The Charlatan

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is illegal to indict a courier for the contents of any message they deliver. When the ruler of the wealthiest nation on earth receives a cryptic note marked by "The Charlatan," he learns that all of the gold he spent decades stockpiling is worthless. The richest country in the world becomes bankrupt overnight. Fearing public riots, surrounding countries declaring war, and with no clues revealing the identity of the Charlatan, the king breaks the law.

Our courier is suddenly an outlaw in her own country and is forced to run. Desperate to clear her name, she vows to find the Charlatan and bring them to justice. A simple task becomes complicated when the world is filled with liars and cheats, and the separating line between fair and unthinkable is gray.

Table of Contents

Shooting the Messenger

Submitted: June 01, 2017

Dedicated to all my fellow folks who swear like sailors.

This project is an exercise not only in writing, but also in dedication. I have loads of ideas I want to spill out, but no one will listen unless I tell them! I may have a slow pace, but if I can
create something I'm proud of, I think it is worth it.

Enjoy yourselves,

<3 R. Tally
Read Chapter

For a Song

Submitted: June 01, 2017

It was nearly moonrise before Clara dared to move. As she had suspected, nearly the entire Vendor District had dropped everything to aid ... Read Chapter

All Thumbs

Submitted: June 01, 2017

Did Velte have a word for Spirits? Air couldn’t remember. The cold river waters had soaked through his clothing, and Air was more focus... Read Chapter

Jumping Ship

Submitted: June 01, 2017

Clara stared out the window of the train car while Air slept in the seat across from her. The scenery outside had gradually changed from ... Read Chapter

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Submitted: June 01, 2017

The town below bustled with activity and, like the capital, shone with vibrant colour. Machinery clanked together and steam whistled out ... Read Chapter

An Open Secret

Submitted: June 01, 2017

It was warm. Air opened his eyes. His body ached all over. It was still dark in the cave; no one seemed to be awake yet and the onl... Read Chapter

Pushing Up Daisies

Submitted: June 01, 2017

There were kind people on this earth, people who wanted, above everything else, to simply be a friend to Clara. Even if they are nosy and... Read Chapter

Splitting the Whistle

Submitted: June 01, 2017

Ash. There was no smoke, only the blackness of cold cinder. Clara and Air stood in silence as they took in what they were seeing.... Read Chapter

A Bitter Pill

Submitted: July 01, 2017

‘I’m sorry?’ Did this Veltie think she could raise Safiya’s dead brothers with a ‘sorry?’ No, I mustn’t project my grief on... Read Chapter

Biting the Bullet

Submitted: August 08, 2017

Clara tore a piece of parchment pasted to the side of the building in front of her. Her party had arrived back in Dehi’s capital, where... Read Chapter

Dropping a Dime

Submitted: September 01, 2017

“I’ll hav’ two more o’ ‘em, please, ma’am. I’m jus’ fine, ma’am, two more o’ ‘em, please.” “No, sir. It is ... Read Chapter

Shooting the Breeze

Submitted: October 01, 2017

Priyanka awoke feeling dazed. She could not see very well; vague shapes and colours on the grayscale rocked slowly, side to side. She fel... Read Chapter

At the Drop of a Hat

Submitted: October 31, 2017

They were smart. The Charlatan was smart. They knew that Velt’s monarchy was still new, still unstable, and that the College of Elector... Read Chapter

A Punic Faith

Submitted: December 01, 2017

“I see that your mouth has remained just as quick to crack as your temper.” King Arc Jin stood against a backdrop consisting of j... Read Chapter

All Ears

Submitted: January 01, 2018

Safiya woke to a clang that sounded somewhere below her. She looked to her sister; she was still curled up in herself, sound asleep. Only... Read Chapter

Adding Insult to Injury

Submitted: January 01, 2018

Clara stood outside the entrance to her flat. The whole corner of the building had been roped off for investigation, but the tape and deb... Read Chapter

Beating a Dead Horse

Submitted: January 15, 2018

“How did you earn the title of Vulghebt?” Honey broke the silence during the group’s afternoon of lunching. The trio of outlaws... Read Chapter

The Chicard

Submitted: January 31, 2018

Air had been surprised that Clara hadn’t murdered him right then and there. He had meant to continue, to explain himself and his action... Read Chapter

An Arm and a Leg

Submitted: February 15, 2018

Safiya stared out at the grand port of Mor from atop the platform of the major train station just outside the gate. The archway glowed wh... Read Chapter

Grasping the Nettle

Submitted: March 01, 2018

The Charlatan, the person responsible for devastating Clara’s career as a courier, the person responsible for provoking Velt into pre-e... Read Chapter

The Ivory Gate

Submitted: March 15, 2018

“Take care of yourself. May the Spirits grant you a favorable fate. Grant all of us a favorable fate.” Air stood in the doorframe... Read Chapter

An Acquired Taste

Submitted: April 01, 2018

Priyanka stayed silent as she was wheeled down the bright hallway of Mor’s medical centre. She wanted to remember the feeling of being ... Read Chapter

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Submitted: April 15, 2018

Clara’s quarters were beautiful. Each compartment of the hostel, she was told, was outfitted with a large glass window that looked ou... Read Chapter

The Horn Gate

Submitted: May 01, 2018

Charlie absent-mindedly twirled the talisman hanging from her neck as she watched the scenery outside the window of her train compartment... Read Chapter

Coming Down in Buckets

Submitted: May 15, 2018

Shortly after Charlie’s waking, the entire group met in the room that Clara and Air shared. The elder Seer, Rime, still regarded Char... Read Chapter

The Half Of It

Submitted: June 01, 2018

Clara stood beside Priyanka as the two young women waited in line at the central cafeteria. Breakfast was being served. Clara pulled ou... Read Chapter

A Persiflage

Submitted: June 15, 2018

Mor’s bar bubbled with as much visual noise as auditory today. Visitors signed enthusiastic-looking conversations and Air was entranc... Read Chapter

Gehenna's Bailiff

Submitted: July 01, 2018

“Clara, I want to thank you for your support,” Charlie said as she, Clara, Air, Safiya, Priyanka, Honey, and Rime exited off the trai... Read Chapter

The Passing-Bell

Submitted: July 15, 2018

I am travelling with both halves of Velt’s Charlatan, it seems – the real and the scapegoated –, along with an adept burglar and he... Read Chapter

Tying One On

Submitted: August 01, 2018

Safiya had seen craters before; back in her hometown in Dehi she had regularly encountered remnants of excavation efforts made by her com... Read Chapter

Under a Hat

Submitted: August 15, 2018

Hollow was clearly a place that attracted diversity; every person that passed Honey by was of a different nationality, and wore garb of u... Read Chapter

A Bed of Roses

Submitted: September 01, 2018

Hollow’s market had quickly become Charlie’s safe space. The colours of the textiles draped over the shops’ counters reminded her o... Read Chapter

A Chain is Only as Strong as its Weakest Link

Submitted: September 15, 2018

Clara’s ragtag group of allies sat around a breakfast table near the wall of their cool stone inn. Air wolfed down a pancake as Honey, ... Read Chapter

A Loaded Wagon Makes No Noise

Submitted: November 01, 2018

It had been a while since Priyanka had felt rain. It wasn’t particularly common in Dehi, except in rainy season, but on the occasions d... Read Chapter

A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots

Submitted: November 15, 2018

Clara plucked at her short strands of hair, trying to pull them down over her forehead. She felt exposed. “Dye it white if you feel so ... Read Chapter

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