GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Fantasy Author Sam Poling: That time I wrote a humorous play with my characters + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Fantasy Author Sam Poling: That time I wrote a humorous play with my characters + giveaway

The Oldenrai Archives: Play

I've never shown this to anyone before, but I once started writing a play addition for my novel series. The play was to take place between books one and two, and feature an adventure had by Felix and Mirabel.

It started with Felix on the stake being burned for heresy and witchcraft, before Mirabel rescues him only to scold him for being careless. I didn't revise what I'd written at all, and scrapped the idea early on, but I do still have the opening scene saved. I both love and hate it, and I didn't intend for it to see the light of day in this state. Read it with that in mind.
Also important to note: this was written in a more humorous tone. My novels often have humor incorporated into them, but generally follow are darker tone than advertised here.

Overall, my favorite aspect is how cool it would be to not only open a play with a heretic burning, but to involve the audience. The idea was to pull them into the scene, by treating them as though they were the townspeople onlookers. Foam rocks would be passed out to them, and they'd be encourage to toss them at the Felix (even though it's clear he's innocent by today's standards).
Please enjoy!

OLDENRAI PLAY

FELIX, PRIESTESS, SABLE, and ESTER stand around a staged pyre in a town square. Felix is strapped to the pyre, his hands behind his back. Priestess stands off center, reading from a scroll. Sable stands guard nearer Priestess, while Ester stands guard nearer Felix.

PRIESTESS
Praise Tordin, for he loves us all, even the heretics. We commit you to the pyre of righteousness, so that you might experience his glory upon your death. We commit you to fire, for with fire, Tordin purifies, and Tordin forgives.

FELIX
i’m not a witch, do I look like a witch?

SABLE
Strapped to that pyre you do.

FELIX
You put me on the pyre!

SABLE
Of course we did; that’s where you put witches.

FELIX
This is absurd. I don’t have any magical powers, and witches are women.

PRIESTESS
Nay. As it is written, witches may fall anywhere on the gender spectrum.

FELIX
What sort of chance does that give me?

PRIESTESS
Ester, prepare the torch.

ESTER
Aye. [Prepares torch.]

FELIX
[Kicking and squirming.] Wait, wait, wait! I never had a trial.

PRIESTESS
This is your trial. God’s trial.

FELIX
Then I’d like to call a witness.

PRIESTESS
God is the only witness we need.

FELIX
How did I know you’d say that. Listen, fair trials generally to begin with the accused already adhered to their perspective punishment.

SABLE
Did he just say blasphemy? Priestess, was that blasphemy?

PRIESTESS
Calm yourself, Sable.

SABLE
But he questioned the trial.

PRIESTESS
Felix Eggland. Do not question the trial. It is a sin.

FELIX
Oh, right. Wouldn’t want to do that. Might get burned.

PRIESTESS
As per the writ, you may speak your final testimony.

FELIX
I’m not a witch. I’m an alchemist. I mix medications using herbs and science. Just innocent herbs and science.

ESTER
Half of the time science is witchcraft, Eggland.

FELIX
No it isn’t. Where in the Tordin’s Glory the Order does it say that?

SABLE
Heresy?

PRIESTESS
[To Sable] Calm yourself, Sable. [To Felix] It says it in Light’s Radiant Rising Dawn, fourteen eight, From the corrupt sciences of man is born the technology of thine own destruction. They, those men of the ancient tech, through their hubris do they blaspheme the Lord.

FELIX
But I was just fighting the plague. No hubris.

ESTER
Plagues are born from only one of two things: Tordin’s will, or witchcraft. You either defied Tordin’s nature, or you created the disease to begin with.

FELIX
Tordin doesn’t just want you to die without fighting back.

SABLE
Heresy!

FELIX
No, stop! Shut up! Listen, the church uses science all the time. You use math, don’t you?

PRIESTESS
The only math we require is Tordin’s love.

FELIX
Huh? Excuse me? Run that by me again.

ESTER
If you’re so good at math, Eggland, count to one. Because whether you’ve made peace or not, that’s how many witches we’re burning today.

FELIX
I think we should leave it at zero.

SABLE
Did you hear that, Priestess?

PRIESTESS
Zero is a demonic number. An unholy concept.

FELIX
Wait, no, but you can’t have math without zero. How do you keep count of things?

PRIESTESS
Confusion is a sign of doubt. Doubt is a sign of heresy.

FELIX
Okay, so you have two hens, then you sell two to your neighbor. How many hens do you have left?

ESTER
You have none.

FELIX
Yes, none. Synonymous with zero.

SABLE
[Shouting manically and pointing at Felix.] Heresy! Heresy!

FELIX
No, no heresy! Stop that! No heresy!

ESTER
You’re only adding to your sins, Eggland.

FELIX
What does that matter? You’re already killing me.

ESTER
Fire burns hotter the more evil it has to feed on.

FELIX
See, that’s what I’m talking about. That isn’t good science.

SABLE
Blasphemy!

FELIX
No blasphemy, no blasphemy anything!

PRIESTESS
Your testimony has concluded, alchemist.

FELIX
I thought I was supposed to be a witch.

PRIESTESS
Whatever. Ester, commence the heretic burning.

FELIX
[Frantic] Wait, this is miscarriage of justice. I appeal. I demand a retrial. Jury by peers. A thirty day grace period. A last meal.

ESTER
This is why we used to gag and bag heretics. Try to die with a little dignity, would ya?

FELIX
I’m allergic to fire.

Ester drops the torch onto the pyre at Felix’s feet. A small fire starts. Felix panics and squirms away from the flame, blowing in its direction and shouting desperate pleas.

Sable picks up a basket of rocks (foam chunks) to distribute to the audience. Sable and the priestess encourage the throwing of rocks at the heretic. Audience members may elect to throw them at other characters. The characters react accordingly, including the priestess threatening to hold a trial to those who throw them at her again.



Goetia (The Oldenrai Archives Book Two)
by Sam Poling10/31/18
Genre: Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
ISBN: 9780463828861
ASIN: B07GKYH54D
Number of pages: 180
Word Count: ~74,500
Cover Artist: Cora Graphics
Integrate your shadow

After imposing a controversial quarantine, Adelstadt Mayoress Mirabel Fairfax finds herself in the crosshairs with vengeful highwaymen. When they target her family and the vital shipments her village desperately needs, she turns to witchcraft to restore order herself. But something is wrong: her magic becomes unreliable, and monstrous images torment her mind's eye.

When gruesome murders terrorize Adelstadt, she suspects the highwaymen have turned to the occult, allying with a demonic entity. A Goetia. The hallucinations become all-too-real, and Mirabel must rely on her cunning, wrath, and what few friends she has left if she hopes to rescue her valley, her beloved, and her mind.

Felix Fairfax does the best he can as the husband of a controversial mayoress witch, but his life is once again turned into a fight for survival when he’s kidnapped by the highwaymen. They force him to help investigate his wife’s hidden lair, where they become trapped with creatures of unspeakable horror. Whatever Mirabel had locked away hunts indiscriminately—it hunts him—and if it gets out, plagues and highwaymen won’t be Adelstadt’s problems any longer.



Excerpt:
Mirabel’s boots clicked down a stone, spiral stairway, blowing past the half-melted candles lining the steps. The candles provided the only light, at times leaving her to fumble for footing on the disrepair of the steps. The descent into darkness went on longer than she’d ever recalled experiencing before. What a time for metaphysical nonsense. An echo of raspy, hollow screams chased her, reverberating within the stairwell, challenging her to keep up speed.

She stumbled off the final steps, at last on the ground floor, and clawed her wild, deep red hair from her face. Archaic, religious candle racks illuminated the chamber. Nothing had changed down here. At least, not yet.

She sped past rows of dilapidated tables and pews, reached a laboratory-style workbench, and threw her arms against a stack of journals, scattering the research. Upon snaring a specific handful of pages, she sprinted for the tower entrance.

A bony tusk punched through a nearby wall, knocking candles from their altar. They struck silver offering plates on the floor, crashing like cymbals. Mirabel leaped back, one hand clutching her research against her body, the other gripping the handle of her rapier.

Black, viscous slime poured from the hole around the horn, crept over the altar, and dripped onto the floor. Small, misshapen hands sprouted from the goop like blooming black-fingered flowers, grasping at the stone tiles. A reek like sweet, rotting fruit flooded the air.

She closed her gaping mouth, turned away, and continued running down the hall. Her burned-orange cape fluttered and whipped, a nuisance, rescinding its value.

The entire tower quaked, followed by more disembodied shrieking. A spiny, gray tentacle as thick as a branch smashed through the wall ahead in a deafening boom, lashing and twisting like an eel out of water. She drew her rapier and severed the tip with the sharpened, distal edge of her weapon. The piece of otherworldly flesh fell away, but several more tentacles punched through imperfections in the surrounding walls, blocking her path. Each unique arm contorted at varied rates, some more aggressive than others.

Still holding her sword, she extended her arm and channeled magic through it with a rush of heat. Upon releasing her focus, the heat fled her body and flames burst in front of her, engulfing the tentacles and transforming them into crackling ash.

Vertigo crashed over her in waves as penalty for her sudden, great expenditure of soul energy. With inhuman moans drifting on the air, she shook off her fatigue and proceeded to the iron double doors ahead, ramming her shoulder against them. They opened a crack, blasting her face with freezing air from outside.

She pushed against the door, and it ground open, scraping through a layer of fresh snow. She slipped her thin frame through, dropped her research and rapier, and shoved the door closed.

“Mayoress?”

She spun and straightened her posture. “Under no circumstances is anyone to approach the tower.”

Two guardsmen clad in vermillion red, double-breasted uniforms stood at the base of the tower steps, shoulders dusted with snow. They possessed several weapons: muskets with bayonets, sabers, and crossbow pistols. All useless.

“Aye,” said the leading guard. “We thought we heard some rumbling from our post. Another quake?”

She knelt, sheathing her rapier and collecting her papers. And then she saw the ooze. Not much, but strands of it slithered under the door. She backed away and marched down the steps.

“Evacuate.”

“Excuse me, Mayoress?”

She stopped between the guards and faced the shift lead. “Evacuate. It’s a simple concept. Do it now.”

“Evacuate what? Ironsnow?”

“Yes, the entire hamlet. Get everyone to Adelstadt at once.” She looked past him at dozens of wood-framed homes at the base of the tower’s hill, billowing smoke from their chimneys. “No one goes near the tower. Get everyone out now.”

The other guard spoke. “But why? Minor quakes happen all the time. My family lives here.”

The three marched down the hill. Mirabel said nothing.

“Mayoress?”

“Miasma. I’ve discovered the tower is the source of plague-infested miasma. Likely the cause of other outbreaks around Adelstadt. Deadly strains. None can reside here any longer. I’m sorry.”

“Tordin’s mercy,” said the guard. “I’ll have my family pack right away.”

“Nay. Full evacuation. Immediately. Have the citizens take only what they can carry on their way out.”

“It’s that urgent?”

“I am the Mayoress and a syndicate-certified disease specialist. You think I give this order lightly?”

“Of course not, Mayoress Fairfax,” said the lead guard. “We’ll get everyone out within the hour.”

“Faster if you are able. Much faster.”

About the Author:
Website-FB-Twitter
Tirgearr Publishing
Sam Poling has been writing fantasy and science fiction for the thrill of it his entire life, from short stories to screenplays. His love for each of the subgenres led to dedication to writing genre-skirting fiction with all the elements that make up the human condition. He holds a strong enthusiasm for medical studies and currently works as a medical assistant in a large clinic while taking classing for nursing. He also serves on a health and safety committee, including disaster preparedness and infection control. His interest in epidemiology and medical science tends to spill over into his writing endeavors.

GIVEAWAY
1 $50 Amazon Gift Card 
2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 comments:

  1. I appreciate you taking the time to give us a great book description and giveaway as well. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm always curious why a male author chooses to have a female main character (or does Felix plays just as large a role?). Is it more appealing for the genre/readers or something else?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am always looking for new authors to read. Your book sounds like the kind I enjoy reading so have added to my TBR list
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing your play with us. I think your idea of bringing the reader into the scene really works.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much for bringing this book to my attention. I hope to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh the poor guy. I want to read this and find out how he fares.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds very intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. read the excerpt thanks for the giveaway

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Loved the excerpt. Sounds like not your run of the mill story

    ReplyDelete