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Author Topic: Synopsis: THE HERON KINGS (Revision in #3)  (Read 1899 times)
mafiaking1936
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« on: April 30, 2017, 07:01:35 AM »

Well, it's clear my query needs some serious work, so I'm gonna let that simmer a bit. But if you give a mouse a query, he's going to want a synopsis. This one is 660 slightly tightened down to 610 545 words in #3

-------------------------------------


During a brutal civil war Ulnoth races home to find his farm in flames, his family massacred. Elsewhere, the warlord Taurix executes Sister Alessia’s patients and forbids her Temple hospital from caring for “traitors” on the wrong side of the conflict, and the eager soldier Corren learns the harsh realities of war when his own comrades sack and butcher a town. These atrocities are born of the long struggle between two nobles each styling themselves rightful “king” and “queen,” giving never a thought to how completely they break the very land they grapple over.

Ulnoth’s grief explodes into a quest of vengeance against any soldier he can get his bloody hands on. Alessia leaves the Temple to strike out on her own, while Corren throws down his weapons in disgust. After Alessia’s attempts at building her own hospital fall to violence she meets Ulnoth wounded in the forest. Determined to save one life at least she sticks with him, hoping to moderate his dark crusade. They rescue Corren just as cavalrymen are about to run him down, aided by a concealing flock of herons.

The trio unwittingly saves some townsfolk fleeing slaughter and, sick and tired of living in fear, the band resolves to strike back at the armies terrorizing them. Ulnoth’s thirst for revenge, Corren’s soldiering skills and Alessia’s medical knowledge combine— and sometimes conflict— to form the core of the union, which they jokingly name The Heron Kings.

Using first brute force, then guerrilla tactics and subterfuge, they launch raids against both armies for supplies. Alessia is incensed at the needless killing, while Ulnoth performs gruesome mutilations on his victims when no one's looking. The Heron Kings quickly gain a reputation, and when their numbers increase Corren insists that everyone, even the children, must learn to fight.

Returning to his home village, Ulnoth leads an assault on occupying troops and is forced to execute a boy to conceal their presence. This triggers a royal backlash when Taurix, who has since switched sides, arrives and resorts to mass crucifixions to put down the peasant insurgency. Also hunting them is Vinian, the queen’s fire-scarred spymistress, and a fat, shadowy banker secretly funding both sides of the war. His goal is to prolong the carnage and weaken the country ahead of an invasion by a scheming emperor to the east.

When the Heron Kings intercept correspondence revealing the bank’s treachery, they must convince Vinian to help expose the plot and turn the royal contenders towards the true threat. The banker turns a parley into a double-cross, and though scattered and decimated Vinian and her new allies arrange a peace conference to present proof of the scheme to both sides at once. They infiltrate a heavily-guarded meeting hall, literally crashing the royal party. Vinian reveals the document to the nobles, begging them to reach an agreement.

The would-be queen raises the notion of peace, offering Taurix’s traitorous head as part of the deal. In fury Taurix attacks her but Ulnoth, exhausted by the emptiness of the vengeance he’s taken, sacrifices himself to save her in hopes of ending the fighting. Discovered and desperate to escape, the banker manages to wound the king before being cut down himself.

The conference ends with no one satisfied, but with the war over and the emperor’s plans foiled. Effectively castrated, the king will rule for the remainder of his life but afterward the queen’s heirs will inherit. Some Heron Kings return to society, but most find they no longer have any place in it. Alessia, Corren and the others remain free in the wilds, vigilant against the day when their knives and arrows are needed again.

---------------------------------------------------------

I also have a 1000-word version here, but it's not as polished: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q7ZfFBKBi4sCmKYTedk4K1Lu183SkkSEjRTj3VC9jf4/edit

Thanks again. I've gotten more help here in the last few days than in the whole last year elsewhere.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 07:52:48 AM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 06:50:01 PM »

Well, it's clear my query needs some serious work, so I'm gonna let that simmer a bit. But if you give a mouse a query, he's going to want a synopsis. This one is 660 words:

-------------------------------------

During a brutal civil war, Ulnoth races home to find his farm in flames and his family slaughtered. Elsewhere, Sister Alessia is stunned when the warlord Taurix executes her patients and forbids her Temple hospital from caring for “traitors” on the wrong side of the conflict, and the eager soldier Corren learns the harsh realities of war when he witnesses a town sacked and its people butchered. These atrocities are the result of a long struggle between a duke and countess who each style themselves rightful “king” and “queen” of Argovan-Bergovny, neither of whom give any thought to how completely they break the very land they grapple over. For some reason I'm hung up on "style themselves." Is there another term that may be better here? proclaim themselves? Usurp? Position themselves?
 
Ulnoth’s grief explodes into a quest of vengeance against any soldier he can get his bloody hands on. Alessia leaves the Temple to strike out on her own, while Corren throws down his weapons and deserts out of disgust. After Alessia’s attempt at building her own hospital falls prey to violence she meets Ulnoth wounded in the forest. Determined to save one life at least she sticks with him, hoping to moderate his dark crusade. Together they save Corren as cavalrymen are about to run him down, aided by a concealing flock of herons.
 
The trio unwittingly rescues a band of fleeing townsfolk and, sick and tired of living in fear, they all resolve to strike back at the armies that’ve terrorized them. Ulnoth’s thirst for revenge, Corren’s soldiering skills and Alessia’s medical knowledge combine— and sometimes conflict— to form the core of the union, which they jokingly name The Heron Kings.
 
Using first brute force, then guerrilla tactics and subterfuge, they launch raids against both armies for supplies. Alessia is incensed at the needless killing, while Ulnoth performs gruesome mutilations on his victims when no one's looking, and the Heron Kings quickly gain a reputation as something other than human. Their numbers grow when they rescue a caravan of smugglers from outlaws, and Corren insists that everyone, even the children, must learn to fight.
 
Upon returning to his home village, Ulnoth leads an assault against occupying troops and is forced to execute a boy to conceal their presence. This triggers a royal backlash when Taurix arrives, who resorts to mass crucifixions to put down the peasant insurgency. Also hunting them is Vinian, the queen’s fire-scarred spymistress, and Carthagne Fadhlan ven Xedrusia, a fat, shadowy banker secretly funding both sides in the war. His goal is to prolong the carnage and weaken the country ahead of an invasion by a scheming emperor to the east.
 
When the Heron Kings intercept a document revealing Carthagne’s treachery, they must convince Vinian to help expose the plot, end the war and turn the royal contenders towards the true threat. A parley turns into an ambush by Carthagne’s double-cross, and though scattered and decimated Vinian and the Heron Kings risk everything to arrange a peace conference to present proof of the scheme to both sides at once.  They infiltrate a meeting hall guarded by both banners, literally crashing the royal party. Vinian reveals the letter to the nobles, pleading for them to come to an agreement.
 
The queen raises the notion of peace, offering the turncoat Taurix’s head as part of the deal. In fury Taurix attacks her but Ulnoth, exhausted by the emptiness of the vengeance he’s taken, sacrifices himself to save her in hopes of ending the fighting. Discovered and desperate to escape, Carthagne manages to wound the king with a crossbow before being shot down himself.
 
The conference ends with no one satisfied but with the war over and the emperor’s plans foiled. Castrated by the banker’s shot, the king will rule for the remainder of his life but afterward the queen’s heirs will inherit. Some of the Heron Kings return to society, but most find they no longer have any place in it. Alessia, Corren and the others remain free in the wilds, vigilant against the day when their knives and arrows are needed again.

---------------------------------------------------------

I also have a 1000-word version here, but it's not as polished: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q7ZfFBKBi4sCmKYTedk4K1Lu183SkkSEjRTj3VC9jf4/edit

Thanks again. I've gotten more help here in the last few days than in the whole last year elsewhere.

It's not bad. I was able to follow it, but I wonder if it needs to be trimmed just a tad more, maybe another 50 words or so.
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 12:09:25 PM »

Hey, thanks for reading! I didn't think anyone actually posted here. I made a few comments on your synopsis as well. ETA: cut by exactly 50 words.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 12:06:57 PM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
mafiaking1936
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 02:09:26 PM »

Don't know if it's allowed, but I'd like to post a revised synopsis of 545 words:

------------------------------------------------------------

During a brutal civil war between two noble factions, Sister ALESSIA’s patients are slaughtered by the warlord TAURIX, who bars her neutral temple hospital from caring for “traitors” on the wrong side. Rather than obey the absurd order, she leaves the temple to heal those in need without restrictions.

Elsewhere, ULNOTH races home to find his farm in flames, his family massacred. His grief explodes into a quest for vengeance against any soldier he can get his bloodied hands on. After a skirmish wipes out Alessia’s attempt at building her own hospital, she encounters Ulnoth wounded in the forest. Determined to save one life at least she sticks with him, hoping to moderate his dark crusade. Together they unwittingly rescue deserters, smugglers and townsfolk fleeing the bloodshed, helped on one occasion by the good fortune of a concealing flock of herons. Sick of living in fear of a war they care nothing about, the growing band resolves to strike back at the armies terrorizing them. The group’s diverse skills combine— and sometimes conflict— to form a union which they jokingly name THE HERON KINGS. Using guerrilla tactics and subterfuge, they launch raids for supplies against both armies from a roving forest camp. Ulnoth continues to exact his revenge, and though incensed at the needless violence Alessia gradually accepts that to survive she must learn to fight as well as heal.

Returning to his home village, Ulnoth leads an assault on occupying troops and is forced to execute a prisoner to conceal their presence. This triggers a backlash when Taurix arrives and resorts to mass crucifixion to put down the peasant insurgency. He’s also joined by VINIAN, a fire-scarred spymistress who begins her own, more subtle hunt.

Desperate to stay hidden, the Heron Kings intercept a courier whose message reveals a grim conspiracy: a foreign bank has been secretly funding both sides of the war to prolong the carnage and weaken the country ahead of invasion by a scheming emperor to the east. On a mission to authenticate the document Alessia is caught, narrowly escaping rape. After burning her captors’ camp and ordering a mercenary tortured for information, she realizes she’s started on the same dark path consuming Ulnoth. In a last-ditch attempt to turn from it, Alessia tries to convince Vinian to help expose the plot and turn the royal contenders towards the true threat. When a parley turns into a double-cross, they’re forced to flee together. Though scattered and betrayed, the reluctant allies manage to infiltrate a peace conference guarded by both banners, literally crashing the royal party. Revealing the letter, they beg the nobles to strike a truce, but any agreement will require Taurix’s head as part of the deal. In fury he attacks the nobles but Ulnoth, broken and exhausted by the emptiness of the vengeance he’s taken, dives in front of Taurix’s sword, sacrificing himself in hope of ending the fighting.

The conference ends with no one satisfied, but with the war over and the foreign conspiracy foiled. Some Heron Kings return to civilized life, but most now feel they’ve no place in it. No longer a naive temple sister, Alessia remains free in the wilds with her companions, vigilant against the day when their knives and arrows are needed again.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 10:35:13 AM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
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