Jump to content


Photo

History of the Fallen


23 replies to this topic

#1 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 01 November 2007 - 01:53 AM

Greetings.

This is going to be my first fiction post, so before I start I will explain what it is all about. I am a great fan of role-playing games in general and of the world of Dragonlance in particular. I met a few people with similar tendencies about 7-8 years back and we started playing as a team. Then we were all of us students, so we had a lot of time to invest in this activity. Anyway, I believe we had invested more than we should! The point is that years passed and the studies finished. During that time I created a lot of characters, but with two of them I got really connected. I put a lot of detail in their making and in their playing.


The campaign that we were playing had a magnificent climax that if I feel there is interest here, there will come a time ? in the far future ? when I will write about it. This happened 4 summers ago, right after two of us, the DM and me, finished studying. It was a great summer, and 11 of us gathered in a rich forest in Halkidiki, in a mountain about 1km above sea level. Imagine playing role-play for 9 days in such an environment day and night! We had various fake and battle-ready weapons lying around, medieval banners animal skins, the right music for every situation in and out of the sessions, etc. The complexity of the attempt was so enormous that we had 2 DM's for 9 players.


After that summer everything changed. As it always happens, all good things must come to an end. A lot of us were studying in the same town, so after graduating we got separated, living as we did in different cities. Our only chance to get together and play was only during big holidays like Christmas and summer. None the less, we adjusted and kept playing, but at a drastically decreased rate. Since our main characters reached high levels of experience, we decided to start from scratch again, for what is the purpose in playing when you are all mighty? I mean to say that after some time it gets not boring, but the enjoyment isn't the same. At the same time we didn't quite finish with our 20+ characters. Our DM of their sessions plans an ultra-high-level last campaign (around level 30-40). Me and another player brought a second generation to life, our sons and daughters because we felt for our characters a lot and didn't want to discard them completely.


For the past three years I didn't have the chance to play as much as I would have liked. But my appetite didn't diminish. On the contrary, it grew even more. Perhaps it is true what they say, that only when you lose something you appreciate its value. Two summers ago we got together to continue our saga, but this time it was from the dark side. Our new DM suggested that we create dark characters and play their stories simultaneously with the good campaign. It was a very alluring idea I assure you. So much so, that the dark character I created to play with, from the start became very demanding in terms of background. I couldn't keep up with the pace of ideas coming out of my mind about his history!


The game that summer ended with an extremely satisfying last session. Perhaps it was due to that last session, perhaps it was just a trigger of a need hiding deep within me and laying dormant for a long time, but from the time I finished my vacations, I was thinking it is high time I start writing everything that I have experienced through some of my characters while playing. The only reason was I was afraid I would forget the details at some point of time in the future. There were 4 main protagonists for me. The two from before, the first generation, and the other two from the new campaigns, the light and the dark one. I decided to write down their stories.


As I started writing, I realised that it wasn't enough. I felt they deserved a proper background, and that meant going back minimum about 500 to 600 years in game time. So I started writing a story of their ancestors of long ago. I expected it would take me a few months to complete it and since I didn't have the chance to play role-play so often as before, it would be the next best thing to write their stories and thusly indirectly keep in touch with my favourite activity. I said to my self after the first week, "this is going so well that I don't think it will be ready before Christmas". I was wrong. I started writing and all the time ideas kept crawling out of my mind. Even when I was putting them to paper (I should better say in the computer), new ones kept coming out about the next scenes and about future scenes as well. It was - and still is a chaotic situation. I have written a lot of stuff ? perhaps more than 200 pages and have ready material for processing of twice that size.


At some point I decided that I can't wait to finish the story first and then read it to my fellow players, because honestly I don't know if and/or when will this happen. I can't write very often any more since my free time is limited, and to put it simply, I don't want it to end! It has become quite literally my only chance to role play ? apart from BG2 that I will start shortly but will play erratically at best. And I have so many ideas that finishing it may take years to accomplice.


To be honest, I am an amateur writer, and not a very good one at that. That is why I borrowed ideas from various sources over the Internet and from a lot of writers that I have read their books. I am telling you this because you may recognize their style in my writing and I don't want you to think that I said nothing to take the credit for their work. At the same time I can't remember all of them, because some times an idea pops out of my mind and it isn't really mine, it belongs to a book that I have read and made a lasting impression to me on a subconscious level. Other times I read certain descriptions that I like very much and I incorporate them more or less without much alteration in my story. If I write to you names for some of the sources that I used, most certainly I will leave a lot of them unmentioned, simply because I don't keep a detailed account of all my bibliography [I plan to correct the situation in the future and at least a considerable portion of my writing will have a good reference], and I wouldn't like to leave some of them in the dark because of lack of memory. So I simply express my humblest apologies to all the contributors to my work and a great many thanks for their magnificent works that provided me with inspiration.


I believe this is enough for a first post. The next one will be the beginning of the story. If I manage to post once per week, I will be satisfied. For myself I write my story in Greek language, so what I will post here will be small texts, since I have to translate it in English piece by piece. Goodbye to you all.

PS: For those of you who might wonder, Halkidiki is in Northern Greece.

PS2: Feel free to offer your opinion on the story. As I stated above I have no ambition. Well, if I do have some, I cannot find it :ph34r: . I write only for my pleasure and for my rpg party. This means that I have no ego for you to bruise. At the same time, I want the criticism to have substance. It means nothing to hear a "this is good" or "this is bad" if you don't offer an explanation to your opinion.

PS3: I haven't decided for a title to my story; if and when i will finish it. What i put here as a title, i put because i had to put something, anything. It isn't totally random though, for one of the main protagonists fell from grace.

Edited by quinlan, 15 June 2008 - 11:29 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#2 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 01 November 2007 - 09:55 AM

Posted Image

CHAPTER 1.1



200 Prae Cataclius


34th Hiddukine, the season of the Prince of Lies



In the distant past, at the year 200 BC (before the first Cataclysm), an expedition of human settlers crossed the outermost southern borders of the Istarian Empire and moved in lands belonging to the elven Silvanesti kingdom. It was not a random event, nor were they lost in the trackless desert land lying between the Empire and the elven Kingdom. They were indebted, people who had lost their land and belongings and owed money to wealthy landowners. The alternative to the expedition was imprisonment or even worse, sentence to The Games. So wealthy but ever-greedy Istarian landowners that had large tracts of land at the borders, land that was mainly desert, urged them on. The purpose of the daring attempt was to possess the fertile plains marking the boundaries of the desert and the adjacent rich forests of the Silvanesti elves.




Sprawling between the Courrain Ocean in the east and the Khalkist Mountains in the west, a large stretch of desert and barren land constituted the easternmost boundaries of the Istarian Empire. As the ruling hagiocracy became more and more despotic, the indigenous inhabitants of that region, considered little more than uncivilized savages by their conquerors, increased their raids in that and other regions of the Empire. The Istarians believed that the rebels received support from the rival kingdoms of Silvanesti and Ergoth, so they started building border fortresses in the eastern border of the desert in order to block the support pouring through to the barbarian rebels. At the same time they asserted dominance over a large landmass that was in dispute between them and the elves for countless years, sending them a not too subtle message of what was to come after.



The settlers having as a starting point one of the advanced posts, crossed the borders accompanied by a detachment of Istarian mercenary troops having as a guide a ranger named Zelmar Vardalon that had undertaken many similar missions in the past. He was an extremely vicious man, a vile individual, adorer of tortures and humiliations. Nobody knew anything about his past except his name and reputation. That he was a very competent guide, but cruel and corrupted beyond the acceptable limit even for his contractors who tolerated his presence due to him being renown for always accomplishing the mission he was assigned. Zelmar went about with a cloak and the hood constantly covering his head, so much so that only his chin and almost no other parts of his head was visible. His figure had enough slenderness to be considered an elf, but apart from that was undefined as to race, sex or any other characteristic that distinguishes every being from one another?

Posted Image
"A clandestine meeting."

His face was constantly hidden within the shadows of the hood and never revealed. No one could claim that they had seen how he really looked, whether they were employers or the people he was paid to travel with. Like every time in the past, this time too not once since he joined the mission did he let his characteristics to be seen by his fellow travelers. His past was shrouded in a veil of mystery that no one had ever succeeded in brushing aside. Although where he lived was anybody's guess, for sure it was somewhere outside of the great cities of the Inner Ring. He visited them on occasion just to arrange deals with future employers. In any case, there were rumors for gruesome fate of those who delved to deep in his background, so no one would put his life in danger just to satisfy their curiosity.



Zelmar's task was to guide the mission safely over the borders and to find a suitable spot in the Silvanesti forest within the set parameters of penetration. As in many similar missions before, he proved to be an efficient guide. He seemed to have an uncanny, almost magical ability to sense the presence of elves in the area they traveled, an ability that was extremely helpful for avoiding the extremely dangerous Silvanesti WildRunner border patrols. It was an inherited ability from his mother's side. His background was mixed ? elven from his mother's side and human from his father's. His mother was a Silvanesti elf, member of a Royal House. His father was Wilthur the Brown, a power-hungry human renegade wizard that in his quest for absolute power has passed from all three Orders of High Sorcery, in a life unnaturally prolonged with forbidden rituals.



He had managed to combine the White, Red and Black sorcery and use them all at once without the Orders' limitations. His arrogance led him to challenge even the gods themselves, Gilean, the neutral god of meditation and learning in particular, believing he had the power to destroy him. The god, since it went against his teachings of neutrality and balance, didn't outright kill him. Instead he was cursed and permanently disfeatured. His horrifying sight was the mark of Gilean's judgment and a forewarning for the rest of the world of Wilthur's corrupt soul, without forcing them to a certain disposition in their behavior against him?



Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 15 June 2008 - 11:30 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#3 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 03 November 2007 - 07:17 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 1.2

"EXTRACT OF A LETTER TO THE MONK ZERTHIMON UTH CLAREN ELIAN FROM DASTES MORDEINUS, CHIEF SCRIBE ASSISTING ASTINUS, ETERNAL LORE KEEPER OF KRYNN"



After Gilean's judgment, in the year 270PC Wilthur the Brown gets involved with a corrupt, racist human mercenary who went by the name of Zephros. During that year new tensions arose between Istar and the Silvanesti elves, due to trade disputes. The Kingpriest claimed that the elves withheld money from trade revenues and demanded their immediate return. He created an army consisting of soldiers and mercenaries, setting Gildas Aurhinius in charge of it. One of the officers in that army was Zephros. The Solamnic Knights took an interest in the incident, too, and sent an officer of their own, Sir Pirvan, a Knight of the Sword, to investigate the dispute and prevent an outbreak of war ? if possible.



My cousin, a few things need to be explained first, in order for the subsequent events to be understood. The Istarian legions once upon a time were a nursery garden for carrier soldiers and future politicians of the empire. Long before 270PC though, they were set upon a depreciative course that led them to become scarcely more than organized depredatory gangs. The Kingpriests increased their ranks giving emphasis in quantity and not in quality. Training had remained the same, but the ethos of duty and honor was lost.



The Knights of Solamnia trained the legions and led them to battle, but the situation started to change when the "Order of the Divine Hammer" was founded. During the long years of their alliance, the Solamnics didn't always agree with the clergy's demands and after some time they started objecting to the Kingpriest's will.


Posted Image


"The Kingpriest"


When that happened, the Istarians discovered the need for their own stronger and more obedient military units. Under the supervision of the warrior-priests of the new Order, the legions increased significantly in numbers, but with a lot less than ideal recruits, and their quality was declining more and more with the passage of centuries. The soldiers were relatively obedient, without ethical principles and conscience, all characteristics convenient for the wars to come. They were no longer legionaries, but mercenaries getting paid to act like soldiers. The legions with the passage of time became a paradise for dawdlers, worthless and the maleficent, all being people who cared only for them selves. Comradeship, this invaluable commodity for a competent army, had disappeared from the Istarian armies.



The frequent occurrence of desertions from the ranks of the soldiers should not come as a surprise to you or any other researcher, my dear Zerthimon. As in many other instances before, a large portion of General Aurhinius' army deserted him and chose as its leader Zephros. As a result, a new mercenary army was created with the sole purpose of attacking and ransacking every non-human settlement in the area. When word of its creation reached Sir Pirvan, he traveled quickly towards the half-elven fortress called Belkuthas because he new that it was on the mercenary army's way, in order to warn its denizens of the imminent danger. The mercenary army was beefed up by the appearance of the Istarian Legions under Carolius Migmar and a contingent of Solamnic Knights under the command of Sir Lewin, whose presence was a surprise to Sir Pirvan. Alas my cousin, the history of my nation is a history of greatness marred by internal strife within the ranks of the knighthood. But I digress, so I will continue with the narration of the facts that interest you. When all the armies met outside the walls of Belkuthas, Sir Pirvan managed to convince his fellow knight to forestall the almost certain siege and the subsequent bloodshed. As retaliation for the disruption of his machinations, Wilthur who was the instigator behind the scene dominated the mind of Sir Lewin and used him to attack the daughter of Belkuthas' rulers. During the attack Rynthala was saved by her father who killed the knight, but in the process was killed a Silvanesti ambassador that happened to be present in the fortress at the time. In the siege that started after the incident, Rynthala's father Krythus was killed along with his wife Tulia, as well as Carolius Migmar and Zephros. With Aurhinius' arrival the siege was ended and the mercenaries surrendered. But no sign of Wilthur. He had disappeared in the chaos of the battle when he concluded he had lost.



Two years later, in 268PC, queer reports started arriving in Istar about a huge sea-creature that was spotted at the open sea close to Suivinari Island, very close to the capital of the empire. Sir Pirvan decided to investigate those reports and together with his companions traveled to the island. There he discovered that Wilthur the Brown, the one who almost caused a war to break out between Istar and Silvanesti, controlled the monster. In a titanic battle, with the unexpected help from a minotaur ship that was investigating the area separately but for the same reason, and the Dimernesti elves that inhabited that sea region, they managed to destroy the monstrous creature and kill Wilthur.



Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 15 June 2008 - 11:36 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#4 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 09 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

Posted Image

Chapter 1.3


His demise, though, in the Suivinari affair did not signal the end of the renegade wizard's existence. In the lord-city of Istar where he maintained one of his laboratories, he had created years before, in anticipation of his confrontation with Gilean, the god of neutrality, a lifeless clone that he kept in suspended animation. Its purpose was to serve as a back-up plan in the case of defeat. If he died his soul would not cross the Gate of Souls to swim in the Ethereal Sea that led to the kingdom of the dead. On the contrary, it would be transferred to his clone, reviving it. He had in essence created an inactive avatar of himself, a creation that would help him to escape the wrath of the god. After it's creation and before the confrontation, he used a spell of his own making to record the sum of his memories, experiences, knowledge and abilities up to that moment and infuse the avatar. He kept it inactive until the time when his soul would enter the body and revive it, in case he died in the battle with Gilean. In this way his new self would have all the necessary abilities and memories, as well as his thirst for power, enough to challenge again and destroy the god in the event of his first body's destruction.



But Gilean did not kill him. On the contrary, he transformed him dreadfully; so much so that everyone he would come into contact with, would instantly be forewarned about the unfathomable corruption of his soul. This unforeseen development canceled the use of his clone, which stayed inactive in his laboratory in Istar. He may have not died, but he was significantly weakened by the confrontation in many areas. The largest portion of his fortune was spent in the failed attempt for ascendance, together with almost all the rare ingredients he used in the experiments and spell casting. When he returned to his laboratory he didn't have the capability to repeat the spell with which he had infused the clone in order to update it with new experiences. He lacked the necessary ingredients and the money to purchase them with, and for that reason he got involved with Zephros. Later on when he died, the "new" Wilthur awoke and continued his life without any knowledge of the facts that led to his death. He was Wilthur prior to the confrontation with Gilean. As a result, he continued pursuing his plan for revenge and ascendancy, and this is how he becomes involved in your protégés history.



The above are all the information I managed to gather, relevant to your inquiry about the history of Wilthur the Brown. Finally you were right my cousin in your suspicions. The Wilthur who is involved in your protégé's background is not the same with the Wilthur who is known to certain cycles where only such people can be known, if you know what I mean? His Excellency's Astinus scripts, which he graciously allowed me to copy, leave no room for doubt. Furthermore, the dates you gave me do not coincide at all. Your proverbial powers of observation would have made you an outstanding scribe in our Great Library. Tomorrow morning, with the first light of dawn, a courier will be dispatched from Palanthas and will deliver this letter at the soonest possible. I hope it will reach your hands intact (you know how dangerous these trips have become under the yoke of the Great Dragons), and that our next communication will be face to face. Until that blessed day I remain your devoted cousin and friend,


"DASTES MORDEINUS,


Senior Scribe to Astinus Lore keeper"




Wilthur had many accomplices in the Istarian underworld that formed his network of eyes and ears for whatever worthy of notice happened in the city. One of them tipped him about the murder of a Silvanesti diplomatic mission while on the way to return to their homeland. The particular detail that piqued his interest in the case was that apart from the looting of valuable objects, for which that daring attempt was organized, a set of magical tomes was found, too. When a low-level mage, working for the guild that organized the murderous operation, attempted to dispel the protective spells and decipher the texts, he died a horrible death. Through his underground network, news of this reached his ears and by paying a large amount of money to the guild master, he acquired the two magical tomes.



After months of research he managed to break the lethal protective spells and read their content. One was a spell book and the other an essay dealing with the nature of magic. Within the essay he found obscure reference to a series of magical gates that existed in various parts of the continent and through which was possible for a person to travel to the Lost Citadel. Those who practice the arcane arts are independent creatures. They swear allegiance to none of the known deities, be they good, evil or neutral, although they may favour some of them. The Lost Citadel for such creatures is the ultimate quest, a quest for which they speak with veneration and if possible pursue with fervour, just as priests approximate their communion with their deities. It is a place where the three patron deities of magic in the world have tutored the three most promising mortal practitioners, more than two thousand five hundred years ago. After the end of the Second Dragon War, the gods Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari gathered three chosen disciples of the wild magic practiced up to that time, and taught them how to understand and control the magical energies that form the world. These High Sorcerers claim that the gods originally taught them in a place known as The Citadel, which has long since left the world. All the knowledge that was passed on by the gods and gradually with the passage of millenniums slipped away was stored in that place. If Wilthur managed to gain entrance to it, he would possess that vast knowledge. He would possess the power to challenge the gods again and destroy Gilean, the god of neutrality for the curse he had bestowed upon him. In addition to all that, there were references to other tomes that were kept in the Royal Treasury in the Tower of the Stars, in the capital Silvanost of the elven kingdom. These other tomes contained more specific information concerning the existence of those magical gates?

Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 15 June 2008 - 11:52 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#5 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 24 November 2007 - 12:18 AM

Posted Image

Chapter 1.4

The desire for acquisition and study of these other tomes became instantly an obsession for Wilthur. Without any specific plan in his mind he started studying every aspect of the existence of the Silvanesti elves. Their habits and customs, the structure of their society, their history, even their heraldry, in a frantic attempt to formulate a plan that would provide him with access to the covetable tomes.



After a few months he was informed that another diplomatic mission had arrived in Istar with the purpose of investigating the disappearance of the previous one. Moreover, they had submitted a request of audition with the Kingpriest himself. This request and its acceptance from the authorities picked Wilthur's interest, because it was a very rare occurrence. Too many delegations asked for this audience, but most of them were turned down and they were directed to conclude their business with high-level officials instead. The acceptance of the request meant one thing: a person of very high standing in the hierarchy of the Royal House of the Silvanesti must be leading the diplomatic mission. It was almost impossible to be granted such an audience, and only such a presence warranted success in the request. According to the protocol a formal banquet was organized, and Wilthur arranged to be invited in order to observe the proceedings and study the members of the delegation. His estimation about a high Royal attendance was confirmed, but it was another presence that caused to him euphoria. All members of the delegation were required to submit their credentials. As a token of their high stature, those of noble descend also presented their signet rings, which held the heraldic devices of their families. His delight was immense when he identified one of the rings as belonging to the family that traditionally held the post of the Royal Treasurer. His name was Orfantal Silvanoshei and his wife Allustriel accompanied him.




Posted Image


"Wilthur in the Ceremony"




A daring and fiendish plan started taking shape in his mind. He would murder the Royal Treasurer. Changing his appearance with a polymorph spell, a strong illusionary sorcery that in addition to the visual contained auditory, olfactory and taste elements, he would usurp his place in the delegation. Later on, when the delegation would return to their homeland, he would gain unlimited access to the treasury and the tomes he so intensely coveted. Surely and no matter how strong his magic, the illusion wouldn't last for long. The elven was an exotic society whose members maintained a link between themselves unknown to all the other races existing in this world, but he wasn't planning for an extended stay anyway. As soon as the tomes he needed in his research were in his possession, he would disappear immediately. His plan included the preservation of Orfantal's body with necromantic sorcery and its transfer to the Silvanesti capital within a bag of holding, a famous magical item capable of containing a lot more than one would expect in its nondimensional inner space. At the proper time he would use the body in a contrived incident as a means of covering his departure. By the time they understood his deceit, he would be long gone and any trace of his involvement would be rendered obsolete. An extremely daring attempt, but immensely rewarding if successful.



The plan was set in motion with the successful assassination of the Royal Treasurer. Events transpired that led to that vile act make for another story not to be recorded here. There is one thing, though, worthy of notice due to its significance to the subsequent events. After Orfantal was captured and before his murder, Wilthur used an otherworldly ritual he had obtained from a capture demon. The ritual permitted him to literally suck Orfantal's memories, knowledge and feelings, elements that perfected his illusionary magic with which he cloaked himself afterwards. Then he took his place alongside "his" wife Allustriel without her or anyone else suspecting anything about the vile transition.


Posted Image


"The Demon"


During the delegation's stay in Istar something happened that Wilthur hadn't predicted. It didn't cause any problem in his scheming, but it is worthy of notice because it signaled the opening of a new chapter in the book of history of the world which is recorded in the Great Library of Astinus in Palanthas. Allustriel's marriage didn't bring any happiness to her. She missed nothing on a material level; coming from a noble House she was married to another one. Even more, Orfantal treated her with the outmost respect and kindness befitting of a wife and according to the habits and customs of their people. She was missing sensual pleasure, though. She was betrothed at a very young age, barely having accessed womanhood. Because the marriage was preordained, as it always is between noble families, she was a virgin, without any amorous experiences. So she was expecting the marriage with great anticipation in order to become complete as a woman. Unfortunately that didn't happen. For Orfantal it was the second wedding; his first wife had died during childbirth, and having assured the existence of a male descendant dedicated himself to his duties as the newly appointed Royal Treasurer at the Tower of the Stars. He didn't neglect her and certain affection had developed between them, but he neglected her sensual needs. Their lovemaking was infrequent, a typical fulfillment of his marital duties, void of all passion from his side. This situation frustrated young Allustriel. She wanted to be loyal to her husband with whom she slowly fell in love with, but she couldn't ignore indefinitely her own needs. With great difficulty she decided to be patient and try more intensely to attract his attention.

Unfortunately, her body betrayed her eventually. Nature has placed some things above any moral judgment. In one of Orfantal's long absences she fell for the charm of a famous bard and they made love. It happened only once, but she was tortured by guilt ever after. Orfantal never found out about the incident, but Allustriel's pangs of remorse tortured her day and night. When her husband announced that he was to accompany in a diplomatic mission that would travel to the nation of Istar she felt as if she was given a second chance by the gods, that it was her chance to make amends. A place far away from their daily routine might work as a catalyst and allow her physical attractions to finally win his interest.

Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 15 June 2008 - 11:53 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#6 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 02 December 2007 - 11:59 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 1.5

In the beginning of the trip and for the first few days of their stay in Istar, her attempts to charm her husband were in vain. Later on though, Orfantal had a sudden change of behavior; he started to respond passionately. Although Allustriel was surprised by the change in his behavior, she accredited it to her fervent prayers to E'li and for the first time in her life after getting married she was truly happy. But what had really happened that caused this considerable change of heart in such a rigid individual?


Orfantal had been murdered and Wilthur had taken his place. According to the role he had to play he had assimilated Orfantal's personality and knew of the way he should treat "his" wife, Wilthur didn't respond to Allustriel's attempts to seduce him. Quickly though, he reviewed his decision. He thought that there was no danger to his scheming by taking advantage of the situation. On the contrary, there was a lot to be gained. It would constitute the first small victory and great affront to the gods. He, the cursed one and horribly deformed, would taint the body and later on if she got pregnant the soul of a creature beloved by the sovereign deity of goodness, of Paladine. After his defeat he had engaged in long years of research, searching for a way to remove the curse. He had found that the only way for that to be done was by Gilean himself or one of the other greater gods. Further more he discovered that it has passed in his blood along with his soul, thus damning all of his future progeny who would carry the curse of the god forever in their flesh. What a perfect way to start with his revenge!

After many days of fruitless meetings and investigations about the fate of the murdered delegation and little understanding accomplished between the two sides concerning trade disputes, frustrated by the arrogant clergy but unable to do anything about it, the elves decided they had enough, called off the talks and left the capital of the Istarian empire, having succeeded in getting only empty assurances that the matter would be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators would be brought to justice. Alas, they returned to their homeland with one less companion and a murderer in their midst?

For Wilthur everything went as planned. Assuming "his" duties with the return to Silvanost, he had attained access to the Royal Treasury in the Tower of the Stars. He didn't act immediately after their return, though. He let some time pass in order to eliminate even the slightest chance of the theft being connected with foreign factors, and to prepare the second phase of his plan. Thusly, for some time he continued playing the role of Treasurer and husband to Allustriel as well. After arriving, the thought about studying the tomes there so that he would avoid the theft and leave everybody none the wiser crossed his mind, but all magical items were sealed tightly with all sorts of protective sorceries by House Mystic, the White Robe's offshoot and High Sorcerers of the Silvanesti elves. It would require an unknown amount of time to break their enchantments and if he stayed too long he might be discovered.


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 03 December 2007 - 12:00 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#7 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 05 December 2007 - 10:07 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 1.6

After a few days of living in the Silvanesti Kingdom a problem arose for Wilthur, one that obliged him to hasten the implementation of the second phase of his scheme. He found he was developing a case of dysphoria whose source he couldn't pinpoint. Mild at the beginning, it was increasing in intensity as the days went by. No matter how hard he tried, he could find its cause. But there was something that while he read about it in his studies of the elven race, he didn't pay much attention. One of the fundamental characteristics that defined any elven existence is their connection with nature and the magic of the world. This special connection with their environment is demonstrated by the existence of a collective consciousness formed between the people and the land they live in. It is a bond that no stranger can duplicate or imitate, a part of their being. Wilthur's presence constituted a discontinuity in the elven tightly knit world, both in a physical and spiritual level.


This discontinuity troubled many citizens during their reverie. A vague dysphoria that darkened somewhat their dreaming, it was experienced by Allustriel in a more intense level than all the other elves. When during her reverie she recalled images and scenes from her and Orfantal's common life, in some of them his face appeared a little bit hazy no matter how hard she tried to focus on it. The most likely candidates for such an occurrence were memories from their life after their trip in Istar and the worst of them were recollections of their love making where some times to her relief the haziness went away only to be replaced by a horribly disfigured face instead of her husband's.


Allustriel accredited these nightmares to her guilt about her committed adultery and tried to banish them with a lot of praying to the gods and vows of repentance, but everything was to no avail. Wilthur progressively lost the much-needed nourishment of the daily resting hours, because the dysphoria interfered with his sleep. The collective consciousness of the elves and the land was reacting to his presence, rejecting him and the more he ignored it the more it grew in intensity. Wilthur couldn't understand what was happening to him, but he felt the more he stayed there, the more the situation would deteriorate.


A way to work around the problem didn't exist and he didn't have the time to research for it, so he decided to initiate the second phase of his scheme, if only a bit prematurely. He took the tomes he wanted from the Royal Treasury and immediately went to the king to report the theft, "devastated" by the fact that it happened under his guardianship. Of course nobody suspected him and the investigation for the theft went on and on without any progress. His incompetence, though, earned him the disfavor of the Court and there was talk among the Noble Houses of absolving his family from the position due to his dereliction of duty.


But this didn't bother Wilthur at all, instead gladdening him. Although it was getting progressively harder for him to withstand the power of the rejection he was receiving from a still unidentified source, he let a couple of days pass during which he did his best to look irreparably broken by his "failure" to prevent the theft, his real exhaustion from fighting that unknown force that was opposing him assisting his acting considerably. He avoided any contact even with his wife and family.


Then one afternoon he locked himself in his study and took out the perfectly preserved body of the real Orfantal from the bag of holding where it was stored along with the stolen tomes. Next he opened a phial, poured half of its content in the dead man's mouth and let the rest of it drop down on the floor. Then he put the phial on Orfantal's right palm, closed the fingers around it and pressed hard enough for the phial to break and cause haemorrhage. Due to the necromantic Art used to preserve it, the dead body retained its vigour from life along with its volume of blood, thusly causing a bleeding of fresh blood to happen. The phial contained a poison. Having accomplished the staging of the "suicide", Wilthur gathered his belongings, which were all placed in the study in advance of the late stage of his scheme. He used a strengthened version of the teleport spell, one that left no room for error. He cast the spell three successive times instead of reaching his laboratory at once, in order to make it impossible for someone to follow his trail within the corridors of magic, and disappeared from the Silvanesti Kingdom.


Late at night when Allustriel started looking for him and found "his" body in the study room, a great upheaval rocked the capital city. "His" suicide was an incomprehensible fact for the elves, a race that revered life as the most sacred of the god's gifts, but in time accepted it as an unprecedented effort to atone for Orfantal's failure to guard his charge, and the shame he brought into his family. Orfantal's "suicide" had a devastating effect on Allustriel; she had a nervous breakdown.


For two weeks she completely lost contact with her surroundings and only broke free from the prison of her mind when she tried to envision her husband in the reverie and for the first time after a very long time she could see his face clearly, without any distortion or the nightmarish appearance of that other disfigured unknown face. At least, she thought, the unclear and unclean nature of her reverie was gone for good. Apparently the gods had mercy on her and blessed her with the nightmares' disappearance. Her belief was strengthened when she found out that she was pregnant. She may had lost her husband, but his seed was growing inside her?


The continuation of Wilthur's story and his endeavours after his disappearance constitutes a separate chapter in the unending "Book of the History of the World" kept by Astinus, the Eternal Lorekeeper. The last part of this current chapter is concerned with Allustriel's fate, a most tragic one. After the remaining eleven months until the delivery, she gave birth to a boy, which greatly disturbed her physical and mental state with his not-entirely-elven characteristics. The finishing stroke came when it was cleaned and she managed to have a clear look at his face. To be more exact, where his face should be, for apart from the slightly pointed ears and jaw line, the rest of his face was horribly disfigured. Dumbfounded at the sight, after a while the memory of the disfigured lover that haunted her reverie in the past crept back in her mind. The boy's face held a great resemblance to the unknown face of her reverie!


An untold suffering was visited upon her, she thought. This was the punishment for her adultery. A demon must have killed her husband and taken his place and for a long time she was sharing her bed with such an unholy creature and not her real husband. But how come something like this has happened? E'li was not a vindictive deity, neither any of the other gods the elves revered. Apparently with her adultery she abnegated her faith and her soul went into possession from one of the deities of darkness. To her rapidly failing mental faculties, that was the only probable explanation. Her heart couldn't handle the hand-over-hand unmerciful strikes and failed her. Before she died she barely managed to breathe three words: "forgive me" and "Orfantal". Thus ended her life and Zelmar's own was started, with the destruction of a family (his parents) and the ignominy of two Houses (his mother's and his "father's")?


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 05 December 2007 - 10:16 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#8 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:25 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.1

To the eyes of her husband's, her own relatives and every member of every House in the kingdom from the highest to the lowest, the infant was the harvest of a corrupted seed. But any existence no matter if it is considered corrupted or not, never abolishes its divine breath of life. Alllustriel's relatives were not capable of bringing any harm to the deformed infant. True enough, they despised and hated him with a hatred strong enough as the brightest light for the loss of his mother, his unholy deformity and the shame he brought in the family...

Yet still they couldn't act in any harmful way upon their negative powerful feelings. The second most important pillar in any elf's existence is their connection with the divine, the gods of Light to whom they were totally devoted. A harmful act would be on the contrary to all they believed in. As much as they were looking for something to vent their pain and anger upon, their conscience forbid them to administer any kind of punishment the little infant which they thought of as the cause of all their suffering. Yet at the same and time because of the same reason, they couldn't tolerate his presence not even for a moment. He represented a constant reminder of all the things they wanted to bury deep inside them and his perceived ungodliness was an anathema to their society. They had to somehow get rid of him.

To the north-west of Silvanost, in the Servitor District of their capital, there was a small area were several merchants ? getting fewer and fewer as the years went by ? of many origins but mainly Istarians kept their own homes. To them was given the privilege of permanent mercantile delegates and with it went the right to keep permanent residence within the elven lands, an extremely rare honour for a foreigner. Allustriel's relatives delivered the infant to a merchant from Istar, determined to ensure the removal of his taint from their sacred land.

Reldren Vardalon, the merchant in question, took the infant happily in his care because he wasn't married and didn't have any children of his own. He adopted the child, gave him his family name and the name Zelmar. For three years Zelmar lived a happy life with his adopted father, but that ended abruptly when the old man died in his sleep one night. The merchant didn't have any close relatives and of his many acquaintances nobody even entertained the idea of sheltering such a gruesome child. A lot of disdain and superstitions were created by his wretched appearance, which left no room for compassion. Finally it was arranged for him to be accepted in one of the numerous orphanages in the city of Istar.

Zelmar passed the biggest part of his exceptionally tumultuous childhood in that orphanage. From very early on he exhibited violent behaviour and the constant teasing of the other children because of his appearance only provided extra fuel to his fiery temper. Almost always though, he was the least wounded at the end of most fights. That was due to his endowment with impressive musculature for his age, strong constitution and exceptional suppleness, gifts from his dual nature. No matter how he cursed the parents he never knew for making him different, undeniably the gifts of his mixed blood that coursed in his veins helped him survive.

Sicknesses ravaged constantly the institution's inmates and the church and the authorities completely disregarded the children's need for cure. The institution included thirty children from the age of three up to fifteen, children grimly clothed and always hungry, many times close to famine. Their feeding was completely depended upon the scant philanthropic leftovers, so it was natural for many kids to get sick. The money from the clerical organizations was very limited and the cost of the children's treatment and feeding was such that for the orphanage's administration it was less economically viable for them to live. For some of the homeless orphans to die was not considered a big tragedy after all. Zelmar in contrast to the majority of the inmates was gifted with great constitution and as a consequence his name never appeared to the list of the sick ones. Very soon he dominated all the other kids, younger and older, and he became their leader and main troublemaker in the orphanage.



Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 10 December 2007 - 09:29 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#9 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 19 December 2007 - 08:58 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.2

The children didn't spend all their daytime in the orphanage. From early in the morning, everyday, they roamed the busy streets of the capital, panhandling from the people. They returned to eat, sleep and occasionally attend lessons administered by a clerical teacher. If they returned without any earnings the institution's staff beat them savagely.


Zelmar seldom stayed inside, even more than it was expected of him, but not due to excess zealousness to gather enough money. Secretly he sneaked out of town and roamed the countryside, the lush plains and the nearby forests, dreaming of travels and adventures away from the oppressive city environment.


When late at night he returned to his dirty lair, during the first years he was beaten many times to the point of passing out, because he didn't bring any money at all and he refused to change his defiant attitude. Later on though, when he dominated all the other children, he just bullied other children to give him their money, so that he stopped returning penniless.

Zelmar had an independent character that never fitted in the block provided by the clerical teachings about the King priest and the Abyss. This brought him into conflict with the establishment numerous times. It was nothing though, compared with the incident at the age of almost fifteen. He was out and as usual instead of trying to beg for money or resort to petty thievery as most children of his age in the orphanage grew up to do, he leisurely walked the streets of the capital in the familiar route that would bring him eventually outside of the town.


It happened that this time he walked by the Temple of the King priest when the temple's bells issued their call for the faithful to gather to the Mass. Carried away by the magnificent sound of the bells, he sneaked into the temple too, from simple curiosity. It was the first time he would set foot in a temple, avoiding the orphanage's organized visits through numerous ways all this years.


A priest was giving a sermon about the glory of Draco Paladine, Father of Good and Master of the Law, and the King priest. Most of the time though, the sermon was about the later and his struggle against the minions of evil in the world, a struggle that necessitated the implementation of the World Righteousness Movement, a manifesto that declared Istar as the center of religious worship and moral standard for the entire world. The priest said that the King priest as their spiritual father had a duty to lead them to a virtuous path. As for whoever didn't follow his lead, surely he was influenced by the forces of evil and sooner or later would be punished with everlasting tortures in the fires of the Abyss.



Posted Image

Nothing but contempt and anger filled Zelmar's heart, directed to the God in question, the King priest and the clergy and their fake teachings for a virtuous life. His life was already filled with torture and his repulsive scars often burned with unbearable intensity. The priest's warning didn't intimidate him at all.

Determined to show his defiance he yelled that it is better to burn in the Abyss by living as he pleased, than submitting to the will of another, be they mortal or divine. Immediately after, he pushed with all his strength the statue of the King priest behind which he was hiding and darted quickly to the nearest exit!

Posted Image


My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#10 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 14 January 2008 - 04:37 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.3

He didn't manage to escape, though. The numerous temple guardians caught him before he exited the temple. They represented the physical extension of justice in the Istarian governance system. Zelmar by desecrating the temple had violated the sacred laws of his holiness the King priest and of their god, Draco Paladine. The definition and supervision of administering justice was under the juristiction of the Holy Order of the God's priests. So he was taken in the Temple of Draco Paladine, where the seat of justice was situated.


His age was fifteen at the time, still under age, but his crime was severe. As a consequence no extenuatory was given and he was brought imidiately in the Holy Inquisition and not the regular crimes section. There he waited for a long time outside of a huge double door built exclusively from True Silver, the same material that the famed dragonlances were built. Despite his defiant attitude, Zelmar couldn't help but gasp for a moment. He knew that behind that door was the place where the inquisitors judged and administered justice in the name of the King priest and Draco Paladine. The moment passed, though, and Zelmar resumed his calmed demeanor.

The double door opened suddenly inwardly after what seemed hours of waiting, two towering acolytes armed with sturdily built maces pushed them aside and they stood guard over the entrance. One of them gestured to the captain of the guard that accompanied him, and he propelled Zelmar inside with a strong push. After the whole guard retinue entered, the great double door closed behind them.

When he regained his balance he noticed that he was in a vast, domed chamber, austerely furnitured. The only pieces of furniture were an oblong table and three seats on a raised dais. From a small door behind the dais three people dressed in heavy robes entered the chambered and sat in the three seats. They sat there with their heads turned towards Zelmar, their features hidden below hoods drawn very low. All three of them wore white robes with a silver band at the center, crossing their chests. They were the Keepers of Justice in the capital city of the King priest.


Posted Image


My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#11 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:36 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.4

The figure in the center brought its palms together in a great clasp and asked:

"Is this the one responsible for the disturbance of the sermon and the desecration of the Temple, brother Elom?"




The leader of Zelmar's guards stepped ahead three steps, weighed down in one knee in reverence and answered:

"Yes, he is the one Your Grace."



The priest then turned his cowled head directly towards Zelmar and spoke:

"Citizen Zelmar nobody is free from the clutches of sin, but in following the tender advice of our father the Kingpriest we all fight against the evil inside and outside ourselves."



The other two inquisitors, who hadn't spoken at all, gestured in accordance with those words. The middle one continued:

"But you have chosen the opposite road. Just by your features I can ascertain your infection with mixed-blood heritage, proof enough for your conviction even without the sacrilegious words you let drop in the Temple. Your disfigured face is an additional proof that the Holy Divinity of Light has marked you for the darkness that lurks in your soul. Now, under normal circumstances your young age would permit us to exercise lenience in your case, but your unholy words reveal that the darkness has devoured you beyond hope for your soul's salvation. Your crimes, the irreverence to the Holy face of the Kingpriest and the unholy words you let out within the most sacred of all the places of worship in this city beloved of the Gods forbids me from exercise any lenience and impose your immediate execution. Luckily for you though, our Holy Father is not without mercy and prays even for your deliverance from evil, therefore I will not append that just penalty. That is why instead you are condemned to The Games, there to be trained and fight for your freedom? if Draco Paladine judges your soul worthy of salvation."



After the priest finished with the pronouncement of the sentence, two guards pressed his hands hard while two other handcuffed him in the wrists and ankles, placed an iron collar around his neck and connected all three with a heavy chain. When they finished he could barely move and any thought of escape was forced out of his mind. Zelmar during the "trial" stood calm, only his eyes which were set intently upon the inquisitors and particularly the one in the middle showed any sign of the rage that threatened to consume him in the inside. He didn't even flinch upon hearing the final sentence, although he knew of the fatal ending for those convicted in The Games. He knew of them because secretly he had watched them some times and had seen with his own eyes the gruesome fate of the losers. His stare remained unwavering even when they chained him. He was too proud to give them any satisfaction and besides he knew it was futile. The guards were too many to evade even if somehow he managed to escape his bonds.

"Place him here in a cell for the night and tomorrow morning, upon the first rays of the sun take him to the Arena,"


Said the inquisitor in the middle to the guards. Addressing Zelmar he added:

"May Kingpriest be by your side when your soul shall be judged."

Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 22 January 2008 - 09:41 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#12 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:52 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.5

The three inquisitors rose from their seats. The guards pushed Zelmar, forced him to turn around and dragged him out of the chamber. As decreed, he was to be thrown to jail for the night. But before he exited the chamber, Zelmar heard a whispering voice in his head. Although during this event he maintained a very composed façade, inwardly he was fuming with the injustice that was done to him. His mind was in such a turmoil that he couldn?t say for sure if this ?voice? was just another of his wayward thoughts, or not. Nevertheless he grasped it as a life buoy in a storm and heeding its call he turned around.


Calling onto all the strength he could master, with a sudden move that caught all the guards unprepared, he managed to shake them off and turn around towards the cowled inquisitors. He fixed his stare of quenchless hatred at the middle one. His eyes and mind noted with surprising clarity and locked on a specific detail. He wrestled for a while with his captors, trying for a better look, but all the guards present around shook off their initial surprise and fell on him in an instant, throwing kicks and punches all over his body. Such was his fury though, that they could barely move him outside ? until he felt something heavy and metallic hitting the back of his head. Dazed by the hit, darkness started closing his field of vision and soon he went limp in the hands of his captors. One picture remained vivid until the last moment though. It was the hands of the middle inquisitor, covered in thin gloves of elaborate style.

The next morning Zelmar stood outside of the Arena?s high walls. Feeling sore all over his body and with a large bump formed at the back of his head, he stared at it with puzzlement and curiosity for the life that awaited him inside. He felt disgust and hate for the priests that condemned him and the weak citizens that did as they were told out of fear of execution or sentence to the Games. There, in the Temple of the King priest, something snapped inside him. He felt as if praying for deliverance and being granted his wish upon hearing the false sermon and watching all those faces deep into submission. In front of the Arena?s walls he made a promise to himself:

Never to become a citizen in the sense of the word that the priests expected of everyone. Nobody would tell him what to do with his life. He alone would decide what he wanted and didn?t want, and surely he needed not the help of anyone else to get it. No matter the price. If he wasn?t going to be able to survive on his own with his choices and fight off any threat to his life, then he better die. Strength and will for life, a life according to his standards, would be the only things that mattered from now on. He would have no tolerance for the weak, no mercy, and he would expect the same treatment for him when the time would come to leave this world behind.

Posted Image


My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#13 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:32 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.6

Staring at the Arena didn?t cause any fear that the fateful moment had arrived. He would shape his own fate. Somehow he would manage to survive and one day win his freedom. His only regret was that he wouldn?t be able to sneak out of the town and renew his connection to nature that was the only thing he revered. There at least no laws existed and no one to tell you how to live your life. Right of might ruled supreme. At least the lessons he taught himself there would help him overcome any difficulties in his slavery. To fight for his life didn?t come as a shock to him. In the Arena the strongest, smartest ones survived and those weak and unable to protect them perished, just as it was in wildlife. He would make it his business to stay on the winning side.

For the time being he was in a large carriage together with a team of men outside one of the side entrances of the huge stadium. From where he stood he could have a look a portion of the field that the fights to the death took place for the pleasure of the crowd. For sure the Arena was the largest man-made structure he had ever seen in his short life. To him it seemed large enough to accommodate all the citizens. All around him were other carriages, similarly stuffed with prisoners. More future gladiators, he thought. Judging by their miserable expressions, most of them he believed they wouldn?t last very long.

His carriage was led to one of the numerous gladiator schools that flourished in and around Istar. As thousands of slaves before him, he was sold to a ?lanista?. ?Lanistae?, a Solamnic word for drill-master, were at the same time instructors and merchants of gladiators that bought and sold them like in the market you could buy and sell any item. It was one quite lucrative business those years.


Posted Image


My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#14 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 09 February 2008 - 12:45 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.7

"Move it, move it!"

Ordered yelling at the prisoners an ugly, scarred dwarf. His scars though, didn't even come close in the vicinity with Zelmar's.



"Listen scumbags and listen well for I won't repeat my self. I am Irvendak and he is Wurruk. As of now you are my property. Body and soul, although by the looks of you, you won't last long to worry about that?"

Wurruk was easily the tallest creature Zelmar had ever seen in his short life. Well over eight feet tall, he towered more than four heads above him. His skin had a yellowish tint, his head was hairless and two huge tusk-like teeth jutted outwards from the lower lip. Even more impressive was his huge bulk. If he grabbed Zelmar's leg, he could easily enclose his thigh within his palm. Zelmar at once decided to get along with Wurruk as well as possible. He stood absolutely no chance if he provoked him.

Posted Image

"Wurruk"


Gathering as much pride as possible considering the circumstances, he stood up and took a last look around. No matter his age, he was easily set apart, although in his carriage were twelve more convicts, all grownups. He took particular interest in two of them. One was a boy a few years older and completely clueless as to his fate, judging by the look at his face, a mixture of wonder, fear and puzzlement. The other was akin to Zelmar. Slender and slightly shorter than a human but bulkier than an elf, he was clearly the offspring of human and elf parents just like him. At his face was etched the look of a man who was doomed.

Having watched his fellow prisoners on the way to the Arena and then to the gladiator school, he had doubts if any of them would survive what was to come. For those two, he was absolutely sure about it. Glancing at them for the last time, he felt no compassion for their weakness. In nature as for sure in The Games too, survival was not a right. It was a privilege you had to fight to earn it. Passing in front of them on his way out of the carriage, he scowled right into their faces ? his grotesque face distorted to nightmarish proportions by the grimaces that attended his cachinnations ? and walked out.

Everyone was lined up in a single row and ordered to repeat a couple of sentences, an oath of obedience. Zelmar's turn came and he spoke the words of obedience to the "lanista" Irvendak, the gladiator's oath. In the afternoon of the same day they were ordered to wash themselves. For every slave ? and for Zelmar, too, since life in the orphanage differed little from that of a slave ? it was an unthought-of event. They were ushered in a chamber that provided even for a masseur after the obligatory bath. Time spent in there though, was the only respite in their long daily tough and cruel training sessions, for several months. Although young in age, he proved to be froward enough. He was born for that place. Soon he adopted an idol. He admired their ogre instructor Wurruk. Both him and the dwarf were former gladiators who gained their freedom after countless mortal combats and became "lanistae", traders and trainers of gladiators. "What they achieved, I will have, too", repeated Zelmar to his self every day.

After a long time came the day of the final trial and his name was announced, he was ordered to present himself. After months of untold hardships and only if the "lanista" was satisfied, a gladiators was given the right to fight in the Arena. The price of failure was either for-life servitude in one of the numerous quarries of the empire, or to become prey to the exotic monsters the administrators maintained for the pleasure of the crowd. It was hard to tell which was the harsher of the two. Regardless, Zelmar fared admirably against an experienced gladiator and was accepted in their ranks. Thus a period of his life was concluded and a new one begun.

Zelmar's life in the Arena is the subject of another chapter in the great book of the history of the world. Suffice it to say that the incident at the Temple of Paladine and his sentence to The Games comprised a turning point in his life. There comes a time in every man's life when he must choose the path he will tread upon. That time came and passed for Zelmar. The tough life in the Arena and the constant struggle for survival, dependent on the death of another being, shaped his character in a cruel way. He plunged into the new life with a clear mind and straightforward priorities.


To add to the further fall of his soul though, one desire remained. Revenge for his sentence by the inquisitor. Four years passed and never, not for one day did he forget that event, or the gloved hands of the priest. In his hard but simple life in the Arena he had ample time to nurture his hatred. The image of that pair of gloves was deeply embedded in his memory and he used to recall it every night when he went to sleep. Although he didn't have the opportunity to formulate any kind of plan concerning his revenge, he finally understood what it was that captivated his attention at that time. At that time of the year, midsummer, at the month of Sirrost, it was very warm for wearing such a wear. For sure, he thought, something was wrong with his hands.

After a long time and since his outstanding performance in the Games ranked him among the veterans despite being only nineteen years old, Zelmar earned his freedom. His was the most impressive record. In four years of intense, constant fighting, he was dealt only two defeats, one of which was against Wurruk whom he foolishly provoked when his successes gave him a sense of invincibility. He evolved into a fighting machine that combined all elements. He was fast, dexterous, strong and quick of thought, enough to be considered one of the best gladiators in the capital.

Posted Image
"Zelmar as a gladiator"

He didn't quit the Games, although he had won his freedom. His plan for revenge was foremost in his mind, and if he wanted to bring it to fruition, he had to stay and live in the city. With his appearance, the life of the gladiator was the best and only potential source of income. When he was offered the position of instructor to the new gladiators he accepted. Dueling in the Arena was by far the most popular spectacle in ancient Istar. In that rapacious, pseudo-god-fearing society, a display of mortal combat represented perfectly the Istarian ideal. So, he could have a good wage if he stayed there.


That wasn't the only factor in his decision, though. He had acquired a taste for torturing the weak among the prisoners. In every new batch of slaves he singled out those with small chances for survival and he took them under his "care". He gave them hope that he would intervene on their behalf, for them to participate only in the tournament games, where the contestants engaged in fake combat. He used to give them assurances that he would be their opponent, in order to ensure that they wouldn't be abused at all. Later on though, when the day of combat arrived, he drank like nectar the sight of puzzlement and fear etched on their faces when his weapons run or cut through them.

In time and with such an attitude he earned among the other instructors and veterans the fame of a sadist that liked to play with the mind as well as the flesh of a victim. Another game of his own was to take place when he encountered those who didn't want to fight regardless of threats or torture. Those he abstained from hurting physically, instead manipulating their minds. He killed one by one other slaves for as long as they refused to fight, watching while qualms of conscience destroyed their spirits for deaths that "could be avoided". It brought Zelmar great pleasure to watch their crumbling spirits, perhaps equal to the killing done in the Arena.

Istar had the biggest concentration of people in the continent of Ansalon. In its population of one hundred fifty thousand, with only lead the gloved hands, Zelmar had to search for the identity of the hateful inquisitor priest. But now he had his hard won freedom and the opportunity to roam the city without a hitch, just like when he was living in the orphanage.

His street knowledge and the often visits to the numerous taverns provided him with all sorts of information. A few months passed like this, his life divided between the Arena and his fruitless search, until one night his luck changed. He was having a drink on his own in a tavern, when he overheard a company complaining in hush tones about the hagiocrasy and the increased number of disappearing or convicted citizens, a discussion that was mouthed by more people as the months and years went by, throughout the empire.

His interest was piqued when they talked about the special branch of clergy, the inquisitors, and the Games. Several names were mentioned, but they meant nothing to him, until one of them was mentioned in conjunction with a sickness he must have had, one which they were incapable to cure. According to rumors circulating around the town, the priests were losing their powers. That was why that priest was constantly wearing gloves in his hands? At last he had found his target. He could attach a name to the faceless priest, that of Father Gedius.

Unfortunately he could learn no more that night, because men came in the inn suspected to be informants of the clergy, and naturally each suspect discussion stopped from the assembly. He was satisfied however, because it felt that the day of his revenge approached. To him it did not take a long time in order to find brother Gurim then. He became his shade, tailing him from his home to work, from work behind to home, as well as everywhere else he went.


After careful consideration of his daily schedule, he decided that revenge should take place at his home for two reasons. Because he belonged in the higher ranks of the clergy, he was protected with a big escort of guards from and to the Temple of Paladine, as well as in the minimal other places that he visited, in which no disreputable districts where included, so as to be able to arrange some kind of "accident". In the house there were less bodyguards. The second reason was that Zelmar wanted to have enough time in order to enjoy every one of the priest's last moments. He harbored particular plans for brother Gedius, that included many and exceptionally laborious tortures.

After renting a room opposite from the priest's villa, Zelmar passed all his free time from the Games there, commiting to memory the shifts of guards and the habits of each one of them, in his effort to find the surest way in order to break into the house undetected. When he accomplished his objective, still he wasn't satisfied. Somehow he had to acquires access in the interior of villa in order to learn the security arrangements on the inside and the layout of the interior ? the particular apartments of brother Gedius and who were - if they existed - the internal defences. He felt he should learn all these things, in order not to be surprised.

Toward this mission, his affinity with nature helped a lot. He caught a mouse which he tamed and created a bond that allowed him to see and to hear through the eyes and its ears whatever it saw and heard. Afterwards he sent it in the villa numerous times, until he learned what he needed about the interior. He discover that a second team of guards existed inside, with their own separate program. Patiently waiting, with his little spy he learned their shifts and the arrangement of internal spaces. As soon as he was sure that he knew all the details for the interior and the exterior of the villa, he advanced in the next phase of his planning. He took leave of absence from the Arena and for two weeks roamed the wilderness around, from the foot of Khalkist Mountains up to the rich forests of Silvanesti elves, searching for the specific herbs he would need in order to infiltrate successfully in the house of the priest and "taking care of him".


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 09 February 2008 - 12:59 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#15 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:10 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.8

The two weeks passed. Zelmar confirmed and renewed his bond with nature ? with the successful collection of essential herbs he needed for his purpose ? and returned to Istar in full euphoria. Finally, after more than four years, the time had come to execute his plan for revenge. However, he didn't put his plan to motion immediately upon his return. He went back to the Arena where he finished with his obligations in the Games as instructor, and then he met with the authorities and declared his resignation. He truly felt having reached a turning point in his life and in need of setting a different course for the future. After the completion of his scheme for brother Gedius he intended to leave Istar and live far from any city. His recent reunification with life in the wilderness had woken up needs oppressed for a long time and being fed up with living together with other people, he longed for a solitary life in nature.

Since quitting from the Games, he gathered all his personal belongings and moved in the apartment he had rented. He devoted himself to the processing and creation of substances that he would need. Because his knowledge in the sector of creation of substances was not extensive, great care was essential to success. He worked without hastiness on each substance, since if he made any error and destroyed the quantities from the gathered herbs, he would have to spend additional time gathering new ones. After a considerable time he finished with this part of preparations. From then on, all he had to do was to wait for suitable weather conditions to appear.

Fortunately the discovery of the inquisitor's identity couldn't have happened in a better time period. It had allowed him to complete the preparations precisely in the middle of autumn. It was the month Gil, the second automnal month according to the Istarian calendar. One night with dense fog Zelmar climbed over the tall wall that protected the villa. As soon as he was inside, he used the fog that was been a frequent phenomenon for the season of autumn as cover for the smoke from special sticks that he lighted. The smoke sticks were covered with "nirinas", an exceptionally powerful substance that upon inhalation caused paralysis in a very short time.

He himself wasn't in danger. He wore a mask covered with ointment made from the crushed root of the "dracolichen" plant, one that cancelled the effect of the substance in the smoke sticks, therefore he could breathe freely. The guards collapsed in the ground without a single word. However, paralytic didn't mean that they had lost their senses, quite the opposite indeed. "Nirinas" may have stolen their mobility, but it left them with full capacity of their senses. The first and last picture that each guard saw before dying, was a hooded figure dressed in grey-black colors bending silently on top of him and with his senses fully alert, cutting his throat wide open. Eight guards died thusly, in complete silence and under the cover of dense fog.

As soon as he dispatched the exterior guards, Zelmar advanced towards the main building. Things were much simpler now. Inside the villa existed only two guards. One was in the main floor that was the rooms of serving personnel, the kitchen, a storeroom and a small underground cellar. The other was in the first floor that was the lounge, and the private apartments of the inquisitor. First he listened for any sign that the guard of the ground floor was not near the entrance at that particular moment. Then he took out a potion bottle, opened it and began to stretch out in the doorframe a thick, viscous liquid that he had prepared from bark from the tree "eres'al". This preparation had strong lubricant attributes. It would ensure that when opening the door, as few as possible or even no creaks would be heard inside. Then he took another potion and carefully poured it to the lock and the bolt it held in place. It was a highly corrosive formula.

A little while after he finished with the greasing of the doorframe and the pouring of the corrosive substance, he heard the steps of the guard approaching. Motionless, he waited until the guard reached the door, then he turned back in order to executes one more tour of his designated area. Zelmar waited for enough hours to pass. In his mind was impressed the arrangement of the interior and the route of the guard. Because he did not want to take any risk when he was so near in the completion of his effort, he waited until the guard according to his timing reached the most distant point and before he begun to turn back. Then he pushed the door to open slowly. It moved on its hinges completely free from the destroyed lock and silently, and he closed it behind him.

Upon entering he hid in the darkness of a pre-planned spot, he revealed his mouse familiar, placed it on the ground and again waited, only this time for the guard to approach. After a while the guard returned, in order to complete the tour that would be the last one of his life. The mouse appeared suddenly in front of the unsuspecting guard. In the split second needed to overcome his momentary surprise, a dark figure rose behind him, with the hands raised. Leaving him no time for reaction, two elongated, convex knives were thrust, one in his throat and the other in his ribcage from the side at the height of the heart; the man was silenced forever.

Later he advanced to the stairs and began ascending. Carefully he placed his legs in the edges of the steps, there where the contacts between the boards decreased the probabilities of a telltale creak. The guard on the first floor was killed with the same precise, efficient way. Because he didn't want to leaves likely witnesses, he also killed all the servants. After dispatching of the servants, he went up again and stood outside from the door of the private chambers. He felt an exhilarating thrill run its course through his body. At last, the hour of revenge was upon him...

Posted Image
"ZELMAR THE ASSASIN"


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 21 February 2008 - 11:13 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#16 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:37 AM

Posted Image

WARNING:
The following chapter contains extreme violence, gore, and torture. If you are below the age of thirteen, it is highly advisable that you do not continue reading. This chapter should only be read by mature audiences, preferably over the age of 15.


Chapter 2.9

Inquisitor Gedius was in deep sleep. Although before the bedroom intervened a small living room, Zelmar could hear his snoring loud and clear, even outside from the door. Applying to the door frame some more of the same substance he had also used in the main entrance, the door opened without a single creak. Moving up very slowly and silently, he slithered past two armchairs and a sofa in the living room and entered in the bedroom. He reached the bed, pulled upwards his hood and bent above the face of the hated priest. He approached him in a distance covered by a short breath and sat thusly for a time that seemed stretching to infinity, observing the object of his dark desire and savoring the impending doom he was about to wreak in revenge for all the tortured years in the Games, and much more; the priest had become Zelmar's focus for every injustice he suffered since being born...

Then he woke him up, whispering with his hoarse voice:

"I come for you, brother Gedius."

The priest's eyes snapped open immediately, but Zelmar, pressing strongly across the man's neck with one of his blades, had him gagged with a piece of cloth, before he managed to utter a single word.

"There is no need for you to speak, ever again. Words from you have no place anymore in this night, at this place and in the events about to take place. For the next few hours I will perform. You spoke and acted enough, that day before more than four years, when you condemned me in the Games."

Then he tied up the hands and legs in the four corners of the bed and so had him immobilized, laid down supinely. Later he drew a bedside table closer to the bed, swept the surface clean from papers and other objects, and brought a chair in which he sat. From his backpack he removed a smoke stick with "nirinas", wore his mask, stood up and went to the fireplace where he lighted the smoke stick upon the dying coals. He went back to the bed, sat in his chair and put under the nose and all over the inquisitor's face. After a while he extinguished it and began to untie his hands and legs from the bonds and took out of his mouth the piece of cloth.

Brother Gedius was completely paralyzed. Zelmar stood up again, went to the door that he opened wide - in any case he had killed everyone in the villa, so he had nothing to worry about from the inside. Then he went to the window that he opened just slightly, in order to create an air current and dissipate the smoke stick fumes. After a while he closed both the door and the window, pulled down the heavy, golden-gilded curtains to cover the window, and finally had the room sealed from the outside world completely. Then he turned on all the candles so that he would have a clear view of the bed and the work that would begin.

Spoiler


Many times during the torturing, brother Gedius lost his senses because of the terrible pain he suffered. Zelmar however wasn't about to let him escape, not even through unconsciousness; he was without mercy. Putting under the nose leaves from a bushy plant and rubbing them rubbed in between his fingers, he always woke him up with the stimulating smell. He wanted him awake in order to see with his eyes and feel with the rest of his heightened senses the "work" that was being done over his own body...

As soon as he finished with the peeling of the skin, after a couple of hours of agonizing torture, he stood up and looked at the ruined body, admiring his handiwork. Then he bent over the face ? what once had been a face ? and whispered to the ear of the bloodied priest:

"Soon? soon your suffering will come at an end, Holy Father? I have something to confess if you don't mind? I must say I am impressed by your stamina. I expected more of those unfortunate attempts at escape through unconsciousness. Maybe you and your priesthood have it right and the people are wrong in their assumptions that you have lost your powers. You have been doing just fine. Truly, the Kingpriest must be standing by your side even as we speak ? pardon me ? as I speak and you listen. Hang in there! The end of your hopeless, pathetic excuse for a life is approaching fast. Soon you'll meet your Creator and I hope you will continue to warrant the attention of your Kingpriest until then by your side. I will leave you now for a moment. Not to worry and don't go anywhere without me until I come back!"

Zelmar came out of the room speaking these words and went to the ground floor, steering towards the storeroom. An odious smell coming from the corpses of the two guards and the domestic staff had permeated the whole villa. From the store room he took one metal bucket and went up again, passing through an abominable scene that left him indifferent as to the sight, but not to the effect. Working on the priest's body he got carried away. Too much time had passed, and the corpses gave off a pretty intense smell. The same situation should have happened also in the exterior space. He realized he should finish it fast, because the morning approached and the guard that would come in order to accompany the priest in the Temple of Draco Paladine should not find him in the house, too.


Spoiler



Spoiler



Spoiler



Gathering his belongings as well as any other precious stuff he found in the office and in the bedroom, Zelmar went down the stairs and came out of the villa under the cover of fog that had already begun to dissolve as the night turned to a day. He steered towards his apartment. Without delay he assembled all his belongings and left immediately. In less than an hour the region around the villa of brother Gedius would fill with soldiers and investigators, and it wouldn't do him any good to be found. Before leaving from the city he passed by a fence he knew, exchanged the loot from the priest's house with money and left Istar for good Istar. A chapter of his life had just closed had closed in his life, and a new one opened.


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 15 March 2008 - 02:05 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#17 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 08 April 2008 - 11:32 AM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.10

For a lot of years Zelmar didn't visit Istar after the murder. He travelled in the central plains that constituted the political, intellectual and geographic heart of the nation, passing from all of the six other cities that were linked before thousands of years in order to create the nation with the name of their sovereign city among them. However, he did not remain for a long time however there. His need for solitary life led him beyond the central plains. He shortly passed from the western plains which where more underpopulated region, but did not present any interest to him. Just a lot of small hamlets and enormous fields where they cultivated various vegetables and raised animals. If the central plains were the heart of nation, the western regions constituted the hands which by working the land satisfied the needs of its increasing population.

He was enthousiazed and thusly stayed a lot longer in the northern regions. To the north the central plains were changed in hills covered by rich tropical forests wrapped in dense fog. More beyond still, the ground that continued going up shaped the feet of two mountain ranges. In the distant north the Worldscap, the tallest mountains on all of Ansalon, and in the north-eastern, a large mountain range called Endscape. In the forests lived humans and minotaurs, while in the mountains existed scattered communities of humans and gnomes.

In the northern regions he settled down because they presented a lot of opportunities for somebody with his talents. His natural inclination together with the years in the Arena had transformed him in a most able fighter, adept at many different weapons and ways of battle, so much that it wouldn't be hubris to compare him with Solamnic masters, the highest warriors of those Orders consencrated to the deities of good. Also, his knowledge of nature, his uncanny knack for finding trails, a skill that allowed him to find the easiest routes, reduce travel time and avoid natural hazards made him an invaluable guide helping to ensure safe and efficient passage. There existed a big demand for his talents, since the minotaur tribes were not subjugated in the sovereignty of Istarians and constituted continuous and serious threat for the northern cities and the commercial ways.

The need for mercenaries was much intense in the province Midrath and particularly in the city Shiva, which was built on a ancient burrial site of a jungle people, in the jungle that covers the bigger part of province. There the attacks of wild savages were daily, and represented a constant bleeding to the economy. The savages were a nomadic human tribe of great height; their average was eight feet. The Istarians had named them the Falthana Giants and all their efforts to dissolve their resistance and make them slaves and servants failed pitifully. Entire legions had been sent deep into the jungle and no one had not returned live...

The attacks of Giants at the destroyers of their forests and their holy burrial places were so intense in ferocity, that for all the presence of many legions of Istarian army in the region, unrest was not decreased by any means. They had become the fear and the terror of their conquerors. Their strength was such that in the rare cases that Istariansmanged to take some captives and send them in the arenas, these Giants constituted worthwhile opponents to minotaurs! Therefore, there was much demand for mercenaries willing to patrol continuously in the jungle around the cities. In such a patrol the team that Zelmar led fell in ambush. After an extremely violent battle that kept above an hour, the Giants brock their ranks in a heavily forested area to which they harried them. In the course of the battle he was seperated from his companions and found himself in need to fight alone a giant eight and a half feet tall with an elongated bone knife that for a physiologic person would be at least short sword.


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 08 April 2008 - 11:34 AM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#18 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 10 April 2008 - 01:29 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.11

Zelmar stepped backwards for a couple of feet, crouched low, keeping his shield in front of him and right below eye level, and in his right hand he kept his broadsword in half extent, barely touching the shield at mid length. The giant was thirty feet away and his knife traced in the air slow vertical and back-forth movements, as the snake when it readies itself and attacks.

In an indiscernible movement of Zelmar to the left, the giant shifted his position with one almost dance-like lithe movement, and his knife was moved with a lightning speed to intercept an attack that never came.

Zelmar was a trained warrior, also educated in calculating the opponent's skills. Each movement made by the giant gave information on his tactics. In what he reacted, in what he hesitated, in what he tightened, in what he receded. Each change of weight in the body stance, the game between the ground and the legs... and himself still not attacking.


In a fluid movement continuous to his last shifting of position, the giant moved to the right and then swiftly lounged ahead to attack from his weak side. Without moving, Zelmar simply pivoted to face at his right, having again his shield in position to conceal his body.

Another step brought the giant almost upon him and Zelmar's broadsword thrust outward from half to full extent towards the attacker. The giant then pulled back easily and approached with speed to attack from a more angled position.

Strangely slow in response ? so much so that he barely managed to execute the maneuver, Zelmar shifted again to present his concealed front, changed his footwork and braced for the new attack.


In the blink of an eye his slow motion disappeared. He crouched even lower and met the attacking knife that snaked towards his head from below with his shield, dashing unforeseen ahead. The knife barely scratched his helmet while afterwards his heavy round shield struck the giant in the breast with force.

If he were a normal human, the thrust would have been thrown him off balance and a few feet backwards. The giant however accepted the blow and simply receded a meager half foot, without losing his balance.


Another in his place would press the opponent dashing front with his own attack, only to it feel the knife plunged in his neck with a fast side-vertical movement. Zelmar simply assumed his familiar defensive position, putting the shield again between them. He did not fight in a way familiar to the giant. These jungle people had never met the tactics of organized duel that he used.

The giant then began a fast dance with impetuous, abrupt movements, onrushes and thrusts, approaching and falling back continuously and raising clouds of dust around them. In response Zelmar simply shifted in a defensive position to face and block, had become an immovable presence, only making changes in direction in order to face the enemy.

He did not attack, always slow to change position and barely managing to maintain his defense. Even when he changed direction, this was done with slow, methodical and programmed movements, his legs stumping rhythmically at the ground, like some thick-headed new recruit receiving his first lessons. He completely ignored each attack and didn't exploit the giant's moments of lack of balance and hesitation; from early on he had judged them to be illusory, like the attacks.


The giant then launched another series of attacks, his knife only a vague outline in a dazzling array of feints, finally leading low, aiming at Zelmar's right knee, in the articulation of his armor. The shield went down deflecting the knife, and the broadsword slashed horizontally, aiming at the giant's head. The giant easily avoided the blow crouching very low and aiming without result at the foot of Zelmar, above the fingers.

The shield then came upward swiftly and smacked his chin, forcing him to recede, even if only momentarily. However, his knife was raised swiftly again, arched sideways tracing the rim of the shield with a screeching sound and rammed deeply in Zelmar's left shield hand, cutting and ripping to shreds tendons, muscles and blood vessels. Somehow he managed to keep it despite the searing pain.

Simultaneously and moments before he felt the agony of his own wound, Zelmar gathered his blade inward and with an executioner's movement brought it down upon the giant's hand holding the knife, cutting through muscle and bone from end to end, severing the hand completely.


Blood began to flow in gushes from both of them, but the melee had not finished yet. A huge left hand was thrust downwards and an enormous palm closed in a crushing grip around Zelmar's right knee. Despite all the protection provided by the armor, the enormous hand crushed the knee like butter and a dry popping sound was heard.

The strength of his shield-hand finally failing him and with one leg buckling beneath him, Zelmar collapsed on the ground and was on the verge of losing consciousness. His last action before fainting was a sweeping movement with his broadsword with the speed of lightning, at the belly of the giant. The cut was very deep and the giant with a look of astonishment saw his entrails spilled over to the outside through blood spouting everywhere in large quantities, before he collapsed to the ground himself.


Falling to the ground, Zelmar saw the giant frantically trying and without result to put his entrails back in the place where they belonged. Having lost a lot of blood himself from the wound in the hand and incapacitated from the crushed knee, he should have lost his senses, but he maintained consciousness with a blind, animal-like determination, instigated solely from rage.

He felt dying, but his will for life had been reduced completely to an animal's instinct, something that denied recognition of the end of its life. His eyes were locked to his opponent, watching his useless efforts that became progressively slower, until he stopped completely - he had died. Then, nodding with satisfaction for his enemy's death, he felt darkness approaching, engulfing him from all sides at once, narrowing his optical field more and more, until he could see only in a straight line ahead.

At the limits of his sight Zelmar saw himself in the Arena, above the corpse of Wurruk, the ogre instructor. He remembered challenging him the first time and loosing, and then again some time after he regained his freedom. He remembered his elation upon the killing of the brute. He saw the other gladiators that had gathered around him and the dead body? Felt his challenge directed at all of them with a cold stare? For a moment he was amongst them staring towards himself... Afterwards nothing...



Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 10 April 2008 - 01:35 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#19 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 13 April 2008 - 12:54 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.12

He woke up realizing two things at once. First was that regardless of his memory of passing away, he was not dead. Second, he was lying down naked and covered with a black blanket, in a wooden bed in a room with stonewalls all around, without windows and other furniture. He did not recognize the place and had absolutely no recollection of how he got there. Feeling dizzy and confused, he tried to stand up. He felt relatively healthy and looking at himself he had a wholesome appearance with no mark from any wound all over his body. Apart, that is, from a stiffening of his right knee when he tried to flex it and stand upright, a real nuisance and a souvenir of the violent fight with the Falthana giant.


Finally he abandoned the effort to stand upright and it sat upright in the bed. Looking around the room more carefully, he saw a figure with human characteristics and dressed in black robe watching him silently but intently. When their eyes met, the stranger spoke with a thick hoarse voice.




Posted Image



"The spectre of death must have been much worse for you than for all the others I have brought back from Her sweet embrace. I had begun to wonder if you would wake up at all."



A dry, wintry smile accompanied the words coming out of his lips.



"What do you mean you brought me back?"
Zelmar answered, casting an angry glance at the middle aged man.


"I brought you back to life. It is within my powers as a true priest at Her service."


"You are NOT a genuine priest! No such thing exists in this world. There are only false priests taking advantage of all the weaklings. Tell me the truth of what happened immediately, otherwise very shortly you will learn what I did to the previous false priest that crossed my path!"



Making an abrupt movement in order to reach his broadsword and give substance to his threat, immediately Zelmar realized that it was gone. He continued casting angry glances at the priest, which turned into a low guttural sound, an animal growl almost, when he saw him bringing to the forefront his weapon. His grow reverberated in the room, the sound clearly hostile and growing in intensity.



Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 13 April 2008 - 12:57 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."


#20 quinlan

quinlan
  • Member
  • 1172 posts

Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:40 PM

Posted Image


Chapter 2.13

"Are you looking for this?"
He asked while throwing it towards him at the bed.




"Relax, there is no reason for hostilities. You are not in a position to threaten anyway, as YOU will very soon learn! I may brought you back to life and took care of your wounds, but the damage inflicted by the giant to your leg was of the severest degree. Ligaments and blood vessels I have healed, but the bones of the knee area were completely shattered. Even with my healing, you will need at least a month of rest with full abstinence from strenuous activities, if you want to heal it completely, that is."



Zelmar caught the weapon in midair expertly by the hilt and laid it upon his thighs, as he was sitting on the bed.



"Who are you? Why did you bring me back? Back from what do you mean?

He answered to the priest, wariness coloring his voice.

"Why? For what reason?"



"I told you nothing but the truth, mercenary. Through Her power I reclaimed you from death. My name is Quenius Mordeinus and I serve the Dragon Queen as your elven heritage knows her, or Tii'Mhut as she is known to most of the people of this empire. There is a balance in the world and the Queen of Darkness wishes to tip the scales to Her favor. It seems that your actions called Her attention upon you half-elf and your life amuses Her, for the moment at least. She gave you back your life, because She judges you to have served Her purpose adequately until this moment. You have been given the chance to continue in her servitude. I am a simple disciple and nothing but the vessel of Her will. With Her blessing I brought you back to the land of the leaving. I warn you though, whomever I save through Her Grace, they are indebted, however little they realize it, to my guardian deity."



Upon hearing the words 'Grace' 'servitude' and 'indebted', a jolt run through him like a current that traveled him back to that fateful day at the temple, when he observed secretly the sermon of a priest. His stomach tightened by a fury he poorly managed to control.

"So what? Now you expect a show of gratitude from me?"

He answered back in a harsh whisper.



"You drivelling bastard son of ?"



"It is a mistake to speak thusly to me, one that you may not live to regret it if you continue priest?"

Zelmar cut in, with the same harsh whisper.



"If you really want to know about mistakes you should ask your parents!"

The priest was furious at the insolence of the man in front of him.



"I expect nothing!

My goddess's protection is not a thing to be ridiculed!

On the contrary, it is you who should feel the honor?"



"Honor?"

Zelmar cut in again, disrupting the priest's tirade. His voice was like iron grating on stone. His eyes glinted with hatred.



"Allow me from the bottom of my heart?"

He was talking and his stare drifted towards the sword on his thighs, his hand gripping tightly the hilt.

"To comment on the matter of honor."



With lightning speed the broadsword exited the scabbard and the blade whistling in the air traced an arch that connected it half a moment later with Quenius' head. The whole motion was so fast that the only thing seen was a blur touching the forehead of the priest, down to the lips. It was a glancing blow, but the bone of the skull splintered audibly and blood splattered the floor, many drops splashing upon Zelmar's face, too, while the priest fell down. The hit was critical and the wound mortal. A puddle of blood spread wide around his body. Lifting one hand, Quenius gathered his ebbing strength and spoke through torn lips, blood spurting with every word.



"Fool! You dare attack a disciple of the Queen of Darkness inside her own Temple! May your soul burn forever in the fires of the Nether Reaches?"



His strength failed him eventually and he didn't finished his curse, yet, he sensed with some satisfaction that it was enough? His death was closer now, as the last of his lifeblood wasted away from his ruined body. Zelmar stood up, ignoring the sharp pain from his tender knee, and limping approached the priest, standing over his body, the tip of his sword on his neck. Eyes filled with burning hatred fixed upon Quenius.



"Your words mean nothing! You are all the same and under my blade die just as easily. Do you thing I fear of you or your deity? Don't you see that the gods already mark me? Understand what I tell you now as you die, ever pathetic, ever the fool. In the other world your Queen may claim my soul and do as she wishes. In this world though and for however much I stay in it, I submit to none's will. I serve none but myself! Give my regards to the Queen when you meet Her and tell Her that I hope she likes my answer concerning the matter of honor which you invoke."



With his last words, he lifted the broadsword high above his head and brought it down hard upon the neck of the priest. The force of the hit was so strong that apart from the decapitation, the blade dug deep in the stone floor lying underneath the body.



Afterwards, with the help of the sword and its scabbard, which he used as crutches, he exited the room. Limping and with much pain he crossed a long corridor that lead to a wide room with tall ceiling and a round fireplace in the middle. Two sides of the room was covered by bookcases full of books and standing between them was a great slab of stone, smooth on the upside and set upon four wide pillars ? of stone, too. Two armchairs were only other pieces of furniture in the room, and another door at the opposite side. He limped towards the one by the fireplace, and sat on it. Lifting the sword he thrust it deep into the glowing coals. Flying embers turned into flames, fueled by the bloodstains and the rivulet running down the bloodline of the blade, engulfing it in a cloud of hissing smoke as the sizzling blood burnt to nothingness. When the blade was withdrawn, it was spotless clean and couldn't be touched by bare hand. He sat there for hours looking at the dieing embers, slowly falling asleep.


Posted Image


Posted Image


Edited by quinlan, 20 April 2008 - 12:45 PM.

My fantasy story

 

"Man, in his discussions with other men about questions of religion, statecraft, geography, trade, has always reached a point in the discussion where it has seemed wise to reply to his opponent by disemboweling him or knocking his brains out."

 

My name is Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., and I think the "Ph.D." stands for "Pouring His Draft."

 

"The study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."




Reply to this topic