Chapter Headings for The Farmer and the Fald
New illustrations I've been working on for the Second Edition release
I have been hard at work writing, editing and illustrating new content for the upcoming Second Edition release of The Farmer and the Fald.
Along with the beautiful illustrations that Hilary James supplied for the first edition, I am adding a few new illustrations of my own, namely five new chapter headings for the five main parts of the story—two for Bundon, two for Tyr and one for Will.
I spent a long time deciding on the style I wanted. At first, the plan was to go 100% medieval illuminated manuscript, but as I got designing, I kept falling back to this woodworking/tarot look… which I like a lot.
Let me know what you think!
He was about to climb back to the road when he noticed something else. He hadn’t seen it the night before, so black was its shell. But there it was amidst a sea of splintered, obsidian shards.
A stone. No. An egg. Large. Larger than any egg I've seen.
Its shell was shiny, black and jagged, as though it were made of cut glass. And what’s more… it was warm. Warm inside.
“A little one,” the farmer said aloud.
He felt nervous suddenly, as though this were a trick or a trap. People didn’t just find fald eggs on the side of the road. Not once had that happened to anyone he knew. Ever. This was new. A new thing happening just for him.
The farmer ill-liked that. He ill-trusted it too. It was plain ill. All of it.
Holding the beast’s reins, she began guiding her up the hill. She took the tambourine from her belt, a solid band of dark wood with intricate brass cymbals and a rawhide drum. It had been a gift from her father for the day she became a young woman. Alaria liked the noise of it. It intrigued and scared the beast in equal measure.
And to its gentle music, they would dance together on the hills around the farm.
Dancing is what Tyr called it. Her step-siblings called it ‘prancing like an elf’. But if elves danced with their falds, Tyr could dance with hers.
Her father understood, allowing them time to practise every morning or even in the evenings in the summer months. Tyr had caught him watching once. Grinning to himself.
And weeping, of course.
“You dance so like your mother,” he had said or had tried to say before he lost himself to sobbing and had flustered off red-faced and bashful. But as far as Tyr knew, her mother had never had a fald. So the dancing could not have been that similar.
He had not watched her dance since then; Tyr presumed it made him too sad. So she never asked.
Who are you? His ghosts kept asking.
Who are you, Will?
But the boy had no time to answer.
Ride, Duchess. Ride. Faster. Faster. Don’t look back. Can’t look back. They’re coming.
Will had always dreamt of fancy. He had always yearned for adventure and gallantry, heraldry and pageantry, horses, arms and armour. But his own adventures had rarely felt like the stories he was raised on. If he wasn’t marching to war and bloodying his hands with rebel blood, he was collecting taxes for lesser vassals or escorting shepherds to the wool weavery and back, guiding small caravans along troubled roads. But work was rare, so most of the time, he travelled.
Travelling was peaceful, and the sights he had seen had made up, in some small way, for the hardships he had faced since he first lifted his axe and decided the life of a warrior was for him. He had found himself on Rhothodân looking for a noble household to pledge his sword to for half a year or so. After that, the plan was to travel away from the Isles altogether to find work in one of the mercenary companies on the continent across the sea.
None would question my shield there. A stranger in a foreign land is only the man he says he is. I could start anew. Do only honourable things for honourable men, and scrub my past clean.
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I am a fantasy author, illustrator and aspiring poet. If you’d like to help support my projects, you can find my fantasy work here. Thanks for reading Greenjack's Journal! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Wow JR, that artwork is truly beautiful! I think I'll wait for the second edition to read it. I'm looking forward to it!