Blizzards and Dwarves

11708725524_ee92e54ff7_bI arrived at East Toaflain in the dead of winter feeling very wary. The Dwarves here were not to be trifled with by any means. The town itself was part of a much bigger city below ground in the Toaflain Mines. The Dwarves used this town to trade with the neighbouring settlements and travellers without exposure to the secrets of the mine. Which as we know a good Dwarf doesn’t wear their secrets and wealth on their sleeves.

Marching past the main gate and I can feel eyes on me as I head into the town itself. I’m taller than the Dwarves by a good two feet. Despite this obvious observation by them I draw my hood around my head more tightly, keeping my eyes on the floor. I cannot afford to make a scene here. If they realise who I am I can kiss this opportunity goodbye.

My destination was up ahead. The stables. It was here that I would be collecting a very valuable relic for my client. I use the term collecting lightly. Reclaiming or stealing would fit better depending how you viewed the situation. Many had searched for this relic over the years but I have my ways. My little ears everywhere that tell me of such things.

Today was the perfect day to collect. I’d timed the weather perfectly to enter East Toaflain as the incoming blizzard swept through offering limited visibility and cover for the tallest being in this Dwarf infested town.

Checking my surroundings before entering through the raging winds and soft flakes the size of pebbles, there were two things a miss. Firstly there was only one guard outside the stable. I was informed of at least four. Second and even more worrying was it was quiet. Too quiet for a trade town.

I decided to ignore this and continue and deal with the consequences head on. The guard outside was leaning against a post, eyeing me and as I approached I waited for his question. “Mornin outsider, state yo-“! He never finished.

I drove my dagger through his neck and into the post behind him so hard he was now propped there. With the limited visibility it would hopefully give me time to escape before anyone realises.

Marching into the stables there is only one stable master present and the horses are all in the pens out of the cold. The stable master looks at me and sees the blue of my eyes. “Elf! ” He screamed. I charged him into the ground in a single leap pressing one of my daggers into his throat. “Where is it?” I growled at him. The stable master remained silent in his petrified state but his eyes glanced behind me just briefly. That was all I needed. I pommeled the stable master hard in the head with the hilt, knocking him out. No point on spilling unnecessary blood of an unarmed Dwarf.

The relic was stashed behind some horsecoats wrapped in some dark fabric that smelled faintly of horse piss. I removed it immediately and there it was. I marvelled at Old King Lokane’s dagger. Five thousand years of age and encrusted with rubies on the blade itself. The legends said the blade was made with dragon fire from the beasts of the west. The Dwarves stole it during a series of raids centuries ago. My client, a collector. Recieved intel that it was being transported and traded here.

This had been all too easy…”Come outside with your hands behind your head!”

I smiled. This was why it had been easy. They knew I was coming. I bet Tally tipped them off that stupid bitch! Undermining me again to steal my trophies. “May the one have mercy on you when I get a hold of you!”

I was welcomed by the East Toaflain guard upon my exit of the stables. “Ah so you are the great Zin?” A Gruff looking Dwarf said who I assumed to be a captain of the guard. He ripped my hood back revealing my elvish features to his charges.

I laughed aloud as the captain nearly had to jump to reach my hood. “I see you have heard of me shortstack?” I replied coolly.

Thump! Evidently the Dwarvish humour differs from that at most taverns on a new moons eve. That was going to leave a mark.

Now things would get interesting.

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A Tale of Legend

It was the end of another long week in the heat of summer time in the glades and in the small village of Onka, the elder was about to recall a tale to the young who flocked around him as always.
Elder Kane looked around at the young faces staring back at him. He loved there eagerness in hearing the tales he would tell them and that eagerness fuelled him in his old age. Once all were settled he took a deep breath and began…
 
The Tsuki clan today have become legend to most folk, however there are some in the world that know better and even remember.
 
In the days of old the Tsuki clan were powerful druids that called upon the form of various animals including wolves, gigantic eagles and even powerful dragons to name a few. There were others but these were the most common.
 
That alone showed great power to the rest of the world, but no their people were also skilled warriors and wizards that could turn the tide of any battle.
 
Many folk from far and between revered them but also feared and grew jealous of them. 
 
Scared and jealous, the grand council called the nine kings from their Kingdoms to weigh in on the fate of the Tsuki clan. The Tsuki clans king Rheardon had come alone and sat at the table listening to the woes of his fellow Kings and councilmen assuring them that they would not be turning their backs on the alliance but insisted that they would stay true to keeping peace within the world.
 
After much deliberation a decision was made and the alliance turned its back on them, all of the Tsuki clan were marked as a threat to peace and ordered the alliance to hunt and destroy each of them for the sake of the world.
 
Rheardon roared in fury at the council and its kings and with that transformed into the form of a mighty dragon engulfing the building in flames. 
The kings, councilmen and a garrison of warriors and wizards attacked the dragon with everything they had. Rheardon suffered blows from spells, swords, axes but it wasn’t enough. Seeing an opening he made for an escape to warn his people of the betrayal but the remaining kings joined forces and used old magic to launch an attack at the Tsuki King that caused him to come crashing down sealing Rheardon’s fate. In his final breaths Rheardon transformed back into a man and cursed the rest of the alliance for being fools for he knew there were other things at play beyond the corners of the world where the kings did not dare venture. 
 
After Rheardon’s death a full scale attack was launched on the Tsuki clans homeland Mungaden where men women and children were slaughtered. Many casualties were had on both sides and in the end the alliance were the ones that were victorious. Some Tsuki clan escaped from the invasion but were from then on always looking over their shoulders for they were now and always would be marked for death.
 
The kings returned to their parts of the world each feeling slightly different over the ordeal but one thing remained the same. What had the Tsuki clan king seen beyond the kingdoms of the alliance? 
 
2000 years have passed since the invasion of Mungaden. Only two of the eight kings that saw King Rheardon fall are alive today and have now gained a seat on the grand council advising their predecessors as they see fit. 
 
Mungadon is now overgrown and abandoned. They say even today a few of the Tsuki clan still live but no one even to this day knows the secret to the Tsuki clans power.

Exercise 2 – Book update- Emperor of the Eight Islands

I have started reading the Emperor of the Eight Islands this evening by Lian Hearn. I have read her other works such as all the Tales of the Otori books.

The Emperor of the Eight Islands follows a few characters but thus far I have met only Kazumaru. In the first chapter I feel sorry for the guy. Everything seemed good, his family were wealthy and had land bu then his father is found dead for playing go with  a Tengu (a mountain goblin of sorts). His mother then abandons him through grief to become a nun and leaves poor Kazumaru with his Uncle.

His Uncle treats him unfairly and now at the age of sixteen, Kazumaru has nearly became a man but fears his Uncle will kill him before he comes of age so he does not have to relinquish power of the lands they own.

Hearn’s writing has always impressed me through her descriptive paragraphs that set the scene nicely and ease you into the characters shoes. Its never overwhelming either with a lot going on.

I also love the setting for her books as its loosely based on one of my favourite cultures. Medieval Japan with a fantasy twist.

Something I remember thinking I might find before I read her previous work. Her books always tend to have a multitude of characters. Some a lot more important than others. However I have never once felt like my brain has been fried by the ammount of characters at play. The author always introduces them with care and their objective is always wound into the story without force.

Am really looking forward to reading on to see what happens to Kazumaru.

Writing Group Exercise – 3rd Person Narrative Writing- The Battle

Our writing group was given an exercise to write up a scene in both the 1st person  and 3rd person point of view. Then to say our opinions on both.

Below is my battle scene where a Sergeant takes the reigns to save his comrades from being slaughtered. In this post the scene is written in 3rd person narrative. Enjoy!

The sergeant had been listening to the screams of his comrades for a few hours now from where they stood. The rest of the garrison were becoming angry and exchanging glances at their comrades. The sergeant wondered why the Captain was allowing their comrades to fall to the Orc. He wondered why weren’t they down there too helping them?

The sergeant was shaking and called out “Sir!”

“What is it Sergeant?” Came the Captain’s reply.

Steadying himself the Sergeant persisted “ Sir, I cannot sit here and listen to the noise below. Can we not reinforce our forces in combat?”

The Captain tilted his head toward the Sergeant in disbelief. Seeing this the sergeant questioned to himself “ Why is he smiling? What on earth was funny at a time like this?”

The Captain finding his voice stated openly to the garrison “No Sergeant, we cannot aid our forces. While I am in command we are staying right here! I will nout put my life in danger for the other team who could not await orders.”

The Sergeant snapped and moved toward the Captain. His mind was clouded with anger, yet he knew what he going to do was right. The sergeant unsheathed his axe and flipped the hilt.

The Captain seeing the advancing Sergeants anger drew back “Sergeant return to your posit-” The Captain grunted as the Sergeants weapon connected with his head. The Sergeant coming back down to earth watched in a mix of horror and awe as his commanding officer hit the deck.

Without wasting time the Sergeant turned to his men. “Now then, as I am the second highest soldier here. I am going to ask you all to join me in aiding our forces!” The Sergeant was relived as the garrison cheered at him in response and together they charged towards the battle below. Looking back the Sergeant caught one of his fellows stepping on the Captains head sinking it into the mud.

He led the charge down the hill, The Sergeant felt uneasy but knew what he was doing was right. He let the garrison’s strength flow through him as they charged onwards.

Up ahead, the battle came into view and it was brutal. The clash of swords rang through the Sergeants ears and the screams of the fallen muffled his call out to the other teams officer. As the Sergeant entered the fray, he swung his axe into an Orcs side and followed it’s body as it twisted in shock onto the floor. Ripping his weapon free the Sergeant plunged it down into the Orc’s skull. Realising he had scored his first kill of the day he cried out “Come on lads there only flesh and bone!” The garrison cheered in response and pushed forward tearing through the Orc pack with the remainder of their brothers. The Orc’s began to panic, they were now outnumbered. Their commander realising this, hastened a quick retreat. They had lost.

The Sergeant took in the scenery, the mud at his feet was tinged with blood. Limbs of the fallen lay scattered across the plain. Smiling in spite of his location, he thought the crows would have a good meal tomorrow at least, He on the other hand was most likely going to be court-martialled.

Between 1st and 3rd I would say I prefer 3rd person simply because I feel I have more options when describing a scene and what characters are doing. I know everybody is different and there are more reason why one is better than the other at times but that was the reason that came to mind.

Writing Group Exercise -1st person narrative writing – The battle

Our writing group was given an exercise to write up a scene in both the 1st person  and 3rd person point of view. Then to say our opinions on both.

Below is my battle scene where a Sergeant takes the reigns to save his comrades from being slaughtered. In this post the scene is written in 1st person narrative (At least I think it is) enjoy!

 

I had been listening to the screams for hours from where I stood. Myself and my garrison stood to attention but we kept exchanging angry glances. Why didn’t the Captain order us to go and help our brothers instead of waiting for them to die?

I began to shake uncontrollably “Sir!”

The captain looked back at me, he looked weary. The long hours were catching up with him too I was glad to see.

“What is it Sergeant?” Steadying myself for impact I held my head high “Sir I cannot sit here and listen to the noise below. Can we not reinforce our forces in combat?”

The Captain tilted his head at me. Was he smiling? What on earth was funny at a time like this?

“No Sergeant, we cannot aid our forces. While I am in command we are staying right here! I will not put my life in danger for the other teams who could not await orders.”

I started to move toward the Captain, my mind felt clouded yet I knew what I was going to do. I unsheathed my axe and flipped the hilt. “Sergeant return to your posit-” I cracked him in the side of the head and watched my commanding officer hit the deck.

I turned my attention to the garrison behind me.“Now then, as I am the second highest ranking soldier here, I am going to ask you all to join me in aiding our forces!” I was relieved to get a cheer from my garrison as I charged off to the battle below. I looked back briefly to see one of the men stamp on the Captain’s head. I watched in awe as it seemed to sink slowly into the mud.

I led the charge down the hill. Uneasy as I felt, I knew this was the right thing to do. With my garrison behind me I felt their strength flow through me.

I could see the other team up ahead. The battle was brutal. The clash of swords rang through my ears and the screams of the fallen muffled my calls to their superior. Charging the enemy up close I swung my axe straight into an Orcs side and followed it’s body as it twisted in shock to the floor. Ripping my weapon free, I plunged it down onto its skull. I had my first kill of the day. “Come on lads there only flesh and bone!” Another cheer met my call and I watched as the men tore through the Orc pack with the other team. The Orcs were panicking, they were now outnumbered. I watched as their commander called a retreat. We had won.

The mud at my feet was tinged with blood, limbs from the fallen lay scattered across the plain. I smiled thinking at least the crows will have a feast tomorrow, while ill most likely be court-martialled.

I particularly liked this way of writing because while you are describing at length what is happening. It is all from one character in this scene. I feel this way of writing would help readers grow closer to a character if the story is written well.

Alec’s Prayer

The realm of heaven was empty, not a soul could be seen. God had fled, the Archangels were being held in Hell all save one. Alec walked through heaven taking in the now broken sanctuary the mortals prayed they would one day reside.

His motive was simple, vengeance for his brethren and justice for their father.

He sees a tapestry of the Lord’s prayer on the wall in heaven. He smiles then recites it with  a few changes.

Our Father, who is not in Heaven,

Alec is thy name.

My Kingdoms done.

I will walk alone on Earth,

as I have here in Heaven.

Give me this day my sweet revenge.

And forgive me my blasphemy,

For I’ll punish those you were to weak to.

I won’t be your heaven’s redemption,

But I will slaughter true evil.

For this is my legacy,

I gained power, not seeking glory.

I’m coming Lucifer

Amen

He leaves the plain of heaven behind him and charges to Earth to destroy the demon scourge and their King.   Lucifer himself.

Character – Renhiem, The Fallen King

GENERAL:

Name: Renhiem – The Fallen King

Race: Ruhn

Age: 5261 years old

Birthplace: Voitek, the capital

Marital Status: Single

Children and their ages: No children

General Appearance (whatever seems useful):

When Renhiem was last seen he had eyes of sheer black void. No light in them at all. He once had blue eyes but that is a distant memory. His white blond hair now receding from his use of dark magic rather than his age. He stands at seven feet tall exactly which is small for a male Ruhn. They are normally taller. Renhiem has been clothed in his black wizards robes that match his eyes along with his thick fur cape. Over the top of his robes are silver chest and wrist armour pieces. He is a stocky individual but not overweight with broad, thick shoulders.. The Ruhn typically have broad shoulders to go with their immense strength.

His neutral expression is a naturally amused blank canvas. For those who are able to read a poker face, they will see Renhiem’s cold gaze that has caused so much torment to the land.

Living arrangements (i.e. Lives with wife and three young children; rents a ramshackle apartment alone; has tent in nomadic tribe with three concubines):

Renhiem once lived in the palace in the capital city of Voitek with his older brother Rheardon and his father the old King Raemick. These days he is confined to a sealed eight foot long by five foot wide concrete coffin. He is encased in chains and cursed to live forever writhing in flames encased within him. The coffin itself is hidden deep within a mountain, snowed under for ten of the fifteen moons in a year.

Occupation, including name of employer (if applicable):

Necromancer, Wizard, Prince, Fallen King and most recently coffin dweller. He answers to no one.

Degree of skill at occupation (beginner, really competent, experienced but a bumbler, etc):

A highly accomplished Wizard before his intentions were discovered and the title of Necromancer came forward. Renhiem is able to muster enough power from the void to mould the darkness into the size of a large army filled with beasts, fallen soldiers and creatures of his own design.

BACKGROUND SYNOPSIS:

Renhiem was not always evil, as a boy he had everything he could have wanted. He was a Prince to a powerful Kingdom ruled by his father Raemick, he was an accomplished wizard and he had a bright future.

When his father was dying, he refused to accept it and in his desperation turned his brilliant mind to the darker things that are best left alone.

He discovered some necromancy tomes. He became consumed by them and eventually he discovered one that would grant a target immortality but would change the caster indefinitely.

Renhiem carried out the rituals that included sacrifices, brutal killings and communicating with that in the void beyond to which he learned wield. He allowed the ritual to consume him warping his mind into something dark, sinister and unrecognisable. He arrived at his father’s chambers one evening to complete the ritual, only to find his brother Rheardon waiting for him.

The brothers argued, Rheardon had discovered the tomes in his brothers study. Rheardon got hit by the spell in the chaos not realising what had happenned.

Renhiem disappeared cursing his brother. On the day of Old King Raemick’s abdication of the throne and Rheardons appointment as King. Renhiem appeared before the capital and cast his brother into the void using his new mastered power of the tomes. He took the crown and claimed the title of King as his own.

When Renhiem’s father Raemick saw what his son had become. He used his own knowledge and set in motion a ritual of his own. He first cast the newly self appointed King into a tomb, wrapped in iron chains inside a sealed concrete coffin. Raemick then throwing his bloodline and legacy to the wind in grief and fury, cast a ritual on Renhiem to make him immortal but forever burning from the inside out. Raemick turned to stone and crumbled away as a sacrifice for the ritual. The tomb was sealed and forgotten while the tomes vanished.

The only visitors to the tombs entrance to check the seals are members of the Guardians elite. They come when the snow thaws every ten years. They swear even way above the tombs depths they can still hear Renhiem screaming cold fury. 

Addictions: Necromancy, magic, his fathers life. Being powerful. Books.

Mannerisms:

Past Renhiem: Hungry for knowledge, happy, able to see the glass as half full. Loves his family dearly. Too curious for his own good and overly emotional during stressful times.

Future Renhiem: Cold, devoid of any feeling towards another living soul. He still has some form of feeling towards his long dead father. Vengeful, seeking only destruction for his imprisonment and his failed ritual on his father. Rheardon is in his mind a lot like a plaque but non can say if he dwells on his brother with good or malicious intent.

What part of the world does this person come from?

Voitek the capital city

Did this person grow up rich or poor?

He was second in line to the throne in a long run of Ruhn Kings.

Does this person have any bias opinions of other groups or types of people?

He favours the darkness and despises the living for his incarceration.

Is this person someone who can change?

No his mind is now too far gone to be brought back. He is now a shell of hatred, cold and destruction.

Pray he stays in his tomb…

Character- Teague the Spearmaiden

GENERAL:

Name: Teague

Age: 25

Birthplace: Village of Onka, the Glades

Marital Status: single

Children and their ages: no children

General Appearance (whatever seems useful):

Bright blue eyes, auburn hair that flows down to her shoulders. Her hair is braided on the side. Slim figure but athletic. Teague wears her Guardian armour over a plain brown tunic and has a thick bottle green cloak with hood for warmth. She wears high black ranger boots, no heel.

Living arrangements (i.e. Lives with wife and three young children; rents a ramshackle apartment alone; has tent in nomadic tribe with three concubines): She lives with her only family member, her Grandpa Kane. Teague’s mum died tragically in childbirth and her fathers whereabouts is unknown. Teague and her grandpa own a small house at the back of the village with views of the fishing lakes.

Occupation, including name of employer (if applicable):

Teague is enlisted in the Onka village Guard under Captain Raines. She is a spear maiden.

Degree of skill at occupation (beginner, really competent, experienced but a bumbler, etc):

Teague is an experienced spear maiden. Starting at an early age her Grandpa taught her the art of the spear dance and she has excelled at it, endlessly practising. No one in the guard can beat her during spar sessions.

BACKGROUND SYNOPSIS:

Summary of past trauma:

Not having any memories of her mother has been hard for Teague. She has stories of her from her Grandpa but a real memory of her own would be much better. Not knowing her father too has been hard as she had so many questions to ask him.

Teague has been infatuated with travel, adventure and exploration ever since she was young. She wants to see both the known world and the uncharted world. She sees the Guardians of doing this and has focused her training to be the best she can be in order to hopefully join them one day for they are the elite in the capital.

Even though she does want to leave her village to travel, she worries about her Grandpa being all alone.

Addictions:

The art of the spear, adventure, star constellations.

Mannerisms:

Teague is confident, though perhaps a little too much. She has a tendency to tease people she is unsure of. She is extremely proud of her skill with a spear and not afraid to challenge newcomers to sparring for practice. She has a tendency to act on impulse. Having grown up in  a rural village she values a team effort to put food on the table.  it is because of that she has a slight dislike for spoilt rich people who have seemingly had everything handed on a plate for them.

What part of the world does this person come from?

She comes from the small village of Onka that is situated in the Glades. The Glades is a peaceful territory to the west of the Capital city Voitek.

Did this person grow up rich or poor?

Teague grew up in a lower class household. Kane, her Grandpa is a master in the way of the spear and in his younger days taught recruits in the guard in both Onka and the surrounding villages how to fight. This provided a fair wage to bring Teague up as a sole parent figure. The village of Onka as a whole helped one another out if say a farmer needed extra hands in the fields for harvest or the stable master needed a hand raising the next fastest stallion.

Does this person have any bias opinions of other groups or types of people? Teague dislikes people who tease her for being a woman. She sees this as offensive but also a chance to show off and best them. She dislikes false people and people who look down on others.

Is this person someone who can change?

She can change and throughout the story her perspective on certain events. These will be both past and present. The results will change her views and the way she sees people and herself.

Character – Alec

In the lords bible there are seven Archangels. They are all very powerful, commanding heavens forces and keeping Lucifer and his demon army at bay. They were loyal, good-natured and carried out gods will to the letter.

This is exactly why Alec is not in the Bible.

Alec is effectively the eighth Archangel of gods creation. Problem is, god made a mistake. His loyalty was replaced with an attitude during his creation

Standing at seven feet tall, Alec has spent the last ten thousand years in solitude in a realm outside that of humanity and his brethren.

He is ageless, his features are the same as they were on the day of his creation. Silver, shoulder length, wavy hair. His eyes are said to be filled with continuous lightning strikes, giving him the illusion of having no pupils. His true eye colour remains a mystery, only God knows.

Alec’s halo is pure gold and shaped like a laurel wreath. His wingspan stretches to an incredible ten feet each side of him with a majestic white plumage of feathers.

When he flies each beat of his wings sounds like a thunderclap echoing in the mountains and his speed can out fly the shadow that takes the land when the sun sets.

His attire consists of a white robe with gold and red stitching. Alec wears no shoes nor sandals. Instead he shows off the pale white skin of his feet.

His perfection is short lived as with the mistake of giving him an attitude. God witnessed the first taste of selfishness, as Alec refused to defend against Lucifer and protect Humanity. Much preferring his own solitude he was taken by god to another realm to exist alone doing what he liked.

God had no place for a selfish angel in his master plan. Alec’s arrogance showed he didn’t care at all.

He could conjure his own entertainment. He would drink, play and write music and every so often create a window to Lucifer’s cage to tease him once he had learned Michael had imprisoned him.

As an Angel Alec does have a weapon of choice. He uses a straight sword that he himself infused with pure cold. When swung is sword leaves a frozen trail of snowflakes in its wake and will freeze any kind of metal it comes into contact with. Perfect for Lucifer’s cage on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

He hates being ignored and fears weakness. His selfishness and fear has caused him to train endlessly to never feel the bitter taste of defeat and loss.

Can his way of thinking be changed? Time will tell but I think under the right circumstances he could change.