Okay, so I’ve been almost completely inactive for like a month now, only to come back and find that both the tablet and the scanner are stubbornly refusing to cooperate with my artistic intentions. Well, that’s not going to stop me from posting a triumphant post-hibernation…Post, I guess. So even though I can’t pin up artstuffs (yes, in my world ‘stuffs’ is a suffix that can describe a plural of any noun), I can still write, well, writingstuffs (shut up, all you English teachers out there). And so I thought, why not give a teaser of the sequel to Let’s All Be Heroes that I’m writing right now? And then I thought, because this sequel sucks compared to LABH, so much that I can’t write a decent bit of teaser text. So…No teaser text for you, I guess. I’m just better at creating new worlds and stories than building on top of old ones. That’s probably why I don’t write any fanfiction-y stuff. I mean, I probably could write a short story using characters and setting from an existing literary work (I once read a bunch of short stories a guy wrote using LotR characters, with plotlines based on fortune-cookies messages — stories which turned out pretty awesome), but I couldn’t just up and send those beloved characters on an entirely independent story arc. That would pretty much be an insult to the author for me.
So basically, what I’m doing is giving you what was my first attempt at the sequel, which I scrapped long ago before staring over from scratch. It’s pretty awful, but hey, I as a reader love this kind of bonus material, and I’m guessing a lot of you out there do as well. So: I give you the beginning of Born To Slay Dragons, back when it was called Dancing In A Dragon’s Fire. Try not to puke if the familiar characters are too out-of-character.
THE STORY NEVER ENDS
The story never ends. Not truly.
There is a realm called Belecostar. It consists of a short mountain range, with a large amount of forest clustered round the mountains and four villages along the foot of the tallest one.
Some time ago, a Hero named Berthond Gellcomar set out to complete a quest and save the realm. He had with him three companions; Reynold Blightington, Harresta Brittlebuch and Telcrow Despar. He also encountered Selebriar Darkleaf, an Elf, who agreed to aid them in their quest.
Only Berthond and Selebriar survived.
When they returned to Berthond’s home village, the boy – along with his best friend Frestel — created a group of warriors to defend the borders of Belecostar, to lessen the chances of invasion of any sort.
Berthond himself no longer had much desire to go around completing quests; but he had the blood of a born Hero, and a bloodline never dies out…
A CHILD BORN IN BLOOD
‘He’s sort of…cute, I suppose.’ Selebriar carefully prodded the small pink thing in the cot. It gurgled back at him. He sighed. ‘I’m afraid I’m not particularly familiar with children.’ Berthond stroked his newborn son’s forehead. ‘I wasn’t asking you to babysit. I just thought you might want to meet him.’
Meliann, who had been wed to Berthond for three years, bustled into the room with fresh nappies. She wasn’t very good at bustling. She was more accustomed to lopping orcs’ heads off.
She and Berthond had met when he had first set up the warrior group and started recruiting. Meliann Shivertimb was from Arcondrake, the fourth village. She had been training as a warrior in case she was picked for the quest. In the end, a mage named Telcrow Despar had been chosen. Like the others who had accompanied Berthond on his quest, Telcrow had died. Berthond was glad it had been Telcrow and not Meliann.
‘Hullo, sweetheart. Oh…Good day to you, sire.’ She bobbed a little curtsy. Meliann was always extremely polite to Selebriar, believing that since he was an Elf, he was superior to humans. It rather irritated him, but he mostly ignored it. ‘Lescir dalun tìnel, Sea-Rose.’
The young woman blushed. ‘Oh, I don’t deserve an Elvish blessing…’ Selebriar sighed once more. ‘It just means “all goes well”, lady.’ Meliann blushed further. ‘And I…I don’t think I deserve being called a lady, sire’, she stuttered. ‘And what is “Sea-Rose”?’ ‘It’s what “Meliann” means in the Elvish toungue’, explained Selebriar, only mostly patient.
It didn’t seem possible for Meliann to blush even further, but she somehow managed it, and turned a bright red color. ‘Oh…You needn’t have gone and translated my name for me, sire.’ Selebriar turned to Berthond, who was trying not to burst out laughing. ‘Maybe it’s better if I just left, before her head explodes.’
The child’s name was Draketoer, which meant ‘dragon-slayer’. It was a noble and heroic name, which Berthond hoped could one day be lived up to. Everybody called him Drake, though; it being easier to remember.
And that’s how far I got before realizing that I had made a terrible mistake in beginning with Meliann’s introduction and starting over again. Also, Draketoer is a stupid name. It sounds like it could be the Ancient Belecostarian word for ‘dry toe fungus’. I changed it to Drakendrar in the new version, which admittedly is fairly absurd, but much better. Well, I’ve dropped enough hints for this to actually count as a teaser, so there you go. Until next time, I guess.