Key to the Legend
This is a new novel I have started (July 24, 2011). It is a story set in Gaul (which is present-day France) based on historical characters. However, the story is not real and the main character is fictional. I am posting what I have so far. This will probably be the only update of the book on my website. I designed the book cover above using CreateSpace and a picture from Microsoft Office.
Key to the Legend
By: Jeremy G. Woods
Centuries before, legend had it that a baby would be born to a peasant and that the baby would one day grow up to become king. Hidden by his parents, Raoul Leroy would one day sit on the throne in response to that legend.
Although most of the characters in this book existed in history, Raoul Leroy is a fictional character, and any of the story in this book in relation to Raoul Leroy and any other character in this book is not based on fact. The characters are based on existing people in history in order to create a feel of history that can be documented from Gregory of Tours’ book History of the Franks. However, I have taken the liberty to develop a fictional plot that is different from history. Gundobad, Guntram’s son, really was killed, according to history, by his stepmother Marcatrude; also, Guntram really did have a change of heart once his son was killed. Therefore, although this story is fictional, it is not unreasonable based on the facts from Gregory of Tours’ book.
M any ages ago, in the northern region of Gaul (the country which is now called France), a child was born to be the peasant king. Built around a royal system, the government gave no hope for the common citizen to even set foot in the palace, yet one peasant boy would become king over the entire country. Raoul Leroy was not hidden in a basket, as was the Jewish prophet Moses; Raoul was instead moved to another region of Gaul. With Charibert on the throne, it would prove a difficult task for the boy to become king.
His family moved to Orléans, a region that would later be ruled by Charibert’s brother, Guntram. It was there that Raoul would learn of the legend that a peasant would grow up to be a king of Gaul. During the early years of his childhood, his playmate was none other than Gundobad, the illegitimate son of Guntram. At the time, Guntram was not in Orléans as its ruler. In fact, he was not living there at all; he had sent his son away to live in Orléans. It was not too long after the beginning of their friendship that Gundobad’s stepmother, Marcatrude, would reportedly poison Gundobad. Guntram would subsequently dismiss her as his wife; however, that would not give him comfort, even after her death. Guntram had to do something to make up for his son’s death.
Word had soon gotten to Guntram about Gundobad’s friend’s living conditions. Gundobad had become best friends with Raoul, a boy whose family was underprivileged. Guntram decided to invite the boy and his family to live in the area in Paris where he was currently residing. Although it was not much to him, the Leroy family would be appreciative of this gesture toward them. It allowed a peasant family to live like royalty, and it would allow Raoul to grow up as educated as a prince. Although he did not know it yet, Raoul Leroy was beginning to live up to the meaning of his surname.
R aoul Leroy had almost forgotten his past troubles by the time he had become a teenager. He was living in Guntram’s palace as though he were Guntram’s own son. As far as Guntram was concerned, Raoul was his son. Anything that Guntram would have shared with Gundobad was shared with Raoul. Therefore, if Guntram had died suddenly, Raoul would have been next-in-line to share the inheritance of the crown, and he would have become the next ruler of Orléans, once Charibert had passed away.