Twelve

Twelve was my NaNoWriMo 2016 novel, is currently my work-in-progress, and will hopefully be my first published book. Summed up in a single sentence, a team of twelve strangers must seek out the origins of a collection of dangerous artifacts.

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Title: Twelve… which you should know because you read the title of the page

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Plot: For years, Roland has been searching for the rest of the Artifacts. He already has one of them, ever since a strange old man gave it to him and told him to seek out the rest. But someone – Pravus is what he calls himself – is out to settle a personal grudge with Roland, and is apparently after the Artifacts too.

One night, while being pursued, Roland stumbles across a woman who has been attacked, only to discover that she shares his goals. They escape their pursuers together and then set out to locate the rest of the Artifacts.

As it turns out, there are in fact twelve Artifacts, each belonging to a separate person. Once they are together, the twelve set out on a quest that is as ancient as Time itself. All they have to guide them is a series of mysterious riddles, and the knowledge that Pravus will stop at nothing to find them. But every step they take seems to bring them closer to Pravus. No one can be trusted, because Pravus is obviously getting his information from somewhere… and it very well could be one of them.

Other fun stuff: You can look at my boards on Pinterest. I have hundreds of writing prompts and other writing-related stuff, and at least four boards dedicated to individual characters from Twelve.

All righty then, now that I’ve introduced the book, do you wanna read the first scene?  Here we go:

Roland looked around. This place was not familiar; he didn’t know it. He glanced at the small clock he held. Ah, so he’d turned the hands too far this time.

Suddenly a shrill cry pierced the night. Instinctively, he crouched down, waiting for someone to run past with lanterns searching for him. He put a hand against the wall to steady himself.

No one came, only the cry was sounded again, and this time he recognized it as a call for help. Someone was in trouble.

He gripped the corner of the wall tighter, and the gritty layer of dirt bit into his palm. If he was found…

Clenching his teeth, he pushed himself off the ground and followed the sound of the cry through a maze of crooked streets. The dim light from his lantern cast a quivering circle of light around him. Buildings loomed up on either side, hiding him from his pursuers.

Or perhaps they were hiding around the very next corner.

Following the sound, he finally saw the slumped form of a woman against the back wall of a building. Her dress was torn in several places, and noticeably stained with blood. His stomach turned at the sight, but he approached her. She needed help.

“Please,” she panted, groping at him with bloodied hands. “Help me.” Her dirty blond hair fell in tangles around her shoulders.

“Shh,” Roland said, trying to comfort her while at the same time trying to stop the flowing blood from the wound in her side. He snuck a quick glance over his shoulder. The street was dark. For the moment. “It’s all right now, I’m going to help you.” He gripped the hem of his shirt and yanked. The fabric tore easily.

She closed her eyes as he wrapped the strip of cloth around her waist. “What happened to you?” he asked, knowing that he should try to keep her awake and aware.

“He tried to take it from me,” she murmured.

“Hmm?” he asked.

“He tried to take it from me,” she repeated.

“Who? What did he try to take?” He tied the makeshift bandage off. She winced.

“This,” she said as she withdrew something from deep within the bodice of her dress. “I didn’t let him have it,” she whispered.

Roland stood and peered into the darkness. Maybe no one knew he’d come here. He turned back to the girl and in he flickering light, he saw gold glistening in her palm. Some sort of medallion.

Roland squinted into the darkness again. Still no sign of anyone. “Come with me,” he said. “I’ll take you to a safe place. You can stay with me until… well, until you’re better.”

“What is your name?” she asked.

“Roland.”

“Mercy Patton,” she replied, struggling to her feet.

“Mercy, okay,” he said, taking a deep breath if only to calm himself. “I’m going to bring you with me. You’re going to be okay.”

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