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Old Apr 10, 2010, 01:13 AM   #41
cypher132
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I thought PPQ_Purple's story was well written, if not slightly typoed. It explains what happens to the dragon and shows conflict in the future. If it all ends all happy and hokey, that's really boring.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 05:06 PM   #42
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The return of the Ratcatchers Guild

Hagneth looked in despair around him. Life on campaign had brought with it a new horror – the country life. He found himself confronted by rations made up of pilfered turnips, and meat that still looked like the animal it had come from. There were no Brothels or inns, but worst of all there were things that wanted to kill him.

Obviously he’d expected enemy troops to want to get him with their pointy weapons before he could stab them...and yes, in the city he was often just one turn of a corner from a mugger with a knife - but play along and hand over your purse and most lived another day. The wilderness though had things that wanted to eat him, and didn't negotiate about it. In the City he’d been used to being one at the top of the food chain (or at least close to it)..but seemingly there were things out here that had got a taste for human flesh. Rumours even talked of Giant Spiders that used the carcass of men to help spawn their offspring.

Hagneth was relieved to hear the same fears echoed by a number of his fellows. War had to be fought – he knew that much –but he missed home comforts all the same.

The days had turned to weeks, and the weeks to months and the sense of despair had steadily grown.

He looked down into the pot, making out the unnaturally green plants and what looked like a leg of some kind stewed away. Even as he looked queasily into it, he became aware of a commotion as troops began to flock around a newcomer.

As he stared over he finally heard the excited shouts of his fellows “tis the Ratcatcher’s Guild!”. The stew was quickly forgotten as he rushed to the shabby looking cart, and fought his way through the thronging masses.

“What’s cans I does for ya sonny? We’s got Fried Rat, Rat Dippa’s, or Ratbab, all with owa special spice sauce or gravy. Or there be today’s special, Rat Liver and Onions”

Hagneth hand dug deep into his purse. For the first time in months he’d get some proper food in his belly. Life in the army wasn’t all that bad.
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Old Jul 31, 2010, 01:13 AM   #43
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Apologies for threadjacking, but this post could probably have done with a bump anyway.

I've submitted a number of stories to this site and always had positive feedback, so I decided to send a story into a magazine to see how it would turn out. I can now say that I am a published author!

Thanks for giving me a place to practice and for all the encouragement I have received in this forum. Those of you who are lucky enough to live in Hampshire can read my "You don't know Jack" in Hampshire View which can be found outside Waitrose and Waterstones. Those who are reliant on an internet connection can visit their website: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1ou...-View-August10 on pages 48 and 49.

I hope my success will act not as a vain boast but as a spur to some of the other fine writers on this website to go on and achieve greater triumphs. Thanks for all the encouragement guys!

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Old Aug 01, 2010, 08:57 AM   #44
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Congratulations! well done
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Old Aug 01, 2010, 12:07 PM   #45
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That's excellent news, Jabie! Way to go!
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Old May 15, 2011, 04:28 PM   #46
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Omg, LOVED Balseraph Diplomacy! besides Perp and Keeyln, Falamar is one of my favorite leaders. I wonder what would happen if Jack Sparrow and Falamar ever met. Probably they'd either kill each other (or, more likely, jack would run away while falamar would be chasing him) or they would be best friends.
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 12:06 AM   #47
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i got a story. the title is "A Average Day in the Vault of Mammon".

Spoiler:
It was morning when Larka woke up. At least, he thought it was morning, but it’s hard to tell what time of day it is in a place where the sky permanently remains yellowish brown.
He crawled out of the small hole in the alley wall where he had slept. He had always slept there, probably because it was a good hiding place from others who wanted to steal his coins. Speaking of coins, He thought, watching as a new comer stumbled past the alley. Oh boy, another coin! Larka already had 5, he just needed a couple more.
“GIMME YER DAMN COIN!!!” He shouted, jumping out from in the alley, a sharp piece of metal he picked up in his hand. He had used it to kill the other 2. It still had they’re blood on it.
The person he was about to rob, predictably, shouted back “No!”
But the word barely left his mouth before Larka jabbed the metal shard into the man’s neck. A warm spurt of blood issued forth, and the man collapsed, twitched once, and laid still. He would get up the next day, they always did. The same had happened to Larka himself. But he had hunted his killer down. Larka had taken both of his coins. He had strangled him to death, since he didn’t have the metal piece then.
Larka quickly searched the man, and found his coin. He then darted back in the alley, and put the coin in with the others in his stash. He didn’t keep his coins on him, in case someone killed him.
The hiding place was behind a lose brick. Larka slid the brick out, and put the coin in with the others. “ ‘Ello ‘ello ‘ello! Brought you a new friend!” he said, talking to the coins. “You lot play nice!” He then slid the brick back, and went off, looking for another victim.
Larka walked down the street, breathing in the smells of the city. Many were so horrible he couldn’t describe them. But he didn’t care. He actually liked the city. Many hoped to move on but no, not Larka. He was going to get many coins and buy himself a new weapon, and then get more coins. He was going to have a good after-life here. He liked it here. He could kill anyone he wanted and no one would care. In life, when he was with the Bannor, if he even mentioned killing any of those stupid Order priests, they would throw him in jail. When he had finally done it, they all decided to execute him. It was meant to be his punishment, but it didn’t feel like it here. He liked the city.
He accidentally stepped on a broken rib bone jutting out from the gutter. “Agares Blood!” He screeched, rubbing his sore foot. He heard cackling behind him, and looked to see a slave rolling with laughter. Slaves were the souls who had no coins and had been captured by the slave traders. They usually were stuck permanently in Mammon’s Vault, and never left.
“Oi! You think that was funny, ya stupid idiot!” Larka said, his voice full of venom. The slave didn’t seem to notice, and continued to laugh. Larka took out his piece of metal. “Fine then, it seems yer’ve, chosen yer fate.” He said, grinning evilly. The slave stopped, his face gone pale. “Wh-what? You mean you’re going to k-“ He began, but broke off in a howl of pain as Larka stabbed downward, slitting open the slave’s belly. The slave looked down, horrified as he tried to hold his bluish gray entrails inside himself. Larka walked off, laughing manically. “He shouldn’ ov’ laughed, stupid lil’ bugger.” He muttered to himself.
“HEY!” He heard a cry behind him. He whirled around to see a dream merchant coming after him. “You damaged my slave! You know how much I paid for him!” Larka lunged, and in a split second had his metal shard at the merchants neck. “So what iv’ I did? Wat ya gonna do ‘bout it?” The merchant gulped “Um, um, nothing.” “Good. Now give me tha’ pouch of coins ya got ‘ere” the merchant, not wanting any trouble, quickly gave the coins to him. “Good. Well, I ‘ave no use for ya’s now.” Then Larka quickly jerked the metal, and the merchant fell, dead. “Thank ya’, mate.” Larka sneered, then walked off. He quickly counted the coins. 50. More than enough to buy a sword. He grinned. “Next stop, weapons stall” He said to himself.
Conveniently, there was a weapons stall right by. He walked up and looked at the weapons on display. He saw a dagger he immediately liked. The blade was red with ice blue runes that read “Blood is Joy.” It had a brown hilt inlaid with bone. Larka read the price tag. 20 coins. He put down the coins on the counter and grabbed the dagger. He tossed the shard of metal away. “Useless junk” He shouted after it. He wanted to test out his dagger. He looked over at the weapons salesman. His back was turned. Quietly, Larka crept up behind him. With one quick slash, Larka had loped of the man’s arm at the shoulder. The man screeched, clutching the bloody wound where his limb had been. “Nice blade, I ‘ave to say.” Larka remarked, tossing the blade from one hand to the next. “shame ya don’t ‘ave anything ‘round to test ‘er on.” The weapon seller just crumpled in a heap, moaning in pain. “Guess I better ‘eave ya in yer misery.” Larka said, picking up the coins he had left earlier as payment.
Life was good in the city. Lark had all the people he could ever want to maim or kill, and all the coins were his for the taking.
But he needed some ladies. Larka recalled a brothel he had passed the other day. He started to wonder...
A couple hours, coins, and a couple ruined womans' reproductive organs later, Larka was back on teh street. he felt like doing some killing. He found a suitable spot to hide, and dark little alley, samller than the one he lived in, but more concealed. He waited, and a couple minutes later, some one walked by. Larka sprang out, bringing his dagger down on he person's head. They fell over, blood gushing from their head. Larka looked across the street, seeing another person. It was a stupid priest of one of the temples. "I'LL KILL YA!" He shouted, running after the priest, who was a priest of Lugus, the ones who believed he was dead. The priest looked friehtened, and tried to run. But it was no use, because Larka was on him in a flash. he went beserk on the priest, hacking into his body while he was still alive, listeninbg to the poor mans scerams as he died. Soon the priest was reduced to a pile of chopped up flesh, bones, and blood.
Larka snatched the priests coin pouch. 20 coins. "Ha ha, ya stupid lil' troll! Ya think yer gods dead? Well ya sure ar' 'ow!" Larka yelled, cackling madly.
Larka ran around, killing more people and creating an absolute gore-fest. Later, when he was too tired to kill, he went back to his little alley. He shoved all his coins in the hole, and was about to go in his hole when someone ran into the alley. They had a sword in their hand, and before Larka could react, the person had stabbed him in the gut. Before he died, Larka managed to shout out "ARGARES BLOOD!".
But he still liked the city.
He liked it here
He really liked it here.



Jiliru ran at the idiot, waving his sword. He ws going to kill this fool, and take his gold. Then he could get out. He plunged his sword into the man's stomache, who yelled out "ARGARES BLOOD!" before collapsing in a heap. Jiliru checked the man. Yes, one more and he was free. free at last.
But there was no coins. The man had been carrying none. Jiliru threw back his head and wailed "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"
He hated it
He really hated it here.


I'm working on another story now, though. Still editing this story every now and then. Feedback on this story though would be greatly appreciated!

Note: this was based on kael's "The Layers of Hell" Info-story

Last edited by .Arawyn.; Jun 12, 2011 at 10:53 AM. Reason: waffles
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 03:17 PM   #48
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Not quite sure if stories based off of Rise from Erebus are allowed here, and I'm already breaking a taboo by necro-ing this thread. But I decided to write a small story about an experience I had while playing as the Austrin civilization. My hero, Harmatt, explored the Pyre of the Seraphic and found an Assassin, who joined him. A little while later, after the Assassin finished off a goblin, I got an even that said some god (can't remember which, and the save file's gotten busted since then) had chosen that very Assassin to be his chosen, boosting up his strength. Together, I used these two guys to explore a vast desert in the center of the map, busting up lair and destroying barbarian cities. But alas, the Assassin finally met his end when I encountered Orthus holed up on top of a tribal village. I sent in the Assassin with about 45% odds, and he perished. However, he brought Orthus down to 1 hitpoint, allowing Harmatt to finish him with ease. This is the story of that encounter, of Harmatt and Orthus.
Spoiler:
The tent flap opened, letting in the light of fires and the smell of smoke as the man walked into the tent. The crackling of uncontrolled fires meshed with the desperate screams of fleeing civilians, but the man paid no heed. He removed his hat and held it by his side as he looked around the tent. Many opulent pieces of furniture were scattered around haphazardly, though from their condition, it seemed they were only kept around for their appearance and not for any actual use.

“You... you are the explorer. Harmatt.”

The man’s attention turned to a pile of rags on the floor. Or rather, it turned to the orc underneath those rags.

“Aye. I am Harmatt the explorer, hero of the Austrin people.”

The orc on the floor laughed silently, shaking in the rags. He sneered and said, “Your Austrin will fall, as all the rest have under my axe. You may be the hero of one people, but I am the destroyer of many more.”

Harmatt took a step towards the orc on the floor. “And you will destroy no more, Orthus the barbarian.”

Orthus’ sneer turned into a wicked grin. He rustled within the rags, seeming to look for something. Harmatt immediately thought he was digging for his axe, but then he saw that it lay against the canvas on the other side of the tent. Orthus spoke again, hoarse, “The Assassin... He spoke of you. He said you would avenge him.” Again, he laughed, a harsh chuckle. “He was a better man than you could ever hope to be. He attempted to pick me off here in this very tent, but when I fought back, he stayed...” At last, the rustling stopped, and Orthus pulled out what he had been searching for. A bloody head emerged from the rags, its eyes and mouth shut. “until his death.”

At that, Harmatt stopped everything he was doing. He took a sharp breath and stared at the head. The head of the prisoner he had rescued from the Pyre of the Seraphic. The head of the man who had helped him fight off goblins. The head of the one who was chosen by a god himself to represent him on Erebus. The head of his friend.

“And you will never be able to fight me as he did. He was worthy, a fierce opponent! While you...” Again, Orthus chuckled, “You come into my tent to kill me while I recover from his wounds.”

Harmatt said nothing as he drew his sword. Orthus gave one final laugh as the blade plunged into his chest, and the laugh died with him.

Harmatt kneeled there for a while. Nothing went through his mind as he blankly stared at the assassin’s head. Then he picked up the head and began to walk out of the tent. But as he opened the flap to go out to the burning village, he again saw the axe out of the corner of his eye. Could he possibly... use it? It had been used for great evil acts before, and the Austrin themselves were rather morally ambiguous, but Harmatt was a man of relative integrity. Again, he looked down at the assassin’s head and imagined what he would have had to say about it. “What’re you askin’ me for, take it! Can you imagine how powerful it must be?” Harmatt smiled. He had always been a pragmatist. He went back into the tent.

A man flew out of the smoldering remains of the barbarian village on the back of a pegasus. Strapped to his back was an enormous axe. He looked west, towards lands still unknown. He flew to the horizon.

And in the wreckage of the village, there lie a mound of upturned dirt, with a sword sticking blade-first into the ground to mark the site of a friend’s grave.
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Old Mar 26, 2012, 07:03 AM   #49
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I haven't played Austrin on RifE, so I can't comment. That said, I think it's okay to post RifE stories on the thread.
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Old May 31, 2013, 06:03 PM   #50
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Wow, this hasn't been posted in in a while...
Oh well! Consider this an act of necromancy (I'm so sorry, Arawn!) as I post an old story that I wrote a few days ago that no one will probably like but entertained me anyways!

Mel the Magic Man
Spoiler:
The wagon was packed and ready to go. Now all he needed was a distraction. He searched the minds of the people in the room as subtly as possible, and then he found it. With all the power and suddenness of a stab of a sword, Mel’s mind invaded the mind of the Bannor noblewoman. Mel willed her to take out a small dagger from the folds of her dress – which Mel didn't really want to know why it was there – and stab her husband. At that moment the observers saw – or thought they saw – a series of odd things. The first was the dead husband getting up and dancing the tango with his wife. The second was the judge seemed to suddenly have two heads, and the third, well they didn't notice the third until he was gone. Mel had simply vanished.

Mel of course didn’t actually vanish, he just willed everyone to think he did. He walked right out the front door of the courthouse, and found his brother, Carl, at the stables. There lied the brothers’ wagon, which had the words “Mel the Magic Man” written in dark black paint on the side, which stood out against the colorful designs around it.

“Come on, Carlof! Tie the horses to the wagon and let’s make for Kuriotate lands,” Mel said cheerily, hopping into the wagon’s driver seat. After tying the horses, Carl climbed in next to Mel.

“You could call me Carl, rather than my old name,” Carl muttered, handing Mel the whip. “We do not need to be formal or anything.”

“Well then call me Mel and not Melworth!” laughed Mel as the wagon moved forward.

“Well, someone seems oddly cheery,” Carl said, “why so? You were taken to court and just barely escaped. Trinity has probably been our worst stop yet.”

“Worst stop yet?!?” cried Mel. “Worst stop yet? Far from it, my brother! We have sold more ‘magic dust’ at Trinity than anywhere else! We have sold more performances, lessons, and charms here than anywhere else combined! Is that what you would call a ‘worst stop yet’?”

“The big city is usually a great place to sell merchandise, considering all of the gullible fools in them who actually think the dust is magic, or that the charms work,” Carl said. “There are just more of those people in cities than elsewhere, since there are more people in cities than elsewhere.”

“Well we are headed to Kuriotate lands now,” smiled Mel as he cracked the whip and urged the horses to go faster, “which are due east from here. There you can be comforted, for where we are going there shall be no strict law system like these damn Bannor lands.”

Then suddenly behind the wagon a loud and commanding voice arose, “Who goes there?” Around the wagon appeared Bannor guardsmen, wielding swords and bows. Carl looked at Mel, but Mel put up his hand. He would handle this.

The head of the guard stepped forth and repeated, “Who goes there?”

“I am Melworth Lenniton, an Amurite of Cevedes,” Mel smiled and prepared his mind to attack the guard.

“Lenniton? Should you not be in trial?” the guard growled, drawing his sword.

“My sentence was merely banishment,” Mel said slyly, “and now we are headed eastward toward Kuriotate lands, out of sight of Trinity forever.”

“And the criminal’s fine?” the guard said, raising an eyebrow.

“I paid at the courthouse,” sighed Mel. “I did not know there would be any post-trial interrogations.”

“Very well, very well,” the guard said, giving his sword to another guard, “although I would feel better to escort you to Kuriotate lands, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course not, the more the merrier!” exclaimed Mel.

“Reginald and Lyniander come with me, the rest of you continue the patrol,” the guard motioned to his men and all except two of them left. The head guard and Reginald, who was strong and tall, stayed with Mel and Carl while Lyniander, who was also tall yet not as strong, went to get three horses to ride beside the wagon. When Lyniander returned with three grey horses, the guards mounted, and the journey began.

“I don’t believe you have yet said your name,” Mel said to the head guard, who was riding closest to the wagon.

“I have not? Well, my name is Nathan!” the guard said happily, taking off his helmet to reveal long golden hair. “I am a half-elf of Bannor and Ljosalfar heritage. I am strong of mind and of body, so do not attempt any tricks, Melworth!”

“I would never!” Mel laughed. “And you can call me Mel, you know.”

After that they rode for miles in silence, and after they went through the front gates of Trinity they rode through the forest on a wide paved road eastward. The road curved south into mountains, and as they moved they saw great hills and mountains, and great valleys. Then the goblins attacked.

Reginald rode toward a goblin and beheaded him with a stroke of his sword, but quickly other goblins had drawn their daggers and stabbed Reginald’s horse. The seasoned guard hopped off his horse just as his leg would have been crushed. He began to stab and slash at the crowd of goblins.

Meanwhile, Lyniander had drawn his bow and was shooting down goblins left and right. He generally ignored the dagger-wielding goblins fighting Reginald, and focused on the goblin archers higher on the mountain. Many goblins fell at Lyniander’s arrows.

Nathan had rode behind the wagon and began to stab and slash at goblins as Reginald was doing, and he quickly realized that the number of goblins was growing. It seemed that out of the woods came twice as many goblins as the guards killed. And then Nathan had a thought: What were Mel and Carl doing?

In fact, Mel and Carl had climbed into the back of the wagon, where they stored their merchandise. Carl was flipping frantically through a spell book while Mel searched for a weapon on the shelves, although nothing could be found.

“I’ve found something!” Carl exclaimed, holding the book up to Mel, who looked on the page.

“Could you pull it off?” he simply asked, returning to his search of the shelves. Suddenly, something great struck the side of the wagon and many bottles of ‘magic dust’ fell and broke.

“I didn’t study chaos magic for ten years for nothing, Mel!” Carl exclaimed, somewhat offended.

“Fine then, what exactly does the spell do?” Mel finally found a knife on the shelf, and he put a minor spell on it to float out into battle and hopefully distract or kill some goblins.

“I don’t know, but I’m sure it will be fun,” and with that Carl began to softly chant the words written on the page. Mel searched out with his mind and found a goblin archer. He willed the archer to shoot his own kind, but the goblin mind was strange to Mel. Rather than an intelligent and thoughtful being, the goblin was primitive. All the goblin knew was his hate for humans, his hate for magic, and his hate for Erebus. Rather than shoot the other archers like Mel willed, the goblin simply fainted and fell down the mountain at Mel’s mind attack. Other goblins around noticed and they shot in unison a volley of poisonous arrows. Two struck Reginald, one in the back and one in the shoulder. Lyniander picked up his fallen companion and set him behind him. He shot his two last arrows and called Nathan to flee.

“Nathan!” Lyniander called, setting Reginald down and riding back into the fray. There he found Nathan, who was stabbing and slashing many many goblins, and he was bleeding more than a man should. His face was bloody, his arms were bloody, and his legs were bloody. He had obviously been stabbed many times by goblins. “Nathan! We must go back to Trinity! Reginald had been struck with poisonous arrows, and his doom will soon befall him!”

Nathan looked at the “Mel the Magic Man” wagon and nodded. He had given up on any potential help from Mel, or from Carl for that matter. Nathan broke out from the crowd of goblins and rode after Lyniander, who was picking up Reginald. Then, suddenly, a blinding flash of white light illuminated from the wagon. At this many goblins dropped their weapons and fled. The ones who stayed were turned into giant raspberries and were chased away by bears that appeared from the wagon’s light. Out from the ground came a colossal mud golem and the sky turned orange. Nathan’s horse grew wings and Reginald’s dead horse got up and walked away. When the white light died away, the wagon was gone, and Carl was there but not Mel.

Carl looked left and right and sadly muttered, “His greatest trick yet.”

Any questions? I know it wasn't very well written, but I had fun writing it, and I guess that's all that matters, right?
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Old Jun 03, 2013, 08:02 PM   #51
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Here's a stupid little letter I wrote about 'cowing' (like farming, but instead of farms with cows)

A Letter on Cowing

Spoiler:
To my son Adonijah at the Nimarail School of the Arcane,

My son, I am writing to you to warn you of your future. Magic is a risky business! Too risky for a poor son of mine, I reckon. So I urge you to take up cowing instead. I’m a cower, and I have earned a great deal of money through the business. Haven’t you ever wondered why I have such a nice home for all the cows?

Cowing’s a respectable business, unlike that ‘death magic’ stuff your learning. Why raise the dead when you can raise a cow? Cows don’t hurt you; cows don’t attempt to kill you like those skeletons do. And if you like the death part of death magic, then there’s plenty of that in cowing, too! You even get to eat the cows you kill – or sell them for a profit. Dead cows are just as good as live cows, I say.

With cows you can do countless things, unlike death magic. With death magic all you can do raise the dead or summon some spirits or become a lich. With cows you can eat them, milk them, sell them live, sell them dead, sell their milk, you can even sell the sick ones to Balseraph noblemen to use as projectiles. Also, they warn you of coming storms. Does death magic do all those things? I think not.

I urge you, Adonijah, to drop out of school and become a cower.

Your loving father,

Nikud
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Old Jun 08, 2013, 04:47 PM   #52
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Something I wrote for a game about the start of a balseraph civilization. Way too verbose of course:
Spoiler:


Perpentech

You sigh, examining once more the carnival troop before you.
Unfortunately, their request was a reasonable one, and would be granted in most cities, but the people of Jube had an uneasy history with clowns, even forbidding the wearing of bright clothing - though standards had slipped of late.
It was not surprising, considering your history - you had once been under a very different ruler - a mad clown king. The youth were fond of remembering him as a more benevolent ruler with whom there was great freedom, few rules and laughter rang through the streets.
You snort. Practically alone amongst the city, you still remember those days, though you were but a boy when they closed.
Ay, you remember the laughter that rang through the streets, you remember days spent laughing, cavorting and dancing, a smile eternally at your lips...yet inside there was not a scrap of pleasure. Unlike the rest you still pray that the winter would return, that this thaw would cease and the world freeze anew, for it was the winter that caused the clown king to abandon you, leading a trope of your best hunters into the wilderness.
It was barely two months after that that his regime was overthrown - the courtiers and noblemen had tried to keep the kingdom running, out of fear of their fickle leaders return. But Anargon would not allow it.
He had been a young man then, barely older then your son is now, and possessed with such cold determination. Not a passionate man, but one of such steely stuff that he made you wish you could match it.
It was not the most traditional of revolutionaries, but, by Mulcarn it worked!
He began by standing in the square arguing with the noblemen. At first they brushed him off with rhyme or jest, but this was not well taken by the masses, and soon they were forced to debate themselves hoarse.
And always they would be destroyed under Anargons cold stare.
Anargon had been allowed to go un-adorned in motley colors due to his status as a priest, but when he tore the clothes off his followers he drove society to its knees.
"What are these carnivals, freak shows, clowns? What have they ever done for you but bond you in this regime? You spend your days laughing and grinning - yet what do you have to smile about?
You, what is your name?"
He pointed to a young boy in the front of the crowd.
Reeling back, the youth muttered "..."
"Speak up boy, I'm not here to hurt you,"
"Tallemacuss Ruminations Smith, sir," the boy muttered.
"Tell me then...Rum, when was the last time you felt happy?"
"Well last night Rupert Deuteronomy Malacious - he bein' my little cousin sir - fell over when trying to climb into his stool and we all laugh-"
"I don't mean the last time you laughed, Rum," his voice was soft now, gentle in a way it rarely was, "I mean when you genuinely enjoyed yourself - felt happy, content, relaxed even?"
"I...I don't know sir," the boy said, hesitant at first, yet with increasing wonder, "I'm not sure I've...ever been, sir!"
With that Anargon lifted his hand high "From the mouths of sucklings might the path to salvation be reached! Can any among you here answer me very different? Can any one of you remember contentment?" His piercing eyes scanned the crowd analyticaly, searching for any disagreement.
Finding none he plucked the jesters cap from your head - for of course Tallemacuss Ruminations was you - and waved it aloft.
"This then, my brothers, is your chain! This costume in which you cavort has enslaved you! Abandon the trappings of a mad clown king - he has abandoned you! Cast down this revelry, return to the roots of what you are!" The crowd had become more swayed, but for a moment it seemed like they were not ready, that it was too soon to speak in the open, that in this critical time they might abandon him!
But you had been watching that night, standing spellbound at his words, and when they stopped and no-one made to move, you knew what you must do.
Jogging forward you alight upon the top of the steps and calmly, starring straight into the winter priest's astonished eyes, rip off your entire costume, until you stand naked in the ice. But you do not feel the cold, for Anargons normally chilly stare is upon you, and where normally it is cold and hard it is now unbearably soft and full of wonder.
This unguarded moment past, he simply nods once in silent gratitude then turns to berates the crowds reaction (for even in Old Jubilee it was considered scandalous to go naked in the streets).
"You would call out shame on him for abandoning his chains?! Fie onto thee clowns and cavorters - for whose is the greater shame? Is it the puppet who abandons its strings to stand tall on its own, or those that cling to the established order? For I tell you all, you are the puppets, and for too long have you been made to dance!
Stand free, as men born again in the shadow(???) of winter!"
It began as a ripple, until the square was full if naked, shivering bodies. But where in the days before this site would've awakened a passion or orgy in them, on that wintry morning there was no passion in any of them. No fire, no rush of emotion or drive, only a cold clinical transcendance, as each of you rose above your petty existence in a spirit of triumphant liberation.
In that frosty evening, you were born again, Anargon naming you Talleas (which means wisdom in high Illian) for that day you were born again in Mulcarn.

You remember little of what followed, only that all who had stripped of their costumes and carnival attire built a pillar of them in the castle courtyard, at Anargon's request. Those who would not abandon the clowning ways were slain and their bloodstained attire added to the pillar.
When the time came some of the men asked Anargon if they might burn it then and there. He turned on them, in cool condemnation:
"You would burn it, and thereby absolve yourself of your past shame - of the horror you allowed yourself to partake in? I think not! No, this pillar of chains will stand forever - a testament to your failure, and a reminder of what we must never be again!"

From that day forward order was returned to this city of jubilee and a time of stasis persevered. Anargon was appointed leader, though he would never take a crown or hold a title - indeed all jewlery of any sort, as well as dyes, silk and cotten were quickly banned.
Anargon led your people in the worship of Mulcarn, teaching them how to survive in the harsh winter. You he took as a protege, teaching you the governance of your people, and philosophizing about the importance of maintaining their path, never wavering, never faltering.

It was odd in truth, an age passed since the onslaught of winter, yet for you it feels like barely 60.
You had seen an age pass before you, and watched the seasons pass like a stream flowing quickly before your eyes. Watched as the kingdoms fractured and fell, watched as the winter grew, watched as the forests fled, watched an innumerable blizzards pass, watched the hunters come, again and again - like a history repeating itself, the same acts, the same deaths, the same births, the same feasts...and through it all, Jube remained forever constant, a city clothed in ice that ne'er saw the Sun.
In all those years Anargon and he aged barely three decades, and through Anargons constant presence, their society was maintained. There was no great improvement, no innovation - it simply stagnated into a self-sustaining cycle, with the status quo maintained.
Throughout this, you remember little specific, simply realising quickly that little change was occurring - particularly to you, as Anargon eventually explained the gift his god had granted you - that of a life that stretched millennia.
You remember how Anargon quickly made you his protege - when the king himself was unavailable you were made to serve in his stead. At first this only occurred for the leading of the hunting parties, but as you grew past childhood it quickly extended into all matters of governship, with the priest keeping you at his side always.
For a long time you were asked for little, but not twenty years past there was a change in you and your master...

In truth it had been a change in the very fabric of your world.
The brooding spirits of the ice god - from the karacochan swarms to the great aquilon - had long sensed its coming. Months before, their spirits had departed Jube in droves, and in some great haste, as though they were being called to return. Anargon, seemingly divining some hint of his patrons mind began to grow uncharacteristically brittle and worried, lashing out even at you when you attempted to seek his advice.
With your king shutting himself off from society you were slowly pushed into more responsibilities, forced to reside over matters of state.
Until at the fourth feast of [LOOK UP], when the hall, while he was addressing the triumphant hunters, was suddenly struck by a powerful force - a veritable avalanche of power that roiled upon them, hurling strong men to the floor, pinning them as they screamed in anguish.
You too were thrown from the councils dias and struck the side of the beastmasters chair, and throughout the cataclysm that followed were constantly drifting into and out of consciousness.
It seemed to last a lifetime - though in truth it was little more then a hour - but the image that lasted (as though it was burned into his mind) was that of Anargon standing as though frozen in his place, his face a tumultuous mix of powerful rage, agony and despair.
While you'd seen such emotions before, none going to your mind like that one - the lone figure standing in the raging maelstorm of divine power, his cloak billowing about him as if to match the chaos swirling about him, while he stood immovable through some massive exertion of will, and, most of all, that face (which never exposed a scrap of feeling) contorted in uncontrollable emotions.

Its still hard for you to remember how it ended but you remember that something powerful was ripped from you, and you began to age as fast as the rest of the city.
Not so with Anargon.
He was greatly changed by what occurred that night, and he seemed to wither before their very eyes.
He had always been greybearded and old - yet he had never seemed frail, always very active and involved.
But now it all changed - as their society flourished in the melting ice and forthcoming spring, so too did Anargon wither away like snow exposed to the noonday sun.
You expected that this decline would've made him a recluse as he had been in the days before, but it only seemed to invigorate him in that last year - as though your leader was suddenly conscious of his mortality and recognised that a legacy was necessary.
You became that legacy, and if he had lifted you up before, it was nothing to what he now did.
In a week you had become more then his confidente and aide - you were his heir in truth.
As he was confined more and more to his bed, he came to rely on you not just as a representative, but a policy maker as well.
When...he died, 6 months after the Death of Winter (as the youth have begun to call it) it was a terrible occasion.
The last of the aquilon fled their temple, and their last blizzard followed it - though you had cursed that blizzard and the snowstorms perhaps a million times, its departure arose a strong feeling of despair - that the old ways were now well and truly gone, and it was up to you to administer the coming of the new.
You buried Anargon in the traditional manner, hauling his body up the mountain and leaving it for the carrion to consume.

By common consensus you were his successor, but there were rumours that you were chosen as the only true spiritual successor, the only one who could maintain the favour of Mulcarn in the darkness.
If that rumour is true, then they chose foolishly. For a week before he died, the "high priest" confirmed what I suspected - that the Ice Lord was dead, and his precept wrought.
You sought to mantain order in Jube, to keep the old ways going.
But as the snow melted, as farming became viable, as the hardship that had persuaded the citizens of the old ways began to fade, they lost their affinity to it. Their shallow nature - which you had always suspected but hoped against - meant they cared nothing for the old ways, embracing the luxury of the new...and the even older. The young radicals now call on their clownish past with new vigour - some spit on the Pillar of Chains!
Only you remember the...fun it was then, and within your sight they dare not mention it...but there are whispers, whispers that grow stronger and more insistent with each passing day.
That had been eighty seasons ago, and each day you feel your grip on the city loosening. Your son has grown into a fine lad, and a excellent ambassador to the cities youth, treading the fine line of indulging in their rebellion and quietly halting it.
He breaks your reverie now, as he often does, for your mind tends to wander of late. His voice is harsher then usual, and filled with a maniac tune.
"Oh dear king, let the clowns in to play!
We know that if you had your way,
They'd not be let into Jube today.
But the town doesn't want your way today,
They want these clowns in to play!
And they'll not find any shelter today,
Nor would their clowning long keep the barbarians at bay.
So, dear king, let these clowns in to play!"
You gape at your son, astonished at this betrayal.
"Very well, let them in." You mutter bitterly.
Your son flashes a bright smile at you - out of place in his normally dour persona. And as for the singing...
As you hurry back to the longhouse, unwilling to watch the carnival enter, you feel the truth in your sons words - there would be open riot if the hunters brought back their bodies after you turned them away. Despite this, you are still reeling from the way he said it - and worse, that maniacally meery twinkle in his eye...

Later that evening...

You attack the town finances viciously, trying to shut out the revelry outside. It seems to you that practically everyone is joining in with the festivities, and the noise of it is a constant irritation...Ghosts of the past seems to speak to you through it - vaguely sinister snatches of the nightmare clowns of your youth, your mother's laugh as she is torn apart by freaks - laughing hysterically for her families sake... and through it all, Anargon's sad, disappointed voice - he seems to loom before you, condemning you for your failure, lecturing you once more about the slippery slope.
"I tried, master!" You cry silently too him. "I have fought this decadence with every inch that I had, I have tried-"
You know what he would say then - that there is no point trying, that sometimes one must 'bet for seven with four in the hand' to use a somnium example...
A knock.
But this was no ordinary knock - not Maccus' strong, sharp smack nor Banly's hesitant rat-a-tat-tat...this was a ominous, hollow rapping.
/wet slap, like whacking a sandal into a paved road.
Worse, you realise that the music outside had stopped and as much as you hated the sound its absence leaves a odd vacuum in its wake. Nor is it replaced by the normal sibilance(???) of Jubian nightlife - no tonight there was nothing, not even the howl of the wind - the sound of it whistling through the Pillar of Chains had always calmed you. That was why you placed your office in its shadow after all...
It comes again, more insistent then before.
You sigh, heaving yourself out of the chair with exaggerated care. You pull open the old door and gasp, leaning on it for support.
For before you stands Anargon - and you can remember every scar, every pit.
He smiles beatifically, "Our city we've come to take, I heard you've held it for our sake?"
You can do nothing but stand entranced, once again you are the little boy, made shy by his notice.Eventually you realise that he awaits a answer and begin to garble a response - he breaks you off with a toothy smile.
"Oh! Have you worked the day away?
My dear Rum, you look so weary,
There's a time for even you to play.
So come out, and we'll make merry!"
Suddenly you feel so foolish. You take his hand - it feels even more bony and gnarlier then you remember - and he leads you out into the square. It seems that half the town is there, and all are talking and laughing in excited voices. Some greet you raucously, and it startles you, for this is the friendliest exchange youve had in years.
For some reason that makes you absurdly happy, even as Anargon leads you to a break in the crowd, where a group of torch bearers stood apart from the rest.
"To breathe of fire - 'tis a great thing,
And yet the breathing bears no sacrifice,
For 'tis a mere trick - like making an iceicle sing.
In a brand of fire - there lies sacrifice.
For in the screams as flesh is shorn,
Lies the choice of fire over ice,
A choice of Bhall not the dead Mulcarn!
But what else could we scorch in Jube?
What else could we unmake to mark the end of winters cold?
To rend the rebellion gone and not pertube,
Upon the puppets that I would mold?"
As he spoke the laughter amongst the torch bearers reached fever pitch, and one - laughing hysterically - began to...cook himself. The torchers laughter grew, mingling with screams as the hapless torcher seared flesh and bone.
Anargon clacks his teeth in approval, a mannerism much louder then it once was, and turns to you, with an odd smile on his face.
A bonfire I have conjured,
For your party let us alight
Said pillar of kindling masked
And celebrate through the night!
He hands you a green-flamed torch, and leads you to the icy pillar of chains. A thought strikes you, coming slow and weak out of the mist that snares your mind - that its odd to structure a bonfire around ice - and you hesitate, looking back at Anargon...but he only grins that toothy sneer and gestures you forward.
As you move further from him, the mist begins to disperse and a part of you starts to scream out to stop, to turn back...
But a much larger faction only laughs - a sound alien and cruel - and pushes your limbs ever forward.
When you reach the pillar you turn and look at your master and, fighting against unwilling limbs, drop the brand into the oily mass.
The result is horrifyingly spectacular, with the flames moving like magic, engulfing the bonfire, and quickly licking at nearby houses. As you stand, unaccountably sad, something goes out of you, and the ice that has so long protected and preserved the city fades, with the city itself seeming to dim...
And then you are laughing, hysterically and growing to a fever pitch, and your master is there, dancing with you in unadultured pleasure as he grins with triumphant malice.

And deep, deep inside you, a voice is screaming and weeping, watching helplessly as you dance with a skeleton to the music of your city burning around you...

The next day a small party leaves Jube, escaping as the inferno engulfs their friends. There are scouts, warriors, even a small band of settlers - the makings of a civilization. But their every action is bubbling with laughter, and they tumble and cavort for every move, all to please their ever present, ever watchful, mad clown-king.
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 01:25 PM   #53
trexeric
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Dead Marshes
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Here's a 'nice' little story about a man in isolation:

The Illusionary Island

Spoiler:
The man was very social, and little did anyone see him without his friends. He was a captain of a Lanun ship, and served under Falamar for as long as he could remember, although he couldn’t remember too much, anyways. When a storm came, when he was sailing through unknown waters, he panicked. The man hid in his cabin and waited for the storm to pass as his crew scrambled out on the deck, hoping to safely harbor the ship somewhere. His crew saw an island, small out in the middle of the ocean. There they went, and on the southern beach they set up port. The man went off the ship and was soon struck down by mutineers. Angry at the man for abandoning them in the storm, the mutineers dragged him to the center of the island in a sort of jungle. They left the island the next morning.

But the man was not as dead as they thought. Unconscious, maybe, but he was not dead in the least. When he awoke, the man looked around him, and all he saw was the jungle. Even though he was not the brightest flame in the torch, the man had enough sense to fill his canteen with water in the pool and make a small, stick hut. He gathered fruits and he waded out into the ocean to spear fish. In these days he would talk to himself constantly, in order to keep himself company. Since the days of his youth, the man could not stand the sound of silence.

When his food was collected, the man would always line it in a row as if he were at a banquet, although there was no table and no one was there. He would say a brief prayer to the sleeping god and then he would dine on whatever was on his wooden plank. The other planks sat in front of him upon an imaginary table, and in his mind’s eye he saw ghosts of his crew sitting and eating. After every meal he would see his crew leave into the jungle, and he would attempt to follow them but they’d be gone. He would leave the planks of uneaten food on the ground, and every night something came to eat it as the man slept.

The island was about five kilometers long, and often the man would wander about it. On each of its ends were mountains, the eastern mountain being shorter than the western one. The man’s hut lay on the feet of the eastern mountain, so he rarely got lost going back home at sunset. One day during the man’s dinner of fish and bananas, another storm blew in. The man ran for cover in his hut, but he saw the hut’s roof was blown off. The man went back to the ‘table’ and saw each of the crew members had a weapon of some type. Then they left, and one said to him, “Off to war!”

Then the man saw, out to sea, a silhouette of a ship. Then lightning struck behind it and the silhouette was clear. The ship slowly moved into the southern beach and out walked a large crew of men. At their head was a man whom seemed familiar to the man. The captain of the ship came to the man and said, “Who might you be? I thought none lived out in the middle of the ocean!”

The man responded, “Idno, Ifgomeneme.”

“What? What language are you speaking? What land are you from?”

“La-oo”

The captain seemed to understand that as ‘Lanun’, and forced the man onto the ship. Then the ground began to rumble, and the man saw his crew running down the beach, heading away from the western mountain.

The captain said, “Let us leave! The mountain is about to erupt!” and the men boarded the ship. When they were about three kilometers away from the island, the mountain burst forth in a spring of ash and fire. Rocks flew onto the deck and killed about five men. The captain took the man into the cabin and walked back out onto the deck. Within a few hours, the deck was safe from storm and volcano, and the man walked out to the deck.

The captain said to him, “Hello, I am Falamar. I realize you may have been isolated on that island for a long time, but we will take you back to Innsmouth – back to society.”


Yes, his speech was supposed to be all jumbled up and wacky. While he talked to himself, he sort of developed a language all his own.
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"Stand a little less between me and the sun." - Diogenes of Sinope to Alexander the Great
"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you are sitting on a red hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That is relativity." - Albert Einstein
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