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The Drama of Man

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Stories & Let's Plays' started by DwarfMurdered, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    The Drama of Man

    An endless, expansive void stretched on into infinity. There was neither light nor darkness, neither matter nor energy, neither time nor space. There simply was. It contained nothing and yet it contained everything, for the universe had yet to be and had already been born. It had already lived, expanded, contracted, and died an infinite number of times. For in this "place", time did not exist. There was existence, and yet there was not.

    From this void emanated a thought, simple, and translated thusly into English, "I'm bored. Let's play a game..."

    And suddenly there was light and darkness, matter and energy, time and space. Fourteen billion years came and went in an instant, galaxies assembling, stars being birthed and dying in spectacular supernova as well as simply becoming dimmer until there was nothing but a white dwarf left. New stars were born, and with them, tiny minorities of matter condensed. One, a speck of dust orbiting a newborn star, soon become the third speck of dust orbiting its parent.

    This tiny, molten speck was nothing in comparison to the rest of the universe, and yet it was everything in comparison. For it cooled, and condensed, and its crust gave rise to oceans. Oceans gave rise to even smaller specks of dust that consumed yet smaller specks of dust to grow. These specks grew more efficient at consuming the light of their star and other specks, until, eventually, they became capable of making other specks of dust help them with this process. Tools.

    The toolmakers, Man, walked upon this speck and across it, spreading their reach until finally, they at least sparsely inhabited all four corners of it. The stage was set, the great game ready to be played. The Drama of Man was about to be witnessed.


    ______________________________________​


    With Beyond Earth on the way, I've found my interest in CiV revitalized. I've decided to channel this into my writing. I would like to be able to finish this in time for Beyond Earth and have most of the nations make it over to the new world, but that might simply not be feasible considering I have only two and a half months to write it, roughly. Of course, Beyond Earth may lack the features I need to continue it, unfortunately, considering how Firaxis decided to cut other features from CiV on launch. But I shall see.

    I won't give away any of the details of the game. You can try to figure out what I'm doing and how on your own ;).

    Table of Contents
    1: I Am the Alpha
    2: We Honorable Few
    3: The Desertwalkers
    4: Coming Soon!
     
  2. Heerlo

    Heerlo Jedi Master Hearlo

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    Subbed. I'll be watching this.

    And welcome to the forums!
     
  3. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    1: I Am the Alpha

    The icy wind wound its way through the snow-covered branches of the trees as the low-hanging winter sun reached its apex in the sky, its rays mostly blocked by the woods. Within the dancing shadows of the forests moved creatures, both small and large, some walking on four legs, and others, two...

    A black bear tore at its kill, a caribou, ripping the skin to reach the precious meat underneath, unaware of the other creatures quietly approaching it in the shade. It took another bite of the muscle and swallowed when suddenly a roar rang out and a strange white beast with long black hair and icy blue eyes clambered into the clearing. The beast wore the pelt of the bear's brothers and roared their cry, challenging the bear. Unyielding, the black bear reared back onto its own back legs as well and shouted back, demanding the beast leave it be. But there the answer came back louder, and in multitudes. A dozen of the beasts joined the first, clothed in the pelts of other animals, roaring. Fearing defeat and death, the black bear decided to retreat from its kill, scrambling into the brush.

    Four of the men latched onto the dead caribou and lifted it up, preparing to bring it back to the camp. Bear-pelt grunted something to the others and they formed up together, disappearing into the brush in the opposite direction the black bear had run. Their families would all appreciate the meat back at the settlement...



    Rarshed wasn't much. A small assembly of huts on a nearly barren tundra, surrounded by plentiful game and fish in the sea. But it was home to Bear-pelt, otherwise known as Grrum. He held no formal title, for the people had no concept of formalities, but he was the de facto leader of the settlement. The Alpha, his people looked away from his gaze in submission, for he was a brutish, muscularly lean man. Though, they were not many people.

    There were some smiles as the men brought the scavenged kill to the center of Rarshed, though no cheers. Times were hard. They were always hard in the tundra, where Man had to work tooth and nail to survive. The soil was unsuitable for crops. Consequently, the people of Rarshed relied entirely on hunting and foraging, and it wasn't easy to hunt the game of the tundra.

    They were hard, tough people, even the women and the children. Most of the children died early as well, either from exposure, starvation, predators, or disease. Their strength would become extremely important later on, but for now, it merely helped them to eke out what little life they could from the barrens.

    Grrum grunted to his men to begin skinning the beast. They would use every single part of it, the skin, bones, meat, everything. The people of Rarshed had little choice. It would be cooked and prepared for the whole village by that night, but in the meantime, Grrum had other business.

    He made his way towards his hut, no larger than the others, keenly aware of the bitingly cold wind blowing between the shoddy structures. It was not uncommon for the buildings to collapse. But he did not fear this, for he feared very little as he entered the hut. Within, a small fire illuminated and warmed the inside. A woman cried out in pain as she clutched her belly, drawing Grrum's attention for a moment. His second wife was in labor with his third wife and a few of his daughters attending to the woman.

    The brute grunted. The matter did not concern him, birth was not a man's job. Grrum hoped for another strong son to come of the wife as he walked over to his firstborn son who was watching the ordeal with fascination, "Do not watch. Not woman. You, man. Come." The boy barely had any of his father's thick black facial hair as he got to his feet and followed the man out of the hut, "Yes?"

    "Shhum, man now, must learn, must take place." Grrum briskly walked towards the central firepit, snow crunching beneath his feet. Villagers passed and looked away from the pair as the boy simply followed his father closely. They quickly came upon the pit. The caribou was surrounded by men working on it, men brushed aside by Grrum who snatched a stone knife from one of them and held it out to Shhum, "Cut heart. Eat."

    The boy knew better than to refuse an order, though he did not wish to cut the dead animal, he took the knife and set about it, cutting through skin, doing his best to crack the ribcage and move it out of the way, until finally, he had the heart in his hands. The men were already cooking the rest of the meat on the fire as the rest of the village had assembled. Night had fallen and the stars had come out, the brilliant Milky Way strewn across the sky. In the south, the aurora danced its beautiful dance.

    Grrum announced, "Today, Shhum Grrumdun, not boy. Today, man." The brute motioned to Shhum, his eyes ordering the boy to eat. He did as he was told, quickly forcing himself to take a bit of the raw heart, chew, and swallow. The rest of the village let out a few roars and shouts as Grrum yelled, "Eat!" They set about it immediately, tearing into the rest of the animal.

    Shhum, meanwhile, sighed and took another bite. As he chewed, he watched the aurora's dance, mesmerized by it. He wished he could dance along with it...

    _________________________________​


    The sun beat down on the Shhum's brow as he crouched and traced out the footprints of a man he was tracking. It was much hotter here than at home in Rarshed, and the grasses grew thicker as well. The yellow brush swayed in the wind as the man got to his feet. "Close?" asked Daruum, one of the pair Shhum had brought with him on their journey. "Close."

    The trio of men took off after the tracks, Shhum watching them closely, changing direction when they changed direction. The steps were close together, meaning these men were walking. Eventually they would catch them. They'd been tracking this group for almost a week as they ran quietly across the savannah.

    Half an hour later, they found them. Six men, walking together with clubs and other equipment. They had to be scouting, as there was no settlement anywhere nearby that Shhum near of. Daruum whispered, "Too many fight. Die." Shhum motioned him to relax, "No fight. Track. Follow. Find home."



    They followed the men another three days before they finally returned to their home. Smoke in the sky told them they were close, causing Shhum to order his men to stand back on the hills and wait. The foreigners crossed a river and made their way through a field of white bush-plants before finally disappearing in the horizon. The three men remained lying on the hilltop as Shhum thought back over the path they took before finally deciding this these people lived to the east of Rarshed. He decided he would have to investigate closer later as he stood, "Come, go home. Tell brother." The trio ran down the other side of the hill, eager to inform their home of the possible danger.




    ___________________________________​


    The wind whipped at Shhum's grizzled face. It had been many, many years since the night he'd eaten the caribou heart, and how far he had come in his adventures. Plainsmen to the east, small clusters of men throughout the tundras. But this was not a normal wind, no. It was a hot wind. A damn hot wind, with incredibly annoying pieces of what Shhum could only assume was some strange dirt. He tried to spit some of the grit out of his mouth, but found no saliva to use. Grumbling, the tundrawalker took another swig from the waterskin and looked across the deserts and patches of green at a city in the distance. The tundrawalker could see people tending to small gardens and other patches of land along the river.

    This one was to the north of Rarshed, nestled in a hellishly hot land and full of this annoying dirt. It had been incredibly difficult to find, as the unusual dirt combined with the wind destroyed most of the tracks in the area quite quickly. But Shhum had done it. Daruum walked up next to him, clothed in the same thin skins, cape, and hood that Shhum was wearing and had designed for this journey, "What now?"



    "Go home. Cannot trust. Sandwalkers north. Plainswalkers east. Sea west. Ice south." Shhum swiveled about on his heel and began walking back to the river to restock their supplies of water. Daruum and the others followed closely behind, "So?" The grizzled veteran looked back for a moment at the younger man, "So?? Nowhere else go! Much land taken!" Shhum grumbled. His brother wouldn't like this. Their people were beginning to ache for more land, better land, land that could actually yield crops and other sources of food. Their people were growing quickly. No doubt the sandwalkers and plainswalkers were growing even faster with their better land. Shhum didn't doubt that things would come to a head eventually. His people tired of the tundra...

     
  4. Arexander

    Arexander Trucker

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    > New account on the forums
    > Writes a spectacular start for a story with an undisclosed plan for the future.

    You're not a new alter-ego for Helmling, are you? :p



    All conspiracy theories aside, the story has a great start and I'll be definitely following. Keep going! :goodjob:
     
  5. Silverman6083

    Silverman6083 History-Lover

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    Subbed, and welcome to the forums(the Stories is the best forum) :goodjob:
     
  6. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    Ha, no, I am not Helmling. Just another guy with a boatload of writing experience and some free time in which to use it. :p
     
  7. Arexander

    Arexander Trucker

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    Glad to hear that! It's always good to get new blood into the story section of the forums! :D

    The story behind me asking if you're an alter-ego was Helmling starting a story a couple of years back and then a new account under the name of the_unbound started his own story a couple of days after Helmling's one. Over time some people noted the similarities between Helmling's and the_unbound's world maps and asked if they were using the same map, which led to Helmling revealing that it was all a ploy to combine two stories into one collab, one part of which presented the happenings from the leader's perspective, and the other showing it from the view of a common citizen. It gathered much interest and was deemed one of the better stories on the CiV Stories forum. Also, Helmling has been a bit quiet nowadays, which has lead at least me thinking he might be plotting something again. :mischief:
     
  8. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    Certainly an interesting idea but this story is definitely not intended to be conventional in terms of how most stories here are written.
     
  9. Heerlo

    Heerlo Jedi Master Hearlo

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    Great update. Nice to see a new writer on these forums, especially one with such skill.
     
  10. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    2: We Honorable Few


    Rarshed had grown substantially since the days of Grrum and Shhum, its population increasing enormously. What was once a tiny collection of hovels had grown substantially, though the buildings will still shoddy huts. The people of Rarshed were beginning to seriously strain the land as it was, as Chief Farun entered his hut. A grandson many times removed from Grrum, Farun was the recognized Chief of Rarshed, another man with incredible strength, the characteristic icy blue eyes of his family, as well as wearing their thick black beards.

    Within the hut were a number of other men, managers or subordinates of one form of another. One of them spoke, "Men return from scout mission, speak of more Desertwalkers, east of Plainswalkers..."



    "...Left alone, came home, follow orders." Farun nodded in understanding as he considered the situation. Over the past many years, the tundrawalkers had kept tabs on the desert and plainsdwellers. Their potential enemies continued to grow just as fast as they had, and in some of cases, faster. The truth was these other peoples simply had better land. The plainsdwellers had even begun making vast stretches of land devoid of trees and then planting crops in the soil. But they maintained their secrecy, staying away from direct contact. Consequently, neither group had ventured into the unyielding and desolate tundra.

    Of course, it didn't help that a large group of hostile men inhabited the lands between Rarshed and the plainswalkers. This group would be between the new desertwalkers if the directions were true, and besides, the new walkers were probably too far to be of any concern anyway, so Farun stated "Ignore them. Continue scout missions, but stay close home. Go too far, we cannot. Concern at home, wild men. Answer?"

    A thick barrel of a man pounded his chest, clothed in bear-pelts with wild crimson hair, "Fight! Kill! They want fight, we give! They fight, not talk! We do same!" Most of the other men pounded their chests in reply, yelling their agreement. The wild tundramen had harassed their people for too long, taking prisoners, stealing wives. Farun nodded in agreement, "We fight. Our way."



    Suddenly, a man rushed into the hut, "Farun, desertwalker scouts, here!" The chief looked incredibly surprised. Normally someone would have seen them coming. And normally the desertwalkers would have never entered the forbidding tundra, "Come, men, meet them!" They grabbed a series of clubs and simple stone weapons, and ran out to the edge of town to meet these desertwalkers.



    The group of men rushed past the huts as fast as they could, yelling for the people to get out of the way. Farun could not have these men return to their home if they were hostile. After two minutes of sprinting they reached the edges of the village, and came upon a small band of tan men wearing desertwalker clothing. What was obstensibly their leader spoke, though his accent was very strange, and a few of his words made no sense to Farun, "Hold soldiers, we mean no harm. We do not come bearing arms, only curiosity."

    "Cur-io-sity? What? Speak right," asked Farun as he held his hands back to stop the men. They all skipped to a stop, some throwing up snow and dirt in an attempt to stop their momentum.

    The tall, tanned, rather skinny leader spoke once more, "Curiosity. Peace. We wanted to know what was down here. In the tundra." He motioned to the north, then pantomimed walking south, then east, then south, then west, and pointed at Rarshed, "And we found you. We heard tales of fierce warriors. We wanted to see for ourselves."

    Farun pointed his club at the scouts, having somewhat comprehended their words, and said with malice in his voice, "Nothing see here. Go home. Do not return." The warriors began growling as he ordered the threat to leave, preparing for a fight if necessary. They would not stand for these people endangering their home.

    "Alright. We're leaving." The leader threw his hands in the air slowly, and backed away a few paces before turning completely, "Come, men. We're going home." The small band condensed and moved off into the wilderness as Farun watched, and remained watching, until they disappeared. Finally, when he was sure they were gone, the warriors walked back into town as Farun spoke with one of the other men, "Dangerous. They know our home..."

    Meanwhile, as the scouts walked, one of them came up to their leader, "That could have gone better." Their leader sighed and shrugged, "What do you expect of people barely above barbarians. We got what we wanted, we found the warriors of the south. Uncultured simpletons. They will pose no threat to Triaquam. Iteos, however..."
     
  11. cpm4001

    cpm4001 Goggleman

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    How did this slip past me? It's utterly, utterly amazing! Subbed!

    And Silverman's right; Stories and LPs is the best forum. That's why there's like 4 of us who tend to be on it regularly...
    Incidentally, @Arexander - if I recall right, Helmling has said he's off Civ until we get Civ VI...but I wouldn't put it past him to crop back up with something soonish.
     
  12. Silverman6083

    Silverman6083 History-Lover

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    Yeah I'm not buying it :nono:
     
  13. DwarfMurdered

    DwarfMurdered Chieftain

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    3: The Desertwalkers

    "Take up your positions men, we will crush these savages just the same as the last ones!" roared a tall, tan-skinned man with brown eyes and motley brown hair cut close to his scalp. He wore the rags of the dunes, the capes and veils that helped to hide the skin of the desertwalkers from the searing hot sun, and clutched the same bronze spear as his men. They, however, carried shields, bronze helmets, various bits of leather armor, and so on. Possessing one of the first standing, organized armies in the world, the Ataians of Triaquam were not a force to be trifled with, as these barbarian savages would soon learn.



    "Forward!!" he bellowed, and they marched onward, row by row, column by column, their steps synchronized. Across the sands, the shimmering forms of the barbarians let out a roar and began charging towards their aggressors, completely unaware of just how devastating the Ataian tactics were. Every fight they had encountered before had been disorganized bands of men, rarely led by any one person. But the Ataians had unity. They had Tiver.

    "Halt! Spears forward! Shields at the ready!" came the order. The civilized men came to an abrupt stop, the front two rows bringing their spears forward, ready to impale the barbarians should they continue their charge. The rows behind them supported the rows in front, ready to dissipate any impact.

    There was none, as expected. Instead, the barbarians began to spread outwards, concerned at the discipline of the Ataians, breaking into three groups. The center, composed of cowards lacking both courage and wit, turned tail and started to run. The left and right, having some innate sense of military tactics, attempted to encircle and get past the spears, but found only a waiting wall of yet more spears as Tiver ordered, "Wedge! Charge!" The spearmen moved quickly, shifting their lines in a few moments to adopt a wedge formation and charging at their aggressors.



    A few minutes of fighting later, and the barbarians had been utterly broken. Those that didn't run were slaughtered by the spearmen. At the end, the men went from body to body, thrusting their spears into the savage's skulls to ensure they were dead. Meanwhile, Tiver walked among the dead, marking his few fallen brethren, and snearing at the barbarians. His lieutenant came up next to him as Tiver stood looking at a fallen Ataian, "Sir, the rest are running. Shall we give chase?"

    "No. They will tell tales of the city in the desert and its invincible soldiers. Their stories may bring stronger foes but we will break them too," replied Tiver with an air of serenity and absolute confidence. He looked back at what he saw as a gleaming city, ordering the lieutenant, "Mobilize the men, they are to return to their patrols and guard the salt mines. I will bring a few men to carry the dead back home and report our victory to the Allseer myself." The lieutenant slammed his fists together, knuckle striking knuckle, "By your command, sir."



    Triaquam was a far cry from the shanty town of Rarshed. Built of brick and carefully planned, its center was the all-important trade square, where the Ataians bartered goods and services. Food came in from the outer river farms, and goods often went out. Tiver passed through it carefully, weaving between the people. Few of them paid him much attention, as he preferred it that way. Finally, he reached the large brick palace and entered it, passing the guards easily.

    "Ah, General Tiver, I assume things went well?" the woman's voice was like music to his ears. The Allseer was an incredible bronze goddess with raven hair to her shoulders wearing an carefully decorated, incredibly rare robe of silk imported for a gargantuan sum of salt from distant lands. The general felt his blood boil as their brown eyes locked for a single fleeting moment before he fell to his knee, "Of course, Allseer. The savages were repulsed, the majority killed. The stragglers will continue to spread warnings of our people."

    "Good. You never fail, Tiver. Come, rise," she slowly motioned for him to stand before spinning about and wandering deeper into the palace, towards the central oasis, "Our other plans are in motion." Tiver quickly got to his feet and followed her, easily catching up, "You've rounded up the people necessary?"

    The goddess nodded slowly as they exited the gloom and entered the carefully crafted central oasis. She walked along the water before answering, "With some careful negotiations with the far-off Anglicans, yes. We've convinced a suitable number of people to join your expedition. I expect you will not fail me this time either, Tiver?"

    The general embraced her suddenly by the water, "I never fail, Illandre."



    ____________________________________​


    The spearmen and settlers wandered for weeks towards the north before finally coming upon a suitable location. They pasted carefully by multitudes of barbarians, the army carefully standing against and warding off the hordes so that the settlers might pass. Finally, reaching a fertile river valley with the ever-precious marble, wheat, and an oasis, Tiver dug a hole in the ground and declared, "Here! Your new home, Beirsum! Settle it for the glory of all Ataia!" He planted the first seed in the dirt and covered it, "The seed is planted, and around it shall grow a new city, one to rival the glory of Triaquam!"

     
  14. PortugalPower

    PortugalPower Chieftain

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    This is amazing! One of the best stories I have ever seen!
     
  15. Kraken98

    Kraken98 Chieftain

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    @ Arexander: Out of curiosity, exactly what story would you be referring to? I've read one of Helmlings masterful works, and I'd love to check out this one you speak of.
     
  16. Arexander

    Arexander Trucker

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    I went digging through the pages just to get you an answer but holy macaroni, page 14? It's bee three years already?? Huh.

    Anyway, here they are:
    The Philosopher Kings by Helmling, the story that started it all, and Unbound by the_unbound a.k.a. undercover Helmling, the story that gathered the masses and finally revealed the truth.

    I apologize to the OP for the advertising of these stories in his thread, I just didn't want to exclude anyone else interested in these stories from finding them easily after my conspiracy theories. :blush:

    Also, I did NOT expect to go digging that far back in time to find these. MAN, I feel old now...
     
  17. hande

    hande Chieftain

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  18. Tambien

    Tambien Theseus, Duke of Athens

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    Awesome story, keep it up!
     

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