by Wes Penre, November 27, 2020
This is from the first unedited draft. When we enter the scene, Holgar Stronghand, who is one of the side characters in a subplot, is visiting the city of Ringhall in the Divine Kingdom of Norfold to join the military. He has just ended a visit with the Prince of Norfold and is reflecting back on when he first arrived in Ringhall..
Holgar had never been to a big town or a city before. Compared to Eldholt, Ringhall was gigantic! When he first entered, he had been greatly impressed. In the midst of the city ran a river called Falluin—raging forcefully in certain places while being tantalizingly calm in others. Fishing was important in Ringhall, and as Holgar had been allowed to pass through the guards by the moat, from first having to walk across a long bridge intersecting the river, being escorted passed the iron gates, he was met with a fantastic scenery. The buildings were sometimes huge, and from Holgar’s perspective, they reached to the sky. Almost all of them seemed to be built of yellow and white gold and marble. Even the streets were made of shining marble, exquisite yet massive, and when the light was precisely angled, he could see his own reflection bouncing off the street. Some buildings rose toward the sky, looking like towers, while certain houses were built on top of each other, with some of the upper houses reaching further out, so the tenants could get an exclusive look at the river below.
The river split the city in two. Holgar got a vision of some gigantic God, whom with his or her mighty hands had put a model of a city upon a river, divided it in two, and moved each part to either side of the water. In fact, he was not too far from the truth. Upon the river, fishermen and other citizens were paddling up and down the water—some of them to catch fish, while others seemed to use it to move faster from location to location within the city.
However, the most magnificent was the palace. When Holgar saw it for the first time, he thought he was dreaming. In the middle of the city, a huge royal building made of crystal was rising, higher than any other structure. Multiple stairs were ascending to an overhanging bridge, built fifty feet above street level, leading toward the crystal building. The railings were decorated with pure yellow gold and various symbols, also made of gold. As Holgar had approached the palace, the sunbeams, reflecting on the crystal building, created a prism, which made it look like it was constantly shifting in all the colors of the rainbow. Holgar was told by one of the guards about a legend saying that both the palace and the city were created by Angels long ago, in the Age of Twilight. The guard told him this was the reason why their country was called The Divine Kingdom of Norfold.
After having left Prince Xandur’s office, Holgar was escorted in the opposite direction from which he had entered Ringhall. They descended through many sets of stairs, until they reached a level closer to the river. From there, they took off in an eastly direction, until they stopped before a massive wall with a ten-foot gate, guarded by watchmen, sitting in towers on either side. The approaching escort was expected, however, and knights from the inside opened the gates and let them into the military facility. This was the last day of Holgar’s former life and the first day of his journey into the unknown.”
If you feel inclined, please leave a comment below, and tell me what you think. Let me know if you like it, and if you have any constructive criticism for me, it is also much appreciated!