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ShadeZ

Maester
(Dialogue exchange in my books to set up the political interplay of this world and to introduce you to these two. Let me know what you think of these 2 and of the personalities and discussion etc)

Several days later, while Zola was meditating Kluke awoke while Aya was changing his bandages. He kept his eyes shut. Kluke quickly noticed he wasn't wearing his armor and had been stripped of his weaponry, both betrayed him as the White Reaper. Whoever it was, if they were Egalian he wouldn't allow them to live, it was too much a risk to his family to let them survive. He could hear someone enter and get close. Whoever it was they were female and were swapping out his bandages.

In a single terrifying second Aya found herself going from changing Kluke's bandages to pinned to the floor with the lethal prince choking her. She cursed at herself for leaving her tranquilizer darts on the other side of the room. Surely this would be the end for her…

Almost as fast as he had struck, Kluke released her. Aya gasped and choked trying to swallow air as quickly as she could.

"I would not do that if I were you. It will keep your heart rate high. You could send yourself into shock easily. Please, be calm Lady Aya. I will not harm you. I mistook you for a threat."

Aya rasped out,"Is that what you told Faron before you had your fun torturing him? They told me what you did, Kluke. How you flayed the skin from his body… he was dragging his own organs behind himself trying to get away from you!"

Kluke's voice was as controlled as ever,"I know exactly what I did to him Aya. I know ever slice in his skin I made and every little sadistic thing I said to him. But I also know why I did it. Aya, I need you to be still and listen to me for a moment. We have known each other since we were teenagers."

Aya snarled,"You also knew Faron at least as long…"

Kluke gave her a look of pity before continuing,"You are correct. But there is more to it than you know about, I promise."

Aya's eyes darted to her tranquilizers.

Kluke responded calmly upon seeing Aya's eyes and posture shift,"I could get to you in seconds if you tried that."

Aya snarled,"Ah, showing your true colors with a threat then."

Kluke smiled innocently almost laughing at her words,"Ayasha, I do not issue threats. I kill. I was telling you what I could do so you would understand how pointless the situation would become. I am not your enemy despite how it seems I swear it to you on Kara's grave."

Aya relented,"Fine. You might be a liar but you would never lie where Kara's honor is regarded. Explain your actions. I doubt there is anything you can say to justify what you've done to Faron and those other poor souls but I'll allow you to try."

Kluke bowed his head. Aya was unaccustomed to royals behaving in a humbled manner, Kluke truly was unique in that way. She always assumed it had to do with before he became the prince. The way the rumor went he used to be the son of a lord but his family were massacred.

Kluke's head still bowed he responded,"My thanks Lady Baywater. I suppose the best way to start this is to begin by asking how much you know about my sister's unexpected death."

Aya responded,"Kara? I fail to see how this relates to your sister's murder but very well. She was murdered one night by raiders who attacked your whole family."

Kluke responded with just the tiniest bit of sorrow in his tone,"If only it were so simple. Raiders we could have ordered executed. What actually happened is grounds for a war. Feroak ordered elite guard to dress as raiders for an assassination mission. The whole Kronian royal family was their target. They weren't supposed to just get one of us."

Aya spoke her voice wary,"If you lie…"

Kluke responded his voice honorable,"You know I speak from truth. Have you ever woken up to have a soldier throw you to the ground and step on your skull? Ever listened as three men debate how to have their fun torturing you to death? I attacked no one. I spoke of peace, honor, calm, and reason, the result, they saw me as weak and invaded my home and tried to do thing to me and my family I dare not mention to a lady such as yourself. They killed Kara… the rest of us survived the ordeal."

Aya responded,"Your guards got to you in time then?"

Kluke smiled weakly,"No. They tried to hunt me. They got to learn what sort of predator I am. I was not lying at those council meetings Aya. I want peace but I am not afraid to take lives."

Aya replied, she had calmed a bit, his story to her surprise actually lined up with what she had been seeing out of the Egalian royal family lately,"You say this, but I could order a list written up to show you the names of the hundreds of Egalians you've butchered. What did they do to deserve what you did to them? I saw their corpses! I know what you did. I've seen your flayed, gutted, exsanguinated, tortured, strangled, and butchered victim Kluke. You treat your enemies like you treat the animals you hunt. You can not tell me you did that only in revenge. Half those lords were friends of your family. You attended the christening of the new young lord of the shadowvale region and weeks later the Lord of Shadowvale's head was ripped from his shoulders and his body was skinned like a fresh kill. Most men would be made sick merely to see the horrors you've so easily committed let alone actually commit such atrocities themselves."

Kluke spoke,"What do you want from me Ayasha? Shall I play the repentant killer to ease your conscience? I killed them in such horrible ways to send a message. I believed killing them and in such horrible ways would deter future attempts against Kronia but I was wrong. Egalia is preparing for a full on war with my people. They tried the same on the Valorian royals and killed their king and prince recently. Yet, for all the lords I butchered Feroak just replaces them. He isn't hurt by the loss of his people, they are all replaceable to him. I killed Faron to get to him and to avenge King Valari and Prince Falvon. In hindsight, I should have taken all his heirs and his consort queen."

Kluke paused, he could tell he was scaring Aya,"I do not need your forgiveness or judgment, Ayasha. But, I know you are innocent in this so I won't treat you as a threat. At the current rate in a few years it will come to a war anyways. My offer is still good, come to Kronia. My family's connection could be used to make you what you are here in Kronia and a land of warriors can always use a good healer."

Aya snarled,"You are offering me to trade serving one killer to serve another."

Kluke spoke calmly,"I will protect you. You would not need to help anyone you do not wish to help. I know you would rather not treat Feroak's men. I know you treat them because you are forced too. I would never impose such on you and I would order the Dragon Gate guard to protect you but that aside if I say you are now Kronian none of mine would dare harm you. They know the cost for such. I must ask, there was a woman, a Ranavian. Where is she? I must thank her for both sparing my life and saving it."

A sudden pounding sounded on her door,"Lady Aya! Open up!" She found a young captain outside along with five other men.
 
Have some more fun with your dialogue tags. Don't just reuse the same ones over and over. And sometimes you can do without a tag altogether.

Some of the dialoge is a little clunky and can be tightened up a bit, also, add more visual detail about what's happening. You can see your characters and understand their personalities, but your reader does not. Have fun with it!

If I may:

Aya fought to maintain her composure. She knew that Kluke could end her life faster than he could end this conversation if he willed it. He was in control and any action, or even inaction, on her part could be the end of her.

As if reading her thoughts, he changed his stance to appear less aggressive. With shoulder relaxed and arms gestured openly he spoke, "I will protect you. You would not need to help anyone you do not wish to help...."
 
The one thing that REALLY helped me was just reading more fantasy novels. Read them and study them. Learn how the authors describe scenes, characters, and how they progress dialogue.
 

pmmg

Vala
I find I agree mostly with CS above. I thought the dialog tags needed the most work, and some of the dialog is a little stilted.

I would suggest using 'said' more and everything else less. Also, I think they flow best if used at the natural breaks in the dialog.

And...while I personally use 'spoke' sometimes instead of said, it is actually improper. Spoke should have a period. Properly it should be like: Bob spoke. "Thank you, Lady Baywater," he said. and not, "Thank you, Lady Baywater," he spoke, or He spoke, "thank you, Lady Baywater.


Kluke's head still bowed he responded,"My thanks Lady Baywater. I suppose the best way to start this is to begin by asking how much you know about my sister's unexpected death."

Aya responded,"Kara? I fail to see how this relates to your sister's murder but very well. She was murdered one night by raiders who attacked your whole family."

Kluke responded with just the tiniest bit of sorrow in his tone,"If only it were so simple. Raiders we could have ordered executed. What actually happened is grounds for a war. Feroak ordered elite guard to dress as raiders for an assassination mission. The whole Kronian royal family was their target. They weren't supposed to just get one of us."
Some of what I would change this too:


Kluke's head was still bowed. "My thanks, Lady Baywater," he said. "I suppose the best way to start this is to begin by asking how much you know about my sister's unexpected death."

"Kara?" she said. "I fail to see how this relates to your sister's murder but very well. She was murdered one night by raiders who attacked your whole family."

"If only it were so simple," he said with sorrow in his tone. "Raiders, we could have ordered executed, but what actually happened is grounds for a war. Feroak ordered his elite guard to dress as raiders for his mission. The whole Kronian royal family was to die, not just my sister."
 
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