|June 21st, 2006, 02:12 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Untold Odyssey 1: Introductions
*( here's something i wrote, the first episode will take about 12 parts to fully submit. sorry for a lack of tact in choosing where to break the story up )*
In the lonely void of time and space unnoticed events are constant in their hidden isolation. Just as energy can't be created or destroyed a planets destruction is only the reminder of a planets birth, and as a life is extinguished another is brought into play. In this incomprehensible darkness lies a newborn world waiting to see its surface played on by the numerous empires to rise and fall, in a quest for the living to be immortal in glory or shame. On this rock half buried in water and wrapped in a sky of blue and pulsing with magic lies a number of powers.
In a strange arrangement of isolated terrains the sun scorches the deserts of the north leaving the south to freeze in darkness. South of the burning sands is a wall of mountains before reaching the thick jungles of Thun. Moving along the various rivers and canyons passing the vast forest of Evergreen is the prosperous lands of Greild before sloshing through the marsh and swamps of Dracule where you finally hit the mighty ocean that isolates Iceburg.
The northern deserts sport tribes of ruthless criminals and savages banished from their homelands, separated from the world by the mountains.
The mighty cogar Mountaineers are some of the most nimble and sturdy collection of fighters and acrobats you can find and sport the grandest of large structures.
The mysterious Thunians are rarely seen or heard of, masters of the night they avoid a region without concealment and have an adept craft at traps and strange disappearances.
Evergreen Rangers are more known than their Thunian counterparts as they like to showboat their hunting and marksmanship talents in public. Though sudden reminders from Thunians that they aren't all that haunt their society they do have a fair connection in some border regions as traders and students.
The vast fields and plains of Greild see more excitement and wealth than most. Torn by constant conflict this flat land of prosperity offers no protection and massive fortresses have to be erected in retort. Modern metropolises of the medieval era intellects enjoy the fine weather and supply of sun light to study their writings and practice their fighting skills.
The wet and groggy "shitholes" of Dracule give rise to a more troubled folk. Living a simple life of half land half water they have to rely on strange inventions and technological genius in hopes of making their lives more comfortable and rewarding. With no creature suitable to boast as their warhorse they have to use natural elements and magical might to maneuver with ease.
The beaches of Norman claim home to the defenders of divinity. The self righteous paladins of fierce magical powers who insist the heavenly land of promise lie across the waves where the golden light sleeps.
In the frozen waste where the few champions of god have quested their life to reach rest the bitter tribes of magical masters who delve into dark hatreds contemplating only the most lethal and destructive method of sorcery.
But back in the Greildian territories lays a massive fortress surrounded by flowers and trees atop its hill. The great castle Aerotos is home to one of the greatest events of all time. Every few years the world is invited to send its finest champions to compete in the Tournament of Warlords, to decide who is the greatest. Though unexceptional when it comes to warriors of its own the greatest heroes enter and leave its walls constantly and the largest library in known existence claims house to the champion record books, where registered fighters are logged and immortalized. Inside the arena walls is a massive field of all battles, obstacles strewn throughout the field accommodate all fighters while allowing the elevated crowd to see everything. Walls lined with pegs and holsters to be filled with weapons donated by the greatest weapon makers around in hopes of advertising their skill.
Though intended for fighters, businessmen of every craft hope to make an appearance to the global market and boost their sales.
In the chambers of King Andrew an assembly of peons in bright uniforms and the castle flag stand ready for the big event. In a loud voice the king declared, "In accordance with a tradition of five generations, let the game be announced!"
In an excited cheer the group paraded down the street drawing the eyes of all around. The drawbridge dropped and they flooded out into the fields spreading in all directions to give word to many major cities. The horses rushed to the farthest reaches of the world while the closers headed out on foot. In a few months it would happen. There were only room for 112 fighters in the tournament, but thousands would show up for their chance to compete.
In the Tenshu fortress Drake Alphonse Tenshu, prince to the Tenshu throne and leader of the Tenshu Legion, glided through the streets on his proud horse of brilliant white. A falcon clung confidently to his forearm he was going to meet up with his old time friend for a hunt. He passed through the kill box where streamers flew back and forth across the walls as the Legionnaires practiced dodging arrows, a skill Drake felt invaluable with the change in warfare. He trotted across the bridge as a horse approached behind him followed by a fleet of dogs, "Fine day today."
"Perfect for a hunt."
"At this hour we best start by the stream."
"Agreed." And they moved down the path into the woods.
"You're the only guy I know who travels without guards."
"I decided I'd be fearless like you for a change."
The dogs swept through the forest with the two horses in close pursuit. "Isn't it about time for the tournament?"
Drake laughed, "You ask that every time."
He smiled lightly, "I'm certain the messenger will get here soon. And I'm going to win."
"I don't understand why you're so interested in that."
"Winning makes you a global champion! What greater honor is there!?"
"On this, I don't" the dogs took off disrupting his sentence. A buck dashed away and they both drew arms. The arrows whisked through the branches impacting the target stumbling it to the ground. Drake took off on horse as his friend let off a desperate shot. He bound over a log releasing the wooden shaft to bounce off the dirt driving out the top of the preyís skull. His friend came up from behind. "An excellent demonstration of horseback archery, legendary to your family's name my friend."
"I'm surprised you're so quick to the shot. Practicing no doubt."
"Can't allow you to completely surpass me."
The sun stood tall as they agreed to end an enjoyable morning of hunt with a meal. They moved out the wood line as a bent back branch lashed out across their path. Drake guided his steed into an immediate bound as his ally went down. A rattle in the trees as an arrow flew at him. He caught glimpse of a snapped twig guiding his eye to the attack knocking it away with a stomp of the boot. The dogs rushed into the woods and the falcon flew into the sky. He hopped off the horse ordering it home and it raced to the castle. His ally sent a round into the woods touching backs with each other in defense stance to fight. The dogs entered combat and another shot came, he ducked and his friend followed his movement letting the attack pass overhead. A snap of the bow and the target dropped with a strike to the chest. The rest ran away and the dogs returned while the falcon feasted on a lacerated victim. They relaxed their battle stance a bit looking at each other with a satisfied smirk over the shoulder. A wet splash on Drake's back span him around to catch his wounded friend. His friend lost strength falling in Drakes lap forcing a smile to hide the pain. "I guess I'm not as sharp as you yet."
"Don't talk! I'll get you to a doctor!"
The legionnaires showed up with a medical litter, the last dog returned with blood soaked teeth.
The doctor finished changing the bandage and closed a jar of pepper. He looked at Drake with a saddened shake of the head; an intruder at the door grabbed their attention. The brightly dressed messenger announced the invitation before leaving. With a smile and raspy voice he called out from the bed, "Drake..."
He rushed to his friends aid, "Don't talk, you'll only waste your strength. You can tell me when you're better."
"No, I'm not going to make it."
"Don't talk like that! It's not that serious, just a scratch is all! You're going to be fine." He held his hand as tears began to slowly soak into the sheets.
"Drake. Grant me my last wish."
"Fight for me. Win for me. Please, old friend."
"Don't worry about that, you'll be ready to fight for yourself next tournament!"
"If you say so, you always were right. Never lied to me before."
"Get your rest; we can talk more tomorrow over breakfast." Drake kissed his forehead, releasing his friends hand two hours later after the doctor covered his face with a sheet and placed two gold coins on his eyes.
He exited his personal ceremony and, clad in his fallen companions armor and weapons, he set out on his horse. His friendís father stopped him at the gate. "I figured you of all people would stay for the funeral."
Those words struck a heavy blow, "I'm sorry sir. There's no time to stay."
"It'll take months for the farthest reaches to get here; it's only a few days journey to Aerotos."
"Slots for the tournament are awarded by region; distance doesn't matter as you race only those near you."
"I see, so you're going to fight then."
"It was his last wish."
"Are you going to win?"
|June 25th, 2006, 08:41 AM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2002
"Then win with this!" He un-wrapped a massive broadsword. "This is our family sword that won us these lands years before my time. He had the greatest swordsman of all called in to restore it with intent to use it in the tournament." The old man bowed extending the blade. "You, great warrior fighting on be-half of my fallen son, will you grant my family the honor of winning with this blade that's never tasted defeat?"
He exchanged the swords letting the magnificent blade bathe in the golden sun light. "With this sword I will avenge your son by bringing your family immortal honor."
"Thank you Drake, I am in your debt."
He exited the protection of his walls to find all his legionnaires on line. "What are you doing?"
"We are ready to take you to the tournament lord."
"No need for that. I know my way."
"We are guards not guides."
"I have no use for them either." He was directly next to his top leader.
Denied." Drake reached into a pouch with a smile. "I expected you would though, here." He handed over a booklet bound by fine silk. "Those are my words to be spoken at his funeral; would you do me the honor of speaking on my behalf?"
He gently took the booklet. "Good luck." With a salute he called to the men and returned to the castle. One horse stayed behind.
"What are you doing? Get going!"
A gentle voice came from under the helmet. "I'm sorry but I can't do that."
"Figures it'd be you Amy."
She removed her helmet. "I agreed to dedicate my life to protecting you from all enemies, not attend funerals. I'm staying with you."
"Experience tells me youíre too stubborn to negotiate with when you're right. Is it possible to change your mind?"
"No, it's not." She smiled. He started down the road and she followed next to him.
The forest glowed with green and gentle rays shown visibly through the holes of the natural ceiling. It was a good 300 meters to the river from his position in the tree, balancing carefully on the branch. He held the arrow drawn back to full length causing the frame to bend so sharply as to look as if it were to snap in half. His arms fully extended and body bent in a crouch on that branch he stared out to the river. He watched the rabbit curiously sip at the water before spiking it to the tree with his arrow.
He stepped onto the platform and began pulling the rope raising himself to the catwalks above. Before getting three feet up a dead elk was dropped onto the platform making it to heavy for him to lift. "Just take off without me why don't you!"
The annoyed anger he had quickly melted away as he helped pull the guy up. "Sorry Lance, didn't notice you were back so soon."
"Yeah, got me a good one today! Won't have to go out again for a week!" He looked at his friendís collection of rabbits. "Why is it you only hunt rabbits? Your whole life that's all you've hunted."
"They're small, fast, alert, and hard to see. The perfect prey to improve my shot. They reproduce so damned fast there's plenty of em too."
"It's inefficient. It's a much harder target to hit, and with one shot I have a week worth of food. With your five difficult shots you have a day or two at best."
"But I'm the greatest marksman alive because of it."
"Oh yeah? Gonna prove it at the games?"
"Damned right! I'm not only going to win marksmanship but the tournament!"
He burst into laughter, "Soon the trees will sing the tale of great Lake Berry Redwood, champion of the world, on its winds."
They reached the top as the platform locked into position. A voice cried from afar, "There he is!"
Lake looked to his friend who just shrugged pointing back at him.
"Hurry up Lake, get over here double time!"
"Well, I'll see you later."
He jogged over with his food slung over his shoulder. "What?"
"Hurry up! Come on!"
He was dragged across the catwalks in a sprint from tree top to tree top till they finally stopped against the balcony rail overlooking the clearing used as the town square. Surprised by the crowd, but more so by their waiting on him, he went down stepping onto the stage standing before the mayor.
The mayor motioned a small group of people forward who extended several wrapped items. "Here." He started unwrapping and handing over the items one by one while explaining their purpose. "These boots were crafted by the finest skins, lined with the warmest furs, and enchanted with the most durable barriers to defend it from all that weather has to offer. These undergarments are fabricated to support the weight of your loads while allowing full range of movement. The leggings of the rock are rich in history for supporting a fighterís stance without fatigue for weeks on end. The tunic of persistence is capable of absorbing most magicís and blunt weapons matched against it. The gloves of tranquility relax the shakiest of hands and have managed to turn panicked woodsmen into surgeons with their precise movements. The bandana of immunity protects from all common disease as well as resists loose consciousness and attacks aimed to disorient your focus. The short sword of the wolf is capable of quickly lashing out at vital weak points with ease while avoiding and resisting attacks with much confidence, and finally." Lake was only slightly impressed until this point, but as soon as the next cloth of the next group of items came off he was beaming with delight. "The longbow of Bale, known to pierce two inches of refined stone from 100 meters in the past, restored by the greatest bow smith in existence to fit your height. The quiver of Bale, recovered from the pits of his crypt with the seals and curses removed it is the only quiver capable of transforming arrows into the arrows of the Bale and unlock the bows potential. We present these to you in anticipation of your victory at the tournament."
He held the bow with pure delight as he opened the lid of the quiver drawing one of the sturdy shafts from the compartment. He marveled at its design, the dip at the end to multiply his grip and the notch for the string to slip into. The most interesting thing was there were no fins. He'd heard such great things about its accuracy, how could it be true without them? He looked to the mayor who nodded and pointed at a stone statue at the far end of the clearing. He strung the arrow and drew back the bow that wrapped around his arm, creaking as its frame was broken in. A loud gentle hum and the arrow stopped halfway through a tree trunk, he smiled at the clean cut hole through the center of the stone target. The crowd laughed and cheered in celebration as he graciously thanked the group.
It was easier to pull it out the direction it was traveling rather than the opposite of how it entered, but it was clear to him he wasn't supposed to remove it at all when it broke in the process. He examined the remains of the metallic rod to discover the secret to its accuracy.
"Pretty neat isn't it?"
He looked at the speaker; it was the bow smith himself. "Thank you."
"I had to resize the bow and arrows to match you. Most people can only stretch a bow about an arms length, but you get a remarkable full stretch. You have an incredible upper body so an arrow of two arms length plus some chest had to be made. Of course the quiver had to be redone as well. These aren't REALLY restorations but entirely new works of highest caliber made just for you. We simply transferred and improved the magical powers of the originals over. We decided they would keep their curses."
"You did an amazing job."
"The amazing thing is what that quiver does to the arrows. You probably noticed the obvious stuff. Did you know in passing over the guide ledge a trigger is flipped which causes a jacket to slip over the grip releasing the fins to fold out from the front? On top of that they fold back in on impact so it can go through the target without distraction."
"You think it came from the south?"
"I don't know what to think, maybe there is a crafter better than myself to the distant south. My place isn't to go searching for the answer."
"You have anything you want to show at the games?"
"You're advertisement enough, now go. A caravan awaits you."
He waved happy goodbyes as the fleet of traders and craftsmen departed to the tournament.
She loved a good job, and this one didn't get much better. She was lost in a daze on the roof remembering her conversation with the client.
"I hear you like power, to be the best. Well, let's just say I know of a special something to make you better than all else. But for the info, you have to do a favor for me."
|June 25th, 2006, 09:56 AM||#3|
It. Is. On.
Join Date: Oct 2003
EDIT: Added to main index.
Good start. I can feel you starting out in a sort of grand epic tradition of fantasy and science fiction.
I think you need to break this up a bit. The first obvious break is between the introduction and the actual narrative, where there's an abrupt shift in tense:
Though unexceptional when it comes to warriors of its own the greatest heroes enter and leave its walls constantly and the largest library in known existence claims house...
In the chambers of King Andrew an assembly of peons in bright uniforms and the castle flag stand ready for the big event. - BREAK HERE - In a loud voice the king declared, "In accordance with a tradition of five generations, let the game be announced!"
If I had to visually represent the way this introduction sounds, it starts in low orbit over a planet with geography lines and symbols superimposed over the terrain, with your text added as a voiceover. The view zooms in closer and closer to the world, eventually zooming in through a castle window to see the King Andrew holding court.
That works in screenplay format, but for your narrative, I think you need to break it up. Have the Grand View to put King Andrew's court in perspective in the world, then break scene. Start the next scene with King Andrew as a person in a scene. once the scene has changed, the narrative tense can change.
From what I can tell, you have several separate scenes here, which I'd recommend separating:
2. Drake & Friend At The Hunt
3. Drake and Father's Friend at Gate / Addresses Legionnaires / Sets Out
4. Lake's Introduction
Without these breaks, it's actually harder to follow the narrative. In a live-action film, you'd be able to see the location and character changes, but you don't have those visual cues here, so you have to do something to make up for them.
Pacing seems good so far for a draft; you've established context, had the initial conflict and now you're introducing the characters. once you've got it completed, you could go back and tweak it either way, depending on how you want it to flow. I'm going to guess you'll end up expanding on this section a bit, but maybe not.
Given the department store that Lake is carrying around on his person, I'm guessing that this is going to turn into a "tactical action/combat" type of story? Like... the way Naruto is about pitting different people with different fighting styles and abilities against each other people with other styles and abilities? I gather that Lake is one of the characters whose buildup you'll see, then they'll all meet for the Battle Royale at the end? Is that where you're going (oversimplified) with the story generally? Just curious.
Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more installments.
Desslock's opinion doesn't even factor in because he's played Devil's advocate for both sides of the argument...
Last edited by Leader Desslock; June 25th, 2006 at 06:11 PM.
|June 26th, 2006, 08:00 AM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2002
thanks for the feedback, the entire episode has been up for display on deviant for close to i think three or four months now and it hasnt received as much as a single view so you're the first person to actually comment on it even if its only the first part or two. i imagine the shere size of it was what created the lack of motivation for readers
as far as the story goes this was part of my "go with it" period while pulling guard duty and the story is pretty much unlike my usual writing where i sit down and plan out every detail of it before i ever start writing ( i was highly interested in actually writing something and finishing it, as apose to my previous projects that get lost in short attention span and procrastination )
its not until about episode three that i actually begin to plan out the story, theres a severe depression part of the first episode where i simply didn't know what to write so i just stumbled over a bunch of words for a few paragraphs until i picked up whiff of an idea and got back on track. episode two had good inertia with it but kinda lost it all at the end of the episode and episode three was when i realized that not a damn person on earth has as much as read it so i lost all motivation to continue the series and pretty much had to force it out... deleting and re-writing everything from scratch about two times including one massive shift in story line and plot until i finally got the end product that i have posted on my deviantart page now
but at least i'm starting to get some feedback, i'll take your thoughts into concideration when writing episode four and theres even a chance that if i ever go back to touch up the earlier episodes i'll see about squeezing in some better breaks and such ( then again, my writing tends to be like a sudoku puzzle. once i go back to try and fix a mistake i pretty much have to do the whole thing over again as it just points out every other mistake )
once again, thanks for the feedback ( and actual feedback too not just "w007 this r0x0r5!!" or "omg you suck noob!". very impressive indeed ^_- )
p.s: sorry for not putting it in the correct section. i concidered putting it in the fan fiction section but it seemed like it was for fan fiction twoard anime and this one was just fiction and wasn't related to any show i've ever seen or heard of so i put it in the off topic section
Last edited by cdf; June 26th, 2006 at 08:09 AM.
|June 26th, 2006, 08:14 AM||#5|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Dropping her blade from his throat to listen had better be worth it. "You know the frozen waste to the south? Well, word has it power casters of dark magicís reside there. These masters used to live on the ocean shores allegedly. A curious story is of a brotherly couple who were torn into combat by opposing ideals. One was banished to suffer in the deserts north of here while the other traveled south to the ice lands." She clenched the blade in boredom. "Patience. The one that went south was corrupted with lost faith and crafted an object to save his brother. A cloak that absorbs light. While during the day a lightless figure of black is all but inconspicuous, imagine what it would do for you at night. Even spotlights would be powerless. This item is on route and you can seize it. But before I tell you where, I need something in return. Get the cloak and use it to steal the book of summonings from the Aerotos library. Then return to me and I'll remove the curse from the cloak."
She pondered as to what curse he might be talking about. A bit of hesitation existed within her but a quest for power completely drove her to it. She saw it, the single horse and rider traveling along the crude path. Stealing it would have been much simpler if he wasn't sitting on the package. She had to think quickly how to do it, she figured there would be guards or something similar but he was alone. The idea accrued to her that the guards were hidden. She searched for them but found nothing. In a hasty panic she fought herself for whether or not she should attack or if she was missing something. To late, she looked surprised watching it disappear down the path. She followed, the rocks were much easier for her to move on than it and keeping pace was no problem. All night she followed him up the mountain and all night she refused to believe it would be unguarded. Morning came and they were still on the move, she was tired and clumsy slipping her foot on the uneven rock face causing a rock to fall down. The horse stopped and she froze, could he see her? Of course not it had to be to dark still, but it wouldn't last long. He extended his arm directly at her, was he a magician?
She dashed down the hillside drawing her chain letting the bolt bounce off the rocks. She was fortunate crossbows had only one shot but was amazed he could see in the dark. No matter, she was behind him now, the battle was hers. She threw the chain back extending it before whipping it forward at the target. He rolled off the horse, he's ****ing fast! She flicked her wrist deflecting the throwing knife and pulling herself some slack in the line.
She lashed forward twisting the chain launching a spiral wave at him. He seized his chance charging through the center of the chain whipping out a long sword and slashing at her with one hand! She raised her chain wrapping it around the handle and slipping behind him. She adjusted her grip and tightened the wrap cutting into his hand.
She clenched her shoulder to stop the bleeding as the crimson spray landed on the ground reflecting the morning light. The chain and sword fell to the ground. Where the hell did he get another sword? What kind of person will rip their own hand off to slash a shoulder!?
She stayed on her knees trying not to cry as he stepped closer. She closed her eyes as her head slammed against the ground and he put his foot back on the ground, if heís going to kill her that's fine but to violate her as well? His sword clicked into its hidden holster as he grabbed her by the shirt lifting her into the air. "Sorry pal, they donít rip off easily."
He didn't look amused by her insinuation. He moved his head closer and she was so disgusted at the thought she lashed at his face with an instinctive scratch. Her hand tore away at the cloth of his hood revealing his face to the light. He dropped her to the ground screaming, his pure white face sizzled at the light as he tried to get his hood back on writhing in pain.
She looked on stunned for a moment before remembering the old tales told to scare her as a child, "Vampire eh?" She charged him tackling him to the ground grabbing hold of his cloak. Using a flint spark and a dab of oil from her inventory she lit fire to the cloth and backed off watching his slow death.
It was only then could her nightmares be haunted by his voice. "I was trying to protect you, I was trying to save you, I'm sorry, I failed." His body completely burned away leaving only the flaming ash of his clothes.
She un-wrapped the cloak of pure black as the black steed snorted in boredom. "Looks like your brother wonít be saved now." She hopped onto the horse, "Letís go." She tried every command she knew to get it to move. "Geeze, can't even kneel? Are you a horse or a mule!?" She sighed. "Looks like I'm walking to Aerotos." The horse snorted turning around and headed toward the tournament.
The girls face lit up with excitement as she lifted the package. "Wow! Thank you so much!"
"You haven't even opened it yet!"
"I've always wanted Neo Pardins Collection of Physics Lectures!"
"Who told you!?" He looked around the room at the confused faces.
"Nobody told me." She cuddled the package to her face.
"Then how'd you know?"
"The cover of the book is a weather-proofed cloth. So based off the weight and thickness the paper came from the northern marshes. Being exactly 2946 pages thick and constructed of this fashion with these materials means only two possible books. But the smell is of Ryo publishing ink meaning it has to be Neo Pardins Collection of Physics Lectures!"
The crowd of the room only nodded in withdrawn agreement. She blushed looking down, "I know, I'm weird."
"Donít apologize to them. I think itís wonderful youíre so enthused about your hobby!"
She turned to the doorway, "Hey sis! Look at all my new books! Math, anatomy, physics, philosophy, even magic!"
She looked at the book on magic confident she'd already read it and completely uninterested. Her mouth dropped open, "You got Introduction to Golems by Richard Golem himself!?"
The old women smiled from the crowd, "That old thing has been sitting in the attic for so long. I was hoping you'd take better care of it. It was all dusty and worn."
"No way! I can't believe I'm seeing this!"
"Is that book good sis?"
"Are you kidding me!?" She held it up on proud display. "This book was written by THE Richard Golem, inventor of the Golem and modern magical puppetry. It teaches people the basics of molecular construction and magical animation of inanimate beings that don't require a constant power source! He wrote only one copy and submitted it to the Aerotos library for mass storage and production but it was refused as an incomprehensible rambling until he won the tournament of champions with a golem he made! Sense then people have been questing their lives in search of this lost book! Do you know how much this book is worth!?"
"Then you can have it."
"What?" She lowered the book. "No, I can't take it from you. It's your birthday gift."
"I don't understand magic, you do."
She smiled. "Tell you what; I'll copy the book for you. I'll even write it so you can read it. Okay?"
The young girl smiled brightly. "Okay!"
She set down the book and hugged her younger sister, "Happy birthday sis."
The party was over and the guest gone, she sat on the couch copying the pages onto a fresh stack of paper. The dishes floated to their place in the kitchen as everything cleaned and organized itself. Over the years of her studies she gave everything enchantments to make them self operational, but they required her to be nearby. The door opened before she even knocked, "Your house is the only one that does that."
"Heard your little sister had a birthday today."
"How old is she now?"
"She's thirteen Beaverly."
"Thank you, Jessica." She sat on the couch. "Copying a book?"
"Yeah, it'll take a while."
"How many pages?"
"How many have you done?"
"Normally your sister takes good care of her books."
"She does, but this was giver to her like this."
"You can't just clap your hands and it's copied?"
"I'm also writing it so she can understand it."
"It's about Golems?"
"So if you read it first, could you then make golems to write it so she could understand it?"
She sighed, "I wish. That'd make it a lot easier."
"How long will it take?"
"Wow, good luck."
"Where you going?"
"Gonna go see if anyone wants to help."
The waves washed back and forth on the shore. She took a deep breathe preparing to focus her energy. She closed her eyes and with a deep exhale the sand in front of her started to sink into the ground. The bottom of the hole rose up taking a human form before shrinking into a regular sized sand-brown golem. She slowly opened her eyes at the naked genderless form standing in front of her. She stood up off the pile of clothes she was sitting on and handed them to the creature. It put them on and she made some quick adjustments to make it more believable before walking home with it, leaving the hole behind.
Beaverly was a little surprised, "He's a golem?"
"Yeah! I made him at the beach!"
She walked around looking at it. "How long does it last?"
"It's my first one, so maybe a few months." She yawned. "But I can un-summon him and re-summon at full strength anytime. I control it with my thoughts like looking through the eyes of another person."
"How big is he?"
"What do you mean?"
"I didn't give him one, pervert."
"Aww, poor guy."
"I'm gonna go get some rest, I'm tired."
Last edited by cdf; June 26th, 2006 at 08:23 AM.
|June 28th, 2006, 12:13 AM||#6|
Join Date: Nov 2002
The next day the brightly dressed messenger arrived. She pushed through the streets with her new friend trying to get to the arcane shop. "Hey you!" She turned to look. "Yeah, you with the tan! You look pretty tough! Want a chance to compete in the tournament! Step right up!" The crowd did the stepping for both of them as the golem found itself shoved into a cheap street ring. "Ladies and gentlemen, a new possible champion from our lands wishes to compete for a chance at the tournament. Should he win, he will be taken to the city of Aerotos to become legend. She was interested, a free trip to the greatest library on the planet? Maybe she could better her craft with golems, hers couldn't even talk. The fight started as the giant fighter swayed closer dancing on his toes. She had advantage with her third person perspective. She identified the fake punch and the real kick with ease. Duck, lunge, spin, jump. She'd never been in a fight before, always hated the idea of getting hurt, but now she was excited and having fun. A low punch to the stomach, the golem wasn't fast enough. The fist connected with a smash and a quick yelp.
"Incredible folks! This young lad is so chizzled and fit he has a stomach like stone!" The crowd went wild as the martial artist reconsidered his attack plan. He bursted forward with a kick to the leg shattering the knee into pieces. The stone fist cracked across his skull and the heavy body collapsed onto the warrior literally like a ton of bricks. He lay unconscious and buried under the broken pile of stone leaving the crowd stunned. "What is that thing?"
She pushed into the ring shaking off her restrainers. "Don't go, it might be dangerous!"
The stone figure moved as she climbed under it lifting it to its only remaining leg. "Great, now I have to fix you!"
The organizer stepped forward. "Excuse me young miss, do you know this creature?"
She looked at him for a second before smiling. "Of course! I summoned him after all! This is my golem."
The crowd was amazed. "I know she was good but when did she learn that?"
"I thought she only did fireworks and enchantments?"
"Wasn't she a healer?"
The organizer settled the crowd. "Alright Jessica, what's going on here? To which school of magic do you belong anyways?"
"All of them, I'm mastering all of it."
"Well, you won the fight. You going to go to the tournament for us?"
"I'd love to!"
The crowd clapped unsure to celebrate or just forget the whole thing. It cost her to loose some motivation.
"But I can't live alone!"
Jessica closed her pack. "You wonít be alone. Golem is here and he'll help you. In fact, sense I control him, it's like I never left."
"Will it work from that far away?"
"What if he breaks?"
"You don't need me. You're a big girl. You can do fine. It'll only be a month or two at best." She kissed her sister on the forehead climbing into the chariot waving out the window.
He skid to a stop kicking some rocks over the side, the pursuit wasn't far behind. He looked over the waterfall and it was a long way down. An arrow whisked over head in threat as the shouts from his pursuers drew closer. He relaxed putting his hands behind his head waiting for them.
The horse stopped and the archer took aim, "You have nowhere to run, on your knees and admit defeat."
Pean looked up, "Why are you chasing me again?"
"You were trespassing, and you're accused of hunting without license."
"Will I get a fair trial in front of a jury and everything?"
"What nonsense do you speak of? Bow!"
"Wrong answer." With a twist and lean he fell over the edge.
"Hmph, makes no difference to me." The horse turned around and walked off.
The water froze into a gentle slope, sliding out into the flow of the water before splashing into the speed of the current. The ramp collapsed and shattered to slowly melt in the relatively warm water. He surfaced his head, "Wonder where this goes."
He stumbled onto the shore attracting every rock, leaf, and twig to his feet from the moisture. Looking around he noticed the vast flatlands he was in. The only thing that stuck out was the small hut in the distance. He sighed in disappointment taking off his clothes and brushing them off. "Might not be too good to walk up dirty."
He got closer to the house passing by a fenced garden noticing a movement among the wall of corn. The figure stepped out in front of him and smiled at the girl, "Yo!"
She stopped and looked at him for a moment before setting down her basket of food. She took off running to the house screaming not worrying about her large sun-hat blowing off in the wind. He watched her run away curiously.
With food and hat in hand he stepped lightly through the soft dirt close to the house. He approached the door extending his hand to knock when it opened suddenly and he started walking backwards away from the sword in his face. The arrow didn't pierce far into the dirt but the boy on the roof didn't look discouraged. Inside the house he saw the girl and an older women watching. He finally examined the scar covered man with the sword in his face, stopping a few feet away from the edge of the porch. The child was almost ready to fire again by now and with his arm fully extended the man was no threat, but it was easy to tell he knew how to fight. Pean reached up pointing at the girl with his hand. "She
You're not allowed to talk or point at her!" He slapped Pean's hand down with the sword. "We won't pay and we won't leave!"
He raised the food basket. "She dropped these; I'm here to return them." He extended the items to the man who stared for a moment before putting away his sword and accepting the items. "I'm not here to collect money or anything else. I'm just lost and would like to know where I am."
The man had already walked inside and handed over the goods, sending the women away to cook dinner. The boy had grown lazy and dropped his stance. The man stared over his shoulder before motioning him in. "Cook one more, we have a guest tonight."
"You don't have to trouble yourself if you don't want. I require no nourishment."
"It's no trouble."
The room was quiet as he sat with the boy and the man. "Sorry, there's not much to say about myself. My name is Pean but there are some that call me Fish."
The boy laughed, "Why Fish?"
"You a good swimmer or something?"
"Yes, and it's easy to remember, hear, and say. I also am very fond of water and seafood."
"Are you from the coast?"
So there WAS a coast. "Yes, I was wondering if you could guide me back. I've gotten rather lost."
The man was curious. "You're pretty far away from here. I've never been that far south myself. Don't know how you got THAT lost."
"It was a long trip and I hit my head." Not a complete lie at least.
"Well, I don't have any maps for that far. Maybe they do in town."
"How do I get there?"
The door opened and an older man stepped inside. Younger than the old man but older than the boy. The guy walked over. "Hey dad, who's this?"
"This is..." Fish WAS easy to remember, "Fish. A drifter that showed up today." He turned back to Pean. "This is my son Deric. You've already met my other son David, my wife Michelle and my daughter Kitty. Tomorrow Kitty and Deric are going in to town to sell some of the harvest. If you want you can help them, in return you're welcome to stay."
Now that all the faces were clicked into place he was a little more relaxed. "Thank you very much."
The man nodded, "My name is Jet, and itís no trouble."
The four men sat waiting for dinner when Pean shifted uncomfortably in the silence. "I'm going to go help with dinner." The three stared in confused shock as he walked into the kitchen.
The girls shifted around the room as the mother tried to teach her while making something extra special. He entered and they stopped. "Can we get you something?"
"No, I'm here to help. What do you need?"
They were at a complete loss for words, men don't cook. "Well, the fire could use some wood."
The mother glared at the girl. "Don't mind her, we're fine in here. Go rest."
He looked to the girl. "What else?"
She was timid but satisfied to see her mother back down. "The meat is heavy, if you could bring it in for us."
The father peeked through the door. "If you could stir the rice and make sure it doesn't burn..." She felt she had said too much.
The father came in the room. "What's going on?"
The mother was so stressed tears formed in her eyes. Pean turned to the group that just entered. "Good, you're just in time to help! Jet, you can cut wood for the fire. You two can bring in the meat."
The room was silent, Jet burst. "Who do you think you are!? We will do no such thing!"
"Like hell you won't! You three are sitting on your *** while they do all the work! You can either do nothing and wait an hour to eat or help out and be eating in five minutes giving you an extra hour to sleep!"
They were silent again. Do a womenís job? Though he was hungry and tired. "Five minutes you say?"
He thought about it for a second before letting out a sigh. "Okay." He turned to his sons. "Go; bring in the meat for your mother."
Pean stirred the rice and Jet cut wood, his wife hiding in the corner. Pean looked to her, "Once they get the meat in here show them how to cut it into eatable slices. Once Jet is done have him tend to the stew. Then you do the bread and Kitty will guide me through cooking the meat." The mother nodded in submissive compliance moving over to guide her sons. Kitty stood next to Pean cutting her basket of vegetables for the stew with a smile. She looked at him out the corner of her eye before whispering. "Thank you."
He hummed in happy gratitude. "Rice is done."
|June 29th, 2006, 01:11 AM||#7|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Everything fell into place. Jet finished the wood and got the water to boil as Kitty finished the vegetables. He tended to the stew and any meat that couldn't be turned into plentiful slices was to cut to chunks and added to the stew. Pean and Kitty fried the steaks and the mother put the break in to bake.
David looked to Deric, "That was fun. Now what?"
Deric looked to Michelle. "Hey mom, what next?"
She looked at them. "That's all."
Deric stood disappointed and lost, David walked over to her. "What you doing?"
"Making rice balls."
"Can I help?"
Deric walked over and she taught them how to prepare them.
Fifteen minutes later dinner was ready, but nobody said anything about it taking longer than promised.
The dinner was set on the table and without the usual array of half-hot half-cold dishes the family was used to. The preparation of the meal was an entirely new concept and consumed all of the discussion.
There was still enough light outside to see but they didn't have much time with it. Kitty glanced at Pean, "Sorry for before."
"Don't worry about it, I've seen stranger."
"I thought you were the tax collector, I've never seen him myself. We always drop off payment at the office downtown."
"Why would the tax collector scare you so much?"
She sighed, "Because of his son."
"Yes. He was making me uncomfortable last time we were in town and I shoved him away. He tried to hit me but my father beat him in front of everybody. He said he was telling his father and ran off."
"And you thought I was him?"
"Or someone that works for the tax office."
"You're tall, clean, dressed well, stand straight, confident and speak intelligent and firmly. Not the traits of a peon like myself, you can tell you're different by looking."
"You have a lot of those traits yourself."
She giggled before looking down. "They say they're going to take our home from us and it's my fault."
"How are they going to take it?"
"I don't know. We pay again tomorrow, might happen then."
A tear rolled down her cheek and he wrapped an arm around her pulling her against him. She rested into his body a little surprised. "Don't worry then. I'll be there tomorrow."
The town was full of life as the covered wagon rolled down the street. Pean rested on a pile of corn next to Kitty while Deric steered the transport. The surrounding people were interested when a conversation came up nearby and the wagon stopped, he peered out to see the guy with a blackened eye on his horse. "Must be the tax collector's son."
She peeked out quickly, "Yes, that's him."
She quickly sat down as he started to glance over and Pean moved out of sight in response. It wasn't long until he was behind the wagon, the obvious look of lust in his eyes made even Pean uncomfortable. "Kitty my love, there you are. I've missed you. Did you miss me?" He glared hungrily waiting for a response and she refused to look at him.
Pean tapped on the wagon, "Oi Deric! Let's go already!" He smiled in the back of his mind knowing he struck a nerve.
The tax collectors son drew a sword pointing it at Pean. "You! Get out now!"
Pean laughed at him mockingly. "Why would I do that, won't get there faster that way."
He put up his sword and pulled a crossbow. "Get out now!"
He climbed out of the vehicle standing in front of the crossbow staring him down. "What now?"
He was surprised to see how tall this guy was, he wasn't expecting him to be chest height when he was mounted. "Get on your knees!" Pean walked around to the side and he shoved the weapon in his face. "Do you have hearing problems!? On your knees!"
Pean swatted the crossbow away twisting his wrist and grabbed hold of the guyís sleeve. With a strong yank he ripped the man off the horse throwing him to the ground. "Drawing a ranged weapon in a crowded public area against an opponent with no arms, how can you call yourself a gentleman!?"
"You'll pay with your life for this insult!" The guy dashed forward drawing his sword and immediately lashing out in a vertical slice. Pean stepped to the side stomping onto the blade twisting it off its edge and trapping it to the ground. He grabbed the guyís wrist and breaking his grip with a twist raised his arm into the air. The guy reached around to strike him with his free hand only to have it captured as well. A quick spin and shift of the feet and Pean was behind the target with his arms restrained. "Damn you're tall." Pean smiled in reply kicking the back of his knees dropping him to the ground and shoving his face in the dirt.
Pean pinned him to the ground with his heel on the spine. "Leave us alone, she doesn't like you and never will. Got it?"
"You son of a AHHH!"
Pean drove his heel into the guyís spine with a twist. "Wrong answer."
"I give I give!"
"I asked if you understood me!"
"I do I do!!"
Pean got off and the guy stayed on the ground. He climbed to his knees in pain to watch then ride off with his weapons and pride. He snarled with hate at the surrounding spectators. "What the hell are you all looking at!?"
Deric had the wagon set up as a vendor stand with Kitty on advertisement. Pean hid in the shadows getting a jist for how it all worked before stepping in.
The guy looked over the food before turning to Deric. "How much for four?"
Deric thought for a second, "Five."
The guy paused. "And for ten?"
The guy reached for his money, stopping suddenly when Peanís voice reached him, "You're really going to pay that much?"
The guy looked at Pean then to Deric, "Is it too much?"
"Look, what is the going rate per item?" They looked at him oddly. "If five gets you four then you divide five by four to get one and a quarter. So if each one cost one and a quarter and you want ten then multiplication says ten cost twelve and a half not fifteen."
Kitty dragged him away, "Let's go!"
"I need you to come with me!"
They walked through the streets for some time. "What were you talking about?"
"Just simple math."
"You're really smart; I heard you're all like that down south."
"Yeah, we're not very smart up here but down there, I've heard stories."
"Can you read and write?"
"I can read a little bit, and I can write my signature." She looked at him. "Can you?"
"Yeah, in more than one language even."
"Wow, you must be some sort of genius!"
They opened the door stepping into the empty tax office. He looked around studying the room, Kitty walked up to the counter displaying the coins. "I'm here to pay for my family."
The person at the counter began sifting through the coins adding them up with an accubus. They scribbled something into the book in front of them and smiled to Kitty, "Thank you."
She turned to walk away when Pean grabbed the book. The person stood up, "Hey! You can't do that!"
He put the book down. "Show me. Show me how you got this answer, this price, and logged it."
Kitty stood next to him hanging onto his arm. "Come on, don't be difficult."
He smiled at her, "I'm not being difficult, I'm being safe."
The person sat down. "This coin is one, this one ten, this one 100 and this equals 1000." Pean shifted his hand over the pile sorting the coins. "Now you just add them and you get this number." The clerk pointed at the book.
"You said this one is 1000?"
He tapped at each coin he counted sliding it away and pronouncing the math as he did it until each coin was counted. "So how did you get a number 283 short?"
The drop of sweat landed on the desk off the clerks chin, "I must have miscounted."
"Is it your job to miscount?" They stared at each other for some time. "Where did that number come from?"
"How did he get that number?"
"He said that was the number so it is."
"Where's the official order? Show me."
With slight hesitation the clerk went in the back and retrieved a stack of paper. "These are all the king's official orders."
Pean grabbed the top one and glanced over it. Kitty peered over his shoulder. "What does it say?"
He ran his finger over the sentences. "This is the part that says its from the king, hereís who it effects, when it takes effect, what changes, and hereís who wrote this note."
She nodded her head slowly, "So what's it say?"
He set it down. "The price is right." A sharp glare at the clerk. "How do you record it?"
"They come in and pay, I count it, write down who, how much, and when."
"At the end of the day the roster is turned into the tax collector or his son who check it. At the end of the month he turns in a summary to the prince."
"He checks it? How?"
"He adds up the total amount and makes sure it's all there."
"And if something is missing?"
"Somebody didn't pay."
Pean glared, that didn't sound too promising. "I want a receipt."
The two looked at him. "A what?"
"A receipt. Give me a blank sheet of paper." He grabbed a sheet of paper and began writing. They were both slightly impressed by his speed with the pen. "Okay, this is a receipt. Here is the name of the payer, here is the recipient, hereís the fee, hereís the payment, the difference, the service or item purchased in return, the date, and the approving authority. What this will do is say she paid you all the taxes owed for taxes on this date. Just sign here."
The clerk read the paper over before looking at Pean. "Who keeps it?"
"She does. You have your record of the transaction, and she has hers."
|June 29th, 2006, 09:20 PM||#8|
Insanity is colorblind.
Join Date: Jun 2006
I like it so far although it is kinda hard to tell when the story shifts from one scene to the next. Try indenting that way it is less confusing.
|July 1st, 2006, 07:09 AM||#11|
Join Date: Nov 2002
of course, gotta pay heritage to the era. despite being an alien planet it does have to obey the laws of the land
i'm getting annoyed at seeing all these "knights and horses" midevil movies and stuff where the towns are filled with attractive tall people and the beautiful princess is thin as a super model. back in the day people were like 4 feet tall and the fatter you were the more beautiful you were sense you were able to afford to eat so much, and soap hadn't even been invented yet.
but for the purpose of this alien parralell, no short fat ugly people...
|July 2nd, 2006, 06:39 AM||#12|
Join Date: Nov 2002
The clerk signed with a smirk, "You're pretty smart. Want a job?"
"Thanks but I decline, thank you for your help." And they left.
"Where do I find maps?"
"That's right." She looked around. "I think it's this way." She guided them down a less traveled path deeper into the city.
The tax collectors son walked into the office grabbing the roster. "Ha! They've already paid have they?"
"Yes sir, I was just bagging it up now."
The tax collectors son grabbed the pouch of coins and scratched their name off the roster putting the coins in his pocket. The clerk opened his mouth to speak, "You shut up and don't tell anyone or I'll have you brought up on charges against all that extra money you've been making!" And he stormed out the room.
"But there's another copy..."
They wandered lost through the streets. "I could have sworn it was over here."
"Can't find it?"
"Too many people." She yelped when she was suddenly lifted into the air. She eventually looked around pointing in an excited cheer. "There it is!" He gently lowered her down and they headed off.
Deric sat at the wagon thinking about it in the back of his mind. "So if each one cost a coin, then having one is like having a coin. So if I have two I have two coins, if I have five I have five coins." He jumped up. "I get it now!"
He looked over all the maps. The map vendor watched him. "Where you goin?"
"The southern shores."
The map vendor grabbed various maps. "Hereís the world." He displayed a map with various icons on it for major cities and monsters. It was square and Pean felt it wasnít great for trusting. Not that he was looking for grid coordinates or anything. The map vendor unrolled several more. "This is the city you're in, this one is the path through the jungle, this one is various trade routes through the forest, this one is of some of the major castles of the plains, this map takes you from here to Aerotos and is very popular no matter what city you're tryin to get there from!"
"Every city has their own version of this map?"
"All the major ones, it's a very popular travel spot."
"So would it be safe to assume that if everybody has a map to Aerotos, Aerotos has a map to everybody somewhere in it?"
The vendor thought about it, "I suppose that might work."
"I'll take this one then."
IT cost most of the extra money saved from the tax dispute but it came with a travel tube and seemed well worth it. There spirits were high until Deric was being arrested by the prince himself. Kitty rushed over, "Deric!"
"Shut up you!"
Things got out of hand too fast for Pean's taste. The guards advanced on him. "Be careful! That's the one who attacked me!" They drew their weapons.
Pean raised his hands walking forward, the guards circling him. "He's just a kid, doesn't look so tough."
Pean smiled to Kitty, "It'll be okay."
"On your knees!" The guard swung the hilt of his sword at Pean from behind, it didn't take long to find himself short of breathe on his back. The other guard prepared to rush in and help but Pean calmly dropped to his knees with his hands behind his head.
The prince waved the guards to ease. "For failure to pay your due taxes I have to put you under arrest. Do you have the money?"
Deric hung his head, "No." He looked in disappointment at Kitty.
She shouted emotionally, "We paid! We did! Ask the clerk!"
Pean calmed her down, "We paid and have proof."
The prince was emotionless, "I checked the book and you're not in it."
"Our proof is not the book or the clerk."
"Oh?" His interest grew, "What is it?"
He retrieved the receipt from Kitty presenting it forward. The prince read it carefully. "This document DOES have all the required information and is acceptable. But where is the money?"
"That's not our concern; the document said we paid so you should be looking at the employees. Hell, maybe that guy took it!" He pointed to the tax collectors son. The prince looked at him.
Sweat fell from the collector's son's face; the prince grew more suspicious with every drop on the ground. "Did you take it?"
"Of course not!"
"Then you wonít mind emptying your pockets."
He hesitated, glancing at the group of people staring at him waiting for response. He reached to his side into his pocket grasping the coins; he failed to figure out how to hide them. He slipped his hand out grasping a dagger at his side; he burst forward charging at Pean. "I'll kill you!"
The guard lashed out taking his leg off and the coins spilled from his pocket. The prince was disgusted. "Take him to the dungeon! Those three are free to go!" They dragged his body through the town streets by a rope leaving a trail of blood all the way to the dungeon.
"How'd you know he had the coins?"
He had no idea! Kitty chimed in before he could speak, "Because he's a genius! We're lucky to have him around!"
The entire family sat after dinner enjoying the story Kitty told. "Then he re-did the math and found the clerk was stealing!"
Jet was honestly surprised, "The tax clerk? From us!?"
"I know! I couldn't believe it! So he got our money back and made sure there were no more tricks. After that he got a recipe."
"Yeah! One of those!"
They listened to her tale with much interest until they were completely up to speed on the events of the day. Pean sat on the front porch with Jet. "Sorry about before, guess we got off to a bad start."
"Don't worry about it."
"You were only here for a day but you've changed this family for the better. We're a stronger, smarter family than yesterday." Pean hummed happily. "But I feel I must ask, who are you really?"
"What do you mean?"
"You didn't come from the south, where did you come from?"
"Sorry, I honestly don't know. I just woke up one day and I was lost."
"What do your memories show you?"
"The ocean, a vast land of blue."
"I see, so that's why you're going huh?" He didn't answer. Jet reached to his side and tossed a bag of coins. "That should help, if anyone asks I lost it teaching you some sword moves in the field. If you need a blade, just ask."
"Do you have a knife?"
Jet reached down to the side of his boot and pulled out a double-edged throwing knife with ah ole at the end of the handle and jagged teeth near the base. "Here, old war trinket from a great opponent. Saw it kill many men, it's very reliable in combat and survival." Pean slipped it into his sleeve. "Need anything else?"
"No thank you, you're too kind."
The sky was bright and rain seemed impossible. It was time to say goodbye. Deric made some marks on the map and some notes on the back. "I've been to Aerotos before. These people should be helpful should you need it."
David gave him a small bow. "It's not much, but it works against simple things. Donít pull to hard or it'll break." Though small it was a generous gift and much appreciated.
Michelle gave him a backpack of food and drink. "It's not much for taste but it won't spoil quick and should last a while."
Kitty gave him another bag. "It's got pen, ink, and paper. I'll learn to read and write if you promise to send me a message when you get a chance?" He smiled brightly; it was an often overlooked gift.
Last was Jet, he had no gifts but a handshake. Pean grasped his hand and they had a close word, Jet gave a simple nod to Kitty identifying the subject. "I've noticed a strong connection between you two." Pean smiled. "You fond of my girl?"
"She is a wonderful and beautiful person."
"She likes you, I like you. Once you feel you've had enough adventure in your life and you're ready to settle down. You come back for her alright?"
"That won't be for a time too long, sorry."
"I see, the offer remains, no charge. Just make it back in time alright?"
He backed off with a squeeze and release of the hand. Pean started to walk off when Kitty chased after him. He turned to wait for her and she stopped just before reaching him. "Umm... I forgot." He waited curiously. "To give you this..." She extended her straw sun hat letting her long hair shine in the morning light. He took it and put it on his head.
She stood there for a while before turning to leave. "Hey Kitty!" She stopped and looked at him shyly. "I love you too." She turned red smiling, rushing him with a hug. She ran back to her family and he disappeared down the empty road into the distance.
|July 2nd, 2006, 11:06 PM||#13|
Insanity is colorblind.
Join Date: Jun 2006
|July 3rd, 2006, 06:08 AM||#14|
Join Date: Nov 2002
indeed they were. I've actually played out in my mind the story of my character finding himself in an actual midevil era, where his six foot tall clean appearance landed him a position as a general commander figure in a military force and he reconstructed his unit to reflect more modern combat techniques of surpression and flanking apose to blind rush charges
|July 3rd, 2006, 07:40 AM||#15|
Join Date: Nov 2002
The rain came in heavy layers covering the ground in a thick mud slowing their progress. The horses stuttered with each step sinking into the mud. The lightning flashed lighting up the fields and shaking the ground. It was difficult for Drake to see clearly with the constant flow of water off his visor but there seemed to be someone on the path up ahead. The lightning flashed again and it was certain now, he caught a glimpse of the person looking over their shoulder. He definitely thought it strange for someone to be traveling in this weather but could only laugh at himself.
The lightning flicked in the background and they came to a stop behind the man who stood in the center of the path. Drake had to shout over the rain. "Are you alright?"
The man was quiet as he just stood there. Drake looked at Amy who just shrugged, with a nod they edged forward to pass the man. The man flung a sword out from under his sleeve blocking Drakes path, they both drew steel in response backing up a step or two. The man looked back over his shoulder. "You going to the tournament?"
Drake was very assertive in his tone maintaining stance. "Yes, do you need transport?"
"Do you plan to compete?"
"Yes, I do."
The man turned around taking up a fighting stance. "Then I, Josh Armstrong, challenge you to a duel! The price is the right to compete in the tournament!"
Drake dismounted the horse giving control to Amy. Drake placed his hand on the hilt. "What are the rules?"
"Blade vs. blade, no shields or armor, can't step off the road or pass your friend or the marker I placed behind me." He pointed to the arrow in the ground with a ribbon tied to it.
"I refuse to take off my armor and we fight to first blood."
"First strike and you can keep your armor."
"Striking with the blade is only credible strike, not hilt or anything else."
"Agreed, now draw."
Drake drew the monstrous blade taking stance. "Ready?"
They stare at each other for a while. The lightning flashed, Drake shifted his feet on top of the mud and Josh rushed forward. Drake stepped back getting his footing in the thick mud, the first strike was coming low. Josh hovered his body off the ground slashing into the sky putting his body behind the blade. Drake lunged back preparing to charge. His sword was too heavy and slow to move; Josh had put his foot forward and was already coming down with another attack. Drake sent a counter slash blowing the sword away, it should buy him enough time. Josh responded with a twist adding more strength to the slice coming at him again. Drake dropped under the blade and leaped back out of attack range. Josh smiled and Amy grew nervous, "you only have about ten more feet!"
Drake ignored her, Josh didn't. "Stay out of it women!" Josh dug his feet into the mud, Drake lashed out. Josh didn't know the sword was so heavy; this guy was waving it around like nothing! He was knocked back by the blow but his feet were stuck in the mud. He hopped up to free his feet and danced on his toes for balance. Drake knew he had him, spinning in circles sending lash after slash at Josh pushing him further and further. Josh was loosing balance quickly and decided he had one chance. He dropped to a knee below the attack and whipped out with his sword. Drake leveled the tip of his blade to Josh's nose. Josh's sword stabbed into the ground whisking under the mud with a splash. Josh laughed at the scratch on the side of Drakes armor.
Drake pointed his sword down at Josh's foot, and then pointed to the side of the road. A flash of lightning and the ribbon waved in the stormy wind, "You stepped out before I was struck. I win."
Josh punched the mud, "That's ********!"
"Your rule not mine." Drake walked away.
"I trained my life to lose like this!?" Drake ignored him, knowing he'd call a re-match. Josh rushed forward pulling his sword from the mud. Drake wanted to counter but he wasn't fast enough. He turned around just in time to see the arrow fly through Josh's throat and the body fall at his feet.
Amy put her bow away, "Can we go now?"
Drake smiled at her, "Alright, letís go."
It was some time until they spoke again, she laughed, "That was pretty close. You sure you can win?"
"You're tellin me? I would have been pissed if I lost to a scratch!"
Lake sat in peaceful contempt on the back of the wagon. The driver shouted back, "We're gettin close! One hour or so!"
Lake was very surprised, they haven't been traveling but for a few days. "Already at Aerotos?"
The man across from him laughed. "Aerotos? You must have slept too long. We're only at the river springs proving grounds."
Lake obviously wasn't used to the tournament. "Why are we going there?"
"It's just for simplicity sake. In Aerotos final positions are decided in a small arena, not nearly enough for fine archers such as ourselves. So an agreement was made that all contenders stop at the river springs proving grounds to decide who goes, we're allowed more than one person so don't worry about that to much when you get there. It's also a way for us to merge the caravan but not everyone goes. We select a massive group of all the finest goods to sell, wagons to use, horses to take. You know how it goes."
Lake looked out the back. "I guess."
The announcer got onto the stage; various podiums were set up in the crowd for other announcers to relay the message like speakers at a concert. Lake was surprised to see so many people, all of which must have some confidence in their skills. "Welcome to another series of ranged trials. This will focus on several events to test the various aspects of marksmanship. The events will be accuracy, speed, distance, penetration, reflex, and firing from a moving position or on a moving target. Each event will be worth points, and the person with the most points at the end wins. Those who are matched for first will settle it with a competition we call, 'The Hunt.' Are you ready? Let's get started!"
Lake distanced himself from the screaming crowd. He was curious as to how this would work out. The people were being guided to a mass of people recording names and distributing numbers. He made his way to the front and was given his number. He sat on the back of his wagon looking at the crude token. "This place is a zoo."
He waded through the crowd to get to his firing point, the targets were set up and ready for use. There were five set up at different distances. The announcers got the signal from the judges to proceed. "Alright shooters! This is the test of accuracy! There are five targets ranging from fifty feet to 1000! Shoot only the target I call and only your target! Bulls-eye gets you ten, connecting ring gets you eight, the ring outside that one gets you four, the next one and anything else gets you nothing! First target, fifty feet!" Everybody on the seemingly endless line of firers ripped back on their bows sending a shot dead center of the target, there were probably a few somewhere far out of sight of Lake that missed but from what he saw he was surrounded by expert hunters and proficient shooters. He went through the event shooting target after target. fifty feet, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 250, 1000, 100, 500, and fifty again. He completed the exercise taking a deep breathe and checking back with the judge for his score. Ninety-eight points, just shy of perfect. If there was one thing he was satisfied with it was his accuracy, especially with this new arsenal of equipment he had been granted. It was a shame he was still adjusting to the lack of arch to his rounds and tended to aim a little high or expect it to fall short.
The next firing line went up and he returned to rest, the next event was hours from now and he wouldn't be sleeping then.
He stood ready at the firing line. The rules for the speed event were simple, a target rest 100 feet away and you have to put more shots in the target than the people around you in a set time. There was a mass of arrows surrounding him, it was impossible to run out of ammo in such a short time. The start of the event sounded and he drew his arrow, he released the string before it was set completely and the shot was slapped wildly into the target. He reached down grabbing them as fast as he could putting rounds center mass, he couldn't help but be accurate at that range. The guys next to him had three times the arrows on target than he did! He watched out the corner of the eye as they fired another buckshot of seven rounds and only three stuck to the target, but that's still two more than he was putting out. He grabbed a handful trying to fit them on the string sending a wild burst in every direction. The announcer called time and some of them snuffed at Lakes poor display. It was obvious he had failed this event, his only strength was marksmanship and these games were going to test him well. No wonder all the winners at the tournament are so far behind his ability, they have to go through all this!
He returned to his wagon to rest, and remove the splinters dug into his hands. He couldn't remember the last time he got a splinter from shooting; it sort of gave him a sense of nostalgia from growing up.