Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Legend of Furgasta: The Demon War (Prologue, Looking for critique)

This is the opening chapter of the novel I am working on writing. Looking for some critiques to see if/how I can improve it before moving on to Chapter 1
Gore, violence


The dark quiet of the night carried with it a feeling of unease. The silence broken only by the crackling of the flames as the light of the fire canvassed along the cold stone walls of the castle bedroom. The young pup lying in the crib could feel the gentle warmth through the light blankets layered atop him. The sound of the glass terrace doors creaking open could barely be heard, but just enough to catch the ears of the young wolven and bring those sleepy eyes of his to open.

Quick shifting of shadows slipping in and out of the light of the moon caught the pup’s eyes. There were beings outlined by the light of the fire, all dressed on black hooded cloaks, with only the glint of eyes and the shapes of muzzles visible. They gathered around a bed in the corner opposite of where the pup’s crib lay.

Within moments, that sense of uneasiness was swiftly replaced by one of dread. The pup could hear the muffled cry of his older brother, watching the shadows dance along the wall, illuminating the struggle. The pup began to cry loudly, tears seeping into the fur of his cheeks.

“Silence the runt. We only need one of them alive.”

The phrase was spoken in a hushed tone, but it made the pup cry ever louder. A figure swiftly moved to the crib. The pup’s eyes could see the sheen of the dagger as it was lifted swiftly upwards. But the darkness was broken as the door to the hallway opened. The blade swung down fast, but soon a large hand came across the pup’s face, followed by a loud roar. Blood dripped from the hand above him as the glint of the blade shone through it, stained in red. Drops splashed on the boy’s face, the warm liquid staining his fur, seeping to his skin as the scent carried to his nostrils.

“Guards! To arms!” this new voice called out with a powerful reverb, echoing through the room. The hand above him moved, the pup’s blurred vision turning to the terrace. He saw the body of his brother slumped over the shoulder of one of the figures as the group made their escape.

But soon, the pup’s vision began to darken. That feeling of dread and unease became more powerful. He could feel shivers rippling through his body. Opening his eyes, the room was gone. The light of the moon was gone. There was no crib beneath him. Darkness surrounded the pup, as though he were being suspended in space.

But he was a pup no more. He looked around frantically in the darkness. He ran about the darkness, the wolven prince feeling panicked, as if the very essence of evil was coalescing within the very air itself.

“Simon?! Brother, where are you?!”

The wolven prince’s voice echoed in the darkness, as if his voice resounded through a large and empty cave. His voice was greeted with a misting green that seemed to sweep around the prince until a large, black cloaked figure formed before him. Within the grasp of the figure was a jagged scythe made of bone.


The voice spoke with a sinister yet slightly familiar tone. The weapon shifted, before it came at his head with an unearthly speed. That feeling of evil and dread ravaged through his body, the feeling of finality and mortality ripping him apart.


Eyes shot open as the wolven prince shot up in his bed, hands gripping the satin sheets that covered him. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, his breathing ragged and rapid. But the only thing that greeted his eyes was the soft sunlight shining through the glass terrace doors and the soft chirping of birds outside.

The wooden door opened sharply. At the door was the familiar face of the tiger-striped tiglio man, dressed in the silver armor of the Furgastian guard. Upon the chest piece was the symbol of a chalice, traditionally worn by high ranking knights as a symbol of the virtue of honor. A muscular, large feline with black hair that was greying in a stripped pattern. The tiglio breathed a sigh, closing his eyes for a brief moment before opening them up again, those blue eyes showing a gentler gaze now.

“Another nightmare, your majesty?” the guard asked. Robert brought his hand from the blanket to his forehead, feeling the sensation of dread fade as his mind and body recovered from the stress. Once he could feel his breathing return to normal, he looked over at the guard in the doorway.

“Yes. Sorry to trouble you like such, Minis. I fear these dreams are becoming more frequent as of late.” The wolven prince answered. Pushing the blankets off of his body, Robert slides himself out of the bed and onto his bare feet. The powder blue baggy bottoms and short-sleeved top of his night garb draped over the prince’s toned form.

“It could be because of the upcoming ceremony. I know Princess Olivia is the very last woman you want to be getting married to, but your father wishes an end to the hostilities between Furgasta and Delacia. And you are the only heir left after your brother was kidnapped.” Minis replied as the guard walked into the prince’s bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Robert cringed a bit at the prospect, his face visibly flinching as he looked at the castle gardens from the glass terrace doors. “No. That is a different nightmare in and of itself. At least this one is a nightmare I can wake from. The marriage is another problem altogether.” He spoke, his tone tinged with annoyance at the prospect.

Olivia was a very beautiful tiglio, her lioness figure as beautiful as any dancer, and long, flowing black hair. Her emerald eyes could bring just about any man to their knees, as her smooth, creamy tan and white fur looked like flowing silk. But that was where the good parts of her ended. She was a true aristocrat. People not of royalty were below her and she made sure to make it known. She was vain, egotistical, and if someone slighted her in the least, she found ways to make their lives hell.

“I understand bringing an end to hostilities, but this is sheer madness on my father’s part. I can already see a dagger in my back as soon as the vows are uttered.” Robert mused, his tone tinged with satire and sarcasm. He turned away from the terrace doors and walked over to the armoire, opening the doors to unveil the hanging outfits set inside. “I know. I’m a prince; therefore I must marry either another royal or a member of nobility. But there are better ways to achieve peace, and I’ve better choices among the lower kingdoms of our land. Heck, if you were a noble, Lilac would be my first choice.”

Minis gave a hearty laugh to Robert’s words, his muscular arms crossing over his armored chest. The tiglio waved his hand in a dismissive manner, showing a pink scar across the black central pad of his palm. A scar that had remained for sixteen cycles since that night. Minis was only a low ranking castle guard at that time, and either by fate or chance, his ears heard the newborn prince’s cries. And it was that hand that kept the assailant’s dagger from reaching its target. And now, he was knight-commander of the Furgastian Guard, and was Prince Robert’s personal bodyguard, and eventually, close friend and mentor.

“There is no way I would be able to live the lifestyle of a noble. Could you actually see me in any of those garish outfits on a regular basis?” the tiger-like knight jested in a boisterous tone. “Not to mention the ballroom dances. Combat is the only dance I’m comfortable with.” He added, brushing a thumb across the bridge of his own nose. “Not that Lilac would mind the opportunity that brings. You two have been pretty close. She’s hoping to take my place as your protector.”

Robert laughed a bit before pulling out a simple, royal attire. Blue dress pants, a red satin sash to wrap around his waist, a frilled white dress shirt made of silk, and a blue top coat with gold buttons along the cuffs, each bearing the symbol of the ankh. Tossing his sleeping garments into the wicker hamper, the wolven prince began dressing himself. White and silver fur graced his body, the silver hugging the curves of his muscle while black undertones gave the silver a nice contrast. The white ran from his cheeks and lower jaw and down along his chest, ending at the inside of his legs.

He dressed himself in a quick manner, tossing the shirt on and buttoning it up, pulling the pants up and fastening the buckle before wrapping the red sash around his waist. Once he finished slipping the top coat on, the wolven prince turned to his escort, looking at him with his golden amber eyes. “Well, I’d certainly look forward to the day that happens. If I’m going to be forced to marry Olivia, I’m going to need someone watching my back.”

“You say that like I couldn’t.” the tiglio mused, jabbing the prince with a teasing remark. “But in any case, I’ll get the practice ring ready. I have a feeling you’re going to need a good spar after breakfast. Unless by some miracle you and your father can behave yourselves enough to not go at each other’s throats for one morning.” Minis opened the door, holding it with his outstretched arm across the wood.

“You talk as if it is a daily occurrence. Though with as often as I try to talk sense into father, it might as well be daily.” Robert mused, walking out into the corridor as his guard closes the door. The pair walk down the spiraling stairs until they exit into the hallways of the first floor of the castle. Maids busy about the hallway, some breaking from their work to bow to the prince, giving greetings and well wishes.

A black and white skunk-like stralip butler opened the door leading to the grand dining hall. Robert walked in, seeing his parents seated at the far end of the long, rectangular table. His mother, a beautiful wolven of pure white fur and long, flowing brown hair, the same color as the shorter, messier hair that he himself had. She was dressed in an elegant emerald dress, her lower arms sleeved in green satin fingerless gloves. His father sat beside her. Powerful and broad in build. A truly impressive black jackal-like anubian. He was dressed in blue and gold regal attire. Upon his head was the royal crown, a gold ankh set in the center of an elegant circlet. Gold bracers latched around his forearms. Black dreadlocks made up his hair.

“Em hotep, Robert dear. Did you sleep well?” the wolven queen asked, her tone sweet, motherly. It was like a sweet tune. Two maids stood beside the table, one holding a tray with plates covered with silver domes, the second carrying a tray with silver tea cups and an elegantly fashioned silver tea pot. Both waiting in patient obedience for the prince to join his parents.

Robert pulled out a seat near his mother, keeping her between him and his father. “Em hotep, mother. My sleep has been as well as can be expected. The nightmares have been returning, and more potent than in times past.” he admitted, watching the maids set the plates down before the royal family. The covers were lifted to reveal the meal they kept hidden: a fluffy omelet filled with wild grain rice and dressed with sweet ketchup, sliced chicken breast with a lemon-pepper rub, and two slices of toasted rye bread with a smear of strawberry jam across each one. The smell of the food was delightful, as was the smell of the tea being poured for them. A sweet black tea with four kinds of cinnamon and sweet cloves.

“Perhaps you should go and see Lady Pandora after breakfast, son. Her remedies were enough to help you in your younger years. And you will need a clear mind for the years ahead.” The king spoke in a calm tone that carried a quiet strength to it. “Olivia is going to be arriving by the end of this season. I know you have your objections, but having you two live together before the wedding should help you both better adjust to each other.”

Robert set his fork down on the plate, his appetite practically vanished, replaced by a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. “Of course I have my objections! There are other ways to peace than this! You have your trade deal and cease fire that’s lasted over the past ten cycles. Let Olivia marry someone who can put up with her. There are so many better options! Why not Taylor of Caddery? Or Sulia of Boggad? The queen of Zoku has two daughters, Ebony and Ivory. Either one of them would be a better choice than Olivia! Even Princess Scarlet of Lauose, and you know how much of a combat nut she is. I would pick even her over Olivia!”

The king closed his eyes and breathed slowly through his nose, as if restraining himself. “It was Olivia’s insistence that this marriage be the centerpiece. I believe she has grown quite a bit from when you last met her. Remember, you were but a mere five cycles old when you two met.” he replied to his son before picking up the cup of tea and sipping it. “Yes, our countries have been at war for the past three thousand years, and all of the aggression has come from their end. King Solomon has worked hard to end the violence, and has worked to suppress the demon cults of his land. He lost a number of his personal friends in his revolt against his father. You can come up with all of the conspiracies you want, but I will not jeopardize this chance of ending this conflict once and for all. We have to make sacrifices for the good of all people.”

“I AM NOT A SACRIFICE!!” Robert shouted as he sharply rose to his feet, his hands slamming down on the table. “Ra damn it all father! The war has been over since Solomon took his throne! Just talk with Solomon, renegotiate that part! It is not right that I should be used as a bargaining chip without having any say in the matter! I am not something! I am someone! And I have a right to determine my future!”

With a gesture of his fingers, two rings of golden light appear around Robert’s upper and mid body. They quickly shrink and tighten, binding the prince’s arms to his sides. With a downward gesture, the divine energy forces the prince down onto the seat once more. The queen’s eyes go wide and soon she grabs her husband by the wrist. “Farnem! Calm yourself! This is going too far!”

“Would you rather I strike him, Janelle? I’m not going to harm my son. But I will not tolerate this outrage at the same time.” He retorted to his wife before dispersing the rings from around Robert’s body. “Listen Robert. You have a duty to the people. That duty supersedes your personal feelings. You are a Silvermyst first. You are Robert second. Your actions carry more weight than you realize, and when you take this crown, the lives of everyone in this world will be on your shoulders. You may not be the world ruler, but your actions as king reach father than your own kingdom, farther than the boarders of this continent and the kingdoms under our rule. It affects relationships with other nations, and the lives of the citizens of them. Their citizens bleed and die in war, just as ours do, and three thousand years is three thousand years too long. I understand your feelings, but this is our duty. If Simon were alive, he would…”

“How do you know he’s dead, father? If they wanted him dead, they would have killed him in that room then and there!” Robert retorted once more, his tail flicking in anger. “He’s still alive! We just have to find him! We could still search Mystiven, no one’s gone there before!”

“That is enough Robert. It has been sixteen cycles. There has been no ransom note. None of our seers can even sense his spirit, never mind his life force here or in Delacia. I wish he was alive as well, and I have done everything I can. We have to accept that he is dead. There can be no other conclusion. Now eat your meal before it gets too cold.” The anubian king spoke in a sharp, commanding yet controlled tone, his emerald green eyes glaring at his son’s golden hues.

Robert trembled in anger and sadness. Slowly, he faced the plate before him and began to eat his meal quietly. He barely remembered his brother, but for that one year, his brother was his best friend. He always made Robert laugh as a pup and brought Robert with him everywhere he went. It was maddening, not knowing what truly befell his brother. He had to be alive somewhere. Too many things didn’t add up to come to the conclusion that he was dead.

When the meal was over, Robert left the dining hall. Heading back down the hallway he came through on the way to the dining hall, he passed by the stairs, heading into the barracks area. His friend was certainly right: he was going to need a good spar to clear his head. Walking down the steps leading into the base of the large tower, he could see Minis standing there with some dummy long swords. The knight-commander tosses one of them to the prince with a low lob. “So, one to ten, how bad did it get?” Minis asked in a calm tone of voice before holding one of the dummy long swords out, taking a defensive stance. Left foot behind the right one, the knees bent slightly. Two hands holding the training sword, holding the wooden blade at an angle from right shoulder to left hip.

“Nine.” Robert replied as he caught the wooden sword by the handle. He took a more offensive stance, somewhat similar to Minis, but with the rounded head of the wooden training sword pointed at Minis, both hands holding the handle close to the stomach. As soon as Minis gave a nod of his head, the prince began to circle with the tiglio, easing himself closer. Soon, Robert lunged with a thrust. Minis swiped the blade of his sword to the left to deflect, leading the wolven into countering with an upward slice.

Minis hopped backwards to avoid the swipe before going in with a side swipe to the left side, which Robert used the flat of the practice sword to block. Pressing a hand against the upper part of the blade, the wolf pushed Minis’ sword to the side before taking his stance once more.

Minis hopped backwards to avoid the swipe before going in with a side swipe to the left side, which Robert used the flat of the practice sword to block. Pressing a hand against the upper part of the blade, the wolf pushed Minis’ sword to the side before taking his stance once more.

The dance of sword strikes, parries and dodges flowed within the tower , both moving on a ground of hay and dirt. Hardly the place for a typical royal, especially one in clean clothing, but it was a more common sight to see for those walking by. Several cadets and maids would glance in, watching the most accomplished weapons masters sparing with the prince. The solid wooden thwacks echoed against the stone walls. While Robert was hardly an equal to Minis, the knight had trained the boy since childhood, and the prince’s skill was well above the average knight, and it showed in their spars.

The prince was a hair faster in his movements, and a clever thinker in the heat of the fight. Minis stayed on the defensive, acting more as a defensive target while giving sudden slashes, pokes and low sweeps to try and catch the wolven prince off guard. And after several minutes of hard work, Minis brought the fight to an end by raising his hand to the prince.

“Not bad, your majesty. You’re still leaving your left flank open in a few of your advances, but other than that, a pretty good work out, wouldn’t you agree?” Minis spoke in a hearty tone, patting the smaller wolven on the shoulder. The tiglio was larger than Robert’s father. The young prince’s head came up to the tiglio’s pectorals, and Robert was hardly short as he stood at a full six feet tall.

“Yeah. As usual, you were right on the money. I guess these fights are getting predictable for you, aren’t they?” the wolf mused. Minis chuckled at the motion, though he wasn’t aware which fight Robert was referring to. Or if he did, he played it off well enough that he didn’t.

“No. If anything you always seem to find a way of keeping me on my toes. But if you mean the arguments with your dad, ten years of it does lend one to learn the patterns.” Minis spoke, putting the practice swords away in the weapons barrel. “Still, perhaps instead of trying on focusing the things you can’t change, focus on the things you can change. Being a royal means there are some things you are privy to that most are not. You’ll be marrying Olivia unless some blessing of Ra happens, but kings and queens are permitted a consort. More often than not, it is for the means of ensuring an heir in case the queen in power cannot produce one. So, select someone you love to be your consort and permit Olivia one as well. And if she objects, tell her you objected to the marriage in the first place. As such, since you have had to do something you objected to, she will have to accept this one thing that she objects to. Fair enough, wouldn’t you agree?”

Robert chuckles a bit as he walked through the hallway with Minis, leaving the training tower. “All these years, I never would have thought you a pervert. But you do have a point.” The prince mused. “But even still, it is more than just whether or not I like her and having her as my queen. Someone like that who treats her own people with so little respect, I can only imagine how she will treat those of lower class here. I know from my father that King Solomon is the most reasonable the Ragnok family line has produced in, well, ever. It would be nice if she took after her father.”

Robert chuckles a bit as he walked through the hallway with Minis, leaving the training tower. “All these years, I never would have thought you a pervert. But you do have a point.” The prince mused. “But even still, it is more than just whether or not I like her and having her as my queen. Someone like that who treats her own people with so little respect, I can only imagine how she will treat those of lower class here. I know from my father that King Solomon is the most reasonable the Ragnok family line has produced in, well, ever. It would be nice if she took after her father.”

Reaching the palace entryway, the young prince turned to face his mentor. “If you will excuse me Minis, I will be heading out for the day. Father suggested I meet with Lady Pandora about my nightmares. Not to mention I need to meet with some of my contacts. Father may have given up on my brother, I will not. Not until I see him home safe, or see his body.”

Minis crossed his arms over his chest, his head canting to the side. “You know your father is going to give me an earful if I let you wander unaccompanied again. I’m not the only one who can report directly to him.” The tiglio spoke, his voice carrying a hint of concern. It happened often enough that the prince would slip away on his own, and Minis usually did a good job of keeping such exploits under wraps.

“Then there should be no problem if I accompany him. Isn’t that right, father?” a woman’s voice spoke out as the one who spoke approached from the side. A cheetah-like catala woman, standing a few inches shorter than the prince. Unlike her father, she was slender, her muscles lean. Her armor fit her form, but the breast plate bore the symbol of a sword on it unlike the chalice symbol her father wore. It was a sign of the virtue of valor. Her armor also had gold lining and shield emblems on the pauldrons, something that was unique to the paladin regiment.

“Perfect timing! And, congratulations on taking your oath. You’re finally a paladin, and now I can start bossing you around outside of the training hall!” the tiglio jested, laughing heartily. Lilac rested her spear on her shoulder, tapping it against the metal of the shoulder pauldron. Her tail swished behind her, carrying the black stripes of her father along it, a stark contrast to the cheetah spots covering the rest of her orange and white fur.

“Don’t sound too enthusiastic about it, dad.” Lilac mused, an eyebrow raised at him as she gazes to her father with her emerald green eyes. Her gaze then cuts to Robert as she moves towards him, carrying a light sway to her hips with each step. “Well, then, shall we go? Or are you going to try to give me the excuse that this is something you have to do alone?”

Robert motioned for her to follow him with a wave of his hand, turning to leave the entryway of the palace and walk out across the drawbridge overlooking the moat that separated the palace from the castle town proper. “Not at all, Lilac. You can carry the bags.” He mused in a teasing tone. A coy half-grin crossed his muzzle as Lilac ran up until she was at his side. She slowed and walked in pace with him, keeping herself a full step behind.

“Well you’re high maintenance, aren’t you your majesty?” the catala paladin replied with a cheeky spirit about her. The way they fed off of each other’s personalities was proof of any at how close they were. But it was also part of Robert’s personality that he allowed people to treat him as their equal. Only rarely did he demand to be addressed in proper, and it usually was a bad sign for the beastkin in question if he did pull rank.

The pair walked across the long stone bridge, passing by the stationed guards. Four military towers lined the bridge, two on each wide. Between the two sets of towers was a two gate room. The gates were large enough for single carriages to pass through. The arched ceiling was covered in beautiful artwork, depicting the age of unification. But it did more than just that, as hidden in the artwork were several holes. Murder holes, they were called, as during an invasion, archers could trap enemy forces within the room and rain down death from above. They were rarely ever used in the history of the castle, but a very decisive defensive measure that could pull victory from the jaws of defeat.

Heading down the long, winding stairway, they came into the mercantile district of the castle town proper. The streets were filled with citizens of all tribes, mulling about their daily lives. The sounds of anvils echoed in the air, and the many aromas from the taverns and street vendors gave a blend of delicious smells that mixed with the clean summer air.

The town itself was a lot larger than one would think being in a single section. The walls surrounding the town were circular in nature, and each district was sectioned off with a wall extending from the outer wall to the central, circular hub, and each section was connected by a large gate and a small door to the side which had a reinforcing gate attached. In times of war, this provided a means to buy time and divide up enemy forces. At the very center was the prison, while spiraled deep into the ground, locked away from the public. A tall tower spired up from that central point, where each level of the tower had a floor with many thin openings in the walls for archers to use. The city itself was a defensive masterpiece.

The people greeted the prince with curtsies and bows of the head as he passed through. He waved his hand to the beastfolk casually, returning the greetings verbally whenever he could. The prince was well-respected by the people, and his name carried more weight from beastfolk to beastfolk than his father’s did. He involved himself more with the commonwealth, mixing among them and listening to their concerns. And for many, that was more important than grand speeches at the end of each season. The people stepped aside for the prince and his escort willingly.

Walking down one of the side roads, he reached a house that seemed to stand out from the stone buildings that lay strewn across the district. A log cabin with a large surrounding garden surrounding the sides and back. Floating spheres of light provided the plants with the life-giving light they needed under the shadow of the wall. An apothecary and one well known for the medicines the panda-like ursala that lived there produced. She was also a well-known fortune teller, but she only offered those services during the end of season festivals. So far, every prediction she had made came true, from relationships to turns of fortune.

“Lilu! Dear, don’t run around like that!” the woman’s voice called out as Robert opened the door. Robert saw a young ursala girl happily skipping around with a toy ship in her hand. The girl looked like she was a mere five cycles old. Her fur bore the same black and white panda markings of her mother, but had long white hair as opposed to her mother’s vibrant pink ponytailed hair. The lady herself glanced up, looking a bit younger than Robert’s parents, but still older than the prince himself. She brushed her brown leather tunic and green cloak before giving a proper bow of her head to the wolven before her.

“Oh, your majesty! Em hotep, please make yourself at home. Is there anything I can do for you this morning?” she asked. The young girl, dressed in a simple green dress with a gold daisy floral pattern, came to a stop and looked up curiously to the finely dressed wolven. “What’s a ‘majesty’?”

Robert couldn’t help but smile to the girl’s curiosity. Kneeling down, the prince reached over and pleasantly pets the girl’s head. “It’s just a title. It’s one way to address a member of the royal family.” He replied in a friendly tone. The girl giggled, leaning up into the petting hand a bit. “It’s nice to meet you.” He spoke before standing up and glancing to the lady behind the desk. His face became more somber and serious.

“The nightmares have been coming back, and more potently than before. They carry with them an almost otherworldly feeling. It felt like I was suffocating towards the end of it, but not from a lack of air, but like an oppressive energy squeezing around me.” Robert replied with a look of worry upon his face.

Pandora took in what the prince had to say, feeling a swell of concern blossom in her chest and mind. “Normally the five year treatment helps to eliminate the thoughts that these nightmares are rooted in. This is the first time I’ve heard of such a nightmare not only returning, but with greater effect. I have a feeling this is more of an omen than it is a dream.” She spoke before turning to face away from the prince, opening the cupboard doors to remove a crystal sphere from it. “You will have to forgive me, your majesty, but I must ask that we hold a scrying. If you will permit me, I would like to witness your nightmare firsthand and see if it links to the spiritual flow of time.”

Robert gave a nod as he took a seat down before the ursala. Pandora glanced over to her daughter, smiling warmly to her. “Lilu dear, could you go to your room for a moment? Mommy needs to focus.” She spoke before glancing to Lilac. “If I may bother you, would you spend some time keeping my daughter company? I need this room to be clear of all other thoughts. And Lilu will want someone to play with.”

Lilac had a look of confusion come to her face, but looking down at the young ursala girl her expression changed into a pleasant, smiling one. “Alright. Lead the way. We’ll play whatever game you want, alright?” The little girl beamed, hopping cutely on her little bare feet. “Yay! Alright, we’ll have a tea party! Come on, miss!”

The little panda-like ursala girl jogs up the staircase, followed shortly by Lilac. Once the two were gone from the main room, Pandora placed her hands on her side of the sphere, pads pressing against the smooth glass. “Place your hands like mine onto the sphere. Close your eyes and empty your mind of all wandering thoughts.”

Robert placed his hands on the smooth crystal ball as she had instructed. Closing his amber eyes, the wolven prince began run a mantra within his mind, centering his thoughts upon the mantra before letting even that fade into silence. The prince entered a meditative trance, opening his mind to the ursala seer.

Pandora began to delve into his psyche, seeking out the disturbance at its source. Like viewing a recording, she could see everything that the prince had seen in his nightmare, feel everything he felt. Pandora was visibly shaking, her breathing becoming ragged as if she was running a marathon. Tilting her head upwards, she took that vision and sent it up into the ether, only for it to then return to her moments later with a full and truly terrifying vision.

Pandora’s eyes opened sharply as a bright, white glow emanated from them. Visions assault her mind and senses in a rapid-fire manner. Her fingers tense and grip harder on the crystal sphere. Overwhelmed, she lets out a yowling screech of pain, screaming at the top of her lungs. Robert’s eyes open sharply as the light from her eyes fades to normal, the ursala collapsing forward with her head falling down towards the table, stopping only inches from hitting it.

“Pandora? Hey, snap out of it! Are you okay?” Robert called out, rushing over to her side. Both Lilu and Lilac ran down the stairs to she Pandora shaking her head, bringing her hand to her forehead. She panted, working to catch her breath.

“I-I will be…fine…” he stutters out , her eyes still wide with fear tingeing in them before they start slowly reverting back to normal. “This truly is the cycle of Set.” She muttered to herself before bringing herself to her feet once more. Her eyes look at the prince, at Lilu, and then at Lilac as she collects her thoughts.

“That evil you felt, it is already here.” She spoke, looking at Robert. “They have slipped in over the past few years, their intentions sleeping, and their progress so slight it is barely noticeable. We have no time left to prepare. You must take your father’s sword and head north to Mount Godspeak. You must…”

Before her words could finish, the ground itself shook fiercely, catching those in the house by surprise. Screams fill the air outside, followed by deafening and unworldly roars and screeches. Pandora places her hand on Lilac’s shoulder. “Take Lilu out of the castle with however many others you can. Please. I know I am no knight commander, but it is imperative you escape. I will accompany the prince to the castle. There is something there I must do.”

Lilu moved to her mother, clinging to her dress. “Mommy? What’s going on? I’m scared. I don’t wanna go with her! I wanna go with you!” she spoke, tears starting to build and swell within her eyes. Pandora smiles painfully, kneeling down to wrap her arms around her daughter. The seer hugs her with great strength before kissing the little girl on the nose. “You cannot come where I go. I will be watching over you, no matter what.”

The roof crashed down behind them as rubble strikes the back of the house. The four of them rush out of the house before the front half has time to collapse. What greeted them was a sight of horrors. Knights and archers were fighting large, red-skinned, horned being that looked like no kind of natural being. Spells were flying as buildings were being destroyed, flames spreading amongst the rubble. Bodies lined the streets of commoners, knights and several of these invading monstrosities. The spire at the center of the castle town was raining arrows down while flames were creeping up, several holes visible within the walls. The attack was coming from inside the castle town: not from the outside.

“Knights! Defend the civilians! Get them out of the castle!” Robert called out as he picked up a sword from one of the dead knights. “Lilac, take Lilu and Pandora, get them out of here. I need to get to the castle and find my father and mother. I will meet you at the base of Mount Godspeak.” Robert commanded. As he turned away and ran towards the palace, he muttered quietly under his breath, “If we meet at all.”

“Robert! Damn you, get back here!” Lilac called out. Pandora pushed Lilac away and onto her back before jumping backwards. Before anyone could react, a destroyed piece of building fell down right where they all had stood.

“Forgive me Lilac, Lilu. I know my fate, and I will not have either of you share it. Especially not you, my sweet Lilu.” Pandora spoke quietly to herself before she turned and ran after the prince. Taking out a wand and a dagger from her belt, she works to try and catch up with the prince.

The stairs were taking their toll on the prince as gravity worked against him. Even as in shape as the prince was, one thousand flights of stairs was not for the faint of heart to take at a full speed run. As he came up to the bridge, the prince could see an axe wielding demon knocking one of the defending knights to the ground. Thrusting his free hand forward, a golden summoning ring forms around his wrist. Powerful divine energy takes a spherical shape in front of Robert’s open hand before being shot at high speed at the demon.

The attack connects, the sphere turning into lightning that seems to rip through the demon, causing it to drop its axe. Going at a full sprint, the prince raises the sword above his head and jumps. With gravity aiding him in his descent, the prince plunges the sword into the demon’s head, causing the creature to fall. A hissing sound and sulfuric smoke came from the wound and the sword. As he yanked the sword free, the blade that he pulled out was already starting to dissolve. He dropped the blade while panting hard to catch his breath.

“Oh great! Their blood is acid!” he gasps out before turning his attention to the knight. “Can you stand?” he asked loudly. The knight struggles to his feet, stumbling a bit. “Barely. My head’s still ringing like a bell at a wedding, your majesty. But you shouldn’t go to the palace. Leave this place! The palace has already fallen!”

Robert shook his head. “Not without my parents. Gather the remaining knights, get out of the castle. Go!” Robert replied in a commanding tone. Grabbing a new sword, a quiver and a bow from another knight’s corpse, Robert began dashing forward along the bridge itself. As demons started to turn their attention to the prince, the wolven drew and knocked an arrow while in full sprint, loosing arrow after arrow without aim, striking his targets haphazardly. The drawbridge was down, as bloodied corpses of both demons, maids and knights lay strewn about.

“Minis! Take the queen and go! That is an order!” a powerful male voice rang out in the air as the prince entered the throne room. Two black-furred anubians stood facing each other with weapons drawn. His father held out the divine family sword, a katana bearing an anubian head on the base which grasped a aquamarine gem in its jaws, while a second aquamarine gemstone was set at the base of the blade, right above the guard of the sword. The other one wielded a scythe made of pure bone. Robert nearly froze up when he saw that weapon. It was the exact same as the one in his nightmare.

“Robert? No! Get out of here!” The king called out. The attacker wasted no time as he took the distraction of the king to plunge the scythe into his back and through his chest. The king’s eyes went wide as blood gushed from the wound and his mouth. With the last of his strength, the king tossed the sword at Robert’s feet.

“Flee…Flee now! GYAAH!”

The anubian male yanked the scythe out from the king’s body, letting it fall to the floor. Minis tried to run to the prince, only for a shadowy fist to emerge from the very air itself and slam Minis and the queen from the side, sending them flying into a wall. “None of you will be leaving this place. This is where the bloodline dies.”

The sinister figure was dressed in armor made of gold and bones, his eyes misting a poisonous green. Blood stained the armor and cloth. His eyes glared at Robert’s as the wolven prince picked up the holy sword, readying it. Minis pushed himself to his feet, trying to edge away with the unconscious queen.

Rushing forward, Robert readies his sword to strike at the sinister anubian. The black-furred anubian spins, trying to catch the prince in the side of the head with the handle. Robert ducks and swipes upwards, only for the anubian to hop backwards and pulls the scythe towards him. The bone blade barely misses its target as Robert ducks to avoid the attempted decapitation. But as he rises, the front of the staff catches him in the face, sending him reeling backwards.

Shaking off the daze the blow dealt him, he saw his foe raise the scythe up and attempt to bring it down upon his head. Dashing forward and to the side opposite his enemy’s weapon arm, Robert uses this moment to bring his blade in a diagonal upward swinging motion, taking the clear shot at the exposed neck.

For a brief moment, he could see the blade bushing the strands of fur aside as it sinks towards the flesh of the neck. The push of the blade against that flesh. But to his shock and horror, he felt the blade recoil as if he had just hit solid stone. His arm reeled from the recoil. Once more, the anubian yanked the scythe towards him from behind the wolven prince.

This time Robert leapt back and over the blade, creating three summoning rings of golden aura to circle around his wrist. As the landed, each circle shot out three ankhs made of pure divine energy. The anubian flinched and growls as they hit their marks at his shoulders and belly.

"What do you know? That actually HURT!” he yelled out in a sarcastic tone. With a black pulse of aura, the three ankhs sticking out of the anubian shattered, the wounds healing. Robert was still in shock, but on guard. The Wolfspirit Blade, the family treasure of the Silvermyst bloodline, was known to be able to cut through anything. Any material, any metal. And yet, it merely bounced off of this man’s bare neck!

“Just what the hell are you?!” Robert yelled out, his voice mixed with anger and confusion. The anubian chuckled and then went into full blown laughter.

“You really are an idiot. Think about the enchantments that sword holds. It can cut through anything! It slices, it dices EVERYTHING…EXCEPT anyone of the royal Silvermyst bloodline. Thankfully my scythe doesn’t have that same restriction.”

Robert’s eyes grow wide, his hands trembling. This man who stood before him, who invaded his kingdom, who killed his father. This man was Simon. He wanted to refuse that thought as hard as he could, but the man wasn’t lying. There was no other explanation why the blade couldn’t harm even the fur.

“Why? Why attack your own family? We’ve been looking for you for sixteen cycles! We’ve been worried beyond belief about you!” Robert spoke as he began circling his brother. This was madness. None of this made sense.

The anubian grinned and chuckled maniacally, “Die with that question on your lips. The anguish you generate will make me all the stronger.” Simon spoke, his tone carrying an otherworldly resonance to it. He began to spine the scythe around, exchanging hands as it created a buzz saw effect, sparks flying from the ground as he moved forward. Drawing the sword he had gotten from the dead knight and wielding both blades, Robert used his family sword to intercept the scythe with the flat of the katana, and then attempts to stab at his brother’s neck with the standard knight’s long sword.

Simon pushes forward with his scythe to drive his brother backwards. Before Robert could recover, a circle of pure darkness appeared on the floor before him. Without warning, a fist of pure darkness shot out, slamming into the prince. Robert’s grip on the long sword loosened as the prince flew backwards and through the large stained glass window. Robert was in a daze, feeling himself tumbling through the air. His vision spun, catching sight of the cliff, the waterfall, and soon, the rapids below. And with a solid splash, his vision faded to black. His consciousness began to slip away as the water carried him, tossing him about the currents.

Looking down from the window to the rapids fifty feet below, Simon grinned with sinister delight. “Now all that I need to do is track your spirit and shackle it. And even if you survive this fall, I will hunt you down. You and I are linked by spirit, after all.” Simon mused.

Without warning, a ravaging pain stung through Simon’s mind, disorienting him, crackles of blue energy ripple through his head before fading. “What?! Who…WHO DARES?!” the anubian screamed as he turned around with a vengeful fury. Before him and standing in the center of the throne room, Pandora held her wand at him. Buried in her chest was her own dagger. He breathed raggedly, staring at the anubian.

“A necromancer’s blood curse. Interesting. I didn’t think any mere mage in Furgasta had the balls to practice the forbidden arts. Not that you will live long in either case.” Simon spoke with a snarl, brandishing that scythe. Pandora chuckles as her eyes bleed, staining the whites of her eyes and turning them pure red.

“You will see no spirits that are not demons. Robert’s path will be hidden from your sight. And when next you see him, it will spell your end. And I think you will find…”, before she finishes her sentence, she twists the dagger in her chest causing her to flinch from the lethal damage she was inflicting upon herself; “…this is no mere mage!”

With the last of her life energy, she unleashes a powerful bolt of necrotic lightning from her wand, splitting it into three arcs that strike the anubian. Simon growls in pain, forcing his way forward step by step until he was within striking distance. Before he could strike, the spell ended and Pandora fell to the floor, barely clinging to life.

Simon grips her head, lifting her barely living body up from the ground. “You see, the problem with blood magic is that eventually you run out of your own blood.” The anubian scoffed before using an otherworldly amount of strength to crush her skull and head with his bare hand. He soon returned to the window and gazed out. His brows furrowed, following the length of the rapids as far as he could see them.

“I will give her credit. The wench stole my spirit sense. That last attack did something as well. I cannot quite place it.” He spoke before turning to look at the headless corpse. “Not that it matters. The castle has fallen to me. My armies are amassing from the demon realm. Soon we will finally be able to welcome you into this world, O great Apep."

Overall, I would say this is a pretty good start. It’s obvious you have a well planned political and social hierarchy, and your characters are interesting and don’t feel too forced. The pacing is fairly good, and the plot definitely keeps my attention. Generally, save for a few nitpicky issues of a personal kind, there isn’t much I can fault with the story.

Presentation wise, I think there are some things to consider.

The first, is, are you certain this should be a prologue? It has two pretty important scenes and introduces a lot of characters. Not knowing how the rest of the story is going to go, I can only guess that we will be seeing most of them again, given that you spend a considerable amount of time on them. If not, you may want to consider being more informal with those that won’t pop up in the future. There is also a matter of timing. The prince in this part of the story is fairly young, but marrying age (I assume) Just because you jump ahead several years doesn’t mean this can’t be chapter one, especially if it’s going to stay relevant. I would say, consider making the kidnapping the prologue, cut the later part of the dream to keep up suspense (what true villain lets the hero know he’s coming?) and make the crashed breakfast Chapter one. Just my two cents.

There are also a few issues with the descriptions I would like to point out. In general, your descriptions are good, and create excellent atmosphere, but there are few places that need more “show” and less “tell”. For example,“The roof crashed down behind them as rubble strikes the back of the house. The four of them rush out of the house before the front half has time to collapse. What greeted them was a sight of horrors.” This is disjointed and removes me from the narrative right away. It also loses all sense of urgency and sounds to me like a sports announcer stating a play by play. Here’s what I would do with a sentence like this. The back part of the roof crashed down behind them, forcing them to bolt for the front door before the rest could follow. Getting outside, they cringed upon seeing a great, unnatural red beast, bolts of magic flying back and forth, and soldiers shedding each other’s blood as buildings collapsed around them. It takes some work to do, I am constantly correcting these myself, and even this isn’t perfect, but it does help streamline the writing and tends to keep the reader in the scene. This is one of those things that comes with practice. When I first started writing, I often made similar mistakes.

Keep it up! Though the problems look like more text than the praise, I would say they are typical beginner issues that are corrected with time, practice, and experience. The heart of the narrative, the story, is there, and pretty solid so far. So just practice and read up a little bit on style. I read several style handbooks before I wrote my first novel.

Thank you. I suppose I could do the kidnapping as the prologue. I looked at this as a prologue as it plays out the last day of normality in the prince’s life before all he knows is stripped away. And yes, those introduced characters will be coming back, save those who died obviously. Chapter one I have starting out from the eyes of the second main protagonist of the story before returning to the prince’s perspective midway in the upcoming chapter, when he regains consciousness. I will certainly look more into building the kidnapping and see if I can pull out enough to get it to fill a prologue by itself.

I will definitely make the change to the collapsing building part. I felt that was one area that I was getting hung up on how to describe.

If the prince is waking up right after the crashed breakfast, then you definitely want the breakfast to be chapter 1 and the prince waking up chapter 2. It’s a natural progression for the reader. Prologue-> Kidnapping that happened a long time ago. Chapter 1 -> End of normalcy and Plot setup (reunion with kidnapped brother.) Chapter 2 -> Aftermath and reaction to plot. With the change in perspective, personally, I would just start with the prince waking up so the reader isn’t jarred by a perspective shift mid-chapter. Anything the other character could tell the reader, could likely be filled in with clever dialogue. But, it’s up to you. Ultimately you have to decide what’s best for the story.

Edit: One last thing. Your reference to drawing out the kidnapping for length caught my attention. I don’t know if that’s necessary, and I certainly wouldn’t pad it with that intention. An old rule pros tend to use is write chapters (this includes prologues) the length they need to be, not the length you want them. This is another common beginner problem I frequently encounter where people are trying to reach 5000 or 8000 (or once even 10000) words a chapter. So long as what’s needed to be said is said, and said well, a chapter can be any length. I’ve written them 3 pages to 27 pages long, and I’ve read prologues of only a few paragraphs. Hope this helps.

Alright, finally gotten around to sectioning off the kidnapping to turn it into the prologue and gave a little bit of an addition to it, showing a bit more of Simon’s more childlike personality, the parents, Minis and his wife Sulia.


The firelight of the castle room flickered in the chambers of the throne room. Two plush red velvet-cushioned chairs sat placed before it. In one sat a wolven maiden of white fur and dressed in a satin green dress. A golden circlet was wrapped around her head, encasing around the flowing long brown hair. In her arms rested a small wolf pup with a mix of silver and white fur, while brown hair-fur was shortly sprouted from the top of his head. The young boy, no more than two months of age yawned quietly as he rested against his mother.

In the other chair sat a muscular and proud black jackal anubian, outfitted in a red and gold robe enshrouding most of his form. A larger circlet rested on his black-haired brow, bearing the sign of the ankh. It was a symbol of life and authority, the power of the high king. And standing before them both, a young black-furred jackal pup with stunning emerald green eyes and dressed in a blue and gold-trimmed tunic, looking at them both while his little hands clasped behind his back, the boy swaying back and forth.

“Well, I suppose it would not hurt. You are five cycles old now Simon. I think it would be a fine idea to have you watch over your little brother for one night.” the wolfess spoke in a sweet tone, a cute giggle issuing from her lips. “What do you think, dear?” she asked, turning to gaze upon her husband.

“I do not see why not. But just in case, I shall post a guard at the room, someone who knows how to change diapers, and a wet nurse in case he needs milk. It’ll be nice not having to wake in the middle of the night to change or feed him. I might finally get a full night’s sleep.” the king spoke in a jestful tone before he rose to his feet. “I will have the crib moved to your room, son. I trust you to keep your little brother safe. He is your responsibility.”

The wolven queen places the young pup into the arms of the anubian boy. “I am sure your little brother will be quite happy to have such a caring older brother. And such a responsible one as well!” she mused, closing her eyes with a happy smile gracing her face. Her white fluffy tail swayed behind her, quite happy to see her firstborn seem to care so much about his baby brother.

Simon carried his little brother out into the hallway, catching sight of his father speaking to a toned tiger tiglio guard as well as a cheetah catala maid. The catala feline looked as though she herself was into her mid pregnancy as that belly of hers pressed out against her outfit.

“Guard, maid. I need you both to tend to my son Simon. I will need Robert’s crib moved into Simon’s room for the night. Robert may awaken during the night and need a feeding or changing. If you hear him cry, or if Prince Simon comes out to ask you for assistance, you will provide it. I will give you both time off on the morrow. Do you understand your orders?” the king asked.

Both the guard dressed in armor and the maid catala bowed their heads to the king, accepting the commands of the anubian royal. “Very well. Senebty and good night.” the king concluded before walking over to the royal bed chambers.

The tiglio smiled and rubbed the back of the pregnant catala maid. “Well my dear Sulia, it looks like we will be looking after the young masters tonight.” the guard spoke, his tone hearty, carrying an echo through the stone corridor. The maid giggled, her mouth hidden behind the back of her curled hand. “This is true, my dear Minis. It will be good practice for me as well. This will be our first child, and I’m not sure how much longer she wants to stay inside.”

Simon walked up to the pair, his thin, black tail wagging happily. “Oh! You’re going to have a baby soon? I wanna see her! Then all three of us can play together!” the pup asked with an excited tone. The tiglio smiled warmly.

“It seems like our daughter will have some friends in high places then. I will go and grab the crib. Why don’t you bring Simon to his room, Sulia my dear? I shall be there shortly.” he spoke, kissing the catala on the lips before he turned and walked down the hallway, light footsteps echoing as he trod.

The young wolven pup cooed as he looked up first at his big brother and then at the catala maid. She smiled brightly, scritching the young pup’s chest with a single finger. The pup giggled, grasping at that finger with his tiny fingers. “Oh my! That is quite the gentle grip you have there. You’ll grow up into a fine gentleman, you will.” she mused, reaching over to pet the top of Simon’s head. “Just like your big brother. Isn’t that right, Prince Simon?”

The young anubian giggled as he looked down at the young wolven pup. “Yup!” he cheered out happily. The young boy leaned up into that petting hand, his thin tail wagging all the more. Soon, the catala maid led Simon to his bedroom, opening the door for him. “Is there anything you need tonight, your majesty?” she asked Simon.

Minis walked into the room within moments, carrying a large wooden crib. The tiglio placed it down between Simon’s bed and the fireplace at the front of the room. “Aside from a place for your little brother to sleep, of course.” Minis jested out in his hearty tone, his head tilting to the side slightly.

“No. If he wakes up, I’ll come out and get you, just like daddy asked me to.” Simon replied. Sulia walked over to the crib, gently lowering the pup down into it. The pup yawned, his tiny hands reaching up, pawing at the air cutely.

Simon walked over to the crib as the adults exited the room. Looking up, the young wolven pup felt happy, cooing and trying to grad the young anubian’s muzzle. “Don’t you worry Robert. I’ll be the best big brother there is. Anyone tries to hurt you, I’ll knock them out! Pow!” Simon said in a cheery tone, throwing a punch into the air.

“Alright, I’m going to get some sleep, little brother. Don’t wake up too many times, pleeeease?” Simon asked, clasping his hands together, as if begging the little pup. The wolven baby yawned and began to drift into sleep. Only the sounds of his brother heading to his own bed caught the pup’s attention, but not enough to rouse him.

The dark quiet of the night carried with it a feeling of unease. The silence broken only by the crackling of the flames as the light of the fire canvassed along the cold stone walls of the castle bedroom. The young pup lying in the crib could feel the gentle warmth through the light blankets layered atop him. The sound of the glass terrace doors creaking open could barely be heard, but just enough to catch the ears of the young wolven and bring those sleepy eyes of his to open.

Quick shifting of shadows slipping in and out of the light of the moon caught the pup’s eyes. There were beings outlined by the light of the fire, all dressed on black hooded cloaks, with only the glint of eyes and the shapes of muzzles visible. They gathered around a bed in the corner opposite of where the pup’s crib lay.

Within moments, that sense of uneasiness was swiftly replaced by one of dread. The pup could hear the muffled cry of his older brother, watching the shadows dance along the wall, illuminating the struggle. The pup began to cry loudly, tears seeping into the fur of his cheeks.

“Silence the runt. We only need one of them alive.”

The phrase was spoken in a hushed tone, but it made the pup cry ever louder. A new figure swiftly moved to the crib, cloaked in black. The pup’s eyes widened, seeing the sheen of the dagger as it was lifted swiftly upwards. But the darkness was broken as the door to the hallway opened. The blade swung down fast, but was soon obscured as a large tiger hand came across the pup’s face, followed by a loud roar of pain. Blood dripped from the hand above him as the glint of the blade shone through it, stained in red. Drops splashed on the boy’s face, the warm liquid staining his fur, seeping to his skin as the scent assaulted to his nostrils.

“Intruders! To arms!” Minis’s voice called out with a powerful reverb, echoing through the room. The hand above him moved, the pup’s blurred vision turning to the terrace. He saw the body of his brother slumped over the shoulder of one of the figures as the group made their escape. One figure rushed at Minis, only for the cloaked being to find himself skewered on a quickly drawn sword. But as the guards came in to aid, it was too late. Those survivors had fled, and they had taken Simon with them. The room was filled with dread and urgency among the guards, but a sense of sadness echoed in the cries of the young wolven pup.