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.”