Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Draft Excerpt from my current novel:

I've received a few requests to see a sample of what I'm writing. Here is a section that I've cleaned up a little bit, but it's far from finished. I hope it explains a little bit about the magic system I have in my fantasy novel without giving too much away. -Tom H.

The small room was dark but for a single candle. In brighter light the velvet tapestries covering all of the wall from floor to ceiling would have been a deep crimson. In the dim light they were pitch black and looking at them you wouldn’t know if you were peeing into a deep cave or if they were a few feet in front of you. More useful as sound deadening capabilities then they were as decoration.

In the center of the room sat a rectangular granite pedestal, half a meter tall with an indent in the top in which an opaque orb rested, nestled slightly within the granite. The orb glistened wet in the candle light.

A lone figure sat in front of the orb on a small blanket, eyes closed, lips barely moving, breathlessly murmuring an incantation. The figure was hooded with a deep cowl that extended beyond his face.

The man opened his eyes as the spell completed, took a deep breath and exhaled slowly through his mouth. To the side of the pedestal was a small bucket of water which he slowly ladled out carefully. He paused slightly before pouring it gently over the orb before him and quickly put the ladle back in the bucket.

Cupping his hands before him, he furrowed his brow until a bright orange flame danced across his palms. He frowned deeply and concentrated more on the flame, sparking a few millimeters off his skin. The flame died down and became darker, losing the brightness of flame. It grew more red, deep red, violet, eventually turning into a dark blue flame, lower and more sedate than when it was first summoned.

He looked away briefly to breath away from the flame. When he looked back the flame had gone back to deep violet. He concentrated harder, beads of sweat forming on his forehead as the flame morphed into a low blue flame that didn’t spark at all. Blue became darker and lower, barely perceptible in the faint light, then took on a green tint.

At last the flame was to his liking, deep emerald green with no sputtering. It reminded him of an algae filled bird pond, ripples dancing lightly across the surface from a slight breeze. Beads of sweat on his face had coagulated and were dripped down to his chin, but he didn’t notice or dare break his concentration.

Slowly he moved his hands toward the orb, cupping the deep green plasma. He carefully let his hands part and watched as the emerald flame slowly drizzled out of his hands and onto the glistening orb. Once all the precious fire had been deposited he sat back and watched as the orb began to spin.

Opaque became clear and the green flame coating the entire surface was absorbed within it’s surface. Soon the orb was spinning faster and faster, a green-filled fire-infused orb. Little splashes of water hit his face as the orb spun faster and faster till it was a blur of energy.

A nervous smile spread across his face as the orb was now complete. He wiped off his face with this cloak and pulled his hood back.

The figure began mumbling intelligible words, intent on the orb. A face slowly materialized in the green swirl.

“I have been waiting for your report,” the hooded man in the orb stated.

“I am sorry, My Lord, but I have failed you. The woman got away.”

The man in the flame raised his eyebrow for a moment and nodded slightly. “I figured as much, and what about the old man?”

The man in front of the orb brightened a little bit. “We got him my Lord, he is being…questioned as we speak.”

“See to it that he never leaves your dungeon.” The Master pondered something for a moment and a small hint of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “But do not kill him, we will need him for later.”

“My Lord, this is another matter.”

“What now?” The irritation in the man’s voice was striking and the man in front of the orb hesitated a moment before speaking.

“There is a boy, my Lord. We did not know she had a son. Both the old man and her were talking about him when we ambushed them in the forests outside of town.”

“And where is he now?”

“Still in town, he…he is with his father, my Lord.”

“Does he show any promise?”

“Too soon to tell, he is only a small boy.”

“The father?”

“A simple pusher my Lord, as far as we can tell. He works in the mines and was raised here his entire life.”

“So the witch had a son did she? I wonder if the father know how much trouble he is in for laying with the likes of her.” The Master reared his head back and laugh. He lowered his head with a genuine smile. “Finally you bring me some good news. See to it that the boy is watched closely. Alert me when he is finally tested. He could be very valuable to us if he inherited enough of his mother’s blood.”

“Very well, my Lord.”

“See to it that you do not let another slip through your grasp. Not everyone is as patient as I am.”

The Master waved his hand in front of his face and his image dissipated quickly.

The man remained kneeling and silent as the orb began to wind down. His eyes were intent on the green flame inside. He held back blinking as the flame grew dim and finally disappeared. When the orb was finally finished, he released a deep sigh of relief and blinked his eyes to rehydrate them.

He looked around the room. The lone candle was slowly flickering in the corner. Shaking slightly, his tunic drenched in sweat, he stood up and blew out the candle. He listened at the door for sounds on the other side. Not hearing anything, he raised the cowl of his cloak back over his head, and carefully exited the small room.


  1. Excellent draft Tom! Rough around the edges and needs some polishing but you are in the groove. Fantasy is about imagery and you're describing your scenes wonderfully. I look forward to more!

  2. Michael T. CarrilloAugust 12, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    I think Tim hit the nail on the head... I could clearly see my own image of the subordinate man weaving his spell and the orb on the pedastal, and I think the ability to induce that type of mental imagery in your readers is key.

    On a more general note, though... while I think most of us folks who play RPGs, read fantasy novels, watch fantasy movies, etc. piddle around with the idea of writing our own novel at some point, very few of us ever actually get past the "thinking about it" stage. It takes a lot of guts to go out on that limb, and even more to open yourself to public scrutiny like this right at the outset. However this venture turns out, I congratulate you on having the courage to take these first steps as boldly as you have.

  3. I got a good sense of the room and setting without you going into too much detail, which I think is good. I'd love to read more!