find, tied with a belt of deer hide. All members of the force were required to always have at least a sword with them, but the favorite weapons of each man could be seen. Some carried the deadly morningstar, around two score with pikes and spears.

I was shown to the cooks, about three dozen of them. I was given a plate full of eggs and ham, and fresh biscuits. A cup of something was thrust into my hands, to this day I still do not know what it was.

I sat on a bench, whilst I ate my simple fair.

These next events I learned of years later. But they are important for you to understand my tale. I cannot vouchsafe for the events, just that those that related them were shown to me to be the most upstanding men of the kindom.

As I was enjoying myself, events in the Dukedom were heading forward. In the private apartments of Perzia Marsel, young and buetiful advisor to Duke LaGore, was blotting the ink on a piece of parchment that, she felt, would secure her place in history.

A low moan escaped her lips as she blew on the ink, an evil smile on her face. She turned toward the small mirror that sat on her desk, and admired herself. The Duke had just gifted her with a new diamond neckless, and she seemed to not know how to place it properlly. She turned to her guards, who all nodded. She, as normal, was the greatest thing they have ever seen. And the fact her personal guard got to see her in the nude made it all that much better.

The leader of the guard, a woman from the land of Talhar, slowly approached the advisor, and handed her a piece of paper.

“I wish my last conquest to be dealt with, Lara.” Perzia nodded towards her bed, where a shape could be seen moving. “Normal rules, pay her well, and make it known that if she speaks on what she saw, she will be killed.”

Lara nodded, and motioned for two of the men to do as was asked.

“After that is done, I will need to be bathed and dressed. I have a meeting with the Duke to speak about his son.”

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