King’s Armor Prologue

I’m correcting and deepening King’s Armor again. Though I have a feeling it won’t be done by the end of the year like I’d originally hoped, every draft is getting a little better. Here is a prologue I wrote to help deepen the backstory of my most recent correction.
Prologue: Seventeen Years Ago
“This is a waste of time,” Draygan growled as he rose. The dim fire reflected dully on his hulking figure, rough gray skin, and long black hair. “One name, Tharib. One word.” He limped about the fire

and glowered down at prisoner two of his Maligents half held, half supported.

The man glared back, panting through clenched teeth, sweat and blood streaking his face in the uncertain moonlight.
Draygan hefted his barbed flail from one hand to the other as he leaned close. “Where. Are. Lysander. And. His. Family. Lodging.”
The Auloran didn’t reply.
With a snarl, Draygan swung his flail, raking the man’s chest. Tharib gasped as he buckled forward, only keeping his feet because of the tight grasp of his captors.
Draygan grunted and tilted his head slightly. The man raised his head, his lips tight but his eyes defiant. Draygan nodded to himself. “Very well. So you think you can bear the pain. But could your son, I wonder?”
Tharib clenched his jaw.
A footstep whispered from the shadows beyond the small hollow and another Maligent appeared. Draygan glanced toward him, and the Maligent nodded.
“Shall we fetch him?” Draygan questioned, turning back to his prisoner. “Your Havrain is what…ten? Eleven? He’s sleeping not far from here I believe, but it would be a pity to wake him for no reason.”
The man gritted his teeth. “You lie. You don’t know where he is.”
“Are you willing to take that chance?” Draygan beckoned to his scout and the Maligent tossed him a pendant. Draygan dangled the medallion from the chain before Tharib’s face. “Because I assure you, if we are forced to take the trouble of bringing him here, your Havrain will face the lash whether you speak or not.”
Even in the darkness, the man’s face paled and he grunted, jerking against his captors.
Draygan chuckled mirthlessly, then bent down, his eyes steely. “Where is the Captain camping this evening?”
Tharib closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing heavily through clenched teeth.
“The Captain!” Draygan demanded, forcing the prisoner’s head up. “Or shall we fetch your son?”
“No…” the man’s voice broke and he let out a low groan.
Draygan crossed his arms. “Lie to me, and we’ll kill your son before your eyes.”
“By the Gihon.” Tharib’s voice was barely a whisper. “Where the Blackwood and the river meet. They will rest there tomorrow night.”
Draygan’s eyes glittered and he sheathed his flail. “Thank you, Tharib.” He considered the man thoughtfully then nodded to himself. “Bind him and leave him for the beasts,” he ordered, turning away. “Then meet me with the others. We have a Captain to kill.”

Allen Shran

Allen Shran is another major character in my trilogy. He’s fairly new to the Rebel cause, but assembled a group of Freedom Fighters and quickly became one of the Reasoner’s most wanted fugitives. The second most wanted man in America, to be exact, right behind the elusive pastor who’s code named Gideon. (This is a chagrining topic for Allen because, for the life of him, he can’t understand why the Reasoners value a pastor, of all people, above himself).
Allen was born the only child of a privileged family. His father was involved in politics, his mother in science. Allen spent his younger years in the best schools his parents could afford, but when he was eighteen, his mother died in an explosion at the lab where she worked. Though he hadn’t known her well, the death was still a blow and Allen and his father grew closer after that. The next year Allen went to collage with plans to join the Reasoner party and rise up the political ladder like his Father. He’d almost finished his studies when the dictator died and nearly a year of political turmoil, including hundreds of imprisonments and dozens of assassinations, followed.
While in collage, Allen had gotten chances to discover old works and histories he’d never dreamed of. Books on the founding of America and strange ideas that government should be by the people and for the people. When his own father was murdered part way through the struggle for power, Allen lost all faith in the Reasoner cause and abandoned it completely. He went into hiding, joined with with a small group of rebels, and quickly rose to be their leader, learning as he went. Now, at age twenty five, he has recently met Titus, who’s coupled to Gideon’s Sword, and is hoping to work with the Christians in one overwhelming revolt against the Reasoners.
While not a Christian himself, Allen has a grudging respect for the ‘religious ones’, if for no other reason than because they’ve managed to survive the Reasoners for over fifty year. He has few friends and doesn’t trust others easily. And, though he puts on a careless face, Allen is serious and conflicted underneath. He’s drifting, with nothing but his hatred of the Reasoners holding him together.

Titus Stephen West

My sister asked me why I did my first character profile for Scarlet Rose on a man who was hardly even in the first book. Because I wanted to, for some reason, I suppose. But the character today plays quite a big role in all three books.
Meet Titus Stephen West. At twenty, he’s the oldest child in the West family. Anna is two years younger and they’ve always been close. Ever since a narrow escape from Reasoner police, when Titus was only six, Anna has looked on him as a bit of a hero. And Titus has viewed her protection as his own personal duty. This isn’t to say he didn’t love his other siblings as well; they were all dear to him and when his mother, David, Bethany, and Sarah died, he masked his sorrow in silent grim work to save as many others as he could. And the incident has only enforced his protective attitude toward his two remaining sisters, Anna and Elizabeth.
Though two years have passed, and his sorrow has dulled, Titus is still serious, cautious, and very intense…and not without reason seeing he’s faced the possibility of death his whole life. He isn’t without a sense of humor however, which can appear at the most unexpected times…normally in the form of a very dry or sarcastic comment.
Titus is a strong Christian. He also has very strong political views…mainly that the Reasoners need to be thrown out of the government and the people should reclaim their freedoms. He is willing to fight for what he believes, but isn’t going to lead a rebellion himself. He doesn’t plan on getting married until America is free, however. And he intends to spend his whole life in the meantime doing what he does best, protecting the innocent.
How does he do this? Well, you must promise to keep this a secret but Titus is the second most powerful man in Gideon’s Sword. He is in fact, Sword himself…the code name referring to the leader of the military part of Gideon’s Sword. Though the Christians do not attack Reasoner patrols, they do set up sentries around safe houses and house churches and will defend themselves and buy time for the woman and children to escape. Titus has also led over a dozen successful prison breaks to rescue Christians the Reasoners have captured.
A few fun facts about Titus. He loves chess and refers to his sister, Anna, as the queen. He likes old classics, like Lord of the Rings and a particular seven book fantasy series by a certain author, Hope Schmidt (well, perhaps not). His favorite color is deep indigo blue and he likes to wear steel tipped boots. He carries several knives and is an excellent shot with about any gun.
Titus is a great friend, a loyal comrade, and a confident fighter. His friendship is a great asset. And if you are his enemy…well, all I can say is watch out. And, under no circumstance, mess with his sister.

 

Kagan Trent

So I’ve decided to do character profiles for Scarlet Rose, one a week for..well, I don’t know for how long. For awhile. So, first off, Kagan Trent.
Kagan Trent is 34 and is a quite complicated character. He’s a minor character in Scarlet Rose, though his importance will grow through the next two books…and I still haven’t figured out an end for him. He is, simply put, a Reasoner interrogator in a prison in Elkbend, and quite a ruthless interrogator at that.
While a child, Kagan had a rocky relationship with his father. His parents divorced when he was just five. He never knew his mother very well…she died when he was sixteen. His father, however was stern. He taught his young son that working hard and gaining a good position was all that ever mattered. But no matter how hard Kagan worked, nothing was ever good enough. And, though Kagan’s father died six years ago, Kagan is still determined to rise higher and higher, proving his father’s ideas about him wrong.
Currently, Kagan is working as an interrogator of Christians and Rebels in East Elkbend Penitentiary. His goal is to become chief interrogator of the whole of Elkbend with a possibility of moving on to larger prisons in Chicago, the capital of the United Reasoner States. And his present assignment is finding the Scarlet Rose and wringing from her information about the Christian underground. The problem? He has a suspicion that Anna West, the Christian girl who was arrested a few days ago, either knows about the Scarlet Rose or may actually be the Rose. Only she’s been mistaken for another prisoner and had her memories replaced, so not only can Kagan not question her but she’s loose, thinking she is someone else, and liable to remember her own identity any time and take off to the wind. He wants her in a cell but Oliver Pent and the scientists will have none of it.
In any case, Kagan is cruel. He’ll do what he needs to get done what he wants. If you make him angry, there’s no telling what he’ll do, probably kill you…you you’re lucky. But, in recent times, his focus has been so on the Scarlet Rose that he sometimes lets others go. He has a tender spot for young lads and for dogs. He loves the beasts. A dog was his only friend when he was young and he always seems to have a few about his house…normally strays that he’s rescued.
A tragic character, obsessed with finding the Scarlet Rose, Kagan hates Christians and has no love for the Reasoners. And all he sees before him is a chance for power. And beyond that, nothingness.

Elentisa

Originally the two countries in The Shield and Spear were Celestia and Voland (Celestia being the country where Thaniel lives). But the name ‘Celestia’ has been used too many times and it is a bit too common, and so I ended up changing the name to Elentisa. This means, among other things, that I need to make a new map of my country. But I don’t know when I’ll get around to that and so I’ve included a copy of the old map below.