The Kingdom of Talador is co-written by two separate authors:
Alexis "Sass" and Alice ( ChemistryOfLife )
Throughout the story, Alexis and I will rarely leave authors notes at the end of chapters. This will be our only time to ask you to consider favoriting and reviewing as you read or following if you are eager for more updates. I, Alice, anticipate chapters posting daily. There are a total of 84 chapters for The Kingdom of Talador already pre-written on a word document.
The two authors went back and forth in writing a new chapter in their designated character's perspective. Alice wrote in the point of view of Prince William Novett and Alexis from the point of view of Rowan of Monalin.
Aside from the basic facts about the characters and plot determined by the coauthors at the beginning of the story, nothing was planned, mapped, or laid out in explicit detail ahead of time.
This is the story that the characters gave us to tell.
"That all you got, Quinton?" William called out. Quinton was leaning against a fence, holding his sword up slightly with a grin. He panted softly, obviously exhausted. To be quite frank, Will was tired as well. However, the playful banter was just a part of the fun.
"Me?" Quinton gave a mock gasp with a grin. He raised up his sword higher and stepped back towards William. The pair clashed swords once as he continued to speak. "Never."
William grinned and let the clang of the metal ring out again as the swords were brought together. "Good. I can't allow you to remain a knight if you can't at least hold up in a practice fight." Training with Quinton, or any Knight for that matter, was a blast. Normally William didn't train all too much anymore - though with the slowly approaching tournament in the kingdom required Will to brush up on his skills. After all, since he would be representing the Novett name, it was important he was able to hold himself up in a battle of combat. Battling villagers and other visiting guests didn't worry Will in the slightest. Fighting his fellow knights? Well, they were strong for a reason.
"In that case, I can't allow you to be heir to the throne if you're unable to hold up against me-" Quinton began to threaten his prince... until William pulled a cheap shot. He kicked out his leg and tripped Quinton. Quint fell onto his back with a thud, his sword flopping out onto the ground with a clang. Quinton merely groaned as he slowly pulled himself up.
Will ran his hand through his floppy, brown, curly hair with a grin. "Suppose I don't have to worry about that, will I Sir Quinton?" William lowered his sword down and rested the heavy weight into the dirt.
Quint gave a soft laugh and shook his head slightly. He sat himself up and stared over at the Prince, holding out his hand. William took Quint's hand and pulled him up to his feet, clapping his back softly with his hand. "Not at all, Prince William."
Friendship was one thing that blossomed between William and Quinton over the years. Though William's primary focus was learning how to take his father's footsteps as king, he did have the occasional free time to train with knights. Quinton was one of the newest knights - but definitely not one without skill. Because of the similarity in age, both in their early twenties, they bonded. The only other knight that William saw himself relatively close to was Seán - a knight who was almost just as new as Quinton.
"How's the hunt for a wife going, Quinton? Hopefully not too much of a struggle, considering you recently acquired a noble status." William commented as the training duo walked towards a pair of servants. William pulled off the light layer of gear he was wearing and handed over his sword, Quint doing the same.
"Probably better than yours," Quinton joked with a smile. A few months ago, William would have thrown him in a cell for making comments like that. Now, considering the fact they were on more of a friend level, Will merely rolled his eyes. "Has King Jacob found a bride for you yet?"
William shook his head and dropped his glove into his hand servant's grasp. "Be sure that gets polished, Owen. It's starting to look a bit... scuffed." Will muttered.
Owen nodded his head respectfully and began to scamper away after murmuring a "Yes, Lord William."
Turning his attention back to Quinton, Will smiled and began to walk off of the training field back inside of the castle. Fortunately, since the kingdom was large enough, William rarely had to leave the castle walls in order to do many things - aside from traveling to visit other kingdoms, of course. "Not so well," William commented to Quinton's previous statement. "But Faye is engaged now to a prince, therefore all of my mother's attention is focused on finding me a suitable wife. Most likely a princess from a kingdom somewhere."
"Shame Faye is to be wed," Quinton murmured quietly and shook his head, obviously taking an interest in Faye. Will merely shook his head and gave a slight snort as they began to walk inside of the castle. Though William didn't love the fact that Quinton was interested in his older sister, Faye, he also didn't argue. William and Faye weren't... all that close to begin with. Considering the fact that William was the first born male, therefore the heir to the throne, Faye wasn't happy. She felt that she was the one that should be inheriting the throne being that she was the oldest at 23 - though she was only older by two years.
"Her fiancé, Prince Neil, will be good for her," William stated confidently. The main reason he said that was truly because of the fact that Faye would be leaving the kingdom soon to live with Prince Neil in his own kingdom - the Kingdom of Ozitua.
Quinton sighed and nodded his head as they walked through the hallway. He wasn't quite as excited as William to see his sister leave. Will had no doubt that once Faye got to know Prince Neil she would be happy. Not only would she be married to a prince but she would also one day become queen of that country. It was fitting and worked well for William. Having an alliance, which was easiest to form through marriage, was extremely valuable. William couldn't wait for his two younger siblings, Henry and Evelyn, to be married off as well - though they were only 17 and 10 years old. Evelyn had plenty of time to before marriage - though Henry was growing close to marrying age.
To be fair, William was well into marrying age - however, being that he is prince and heir to the throne, the king and queen are very particular in the best option for the future Queen of Talador. It could only be the best.
The pair continued to walk through the hallway until a split in the road. Quint gave William a smile. Will reached out and clasped his hand on Quinton's shoulder. "As much as I'd love to spend more time with you, Sir Quinton, I have no doubt my father is waiting on me."
"Best not to keep the king waiting," Quint commented with a cheeky grin, raising up his hand slightly to give a wave. William watched with his arms crossed as Quinton began to head down the hallway. Unsurprisingly, the man gave a wink towards a couple of female servants.
"Quinton," William murmured under his breath and shook his head slightly. He began to walk down the hallway and raised his eyebrows up in slight surprise to see Owen approaching him.
"Prince William," Owen greeted formally with a slight dip to his head.
"Owen," William said, tilting his head slightly. Owen was a good hand servant. He was new within the past year for William but most definitely one of Will's favorites thus far. Owen not only was thorough but had a bit of a funny bone when it was just William and Owen alone. Around others, Owen did his best to remain strictly formal. Though William should likely look down on the fact that a hand servant would grow comfortable around him, he didn't look down on it. Owen was a good man and friend - if it wasn't for the extreme differences in social status. "Did you polish my armor thoroughly?"
Owen grinned, keeping his hands clasped together behind his back. "It's as clean as can be, unless you spit on it again."
Ah. There was the humor.
William sighed softly and shook his head, though a small smile on his lips to let Owen know that he wasn't angry for the comment. There would be moments where William would forget to give a subtle smile after one of Owen's jokes and the servant would grow frightened. After all, William was the one holding Owen's job on his hands.
Owen was merely lucky that William looked for a bit of personality in a servant.
"Do you know where my father is?"
Owen glanced over his shoulder and nodded his head down the hallway. "King Jacob was in the great hall last I saw."
William nodded his head and smiled towards Owen. "Thank you." He said before making his way down the hallway. Will eventually stopped in front of a pair of guards standing in front of the great hall doors and nodded his head in greeting. The guards pulled open the doors and shut them after Will as William made his way inside.
"William," His father said from the table he was standing in front of without a smile. The king leaned his hands against the table and glanced up, watching as Will approached the table.
"My Lord," Will murmured respectfully with a nod. Despite being his father, King Jacob had never been very affectionate. In addition, he led with his head over his heart. Emotional attachment was never something King Jacob was good at. He loved his family - though he rarely showed it in understandable ways.
Standing next to his father, William crossed his arms. He glanced down at the paper that the King was looking at. It didn't take him long to figure out that it was a map of the Kingdom of Talador - his kingdom. "Is something happening?"
The King shook his head and pointed his finger towards a cluster of small villages at the northern end of the country. "Do you see these villages?"
"Yes," William said in confusion, glancing towards the King. The villages up north varied in size - though most of them clustered together along the shore of the river that flowed through the top of Talador.
"The river is starting to dry up." The King spoke with a frown. William frowned as well. That wasn't good. Rivers drying up can cause entire villages to fall apart. After all, access to clean water can be the breaking point of a village or town. Displaced and unhappy villagers was not a fun thing to deal with. "Word came in this morning."
William nodded his head as he stared at the map. He immediately began to skim down the map, attempting to look for other close-by rivers. "How long has it been drying up? Did they messenger say?" Will questioned.
"Apparently for a while. It's been increasingly growing worse." King Jacob said, lifting up his gaze to meet William's.
Keeping the King's gaze for a moment, William eventually shifted his gaze back down to the map. He placed his finger on the river and slowly began to drag it up to where the flow begins to start. Fortunately, the river also starts within the kingdom at a rather large lake. A lake that was so large the prince had a hard time believing that it was just out of the water - especially considering the fact it stormed a handful of days the past week. "Something must be blocking the river," William spoke his theory out loud. Every part of Will's body wanted that to be true. Fixing a blocked river was much easier than a river drying out.
The King nodded his head in agreement. "I hope so." He murmured, tapping his finger on the lake. "Why don't you head up tomorrow to the lake. You'll be back in two days, at least." The King said with a nod to his head.
William nodded his head with a smile on his lips. He loved being able to get out of the castle walls and physically do something for his kingdom. Standing inside of the castle walls training and commanding, though it was important, didn't give William the physical sensation of becoming the future king. Not like helping his citizens personally. "Two days." Will nodded his head as he repeated his father's words. "Easy. I'll take my hand servant Owen and head up there at dawn."
After exchanging a few more words about the matter, the King and Prince murmured their goodbyes. "Safe travels," The King called out as the Prince began to step out of the great hall.
Dipping his head politely to the guards as he walked away, William began to make his way down towards where he suspected that Owen went. After all, Will needed to warn the man that they would be traveling for the next two days. Boy, would that be a fun journey. Nothing like a Prince and his hand servant riding together.