Guild of the Dashing Rogues - HELP!

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Guild of the Dashing Rogues - HELP!

Post by Transparent » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:57 am

Back to the forum after a long hiatus! I would love some feedback on the development of this scene for a story I am working on. I know it's a little longer (~900 words), but I'd greatly appreciate the input.

The Constable’s booming baritone easily cut down Clarion’s reply. “Save your candied words, thief! What you knew is of little concern to me. In this very moment, I am your judge, your jury, and your executioner.” The Constable paused, sweeping his arm toward the gallows, a thousand pairs of eyes following intently. “As you can see, we are prepared for you, in any case. You are alone. You have no friends here, and no Brothers within a hundred miles. Today, you die. You are charged with rape, but the sins of your life are too numerous to list here. So, I ask you again – how do you plead?”

There was no mistaking the venom in the man’s voice, and Clarion began to wonder, for the first time, if he’d finally pushed his incredible luck too far. His head was still pounding from last night’s revelry, and he’d had no time to collect himself as he was dragged from the Constable’s manor just a few hours prior. He was exhausted, hung over, looked every part the reckless brigand. Still, he couldn’t allow himself to be bullied – even in chains. A gentleman must have his wits. Nodding to himself, Clarion decided upon his course of action. Clarion drew himself to his feet, and squared his shoulders. Taking a deep breath, he measured the irony of the situation. Oddly enough, it was time for the truth.
* * * * *
“Good Constable”, Clarion began, “it would appear you have me at a disadvantage. We have not been properly acquainted, and seeing as how I have been a guest in your own home, introductions must be in order.” A collective gasp rose from the throng gathered behind the Constable and his men. Eyes hardening, the Constable made the slightest motion with his head, looking just over Clarion’s shoulder. Sensing the movement behind him, Clarion immediately dropped down to one knee, narrowly avoiding the careening fist aimed at the back of his skull. Instead, the assailant toppled over Clarion’s back, landing in a heap on the dew-dampened grass. The guard quickly regained his feet, drawing back his arm to strike at Clarion again. “Enough!” the Constable bellowed. The guard dropped his arm, allowing Clarion to read an unmistakable expression of hatred. Clarion smirked as he regained his feet, taking an exaggerated step to side as if allowing the man to pass. Brilliant.

Clarion paused to brush himself off, straightening his ruffled jacket and running his fingers through his tousled hair. “As I was saying”, he resumed, “I must introduce myself.” Not pausing for breath, he continued. “I am Clarion Davlar, of the Lormand Isles, currently by way of the Western Hills. I am a gentleman, a lover, and most notably, a distinguished member of the Guild of the Dashing Rogues.” Despite the manacles on his hands and feet, Clarion managed a flourish and bow to the crowd. This last was met by some laughter, a few scowls, and even a light smattering of applause. It also caused the Constable's face to flush an ugly red color, and Clarion could see the man visibly trying to calm himself. As the color slowly drained from the Constable’s face, Clarion could sense that this interlude was almost at an end.

Quickly scanning the crowd, Clarion looked for the telltale glint of a gilded rose pin that would be worn by a fellow brother. It would be pinned the throat of a cloak, or on the brim of a hat – somewhere indistinct, yet visible to the trained eye. Clarion felt anxiety seeping in to his confident façade, and took a step back to get a better look. This time, he never anticipated the blow; he felt a smashing pain in the back of his head as he toppled to the earth below. The last thing he saw was the guard’s face hovering over him, leering. Then the world faded to black.
* * * * *
When Clarion regained consciousness, he had already been dragged onto the gallows platform. The manacles on his wrists and ankles cut deeply into his flesh, now secured to wood underneath him.

Clarion struggled his way to a sitting position, feeling the world swim around him. The crowd noise and the pain from being punched added to his already agonizing headache; he tried shaking his head to clear it and found the darkness rushing to swallow him again. Fighting the urge to black out, he settled himself and heard the crown began to shout. He screwed his eyes shut, trying to block out the racket and an oncoming wave of nausea. He took several breaths, regained his shaky composure, and pried his eyes open. He forced his bleary gaze over the tide of riled gatherers, hoping to find a friendly – or at least familiar – face in the crowd. Despite the Constables assertion, the Guild had men in every corner of Kardosh. The trick would be finding one here, and finding him now.

When his eyes snapped back into focus, he finally spied what he had been looking for: a gilded rose, stem wrapped back around itself, glinting in the sun. It was pinned to the doublet of a man not twenty yards from Clarion; he briefly locked eyes with the man, who nodded once, quickly drawing the cowl of his cloak over his heavily bearded face. He settled further back into the crowd, raising his right hand slightly over his left shoulder, jerking his head slightly to the left. Clarion had no idea what it meant yet, but he trusted his Guild Brother. He had no other choice.

David Smedley
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Re: Guild of the Dashing Rogues - HELP!

Post by David Smedley » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:38 pm

Hiya Transparent, the title seemed a tad over romanticised for me.

Quickly scanning the crowd, Clarion looked for the telltale glint of a gilded rose pin that would be worn by a fellow brother. It would be pinned the throat of a cloak, or on the brim of a hat – somewhere indistinct, yet visible to the trained eye.
Pinned at the throat or hat brim, did not strike me as covert places to wear the "rose." And would
not take a "trained" eye to see them there.

Pacing and content seemed fine for this scene.

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