War for the Sundered Crown – Prologue

As I get further into the writing of War for the Sundered Crown I thought I would share with you my readers some of what is to come. Over the next few weeks I will be posting 1 chapter every Saturday. Please bear in mind that what you are about to read is still a first draft and is highly likely to be altered and changed over the coming months. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think in the comments. Book 1 of the Sundered Crown Saga- Heir to the Sundered Crown can be bought here http://authl.it/3hw

WAR FOR THE SUNDERED CROWN

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Image by: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Blackguard-464968307

Prologue

 The figure moved silently through the darkness.

The King’s spire was thought to be impregnable, but for the right coin anything could be breached by the Fleetfoots. The thief sneaked forward until she reached the base of the Hall of Treasures. The vast vault held the item her paymaster sought.

Carefully, she took the rope hanging from around her shoulders and affixed a grappling hook to one end. The other, she loaded into the crossbow which she slid from the holster on her back. Taking aim, she squeezed the trigger. The snap of the crossbow’s string sounded, deafening in the stillness of the night. With a satisfying clink the grapple hook bit into the stonework of the Hall. The thief sighed in relief; no one came to investigate.

The vaults heavy iron doors were said to be unbreakable, but no one said anything about the stained glass windows placed high on the Hall’s walls. The thief pulled the rope, and grunted in satisfaction that it had anchored itself successfully. With agility that comes with constant practice, the thief nimbly clambered up the rope. At the top she paused, listening for any sign of the guards. She smiled, there was only the sound of the wind.

The thief reached into her leather tunic and pulled out a small knife. She ran a gloved finger along its edge and smiled as the diamond encrusted blade glinted in the moonlight. With careful movements she cut a hole in the base of the large glass window. Once done she gently pushed the glass, causing it to come away cleanly. She carefully placed the glass onto the tiled roof under her feet before crouching down and squeezing through the hole she had made.

She now found herself in the rafters of the Hall. Below her was a large open space. The floor was made from the finest marble, and gold leaf covered the walls and ceiling. It was an impressive place, but that was not why the thief had come. She turned, and pulled the rope inside.

A dozen pedestals stood in the Hall, each displaying something valuable. Precious stones and gold jewels glinted in the moonlight.  Licking her lips the thief anchored the hook once again before tossing the rope down to the floor. With casual grace she slid down the rope to the ground.

One by one she checked the pedestals. Each had ancient books or precious jewels covered by glass cases on them, all of them, except one.

The thief felt her heart quicken as she spotted his prize.

In the center of the Hall was a pedestal with a red velvet cushion on top. Upon that sat a stone. It looked like a piece of slate, of no importance whatsoever, and yet the thief’s contractor had offered her a fortune for stealing it.

She cut open the glass case and removed the stone, tucking it into the pouch hidden inside her tunic. Smiling, she hurried back to the rope and climb back onto the roof. Again, she pulled up the rope from inside and threw it down into the courtyard below.

With catlike grace she slid back down to earth, careful to not make any noise. If she had timed things right, then the guardsman was still making his rounds on the other side of the spire. Quickly she gathered up the rope, slung it back over her shoulder and sneaked back the way she had come. With a little luck no one would notice her incursion until the dawn.

*

A tall, black cloaked figure was waiting at the crossroads just outside the city. It had taken the thief an hour to get out of the capital without drawing any unwanted attention. Whistling merrily to herself the thief strode down the road, a lantern lighting her way. Upon seeing the cloaked figure she hesitated.

“Do you have it?” the figure asked his voice quiet and menacing.

The thief nodded pulling the stone from his tunic.

“I do indeed friend. It was surprisingly easy if I do say so myself. For all the talk, the Hall of Treasures was not that hard to crack,” the thief bragged smugly.

The cloaked figure took the stone from the thief’s grip. It stared at the stone and chuckled. No kindness was in the sound, just wicked malevolence.

“Er…so where’s my pay?” the thief said, a knot of fear slowly worming its way into her guts. The figure was scaring her.

The chuckling stopped.

“Here is your pay,” the figure replied. It snapped its fingers.

Out of the shadows stepped other cloaked figures, theirs the colour of crimson. The thief tried to scream as they pulled out knives and plunged them into her flesh.

As the thief was being murdered, the cloaked figure smiled.

“You have doomed all the world thief and its fall shall be glorious to behold.”

 ***

Copyright 2015 M.S. Olney

 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

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