My glorious illustrator is S. Toma
Description:With a death between them, this is far from your average coming of age story for both the apprentice and his mentor. The young boy is forced to be squired under his father's murderer by the law he dreams he will someday uphold. The mentoring knight is in fact the anti-hero who must balance this unwanted apprentice, the growing plot he discovered, and his own failed life.
In this new world the land is the only aspect that is clear of pollution and perversion. It is the human spirit that has become deplorable; creating a culture of arcane justice that allows the ancient evils of the old earth to reamerge.
This story has many characteristics you'd find in a fantasy or alternate history, but as the story evolves more elements of the science fiction realm will be introduced. The setting includes both medieval and and modern characteristics. The main themes include virtue, forgiveness, corruption, and learning from the past.
The time frame of this story spans the plot conflict with a flash back to an earlier time in the knight's life when his first realization took place.
Plot Synopsis: Jonathan Astor, a Rogue Knight of the Realm, as returned from the outer wars where he was thought dead. Claiming that he suffered the loss of his wife at the hands of a fellow brother in arms, he seeks his right to "Brotherly Combat" against William Striker. But that death is not the end of his ordeals as he finds himself having to following the secondary law to such an act: the winner must take on the defeated knight's squire. Astor must be mentor to the only boy he would not train... William's son Caden. Now he must deal with the distraught boy, all the while discovering the truth behind the secrets he learned on the battlefield and why those assassins came for him, taking his wife in his stead.
The year is 4020 on a terraformed Mars.
After the Earth could no longer sustain life, surviving humanity terraformed and permenantly moved to Mars. When the terraforming was finalized, the world became green and rich with northern seas.
A fear soon began to spread across the many generations who for the first time fully embraced a pastoral life. The fear was that industry and technology had been the cause of Earth's decline. Though it had saved humanity, technology was too dangerous to continue with further advancements. Technology was also becoming so far advanced that it was rivalling God.
Religion had takened a backseat when the people were in desperate need to survive but it reamergad as the dividing, demanding force once again. The people so desperate for a simple (almost-medieval) pastoral life embraced the radical idea and let go of the advanced domed cities, much of the technology, only keeping the most simpliest and 'green' advancements to keep their growing communities from failing.
Since he was young, he wanted to be the man that could quiet a room with his presense. Though he studied the law, he only truly dedicated himself to combat training. He did not become a knight to police some stretch of road or the dirty cities. His goal was to join the outer wars and rise to the rank of commander. It was only on the front lines did reality set in. Astor still earned himself a name, but not because he rose through the ranks to become the noble commander he had dreamed of.
Far from the Realm, he realized the ignorance of most knights and his own severe lack of patience. Astor was reprimanded repeatidly for his intolerance towards his fellow knights and found himself remaining in 'rogue' status; without any commanding rank. Though, he made up for it by earning himself a title on the battlefield. 'Asrael' the Jensari called him - the Angel of Death. Astor never failed to kill those who stood before him, whether solider or not. He earned respect by only fighting those armed; an ideal he held to firmly.
With each successful campagin and battle, Astor earned himself more erebonite. The dark metal was left behind by their technological ancestors who first moved to the planet when it was called Mars. Unable to make more, it is sought after to be melted and remolded. It's primary use had been for the air tanks, which fueled vehicles since the metal could withstand immense pressure. It also made indestructable armor and weapons. With each battle Astor became an even more menacing force. With a sword, shield and full set of armor he became brutally efficent at dispatching his enemies.
Although, it only takes one time to fall...
Having spent most of his time at home with only his governess Jessica, Caden was desperate to be with his father. The boy waited patiently for him to come home safely from the outer wars and when he did it was the highlight of the young boy's life. Never did he have to fear or be alone.
He wanted nothing more than to get to know his father and be as close as the both had dreamed, but he also wanted to become a knight. Caden's simple yet lofty wish to follow in his father's footsteps would have taken him away for another 7 years as he went through his apprenticeship. So when his father offered to go against the council and take on Caden as his squire, it was a dream come true. Until the day word reached him that Jonathan Astor was seeking justice.
After watching his father, the one pillar of love and strength in his life fall in a duel to this dark callous knight, Caden is plunged into a nightmare that's tempting to alter him forever. Once a sweet kind young boy, Caden has turned cold and even hateful as he is forced to be squired by Astor. The law he was taught to honor above all else has put him here and it tears at the foundations of his reason.
One thing he knows for certain... when he gains knighthood, he will demand Brotherly Combat agains Astor for destroying his life.