The Writer's Circle

Show off your creativity! Also come here for signature and avatar requests, community projects and competitions.
User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:15 pm

Thanks man.

Tricks

Chapter 4

Sarah told Matt that they should continue their conversation about what was going on at her house, and so Matt had no choice but to oblige. He didn't mind, knowing that there must have been a good reason for it. After all, they were probably attacked in the first place because that Anastasia Shroud had overheard them.

The only thing she said on the subject before the end of school was, "And my parents can explain a bit more about it. They will have some very important things to say on the matter, in fact."

She sounded very neutral but, having known her for a long time, Matt could sense a hint of gravity in what she said. Or at least, he felt it was subtle.

He waited by the main gate after school. Mr Brennan, the somewhat portly English teacher, paced around in a high-vis jacket as the rest of students passed through the gates.

"Alreet Matt?"

Matt turned to see his friends Alex and Joe.

"Sup."

"We're heading into town," said Alex. "Want to come with?"

"Can't I'm afraid. I'm going to Sarah's today."

"Oooh." Alex and Joe looked at each other and shared a conspiratorial smirk. "I see how it is."

"Huh?"

Then Matt realised that these two didn't really know how close his and Sarah's family were, and than they had been going to each other's houses regularly since they were kids. It just didn't often happen after school. He'd normally go off with these two and a bunch or others.

"We knew it."

"Knew what?" Matt tried to sound neutral, which he realised only made him seem more suspicious.

"We noticed you two talking to each other every now and then. Noticed you flirting."

"What do you know about talking to girls?" said Matt.

"Not much, not much," Alex said, still grinning. "I mean, compared to you."

"You're an idiot." Matt couldn't help but grin.

"Only messing man. I'll see you around. Have...fun."

He waved them off and continued the wait.

The number of students passing through thinned. Eventually Mr Brennan even left and Matt was still standing there, around 10 minutes or so after the last bell.

Matt was about to go back in the school but then Sarah emerged, half-running up the driveway to where he was.

"Sorry about the wait," she said. "Ms Walker talks a lot."

Matt laughed. "Maybe you should stop indulging them, teacher's pet."

"Hey. It's not my fault they like me. I guess I'm just a very likeable person."

"Totally. So...are we heading off or what?"

"Hmm? Oh. I guess I forgot to say. My father's going to pick us up."

"Thank. God. I'm tired. Make me a coffee when we get to yours."

"I'll get mother to do it." said Sarah. "I didn't realise nodding off in class was that tiring."

"It baffles me also."

"Just wait until you have to do hero work." Sarah turned to him with a wink. Then she frowned, as if remembering herself.

"Stop it," said Matt. "I don't like it when you frown."

"I just remembered how dangerous things are going to be now."

"I know. I wish you would trust me a bit more. You know, I might be secretly competent."

"I'm sorry. You're right. You're a lot calmer about this than I was, even before I learned a bit more about the situation. You're probably going to be better than me at this. I think, I know it. I know you're going to be really good."

"Wow," said Matt. "That was a quick change of tune."

"That's my father."

A moment later the black car pulled up. Matt could not say what make it was for the life of him, but recognized it from previous journeys with Sarah's family.

Sarah's father Percy promptly got out.

"Matt," he said, smiling warmly. "So good to see you."

Matt remembered not thinking Sarah's father suited his name. 'Percy' conjured up the image of someone scrawnier, gentler. Not that he was mean - far from it. He was one of the nicest people Matt knew. But there was an undeniable strength about him. An aura. And it wasn't just because he was well-built and dressed, and had a strong narrator-like voice. Handsome, with streaks of grey in his hair.

His wife, too, was like that. Beautiful and strong. And putting the pieces together from what Sarah said earlier, it suddenly made sense.

"Sarah told me about what happened," Percy went on. "I'm sorry I wasn't there to help, but I'm glad you were able to handle it on your own."

"Uh, it's alright," said Matt. "You were at work an' all."

"He was amazing, dad," said Sarah. "I couldn't have done it without him."

"It seems like quite the auspicious beginning," said Percy with a smile. "Now kids, get in."

* * * * * * * * * *

Their house on Ashfax Avenue was, to outsiders at least, surprisingly modest in size, and quaint in its design. Percy Hargate and his wife Alicia Hargate were high-ranking civil servants and obviously earned well, but the muted and traditional look of their home suited their personalities. Bookish, scholarly. Sociable, but also aloof in their own way. There was a shed in the garden which Percy was said to retire to on occasion, to work on his notes or on his books.

The kids sat on the couch next to each other, while Percy sat in the armchair by the fireplace. No-sleeve sweater over a white shirt and tie, smoking a pipe. Longish hair ruffled very slightly.

"Where's mother?" said Sarah.

"Kept behind at work," said Percy, and then turned to Matt with a wink. "Fighting warlocks."

Matt's eyes lit up.

"Ha ha," said Sarah dryly. "Old in-joke, Matt..."

She couldn't help but grin anyway, though, and Percy quietly laughed. Matt felt stupid for a brief moment.

"Fortunately," said Percy, "it's a bit more mundane work. Diplomatic. Stemming the flow of clans going from the Community and joining the Shroud."

"It's so stupid," said Sarah. "Do they really believe they have something to gain?"

"Now now. These are the people we're trying to protect, even if they are ditching our side. We must never forget that. We have to respect their decision and try to win them back. Even if they are wrong. It's the same in the non-magical world."

Sarah looked at Matt askance. "Everyone says my father is way too cautious and hands-off."

"Nonsense," said Percy. "There are plenty of people in the government who are hands-on and reckless enough to cancel out my disposition. Like your mother." He took a puff. "Wait, that came out a little wrong."

"I'm telling her you said that," said Sarah.

Despite them talking very casually about the magical world Matt was only just learning about, he was used to interactions like this by now.

"I didn't know you worked as part of the government," said Matt.

"Indeed," said Percy, "and hopefully that will stay the case for all the people who have no reason to have knowledge of...'the magical world'. People who have no practical magical ability, and whose attempts to grasp this world would only complicate matters. Perhaps start a war - one they would not win. Alicia and I are part of a governmental department that deals with this world. And yes, of course, it's a secret from the Prime Minister, who is non-magical. So don't tell him."

"I don't understand," said Matt. "Why do you need to be part of our government exactly?"

"You ask the right questions, Matt. You are more perceptive than you look..."

"Father," said Sarah. "You're doing that thing again where you accidentally insult someone."

"How did he insult me though?" said Matt.

Sarah paused for a moment. "Forget I said anything."

"Anyway," said Percy. "Good question. You see, and now don't get alarmed, but we have been influencing the government behind the scenes. Pulling strings. But only merely as a matter of keeping the knowledge of magic secure. For example, avoiding certain building sites that hold a portal to another place. We do not aim to go further than that and respect the right of non-magical people to govern themselves. There are departments like ours all over the world, magical governments in secret working together to keep our worlds separate, and of course to uphold peace and work on policies that only concern ourselves."

Matt listened in awe as the fire crackled in the background and Percy took another puff of his pipe. Sarah sat patiently waiting, obviously already knowing all this.

"So," said Matt. "I'm magical now."

"That is correct."

"But how?"

"You absorbed the red crystal. One of the few crystals of power, also known as the Tricks. The original sources of magic."

"So that's where it went. I absorbed it. I thought it was destroyed when I touched it."

"It was merely disposing of its unnecessary physical form."

"Then why does Sarah still have hers?"

"Because it is necessary. Her ability works differently from yours. She only has to draw from its power when she needs to. Once that is done, the power needs a physical form to return to. Whereas your power is always with you. It will become clear why later. Now, I believe you have another question nagging away at you. And that is: why you?"

Matt nodded.

"It is a solemn story," said Percy. "Listen carefully."
Image

User avatar
Rik
Posts: 3662
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:12 pm
NNID: RikTheNinja
3DS Friend Code: 1032-1749-4002

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Rik » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:19 am

So the Nano burst kind of ran out thanks to essays, did manage to get another chapter finished tonight though.

Chapter 13 - The Storm
Max ran to the door and looked out into the hallway. It was empty, the guards having rushed to provide backup against the attackers. Samson and Luke stayed behind him, along with two other members of the security team. One of them was holding his hand to his earpiece.

“Something’s blocking our frequency,” he said. “I’m getting nothing but static from the others.”

“I’ll go see what’s happening,” Max said. “See if you can get hold of Samantha. If you can’t, get ready to make a break for it. There should be another Teleporter ready outside if there’s nobody else with clearance to get in here.”
He edged out into the hallway, following the crashing sounds. He passed a window and looked outside. The golems lay in ruins, torn apart and heaped like rubble. There was no sign of the perimeter guards.

He rounded a corner and found one of the security team, crouched behind the door leading to the stairwell. The sound of gunfire and screams echoed up to them.

“What’s going on?” Max asked him. “How many are we dealing with here?”

“As far as I can tell?” the guard said. “Just the one. Not sure if it’s a man or a woman. Saw them walk right up to the golems outside and smash them together like it was nothing. Must be one hell of a telekinetic.”

“That’s impossible,” Max said. “The whole building’s covered in sealing runes. Nobody without the right clearance should be able to use their magic anywhere near here.”

“Maybe they’ve somehow managed to get clearance then.”

Max swore under his breath. “I’m going through. Get back to the others and tell them to get out of here. There must be an emergency exit somewhere.”

“Got it. Good luck.”

The guard sprinted back down the corridor as Max pushed through the door. The sound of gunfire was beginning to peter out, and by the time he reached the bottom of the stairs it had cut out altogether. From the corridor past the stairs he heard someone approaching, footsteps thumping out a slow rhythm. Time to get the drop on them, he thought, running up the wall and perching above the stairwell door as if he were some sort of human gargoyle. From his jacket pocket he pulled a pair of handcuffs, runes encircling the inside of each metal band.

The door opened and the attacker emerged. They were dressed from head to toe in strange black body armour, a visored helmet covering their face. Before they could take a step further, Max leapt from his perch, slamming feet first into the intruder as gravity returned to normal. They both tumbled to the ground, Max trying to pull the intruder’s arms behind their back to get the handcuffs on. The attacker gave an angry cry and suddenly they both went flying backwards into the corridor, smacking into the back wall with a thud. Max was winded but held on, finally managing to get the cuffs in place. The runes glowed as he pushed the attacker away.

“No point struggling,” he said, clambering to his feet. “I don’t know how you bypassed the safehouse runes, but those cuffs have got your magic sealed.” The black-clad figure said nothing, just gazed up at Max through the darkened visor, back against the corridor wall. “Who the hell are you, anyway?” Still no answer. Just an indifferent silence, as if the intruder couldn’t care less that they’d been stopped. “Whatever. Strong and silent type, I get it. Big bad mercenary with the all-black outfit, of course you’re not gonna be very chatty. You’re under arrest, by the way. I think I’m meant to say that bit first, but you aren’t going to tell anyone, right?”

The man in black (or woman in black, Max supposed; equal opportunities and all that) still didn’t respond. He sighed and bent down to pull them to their feet and haul them away. That was when the mercenary finally reacted.

Before Max could even blink, the mercenary pushed off the floor and headbutted Max, the edge of the visor colliding with his forehead and sending him reeling. He felt blood begin to trickle down his face as he stumbled back. The intruder wasted no time, springing up and sending a spinning kick into his side, knocking him over. As Max got to his feet, using the wall to support himself, his attacker clumsily stepped over their cuffs so that their hands were in front rather than behind their back now.

“That stung a little,” he said. The intruder lunged at him, swinging their handcuffed fists like a hammer, but Max ducked under the blow, slamming his shoulder into the intruder’s midriff. He focused for a moment and suddenly the pair of them hurtled upwards as gravity flipped. The intruder cried out as they smacked into the ceiling, Max again slamming into them with his shoulder. He quickly let go of the handcuffs, and the intruder fell back to the ground as Max rolled away into a crouch. Not giving them time to recover, he let gravity return to normal, falling feet first towards the intruder. He was just too late, though, the intruder rolling to the side just before the kick landed, then grabbing Max’s leg and pulling him over.

He tried to flip gravity again, but this time the intruder was ready, deftly flipping to their feet before Max could get hold of them. Max flinched back, expecting an attack, but instead the intruder turned and ran for the stairwell, clutching their hands to their chest. Max scrambled to his feet and gave chase, taking the stairs two at a time. The intruder still had their hands to their chest , a strange yellow light flickering from the front of their body armour.

What the hell is that? he thought. He could try using the Sense to see if it was some sort of magic within the armour, but there was too much adrenaline pumping through his veins to focus. The intruder reached the top of the stairs just ahead of Max, slamming the door behind them as they entered the upstairs corridor. A split second later came a gunshot. Max took the last three stairs in a single leap and hurled the door open.

The intruder was stood with their back to Max. Ahead was the security guard Max had sent back to warn the others, gun pointed at the intruder’s head.

Between them, hanging as if suspended in time, was a single bullet.

Max glanced down and saw the smouldering remains of the handcuffs. Whatever the intruder had done had burnt straight through the metal, releasing both their hands and their magic. He took a step forward, but stopped as the intruder finally spoke.

“Take one more step and this man dies,” they said in a flat monotone which sounded neither male nor female. “I came for the boy. Let me have him and nobody else need be harmed.”

“That’s not going to happen,” the guard said.

“Get out of here,” Max said. “Leave it to me. Just make sure Luke gets out safely.”

For a second Max thought the guard would listen, but then he shook his head. “Not going to happen, he repeated.

“A shame,” the intruder said. Before either Max or the guard could react the bullet sped forwards through the air. The guard collapsed as blood spattered the wall behind him. The bullet had caught him right between the eyes, extinguishing his life in an instant.

The intruder turned to Max. “Do not pursue me,” they said in that strange monotone. “This man was foolish enough to stand in my way. Do not make the same mistake.”

Max stood and watched as the intruder walked calmly away. He’d never seen a telekinetic so skilled. Not only had they somehow stopped a bullet in midair, they’d done it without moving a muscle. Most mages needed to make some sort of gesture to channel their magic and keep it under control, but this intruder could somehow manage it without even twitching. It seemed almost suicidal to fight somebody this powerful. But he had to try. He could at least buy Luke and the others time to get away.

Max ran around the corner and launched himself at the black-clad mercenary, grabbing them by the shoulder and pulling them back from the door to the safehouse interior. The intruder jabbed an elbow backwards, catching him in the ribs, but he clung on and scrabbled at their helmet, trying to pull it loose. The least he could do was find out who he was fighting.

He took a deep breath and gravity inverted again, this time dragging the pair of them onto the wall, Max still clinging on desperately. As long he as he held on the telekinetic couldn’t try to throw him without flinging themselves away as well. He grabbed at the helmet again, fingers clawing at the clasps connecting it to the rest of the intruder’s armour. The intruder kneed him in the gut and he lost focus, sending them both tumbling to the ground.

For an instant Max lost his grip on the intruder, but an instant was all it took. The mercenary shoved him away, and suddenly Max felt himself being dragged off the ground as if by an invisible hand, left suspended in midair, unable to move. The intruder stared at him from behind the black visor.

“I could kill you so easily,” they said. “It would only take an instant to snap your neck like a twig. But I think I will leave you alive. Tell your Agency what happened here, so that they know not to pursue me. I will not be so kind as to leave survivors next time.”

In an instant Max felt the air rush by him as he was flung backwards into the wall, his head smacking into it painfully. Again the invisible force dragged him upwards, and again he was smashed into the wall. This time he dropped to the floor, groaning in pain. He looked up just in time to see the intruder’s boot lashing towards his face.

Pain exploded behind his eyes, and his vision turned to black.
Felt weird writing the intruder as gender neutral but it's a plot point so whatevs
Ghost wrote:and since when has "being dumb" been a sin on the internet?
Pokeforum Random Battle Tourney - come for the battles, stay for the salt

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:47 pm

Tricks

Chapter 5

Today was the big day. Anastasia was to report to the upper-ring her mission failure, and Kevlon would soften the blow as was his specialty. It would all work out.

"You are the protagonist," she said to the mirror in front of her, black-gloved palm planted on its surface. A ritual she had created for herself.

She dressed smart today. Nothing too fancy. All black, as was the standard. Long jacket and trousers. Shoes that clacked on smooth surfaces. A form-hugging shirt that was a tad tight, but would hopefully do the trick. In her straightened hair, polished red clips.

"Damn I look good," she said as she turned around. This was less of a ritual, and more of a realisation. One she happened to have on a regular basis.

"Alright Kevlon I'm ready!" she shouted at the door.

Almost immediately, her apartment door opened and he stepped in.

"Finally..." he said and then paused. "Damn, you do look good. A bit too good, perhaps. Kind of obvious what angle you might be going for, in fact."

"I ain't getting changed again."

"And I'm glad of that, I assure you." He shook his head. "This reminds me of the first time we met. You were so neat back then, too. I had a girl-crush on you instantly. It wasn't just your looks, though."

Anastasia rolled her eyes. "I've heard this all before. Now. Let's go."

They hooked arms and a black circle formed at their feet around them, emerging from opposite sides and meeting each other for completion. Black and dark blue mists converged and filled a cylindrical space that consumed them.

This mass of mist then sunk into the floor, and them with it, seemingly.

But they were not sent to the room below - an apartment lived in by a kind old woman - but to a large monochromatic room filled with other darkly dressed figures moving around. The sound of hundreds of footsteps tapping away at the marble floor, echoing in the vaulted grey ceiling above.

Shroud Halls.

Anastasia reached into her pocket for some tissues, which she used to dab at the sweat on her forehead.

"Damn it," she sighed. "Guess I still have to work on that. Hey, you can let go of me now."

"Oh, sorry."

"Not fair that you're always unphased by that." She looked at him sidelong, head tipped up. "Bet you could teleport us both without breaking a sweat. Bet you practiced it a lot along with every other Art, nerd!"

Kevlon laughed. "Guilty as charged. I like to exercise that Shroud ability to master them all."

They moved through the crowd of people, up towards the steps leading to the council office, hands in the pockets of their jackets. Even in the hall of the Shrouds, they didn't escape the chill of the mortal world. Heating could have surely been arranged, but she supposed that'd be a slight waste of magic for a bit of a chill. And mortal heating methods?

That would be so...Community. Disgusting, in other words.

"Stop where you are, Anastasia."

Speaking of disgusting...

They neared the council steps, but the voice of a higher-ranked Shroud commanded attention. Anastasia casually turned around with a venomous look. Kevlon had already done the same but looked decidedly more compliant.

A woman with short platinum hair and a severe expression in an extravagantly buttoned uniform stood there, flanked on both sides with dark-cloaked figures, each with a pointed hood. Shades, the Shrouds who responded directly to officer-classes.

"Look me in the eyes and put your hands by your side now," she hissed.

Kevlon had already done so. Anastasia was not moving to do so, however.

"Nope," she responded, eyes gleefully looking upwards.

"Ann-" Kevlon began, but was cut-off.

"Do as I say. Now."

The officer had already moved passed the stage of bafflement after the first few times this had happened. But to Kevlon's surprise, Anastasia backed down quickly this time and did as she was told.

Some Shrouds slowed down to watch, but they couldn't stop completely without being shooed off by the officer or the surrounding Shades.

"Come on, Sophia," said Anastasia. "Tell me what you want."

"You better watch your attitude."

Kevlon would have facepalmed if he could have. Sophia Shroud. She clearly didn't have a very good handle on authority. Anna made her looked ridiculous, made her seem like the one who wasn't really in control.

That is part of why he liked her, even as he cautioned her against this kind of insolence.

Anastasia said nothing. Only looked at the officer evenly, waiting. They would have to go on - a moving crowd gathered.

"I have received a report of your failed mission," said Sophia.

Another silence between them.

"But it's missing something. Your testimony. I heard you were rather abrupt in your report. You cannot just say you failed and hang up. That is unacceptable. You have to explain yourself."

"Yes," said Anastasia. "Quite right. So if you'll excuse me, let me and my friend here get to the council so I can do that myself in person."

"Wait here just one moment-"

"Are you now going to say I shouldn't do that?"

"No, I'm just-"

"I'm confused, why are you keeping me here?"

Now Sophia balled her fists and fixed Anastasia with her own venomous look. Face scrunched up and ready to bark back, but as she opened her mouth she was interrupted by a voice from the top of the council steps.

"Anastasia" came the voice.

Not a shout, but with enough authority that it cut through the crowd, turning many heads. Officer Daniel, standing at the entrance in his own extravagantly buttoned coat. This one decorated with several badges.

"You are to report here immediately," he said, sternly but not unkindly.

Sophia almost spluttered. "B-but-"

"It's okay, Sophia," he said. "I'll take it from here. Thank you."

"Yes, sir," said Anastasia. She gladly began to ascend the stairs, grin on her face. Kevlon tried to hold back his own as he followed by her side.

Daniel motioned them in. A tall man with a full head of grey hair despite not being that old, and a long jagged scar on one cheek.

The scar was so old and faded now so it didn't look that ugly to Anastasia. She had heard it was a memento from the Battlemage, a legendary mage from the Community in an old skirmish. The officer always dodged her questions about it, but seeing it always brought them up in her mind, urging her to put them forward.

They stood now in the lobby of the council. It was sparsely occupied at this moment. Only a few sat in the waiting chairs. The receptionist sat at her desk looking slightly bored. Daniel looked at both of them and sighed.

"I see," he said. "Another 'joint-operation', is it."

"He's my little helper," said Anastasia sweetly, hands behind her back. Rocking back and forth on her heels.

"Yes, I've noticed." Daniel sighed again. "Kevlon, of all the people I would have suspected to fall for her wiles... You were not one of them. Why do you let her drag you along?"

"I wouldn't say drag, sir," said Kevlon. "I would say I'm lucky to be able to partner myself with such a talented person. One who is surely going to become an officer one of these days."

Daniel waved his hand dismissively. "Yes, I would have said that of one of you. Go on, they are waiting. Do remember to tell the truth."

"Why sir," said Anastasia. "Of course."
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:38 pm

Tricks

Chapter 6

The crystals of power known as the Tricks are the origin of magic. Or so most of the legends say. Magic is as old as the world, but recorded history is not.

It is only assumed that they are the original sources, for those that bear them have the most potential in the power they bestow - and while many others who do not bear the crystals may exhibit the same powers, rarely do they exhibit the same potential.

Furthermore, the crystals are bestowed to those who have previously no magical ability, yet their offspring will exhibit similar - albeit weaker - powers. It is believed that all those who are magical are descendants of those who wielded the Tricks.

However, there is a curious quality to the Tricks. They come from the beginning of the world, but most of them have endured the passage of time. For while those who bear the Tricks may pass away, the Tricks themselves only pass on to someone else if they are not destroyed or disposed of in some way. Usually someone of a later generation, young, and usually of the same bloodline.

In 1965, your uncle Christopher, then 14 at the time, came across the crystal you now bear- the red 'Warrior' Trick. It is thought to be one of the most powerful crystals, if not the most powerful, and so to protect it those that wield it are...'encouraged'...by the magical Community to live somewhat solitary lives.

Unlike some of the families of the other Trick-wielders, those of the red crystal are as a result not magical families. Those that wield this crystal tend not to have children themselves, their crystals passing on to nieces or nephews, or into new families.

One will wonder how this would not cause a conflict, resulting in the knowledge of magic being revealed to ordinary humans.

However, the fate of the red crystal is tied to that of the yellow crystal - the 'Guardian' Trick. This is one such Trick that is passed through a magical family, one whose job throughout generations has been to protect and give counsel to the Warrior. Wherever the Warrior is likely to be, the Guardians are likely to follow or lie in wait.

And so, young Christoper Stennox, the newly anointed Warrior, found himself acquainted with the Hargate family. That was when he met me, the son of the Guardian at the time - Lucy Hargate. I'll be honest, we didn't get on immediately, and though we did form a friendship of sorts our relationship was often patchy.

But we had to put our differences aside when the Shroud King emerged nearly ten years later.

At the time we were both in the ascendancy in the Community, as was befitting for him as the Warrior, and myself as a member of the Guardian family. As we were thrust into a war, we were placed in the same regiment. One at the vanguard of our forces.

It lasted many years. The war was destructive on both our sides but neither side was willing to back down. We thought ourselves to have the numbers advantage and the technological advantage. We were the magical government, after all. But the Shrouds were masters of a new and forbidden art they uncovered.

While ordinary magical abilities are passed on from those who wield the crystals, the Shroud's power is one that is even further broken down.

One who wields magic is only supposed to be able to master one Art. That goes even for crystal bearers.

But the Shrouds found a way to break down magical potential in people to a base form that can branch off in many directions, enabling access to all Arts.

They favour dangerous, anarchic freedom to discipline, and attempted to use such abilities to wrest control of the magical governments from the Community.

They threatened to conquer the non-magical world too, promising to make them their slaves.

Christopher and I could not allow that.

We fought with all we had and, in time, the fighting started to die down. While the Shrouds are still around, we have settled into something of a cold-war state. Our offensive must have been devastating to them, but we sensed something else. Something on their end had gone wrong. But even now we still do not know.

And then suddenly, 3 years ago, the Shrouds made the boldest move they had done in over a decade, and kidnapped Christopher.

This was a devastating blow for several reasons. He was of course our friend and an important person, but we could also not afford to lose a crystal, let alone his. The Shroud made a special effort to capture those who wielded the crystals, assumedly to get them out of the way.

This had happened before with another crystal-bearer, and we knew they would not kill him, for that would result in the crystal passing onto someone else.

But one day the videoed statements from Christopher stopped coming, and the Shroud's only answer was that he was "gone". We kept watchful after this, cautious and ready.

And then the crystal arrived in your hands.

* * * * * * * * * *

"My dad never liked talking about uncle," Matt said quietly. "Now I know why."

Percy nodded. "While your father learned nothing of the magical world, Christopher had to distance himself in order to protect you all. His was by fate the magic of destruction, not protection like mine and Sarah's. I'm sorry it had to be that way and of course...I'm sorry for your loss."

"It's fine. It's not your fault. By the way, what do you mean by your relationship with him was patchy? Was my uncle not nice?"

Percy laughed. "He was a good man, deep down. But he was extremely annoying, philandering, antagonistic, pretentious, bitter and...did I say annoying already?" Percy gave a wan smile. "Honestly, thinking about the way he acted sometimes makes my blood boil. But then I immediately remember the great sacrifices he made and forgive him all over again."

This was the angriest Matt had ever seen Percy. And also the saddest. But it was still mild, all the same.

Sarah went over and sat by his chair, taking a hold of his hand.

"It's okay dad. None of it was your fault. They took us by complete surprise."

"It is important to move on," Percy sighed. "But as a person in the authority, I can't help but take responsibility and think about what could have been done better. That is what the people will expect of me also."

They sat in silence for a while. There was only the sound of the crackling fire.

Percy looked wistfully off into the distance. Sarah leaned on the chair, doing the same. In that moment, they looked remarkably like one another.

"I'm going to do whatever I can to make things better," Matt said suddenly.

They both looked at him at once. Matt almost blushed at the sudden attention.

"I mean... That's going to be my job now, right?"

Percy took a puff on his pipe. "Quite right," he said. "Quite right my boy. I suppose I've done enough naval-gazing now. Would you two like to visit the magical government?"
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:44 pm

Tricks

Act 2: Divergence

Chapter 7

Kevlon tapped his foot and made a show of breathing as they rode the elevator down.

Anastasia leaned her long self across. "Something wrong, dear?"

"Oh you know. Just thinking. This again."

"Oh it will be nothing to worry about." She canted her head and smiled. "As usual, I'll get a light spanking and they'll let me off where I'll be free to continue my misdeeds."

Kevlon nodded. "Thanks to me. You owe me big time."

"Well ya know, what with the way you are, I can only repay you with my friendship." She paused, tapping her chin. "I could get you a gift."

"If you can prove it's not stolen, I'll consider taking whatever you're offering."

"You're a terrible bad guy."

The elevator came to a creaking halt and the doors opened slowly with a judder.

"They are really letting this place go," Anastasia said. "I don't remember the doors being like that when I was here..."

"2 weeks ago. Only 2 weeks ago."

"Yeah yeah."

They crept slowly down the hallway. Keeping their steps quiet in a learned sign of deferences to the Upper Ring, the Elders.

As usual, it was dimly lit.

But there was enough light to spot what was wrong. Closer to the wide room where the elders sat on their bench, the cream coloured walls had taken on distinctively red splodges of colour.

"Holy eton mess!" Anastasia gasped, covering her mouth with both hands. "Holy eton mess, holy eton mess!"

The whole room was dressed in blood, and guts. The old members of the Upper Ring of the council, some not so old, lying around in rather unflattering positions. Some all too clearly bashed in, grotesquely contorted.

Anastasia laughed hysterically as Kevlon looked on in spooked silence.

He did not reprimand Anastasia, for he understood all too well her that her reaction was involuntary. An atavistic self-defence mechanism.


They sat in a smaller adjacent room, Officer Daniel pacing in front of them.

He looked at them, askance. "Are the both of you okay?"

They looked ashen anyway, but he thought he should ask.

There was no immediate response, so he went on. "I'm sorry you two had to see something like that. I had seen such sights earlier on in the war and hoped to never see such a scene again..."

"Tell me," Kevlon said under his breath, "why do we fight now? What's the point?"

"Kevlon-" Anastasia tried to interrupt but Kevlon raised his hand.

"I'm tired of not asking questions."

The warmth dripped out of Daniel's voice.

"Because we must," he said. "To secure our future. To remove the Community's iron grip on our way of life. I know you have your sympathies with them, boy. I can understand them myself. But their way isn't as rosy as they like to make out. The kind of life they offer for mages is hardly a life at all. And may I remind you - there is no such offer for Shrouds. Once you have tainted yourself, there is no going back."

"I don't even know why you're getting at this, Kevlon," Anastasia said, annoyed. "I don't think this was the Community's doing."

"Indeed," Daniel said. "We have the same suspicions it was an inside job. And rest assured, you two are not suspects."

Kevlon laughed. "Oh I know. That's the kind of rotten organisation we have."

Daniel raised an eyebrow. "You are surely not so naive to believe there hasn't been backstabbing in Community ranks."

"But something like this? Tell me when has there been anything like this for them."

"They would have covered it up."

"So you have no proof."

Daniel sighed.

"An interim upper ring will be instated in the meantime. It is comprised of myself, Cayman, Alexandria, Rogan and...Sophia. May I stress, interim. We will not be looking into your failed joint mission as we have our hands full investigating what happened, and because it's pointless.

"Anastasia... You let the red crystal and its bearer go. But it's not the end of the world. As you confirmed in your brief phoned-in report, you engaged the targets on school grounds. Very risky - anyone could have seen you. And had you subdued them, you may been compromised - any encounter with the local mage Percy Hargate would have led to your capture, or at the very least losing your targets.

"Understand...I am being very forgiving here. Next time, don't gooseberry fool up."

"Yes," said Anastasia. "Yes sir," she blurted out, shocked as she was by this rare expletive from the officer.

Daniel cracked a smile. "Good." He turned to Kevlon. "And from you, I want no more questions. And instead of pretending to help Anastasia, I want you to actually help her. I expect good things from you two." He shook his head. "For whatever reason."

The officer left the room to talk to one of the Shades outside, talk about the investigation.

"He's remarkably calm about all this," Kevlon said bitterly.

"So are you. I just realised you two have something big in common."

"What's that."

"gooseberry fool up pasts."
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:49 pm

Gonna start putting all of these into one post again like I did on ONM so it looks a little tidier.

-Originally posted Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:45 pm-

Story of Neave

Chapter 1:
What If?
Thousands of years ago, a classic battle of good versus evil was fought. One that had been repeated in many different forms since the beginning of time. The dark dragon Davnir threatened to use the Ultimate Power in order to destroy the world, seeing it as the only way to deal with its impurities. However, a golden-locked hero stood in his way. Alexander proclaimed that, while the world was not perfect, it was worth protecting.

It was no use, and a battle ensued on Davnir's mountain peak. Columns of flame intermingled with the rays of light that erupted from Alexander's legendary blade. Davnir was near-invincible against ordinary humans, but Alexander was no ordinary human. Blood was shed on both sides.

But in the end, Alexander fell, and Davnir stood victorious. He reared up on hind legs and roared victoriously, his Generals on the lower mountain sides joining in with cries of their own. Alexander's army dispersed, knowing that all was lost.

Dark clouds gathered, eclipsing the moon. A monstrous storm whipped up. Davnir crept up to the very top of the mountain peak, bloodied and weary - but wielding the Ultimate Power. Against all odds, evil had won for the first time.

He contemplated this, eyes closed. Rain dashing off his black metallic scales. He could destroy the world now. As he promised. As was his goal.

...Dravnir changed his mind.

Did Alexander's proclamation get to him? Did he realise on his own that he didn't want to destroy the world? Did he, the great Dravnir, Dark Monarch of Dragons, realise that he feared death?

In any case, Dravnir stepped down from his perch and made his way down the mountain, still weary but knowing that the fight had completely left the humans. Right now they would be saying their prayers and accepting annihilation.

His generals had mixed feelings at this (ideological) climb-down. Some welcomed living a little longer while others were rather angry. Dravnir told the latter to piss off (in the ancient tongue). He had alternative plans for the Ultimate Power, and they would have to accept it. However, he allowed those who disagreed to leave his service, knowing that none of them were strong enough to challenge him. The rest would be free to stay.

And so Dravnir and the Dragon-Generals split, some staying with him as he carved out a new life for himself. The world continued and evolved. Humans continued and evolved. Under no strong central leadership, the dragons found themselves outdone by the humans and they too were forced to evolve. No longer would they be able to inflict a reign of terror over them.

The big bad dragon and his Generals continued and evolved as well, in time walking into the modern world on human feet.


-Present day-


Dravnir sat at his desk in his bookshop, reading Hobb, an author he supposed he enjoyed. He liked how the heroes in her stories always had a hell of a hard time, anyway. It was a change of pace from ancient reality, no matter how long ago that was.

It was nice and quiet, like almost every day. Dravnir liked it that way, which is in part why he chose to run an independent bookshop. Just enough customers to keep life ticking along, and the ones he'd get would presumably be smarter and therefore more tolerable than the average customer, having both the desire and ability to read.

Nice and quiet meant empty, which he was fine with. That was until the ringing of a bell, to signal a new customer, polluted that pool of quiet. Except somehow he knew that it wasn't a customer.

"Neave," he said. "What are you doing here? And what are those?"

For a moment Neave didn't respond. She leant back against one of the glass displays. She wore jeans, a white shirt with some band insignia on the front of it and a checkered skirt with a tan colour scheme. There were headphones in her ears, under an almost planned mess of blonde hair, a ponytail at the back.

One of the old evil Dragon-Generals, believe it or not.

"What," she said, ripping out a headphone, "can I not drop by to say hello to an old friend?"

"You've been doing that a lot recently. Not that I don't mind your company but- Anyway, what are those?"

She was unbuckling them. "Roller-skates. I thought you were joking."

"I was. The joke was that nobody wears them anymore."

"Haaa... I have you know that people do, in fact, and in any case who cares. I thought it would be fun to learn, to get about this way."

"Is it?"

She slumped after a moment. "No, not really. But I'm not stopping yet. I'm still getting the hang of it."

"I can see that from the bruises on your hand. It seems dangerous. I'm referring more to the people around here who think they can drive rather than your poor mobility. Just the other day someone almost ran me over. I swear the car clipped me - just about. Just a touch."

"Heaven forbid one might scar your immortal dragon body."

"Hey." His gaze remained fixed on his book. "I'm sensitive about these things - heh. My lack of injury would be a tad suspicious, too."

"True."

She wandered over, roller skates in hand. Placing the other on the books stacked on the tables as she examined their covers. Neave couldn't help but smile at the self-consciousness she knew she was instilling in Dravnir. Despite his jests, the ages-old dragon had become a bit more sensitive with time, and these days really appreciated isolation.

And in fairness, they all did these days. For quite a long time now.

The smile evaporated.

"Say, Drav..."

"Don't call me Drav."

"Dravnir, do you ever think about your decision on the mountain? Do you ever think, 'what if'?"

The mountain.

She was of course referring to the mountain in that ages-old battle with Alexander. It was formally referred to as Dravnir's Mountain, but the dragon did not care for formalities in this case.

"I try to forget about all that," Dravnir said. "And besides, there's not much to say. What if? What if what? If I had chosen to destroy the world, that would have been it. Nothingness. The end."

He realised that he had sounded curt without meaning to. That was really just the only thing he wanted to say on the matter. It had been a long time since Neave had brought it up, and he really was trying to forget about it all.

There was a silence before Neave looked up brightly and said, "Okay. I best be off now. I'll see you around."

She started heading towards the door before Dravnir stopped her.

"Wait. Wait, wait."

"Yeah?" She looked back, sun outlining her face and making her hair glow bright at the edges.

"If you're not busy this afternoon, let's go for dinner."

"Wow. What an honour. A date with the one and only Dravnir, Dark Monarch of Dragons!" She turned her head, putting her hands to her cheeks.

He scowled. "Try to be funny again and I'll rip the Ultimate Power right out of you."

"Now, that's the old boss I know and love. Alright, tonight then. It's a date."

"It's not a date! This is what I get for trying to be nice..."

Neave finally left the shop, her feet a little lighter despite wearing the cumbersome roller skates again. But she thought she had seen something out of the corner of her eye, something that moved a bit too quick.

She wandered over to the entrance of the adjacent alleyway. Though it was dark, she could clearly see it was empty. Whatever it was, it was gone. Or rather, she thought, whatever she had imagined was never there. And besides...she was not going to investigate anything with these on.

With a deep breath, she set off on her shaky way.

Meanwhile, what appeared to be a young man wearing a tracksuit and hoodie crossed the road behind the row of houses. A man who was not in a hurry. He took measured, confident steps. But his mind buzzed. He had just gotten an earful of chatter from complacent old dragons.
-General update/thoughts on & explanations of my recent writings-
It seems that in recent-ish times I've been cutting more stories sooner, and I have pretty much never finished a story (unless you count the first arc of Kudos, which I wasn't guaranteed to continue at the time). I don't like doing it, and in case anyone here actually reads this stuff I guess it could be somewhat annoying. Build-up into nothing.

I just get impatient, and more recently for whatever reason this has inflicted me a bit more. Even the first chapter of this Story of Neave, I got a little impatient. I forced myself to do a pretty quick proof read, and I'm glad I did at least that much. On a lot of my more recent postings I didn't even bother doing that.

Sometimes I can just crack out a chapter and it seems fine. All I need to do is a brief proof read and I'm happy with it. It can be like that for 5 or maybe even 10 chapters in a row. But sometimes I need to rewrite it - usually completely to resolve some contradiction or change of facts. All my stories will get to a point like this at some point, especially since I do little planning from the start (I may just have to work on the first chapter a bit and think things out a bit from the start). The stories where I bother to do such re-writes last a lot longer, whereas the opposite applies for when I don't put the effort in.

I just post such chapters I'm unsure of because, I don't know: laziness, probably. But sometimes I just really don't know what to do. It's even been like this for the first chapter of a couple of things I've written, and upon rewrites I'm still not sure of it so I just post it hoping for the best. Sometimes it works out, but usually I can't help but go back to thinking about how dumb such chapters are, even if I find later ones acceptable. They taint the whole story, and I cannot always satisfactorily build upon them or make sense of them. Too often I basically retcon stuff, and that's no good.

I'm also guilty of sudden shifts in tone for the sake of it - because I think it'll seem interesting maybe or because I've changed my mind about what kind of story I want to write. I've decided this usually isn't good, and that such sudden tone shifts should - usually - serve some purpose in the narrative. So I'm done with Tricks. Re-writing an old story of mine was too fanciful an idea anyway, especially when so much of it had to be redone.

I will be more patient with Story of Neave. I may post a short story, or maybe (probably not) start a new series, in the meantime, but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning it.
Image

User avatar
Rik
Posts: 3662
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:12 pm
NNID: RikTheNinja
3DS Friend Code: 1032-1749-4002

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Rik » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:16 am

Started writing a thing ages ago because I was bored and wanted to try my hand at just completely winging something for once rather than obsessing over it for months before doing anything about it. Then recently I started thinking back to an idea I'd had (from a really, really weird dream) and started developing it again and it ended up linking in with this thing I'd started to write, and now I've actually finished writing it as an introduction for this other thing and now I feel all tingly and nice so I guess I'm going to continue writing it. But yeah, here it is.

The winter sun shone weakly on the battlefield, coaxing thin tendrils of mist out of the sodden earth. To the north stood the White Citadel, its faded spires reaching to the sky like the fingers of some ancient, skeletal hand. From high up in the Butcher King’s last stronghold the two armies would appear miniscule, insignificant, like ants milling about on their mounds.

Farran was blessed with no such safe and remote perspective. He sat astride his charger, eyes scanning the field before him and the massed ranks of the Butcher’s army beyond. Beside him the queen and her generals held fervent counsel, discussing tactics and formations and all manner of other things. Farran paid them no mind. His job was not to be concerned with such things. His job was only to kill any who would harm his queen or stand in the way of her cause.

Hearing his name, he turned his gaze to the commanders. All eyes were focused on Isana, as ever. The Warrior Queen, last hope of the realm’s deliverance from the Butcher’s tyranny, risen to power not merely as a result of her bloodline but through the respect and loyalty of all those who met her – a true heir to the God-King for whom she had been named. Even now, haggard and dirtied by her long campaign, Isana seemed to emanate strength. Wherever she went Farran saw love in the gazes of the men (and often the women) who beheld her, captivated by her pale, beautiful face and flowing, fiery red hair. He supposed that he, too, felt love for her, but not in the same way. Isana had saved him, dragged him from the depths of despair and thrust him into the light, given him new purpose. A reason to fight. A reason to live.

“Farran stays with me,” she was saying. “He is my personal guard. He’s no use to me trudging through the forest.”

“I understand that, my queen, but we need our strike from the flank to be as hard and fast as possible. The men respect Farran. I have no doubt that with him leading the surprise charge their resolve would be strengthened tenfold and-“

“You heard the queen,” Farran interrupted. “Sir Arren or one of the other knights can lead the flank attack. My place is at her side.”

The general looked as if he were about to object, but Isana cut him off again. “Do you not think the Butcher will be suspicious when his scouts report that my most trusted warrior is nowhere to be seen? If we want this ambush to be a success he has to be caught off guard. Send whoever you think suitable, but Farran stays with me.”

Her tone brooked no argument, and the general bowed apologetically. “As you wish, my queen. I shall send for Sir Arren.”

The commanders resumed their discussion of tactics, and Farran returned his attention to the battlefield. The queen’s army had encamped behind the brow of a small hill on the great plain leading to the Citadel. To the west of the plain lay the woods from which the ambush would emerge, sprawling out into the distance but also looping behind the queen’s encampment. She had been careful to position scouts throughout the forest to warn of any surprise attack the Butcher King might mount, but so far all had been quiet. Too quiet, in Farran’s opinion. The Butcher was known for his guile as well as his brutality. He no doubt had some dirty trick in his arsenal, and the longer he kept it hidden the more disquieted Farran became.

The queen and her generals finished their discussion and rode back down the hill to the main camp, leaving the forward guard to keep watch on the army ahead. Farran followed, guiding his horse clumsily through the bustling camp to the queen’s tent. He had no love for riding; unlike the highborn generals he had never received training as a child. He felt most at home with his feet planted firmly on the ground, axe in one hand and shield in the other.
Farran dismounted and followed Isana into her tent, leaving the generals outside. When Isana had first chosen him to be her guard, this had drawn many an incredulous look; the beautiful queen shadowed even to her private quarters by the scarred, wild-looking warrior with the mane of unkempt, dirty brown hair. But with each thwarted attempt on the queen’s life, his presence had become seen more and more as a necessity rather than an oddity.

“The end is near,” Isana said. “Today we decide the fate of the realm.”

“We’ll win,” Farran replied. “The Butcher has weakened. We outnumber him at least two to one, if the scouts speak true.”

Isana made no reply, but looked perturbed nonetheless. In front of others the queen never expressed doubt, but in private she allowed her true feelings to show.

“Help me with my armour,” she said at last, and Farran obeyed. Before long she was clad in a full suit of steel plate, embellished with the golden sun she had taken as her sigil. The pair left the tent and joined the commanders once again.

“An ill omen, the men are saying,” one of them said with a glance at the sky. “They say the moon turns crimson when the Old Gods are closest and their evil leaks through to our realm once again.” Farran followed his gaze. The Blood Moon hung in the sky like a great red eye, almost level with the sun. It had been getting closer and closer for weeks, and sometime soon would come the eclipse, but Farran was not worried. He had as little love for superstition as he did for riding.

“Old wives’ tales,” he said. “The only evil we need to worry about is the damned Butcher, and after today not even him.”

“Well spoken,” Isana agreed, but Farran spied a brief hint of that perturbed expression again.

Suddenly a horn blew, and one of the lookouts came galloping into the camp. “Your Highness!” he yelled. “The enemy has sent forth a party bearing the Butcher’s standard. They seek parley.”

“Then we shall ride to meet them,” Isana replied. “Farran, Lord Garwin, with me. The rest of you, get the men in formation. The battle is nigh.”

The three of them rode out of the camp, joined at the brow of the hill by a dozen members of the royal guard. Ahead on the plain stood a man in a horned helm, accompanied by several other soldiers on horseback further behind him. At his side the banner of the king was planted firmly in the ground: a golden crown on a field of red.
Once they had drawn close, the queen dismounted, Farran and Garwin following suit. They strode forwards until there was only a short distance between them and the enemy.

“Who stands before me?” Isana called.

The man removed his helm, revealing a face that would have been handsome were it not for the livid scar that pulled his expression into a permanent snarl. “Sir Garret of the Royal Guard,” he said. “I come with terms of surrender from the king.”

“It heartens me to hear the king has seen the futility of his resistance,” Isana replied. “What terms does he state?”

Garret gave a short, derisive bark of laughter. “You misunderstand me. The king offers terms for your surrender. By order of King Hagan the Second, Guardian of the Realm and Father of the People, lay down your arms. Your men will be spared, and your death will be swift.”

Now it was Isana’s turn to laugh. “If the king thinks I am likely to surrender, he is even more insane than I thought.”

“Very well, pretender,” Garrett said, putting his helm back on. “Then your men will die alongside you.” He turned as if to return to his men, but suddenly span around and drew his sword, lunging towards Isana. Farran reacted instantly, throwing himself between his queen and the oncoming blade, batting Garrett’s sword aside with his shield. Garrett’s men began to gallop forward, and Farran heard Isana’s guards rushing from behind to meet them.

“Go!” he yelled, keeping himself between Garrett and the queen. “Garwin, get her back to the camp!” Not waiting for a response, he lifted his axe and began to hack at Garrett, forcing him to retreat step by step. Ahead, Garrett’s men had begun to charge forward, but he paid them no mind. The familiar red mist of bloodlust was descending. Dimly he heard somebody calling his name, but he continued his assault. Garrett had regained his footing and managed to deftly knock aside Farran’s axe, but Farran lunged in with his shield instead, barging into the knight and sending him stumbling backwards. He swung his axe low, hooking it behind Garrett’s knee, then pushed, sending him tumbling into the path of the first of the cavalry. The knight gave a single garbled cry before the horse ploughed into him, crushing him beneath its hooves.

Again Farran heard his name called out, clearer this time, but again paid it no heed. The next rider came at him, sword swinging downwards, but Farran ducked out of the way and raked his axe across the horse’s underbelly as it passed. The beast screeched in pain and fell forwards, throwing the rider from his saddle, and Farran ran to him, burying the blade of his axe in the man’s skull. As he pulled the axe free, the metal slick with blood and brains and flecks of bone, the other riders galloped past. Farran flinched to the side, expecting another assault, but the cavalry ignored him, giving chase to the queen.

“Farran! Please! We need you!”

This time the call was as clear as day, and Farran turned to see a young girl at his side, clothes matted with dirt. For a moment he was confused, but then the girl grasped his arm and at last he woke.

He came to with a jolt, sitting bolt upright and gasping for breath. Gone was the battlefield, and in its place a cramped, dingy bedroom, the smell of rot heavy in the air. The girl at his side shrank back as he leered at her with his one good eye.

“Please,” the girl whimpered. “The bad men are coming again. Pa said to get you but you wouldn’t wake up.”

Realisation dawned on Farran at last. He had been dreaming again, although the memories he relived in his slumber often felt too real, too vivid to be called mere dreams. The battle beneath the White Citadel had been long ago, however. It no longer mattered. Nothing mattered any more. But something within the old warrior would not let him give up, no matter how dark the world had grown since that day.

“Stay in here,” Farran told the girl as he climbed to his feet, throwing on a woollen jerkin and britches. “Don’t come out until one of the villagers comes to get you.” He didn’t wait for an answer, walking towards the door. There hung his axe and shield, pitted and tarnished from all the blows he had taken and the blood he had spilled over the years. But still they did their job, and Farran did his.

The aged warrior donned his arms once more, and strode out to meet his enemies.


Realise it doesn't give much away plotwise but I mostly wrote it to get into the right sort of tone. Basic premise is that during the battle at the Citadel, the Butcher King performs a ritual that releases the Old Gods (read: evil demons/eldritch abominations) into the world as a last gambit but ends up getting his own army slaughtered as well because he can't control the gods. Main bulk of the story happens several years down the line, the world is basically gooseberry fool because the old gods are back in power and Farran is eking out a living protecting a village from bandits/minor demons when someone comes along and gets him to help them on a quest to send the Old Gods back again. Kind of standard dark fantasy fare but I'm really enjoying coming up with all the lore and backstory and twists and turns.
Tl;dr I AM EXCITED ABOUT WRITING AGAIN YIPPEE (sorry Underworld you're getting shelved again xoxoxo)


Edit - I kind of get where you're coming from Kriken, I've always had trouble sticking with stuff because at some point or another I change my mind about something and get kind of overwhelmed thinking about what I have to go back and change to fit it in. Problem is that I actually do plan a lot, to the extent where a lot of the time I'll be daydreaming about moments and plotlines and stuff for at least a month before I actually put anything down on paper. Your Story of Neave sounds like it's well worth sticking to though, it's a great concept and I can see it going really well for you.
Ghost wrote:and since when has "being dumb" been a sin on the internet?
Pokeforum Random Battle Tourney - come for the battles, stay for the salt

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:16 am

Story of Neave

Chapter 2:

Neave had been Dravnir's lieutenant in the ancient war of his dragons vs the humans. She had been very cruel of mind. So much so that she scared even Dravnir to an extent. But her passion was useful in rallying the troops. She was a popular figure in the army.

His decision not to end the world after securing the Ultimate Power did not sit well with her.

After days of pleading, Dravnir agreed that he would settle the matter in combat. On Dravnir Mt they struggled against each other, but Dravnir had always been confident of victory. Neave had known the odds were stacked against her, but had lashed out with all her might, all her passion and fury and cruelty.

At the end of it, Neave had flown away bloodied and crippled, mocking Dravnir's decision not to finish her off as weak. She swore she would be back again for another confrontation. But they both knew that was just for show.

Life would go on.

* * * * * * * * * *

Dravnir looked in the full-body mirror. Black shirt and denim jeans. That would do, he thought. He knew Neave wouldn't make a fuss over it. After all, it wasn't really a date. Just a get-together with a friend, though it had been a while.

On taking permanent human form, Dravnir had changed appearance many a time. His current look had lasted for a while now. A black-haired man, slightly older than a millennial. His appearance didn't really bother him, especially not now. The changes over time were mainly to escape certain problems of identity he had had. They had also helped him bed any woman he desired, but over time that desire also faded somewhat. Just to be looked at normally by most people sufficed.

The cafe was on Parasan Street. Dravnir hugged his long grey coat to himself. Funny, he thought, that the elements would bother a being such as himself. Dragons shared many traits with humans such as their intelligence and greedy way of thinking, but on top of that dragons also had their once-famous resistance to harsh environments, the sharpest metals, could shape shift and (normally) live for centuries.

However, the advantage humans always had is that there were many more of them. They could reproduce more quickly.

If Dravnir and Neave were to revert to their majestic dragon forms, they would be especially outnumbered and outclassed in today's modern world of human overpopulation and scientific development.

As he neared the cafe, he was met with quite a sight.

"I know who you are."

Neave was locked in conversation with an irate-looking young man. He was chisel-jawed, handsome and golden-haired. Wore an expensive turquoise jacket, no tie. Dravnir felt an ebb of familiarity.

"Excuse me?" Neave arched an eyebrow. Dravnir now felt an ebb of both annoyance and amusement at seeing Neave wearing the same clothes she did yesterday.

"You're a dragon."

"No uh...I'm definitely not." Neave didn't know how to respond. Dravnir watched from a distance to see how things would unfold.

The man squinted his eyes and thrust a finger forward. "You can't fool me. I'm Dorian, the descendant of the hero Alexander and those that came before him. That makes me a Hero as well. I can sense a dragon half a mile away. No more, no less."

"Then..." Neave thrust a thumb behind her, towards Dravnir. "What about that guy over there?"

Dorian's eyes slowly moved over, eyed Dravnir for a second. He was aghast.

"More of you!?"

"Oh for goodness sake," Dravnir said. "Please just get out of the way so we can eat."

"No." Dorian was pointing at Dravnir now. "Take me to your leader. I'll finish off the dragons once and for all!"

Dravnir and Neave exchanged a look. This was by far the strangest encounter they had had for thousands of years. They both had a different opinion as to whether or not he was the real thing.

Neave sighed. "You're pointing at him right now... That's Dravnir, Dark Monarch of Dragons."

"Neave!"

Dorian laughed raucously. "Amazing," he said. "To think that you think you can still fool me. I know that isn't Dravnir. Why would he be walking around like a normal person? He'll be in a cave or hidden away somewhere, scheming and recovering his strength from the beating he received from Alexander. You're both just his underlings."

Though Neave was the one who didn't believe he was really a descendant of the hero, she couldn't help but get annoyed by that.

"Actually," she said testily. "I was the second-in-command."

Dorian rolled his eyes. "As if Neaveye the Cruel would have such a lovely human form."

"Okay," Dravnir interrupted. "Say if we were dragons, then what?"

"Then...you better watch your back. If either of you at any point return to your normal forms, I'll be there to stop you. End you." He nodded. "I'm a merciful Hero, and one that won't fight a foe who does not at present pose a threat. You've both been warned."

And with that he turned on his heels and walked away.

"More like a useless and stupid hero," Dravnir said. "He's bluffing. I bet he doesn't even have the sword."

"Wait, you think he's actually Alexander's descendant?"

Dravnir shrugged. "Probably. I mean, why not? I'm still here so it's not too surprising that the spirit of the hero is still being passed down throughout the generations, regardless of whether me or someone else right now is a great threat to the world. He knows we're dragons, an ability of the hero. Someone could have told him, I suppose, but then that poses the question of who those people are."

"So...what are we going to do?"

"Well I can't be arsed going after him. If he decides to challenge us at some point then I guess we'll take care of him then." Dravnir paused. "Do not think about going after him yourself."

"I wasn't going to. Do you think he's actually alone, though?"

"Hmm. I suppose we'll have to keep an eye on him. Assumedly he's spying on us, so that may not be too difficult. If for some reason...we're being tailed by a whole group of dragon slayers, then we may need to move again."

Hoo. "I feel a chill," she said. "Like it's time to pay for our sins."

"What sins?" Dravnir said dryly. "I saved the world. If anyone's actually the hero, it's me."

But the next day, Neave was gone.
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:32 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 3:

While Neave did not confront Dravnir for battle again, followers and other dragons in disagreement with Dravnir's decision to not end the world continued a rebellion.

They were no match for Dravnir and his remaining generals. They were smashed by the might of the elder dragon, and any wounds they inflicted were patched up in the healing light of the Ultimate Power.

It was not yet known that using the Ultimate Power on themselves would have unforeseen consequences.

Eventually Dravnir would encounter Neave once again, crumpled up against a cave wall. Dragons had amazing survivability, but Neave had been through days of this and would not be living much longer.

She swivelled a mad blood-stained eye towards him. He stood dark at the entrance, expression unreadable.

"I had a wonderful dream," she said. "The world was crying out, screaming. The hero emerged, granting the gelf a sliver of hope."

Gelf, the derogatory word for human, originating from the first hero Gelfin who met a humbling end in the jaws of the original Queen of dragons. The Elder of Elders.

"And he rose. And he slayed my kin." Her eye moved sporadically. "And as the gelf put all of their hope in him... You put out the light and cast away the world forever."

She cackled. Oo - ah - ah - ah - ah! The way she had always laughed. But this would be last time she laughed like that.

"I despise you, Dravnir!" Her tone turned vicious. "I curse you forever! I pray the hero Alexander comes back to kill you!! I alway knew, it should have been Uldravoult who led us! You half-dragon son of whores!"

Dravnir grabbed her, suddenly. Claws clamped her mouth, her head, pinned up against the wall. Neave laughed madly under the grip.

"Kill me," she said.

The Ultimate Power rolled out from under Dravnir, ball-shaped, power thickly ebbing out of it in curls. He scooped it up with his other claw and then thrust it into Neave's chest.

"You will live forever, Neaveye the Cruel. As a gelf."


-Present day-


So Neave has disappeared, Dravnir thought. A week had passed without him seeing her. Not once had she dropped by the shop or contacted her. Sent him a stupid text or message on messenger. He went to her apartment and there was never a response.

The last time, he broke in, and while there no signs of unrest, there also had been no signs of life for the past few days. Dust where there shouldn't be dust in her room, off food in the fridge, soaking clothes left in the washing machine.

He plonked himself down on her couch and sighed. He had decided what he would do a moment later.

That Dorian idiot was still following him. He could occasionally see him in the periphery of his vision, or reflected off windows and other surfaces. Dravnir paid him no mind and Dorian never seemed to make much of an advancement.

But one day, Dorian would follow Dravnir into an alleyway and then look around confused, thinking he had lost him.

That's when somebody kicked the back of his knees and grabbed him around the neck, dragging him further into the alleyway. Dravnir covered his mouth to stop him from screaming out, in case he was inclined to do so.

"Now," Dravnir said calmly, "Stop squirming, I have some questions to ask."

Dorian continued to struggle, grunting angrily.

Dravnir sighed and pushed him against a wire fence in the middle of the alley. The hero's descendant groaned and rubbed his head, getting up to lean against the wall.

"Why should I tell you anything?" he coughed.

Dravnir ignored him. "Where is Neave?"

"Neave? I have no idea who you're talking about."

"The woman I was with that night. The other dragon."

"Oh. Right, her. Good question. I'm not telling you the answer. Just let me go."

Dravnir took a step forward. "You know something," he said coldly. "And you are going to tell me it before I even consider letting you out here alive. Or maybe alive but with far fewer limbs. It's going to depend on what mood I'm in and what you would prefer. Hint: the option you want more is the option you're not getting."

Dorian stumbled back, the breath knocked out him. "Okay," he said. "Look, I don't know where she is. But one night when I was following her... I think it was around a week ago. We were near her apartment and I was standing outside when I heard... I think I heard her scream. I never saw her after that."

"And you didn't bother investigating it?"

"I wasn't just going to break into her apartment! But I did go up the stairwell on the building opposite to get a better look. All I could see was her balcony door was open, and there didn't seem to be anyone in."

Dravnir crossed his arms and looked to the side, thinking.

"Okay," he said after a moment. "I believe you."

"You're scary!" Dorian said, surprised. "I was wrong about you. You must have been a high-ranking dragon."

"Something like that. Listen, I'm going to need your help."

Dorian screwed up his face, looked at Dravnir as if he was stupid.

"What?"

"You want me," Dorian said, "to help you? A hero helping out a dragon. You've got to be kidding me. I have no reason to help you."

"Look." Dravnir put his hands to his hips. "I know this may sound preposterous to you, but I'm not a bad guy. I'm not one of Dravnir's followers. Neither is Neave. We're just two people trying to get by in human life." Not exactly lies. "Please. Tell me. When you've been following us, have you seen us do anything wrong?"

Dorian put a hand to his chin. "Now that you mention it, Neave sometimes did litter."

"She's just clumsy and misses the bin sometimes. Anything else?"

"No... I guess not, really."

"You said you were a merciful hero," Dravnir said. "A kind, revolutionary hero." He was stretching it a bit, but felt he was going somewhere with this. "A hero of the new ages that will unite and help those who are good, gelf or not."

"Gelf?"

"I mean... Human or not."

"Hmm..." Dorian scratched his head. "To be honest, I can tell you have a good heart."

"You can? I mean, yes. Thank you."

"And that this Neave person must mean a lot to you."

"She's the only other one of my kind still near me."

"I was watching you two and waiting for one of you to mess up, turn into a dragon and go on a rampage, but it seems I was wrong. You're right, it's time for a change in attitude. I'll help you out, Dravnir! Or should I say Drav, to avoid confusing you with the big bad?"

Dravnir responded instantly. "Don't ever call me Drav. Now come on, we have some investigating to do."
Image

User avatar
DarkRula
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 pm
NNID: DarkRula
Xbox Gamertag: DarkRula
Steam ID: DarkRula
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by DarkRula » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:38 pm

Don't think I've seen this before during my infrequent ventures down into this part of the forum. I've pretty much been writing for most of my life, especially during younger years, and while it was nothing I'd ever show off, in 2012 I did. Hit up Weebly to start posting some stuff [mostly fan-created works].
However, this year, I self-published to Amazon. It was something I said I wanted to do for a long time, and I finally had something I felt worthy of doing so. Since there's a good amount of people writing in here, I thought maybe I could get some opinions by posting an extract from that piece.

Just to give a bit of context, it's the last day of college, a competition was set up for the students to utilise all what they had learnt throughout the year. The group splits up into groups of five, and heads to different areas to work on these short films.
Now settled in her home, the group was sat comfortable in either the three-seat sofa or the armchairs that were around. Both were a deep red, with the sofa on the left side of the door, one of the armchairs on the right side of it, and the other armchair – though usually set perpendicular to the end of the sofa – was dragged a bit further in so the group could talk.
“So we need some ideas,” Alicia started off. “Though I think we should first talk about roles.”
“You’ll be on the camera, I expect?” Jack asked.
“Yes, I will.”
“Brandon’s usually good at bringing ideas to the table. Anything?”
He turned to Brandon, who was sat next to him on the sofa, and the others looked at him as well.
“We’re in a house at the moment…” Brandon slowly started, rubbing a hand through his hair while thinking. “So why not base our idea here?”
“Specific ideas?”
“Maybe a romance thing? I could be a hopeless romantic on a date or something like that?”
“That could work,” Alicia agreed. “But-”
“Hold on,” Elizabeth interrupted. “Is this just another way for you to flirt with me while pretending you don’t actually mean it?”
“No!” Brandon rebuked, with a comical look of outrage on his face. “Come on! Have I ever done that before?”
Alicia knew exactly how everyone would react to that, so it came as no surprise that she was just one of four voices that said “Yes.”

“You couldn’t even do any of this on your own you ignorant-”
“Okay! That’s enough!” Carson ordered. Quinn quieted at once.
It had been entertaining to watch the three argue, but it had since started to get less about raising points and more about insulting each other. They needed to get back on track, so Carson had just made sure they could.
Turning to Ross, he said “If you don’t want a big part in this production, stay out of it and we’ll give you a small acting role once we’ve planned this thing, okay?”
Ross just shrugged and looked back to the window.
“Can I just say-” Daniel started up.
“Not unless it’s an idea,” Carson informed him, a stern look set on his face.
“Well, it was sort of related to the idea.”
“Go on.”
“We need something impactful for this detective to do, so why not have a mystery about a murder?”
“Ooh, yeah,” Quinn readily agreed. “And can I be the assistant?”
“We’ll plan that in a bit, but I’m already thinking of being the detective.”
And with that the two started discussing the idea more in depth, leaving Carson and Hannah to just mostly agree with the ideas. With both ringleaders in this group, it was hard for anyone else to supply ideas once those two got started on one.
Any sort of feedback welcome. I know it's already been published, but it will help towards the next story I'm working on.

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

All I can say is, the writing isn't bad. No major problems. Nothing much really happens though, so I can't say much. But congrats on getting published. I always wanted to get something published when I was younger, but at the moment I can't see myself getting anything serious finished. Just writing for fun right now.
Image

User avatar
DarkRula
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 pm
NNID: DarkRula
Xbox Gamertag: DarkRula
Steam ID: DarkRula
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by DarkRula » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:54 pm

It's more a character-based work, just introducing the characters. As such I didn't really want to do too much.
Thanks for the words. I might post up something else later. Was meant to enter it in a short story competition, but didn't get round to it.

User avatar
Rik
Posts: 3662
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:12 pm
NNID: RikTheNinja
3DS Friend Code: 1032-1749-4002

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Rik » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:37 am

Yeah, as Kriken said there's not much to it but it reads well at least. Well done on getting published though.

Been working on (or mainly thinking about working on) that story, despite it starting out as a spontaneous unplanned thing I've gone back to my old ways and made a full plan on where I want the story to go. Feel like I've left it more open on the specifics than usual though so hopefully I can keep a bit of spontaneity in there, might keep me more motivated than normal. Still undecided on a title (the Blood Moon is fairly central to the whole thing so I was thinking something referencing that), but I've reworked that introduction into an opening chapter that focuses more on the present than the flashbacks:

1
The winter sun shone weakly on the battlefield, coaxing thin tendrils of mist out of the sodden earth. To the north stood the White Citadel, its faded spires reaching to the sky like the fingers of some ancient, skeletal hand. From high up in the Butcher King’s last stronghold the two armies would appear miniscule, insignificant, like ants milling about on their mounds.

Farran was blessed with no such safe and remote perspective. He sat astride his charger, eyes scanning the field before him and the massed ranks of the Butcher’s army beyond. Beside him the queen and her generals held fervent counsel, discussing tactics and formations and all manner of other things. Farran paid them no mind. His job was not to be concerned with such things. His job was only to kill any who would harm his queen or stand in the way of her cause.

Hearing his name, he turned his gaze to the commanders. All eyes were focused on Isana, as ever. The Warrior Queen, last hope of the realm’s deliverance from the Butcher’s tyranny, risen to power not merely as a result of her bloodline but through the respect and loyalty of all those who met her – a true heir to the God-King for whom she had been named. Even now, haggard and dirtied by her long campaign, Isana seemed to emanate strength. Wherever she went Farran saw love in the gazes of the men (and often the women) who beheld her, captivated by her pale, beautiful face and flowing, fiery red hair. He supposed that he, too, felt love for her, but not in the same way. Isana had saved him, dragged him from the depths of despair and thrust him into the light, given him new purpose. A reason to fight. A reason to live.

“Farran stays with me,” she was saying. “He is my personal guard. He’s no use to me trudging through the forest.”

“I understand that, my queen, but we need our strike from the flank to be as hard and fast as possible. The men respect Farran. I have no doubt that with him leading the surprise charge their resolve would be strengthened tenfold and-“

“You heard the queen,” Farran interrupted. “Sir Arren or one of the other knights can lead the flank attack. My place is at her side.”

The general looked as if he were about to object, but Isana cut him off again. “Do you not think the Butcher will be suspicious when his scouts report that my most trusted warrior is nowhere to be seen? If we want this ambush to be a success he has to be caught off guard. Send whoever you think suitable, but Farran stays with me.”

Her tone brooked no argument, and the general bowed apologetically. “As you wish, my queen. I shall send for Sir Arren.”

The commanders resumed their discussion of tactics, and Farran returned his attention to the battlefield. The queen’s army had encamped behind the brow of a small hill on the great plain leading to the Citadel. To the west of the plain lay the woods from which the ambush would emerge, sprawling out into the distance but also looping behind the queen’s encampment. She had been careful to position scouts throughout the forest to warn of any surprise attack the Butcher King might mount, but so far all had been quiet. Too quiet, in Farran’s opinion. The Butcher was known for his guile as well as his brutality. He no doubt had some dirty trick in his arsenal, and the longer he kept it hidden the more disquieted Farran became.

The queen and her generals finished their discussion and rode back down the hill to the main camp, leaving the forward guard to keep watch on the army ahead. Farran followed, guiding his horse clumsily through the bustling camp to the queen’s tent. He had no love for riding; unlike the highborn generals he had never received training as a child. He felt most at home with his feet planted firmly on the ground, axe in one hand and shield in the other.

Farran dismounted and followed Isana into her tent, leaving the generals outside. When Isana had first chosen him to be her guard, this had drawn many an incredulous look; the beautiful queen shadowed even to her private quarters by the scarred, wild-looking warrior with the mane of unkempt, dirty brown hair. But with each thwarted attempt on the queen’s life, his presence had become seen more and more as a necessity rather than an oddity.

“The end is near,” Isana said. “Today we decide the fate of the realm.”

“We’ll win,” Farran replied. “The Butcher has weakened. We outnumber him at least two to one, if the scouts speak true.”

Isana made no reply, but looked perturbed nonetheless. In front of others the queen never expressed doubt, but in private she allowed her true feelings to show.

“Help me with my armour,” she said at last, and Farran obeyed. Before long she was clad in a full suit of steel plate, embellished with the golden sun she had taken as her sigil. The pair left the tent and joined the commanders once again.

“An ill omen, the men are saying,” one of them said with a glance at the sky. “They say the moon turns crimson when the Old Gods are closest and their evil leaks through to our realm once again.” Farran followed his gaze. The Blood Moon hung in the sky like a great red eye, almost level with the sun. It had been getting closer and closer for weeks, and sometime soon would come the eclipse, but Farran was not worried. He had as little love for superstition as he did for riding.

“Old wives’ tales,” he said. “The only evil we need to worry about is the damned Butcher, and after today not even him.”

“Well spoken,” Isana agreed, but Farran spied a brief hint of that perturbed expression again.

Suddenly a horn blew, and one of the lookouts came galloping into the camp. “Your Highness!” he yelled. “The enemy has sent forth a party bearing the Butcher’s standard. They seek parley.”

“Then we shall ride to meet them,” Isana replied. “Farran, Lord Garwin, with me. The rest of you, get the men in formation. The battle is nigh.”

Farran went to mount his horse, but suddenly came the sound of a girl’s voice, muffled and distorted.

“Farran!” cried the voice. “Come quickly! Pa says we need you!” Farran glanced around, searching for the source of the voice, but saw nothing. Again the girl called out, her voice clearer this time.

“Farran! Please wake up!”

Farran gazed around again, but now everything seemed to have changed. The soldiers moved in slow motion, as if walking through water, and everything was slowly becoming covered in a fog so dense that Farran could hardly see. He whirled around, confused, crying out as the world disappeared around him-


He came to with a jolt, sitting bolt upright and gasping for breath. Gone was the battlefield, and in its place a cramped, dingy bedroom, the smell of rot heavy in the air. The girl at his side shrank back as he leered at her with his one good eye.

“Please,” the girl whimpered. “Pa said to get you. Tall Sam is threatening to kill Willas again. You’re the only one he’ll listen to.”

Realisation dawned on Farran at last. He had been dreaming again, although the memories he relived in his slumber often felt too real, too vivid, to be called mere dreams. The battle beneath the White Citadel had been long ago, however. It no longer mattered. Nothing mattered any more. But something within the old warrior would not let him give up, no matter how dark the world had grown since that day.

“Stay here, Alice,” he told the girl as he climbed to his feet, throwing on a woollen jerkin and britches before wrapping a strip of cloth around his head to cover his bad eye. The sight of it tended to unnerve the other villagers. “I’ll send your father to get you.” He didn’t wait for an answer, walking towards the door. There hung his axe and shield, pitted and tarnished from all the blows he had taken and the blood he had spilled over the years. He had no need for them this time, though. He’d handled far worse than angry farmers in his time.

He strode out of his small cabin, stepping over the blind old dog lying asleep on its porch. It was a mangy old thing, but Farran looked after it as best he could. He felt sympathy for it, aged and scarred just as he was. Besides, it often seemed to smell trouble coming long before the villagers caught wind of it.

It was dark, as always. The Blood Moon hung overhead like a great red eye, as it had done for nearly two decades. Days and nights still came and went, the moon tracing the path once made by the sun, but the feeling of true daylight was but a distant memory. The faint crimson light that bled from the skies now was no substitute.

He trudged towards the main part of the village, separated from his cabin by a small stand of willows. Here it grew brighter, the torches and lamps of the village spilling light across the muddied earth. Willas’ lights were dotted about too; ethereal orbs hanging silently in the air, bobbing slightly in the breeze. Farran found them unsettling – he’d never trusted magic – but he was thankful for them anyway. Without them the crops would have withered away long ago. All the more reason to stop Tall Sam from killing the old mage.

He soon found the belligerent farmer, shouting as loudly as he was. As his name suggested, Tall Sam was a giant of a man, standing at least a foot over most of the other villagers, Farran excluded. His mop of curly brown hair was dishevelled and greasy, and his face was a livid red.

“Tell him, Farran!” Sam yelled as soon as the old warrior drew into sight. “We ought to stand up to that b.astard! He’s been lording it over us for too long! Who’s he think he is?”

“The man who keeps food on our bloody plates, that’s who,” said the man stood with him. Ren was much shorter than Sam, and much calmer. “If you kill him we’ll all starve, you feckless idiot.”

Sam stepped towards Ren, making to hit him, but shrank back when Farran stepped in. “Ren, go get Alice from my cabin,” he said over his shoulder. “I’ll deal with this fool.”

“Don’t tell me you’re on his side,” Sam said as Ren hurried away. “It’s wrong. Can’t you see it? We all work day in, day out while he sits on his a.rse, then he has the nerve to make all his demands, the toothless old f.ucker. The things he’s said, the things he makes people do - somebody needs to teach him a lesson!”

“And you think you’re the one to do it?” Farran said. “Drunk out of your mind and threatening to kill him? He’s a greedy b.astard, but we need him. Last thing we need is a bread and buttered halfwit scaring him off.”

“Who are you calling a halfwit?” Sam shouted, stepping forward and glowering angrily down at Farran. Other villagers had come out to watch the argument now, but Farran paid them no mind.

“I’ll tell you this once, Sam,” he said, a dangerous tone entering his voice. “Drop this, go home and sober up. Otherwise it’s going to end badly for you.”

“Don’t threaten me!” Sam replied angrily, shoving Farran backwards. Farran reacted without thinking, lashing out and hitting Sam square in the face. A familiar cold anger washed over the old warrior, and he punched him again, sending Sam stumbling backwards, blood streaming from his nose. Farran didn’t let up, shoving Sam into the wall of the nearest house. Sam groaned and tried to step backwards, but Farran didn’t let him, pushing his face into the wood.

“I warned you,” Farran said through gritted teeth, pushing the anger down. “Leave Willas be, or I’ll really lose my temper, gods take your soul.” He pushed Sam to the dirt and walked away as a few other men rushed in and pulled Sam to his feet. He was dimly aware of the stares and murmurs of the other villagers. Let them talk, he thought. They need me as much as they do Willas.

Ren was waiting for him back at his cabin, leaning against the wall whilst Alice sat stroking Farran’s dog. “Is everything alright?” he asked.

“It will be,” Farran said. “As long as that simpleton got it through his thick skull to leave Willas alone.”

Ren still looked troubled. “As foolhardy as he is, Sam has a point, you know.”

Farran groaned. “Gods be damned, Ren, I’m not going to have to break your nose too, am I?” Ren laughed. To others that may have been a genuine threat, but he was one of the few people that Farran counted as a friend.

“I’d prefer you didn’t,” Ren answered. “It might not hurt to pose the same question to Willas, though.”

“It would. Soon as he feels threatened he’ll turn tail and run, find some other village who’ll keep him fat and lazy. A few days after that our lights’ll go out and we’ll go hungry again. However much he’s taking in tribute, we’d lose far more without him.”

“It’s not just the tribute, Farran. We give you more too, remember, and nobody has a problem with that.”

“What, then?”

Ren gave a deep sigh. “There’ve been rumours for a while, but I didn’t know for sure till today. He’s been forcing the women-” He paused and glanced at Alice, still stroking the old dog. “I think you know what I’m telling you.”

Farran’s tone hardened again. “How did you find out?”

“Sam’s daughter told me. Willas said to her the other night that if she didn’t do as he asked he’d stop putting his lights up at their fields. That’s why Sam was so angry, Farran, he wasn’t just drunk.”

Farran glanced at Alice again. Sam’s daughter was only a few years older. If Willas was forcing girls her age into his bed, where did he draw the line? Would he wait a few years before harassing Ren’s daughter, or was he already eyeing her up? The thought made him shudder. That cold anger was rising again. This time he embraced it.

“I’ll put an end to it,” he said. “It’s like Sam says, the old b.astard needs a lesson.” He stormed past Ren into the cabin, grabbing his axe.

“Steady, Farran,” Ren said, stepping in front of him. “He disgusts me too, but as much as I hate it we still need him. Don’t go doing anything rash.”

“I know,” Farran said, tearing the cloth strip from around his head. His bad eye bulged from its socket, the sightless, milk-white organ awash with flecks of bloody red. “I’m just going to scare him. I won’t hurt him.”

Not much, anyway, he thought as he marched towards the old mage’s hovel.

Goddammit swear filter
Last edited by Rik on Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ghost wrote:and since when has "being dumb" been a sin on the internet?
Pokeforum Random Battle Tourney - come for the battles, stay for the salt

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:10 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 4:
Crush-sama

Long after securing the Ultimate Power, Dravnir and his remaining legion of dragons still found themselves hunted and tracked by enemy dragon forces.

While they dispatched of them easily enough, they were a persistent annoyance, and some of Dravnir's comrades had fallen. Now that he had placed the Ultimate Power inside Neave and left her a bare and stranded human, he had no means to instantly heal his party and, needless to say, no longer possessed ultimate power. He was filled with deep regret.

Somewhere out there, the weakened but still influential Mother of Dragons must have been directing these enemy forces to take down Dravnir. As long as Dravnir lived, there could be no successor. Death or voluntary relinquishment was the only way a Dark Monarch of Dragons passed on his or her position. Dravnir was not interested in a successor carrying out the end of the world in his place, and thus kept himself in the top role.

There was also the issue of the Magic Gate, which was the source of - of course - magic, and the magic beings of the world. That included dragons. This regular stream of dragons allowed Dragonkind to keep up with the burgeoning humankind, who had for a long time now kept ages of darkness at bay. This regular stream of dragons was also a hassle for Dravnir as these freshly born dragons defaulted to evil feelings. They would be guided by the Mother.

And so Dravnir had decided, he would have to shut Mother up, and close the Magic Gate for good.

But in order to do that, he would need to find the Ultimate Power once more. He would need to find Neave.

* * * * * * * * * *

-Current day-

"Where are we going?"

After his 'meeting' with Dorian in the alleyway, Dravnir decided not to waste any time, and had decided on their next course of action as soon as he had established Dorian was not the cause of Neave's disappearance.

"In to town," Dravnir said to Dorian, "to meet an old friend."

"Who?"

"Questions, questions. It's someone who is going to be useful in helping us find Neave. That's all you need to know for now. Proper introductions will be made."

"Are they...dragon-kin?"

"No," Dravnir said immediately.

Dorian suspected nothing, just as Dravnir had suspected. The fool.

They got off the bus near the city centre and walked down a few streets, finding themselves on Lowen Avenue. Dravnir could sense the growing trepidation from Dorian, but knew that he wouldn't flee. The young man wanted to prove himself as a brave hero.

"Here," Dravnir said, stopping outside what looked like an entrance to a block of flats, looking at Dorian to gauge if he was still full of courage. He reached for one of the buttons, but Dorian cried out for him to stop. Dravnir's mouth curled into a serpentine smile.

"I know you're leading me to another dragon," Dorian said. "And that dragon must be your friend...so why did you lie to me?"

So, Dravnir thought, he isn't as stupid as I thought. Dravnir was almost proud.

"Go on," he said. "I think you know why."

Dorian sighed. "You wanted to see if I was really a descendant of the hero. Well, now you know." He sounded almost annoyed. "Nobody ever believes me when I tell them."

"In fairness it's a pretty rare status. Approximately only 1 in 8 billion people qualify. You should be pleased. Now, since I know for sure you have dragonsense, let's meet her. My old friend Clarissa."

He reached for the button once again. 'Flat 4'. After a moment or so, the speaker below buzzed to life.

"Helloo? Who is it?" They sounded busy.

"It's Dravnir."

There was an audible gasp. "Uncle Drav!!"

Both of them flinched back from the loud screech of the speakers.

"I told you now to call me Drav, Clarissa..."

A deep annoyed breath this time. "And I told you not to call me that, Drav."

Dravnir sighed. "Alright. Let us in please...Crush. I have an important friend here for an important mission. We don't have time to dawdle."

"Okee-doke, one moment uncle!"

There was buzz and the door clicked. Dravnir pushed his way through and both of them stepped into the lobby of the flats.

Inside it seemed slightly rundown, but quaint. Certainly not an inexpensive place, especially since it was in the middle of the city. There were plants and fine paintings dotted around.

"Crush?" Dorian asked. "That is a peculiar nickname."

Dravnir looked at him sidelong. "She is a degenerate weeb streamer. She refers to herself as Crush-sama, and hates her actual name. That's about the short of it."

"I don't understand what any of that means, but okay."

"Don't worry about it. Neither would I, had I not known her or lived as long as I have."

They made their way up the flights of stairs.

"She calls you uncle," Dorian said. "You don't look that old and she doesn't seem so young, living away from home like this."

"Like I said, I've lived for a long time. A few thousand years."

"I only heard of dragons living for a few hundred years."

"I guess I must be pretty special, then. Or perhaps dragon lore isn't nearly as accurate as it used to be. And no, to clarify, I am not really her uncle. She is the child of one of my...old followers."

"Pssht," Dorian waved his hand. "Stop pretending you were important."

They reached door 4, and Dravnir rapped on the door. Quite loudly, Dorian thought, flinching back.

The sound of footsteps thundered towards the door, followed by the rattle of bolts and chains, and then the door was suddenly ripped open. Standing in the doorway was a 20-ish looking woman. Clad in striped pajamas. A mess of blue hair. Spiked choker around her slender neck. Mad smile under the loose strands of her fringe.

She flung herself at Dravnir, an equal in height, who accepted the embrace with his arms by his sides and a deadpan expression on his face.

"It's been so long, Uncle..."

She rested her head on his chest. Dorian felt a pang of envy.

"It's good to see you too, Crush. This is Dorian, by the way."

"Hi," he said timidly. "Nice to meet you..."

She let go of Dravnir and then flung her arms around Dorian, who suddenly felt nirvana. Then she let go and stood back, looking him straight in the face.

"Any friend of Dravnir's," she smiled angelically, "is going to be a friend of mine."

"Oh," Dorian said dreamily. "Dravnir and I go way back."

"Ahem..." Dravnir interrupted. "Let's get inside, kids. Pour ourselves some tea, talk about a plan of action."

"Oh yes," Crush said, wide-eyed. "What is this about, uncle?"

"Your auntie Neave has gone missing."

Inside the flat, Dravnir and Dorian aligned themselves on one of the sofas in the living room, facing away from the large TV. It seemed like a fairly normal living room, apart from the swords lined up on the walls.

Crush sat comfortably opposite in her pajamas, legs sideways, the curve of her body very noticeable, Dorian trying his best to seem casual.

Dravnir made them teas while Crush lit up a cigarette.

"Thanks unc'," she said.

"Lazy girl," Dravnir said. "It's midday and you're still in your PJs."

"You're just jealous you can't wear PJs in your workplace, whereas I can wear whatever I want in mine."

"I'm fine with my outdoor clothes, thanks."

"Anway...about what you were saying. Holy crap." Crush tapped her fag into the ash tray. "Tell me everything... I assume..." She tilted her head towards Dorian.

"He's cool," Dravnir said. "As you kids would say. He knows we're dragons. He's actually..." Dravnir couldn't help but smirk. "The descendant of the hero."

Crush coughed out a laugh. "You're fuc.king with me? You are."

Dorian felt brought back to reality, scowling slightly. "Yes, I am. Tell her, Dravnir. Without the smirk."

"He is," Dravnir said, just about managing it. "I tested him. He could tell there was a dragon living in these flats without me telling him. And as you know..."

"The hero has dragonsense," Crush said. "The ability to sense nearby dragons."

Dravnir nodded.

"Do you..." Crush looked at Dorian, eagerly. Dorian flushed. "Do you have, you know...the sword?"

"Uh... No," Dorian said, disappointed. "I'm afraid I actually have no idea where it is. It's lost to the ages, as my teachers told me."

"Oh. That sucks. I wanted to see it."

Dravnir looked at Crush. "That sword could kill you in a stroke, in the right hands."

"Not me," Crush said, tapping her chest with a fist. "Too strong. The blood of dragons, and the lifeforce of humans, all in one sick package."

Dorian's eyes widened. "The lifeforce of humans? You haven't, you know..." Crush looked at him blankly. "Eaten humans, right?"

Her face wrinkled in disgust. "Why would I do that?"

"I heard stories about dragons..." Dorian said, before Dravnir cut him off.

"You misunderstand, Dorian. What Crush was trying to say is, she's dragon and human. Dragons in the past did have a history of eating humans...but Crush certainly hasn't."

"Dragon and human!" he exclaimed. "So the legends about such hybrids are true."

"Crush is the only one of her kind I know of," Dravnir said. "But certainly, others might have existed. Others might exist in this age. And I cannot tell you for sure if their motives are benign."

"Uncle," Crush said. "It feels like you're trying to segway into a point here."

"The people who took Neave..." Dravnir began, "because I'm sure they were a group of people - I'm sure they are dragons. They would have had to be, to overpower Neave and capture her. It's highly likely someone in my old legion is moving against me. And if that is the case they are confident of success. Now, if I were to move against someone powerful, I would want an army."

"An army of dragons," Crush said.

"What else? And it would have to be Dragon-Human hybrids, because I cursed the females in my legion, the only remaining female dragons of the world, to infertility. This was necessary to stop any more dragons and therefore a revolt against me and the world. Or so I thought... It seemed that wasn't enough."

"And now they're mad because you made them infertile?" Dorian furrowed his brow. "How the hell did you do that anyway? Do I want to know..?"

"No, you're getting this a bit wrong... I could tell you, Dorian, but you don't seem to ever believe I'm important. I used the Ultimate Power."

"The what?"

"Hmm, I suppose that bit of lore never survived, then. Basically, it was something that granted me what it pertains to be. With it in my hands, I was the closest thing to a god on earth. Do you believe me?"

Dorian took a breath. "I don't really have a choice but to believe you anyway, right?"

"True."

"Everything will be explained or become clear in time, Dorian-kun," Crush said, snubbing out the remainder of her cigarette. "In the meantime, I suppose we should get moving? I want to get those bast.ards who got Neave."

The option to not enable word censoring seems to be fudged. Got around this by using full stops set to size 1 placed inside the swears so it's not noticeable.
Image

User avatar
Rik
Posts: 3662
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:12 pm
NNID: RikTheNinja
3DS Friend Code: 1032-1749-4002

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Rik » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:19 pm

Word censoring's been broken for everyone since the big update, hadn't thought of that way of getting round it though
Ghost wrote:and since when has "being dumb" been a sin on the internet?
Pokeforum Random Battle Tourney - come for the battles, stay for the salt

User avatar
Aren142
Posts: 6165
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:01 pm
Steam ID: Aren142
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Aren142 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:52 pm

Fu.ck, why didn't I think of that?
<Kaeetayel> Go for a team entirely composed of Eeveelutions
<Princess> that's effort
<Princess> I need to buy the stones/go to rocks/make them happy/touch Eevee
<Kaeetayel> The last one doesn't sound too bad

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:34 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 5:
Gilderoy
Without the Ultimate Power, Dravnir and his band of dragons were stuck.

At least, they could make no progress towards their goal of neutralising Mother and closing the Magic Gate.

Their only hope remained in finding the now-human Neave. And though the hero could use dragonsense to pick out dragons even while they were in human form, this ability was not normal to dragons.

In the meantime, they kept low-profile, currently travelling in the desert towns of Egyptia on human feet. While Dravnir was determined to see his goals through, he was rather enjoying the world now he had no obligations. He experienced a number of human pleasures for the first time during these travels.

While Dravnir spent most of his time in the drinking house of their latest stop, Gilderoy was much more eager to continue the search for Neave.

Gilderoy was the youngest of Dravnir's generals and had been sympathetic to the idea of abandoning the destruction of the world, making it clear he had never supported the idea and had acted only to secure his position in the dragon world. He loved humans for what he perceived as their gentler and more scholarly nature, even as he had begun to see their excesses up close in recent times.

The young dragon tapped Dravnir on the shoulder during the elder dragon's binge. He turned with a dark look.

"What is it?" he asked.

"My lord," Gilderoy said with a bow. Despite Dravnir's occasional lack of manners, he showed due and genuine reverence. "I have found Neaveye."

Dravnir's expression sobered, though he was eager to go back to drinking.

"How do you know it's her?"

"She... She told me, my lord. And if my lord may accept it, you will know that I am known to be sensitive in my discerning of our kind. The woman I spoke to is a dragon."

Dravnir grunted. "Fine. Bring me to her."

Gilderoy led the way, brushing through the curtain that covered the tavern and out into the cold and dusty desert night, though they were dragons and hardly felt the elements.

As they made their way down the street, Dravnir thought about Neaveye. Was she not angry? Did she even know that Gilderoy was leading him to her? What did the young dragon say. Dravnir said nothing, however. He was confident he would come out on top of any confrontation, inebriated or not.

"Hurry," Dravnir grunted, impatient.

They rounded a corner and all too suddenly, the soft tones reached his ears.

"Now now, Dravnir," came a woman's voice. "I am here."

"Neaveye." Dravnir peered into the darkness. The woman walked into the moonlight.

He was shocked. Neaveye was beautiful and softly spoken. This was surely not his lieutenant. She stood around his height, not surprising, but was golden-haired and softly featured. Playful green eyes. The only great resemblance was the paleness of her skin, which was like the milky murkiness of Neaveye the Cruel's scales.

"You have changed," he said, "if it is indeed you, Neaveye."

"I go by Neave, now," she said, flicking back a golden lock. She left her arms still by her side. She was well-dressed in robes for the desert. "A human for the rest of my life... I had to change. And what I have experienced as a human has changed me."

"A lowly gelf," Dravnir said coolly. "But with the power I need."

Neave nodded. "It's yours. My lord."

Dravnir shook his head. "I need your cruelty too. I will remove the curse I placed on you. We will be" - the sacrilege made even him hesitate - "fighting mother and closing the magic gate."

"No, I don't want to go back!"

Dravnir looked at her aghast, as if she had slapped him open-palmed on the face.

"F-forgive me," she said. "I would rather not be a dragon again."

"What?" He took a step forward.

Gilderoy looked on, tense. Don't, he wanted to say, anticipating the worst, but he dared not speak out of line.

"Please..." Neave said, hands on elbows, looking suddenly very vulnerable. "I don't want to be cruel. Not anymore."

Dravnir looked about himself, pensive. Taking breaths, sobered. As if sympathising.

"You will do as I say," he said.

* * * * * * * * * *

-Current Day-

"Dravnir. D-Dog. D-Mod. You're spacing out."

Crush was fixed with a cold stare.

"I was just thinking of the past," Dravnir said. "It's a cliche, but it really feels like yesterday, those memories of my time thousands of years ago. It's certainly a feeling."

"You're sounding like a normie, uncle," Crush said. "Not at all what I would have expected of a thousands-of-years-old dragon."

He drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair. He and Dorian sat on the bus once more, Crush with them this time.

"I'm thinking we fly straight to Gilderoy ourselves. With our own wings."

"Is that not risky?" Dorian said. "You might get caught."

"I obviously considered the risk, but we're in a hurry. Besides, if the guy sees us coming towards him transformed, then perhaps I will scare him into acting. We might be able to skip a prolonged conversation. Assuming he is still in that old cottage."

"I was more thinking about people seeing you guys. Exposing dragons to the world..."

"Who cares?" Dravnir shrugged emphatically. "No-one is going to believe it anyway. You can make anything look real with pictures these days. Besides, one or two dragons might not seem out of place in the world soon enough."

Dorian's eyes widened. "Huh?"

Crush clasped her hands together with glee. "Ooh, more dragon friends? Where?"

"No," Dravnir said. "Dragon enemies. Vicious, mindless creatures of the old world, come through the magic gate. With Neave, they may have the means of opening the gate again. If one of my generals is responsible for Neave's kidnapping, as I strongly suspect, then they'll know about it."

"Hmmm..." Dorian looked at Dravnir.

"For goodness sake man, I'm the Dravnir, isn't that clear by now?"

"Nope. Still not buying it."

Crush giggled. "This is funny. I can't wait to see Gilderoy again. Even if we do have to kill him."

There was a silence for a time.

"Even I have no words," Dravnir said. "I am now a bit more worried about the mental state of the other hybrid dragons I suspect exist."

"I'm sure Gilderoy isn't bad though... He always seemed like the good guy in your stories, right?"

"A lot can change in thousands of years."

"He still seemed nice when I saw him...when was it now? A couple of years ago."

"Yes but, as you probably noticed, he doesn't seem to like me all that much anymore."

"Uncle! I'm sure he wouldn't plunge the world into chaos out of some dislike of you. That would be a bit petty for him."

"Trust issues," Dorian said, nodding.

"I agree."

They got off the bus on the street of Dravnir's bookshop.

"I need to sort out help at the shop," he said, hands in his pockets, looking at them askance. "We might be gone for a while. And then we're going to find some remote place to fly out of here."

"Yeah, about that plan..." Dorian began, raising a hand. "I don't know about it."

"We're not changing it. If you're scared, I can knock you out if you're not worried about falling off our backs. In any case, you are not backing out."

"Come on Dorian." Crush squeezed his elbow. "It'll be alright."

"Yeah Dorian. This is a perfect character-building exercise. The chapter of your life you stop being a pussy."

"Fu.ck off."

Dravnir smiled. "That's more like it."
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:54 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 6:
Turbulence
They stood in the open field, no signs of other human (or dragon) life anywhere near. Just themselves and the cow pats around them. In the distance, over a crude wooden fence wound with wire, was an adjoining field of horses grazing and milling around peacefully.

"Alright, this is good enough," Dravnir said. "Crush, would you do the honours of giving us a lift?"

Crush nodded eagerly, smiling.

"Get back, Dorian. In fact, it's best if you avert your eyes. Crush will take a while to transform and it's not exactly pretty."

Dorian happily turned around. He raised a thumb. "Right. I wasn't particularly interested in seeing it happen anyway."

No response from either of them, but it began. He could hear it. The churning sound of energy. Fleshy and crackling sounds as her body changed shaped. A cry caught between human and beast that made him shudder.

A wild thought flashed through his mind: were they going to kill him? Was this a trap? He wasn't going to turn around to find out. Without the sword, there was nothing he could do anyway.

Several moments passed.

"Alright, I'm ready," came a reverberating and deep but still distinctly feminine voice.

Dorian turned and observed her. She did not look too different from what he imagined. It turned out that modern pictures of dragons were actually based off the real thing, in a way. They would have been based off pictures, which in turn were based on pictures...all the way up the generations, on the original primitive drawings of dragons.

Large and long-snouted with brilliant blue scales. Clawed hands, horned ears. But rather slender-bodied, almost making her seem like a serpent. A nascent dragon. Her wings seemed small, folded thin against her but like her scales they had a metallic sheen.

Dravnir casually hopped onto her back, near the neck. He gestured for Dorian.

The hero took a step back.

"This feels wrong," he said. "A dragon. My mortal enemy."

"For goodness sake. You knew we were dragons all along. Why didn't you say anything sooner? I understand this may be a bit of a shock but..."

"But now, she's actually a dragon. She..."

"Careful," Dravnir said sternly. "Crush can still hear you. She is still fully sentient. It's the same person. You have nothing to worry about."

"But is she?"

A tense silence descended upon them. Dravnir fixed him with a smouldering stare. Dorian looked back at him, blankly, paralysed by fear and superstition and...perhaps more. An atavistic instinct maybe.

Dravnir looked about himself and then fixed Dorian with the look of an adult who has given up on a child or subordinate.

"Fine. You don't have to come if you don't want to. I thought your dragonsense ability might have been useful, but we can probably do without it. If needs be, we can borrow Gilderoy's. Well?"

Dorian maintained his expression, staring straight into his eyes, not moving or speaking. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could swear he saw a glimmer of annoyance in Crush's black dragon eyes. But they were so foreign, so alien to him, that he could not tell for sure.

"Alright then. It seems you've made up your mind. Let's go, Crush."

In a swift and smooth movement, Crush turned around, blue scales shimmering, so they faced away from Dorian. Her back legs bent, as if preparing for launch.

"Wait! Wait a minute... I just needed a moment to get my bearings."

"Hurry the hell up," Dravnir called back to him, without looking back.

"Okay..."

Dorian approached slowly, cautiously, thinking about the way to go about this. The urgency in the elder dragon's voice made him act, however. He leapt, landing clumsily on Crush, and then felt his way up to where Dravnir was. There was a strange softness to this hide, but it was also tough. Metallic in feel as well as appearance. He imagined ordinary swords bouncing right off it. Maybe even bullets.

He positioned himself right behind Dravnir and, actually, felt secure where he sat.

"Ready?" Dravnir said.

"I'm ready."

They sunk briefly, before launching high up into the sky.

Dorian let out a cry, folding down and clutching the dragonhide.

They rapidly gained in altitude for a few moments, and then began to steady, floating forward it seemed, maintaining a steady pace. Dorian relaxed and stretched back up to a proper sitting position.

"I never want to do that again," he said.

"You know you'll have to get used to it."

"I guess so... Hey Crush, I'm sorry about what I said before. I didn't mean it. I was just scared."

"It's fine," came her garbled voice. Dorian was almost surprised to hear it. It still sounded so human. "I would be scared too, if I was just a human."

"I don't want to look down."

"Then don't. Although it is a nice view."

They flew on, largely in silence, as if this was the most natural thing in the world.

"Do you guys do this often then? Find some remote place to fly?"

"No," Dravnir said. "We have done this only a couple of times before. Just to teach her in case it was useful one day. I myself transform or, rather, revert back to being a dragon."

"Why?"

"Well. It's more natural to Crush. She is a human and dragon, fitting both molds naturally. While I'm in a human form and am mostly human, it's not a natural state for me. There is a bit more of a 'give' when I revert back."

"Tell me how it works," Dorian said. "I'm curious."

"You certainly seem to be curious right now. Very well. The transformation in Crush's case and the reversion in my case is both a physical and magical process. Physical because obviously our bodies fundamentally change, but magic is necessary to aid that process. The magic is also there to retain information about our prior forms and yes, that includes clothing. Anything we are in possession of, in fact, becomes a part of us when changing."

"Very scientific."

"Yes. And very magical too."

"So this Gilderoy guy. Lives in Finland. And has, apparently, dragonsense like me."

"That's what I said," Dravnir said. "Like humans, dragons differ too. A rare few possess interesting and surprising traits."

"What about you?"

"Me? Not really. I was what was expected. But my older sister, Uldravoult, was named so because she fit the mold of the Thunderosi. A special type of dragon that commanded electricity. Very rare."

"Yet, you were chosen to be the dark monarch of dragons and not her."

Dravnir laughed. "So, you believe that I am the Dravnir now?"

"No. The actual Dravnir might not even be alive anymore. The hero Alexander won. Why else does the world still stand?"

"Perhaps he couldn't be bothered destroying the world. Anyway, how are you so knowledgeable about all this? Family?"

"That's right. The legends have all passed down."

"No, not all of them."

Silence descended on them for a while as the sea bloomed beneath them and stretched out for as far as the eye could see.

"So what happened to her?" Dorian said. "Your sister."

"She was a pain in the ass. I got rid of her, along with most of the other dragons. Apart from all the ones who agreed with me."

"Wow. What a bast.ard."

"It was them or me. It was me, or the annihilation of the world."

"That is amazingly arrogant." A hint of genuine annoyance crept into Dorian's voice suddenly. "You believed you were some kind of messiah so you killed them all because they stood in your way."

"I got rid of them," Dorian re-iterated. "Calm down, kid."

"I'm not a kid."

"You are to me, mate. I have a few thousand years on you."

"I'm not your mate."

"Listen. Those dragons did actually want the end of the world. I, in the end, did not. They were planning to continue the plan with or without me. And, since I was acting against them, it was going to be without me."

"And what about the humans you killed?"

There was a long pause.

"If you were really a good guy, then why didn't you work with Alexander? Why did you have to kill him?"

"Okay, first of all, I didn't claim to be a good guy. Secondly, Alexander wasn't all what he seemed."

"Meaning?"

"He was a dick. You call me arrogant - but he was absolutely deluded with how great he was. He slept around. He boasted about his feats all the time. He was...he was so obviously fake and full of himself."

"Not really a reason to kill him though."

"Why not? He was trying to kill me." Dravnir began to get tetchy himself.

"Boys, please," Crush suddenly interjected. "Dorian, I can see where you're coming from. Dravnir did kill people including your ancestors, but you have to realise something. Dravnir is really a sweetheart deep down. He just acts tough because he doesn't want people to know it. But he really has meant well for the longest time."

"How?" Dorian said, anger bubbling. "How do you know that?"

"Because," Crush said calmly. "I trust him. And don't you? Is that not why you're with us? Because you saw the good in him?"

Only silence followed, but the three of them settled into it. They had moved on from the argument.

"We're near," Dravnir said, and they began their descent, into the midst of a wooded area.

"I know," Dorian said. "I can sense him."

Dravnir turned to him. "I thought you said you could only sense dragons half a mile away, no more and no less?"

"Well, I lied."

"Well. Fair enough. Thanks for letting me know, anyway. If you can sense him, then we know he's still here for sure. Or if not him then someone else I can get clues from."

Dorian ignored him.

Dravnir leaned onto Crush's neck and whispered. "My people skills seemed to have disappeared over the thousands of years."
Image

User avatar
OrangeRakoon
Posts: 5669
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:08 pm
NNID: OrangeRakoon
3DS Friend Code: 0705-5259-5082
PSN ID: OrangeRakoon
Steam ID: OrangeRakoon
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by OrangeRakoon » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:13 pm

Thought I'd pop in here to share a short story I wrote for a 48 hour flash fiction competition. I didn't make the shortlist, but I'm still pleased with what I wrote (considering I smashed it out in 4 hours due to it being a busy weekend for me!)

Direct link

User avatar
DarkRula
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 pm
NNID: DarkRula
Xbox Gamertag: DarkRula
Steam ID: DarkRula
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by DarkRula » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:33 pm

That's a nicely written piece OR. Very character driven.

As for me, this is the story I'd wrote for a competition but never entered.
Draco was gearing up for his next assault. He had a good knowledge level, though lacked severely in combat level. The levels being literal, since the Cyber World was a world unlike any other.

There was no death in the finite sense, as the Cyber World was a digital world in which people were data, their every skill and function a number. Having a good knowledge meant having a high number, but even then that would be split into sub-categories that reflected different styles.

Draco had a high knowledge level, with his memorisation stat being the highest. As such, he had decided against starting with smaller foes when it came to combat. He had been tracking down and facing off against one particular person again and again, hoping that eventually he could beat the other.

Draco himself was thin, short, and had a sharp featured face. His brown eyes looked as if they were always focused, and he rarely smiled. His clothes were to make him more agile, with a red top and some loose-fitting trousers.

The city was high-tech, at least in the centre. While the technology was also in the further reaches of the city, it was less maintained than the centre, with a few houses having dodgy electric supplies. It was in one of these houses where Draco lived.

Looking out from the window, he could see the city centre, with the towers and flashy lights. Somewhere within those towers was the local Police Patrol building, and within that building was the one he continuous challenged – Gary.

The radio in which he listened to for news from the city started up. Apart from the chamber in which he would respawn and the computer in which everything about him could be accessed by himself, the radio was the only other thing in the room. There was a second room, which served as a kitchen and bathroom. It was a poor-quality lifestyle, and one Draco had run himself in to.

“Two sectors of the city have been closed off as some of Darcy’s minions attack,” the announcer from the radio said. Static arose from the speaker, but what was said next was all Draco needed to hear. “-the main unit of the police patrol is on their way as we speak.”

This will be the time I win, Draco thought. I will beat you Gary, and I will finally make something of myself.

Checking to see what weapons he could call upon was useless. His low combat level meant he had little choice. In fact, he hadn’t even trained, so was still level one. As such, he had just the one weapon. Exiting the house, he ran as fast as he could. He could guess which two sectors were closed easily. Darcy had been trying again and again to uncover something, so it was always the same two.

As he ran, Draco couldn’t help but think on how he had ended up at this. He had studied for a very long time, passing many tests to become a scholar, with the plan to get into teaching the history of this world. He had indeed got to that point, and had been doing well. An incident had arose, though none of it had been his fault (or so he always told everyone, since that was what he believed).

After a lecture, the students had left, except for one. He had informed Draco of a meeting that all the scholars would be attending, from all over the world. It had seemed perfect for advancement, so on the date that it was held, he had attended. An argument had got a bit heated, and though he always said he didn’t, he had pushed the argument too far. It had started an incident that evolved into a fight, and he gladly took part in that. He never actually got to beat anyone, as a member of the police patrol had been at the meeting, and quickly stopped it. By first dealing a fatal hit to Draco, which had despawned him from the meeting.

That officer had been Gary, but it was only once he had fully healed and respawned in his chamber – and after looking for all the news he could on the incident – that he knew exactly who that member had been. When he returned to the university the next day, they had fired him for causing the incident and rupturing a few ties with neighbouring cities. Quickly his high style of life devolved into lower quality, and he eventually had to move out to the fringe of the city. No-one else had took him on.

So he did the only thing his way of thinking allowed. Blamed it on Gary. He thought that if he was able to beat a high combat levelled opponent with only his knowledge of that person, he would be recognised again as someone worth following.

Turning into the next street, he could see the group of officers now. Among them, as he had known, was Gary. The final few of Darcy’s minions – dark red monsters that looked formless in shape – were slain by the group.

“That’s all of them, it looks like,” Draco heard one of the officers say.

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” another said, looking at Draco and pointing.

Running the last few feet, Draco checked his stamina through the left side eye-piece. This eye-piece was linked to the computer, and provided the necessary details needed when out and about. Health and stamina were among them, and Draco could see his stamina was half empty. It would take time to refill, time which he probably wouldn’t have.

The other officers looked his way, and Draco saw Gary break into a smile. He also laughed, incensing Draco into wanting action to begin right now.
“Well, well, well,” Gary said. “Look who’s back. I’ve said before, you can’t give a decent challenge so don’t even try.”

“I have a good measure of you now,” Draco retorted, furiously swiping through his options list for his weapon. The sword appeared in his right hand once selected, the same side as the controller on his wrist. He took up a fighting stance.

Gary gave a huge fake yawn, then took up a more relaxed stance. Not even a fighting pose. His own weapon, a red blade that curved on one end while being jagged on the other, appeared without a need to use his controller. Draco suspected the patrol had been given updated tech.
Gary looked to Draco and said “If you insist,” in an almost bored voice.

In the last few encounters, Draco suspected Gary to have been playing him. Even so, it had given him a good idea on what to expect after a vigorous analysis of everything Gary had ever used against him.

Draco charged in, focused solely on the attack. Gary remained where he was stood. Draco moved his sword over his head, ready to strike. Gary shifted his pose slightly, preparing for the counter. That never came.

Draco had shifted to the right, and brought the sword up in a fast slash that Gary had completely not expected. The attack hit, and Draco managed one more hit. Quickly backpedalling, the attack Gary had tried to land missed ever so slightly. The downward strike meant Gary was now about to flip forward and try for a stronger downward slash. Draco wasn’t even in the space the blade slashed through, and managed another two hits as Gary recovered. The third was blocked, and Draco quickly backed away.

“Don’t worry,” Gary reassured the other officers. “Barely even scratched.”

The fight continued for a while, much longer than these fights usually lasted, and Draco had secured numerous more hits. While Gary was still quipping to his teammates that this wasn’t even a workout, Draco could sense a growing need from him to end this now. While the fighting style of his opponent didn’t change, Draco could see that the other was slightly hesitant on some attacks and defensive moves, as though this was yet another ploy.

“I still haven’t forgot all that time ago,” Draco called out. “When you struck me down the first time, when I was someone.”

“Someone worth knowing,” Gary said without malice. “When you actually felt like you were living the life. Fact is, you messed up. You just don’t want to believe it.”

“No! When you struck me down and lost me my job.”

“You need to let go of the blame you’ve put at my feet. I was just doing my job. You were causing trouble.”

“I would have been fine had you not struck me down.”

“I’d love to help you get over this, but first you need to get over this hate of me.”

“It’s justified,” Draco said, charging down once again.

This time Gary manged to anticipate the first move and got ready to defend the uppercut, but that shift in position to block the strike left Gary vulnerable elsewhere. Draco had looked as though he would strike with an uppercut, but had barely moved the sword when he broke into a quick slide, about-faced and struck one, two, three times in quick succession. The forth strike was blocked and Draco again backed away.

It seemed Draco was slowly winning. Gary looked to his teammates, and one of them gave a small nod of the head. Looking back to Gary, Draco was surprised to him smiling. Holding up his blade, the red looked as though it was brightening.

Shock hit Draco. This looks to be…

He never got a chance to finish what he was thinking. A simple swipe of his blade and that blade produced a curved line of fire, which was thrown Draco’s way. He barely had time to get out of the way, and quickly rushed in, hoping that close-quarters meant no more elemental projectiles could come into play.

A downward strike of Draco’s was blocked by Gary, and Draco quickly recovered to go for a low sweep. The two weapons locked, with Gary’s blade getting underneath and dragging Draco back up to standing.

“I tire of this charade,” Gary said quietly. “If you’re serious about this blind revenge, get some more combat experience. And until you do, don’t ever challenge me again.”

“It’s not just revenge I want,” Draco said in a strained voice, trying to free his sword from the lock. “If I can beat you with no combat experience, I’ll finally be on the map, and be recognised once again.”

Gary sighed. “If you really think you can beat a high levelled opponent with no experience, good luck with that. It means you won’t ever be prepared to face off against this. And I’m only doing this to show I’m serious about you never challenging me again.”

Gary then broke the lock of the weapons, and Draco couldn’t help but wonder what he was about to see. That wonderment didn’t stop him from charging in again, hoping to stop whatever Gary was about to do.

As Gary spun away from Draco, he performed an intricate movement with both arms. It looked as if it was an activation for something, which was confirmed when a blazing fire erupted around him.

Draco realised too late what was happening, and as the now flame-powered Gary flew towards him, Draco knew he had no hope of dodging or blocking this attack.

As the flames touched Draco and starting whittling down his health as fast as lightning, he found himself thinking So this is the power of the elements. His health hit zero percent, and he felt himself shatter into digital code.

User avatar
OrangeRakoon
Posts: 5669
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:08 pm
NNID: OrangeRakoon
3DS Friend Code: 0705-5259-5082
PSN ID: OrangeRakoon
Steam ID: OrangeRakoon
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by OrangeRakoon » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:50 pm

Thanks DarkRula!

I like the premise and setting of yours. I think perhaps you explain too much too early - sometimes it's good to let the reader work out how the world works from reading things that happen rather than explaining it all from the offset :)

User avatar
DarkRula
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 pm
NNID: DarkRula
Xbox Gamertag: DarkRula
Steam ID: DarkRula
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by DarkRula » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:59 pm

Thanks for that.
Yeah, I think I did get a bit too into explaining parts of the world. It might have had a bit more impact with less, would you say?

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Tue May 02, 2017 9:08 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 7:
Revelations
They landed in a wooded, snowy area. A crystallised wonderland. The snow crunched thickly beneath them as they jumped off. Dravnir looked over to Dorian, saw him hug himself.

"I should have checked the weather forecast," he said. "My bad." He whipped his coat about himself, his human flesh turned gooseflesh.

"I'll be fine," Dorian said flatly.

"Alright. Let's go ahead and give Crush some space to turn human."

The two of them crept through the woods, stepping carefully around thick tree roots and fallen branches. The mid-afternoon sun cast faded shadows through the skeletal canopy overhead. It had been snowy here for a while, they realised.

It was silent all around them apart from their steps and the birds. Flutters of wings and infrequent chirps. Not a word passed between them, for a time, and then Crush caught up to them, brushing her hair back with her fingers.

Dorian looked over to her and she smiled. But there was something odd about the look she couldn't quite put her finger on. He didn't smile back, and turned back around. It didn't unnerve her. Her confidence swallowed such oddities whole.

A short distance on, there was a clearing, and at the end of the clearing stood a log cottage on a hill. It didn't look very lived in. Snow sloped on the roof, got inside crevices on the walls, climbed up the window sills. No light came out from them. However, he must have been here. Dorian's dragonsense detected something around.

They stopped and the two dragons exchanged a look with each other. The hero looked on blankly, hands in his pockets, breathing clouds of hot air.

Only a moment after they had stopped, the door opened suddenly. With a dull wooden thud. The figure was obscured by the darkness within, but he took a step towards the top doorstep, and into the light.

Now, Dorian's eyes widened somewhat. This was not what he was expecting. It was a human who looked much older than Dravnir and Neave, yet he had gotten the impression that he was younger or at least the same age. And he had had the idea that these dragons, having lived for so long, had control over their age. It seemed this was not the case.

He was not, in fact, terribly old. Around his 60s, he would have placed him. Thick facial hair covered a weary face with world-weary lines. The light had gone out of his eyes, if it had ever been there. There was just a fire now. A dark fire. He wore humble woollen clothes. His brown hair greyed in places.

"What do you want?" he said.

"To talk," Dravnir replied, neutrally.

The man in the cottage said nothing for a moment. He nodded to himself.

"Come in, then," he said.

Striking flint, Gilderoy lit the hearth, illuminating the humble abode. It was humble, small, but not unpleasant to be in. The tables and chairs had been crafted with care, as did the bed. There was a shelf with some books, their spines faded. There was not much else apart from that.

They all took seats, apart from Gilderoy who sat on his bed.

"It's good to see you, uncle," Crush said, a hint of nervousness in her voice. "It's been too long. I wish we could hook up more. All of us. It would be nice."

For a moment, it seemed like the man wouldn't reply.

"I am not the most stimulating company, Clarissa. It would be best for you to stay with humans your own age."

Crush could not disagree with the former point, sadly, but, like Dravnir, had noticed the barb in the second remark.

"But you are like family to me." She put a hand to her chest. "And uncle, I am with Dravnir now for a very important task. Neave has gone missing! We have to find her. She's in trouble."

"Oh? And is she not the kind to just disappear on a whim?"

"This is different," Dravnir interjected. "And you know it is. She was kidnapped."

"Unc-" Crush began, but Dravnir lifted a warning finger.

"It seems we do have some things to talk about, Dravnir," Gilderoy said. "I will talk to you alone, outside. Clarissa, boy, you stay here."

As Gilderoy pulled on his thick leather boots, the other elder dragon looked at him with downcast eyes. The other two sat awkwardly in the silence. When he was done and booted up, he walked out the front door, Dravnir closing it behind him as he followed.

"That man," Dorian said. "Dravnir said he was one of Gilderoy's younger generals. He doesn't, you know..."

"Time is not the only thing that wears on a man," Crush said softly. "He has not been the happiest man for a long time. Don't tell him I said this but, I think he lost the will to live long ago."

"Oh. That's very sad. I'm sorry."

Crush twiddled her thumbs. "Don't be. He's not really my uncle. Just another dragon."

* * * * * * * * * *

The elder dragons walked into the woods behind the cottage, towards a lake that glittered beautifully with the sunlight, Gilderoy leading them.

"Tell me, then," he said. "What happened."

"I wasn't there when she was kidnapped, but the boy I was with, he can tell you he was there. Heard Neave scream in her room before her assailants took her. Probably out of the window and into the air."

Gilderoy guffawed. "Took flight, did they? In public? Tell me why you trust this boy."

It was very much like Gilderoy to collect facts like this, neutrally. Casting criticism along the way, but also wanting to hear the whole story first before making a judgement or solid counter-argument.

"He is the current hero. He was able to tell Neave and I were dragons, and Crush too - I mean Clarissa - when I took him to her. That is the ability of hero, dragonsense."

"I know. So, you believe this boy is the hero and is therefore telling the truth, and that Neave was kidnapped by dragons."

"Half-dragons, yes. For the most part, I trust my generals. Not so much their potential half-human spawn. Unless, you yourself can confirm to me that you have something to do with all of this?"

"Don't be coy with me," Gilderoy said, stopping suddenly and turning to his old boss. "You know full well that I have nothing to do with any of this."

It was a strange scene. The former apprentice talking down to the former master, and looking much older and wiser than him as well.

"I'm not so sure about that. Where are your kids?"

"Gone. Still gone, unsurprisingly."

"Yes. They seemed rather discontent, didn't they, with the state of the world. Where dragons stood, or rather, didn't stand, in this current day."

Gilderoy shrugged. "The youth feel that they must be rebellious or work as agents of change. In time, they come around to realise that the world is a simple place. Unchangeable."

Another personal barb, but Dravnir had a more important point to make.

"Oh come on! You surely suspect them as I do. And if not them, then who? They will want dragons. They will want power. They know, somehow, about the Ultimate Power being in Neave."

"Then who indeed. It seems like you don't have a clue. In desperation you screech these words at me. But really, you know nothing."

"Don't you care? Don't you care about what will happen to Neave?"

Gilderoy laughed softly. "And you do? Suddenly, your 'compassion' has re-emerged I take it. How convenient. Another adventure for you to have, to drag your daughter into. Ah. That look tells me...she doesn't know yet, does she? That she is the daughter of the dragon who fu.cked up everything."

Dravnir gritted his teeth. That had struck his nerve, but right now it held like steel.

"That is not important. Gilderoy, please. If you have any information, any at all, on the whereabouts of David and Cassie, then you must tell me. There is more at stake than Neave. There is the world. With Neave, with the power inside her, they could open the Magic Gate and let loose the dragons and other monstrosities."

Gilderoy shook his head, nonplussed. "Impossible. You made it so only you could access it, remember? Well. Supposedly only you. I recall the last time did not go so well for you. The thing is stuck there."

"No. It isn't."

"Don't lie. I was there during your last attempt. Not even the great Dravnir can access it now."

"That's not what I mean. It's true I probably can't. Because I'm old and my power is fading. But there is a reason I could handle the power so well in the first place. I'm not lying now. But back then, I was. I placed no limitation on who could access the Ultimate Power in Neave."

There was a pause.

"Then, how?"

"I was strong back then. Very, very strong. You remember."

"Obscenely. But then, you did inherit the essence of darkness after you beat Uldravoult to become the Dark Monarch of Dragons."

"That was only the icing on the cake. I was already over-powered. Hence why I was able to beat my gifted sister."

"Stop boasting," Gilderoy said, tetchily. "Get to the point."

"It's true what they say about human and dragon hybrids. They are the strongest of all. They have the power and destructive magic of dragons, and the life-force and resilience of humans. It was a great blasphemy but I, Dravnir, the last Dark Monarch of Dragons, was one of them."

"All this time, you kept this secret," Gilderoy said quietly.

"It was a source of great shame."

"You damned fool. No, we're both damned fools." Gilderoy balled his fists, looked out onto the lake intensely. "Damn it."

"What?"

"My children kidnapped Neave and they know where the magic gate is. I told them. I told them about the power in Neave. I told them everything. I didn't think they'd ever be able to open it. I didn't think Neave would ever be in danger."

"Shi.t."

"I'm sorry, Dravnir." Gilderoy shook his head. "I truly am."

"Forget about it," Dravnir spoke urgently. "This is an opportunity. We know where they are, or at least where they will be. The gate probably hasn't been opened yet. Probably. If it has, they are controlling what comes out of it. In any case, we have to stop them and keep the gate shut."
Image

User avatar
Kriken
FKA liberal
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by Kriken » Sun May 07, 2017 12:50 pm

Story of Neave

Chapter 8:
Magic Gate
"So, there are others like me," Crush said.

They all sat atop Gilderoy's immense and shimmering green dragon form as it glided through the sky. Despite his age and wear, he was faster than Crush.

"We had reasons for keeping it a secret," Dravnir said. "Gilderoy didn't want his children to find out they were dragons, and thus wanted to keep their existence a complete secret to them."

"But," he went on, "they found out anyway. That they weren't like the other children. It was inevitable. But I don't blame my friend for trying."

Gilderoy said nothing. Dorian, too, was quiet.

"That is understandable," Crush said. "I hope we can talk them down, and that we can be friends."

"Me too," Dravnir said wistfully. There was not exactly hope in his voice.

It was a longer journey than last time, but fewer words were exchanged. The expanse of sea stretched out before them, until finally they neared Plagos Island, the ancient site of the Magic Gate.

"Do you sense any dragons, Dorian?" Crush asked.

"Uhh... No," Dorian said. "I mean, they may be there and I just can't sense them yet maybe."

"It may be better for us that they aren't there," Dravnir said. "We can wait there and ambush them."

"I don't like this," Gilderoy said. "They have all they need to open the gate, correct? Why would they wait?"

"Like I said, the gate may already be open. Perhaps something non-dragon is acting as the gatekeeper."

They landed in a wooded area without another word.

* * * * * * * * * *

It was the antechamber of an old and crumbling castle, but the gate behind them stood large and intact, only dusty from the passage of time.

"My dragonsense is tingling," said Alexander with a smile. In his hand was a faintly glowing sword that suddenly jumped in brightness. It was long and broad, elegant. Its light touched the two figures to either side of him.

A boy in a hoodie and tracksuit sitting casually atop a stone balustrade at the top of the steps, a girl in a long black coat who stood ready, determined. They both had a similar shade of platinum blonde hair.

She looked at the sword. "That means..."

"Indeed, Cassie," Alexander said. "Dravnir is finally here." He looked to the boy. "David. Bring that woman, Neave. It's almost time to open the gate."

* * * * * * * * * *

"I still don't sense anything," Dorian said, as they approached the castle, creeping out the forest shrubbery.

"Then they really aren't here," Dravnir said. "We can cover the gate and get some reinforcements. A few of my old generals would be willing to help while we track those kids down."

Gilderoy nodded. It was the best they could hope for. His dragonsense was not picking up anything either, but it had never been that strong. A dragon would have to be right in front of him, whereas this boy's covered a much larger range.

Yet the look Dorian gave him did not escape his attention.

The front archway was immense, clearly not made for humans but for the dragons that crept through it. Though there were steps leading up to it, too. Not everything that passed through the gate were dragons, after all.

"There it is," Dravnir said, looking at the gate he had not seen for thousands of years. "It's still closed."

The relief in his voice was palpable. Dorian was taken aback.

"And that means Neave is safe, too," Gilderoy said. "The stress of that power within her being wrenched out and used, it could be fatal."

"That may be so..." Dravnir said quietly, but it seemed he was barely paying attention. He walked on ahead of everyone else.

Gilderoy looked at Dorian. Dorian looked back.

"What?"

"You seem a bit shaken, boy. You have a guilty look about you."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"This is a trap, isn't it?"

"Uncle!" Crush interjected. "What are you saying? Dorian is the hero!"

"Yes," Gilderoy said, voice rising. "And we are the dragons, the enemy of the hero! Dravnir, wait!"

Dravnir stood a little of a way into the entrance now, but turned around, brow furrowed.

"What's the commotion?"

Gilderoy's son, David, crept out from the darkness within, a deadly serious expression in his face, and the glowing sword of the hero in his hand.

"Behind you!" Gilderoy screeched.

As Dravnir turned, the sword plunged straight through his chest. He felt the searing holy pain that dodged his heart, but that didn't matter.

Crush screamed. Dorian looked on in horror.

"I challenge you for the throne," David said coldly, before pushing Dravnir away with his boot. His body fell lifelessly down the steps, coming to rest face up on the ground with an earthy thud.

There was no doubt about it. He was dead.

A black mist swirled from his body, lifting up above him, and then moved over to David, choking him, confining him. But when the mist cleared, David was grinning, mad with power. Fists clenched.

There was a clapping sound, echoing from the castle within.

A suited, smiling man with golden hair and eyes stepped out.

"Fantastic," he said, moving over to pick up the sword David had dropped. "You know, I wasn't sure that would actually work. Pretty lucky, huh? I guess we all are. Well, apart from old Dravnir."

"Alexander?" Gilderoy said in disbelief.

"That's right," he said. "I'm back. Back to set things straight."

"By killing somebody who had absolutely no desire to be the bad guy and creating a new one?"

"Why, you make me sound insane. I'm just restarting the cycle, is all. The one that was meant to go on for an eternity. Man versus dragon. The destruction created from such wars cleaning the slate."

"With blood."

"Bingo. Man was not meant to develop so much that it would start to become the machines it built to serve them. Lose its identity. Turn inwards. A world where the countless many have no purpose apart from propping up the riches of the few. I'm here to save the world from itself. And I couldn't have done it...without Dorian."

Dorian had frozen up in fear, but suddenly flinched back, looking from Gilderoy to Crush. From a murderous look to a broken one.

"Don't worry, my young hero," Alexander said. "David, Cassie. Capture them for me. But if you accidentally kill them..." He shrugged lazily.

In sudden explosion of shimmering green, Gilderoy reverted into a dragon and was gnashing his teeth in front of Dorian in a blink of an eye. He lashed out with a claw.

Before it could connect, an immense black beast rammed into him and they were sent rolling. David had his father wrapped in a vice-like grip. Gilderoy struggled and struggled but realised the inevitability of it all. His son was as strong Dravnir had been in his prime now, near enough. And there was no stopping something like that.

"You're weak, dad, but you're still my dad. I'm not gonna kill you. I want you to realise we're right about this. The gate needs to open."

Another black but more slender dragon wrapped itself around Crush, who had not transformed into her dragon form or gave any form of resistance.

"I can't... I can't..." she muttered under her breath.

"This one isn't even worth killing," Cassie said. "I was expecting some sort of fight."

"Don't kill her," Dorian said.

Cassie inflicted a searing gaze on him.

"Are you deaf? I just said she isn't worth killing."

Dorian looked around himself, at Gilderoy struggling in David's grip, to Cassie and Crush, and then to Alexander.

"I didn't think you'd kill Dravnir like that. He was unarmed. You stabbed him in the back. You...you were smiling all this time."

"My dear, dear Dorian," Alexander said. "Of course I was. I'm carrying out justice. Dravnir is to blame for the state of the world. He has wronged both human and dragonkind. He would have pretended he has prevented large scale war, but it happens anyway! Endless conflict with no solution, with an overpopulated mass crying out in misery. And in any case...he had to die for David to acquire the power to open the Magic Gate."

"So that's what all this is really about," Dorian muttered. "Opening the gate. Power."

"Dorian. You are in a state of shock. You are not experienced in the real ways of war, of injustice, of real practical solutions." He laid the sword flat on his palm. "I'll educate you in time."
Image

User avatar
SupaWaluigi
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:52 am
NNID: Koopa96
3DS Friend Code: 2234-7126-6522
Steam ID: SupaWaluigi

Re: The Writer's Circle

Post by SupaWaluigi » Tue May 09, 2017 7:49 pm

First venture into this thread, thought I would share a snippet of the F-Zero film script I've been working on to see what you guys think. I've really only got two scenes so far after maybe working on it, on and off, for about six months, but the scene I'm posting now I created and used for one of my uni modules (and resulted in a first, which i'm quite proud of). But, that's more of an academic result, so I'm more interested to see what a potential audience, you guys, would think if this were to be turned into a feature film at some point in the future (way, waaaaaaay in the future).

Anyway, the overall arching plot to the narrative is: Ace racer Captain Falcon knows about the Formula Zero Racing Organisation's (FZRO) ties to the criminal underworld. His job is to try and uncover the seedy underbelly, and with a shocking piece of news that a fellow F-Zero driver has been murdered, the plot only thickens further. This following scene takes place early-midpoint within the film. Enjoy:
Int. High-rise bar. evening

We see a very sleek, clean bar room, with a dark purple and silver colour scheme. The bar is fairly full of patrons, some drinking alone, others in small groups. The atmosphere is relaxed, yet there is a slight buzz in conversation.Small purple velvet chairs and silver chrome tables adorn the room, whilst the large floor to ceiling windows let in plenty of yellow evening light from outside. Captain Falcon enters the room, heading for the bar,carrying a steel attache briefcase. Some of the bar patrons rush over to him.

Patron #1

Congratulations on winning again, Cap!

Patron #2

Yeah, another great race. You won me 400 big ones

PATRON #1

Drinks are on you then!

Patron #3

Could you sign this for me?

The Patron holds up a photo of Captain Falcon towards him. He briefly smiles at them all, but ignores the photo and smoothly pushes past. He sits down on a bar stool, places the attache case on the floor next to him and turns his back on the patrons. They stare for a moment, but then return to their drinks and conversation. The Barman turns around, pushing a drink towards the Captain.

Barman

On the House

The drink is a vibrant orange colour, fizzing slightly, and served in a wide rimmed glass. Captain Falcon takes a sip, looks at the drink in hand, then takes a larger sip. The Barman leans down on the bar surface. Some of the patrons laugh loudly, drawing both Captain Falcon and the barman's attention.

BARMAN

If those guys hassle you again I can get rid of 'em for ya

Captain Falcon turns back around to face the barman. He takes another sip from his drink.

CAPTAIN FALCON

You get many rough types in here?


The barman shifts slightly as he leans.


BARMAN

What d'ya mean?

Captain Falcon takes a big gulp from his drink, finishing it completely.

CAPTAIN FALCON

When you say "get rid of 'em" you make it sound like you've had trouble in here before


The barman stands back up straight, stepping away slightly.

BARMAN

Nah, I...I mean I'll ask them to leave. Just..if that's what you want.

Captain Falcon stares at the barman for a moment, taps his glass signalling for another drink and then shifts to look around the bar room again. The barman quickly makes up another bright orange drink, slides it towards the Captain and promptly heads down to the other end of the bar. Captain Falcon scans across the room. As he does so, he fixes upon a single figure in the far corner of the room, but is soon obscured by a large group of patrons.

Jody Summer

Are you expecting a fight?

Captain Falcon swivels back around. Sitting beside him is JODY SUMMER. She wears her white and red racing suit, with two medium sized shoulder pads. Her brown hair flows down her back. Captain Falcon silently returns back to facing his drink.

JODY SUMMER

You gotta admit that was a little harsh of a response to give the barman

She signals the barman who is still at the other end of the bar. He walks over apprehensively.

BARMAN

Yes, Miss?

Jody points towards Captain Falcon's glass.

JODY SUMMER

I'll have what he's having

The barman nervously looks over at Captain Falcon, then quickly makes up the same drink and hands it to Jody.

JODY SUMMER

Thanks. This guy's not expecting a fight, by the way.

Jody jovially puts an arm around Captain Falcon. The barman nervously smiles, but soon hurries back down to the other end of the bar. Captain Falcon shakes off Jody's arm.

JODY SUMMER

Despite being the greatest driver F-Zero's ever had, you're not much of a talker are ya?

Captain Falcon takes a sip from his drink, still staring into the glass. Jody takes a big gulp from her drink.

JODY SUMMER

Look, I just wanted to congratulate the great Captain Falcon, you could at least say something.

Captain Falcon finishes his second drink. Jody swivels on her bar stool so that she is fully facing Captain Falcon.

JODY SUMMER

Alright, fine. I see you don't wanna talk. Have fun spending all your win--

CAPTAIN FALCON

(Interrupting)

Why do you race, Miss Summer?

Jody begins to stand up to leave.

JODY SUMMER

Oh, so now you wanna talk?!

Captain Falcon does not move to stop her. He still stares into his drink.

CAPTAIN FALCON

Why do you race?

Sighing, Jody sits back down, picks up her half empty glass and swigs the rest of her drink.

JODY SUMMER

I could ask you the same thing

Captain Falcon slowly and silently turns his head to look at Jody. She lets out another sigh.

JODY SUMMER

Well, uh...did you know that I used to be in the Galactic Space Federation? I was a combat pilot. One of the best, they told me.

Jody looks down into her empty glass. She runs a finger around the rim.

JODY SUMMER

I got such a rush from doing that job...But then they told me I wasn't needed anymore, said that I had served them well.

Captain Falcon returns to looking down at his glass and the bar surface.

CAPTAIN FALCON

So you're an adrenaline junkie then?

Jody, sharply sits up and glares at Captain Falcon.

JODY SUMMER

What--

CAPTAIN FALCON

You were kicked outta the Federation, and 'cause you loved the danger of being a pilot you decided to become an F-Zero driver, right?

Jody instantly stands over Captain Falcon.

JODY SUMMER

Hey, every driver out there on the track has some reason for racing!

The bar room is silent for a moment. Most of the patrons stare towards Jody and Captain Falcon. Jody looks around the room, and slowly sits back down on her bar stool. The patrons return to their conversations, however the atmosphere seems slightly quieter than it did before. Jody suddenly lets out a short laugh.

JODY SUMMER

At least I have a reason and can tell people why I race. No one knows why you do it, or even who you really are, Cap.

Captain Falcon smirks to himself, but soon fades. He looks back over to Jody, but notices Doctor Stewart now entering the bar room. He sees Doctor Stewart greet a few patrons who have surrounded him, who pleasantly thanks them for their compliments and comments. Doctor Stewart acknowledges that he has seen Captain Falcon with a short nod, and politely pushes past the patrons to meet with him.

DOCTOR STEWART

Captain, after looking over the evidence picked up, I can conclude that...Oh, hello Miss Summer, well done on taking 4th Place today.

Jody looks up at Doctor Stewart and briefly smiles.

JODY SUMMER

(Dejectedly)

Thanks

The barman returns from the other end of the bar.

BARMAN

Drink, Doctor Stewart?

DOCTOR STEWART

Ooh, yes, a drink is just what the Doctor ordered. I'll have a...

Captain Falcon stands up to move closer to Doctor Stewart. He has a serious look on his face.

CAPTAIN FALCON

You were saying?

Doctor Stewart regains himself.

DOCTOR STEWART

Ah, yes. The evidence shows that Jack Levin was indeed murdered.

Jody perks up, leaning over to the two, listening intently.

CAPTAIN FALCON

But then why was he murdered?

Several patrons seem to quietly let out short sharp murmurs.

DOCTOR STEWART

Yes, it's certainly an unsettling question. But what I did find was that the shot that killed Levin came from a laser pistol fired inside the...

Suddenly, a big group of patrons scream and scramble about. A hulking, green figure barrels through the crowd. Captain Falcon shoves Doctor Stewart away from him, as the green figure charges into him. They both crash onto the bar surface. We can now see that the green figure is PICO, an extremely tough-looking alien, with strong muscular arms, pinning down Captain Falcon. They both writhe and struggle. Pico pulls out a laser pistol, ready to shoot Captain Falcon. Captain Falcon reaches out one hand trying to push away the pistol from pointing at his head. They both struggle for moments more, but the pistol misfires, killing the barman. Captain Falcon musters the strength and kicks Pico off of him. Pico lands hard on the floor, but manages to swiftly grab the attache case that is still stood on the floor next to the bar stools. He then charges full speed towards the floor to ceiling windows, and smashes through them. Captain Falcon follows immediately, leaping out of the window. Jody waits a moment, then also runs and jumps out of the window in pursuit of Pico and Captain Falcon.
Image

Game Geek and Film Fan

YouTube: SupaWaluigi
Twitter

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest