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09 November 2009 @ 07:45 pm

Could some people please read this and tell me what you think?

High in the palace of Kingsmart a young girl by the name of Karavere si Piren sat by a large window, a book discarded in her lap, gazing out over the city. Suddenly she turned and called to her maid, Lyea, who was sitting in a corner embroidering a cushion for her elderly mother.

‘Fetch my cloak, please Lyea,’

‘Of course M’lady,’ Lyea replied automatically as she went to the adjoining room to fetch her mistresses blue velvet and ermine cloak.

‘M’lady?’ Lyea asked tentatively as she returned to the main chamber.

‘Yes?’ replied absentmindedly, her eyes still looking out intently over the city.

‘If it please you, may I know where we are going?’

‘Out,’ Karavere replied cryptically as she got up and fastened the cloak around her shoulders with a silver pin in the shape of a swan, ‘Please bring my purse too, Lyea,’

‘Right away M’lady,’ Lyea replied and scurried into yet another adjoining room before returning and heading for the door of the chamber.

‘No, not that way,’ came Karavere’s voice.

Lyea turned around in surprise. Then it dawned on her where her mistress was going.

‘No, M’Lady. You promised you would stop sneaking out saving slaves!’

It had become a habit of the princess to spend her monthly allowance on buying slaves then freeing and caring for them before returning them to their homes. Unfortunately her father, King Piren of Fariel, found out and forbid her from continuing her charity on the basis that it might disrupt the delicate political fabric of the nation. That had been a month ago now and Karavere was starting to feel like a caged wolf.

‘Please Lyea,’ Karavere pleaded the older woman, ‘Last time, I promise!’

Lyea frowned, ‘That’s what you said last time,’

‘I mean it this time. Please Lyea; father doesn’t have to find out!’

‘No, he doesn’t, but he will find out eventually and then I’ll be in trouble, I may even lose my job. Did you think of that? No, of course not.’

Karavere fell to her knees, hands clasped together, looking pleadingly into her maids brown eyes, ‘Please, please, please Lyea. I won’t let them dismissZ you, I promise!’

‘You and your promises,’ Lyea muttered, before raising her voice to an audible level, ‘Get up, you disgrace yourself!’

Karavere scrambled to her feet hopefully, ‘Does that mean we can go?’

‘Yes,’ Lyea replied, ‘But, when we return you’re doing three dedicated hours of needlework.’

Karavere repressed a groan, arranging her face into a passable smile, ‘Great.’ She turned to leave and headed towards the servants door, pulled up the hood of her cloak a tucking her telltale blonde hair, which she had inherited from her mother, away carefully, making sure it was well hidden and the hood low over her face.


Five minutes later Karavere and Lyea slipped out the servant’s gate in the outer wall, through the tangled streets and out into one of the many bustling marketplaces of the city. The ducked and weaved through the crowds, the smells of everything from refuse to rare spices to fish from the harbour assaulting their nostrils. Slowly they made their way towards the city docks, where the slave markets were held. Finally they reached their destination which were accompanied by a strong stench of rotting fish and sweat. They joined the growing crowd; slaves, much to Karavere’s annoyance, always attracted a lot of attention.

‘Slaves from Bashraan! Strong, disciplined! Good for both indoor and outdoor work! Premium quality!’ the slave trader announced cheerfully, as if selling masks for the Isufen festival and not human lives. Karavere gritted her teeth to stop herself from giving him a piece of her mind. This was always the hardest part for her, the way the traders advertised the slaves like prime cuts of meat disgusted and angered her. She blocked the voice form her head, instead scanning the line of slaves upon the temporary wooden stage. As she scanned the dejected looking line one in particular caught her eye. He was tall, strong. His eyes smouldered with a fierce pride, seemingly undiminished despite his captivity.

The other buyers ignored him, he had too much spirit and they wanted a tame slave who would do what they were told. Tentatively, Karavere approached him. He glared at her and tried to lash out but the ropes jerked him back forcefully. Karavere nimbly stepped out of his line of attack. He snarled. For all his ferocity he couldn’t have been more than two years older than her, Karavere thought, around seventeen.

‘I can help you’ she whispered softly in fluent Bashraanian. A flicker of surprise passed across his face before his guarded mask returned.

‘I can help you, really,’ she repeated, ‘I won’t hurt you,’

He smiled, ‘You couldn’t hurt me if you tried,’ he spat, but he seemed tempted by Karavere’s offer and his eyes kept flicking towards the girl tied next to him. She was about Karavere’s own age, fifteen or so, and had some of the same facial features as the boy.

‘I can save the girl as well,’ she offered. His glance twitched towards her, trying to resist, denying the connection in case Karavere wished them harm yet not quite succeeding. The girl was currently being examined closely by a lecherous looking merchant.

‘She’s your sister,’ Karavere guessed.

He nodded briefly, eyes still wary and untrusting.

‘Will you accept my offer?’ she asked, ‘It’s better than you’ll get elsewhere.’

The boy nodded once more, ‘Yes.’

‘Good,’ Karavere replied before turning to the trader who stood nearby, ‘Excuse me, sir?’

‘Yes M’lady?”

‘Those two please.’ She pointed haughtily to the boy and his sister.

‘You can have the boy for free, he’s been nothing than trouble since I picked him up in Sontespont.’

‘And the girl?’

‘That one? She’s 1200 faris.’

‘1200?’ asked Karavere incredulously.

‘She’s my prize mare,’ the trader replied, ‘Lots of demand, can’t let her go cheap!’

Karavere looked a way for a second reining in her anger, then she leant up to the trader and whispered something in his ear. The trader blanched. ‘You can have her for 200 faris.’ The trader said hastily, as if suddenly wishing he was anywhere else.

Karavere smiled and handed him the gold coins, counting out all twenty coins carefully. He untied them both from the line with nimble hands that showed year’s worth of practice, though he left their hands tied, and handed the rope to Lyea who had reappeared.

Lyea gave Karavere a stern look, ‘You said only one!’ she whispered in Farielian as they soon as they were out of earshot of the trader.

‘Did not!’ Karavere retorted, ‘I just said it would be the last time. Besides, I got the boy for free and the girl for only 200.’

Lyea rolled her eyes, ‘What am I going to do with you, M’lady?’

Karavere just grinned.

If you want to read the rest go to http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2573701/1/Chronicles_of_Anrien_Book_1_Daughter_of_Kings 

ellymelly: did you like it?ellymelly on November 9th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
Hey :D

Have just read your story and it is a very interesting opening to what I can see is a much larger piece of writing. You really step into your stride in the second part of this excerpt - when you begin to describe the environment around your characters more. The only thing I would suggest is a little more description in the very beginning of your writing to better set the scene for the dialogue and give it more meaning. :D