The Forge: Thirty-Four Pitches


See Querying and Pitch-Writing Practice for details on this. 

Based on a Book Riot list, I culled 50 pitches. Based on those, I found what (seemed) to be 34 distinct templates or arcs for a pitch.




Mage-in-training Garland is imprisoned, cut off from the power of the forge. The Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — thinks Garland will break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge.

The Red Knight, thirsty for justice, a hard-headed free lance with complex secrets, is willing to take on the kinds of tasks other knights can’t dare.

Distilled in the alembic of fate, the two are forced into a journey through capture by the Outlanders and betrayal by the Alliance of Earls. The Red Knight catalyzes Garland to use his power for justice. The truths they learn can either save their kingdom or destroy it.



What will the cost of the mage Garland’s ambition be? What will the Red Knight do in the name of justice? For centuries the natural barriers of rivers and mountains protected the Kingdom of the East from the Outlanders. To keep the kingdom safe, a new mage tower and a new forge are being built. The temple-trained mages, however, are being held back. The Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — has foreseen the temple’s control over the forge broken by Garland and the Red Knight. Garland is captured by Outlanders, befriended by a wizard with no name, and freed by the girl who hides a knife in his soup. What he learns gives him the power to save his kingdom or destroy it.



They say the Outlanders have organized around a king and that’s why they’re able to attack the Kingdom of the East, slaughtering villagers and creating a stream of refugees.

The Earl of Westmarch has assembled an army to defend the border. This includes a mage tower and a forge. The call for temple-trained mages gives a mage-in-training Garland, the opportunity to join a ring and mages and control the powers of a forge. The Great Mage of the temple — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — is afraid Garland will break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge.
The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and death. After being captured by the Outlanders, a nameless wizard teaches Garland the real reason for the hostilities on the kingdom’s border. The truths Garland learns could save his kingdom or destroy it.



The Earl of Westmarch controls some of the hills where caravans can pass into through he outlands to trade with the western empire. For years, the Outlanders could be bribed and intimidated into allowing passage through their lands. The brittle relationship is falling apart and the Outlanders have entered Westmarch.

The temple that trains mages in the awesome power of the magical forge is building a tower to help close the border, and extend Westmarch’s earldom deep into the Outlands. The lowly ring mage, Garland, however, presents problems to the Great Mage. Dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience, it appears Garland can break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge. He can also save the Kingdom. 



After years of training to master the magical powers of the forge, Garland’s temple imprisons him. Dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience, the Great Mage is certain Garland will raise havoc, destroying the temple system and their grlp on the power of the forges.

The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and death. After being captured by the Outlanders, a nameless wizard teaches Garland the real reason for the hostilities on the kingdom’s border. The truths Garland learns could transform practice of magic itself; they could save his kingdom or destroy it.



As a child, Garland had heard the chanting of a ring of mages; he was naturally adept and could feel the flow of power before he could understand it. Desperate to master the magical powers of a forge, Garland crossed half the kingdom to enter the temple where mages are trained. 

Dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience, the Great Mage is afraid Garland will break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge. Red Knight offers a choice between a lethal punishment and heresy. A nameless wizard offers truth about the Outlanders attacking the Kingdom of the East. A servant girl hides  knives in his soup. The truths the mage learns can destroy his kingdom or save it.



It began with the collapse of the border. Outlanders burned villages. Refugees flooded the kingdom. The Earl of Westmarch building a mage tower to protect the kingdom.

Garland joined the temple to control the power of the forge. The Earl’s defensive strategy is the perfect place for a young mage. The Great Mage of the temple has other plans and Garland is imprisoned. The mysterious Red Knight’s offer of escape forces Garland to chose between heresy and death.

Following interlocking paths, the Mage and the Red Knight manage to escape from Outlands with knowledge that can save their kingdom or destroy it.



After years of training to master the magical powers of the forge, Garland’s temple imprisons him. Dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience, the Great Mage is certain Garland will raise havoc, destroying the temple system and their grlp on the power of the forges.

The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and death. After being captured by the Outlanders, a nameless wizard teaches Garland the real reason for the hostilities on the kingdom’s border. A servant girl helps free him from captivity. 

The truths Garland learns could transform practice of magic itself. The treachery of the Alliance of Earls leads to murder. Garland and the Red Knight must find a way to  save their kingdom before blind greed tears it apart.



The mage temple controls the forges; through their defense of the borders, they try to dominate the kingdom. Garland has come to the temple to learn to master the power of the forge. The day before his assignment to another temple tower, he’s thrown into prison. The Great Mage has foreseen havoc created by Garland and the mysterious Red Knight. Offered a choice between death and heresy, Garland struggles to find knowledge and power while the Red Knight searches for justice. What they find can save their kingdom or destroy it.



A ring-mage, barely finished with his training in the use of the forge at the main temple, is falsely accused of crimes; the mage is isolated from the forge and ring of fellow mages, The Red Knight must deliver the full ring of mages to the new forge at the front line of the war. To escape from a lethal punishment, the mage must accept help from the mysterious Red Knight and break the temple’s strict discipline.

An ambitious plan leads to the mage being captured by the Outlanders. Befriended by a nameless wizard, he learns more about magic, and more about the war plaguing the western border of the kingdom. His knowledge may lead to the collapse of his temple, but may also save his kingdom.



Garland had one dream: to become a mage and master the power of a forge. After years of study, practice, and rigid discipline, he’s a day away from being sent with a ring of mages to a new tower, defending the kingdom from the Outlanders when the Great Mage imprisons him, isolating from the ring of mages and the power of the forge. 

The mysterious Red Knight’s offer of escape forces Garland to chose between heresy and death — more than once. A renegade band of Outlanders captures the mage, a nameless wizard befriends him, and a servant girl saves his life. 



As a child, Garland had heard the chanting of a ring of mages; he was naturally adept and could feel the flow of power before he could understand it. After running away from home to join the mage temple, after spending years mastering the forge, after the harsh discipline required to become a mage, he’s been imprisoned on charges that are utter lies. The mysterious Red Knight offers a choice between a lethal punishment and heresy.

The Outlanders are taking over the kingdom one village at a time. The alliance of Earls, and the temple mages have their own distinct treacheries. Can the Mage and the Red Knight save their kingdom?



The mage and the knight live by rules they can’t bear to break. The knight must deliver a full ring of six mages to the forge defending the kingdom against the Outlanders. The sixth mage was imprisoned for things the Great Mage suspects may happen in the future. Rules must be broken if they’re going to survive. The kingdom can be saved from war, but it will also be transformed in the process.



Sweeping from the fishing villages of South Coast through the Royal Domain to the Mountain passes of Westmarch and the border with the Outlands, enter a world controlled by networks of five temples.

Naturally adept, Garland flees his home temple to join the temple of the mages; after spending years mastering the forge, after the harsh discipline required to become a mage, he’s been imprisoned on charges that are utter lies. 

The mysterious Red Knight offers a choice between a lethal punishment and heresy. Garland tries to pursue the purest path of magical power, outside the treacheries of the temple. He’s captured by the Outlanders, befriended by a nameless wizard, and freed by a servant girl. The truth the mage learns can destroy his kingdom or save it.



Desperate to master the magical powers of a forge, Garland crossed half the kingdom to enter the temple where mages are trained. On the day before he’s to join his own ring of mages at a new forge in a tower on the border with the Outlands, the temple locks him away. Rejected by his own temple, a captive of he Outlanders, Garland has to learn who he can trust to thread the path between heresy and death. The truth the mage learns can destroy the kingdom or save it.



At the very westernmost edge of the Kingdom of the East, the Earl of Westmarch has built a camp with ten thousand men-at-arms, a magician’s tower with a massive forge to fortify the border and control the Outlanders. For this, the earl needs rings of temple-trained mages. The Great Mage of the temple, dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience, suspects one of the mages, Garland, will break the temple’s exclusive control over the powers of the forge. Mage Garland and the mysterious Red Knight may be the only people who can save the kingdom from a war that’s much larger than a border skirmish.



The forge is power. Mages control the forges from their isolated, secure towers. After decades of disciplined work, Garland is in the verge of being admitted to a ring of mages and assigned to a forge. The Great Mage’s dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience leads to Garland’s imprisonment. 

The mysterious Red Knight’s offer of escape repeatedly forces Garland to chose between heresy and death. A renegade band of Outlanders captures the mage, a nameless wizard befriends him, and a servant girl saves his life.  What he learns could save his kingdom or destroy it.



Mountains and rivers separate the Kingdom of the East from the Outlands. When the uneasy peace collapses, the Earl Westmarch assembles an army with a mage tower and a forge to defend the border. The call for temple-trained mages gives a mage-in-training Garland, the opportunity to join a ring and mages and control the powers of a forge. The Great Mage of the temple — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — is afraid Garland will break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge.
The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and death. After being captured by the Outlanders, a nameless wizard teaches Garland the real reason for the hostilities on the kingdom’s border. The truths Garland learns could save his kingdom or destroy it.



Garland was days from his assignment to the magical forge being built to defend the kingdom from the Outlander raids. The forbidden practice of prescience told the Great Mage how Garland would disrupt the power of the temples over the forges. This is the tale of how he was captured by the Outlanders, came under the care of a nameless wizard, found the real cause for the war, and escaped with knowledge that could save his kingdom or destroy it.



Garland, a mage-in-training, is on the verge of being assigned to a ring of mages to use a forge focusing the power of magic. He is isolated from the power of the forge and the ring of mages by the Great Mage. A knight with secrets and vows offers Garland a choice between heresy and certain death.

Captured by the Outlanders, Garland is befriended by a nameless wizard, and his life is saved by a servant girl. The truths he learns will either save his kingdom or destroy it.



As the Earl of Westmarch struggles to maintain the border with the Outlands, as the Red Knight tries to keep the roads open for refugees fleeing the conflict, as the mage temple helps build a new tower and a new forge for the war, one mage is identified as a problem, too difficult to solve. The forbidden practice of prescience has convinced the Great Mage that Garland will lead to the downfall of the temple, destroying the magical forges. After a harrowing escape, Garland tries to join a new tower, but an Outlander raid throws him into the hands of renegades who have their own horrifying purpose for a temple-trained mage.



The forge is power. Mages control the forges from their isolated, secure towers. After decades of disciplined work, Garland is in the verge of being admitted to a ring of mages and assigned to a forge. The Great Mage’s dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience leads to Garland’s imprisonment. The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and the temple’s lethal punishment. The Mage and the Knight’s paths become deeply entwined. The truths they learn could save their kingdom or destroy it. 



The Forge takes place in the Kingdom of the East; the people from the outlands have crashed through the border, burning villages and creating a tide of refugees. The mage temples control the forges; the forges channel the power of magic used to defend the kingdom. Garland wants to join the ring of mages at the forge in the thick of the war. Before he can be sent to a mage tower, the Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — imprisons Garland, afraid of potential havoc in the future. The mysterious Red Knight forces Garland to choose between heresy and death. What Garland learns from the nameless wizard can save his kingdom or destroy it.



Garland is desperate to become a mage: naturally adept and tolerant of the rigid discipline, he ran away from his home temple to join the temple where mages are trained. Before he’s assigned to a forge, he’s imprisoned by the Great Mage. He’s helped by the mysterious Red Knight, captured by Outlanders, befriended by a wizard with no name, and freed by the girl who hides a knife in his soup. The truth Garland learns can destroy the kingdom or save it.



A mage on the verge of being assigned to a ring of mages to use a forge focusing the power of magic. A knight with secrets and vows. Their paths are interlocked.

Between the attacks from the Outlanders, the treachery of the alliance of Earls, and the ambition of the temple mages, the Kingdom of the East may not survive past the end of the year. Can the Red Knight save the Mage from the Outlanders? Can the mage change the alliances and save their kingdom?



In the mage temple, on the day before he’s assigned to a ring of mages controlling a forge, Garland is imprisoned.

The Red Knight, bound by a vow of silence, is commanded to bring a full ring mages to the tower defending the kingdom from attacks by the Outlanders.

The High Mages in the temple struggle for power; some are fearful of the disruption the Great Mage may have foreseen through the forbidden practice of prescience, while others are hoping to exploit it.

An old wizard who’s forgotten his name is hiding the Outlands, where renegades try to form an alliance that could destroy Garland, the Red Knight, and the entire Kingdom of the East.



Garland joined the temple to master the forge and focus the powers of a ring of chanting mages. The day before he’s to leave, the Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — imprisons Garland. The mysterious Red Knight forces Garland to choose between heresy and death. Garland’s escape takes him on a journey that transforms his kingdom, his temple, and the practice of magic itself.



Breaking one of the unwritten rules of the mage temple, Garland tries to learn more about the mysterious Red Knight. The extraordinary punishment will kill him within a week. Forced into heresy, Garland flees to another mage tower defending the kingdom against attacks from the Outlanders. He’s captured by them where he’s aided by a wizard with no name and an orphaned girl. When he learns the real cause of the Outlander’s attacks he’s confronted with a grave choice. Will he help the Outlanders? Can he return to the kingdom which rejected him?



As a child, Garland had heard the chanting of a ring of mages; he was naturally adept and could feel the flow of power even though he couldn’t understand it. After running away from home to join the mage temple, after spending years mastering the forge, after all of the harsh discipline required to become a mage, he’s been imprisoned on charges that are utter lies. The mysterious Red Knight offers a choice between a lethal punishment and heresy.

Following interlocking paths, the Mage and the Red Knight manage to escape from Outlands with knowledge that can save their kingdom or destroy it.



“Shirking,” the combat monk leered, slamming the door on the isolation cell. Bolts were thrown to hold it closed. A candle somewhere beyond the door provided a hint of light.

Garland stared at the six walls of the cell, weeping with cold dampness. 

Somewhere outside this pit, the temple’s ancient forge was the focus of immense power controlled by a ring of chanting, sweating mages. Cut off from the flow of power, Garland reminded himself the work of the mage temple continued. While he could no longer feel it, he knew the other training mages waited and worked toward joining the ring of mages who were part of the flow of pure energy through the forge.

This is the story of how Garland learns to trust the mysterious Red Knight, and escape the temple, only to be captured by Outlanders and befriended by a wizard with no name. What he learns could save his kingdom or destroy it.



Garland, thin as a whip, darker than most, and very tall, is a ring mage in training. He wants to control the forge, and focus the power of magic. The temple that trained him is about to assign him to a mage tower when Garland’s future is torn away and he’s thrown into an isolation cell. The Red Knight’s offer of escape forces Garland to chose between heresy and death.



Engulfing the Kingdom of the East and the remote wilderness of the Outlands, The Forge is the story of a Mage and a Knight, forced together to defend the kingdom. The temple in control of the magical forges wants the Garland, the mage, dead. Other earls in the kingdom want the mysterious Red Knight dead. A renegade band of Outlanders captures the mage, a nameless wizard befriends him, and a servant girl saves his life. Through this, he learns the real reason for the Outlanders’ raids on the Kingdom of the East. To end the war, Garland must break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge.



The powerful forges require a ring of mages, chanting as one person in six bodies to control the flow of power. The Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — has broken a ring and imprisoned Garland, fearful of a future in which Garland breaks the temple’s grip on power.

The mysterious Red Knight offers Garland a choice between heresy and the temple’s lethal punishment. 

After being captured by the Outlanders, a nameless wizard teaches Garland the real reason for the hostilities on the kingdom’s border. The Mage and the Knight’s paths become deeply entwined. The truths they learn could save their kingdom or destroy it.



Mage-in-training Garland is imprisoned, cut off from the power of the forge. The Great Mage — dabbling in the forbidden practice of prescience — thinks Garland will break the temple’s grip on the power of the forge.

The Red Knight, thirsty for justice, a hard-headed free lance with complex secrets, is willing to take on the kinds of tasks other knights can’t dare.

Distilled in the alembic of fate, the two are forced into a journey through capture by the Outlanders and betrayal by the Alliance of Earls. They’ll reshape the kingdom in their interlocking quests for power and justice.

 © F. L. Stevens 2019