I revised the prologue for the book. I thought this was really great, but the feedback I have gotten is that it's just not terribly interesting for an opener. So, I'm going back to the drawing board with the prologue. What you see here is really a synopsis of the background for the story. Kind of like those words that scroll through space at the beginning of Star Wars. I had deleted it after the first posting, but decided to put it back up for those of you diehard friends and family members who are wondering what the heck the story is all about.
"Long ago, when the mountains were newer and the seas younger, there lay between the Cobalt Sea and the Dagger Mountains a kingdom called Belhanor. It was ruled in those days by Elmoran the Great in the white fortress at Tor Aden. It was said that he knew much of the deep things and of magic. He had a brother, Synedd, also wise in the ways of magic, who struggled against him for the throne. Synedd was finally defeated and driven into the mountains. That struggle was known as the Gryphon War. It was a dark time for the people of Belhanor, but also a time of great heroism and wonder, when the golden gryphons appeared as they had in the very early days and fought alongside men and unicorns and many other creatures.
"Following the war, peace came and the land prospered. The King married and produced two sons: Melbrinor, the elder and Raynor, the younger. While Melbrinor remained at his father’s side and learned to rule the kingdom, Raynor was restless and turned his eyes to the mountains. In ancient times their ancestors had passed through the Daggers seeking refuge from war and hardship. Finding a sheltered, fertile land they had remained there until their origins had passed out of memory. No one had crossed the mountains since; the peaks were steep and treacherous, the old ways lost forever. But it burned in Raynor’s heart to discover what lay beyond them. After many failed attempts, he sent a message to his father that he had found a way through. He was never heard from again.
"The King’s heart longed for his son, as did Melbrinor’s for his brother. Melbrinor led many forays into the mountains to find the path that Raynor had taken, but after two years was forced to give him up for lost. Greatly saddened, Elmoran occupied himself with affairs of state but he was not a young man and his years seemed to weigh upon him. It was whispered that he slept little and ate less, and spent many long hours staring into the fire. There were stirrings among some of the lords that Elmoran had grown weak and that more power should be given to them.
"In order to distract his father from his grief as well as satisfy the desire of his own heart, Melbrinor declared that upon his thirtieth birthday he would marry Lady Pelwyn, daughter of the Delfenward of Glenholm. Pelwyn was gracious and lovely, and perceived by all as an excellent choice. The King and the entire country prepared for the wedding with great joy.
"However, rumors reached Tor Aden that the King’s enemies were plotting to use the occasion to their advantage. While the lords loyal to the King were gathered for the wedding, his enemies would attack and occupy their lands, refusing to release them until their demands for power were granted. A warning was secretly issued so that the insurgents might be caught in a snare. But even as all these things unfolded, the King’s heart was still with his lost son and he turned his thoughts ever towards the mountains, searching for an answer that was hidden from him. This in itself was perplexing and he wondered why his sight was frustrated and by what power."