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Plot - Blood Red

Updated: 1 day ago

Blood-red abstract drawing that appears as a large, liquid, distended stain.

Literary plot genre: Historical | Rome, 1095

Main characters

Young Ruggero works as a farrier in the workshop of his father, who tries hard to teach him the blacksmith's trade, but the boy does not like work much less heavy work. Ruggero spends much of his time squandering his meager earnings on gambling and wine by frequenting the infamous dive bars of a decadent and violent Rome.

The call to adventure

During the usual evening of drinking, Ruggero gets involved in a brawl with some of Pope's soldiers who recognize him as the farrier's apprentice and mock him. The quarrel continues outside, and in the darkness of an alley Ruggero kills one of the soldiers. To escape capture he puts on his clothes and throws the corpse into the Tiber. His intent is to flee Rome, but with his new clothes he finds himself forced to embark with 40,000 other men for the first crusade called by Urban II.

The conflict

Roger is unprepared for military life and especially for battle. Among his fellow soldiers he will meet Anthony, a man prodigal with advice, but this will not be enough to keep him safe from Captain William D'Arte, a fierce adventurer who has no mercy for his enemies as he has none for his soldiers. Roger feels remorse for running away without warning his father and would like to go back, but it is not possible.

The key

The reality of war will transform the young drunkard, first into a frightened soldier and then a strong, determined man. Anthony's sacrifice (he saves his life during a battle) and three years spent fighting for a faith that does not belong to him will change him deeply. The bond with Guglielmo D'Arte will become strong and a mutual respect will be established between the two based on the code of honor.

When they return home, the captain will ask Ruggero to stay and serve him, promising to advance his career. But Ruggero is a different man, ready to cast off the crusader's robes and return home, ask his father's forgiveness, and begin working in the family workshop again.

Unfortunately, only the ominous news of his parent's death, who died of a broken heart, awaits him. Even the kiln no longer exists, commandeered by the Pope's men. Roger has lost everything except the captain's respect. And as a lonely man, to him he returns.

The alternatives

Certainly it is possible to intervene on the protagonist and secondary characters, but the best way to modify a historical plot is to be inspired by it by evoking particular moments in History and translating the same similar narrative pattern. The important thing is to tell about distant eras, to easily allow the protagonist to blend in with the soldiers (this would not be possible today). Finally, this type of plot can be an excellent basis for fantasy stories.


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