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It was just past noon, and the mist had long-since burned off the Kur River, its surface a brilliant silver stripe under the bright spring sun. The great capital of Roshek sat on the river's southern bank, its many docks and warehouses trailing into the waters like a merchant's robes. Further inland, Aldred spotted the clean marble facades of the Academy and the domed silhouette of the Council Assembly building looming over the bustle and din of the lower districts like disapproving parents. He'd heard the first sounds of the city over a mile out, but now as he approached the arch of Tradesman's Gate, the noise was almost deafening. People jostled and shouted, tradesmen hawked their wares, and everywhere, Aldred felt magic. It thrummed in his bones like the drone of a low pipe, tugging, urging, pulling. He gripped the strap of his pack tighter and shoved the humming into the back of his mind, watching as a young woman juggled five balls of flame while balancing on the tip of one toe. Her other leg arched back until it nearly met the crown of her head. She caught Aldred's eye and winked. "State yer business!" Aldred was shocked out of his reverie by the voice of an older man sitting just under the Tradesman's Gate. He had a wooden placard in his hands and a quill behind one ear; both his hand and ear were splattered with black ink, which rather spoiled his stern expression. Aldred grinned at the man, whose scowl faded as he looked him up and down. "Oh," the man said, some of the gruffness leaking out of his voice. "Apologies Sayer, I didn' mean nothin' by it." Sayer? Aldred blinked in surprise, then looked down at his robes. They were filthy, hem stained at least six inches up with mud and river water, and he'd patched it in at least a dozen places. It barely looked blue anymore, as though the cloth itself had largely forgotten its original purpose. Rather like Aldred himself. Aldred resisted the urge to smirk, instead putting on his most humble smile. He hoped he wasn't too out of practice. "Think nothing of it," he said, placing a hand on the man's ink-stained right shoulder. "I come from afar, ready to report my travels to my brothers and sisters, and to give thanks to Vania for a blessed season of knowledge and truth." The man's scraggly face split into a yellow grin, and Aldred had to physically stop himself from recoiling. "Welcome to Roshek, Sayer... uh..?" The man trailed off expectantly, slipping his quill out from behind his ear and readying the tip with ink from a little pot. Aldred sighed, taking his hand from the man's shoulder and placing it on his breast. "Think of me only as a servant of truth," he said, and sauntered through the Tradesman's Gate into the city. It spread out before him in a wide swath of chaos and smells and bodies and magic. You'll know my name soon enough, he thought, finally allowing that smirk to spread across his lips. Soon enough.
Welcome to Greenhara, a place once thought to be legend. The one place in the Rust where the all permeating Rust does not penetrate. Ruster's powers still work in the last green place, but everyone views them as a curse, as they bring in the curse. The area is commonly considered a war zone, with many bandit groups and burn lords trying to gain control of the city and attacking often. There isn't much land in this area, and what is here is either worth a fortune in water or has a farmer whose willing to defend their land to the death and has done so on multiple occasions. No one knows the source of Greenhara's protection against the Rust, but all do know that whoever does figure it out will become the savior of the entire Rusts. When entering Greenhara there is a man, standing on a box, calling out loudly.„Salvation is upon us! Listen my friends, for salvation is finally here. We have paid enough for our sins of old, the gods have given us a chance. They have sent us a way out of this. This place ist he proof, this place is a miracle, sent by the gods!“He spreads his arms widely, looks around to see if anybody is listening. Most of those, who seem to live here, or at least arrived a while ago don’t, but some travellers wearing packs stop and listen to his words.„We need to keep peace. We need to live together and then the gods will see that we are worthy and they will take the curse from us.“A woman saunters on a box close to him. She is wearing a set of cloths, that are meant to like like a serving girl’s, but are mostly doing a great job to enhance her womanly features.„Come to the „Rusty horn“. The best saloon outside of Broadhead. We have drinks, entertainment, and of course company for the night.“The man shoots her an angry look, and she waves cheerfully at those standing in front of him.„Beds for newly arrived avvailable as well.“she shouts out to everybody close enough to listen and then hops down the crate.„You only make it worse, Kate! There’s a lot of these opportunists already.“someone calls from those around, and she only laughs.„The more people come to Greenhara, the better. Did I mention, that the „Rusty Horn“ also is the only saloon around here? I hope to see you all there soon!“Walking away she waved at noone in particular, while the man standing on a box tries to regain the attention of his audience. @I think I am here. @Ark1002 @Clyde Coggins @Darth Sir Woodrack Groot @Snipexe
The Silver Sentry, a colossal statue built of stone and metal, and plated with aluminum stood overlooking Wall Hold, a magnificent, shining city that stood against all that was dark and corrupt, the melting pot of cultures from the farthest edges of the planet. The Sentry had its eyes forward, back to the city, the only thing it knew was one command: "Upon call, destroy that which threatens the city, then become dormant again."
UPDATE: This whole story can be found broken into cohesive chapters on Archive of Our Own. It is a more up-to-date and better proofread version with proper formatting, without all the random comments from other people scattered in between. Feel free to comment or leave a review here or in the comments section on AO3. There is also an option to download the story in EPUB or PDF format to read on your eReader or mobile phone. This was originally posted as part of this thread, but since it was a multiple part entry I decided to post it here where it would be more visible and easier to find. The original idea started here and I decided to extend it. The author I was stylistically trying to emulate was Charlotte Bronte, but if you read through you can tell that there are more modern influences in my writing style. The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance PART ONE "That ship, you may have noticed, had two very fine cabins that I hired out for us at no small expense," said Countess Jasnah, with a sigh of dignified resignation. "It is rather a shame that I cannot say likewise for the quality of these...lodgings. And it seems my dearest cousin shan't be gracing us with his presence – he has engaged a proxy to escort us to the Court." Shallan hadn't thought the journey tedious - not at all: it was one thousand nautical miles from Kharbranth to the great port of Varikev in Roionshire, most of it spent splendidly barefoot and scandalously clad only in her chemise and petticoats. The days on the road since had been less pleasant, of course: fifty miles a day by carriage, a night spent in a common coaching house, fifty miles the next. It was only a wonder that the constant rhythmic rattle and clop of the horses hadn't been drummed permanently into her head. But now they had arrived at the very last coaching house, curiously named "The Black Thorn Inn". The idea of her marrying still seemed strange to Shallan, though it hadn't necessarily been one she was dreading. Day by day the journey had shortened ahead of her, and though she was glad of it, she had mused on what few joys she had left. Kholinar Court, the hereditary seat of the Kholin dukes, was the destination - the terminal, one could say, and Shallan was briefly solemn as she was reminded that it could very well be the place where her body was interred. It was not her home; it could never be - it was not a place where friends awaited her arrival with fond welcome. Shallan and Countess Jasnah stood under the shaded eaves of the inn, porters scurrying around them to pile up their numerous steamer trunks, travel valises and awkwardly shaped hatboxes. As they watched, a cloud of dust slowly drifted over the horizon to soften the sharp blue of the sky with a fringe of golden mist. A line of carts - that was it - clattering down the road, gaily painted in Kholin blue, preceded by a carriage with the Duke's arms in white upon the doors. "Hallo!" cried the man sitting on the high driver's seat next to the coachman. He was a lanky man whose long legs bumped up against the coachman's on the narrow shelf of a seat. With unexpected grace, he swung himself to the ground, and Shallan noticed that his shoulder-length hair had not been tied into a tail as current fashion dictated. He had on a plain gentleman's suit - no sign of ducal livery - the wool worn shiny on knees and elbows. "There you are. We must make haste-" "If it pleases you...sir," said Countess Jasnah, rather coldly. "Might I have the pleasure of an introduction? Cousin Adolin promised a trusted proxy to receive us, but I am afraid I do not recognise you." She did not hold out her hand for a kiss. He did not bow. "Doctor Kaladin," said he, pulling a leather wallet from the inside of his coat. "The Duke's personal physician. My letter of introduction, addendum by the Prince Dalinar and reference from the Duke's brother the Marquess of Kholinshire." He held it out to Countess Jasnah, who stared at it for a second, then took it stiffly. "You must be the girl, then. A Scot," Doctor Kaladin said, as he turned to Shallan, looking her up and down, then added, "though I can hardly imagine that you would be any more of a nuisance than the Duke's, ah, previous matches." Shallan felt unpleasant emotions rise up in her throat; she was scarcely aware of what exactly they were, though she was certain they were neither becoming nor ladylike. She did know, however, that impertinence answered by impudence was fair and just, and that Jasnah was out of earshot directing the porters to load the carts with their luggage. If this stranger, this Doctor Kaladin, had been properly courteous - or even good-humoured in the least, in his manner - Shallan would have felt no inclination to respond with insolence. But he had not the air of an elegant gentleman; that surely would have made her shy instinctively towards girlish hesitance. Doctor Kaladin had instead a dark face with heavy brow furrowed in irritation; though he was young - not much older than her, on inspection - his face had none of the softness or gentleness of youth; his lips were set into a stern line. This Kaladin creature spoke with the cultured tones of gentle breeding; despite this, he seemed set on being disagreeable from the start: Shallan had always thought herself sympathetic with those of lesser station, but here, she could feel nothing but antipathy. "Aye, ye be addressing the Lady Shallan," said Shallan, exaggerating her rural accent to one fitting of the servants back home. Her former governess, Madame Tyn, made a study of regional accents and dialects, and had taught her on the condition to never speak like that in front of distinguished company. That would hardly apply to Kaladin. "Pledged clanswoman and shieldbearer to The McValam." "You don't sound like a lady," remarked Kaladin bluntly. She gave him shallow curtsey, no more than a mere dip of the knees, and with a curt toss of her head, circled around him. "Ye dinna look like any doctor I ken," Shallan said. "A real surgeon would ha' better hair than yers, I reckon. Do ye keep it for emergency bandages?" Kaladin sputtered. "Emergency bandages-" "Too stringy fer tha', maybe. Emergency sutures, more like." Kaladin's brows gathered together, and his mouth twisted down with ire. "You do not seem like any lady, would I not be mistaken if I judge you an opportunistic impostor who has managed to deceive herself into Lady Jasnah's good graces? And I, Miss, am no leech-peddling barber surgeon." "E'en tha' job's got folks looking foward to yer comin', aye," said Shallan, "I'd think ye'd be better suited fer bailiff...or hangman. Ye would'na need a rope when yer breath would work faster." Kaladin's face reddened pleasantly, or so Shallan thought, and his body stiffened. He took a breath, then stepped closer to her, hands clenched in tense fists by his side. "Look, you-," he began. "Lady Shallan, the carriage awaits," called Countess Jasnah. The last trunk had been loaded onto the last cart; the first had already departed and was now a merry puff of golden dust on the road ahead. "Doctor, your credentials are in order. My uncle the prince recommends you warmly, I am most astonished to see." "Yes," Kaladin said, and after a pause, "thank you." He turned finally away from Shallan, and took the offered wallet from Jasnah's hands. He did not offer the wallet to Shallan; instead he tucked it into his coat's inner pocket. Lady Jasnah nodded; a footman bowed as he held open the carriage door painted with the tower-and-crown in white with gold details. The folding steps had already been pulled out. "A Kharbranth Academy scholar, I was naturally impressed to see that," said Jasnah, holding her skirts, as she ducked into the soft curtained dimness. "Will you be joining us for the ride to the house, Doctor?" Doctor Kaladin's eyes flicked sideways at Shallan. He had composed himself by now, and she observed that when he wasn't dis-tempered, he made a well-formed figure of a man - taller than most, with handsome breadth of shoulders, and graceful hands etched here and there with pale white scars over tanned fingers and knuckles. His face, though it lacked in beauty or elegance, had its own decisive character made more distinguished by darkly perceptive eyes. Shallan tore herself away and took the footman's guiding arm into the carriage. She did not look back. "I shall ride with the coachman, if it pleases you, Lady Jasnah," said Kaladin after a few moments. "I would not want the road dust from my journey here to soil your clothes nor the upholstery - my Duke had it cleaned for your arrival. He comes from The City to-night and expects Lady Shallan's informal presentation for this evening after supper." There were a few clinks and creaks as footmen found their places, and the horses shuffled impatiently in their traces, then the carriage started moving. Shallan twitched aside the pale blue lace curtains on the window and watched the warm green countryside trundle by, dotted and dashed with the occasional hayrick or wind-breaking treeline. She now felt a thrill; elation gently warmed in her chest: the world suddenly seemed to blossom around her when not very long ago she had imagined that it was like a box folding inwards and unstoppably inwards. She had dealt with that Doctor Kaladin, unpleasant as he was, with remarkable ease; no doubt this unfamiliar southern land would be filled with many such as he, but she could - yes she would - crest over such trifling difficulties and find herself comfortably settled as a lady Duchess that all of Anglethi society would look to. Author's Notes: The last time I wrote short stories or fanfiction was 4 or 5 years ago, so I'm a little rusty with my prose. For stylistic influences in this work, though I'm copying the writing style of classic period romances in general (not the modern paperback bodice-rippers), I would name Charlotte Bronte as the main inspiration to fit with the thread topic. Of course there's some Austen in there as well, mixed with more modern authors for the dialogue lines because I feel using old-style for that sounds too stiff and lacks emotional impact. A few hundred years ago, barbers and surgeons were the same thing. Physicians diagnosed illnesses, but it was barber-surgeons who did the actual surgery and amputations. Their razors could cut skin and give a close shave. Shallan is joking Kaladin on his unfashionable and messy hair. A bailiff in medieval times collected taxes as part of their job. I also referenced the scene in the hallway of Elhokar's palace when Shallan meets Kaladin for the second time in Words of Radiance. If you're wondering why I made Shallan Scottish, it's a reference to the post from a similar thread here, and since all those classic romances took place in England, I tried to make a weird fusion for humourous reasons.