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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lions and Ravens

The boy seemed happy; his life was simple and agreeable, there was always good company around and new stories waiting to be heard. But sometimes, when he was alone, he would think back to those stories heard in the warm safe tavern by the fire. He would sometimes wonder what it would be like to actually be there, in the wild outside where anything could happen but he would quickly dismiss these foolish dreams of adventure. The town was enough for him, its unexplored streets called out to him, speaking of stories begging to be heard, people itching to be met, things waiting to be found. For even the darkest nights were fully alert and the place was never completely dark or silent.

Truly the Shining Citadel was a beautiful and enchanting place full of mysteries. Arthur lived in Lionsden near the Lion’s Gate and every morning after his chores in the tavern he would watch the City Guard open the majestic gate. There were never less than ten soldiers guarding the gate at any time though often there were more. The Lion’s Gate was huge, bronze, and golden – the doors were made of thick, strong wood covered with many layers of bronze and on that bronze was a roaring lion, looking as if it could jump out at you at any moment, beautifully carved in gold. The bolts and chains that held the doors were forged from steel and iron.

From the Lion’s Gate ran the Lion’s Road: into Lionsden and then further into the place all the way to the castle. On this road stood Arthur’s tavern: Kings Rest, further on at the first crossroad lay a giant stone lion on a pedestal watching all who pass through his gate; at the next crossroads was the beautiful fountain where Arthur watched the blond girl and all the way at the end of the road, as it passed through different parts of the citadel, was the castle in Angels’ Keep. All along the road were merchants and artists, with many things to show and on busy market days in the crowds you could be sure there would also be thieves.

Raven’s Hollow was two districts away, it was the secondary military district after Hummingbird Bay and it had barracks and the primary Quest Hall of the citadel; all districts had quest boards but only Raven’s Hollow, Angel’s Keep and Eagle Steep had an entire hall dedicated to quests. It was only in these places that you could be tested to acquire the right to take higher ranking quests. There were 7 levels of quests: the first was more errands than actual quests, all you had to do to get that badge was swear honesty and loyalty to those who issued the quests and to the king himself. To reach the second level you had to have completed 20 first rank quests, if you were only interested in a certain type of quests you could be tested only for that but you always needed a minimum amount of self-defence; for example if you were a mage only interested in quest that required magic you could become “rank II specified mage” and each level had it requirements. Of course, as a general rule, the higher ranking the quest the less there were. The level seven board was almost always empty and no-one knew for sure how many rank VII questers (the general name for those who quested) there were but all knew they were very few and there would sometimes be rumours… some said they had seen an old hag take a level 7 quest, some said they had seen a dragon take the form of a man to take such a quest, one man would no longer go into the hall because he said that the statue near the last quest board was actually a level 7, waiting for a quest to come up so that he could get it first. “He winked at me I swear he did!” this man would say. And there were people who had been seen at improbable hours: a young and beautiful woman stride in, take one look at the empty rank 7 quest board and leave. It was not a good thing for a woman to take a quest. It was well seen when it was to escape poverty or do something useful but if a woman were to get a higher rank it was less well seen and for a woman to have obtained rank 7… it was unthinkable. Which is why Nikke was pretending to be a boy while waiting for her to turn up again. She was already rank II but didn’t know anyone who would teach her enough to go higher, she hoped this woman could help her but for the moment she was stuck in and around the hall waiting for an opportunity to see her. So Nikke pretended the young man checking out rank IV quests at that moment wasn’t attracting her attention. He looked stupid anyway and she was too tired to bother actually getting up to talk to him. So she ignored him and focused on not falling asleep and looking for a woman.

…………………….epicstoryofgoldgloryandpinapples… becausepinapplesneverdisappoint………………………

This is the third and most recent part of our joint story (DragonSpark and I) so far. If you want the last part you can find it here and if you missed all of it here’s the first part.
Right back atcha DS 😉

Here’s the next bit: Encounter

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7 Comments

Posted by on 22 September 2014 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

DS Daily Post-Neglecting Brevity

I am the victim of a common plague in writing noobies: I write a lot of useless words. Of course, they don’t seem useless to me, however I am often told they are.

You see, most of my short stories originate from visual sequences in my mind, filled with insane amounts of detail, each adding a tad of splendour to the scene. If it weren’t for the SpeakEasy’s (Weekly writing challenge) word count limit, many of my posts could be twice as long as they are. It’s rather easy to end up writing at length when trying to describe a three dimensional movie in your mind, filled with sights, smells, sounds, touches, and tastes. Not only that, but writing about sci-fi/fantastic plots often requires much more context then the real world’s, as foreign concepts/objects that are well defined to me need to be summarized and explained to a reader.

Despite this, I strive to edit the not-so-important stuff out, just to keep whoever is reading from falling asleep. Sometimes it’s tough, saying goodbye to a good sentence, one that deserved its place in the final story, just because it didn’t fit. Pressing “delete” can sometimes be a hard thing. That sentence probably had friends and family… It’s in a better place, now.

To sum it all up, on the brevity/verbosity spectrum, I definitely am more akin to the latter category. However, with efforts, I hope to be able to naturally write crisp, concise pieces, without having to put down good material, fruits of lots of mental work.

Thanks to Daily Post for the fun prompt. First time I submit to you guys! Hope you liked this brief (dem puns) piece. Comments much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 21 September 2014 in Dragonspark

 

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messing with new knowledge

!Warning this is not a story!

It’s a crime, I know but I want to see how far HTML can be used here. I’ve recently learned a few things about HTML (having taken the “geek” option which teaches us programming bases).

For example if this is written in red then that’s awesome!

And now it should be black again…

Headings!

Because headings are cool

like bananas

Then I can do this and this

  • Ok so the red doesn’t work… omg ok update: the red does work! XD
  • Also: I’ve run out of things to say

empty link and that’s about all I can do… I think it’s quite cool though considering I only had one lesson (not counting the introduction and insides-of-a-computer lesson) 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 19 September 2014 in Banzaï

 

DS Speakeasy 179-Void

I’ve come to love the silence. Only out here in space can one enjoy such peace. Unfortunately, this peace was soon to be shattered. I had abandoned the unmanned resource satellites yesterday,  following the asteroid belt back to the colony. The empty void of space, the predictable, familiar mechanical hisses and clicks of my armoured suit were going to once again give way to the unpredictable chaos of the crowd, the overly natural environment, with its animals, and its trees, with branches trying to grab you, imposing themselves upon you. How could anyone like this? The colonies, they say, were built to provide a home for Earth’s growing population, attempting to reproduce a familiar environment in the process. If Earth is as noisy, chaotic, dirty, and unpredictable as the colony hub, then I’d much rather stick to spatial duties. Humans are horrible to be around. They’re all rude, and violent, and egocentric and….

… I need a break.

I cancelled out my mech’s velocity relative to the asteroid belt, put my helmet on, switched off the hydrogen core, and opened the hatch, letting myself float out into space, a mere cable holding me to the seat of my cockpit. The distant sun was illuminating the millions of rocks that composed the belt, the rays playing and dancing on the metal of my suit. I held my right hand in front of me. Four gloved fingers and a thumb were moving in my field of view. Deep breath. Why do I exist? Why are clones necessary to Humankind? They have too many people to start with, so why add more mouths to feed? Sure, we’re more adapted to 0-G environments, what with the fancy genetic augmentations and all, but why go through all the trouble of creating a new species? Why didn’t they just genetically modify some of their own people? Are they that lazy? Willing to create a new life form, just to avoid doing some dirty work?

I sighed. My HUD indicated me that I wasn’t supposed to be back at the spaceport for another six hours. The colony was very close. I was surprised it couldn’t be seen yet. Without thinking it through any further, I turned towards the sun, and let the vague sense of heat drift me to sleep…

…until a metallic click against my visor woke me up. Something bright and golden was spinning slowly right in front of me. A bullet casing. Startled, I swiped it away with my hand, only to realize I was surrounded with the little golden metal tubes. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands, drifted all around me.

I felt my stomach drop. Something was horribly wrong. I returned to my mech, turned the main power on. It had been 1H since I last checked the time. Meanwhile, I had drifted closer to the colony, yet it was nowhere to be seen. My mech slowly burst to life. Screens turned on, engines revved, and electricity flowed. Music to my ears. After a few moments, the sensors went crazy. It seemed the asteroid belt was filled with huge chunks of metal and steel and organic matter where the colony should have been.

As I got closer, signs of battle became evident. Fragments of ships were drifting about, crushing asteroids in their wake. Mechs similar to mine were torn and lifeless, floating in the empty void of space. Soon, carcasses of skyscrapers and civilian homes floated about, dotting the sky with eerie images. As I got closer still, bodies started to appear. Some of them were disfigured, maimed and partially annihilated by the battle, but others were too well preserved, almost as if they were about to start moving again. Once I had reached what was supposed to be the heart of the colony, I had already seen horrors beyond count.

Where I stood, bits of plants, cars, buildings, and bodies were all too abundant. I stood there, wide eyed, looking at the still death that surrounded me, motionless, breathless. Something moved into my field of view. A tree. One of the elements of nature I had grown to resent, floating, leafless, through the remains of the colony. It was revolving slowly. After a few seconds, it had completed a semi rotation, revealing the woman whose body lay impaled by its branches…

 

//……………………………………DEATH//SPACE=SILENT::SCREAMS//………………………………………………..//

First post in a while. Here, a somewhat sociopathic space colonist comes back from a mission, only to find his/her home destroyed. Definitely not my usual character! Comments appreciated!

 
26 Comments

Posted by on 16 September 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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Words Left Behind

I’ve come to love the silence. I have long since stopped talking to myself. It has become a part of me. But it is never an empty silence, it is full of words scribbled on the wall, phrased scrawled across the the room. “Thomas Warlow 1981-“, “love is gone”, “all that you can’t leave behind:

Love
Loss
Family
Friends
Strangers
Hate
Myself
MEMORY”
“Things not to think about:
Why
Where
Lisa
Kids
Friends
Chocolate
Cookies
Muffins
Ice-cream
Cakes
Steak
Chips
Nice food”
And then more: “to be wise you must first be a fool”, “there are no walls, this door is nought”, “I’ve come to love the silence”, “words are for the dead”…
And then there was a window, at first I couldn’t see much but as time grew by I saw mountains and lakes and a bright blue sky when I looked at it.I saw old trees as wise beings hunched from the weight of their knowledge and young innocent weightless girls dance by them. Outside, words of wisdom were scattered in the wind: “A wise man knows that he is foolish, he knows his advice is never absolute but it is always the least foolish thing he could think of. A wise man knows that he knows not much… A true wise man never calls himself wise, others do it for him.”
Foreign words on distant shores sprang out: “Il est interdit d’interdire”, “Errare humanum est”.
People call me The Madman. I no longer see these walls, there are no boundaries in my mind I am one with my cell and when finally I die as I know I will, it will keep me alive. “Words are for the dead”. The living have never as much use for their words as when they are dead. Because it is all that is left of who they once were.
Though my best words will always have their own wall, in front of the door, unmissable: “impossible is impossible”. A message for future tenants to ponder.
                                                            • † •
I was possessed, I killed a man in cold blood during a ritual people only do once in their lives. spirits possessed me and I gutted him like a pig, slaughtered his family and burned down his home. But this man had wronged me deeply and I had no part in what happened to him, my body tore him apart while my mind watched from the outside. I do not remember it well, it was dark and messy.
And so men came and took me away but I could not deny my body’s part in the act and so it was condemned to sit rotting in this cell as my mind roams free through the cement window. They say I am insane. I am starting to believe it.
…………………………………..dotsdotsandmoredots……………………………………………………………………………….
Looking AT the window, it reminds me of a funny old film about two Americans and an Italian in jail: the Italian draws a window and says “do you say look at the window or look through the windows?” and one of the other guy says “I’m afraid in this case you’re looking at the window”.
I probably wont be able to answer to your comments this week (I’ll get to them as soon as possible), I barely got this up :/
 
10 Comments

Posted by on 16 September 2014 in Banzaï, Speakeasy

 

DS- Tavern Boy

We shall first focus on the young, skinny man, whose dream to become a valiant solider seemed to float away from him, replaced by the life of a tavern boy. On the surface of things, he seemed crushed, his very soul torn apart by disillusion. Nevertheless, deep within his heart, his resolve was unbroken, and perhaps strengthened by this extra challenge. He decided to work hard, and to dedicate every waking hour to doing his job correctly, and quickly. His boss, a large, bearded fellow, was so pleased he gave him a raise, only strengthening the young man’s will. Day by day, he watched as his body grew stronger due to the hard work. Eventually, it matched the strength his heart had once harboured… However, he no longer dreamed of adventure and romantic war at night.

Indeed, his heart had grown into this hard, yet very satisfactory life of tavern worker. He had grown fond of the tavern owner, and had gotten used to the cosy, quaint establishment. He had made good friends throughout the neighbourhood and with the regular customers. He was too attached to the old town to abandon those he lived with now, only to pursue his dreams of conquest and gunpowder. When drafting season came around, he was enjoying a day off, playing with young people his age, unaware of the clean uniforms and the oiled mechanics of the weapons waiting for courageous souls to join them in faraway conflicts. Really, his only concern that day was the beautiful blond hair of a woman he hadn’t seen before, and eager to go up and speak to her, to ask her name, and to tell her the funny anecdotes of the Tavern’s customers.

…………………………..///………….LIFE:::GIVEROFHOPE./……………..WAR:::GIVEROFDEATH///…………………

First post in a while… I’ve been busy. With a little luck, I’ll manage to turn something in for this Week’s Speakeasy, but I’m not making any promises. This is the second piece in a project/series we just started, in which we each take turns writing a part. First part right here. Comments and thoughts much appreciated!

The ball’s in your field now, BW!

Next part right here!

 
14 Comments

Posted by on 14 September 2014 in Dragonspark, Epic Co-written Story

 

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Revelations

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars. All she could see was his face. The way she’d gotten his trust, lured him out and rid the world of one more evil. Her purpose was to root out evil and put humans back on the right path. She had gone to this daemon, something they would call “vampire” and gained his trust until the day she convinced him to come outside. The Sun was rising and as soon as the light hit his face she saw his once bright eyes lose their lustre as his face become even paler. He was dead before his skin started to burn and there was no light in his bright blue eyes, she never knew daylight could be so violent!
Something had gone horribly wrong, she was supposed to purge the world but this man had not been the monster he was supposed to be; now that killing him was no longer taking up all her thoughts she realised that she had felt with him a closeness she had never experienced before and she knew then that she had been tainted. She tried to climb back to Heaven, the place with a thousand happy faces but she kept seeing his dead one with no light in those bright blue eyes and now she was stuck in that place between Heaven and Earth because she had pitied a man who deserved Hell. Now she vacillated between up or down, the world no longer making any sense. She had failed and now that she was no longer pure she must fall in turn. Her small hands no longer held on and her frail wings failed her as she plummeted, the long fall down to Earth made it impossible to think anything was real anymore. 
And yet, God decided to save her, and in a church so far down below choir boys gaped as they caught a falling angel…

………………………………… nolightnolightinyourbrightbleueyesineverknewdaylightcouldbesoviolent………………

Whoever chooses the music has good taste! And after having tried to sing “No Light No Light” I now respect Florence (and the machine but I’m not sure it sings) even more because I realised that the song is at that pitch between two voices (the quiet high one and the normal one, I know what they’re called in French but not in English) and she has a good control over her voice. I have already trained myself with “bring me to life” by Evanescence (which killed my voice after the first time I properly sang it) so I managed to sing this right after about three or four times; it’s never perfect though 🙂

 
29 Comments

Posted by on 8 September 2014 in Banzaï, Speakeasy