The Dragons of Rosemar by Daniel S. Patrick - Read Online
The Dragons of Rosemar
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Summary

The story takes place during medieval times. The last war was over fourteen years ago, yet no one dares to speak of the war because of all the losses that the kingdom had to over-come—especially the Elders, who had nearly lost everything they cherished.
King Zimri has been the ruler of Rosemar for over thirty years. He is a good and fair king who takes care of his people. He trusts his advisors and listens to their concerns. His advi-sors include Wyndham, head of the dragon riders; Gunther Stormcloud, the kingdom‟s mage; and Captain Sagar, head of the Royal Guard. It has been a long, hard road rebuilding the castle, the sol-diers, and the dragon riders. But no one was truly prepared for what was about to happen next.
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ISBN: 9781483504605
List price: $9.99
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The Dragons of Rosemar - Daniel S. Patrick

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AUTHOR

PREFACE

I spent many of my early years reading about knights slaying dragons, wizards casting spells, and soldiers fighting for their king. Dungeons & Dragons was one of my favorite role-playing games, which I think has greatly contributed to my story-telling ability.

I wrote this book with two goals: first, to tell a story that didn’t keep going back to what happened in the previous chapters and second, to keep my audience interested in what was coming next.

The story takes place during medieval times. The last war was over fourteen years ago, yet no one dares to speak of the war because of all the losses that the kingdom had to overcome—especially the Elders, who had nearly lost everything they cherished.

King Zimri has been the ruler of Rosemar for over thirty years. He is a good and fair king who takes care of his people. He trusts his advisors and listens to their concerns. His advisors include Wyndham, head of the dragon riders; Gunther Stormcloud, the kingdom’s mage; and Captain Sagar, head of the Royal Guard.

It has been a long, hard road rebuilding the castle, the soldiers, and the dragon riders. But no one was truly prepared for what was about to happen next.

INTRODUCTION

It is medieval times in the land of Rosemar. Within the walls of King Zimri’s kingdom, there are blacksmiths who are busy making swords and armor for the soldiers who are training for battle. Gunther Stormcloud, the king’s mage, has been spending most of his time in his hut studying an ancient prophecy, which speaks of the long-awaited arrival of the Dragon King. Many of the farmers are in the barns caring for the animals, while other townsfolk are tending to their shops.

Everyone is hard at work—well, everyone except for Daniel, a sixteen-year-old kitchen boy, who is but one of the many servants in the king’s castle. While sitting on a table in the kitchen, his mind raced with questions about his time of turning.

The time of turning is when boys become young men who will have to decide what they will do as adults in the kingdom. Up until now Daniel has worked in the kitchen since he was nine years old. Cleaning pots, preparing food, and cooking were his primary duties, yet as of late, he found himself day dreaming more often about his future. Wondering if he would be a soldier like his father or if he was brave enough to dare try riding a dragon, and more recently he found himself drawn to the wonders of magic. Daniel knew time was running out and that he would have to decide soon.

Within a short time, Daniel will learn that he has to follow his heart. As the wise old cook, Maggie, told Daniel time and time again, You need to dare to follow your dreams.

Daniel will soon find that out for himself. He will learn to keep his friends close and more importantly, to trust them, as he and his friends will soon take part in a journey that will make them men way before their time. Their journey will take them along treacherous paths, while altogether trying to avoid dark soldiers, ogres, and other dangerous creatures. In order to survive, they must learn to depend on their strength, as well as their wits. Daniel must decide if everyone in his party is trustworthy.

With danger lurking around every corner, Daniel’s party will need to decide if they will take the easy road or the path that is less traveled.

CHAPTER 1: CHOOSING A PATH

It was a hot summer day in the land of Rosemar. Daniel was sitting in the kitchen, helping to make lunch for the people of the castle. Daniel was a handsome young man of almost seventeen, a bit stocky with black hair and fiery blue eyes. His job, like all the jobs in the kingdom, was assigned by the king. King Zimri was a good king. He had his heart in the right place and tried to take care of all the people in Rosemar.

Daniel felt lucky to even be working in the kitchen. Although he was a mere kitchen boy, he was still contributing to the kingdom, even if it was looked down upon by others who thought it to be a duty assigned to the poor.

Daniel also like the fact that working in the kitchen during the rainy season meant that he had a place to keep dry, and during the cold and bitter months of winter, he was warm and toasty next to the fires in the kitchen. Today was the beginning of summer, and Daniel dreaded the heat that came with it. And, truth be told, Daniel didn’t like the thought of cleaning up after all of the animals. The few times that Daniel had been in the barns he could hardly stand the smells, and the barns would surely reek of manure with the rising heat and moisture that had begun to fill the air. He tried not to think about the stables; that would be a duty he would save for later.

Many times he wondered what his path in life would be. He had hoped for a life filled with adventures, like his father, who had served in the Royal Guard. Daniel wished that his father was there to provide guidance in the right direction, but that could never be, as his father had died in the last war. Daniel’s mother, on the other hand, was a maid for one of the princesses in the palace. Daniel didn’t see her very often; in fact, he missed having her around to talk to. Although it had only been two years since she had started working in the castle, to Daniel it felt like an eternity.

In three months’ time, Daniel would have to make up his mind about what he wanted to do with his life in King Zimri’s kingdom. The time of the turning was quickly approaching, and, as with all the men of his age, he must choose a trade in the kingdom. Should he be a solider or work with the Dragon Riders, or perhaps he could be an apprentice to the mage. Perhaps he should just stay in the kitchens, where he was safe and content. After an hour he had become frustrated. Finally he thought to himself, Why am I worrying? I have three months to figure it out.

Maggie abruptly walked into the kitchen and shouted in her usual squeaky voice, Daniel, what are you doing? I asked you to watch the bread!

Daniel jumped off of the table and opened the oven. He quickly pulled out the bread.

Maggie said, It’s a good thing I came back, or the bread would be ruined.

Sorry, Maggie, Daniel said.

Maggie asked, Have you had your head in the clouds again, boy?

Her short, plump body stood in front of Daniel as she stared disapprovingly at him with her evergreen eyes while tapping a rolling pin between her hands. Maggie had been head of the kitchen for many years, and she looked it. Anyone could tell this by looking at her stubby arms that were covered with many scars that were once burns. Nevertheless, she was proud of her battle scars, as she liked to call them. She usually worked in front of the hot stove from sunup to sundown.

Maggie was more like Daniel’s mom than his boss. She always seemed to know when Daniel was thinking too much.

Daniel turned to Maggie. What should I do?

Maggie looked at Daniel and said, Get off the table, and get to work.

Daniel smiled and said, No, Maggie, I mean about my future.

Daniel, you will not have a future if you don’t get your work done, Maggie replied, not taking her eyes off the food she was preparing.

Daniel reluctantly got off of the table and started to cut up some vegetables, as it was time to prepare lunch for the people of the palace.

Maggie smiled as she watched him. Daniel, you must follow your heart. What ever makes you happy will be the right choice.

But, Maggie… Daniel’s voice trailed off. I’m not sure what will make me happy.

Maggie thought about this for a moment and then said, Well, why don’t you go and explore your options? You already know all the people you could work for, Daniel. She paused before listing off his options. There is Sagar, the captain of the Royal Guard. You could ask him if you could watch his troops train. Or you could go see Wyndham, the head of the Dragon Riders. He is fond of you, Daniel. You could also talk with the mage, Gunther Stormcloud. Just go talk to them; see what they have to offer you. Then you can make your decision. Maggie then softly added in a hopeful tone, Or you could just stay here in the kitchen with me. She tried to force a smile, although the thought of him leaving saddened her.

Daniel smiled at her; it would be hard to leave her behind as he sought out his own path in life. Nevertheless, Daniel knew he had to move on to something else. He knew that his destiny did not revolve around scrubbing pots and cooking; this is something he felt very strongly about.

Taking Maggie’s advice, Daniel set off to see Captain Sagar of the Royal Guard. When he arrived, Daniel explained that he wasn’t sure how he wanted to serve King Zimri.

Captain Sagar said, Daniel, being a soldier for your king is a noble duty—one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’ll tell you what, Daniel, why don’t you come join us for the next few weeks, and you can train with my new group of soldiers? That way you can see if it is something you would like to do. And if nothing else, Daniel, you will receive some valuable training.

Daniel pondered this idea. Alright, but I need to check with Maggie first.

Laughing, Captain Sagar said, Maggie has already come to me, Daniel. It was her idea for you to work with me for a month so you could get a feel for being a soldier. That is one smart lady. Maybe I ought to ask King Zimri to allow me to train all young men in the kingdom for one month so they can all see what it is like to be a soldier.

Daniel stood there, amused that Maggie would take the time to help him. Daniel had thought Maggie wanted him to stay in the kitchen with her.

So the next morning, Daniel showed up at five o’clock for training with the Royal Guard.

Captain Sagar introduced him to the trainer of the Royal Guard, Raleigh.

Raleigh was a large man. He had a full head of reddish-orange hair, which he always kept pulled back in a long pony-tail. His armor, like the rest of the Royal Guard, was so shiny that he could almost see his reflection in it.

Fine etchings covered his armor. As Daniel looked more closely, he saw that the engraving was in fact King Zimri’s royal seal. Only the elite soldiers wore this type of armor; depending on what group you belonged to in King Zimri’s army, your armor would be stamped with a special seal that was assigned to the group.

Raleigh welcomed all of the new students and then went over, in much detail, what the young men would be learning in the next few weeks. Your first task will be to learn swordsmanship. This will involve making you stronger and more agile. You will all be given a sword. Your sword will be designed by the blacksmith of the kingdom to ensure that the sword is perfectly balanced for you.

For the next few hours, the new students watched as Raleigh showed them some fighting stances, footwork, and thrusting.

After the demonstration Raleigh had them all go to see the blacksmith. The blacksmith’s shop was unbelievable. There were swords, bows, arrows, armor, and other various items everywhere. The room was at least twenty times larger than the kitchen—and the kitchen was pretty big.

An extremely large man by the name of Yorath came over and greeted Raleigh. The blacksmith’s balding head had wisps of graying hair on it. He had many scars on his massive forearms; it was hard to tell if they were from previous wars or from burns while forging the weapons. As Daniel returned to his instructor, he noticed that Yorath had a slight limp when he walked. After Yorath pulled a hot blade out of the fire, he turned around, and everyone could see that his face and arms were covered in ash and sweat.

So this is the next group to join the Royal Guard?

Raleigh smiled, Yes, Yorath, it is. Well, all except Daniel, here, who is only with us for a month, just to see if he wants to become a soldier.

Yorath roared in a voice that was so rough you would have thought he had swallowed too much hot ash from the hearth, That is a great idea!

A couple of the blacksmith’s apprentices came forward and began to measure the young men for swords.

Yorath called to Daniel, Come here—I will measure you for a sword.

Daniel walked over and stood before Yorath. Yorath began to measure Daniel from head to toe, then from head to shoulder, from hand to chest, and then from shoulder to waist. You know, I remember making your father’s sword. He was a fine soldier. And you will be, too; it’s in your blood.

Daniel stared at him, bewildered. He didn’t know Yorath had been a blacksmith during the time his father was in the Royal Guard.

You knew my father? Daniel asked.

Yorath smiled. Oh, yes, it was a long time ago. I got hurt in a small skirmish. Yorath was rubbing his leg unconsciously as he spoke to Daniel. "Your father helped me through a tough time in my life. When I got hurt, I knew I could no longer be a soldier. Your father helped me to see that as a blacksmith I could still help my king and fellow soldiers. So as a gesture of friendship, I made a sword for your father.

Yorath then handed Daniel a series of weights. He asked Daniel to swing them up and down, then over his head, and side to side. After the seventh set of weights, Yorath seemed satisfied.

Yorath took Daniel over to a bin and said, The ones in this bin would suit you, Daniel. You may choose any you like. But you can only choose one. Yorath then walked away to help some of the other young men.

Daniel looked at all of the swords in the bin, pondering, not sure which one to take. Daniel thought that he might not be suited to have a life as a soldier, so he chose one of the older swords that had been in battle before. Therefore, it wouldn’t cost the king too much gold. He reached in the bin and pulled out an old, dusty sword. Its blade looked dull. The handle was wrapped with a rope colored in deep red. On the hilt of the sword was an etched dragon’s head, which held a small pearl in its mouth.

As Daniel pulled the sword out of the bin, he heard a slight humming sound. The sword also felt warm in Daniel’s hand. Staring down at the sword, he thought, This must be a really old sword; how many battles had it been in, and how many people had it slain?

Yorath broke Daniel’s thoughts. He was screaming wildly, Daniel, what do you have in your hands? Put it down, NOW!

Daniel turned his head to look at Yorath, wondering why he was yelling. He saw Yorath running toward him. Startled, Daniel raised the sword as Yorath approached. The sword began to vibrate slowly in Daniel’s hands. Yorath stopped in his tracks. Mouth open and stunned, Yorath looked as if he was frozen to the spot.

Captain Sagar came over, wondering what all the shouting was about. He grabbed Yorath’s shoulder, and he seemed to come out of his trance.

The b-b-boy— stammered Yorath. He has picked up the Dragon Sword.

Captain Sagar turned to look at Daniel. Daniel, please lower your sword.

Daniel lowered it, looking at the two men.

Captain Sagar and Yorath walked slowly to Daniel, looking at the sword in his hand.

Yorath asked, Daniel, where did you get that sword?

Speaking slowly, thinking he had done something wrong, Daniel said, I found it in the bin. You said I could pick out any sword. So I picked an old, beat-up one in case I didn’t become a soldier.

Captain Sagar looked at Yorath. Which one of us is going to tell King Zimri?

Not me, said the black smith in his raspy voice.

Well, I’m not going to either, replied Captain Sagar.

Daniel looking at both of them and finally said, Did I do something wrong? Should I put this sword back and get a different one?

Captain Sagar looked at Daniel and said, You couldn’t if you wanted to. Daniel, that sword is yours for now and forever. He had a petrified expression on his face, for he knew what perilous journey lay ahead for the wielder of that sword.

Why would you have to tell the king that I have this sword, Captain Sagar?

Don’t worry about it right now, Daniel, said Captain Sagar. And, Daniel, you mustn’t show this sword to anyone. Do you understand me?

No, I don’t! I don’t understand any of this!

In time you will, but for now keep it hidden, do you understand, Daniel? It took all his might not to shake Daniel; it was of utmost importance that Daniel followed his instructions. He needed him to understand that.

Yes, Captain Sagar.

Daniel headed back to the kitchen, his mind racing about the sword.

Maggie was at the door, waiting for him. She had a big smile on her face. Well, how did it go? she asked. Oh, I see you have a sword; let’s have a look at it.

It went well, Maggie; it is just a plain old sword—nothing special. I’ll go put it in my room and help you clean up.

After finding a safe place to hide the sword, he returned from his room to help Maggie in the kitchen.

The next day Daniel headed out to training to get his first real lesson on how to be a fighting soldier. As Daniel walked into the training area, Raleigh was waiting for him.

Daniel, you need to go to barn number three.

Daniel thought this was odd; everyone else was there. But I thought I was training here with you. Captain Sagar said that this is where I needed to be.

Raleigh replied in a gruff voice. I don’t ask questions, Daniel, I just follow my orders. So off you go to barn number three.

Reluctantly Daniel headed out to barn number three; he knew it was pointless to argue with Raleigh.

Opening the door, Daniel saw someone inside. The man told Daniel to come in and to close the door.

Daniel did as he was told.

The man spoke in a hearty voice, Come here—I want a good look at you.

Daniel walked over to the man, who stood staring at Daniel for a long time. Daniel could tell this man was someone not to upset. He was a large man, with arms the size of most people’s thighs. Daniel noticed he had several deep-embedded battle scars on his arms; he also had a long, deep-slanted scar from where it looked as if someone had sliced him from one side of his face to the other. The scar on his face could be traced from just below his right eye, all the way down his cheek, across his nose, and stopped just above the bottom of his left cheek.

Finally the man said in a booming voice, I am Amyas, the royal sword master. Today you will begin the type of training that is only given to my elite troops. I have been asked by Captain Sagar to train you. He didn’t say why, but I will do my best to train you.

Daniel’s mind was racing—why was the sword master going to train him? This seemed odd to him.

Captain Sagar said you had a sword.

Yes, sir, I do.

Captain Sagar also said you were not to use that sword. Reaching behind him, Amyas pulled out a sword from a nearby weapons rack. "You