I did not include this whole scene here, because it ended very badly for poor Frederic: thus the reason I took it out.
Frederic awoke with a start. The door to his cell was being opened.
No one ever comes, so why at this early hour? The sun was just barely peeking through the trees, and the morning chill had not yet left.
“Breakfast, kid.” The jailor opened the door, to let in a young kitchen boy.
Frederic’s heart leapt into his throat, he tried to keep from looking like he recognized the boy. His mind was running wild though. What is he doing here? How has he escaped recognition?
The jailor began unlocking Frederic’s chains, while Frederic kept glancing towards the young boy. There was so many questions he wanted to ask him. Did he have contact with the outside world? Was he trying to send him a message of some sort?
At last Frederic’s hands were free, and he rubbed his wrists.
The servant boy handed him a wooden bowl of rice. He reached his fingers in, and suddenly stopped as they touched something solid.
“Come on, boy.” The jailor said, turning around.
Frederic dug into the bowl, and his fingers curled around the handle of a dagger. Frederic’s mind suddenly began racing. I need the keys for the stocks on my feet. If I tried throwing the dagger, I would fail. I’m a horrible aim. Owen is my best bet, but how?
“Jailor, did you hear that?” Frederic asked.
“Hear what?” He said, turning back.
“Something in the next cell over.”
The jailor stalked out, going to the next cell.
“Get the keys!” Frederic whispered loudly, as he hid the dagger underneath himself.
Owen silently crept over to the jailor’s seat, and crawled on top, grabbing the keys off. He just barely slipped them in his pocket and jumped off the chair before the jailor came out of the other cell. “No one’s even in there, don’t know what you heard. Anyway, eat that up quick, I don’t have all day.” He stood in the doorway, looking around.
Owen walked over as if to take the bowl from him, and slipped the keys to him.
A few minutes later the jailor walked over to Frederic. “You’ve had enough time, kid. Boy, take the bowl.”
Owen took the bowl, and the jailor went to grab Frederic’s hand. Frederic pulled out the dagger and stabbed him. He fell on top of Frederic, and Frederic pushed him off while grabbing the keys out.
“It’s so good to see you!” Frederic exclaimed as the key turned in its lock, and the stocks opened. Frederic stood up, stretching his legs, as Owen ran to hug him. “I was afraid you were dead, like the others, but I heard someone mention you, and then, Quin and I thought up this brilliant scheme!”
“The…others…didn’t make it?”
“I don’t know what happened to…the rest of my family.” Owen gulped. “Evelyn says they probably escaped, but the cook says that such a thing would’ve been impossible.”
Frederic hugged little Owen, fighting the tears himself. “Who knows, Owen. We must simply hope. Now come on. I’m going to switch clothes with the jailor, and then we can go down, and figure out how to get out of this place.”
The clothes were a little too big, but with a belt they looked okay.
Apprehension rose in Frederic’s stomach as they began walking down the stone stairs. What if we run into a rebel soldier? Will they recognize me?
They exited the tower at the bottom, and entered the outer court yard.
There was two guards guarding the entrance of the tower, but they didn’t even look up as the pair came out.
Frederic tried to inconspicuously hide behind a tree as three soldiers came from the stables. They passed by.
“The execution is in a few minutes.”
“It’s a private execution, right?”
“They’re going to need the keys, and look for the jailor.” Frederic whispered to Owen. We have to get out of here and fast.”
“But Frederic, my grandmother is hiding in the kitchen cellar! I can’t just leave her here!”
Not so fun fact: the execution taking place in that scene was that of Queen Mother Glorianna, who had been discovered hiding in the kitchens by the rebels.
These scenes were taken out when I decided the book should be from Prince Phillip’s perspective only, to keep the element of surprise.
The quaint manor just outside of Corazin in the country was quiet and clean, with ivy growing on the stone walls. It was a two-story building with a great hall attached at one side and a low four foot wall surrounding the place.
Voices were heard outside the wall and in the old wooden door the clinking of a metal key turning back to lock sounded.
“Oh, I assure you, it will do nicely for you and your family,” a hearty voice said.
The walnut wood door swung open, revealing a happily dressed party of six people.
They stared in, cautiously moving forward and looking at everything they could see.
Two gentlemen, a lady and three children entered as the cheery gentleman kept rattling on about the place.
The children, whom consisted of two young ladies and a very young boy followed with nearly uninterested expressions.
One of the girls, blonde hair in a design of Kratarian braids, was of eighteen years and held her little brother’s hand and glanced at the old building with an unhappy expression.
Her dress was a simple blue gown laced up the sides with a white chemise underneath it.
“Well, the family uh, recently moved out if you know what I mean,” the cheery gentleman explained to the children’s father.
“Ah,” Lord Borislav said with a nod, “Deported or elevated, Sir Karles?”
“Neither, my lord, went into service for King Sᴓren at the Priascon castle. Anyway, the place is by no means deserted.” Sir Karles said in a cheery tone, then turning to the ladies with a smile, “And I’m sure you gentlewomen will be pleased to have a look inside your new home?”
The young lady in the blue gown avoided his eyes, looking down at the ground.
“Yes, yes, of course! Thank you for your sweet consideration!” Borislav’s wife quickly replied, “Shall we, Glorianna?” she said with a smile and a quick motion of the head.
Glorianna gave a low sigh and let go of her little brother’s hand. “Yes, Mother,” she replied, following her inside the low door to the great hall while the men went to look at the stables.
“Isn’t it rather dull looking, Cori?” Glorianna said in a low tone to her sister, not much younger than she.
Cori gave a soft smile, “Oh, I don’t know. There’s something whimsical about it.”
“Oh, this fireplace is superb!” Glorianna’s mother was exclaiming, pointing to the carving on top, “See, Glorianna, how the masons added this sweet image of a hunting party to it?” she didn’t wait for an answer as she hurried on to some other peculiarity.
Glorianna sat down by the big open windows, staring out with pain-filled blue eyes into the empty courtyard.
This will never be home. Not like our own castle in Krataria. Why…why must we pretend to like it here? Glorianna felt her eyes overflowing with hot tears.
“What’s the matter?” Cori whispered, concern on her face.
Glorianna quickly wiped away the tears as she looked up, “Oh, just…just dreaming of home,” she said in a longing whisper.
Cori put an arm around her sister and sat down beside her, leaning a head on her shoulder.
“But this looks wonderful! Shall we check out the rest of the house?” Glorianna’s mother was saying as she turned to them.
Glorianna slowly stood, “If you wish, Mother.”
The hall and the castle were connected by an outside path that led to the front doors.
As they walked up the steps to the second story, Glorianna’s mother turned with a slight smile, “There, the move hasn’t been so bad after all, has it? Already have a pleasant home and pleasant prospects for you,” she said with a pleased glance at Glorianna.
“It’s not home,” Glorianna said with grit teeth, eyes flashing, “besides, my heart may never belong to another!”
The stately woman turned fully around, “Oh would you forget about that silly boy, he doesn’t care for you and he won’t turn to Sᴓren as the king, so put him out of your mind!” she snapped.
Corianna cleared her throat and motioned towards the big open window, “It appears father and Lord Karles are also coming to give the manor a look,” she said in a clear but gentle voice.
Glorianna and her mother became silent as they finished the trek to the top of the stairs, hearing the door to the castle open and the two gentlemen talking in chummy voices.
Glorianna gave her sister a little smile. “I don’t know how you’ll decide, you seem to like them all, but what’s your favorite room so far?”
A few days had passed and the once empty castle was now bustling with activity. Horses laden with the Earl and his family’s belongings were riding through the gate and being unloaded in the stables.
Servants were getting fires blazing in every room, putting up curtains, making the beds and unpacking.
“See that apple tree out there, Glori?” the twelve year old heir to all that Borislav had to offer him, said in a feeble but excited voice, pointing out the open window on the ground level.
Glorianna smiled, sitting down on a window seat. “Not an apple tree, Alexander, a cheery tree, you know that.”
“Well, yeah. Can I go see it, think you?” Alexander said with an eager smile.
“Of course. It’s our—our castle now, I suppose you can do as you like. Just as if we were—” she stopped abruptly, her smile fading.
“Really, just as if we were at home?” Alexander said, running from the room.
Glorianna sighed, crossing her arms.
She watched Corianna rush through the room beside two servants. “Oh, be careful with that. I can’t wait to put it all up in my room! No, Izinka, that goes to mother’s room.”
As she was about to rush out, she saw Glorianna sitting there. “Go ahead, I shall be there shortly,” she called to her servants. Than she turned to Glorianna with a sweet smile and a sympathetic sigh, coming and sitting beside her.
“Has your things come yet?” she asked.
Glorianna nodded her head. “Yes. They’re in my room, but the servants can put up the necessities.”
Corianna smiled. “I don’t see how you can’t like it here…I mean,” her eyes wandered off and her smile faded, “It’s nothing like our home in Krataria was at present, without the…you know, friends and such. But it is a pretty place, and I’m already becoming quite attached to it.”
Glorianna grabbed Corianna by the shoulders with a gentle smile, “And well you should be. I’m glad that my dear twin sister can bask in the happiness of the new castle. Now go enjoy yourself,” she said with a growing smile.
Corianna grinned radiantly and leapt up, “I shall!” and she rushed from the room.
Perhaps I’ll go explore the gardens.
Glorianna walked out of the halls, exiting the castle through the back door.
The garden consisted of an old oak tree with flowers planted around the base and a wooden swing hanging from its branches.
She sat down on it just as Alexander ran up.
“Glori, Glori, did you see the postern gate? It’s a little secret gate by the pond back there, covered up with vines!” Alexander said with delight.
“A secret gate? How did you find it?” Glorianna asked with sudden interest.
“Why, father and the rest of the lords are looking at it and trying to figure out what to do with it,” Alexander said. “Oh look, they just took my horse into the stables!” Alexander rushed off.
What a pity the men found it…why must I live here? Why must I grow up in a foreign country, marry in that land and raise my children there? No, Krataria will always be my home…why, oh why did father have follow that traitorous Prince Sᴓren across the waters? Sᴓren’s greed and self-centeredness ruined all of our lives.
Glorianna shook her head and stepped off the swing.
I can’t think like that or…I could get killed for treason.
Glorianna wandered across the courtyard to the back of the castle wall. The group of men had moved towards the other end of the courtyard to check out the battlements.
Now I can get a good look at the door without all of the…the lords around.
Glorianna stepped around the small pond and moved aside the vines to find the old postern gate leading to a walled in bridge over the moat. She glanced back towards the party of lords and then slipped out the door.
As she exited the end of the covered bridge, she heard voices on the wall. Turning, she saw that the party of men had proceeded onto the wall above the postern door and were about to see her.
She dashed towards a wood not far away, but heard the voice of her father, Lord Borislav.
“Glorianna, wither dost thou go without escort or servant?” he demanded, bringing the attention of all of the young lords to her.
She turned about, blushing. “I was just going for walk, that I was, Father.”
“Alone, into the woods?” Borislav said with a loud indignant voice. “That does not sound good at all! Come back at once!”
Glorianna sighed and walked back to the covered bridge, hearing her father say in a low tone, “See what I have to deal with? She needs a strong-willed man to guide her.”
Glorianna grit her teeth, glad to be concealed in the dark tunnel as she turned beet red. She pushed open the door and entered the courtyard.
So, he wasn’t strong-willed enough, was that it? More like he didn’t do what you wished! He was strong-willed enough to stay behind King Theobald and not run after the silver-tongued Prince Sᴓren like you!
“Karles, my offer remains,” she heard her father mumble.
She broke into a run, back to the castle.
When at last she reached her chamber, shutting and deadbolting the door, she threw herself on the bed, hot tears accompanied by heavy sobs.
I will never marry that man! Even though he be the right-hand man of Sᴓren himself, I just—I just couldn’t! Balding, beady-eyed, mercenary man. How could father do this to me?
Glorianna turned over, staring up at the high beams of the ceiling, wiping the tears from her cheek.
If he ever gets up enough money for the bride price my father has set, I will—I’ll simply disappear, never to be heard from again. Where will I go?
Glorianna bit her lip, her eyes full of pain and uncertainty.
I just want to go home. Her eyes closed, silent tears escaping beneath her lids and running down her already wet cheeks.
Just then there was a fumble with the door and then a knock, “Glorianna, is that you in there? Could you open the door?”
Glorianna quickly sat up, wiping the tears away and gaining control. It was her servant.
Alikla mustn’t see me crying. She’ll—she’ll I don’t know, tell Mother.
Glorianna unbolted the door. “You can come it,” she said in a steady voice, walking over to the window and looking out.
The door opened and she could hear a crate being set down on the floor. There was a quick tread on the floor and then the door began creaking shut. It stopped before clicking and Glorianna turned about.
Alikla was looking at her with sympathetic eyes.
“What are you hesitating for,” Glorianna said in a commanding voice, “Did you have something to say to me?”
Alikla looked down, curtsying, “No, milady, I mean—I just thought you’d like to know something I overheard, if you haven’t already.”
Glorianna raised he eyebrows, “Oh? Come in and close the door.” She walked over to her bed and leaned against the fourth post while the servant did as told.
“I was walking along the kitchen gardens a few minutes ago,” Alikla said in a low tone, looking with serious eyes towards Glorianna, “when I heard Lord Borislav talking with Sir Karles, alone. Karles said he would have the bride price money within a week or two.”
Glorianna’s eyes flicked away. “Can you be certain?” she said anxiously.
Alikla nodded solemnly. “Yes. I just thought—I thought you would like to know.”
Glorianna gave a smile, “Thank you very much, Alikla. I appreciate your—your willingness to please me over my mother.”
“Milady, I just can’t imagine being in your shoes and having to marry such a man—forgive me for boldness.” Alikla said.
“Understand this, if I am ever in a place where I can reward you, I will…so long as you stick to my side,” Glorianna said, taking a short breath, “I’m considering…a few options, and if you will help me, I will do everything in my limited power to help you achieve your dreams as well.”
Alikla nervously fiddling with her fingers, “I want to help you, Glorianna, but I can’t do anything—treasonous, or against my Lord Borislav.”
Glorianna nodded. “That’s fine. Just little tips like that help.”
“Then yes, I’ll help you, Milady.” Alikla smiled and curtsied, closing the door behind her.
This scene turned out with weak reasoning behind the royalty’s decision, so I ditched this plot development altogether.
In King Kierkegaard’s chamber, Kierkegaard, Irene, Wallace, and Kierkegaard’s advisor were all talking earnestly together.
“But Father, I must be able to marry her! That way when King Phillip keels over, we can have Irithria!” Wallace exclaimed.
“Calm down, Wallace, there’s more to it than that,” Kierkegaard demanded. “Tell him the way it is, Sir Nagal.”
Nagal drew in a deep breath. “Your Highness, there are certain rules that even the king must abide by in Boarlone. If you don’t, you will end up upsetting powerful people, particularly in the church, and if the church calls for a holy war against you, you will find that all of the islands and islands beyond will be fighting against you.”
“What rules?’ Wallace demanded.
“Well, the on we’re looking at right now,” Nagal said, pointing to a long legal paper in his hand, “Is a tradition that Boarlonian kings have been following for centuries…long before King Sᴓren took over. It says that when a foreign princess is captured, no one may take her to be his wife unless it is either agreed upon by her, or any one of her relatives.”
“Well, that’s just ridiculous,” Wallace fumed.
“Don’t worry, Wallace,” Irene interrupted with a smooth smile, “With the way we are going about I’m sure we—or rather you, will be able to woo the princess. You must simply get her to like you and then agree upon marriage! And since she think’s her father agrees to it, the task should be easy,” Irene said with a wide smile.
Wallace grunted, “It should be easy without that small detail.”
“Exactly. She is a young, impressionable, gentle girl, easy to mold into who we want, and easy to impress upon her what we want her to do,” Irene said in a low tone.
Kierkegaard grinned and leaned back in his chair. “And Phillip can’t demand a thing! I believe I have more power than I did in the first two years, and soon will have control of both countries!”
“Don’t be so arrogant and blind, Kierkegaard,” Irene snapped, “First we have to arrange the marriage, hold off any plans that King Phillip might try, and then kill Phillip off!”
Kierkegaard scowled and stood. “Well, you needn’t worry about it, just let it work itself out.”
Irene laughed. “Sure, let it work itself out. Anyway, Wallace, we better get working. I’m going to have the royal seamstress sew you three new doublets, and you’ve got to work on your charming smile.”
“Ah, Mother, don’t worry about me! I know how to capture a lassie’s heart!” Wallace grinned and winked.
“Perhaps but capturing a princess’ heart is an entirely different matter,” Irene said sternly.
This was the first draft of the first scene for the book, written just hours after having finished reading the great Classic “Kennilworth.” The scene was re-written after I realized my writing style and had been heavily influenced by Sir Walter Scott’s writing.
A white stag dashed through the trees, the baying of a score of dogs at its heels. The dogs were fierce hunting dogs, fast and loyal to the call of their masters, the party of noble pleasure seekers on steeds behind them.
One young man pushed his steed before the others, calling to his dog, “At ‘em, boy!” To close the gap between hunter and hunted.
The stag was soon defeated by the dogs and the work of the noble hunters.
The ride back to the castle of this party’s host was a leisurely one, filled with cheerful talk and laughter among the courtiers and knights whom surrounded the king in this sport.
“Twas’ Sir Gerald’s reckless son who first caught sight, Your Majesty,” claimed an elderly knight to his friend.
“No, it was I, foul friend! You know it!” the jolly and slightly round knight said with a laugh on his tongue and a wink in his eye. This was drowned out by the uproariously laughter of the younger set, trying to keep one of the newly introduced pups from riding on the makeshift sled the domestics had made for their meat to ride on.
“The younger ones can’t help but gain the attention of the whole party,” the jolly-humored hunter hinted, not displeased, to his companion.
The grey haired friend smiled sagely “And if they aren’t bringing attention to themselves, the Princess and her suitor reserve the attention of us all.” He nodded toward a pair to the back of the younger set, their voices just happy and careless enough to fill in that blank space of minimal conversation that usually comes after so loud a bout of laughter.
“Why, I feign to be no great hunter, Princess!” came the exclamation of one happy and handsome young man, bringing many to his attention that had not already been watching him with keen eye.
The fair maiden riding beside him, those whom the others in the party had expressed as being the princess, laughed with that twinkle in her eye that caused all the young lords to silence their play and listen to the sound of it, no doubt wishing they had been the lucky one who had caused it.
“You ought to be, for one who does so well in the sword fighting tournaments should know something of the chase, don’t you think so?” the lady responded with an air of jest about her. Her smiling face was graced with two fine blue eyes and her hair was of the lightest colors of blonde, her tresses being like shafts of golden sunlight falling in gentle waves around her face and down around the horse’s neck, mingling with the palomino’s own soft hair.
“And yet, I never said I knew nothing of the chase! I only said I was not as of yet, great. There is a difference, dear Eleanor!” The young man said lightly.
Soon the party came to the grand castle and were admitted into the courtyard where the party broke up into several groups.