Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sample of "The King's Challenge"

Map included in book. It makes knowing what is going on more fun.

The following is taken from "The King's Challenge: A Quest for eternal Life" Page 89-92

A young soldier asks his commander, “How long have they been down there?”
            To which the commander responds in a whisper, “Hush up and get the men into position. Those three have not been down there long but something tells me that they are not planning on staying put.”
            There were several dozen men all dressed in steel breastplates and helmets getting into position just outside the perimeter of the ruined house. Ever since the house went up in flames, they hid into nearby buildings to wait for further orders. The commander was often overly cautious, so he waited for the culprits of the fire to completely drop their guard before he ordered his men to quietly form the perimeter. He thought the perfect time to do this was when Matt, Alban, and Jacob entered the basement.
            The soldiers who carried swords and shields tightened the perimeter, concealing themselves amongst the rubble that surrounded the basement doorway. Those with crossbows took positions in the buildings across the street, lying in wait for their chance to send a barrage.
            The commander stood about thirty feet from the entrance of the basement. This man had only a green jacket and feathered cap, was unarmed, and wore no armor, unlike his men. He waited, facing the entrance. His men laid in ambush with the order to kill the outsiders when their commander disappeared.
            Bang! The door was struck from within the basement. Instead of opening, it appeared to shift more so closed. A few more noises were made by Alban who was trying to move the door out of his way. The soldiers near the entrance could hear Alban remark after it was obvious that it would not budge from his current method, “Curses! Jacob, give me that pocketbook!”
            Boom! The door explodes into shrapnel! Pieces flew forward and hit the commander who was standing a distance away. The man, not wanting to show weakness, merely shrugged the damage off as if it were a gentle breeze, though some of the stone was lodged into his shoulder.
            “That may have been a bit excessive,” Jacob comments as he passed through the doorway. 
            “You’re the one who picked out the spell,” Alban responds to his friend.
            Matt, Alban, and Jacob all emerge from the basement and dust themselves off. Alban then notices the commander, who stood to his front.
            “Hello! I didn't know anyone would be out here. I hope I didn't hit you,” Alban hollers to the commander who stands straight and rigid.
            “Yes, you did, but I hardly felt it,” the commander fought the urge to holler out in pain. He pauses for a moment to keep his appearance, “I am the commander of the Scalop district. You have insulted me by burning down one of my buildings.”
            “What about those two dead prostitutes?” Matt yells out to him. Jacob swats Matt on the head and stares at him, trying not to laugh.
            “Right, you will be punished for that act as well,” the commander looks confused for a moment before dismissing it. “I just wanted you to see the face of the man responsible for your death.”
            Jacob pushes Matt closer to Alban before he crouches down near some stone rubble. Alban draws his sword, signaling Matt to do the same.
            “Well, if you plan to kill us, get to it! But before you do, would you mind telling me your name?” Alban calls out.
            The green-cloaked man laughs, “Of course I will give you my name! My name is Micheal Costello!” Micheal removes his green hat while bowing at the waist. When he completes his bow, he disappears in a cloud of smoke. Alban grips his weapon tighter and presses his back against Matt's.
            In a concerned voice, Albans asks Jacob, “Where did he go and where is he going to reappear?”
            Jacob, who is now holding a large book in which he summoned, replies, “That smoke cloud made it appear as if he went a large distance. Probably to the other side of this Kingdom.”
            Alban eases up his stance as he remarks, “Then who is supposed to kill us?”
            The concealed archers, armed with their crossbows, fire their first barrage of arrows from across the street. At the very last second, Matt is able to hide behind a block of stone and protectively put up his shield. Jacob has moved deeper behind some rubble, keeping him safe. Alban, who wasn't paying attention, had all but two arrows strike his chest, helmet, and limbs. The force from the arrows was enough to make Alban collapse to the ground, but thanks to Jacob's preparations before they embarked on their journey to Akthorn, his armor was re-enchanted which protected him from harm.
            The concealed soldiers who were lying in wait behind the rubble emerge and charge at Matt, who was now standing. They completely disregarded Alban, believing that the crossbows had penetrated his armor, ending his life. Matt readies his stance for the first five soldiers that charged from all angles, holding out his sword and lifting his shield to his chest. One soldier reaches Matt before the others were even close; this soldier's stance is sloppy and undisciplined. His shield is still slung over his shoulder and his sword is dancing around his head as if he were swatting flies.
            Matt takes a deep breath and adjusts his position. When the soldier swings at Matt, he puts all his force and body weight into the attack, and Matt barely evades the strike. As his enemy's sword cut through the air, Matt strikes his Elven blade just below the soldier’s armor, piercing into the lower intestine. Matt pulls out his sword and backs away, the soldier falling to the ground writhing in pain. He then readjusts his stance in preparation for the next assault.
            Alban was now able to stand with his sword in hand, upset that he had been taken by surprise and wanting to get even. Three soldiers that were charging Matt stopped and turned to him as he let out a terrible yell. It was so terrifying that the three put lax in their battle stance. Seeing that his enemy was so easily frightened, he bellows out in laughter. He swings his sword, decapitating one of his enemies. The other two, who were charging at him from opposite sides, duck down with their swords outstretched and their shields held close.
            Alban jumps out of the two chargers' paths who then slid into each other. The two lose their stance and fall onto their backsides into a pile of ash. One of them was cut across the throat by his ally due to the confusion. He was hunched over on his knees, grasping at his neck and struggling. The blood poured from his deep wound and within a few seconds, he passed out from blood loss. The uninjured one clumsily rolls around his ally, eventually getting back up and again charging at Alban, who was now near Matt, who was in the process of jabbing his sword at another soldier who seemed to be more of a dancer than swordsman.
            As the remaining men swarm both Alban and Matt, Alban kicks one soldier in the face with his heavy metal boot while Matt repels an attack with his Dwarfish shield. Alban then finishes off his attacker by pressing his steel boot into the man’s skull. Matt forces his shield into his attacker's chest, slicing his leg open. The injury was enough to force the soldier into shock and fall down as another attacker went to stab at Matt's side. Matt leaps just in time to safety, and with both hands on his Elven blade he swung it like a bat at the attacker's arm. The blade cut through the limb of the stumbling attacker. He slid on the loose rubble before hitting a jagged block of stone near Jacob. It was enough to make Jacob look up from his large spell book and move to a safer location for spell casting.

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