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Category Archives: Epic Co-written Story

The Things that Happen in Caves

Part 13 of Epic Co-written Story

“Welcome, to my humble abode.”

Each word was weighed and took its own space, each buying a little more time for the elf with the sharp eyes to look around and analyse every detail he could. Lifting his goggles cautiously and assuming a discretely defensive stance, his actions contradicted his words. Angel thought that they might not be as welcome as his words suggested. This was confirmed when she saw the telltale glow of magic around his fingertips, it was almost imperceptible but before she could react to it Marissa stepped forward

“Who are you?” She demanded.

He redirected his piercing stare towards her, at the way she stood, the way she looked at him, the way she spoke and the way she was dressed. It didn’t take him long to answer.

“I’m going to call you Princess.” He declared with a spark of sarcasm, or was it playfulness? Likely a bit of both. A smile tugged at his lips when he saw Angel about to speak. He didn’t give her the chance.

“And I’ll call you Queen.” He continued in a mockingly respectful tone. “And to continue the family you,” he was now looking at Arthur, “can be Prince.”

He looked quite satisfied with himself and no-one knew how to react.

So he went on: “But you’re no king,” was directed towards the blacksmith. Then he paused before turning to the last member of the party. “And you’re an orphan.” He finished more seriously, and more respectfully than for any of the others.

Everyone was shocked, the being in front of them had just discovered things about them that he should never have been able to know just by looking at them. Or so they thought, because you can find those things if you know how to look, and having an elf’s sensibility Sasha had even more reason to know how to look.

It was Harry’s turn to step forward, “so you’ve told us who we are but we still don’t know about you.” The veteran pile of muscle was imposing even without his armour. He still had his huge axe on his shoulder and daring as Sasha was he couldn’t help but take a small step back. He quickly won back the lost territory and said simply “I’m Sasha”. It was all they needed to know.

• • •

They were in a cave, a small fire was dying in the centre. Sasha had taken them through tunnels under the mountains and they were now behind enemy lines, he’d decided to come with them at least until they were past the mountains. They were hiding in a cave, sitting around a dying fire. Sasha was outside on lookout, Marissa was staring deep into the fire, Nikke was staring through the fire at Marissa. Her childhood friend had grown into a beautiful young woman even with the frown clouding her face at the moment. She wondered what else had changed and what had stayed the same. She felt fiercely protective of her old friend who knew nothing about the outside world and very little even about life outside the castle walls. Angel came to sit near her. “You love her?”

Nikke was so taken aback by the question that she didn’t know what to say, she just stared at the woman, horrified.

“I see the way you look at her, when you think no-one can see you. You should talk to her about it, or you’ll never know if she feels the same.”

Arthur had just come back from some training with Harry. Everything hurt. He was concentrating on not moving and he was looking at the girls around the fire, it was like they were in their own world and he wasn’t invited. They intimidated him, and Angel of course but that was normal, she intimidated everyone. There was something about Nikke and Em, like a secret world they shared and the world revolved around them at times without them even knowing it. And the way the looked at him disarmed him completely, he had always been used to being ignored, eventually glanced at, told stories at most. The men at the tavern never thought twice about him, he was the guy at the bar. When Em looked at him she looked hard, watching every detail with scrutiny, trying to find out who he was. And Nikke was even worse because her curiosity didn’t stop there; when Nikke looked at him it was as if she were drawing him on a blank sheet, discovering bit by bit and he had no control over what she saw. She wanted to know about his family, his ambitions and dreams, how stupid he looked when he fought or how close she could get before he noticed her in front of him (close enough to hug as she said but then she’d have a funny look and he knew she wasn’t thinking about how easily people could hug him). She was friendly most of the time, but she was also concerned and sometimes she’d be incomprehensibly distant.

Nikke was troubled. She had no idea what she felt. She was troubled by Angel’s words, yes she loved her friend, as much as you can love a friend, but that didn’t seem to be what she was saying. She had suspected that maybe she was different, a freak of nature because boys only love girls and girls only love boys and that was the way life was. She never thought anyone could even suggest anything different, yet that’s what Angel had just done, and because of that she had to reconsider everything from the beginning. There was great turmoil in her spirit but she let none of it show. She only stared intensely into the fire until it slowly died and became glowing embers.

………………………………………………………………………………..

The plot thickens… sorry for making this harder and harder for you DragonSpark it was just too tempting, you always find something to do with the tricky situations I give you… so now I’m stepping this up a notch and I’m impatient to see what you have in store for me 😉

I’m sure you’ll find me another impossible situation :p

 
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Posted by on 18 April 2016 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

(un)welcomed guests?

Angel’s dagger was lodged into a strange contraption of Elvin origin that had just tried to maul a pale and panicked Marisa. She pulled her blade out of its target and took a second to examine her surroundings. The small tunnel in the cave had emerged into a small home. The furniture, like the strange trap they had just disabled, was built with Elf technology; the intricate mechanical movement of some pieces of furniture gave that much away. Behind her, the others were emerging from the tunnel, first Nikke, then Arthur, and last of all Harry, dragging a bag full of armour and supplies he had yet to distribute. Marisa was crawling out from under the table where she had instinctively hid when the trap was triggered. Angel sighed, sliding her blade back into its scabbard. The rumbling sound of battle rattled the walls. A massive army complete with a supporting fleet of airship and artillery was attempting the incredible feat of invading the city by the mountains. Meanwhile the city was protecting its walls with an equally impressive military apparatus.

 

Angel quickly stepped to a window overlooking most of the battle. Flaming airships belonging to both sides were slowly sinking to the ground, fire spreading amidst their hull. Flashes of light indicated wizards and riflemen had begun exchanging fire with one another. Angel walked from one window to the next, making sure no imminent threat was about to discover the location of her party. The house was within range of a group of riflemen, but they seemed notably indifferent of the little home, although it would offer them better cover than the rock they were currently hiding behind.

 

They gathered in the house’s biggest room. Harry spilled his supplies in the middle of the room, hoping to finally equip his young comrades. Arthur picked up a light chain mail and broiled leather armour and a medium sized, thin blade, curved at the end.

 

“What’s up with this blade? I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“It’s called a Katana. It’s commonly found in the castles of the eastern princes.”

 

Arthur swung the elegant blade in through the air, testing it, then grabbing the circular grip with both hands and staring down an imaginary enemy. Meanwhile Marisa walked up to the pile of weapons and picked a set of knives which she stored in scabbards spread throughout her body. Essentially where she could squeeze a belt, she put a knife in it. It left her with little armour, but, when questioned, she simply answered “Why protect myself against blows that won’t reach me anyway?” She completed her equipment by grabbing a leather quiver, wooden bow, and several arrows. Marisa tried as best she could to reconstruct her regal equipment. The armour she found was too big, so Angel and Harry combined their knowledge and magical abilities to re-forge the metal then and there to fit the small princess. “It’s provisional” assured Angel as she fit the patchy breastplate on the little girl. Sighing, Marisa picked out a rapier from the pile, missing the beauty and elegance of her own weapon. Angel stepped away from her lookout role by the window and picked the largest piece of armour and again set to re-forging it. Having re-forged many men’s armour to fit her own size, she was used to the process, and did a much better job than she had done for Marisa. She donned the armour and grabbed a rather large straight bladed double edged sword from the pile, seemingly at random. Her stare never left the windows.  As Harry was donning his usual, enormous piece of armour, a loud thud rang on the roof of the house. Loud mechanical noises were heard, and Angela shielded her eyes as the group of riflemen was apparently vaporised by some kind of magic.

 

After a few seconds of tense silence, the door of the hut opened calmly, letting a slender elf, equipped in battle armour and all, stroll into the house, closing the door behind him. He turned to the makeshift party and outstretched his arms.

 

“Welcome, honourable guests!”

…………….rusty….dots…..ITSBEENA//LONG…TIME::…………..

Hello internet. Forgive my rusty bones. Its been a while since I have written anything. Hope this addition to the co op story is a satisfactory one. Your turn Banzai.

 
 

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A Bird Without Wings

Part 11 of Epic Co-written Story

They were incredibly still and silent for a long time, then Angel started muttering some incomprehensible words and suddenly it looked as though some sort of veil had fallen between them and the rest of the cave (making it even darker).
“Some lookout you turned out to be…”
It was barely audible but everyone knew to who it was addressed although they also knew that it was neither the time or place to have any kind of conversation.

Angel was furious, if it had been her on the lookout at the end of the night she would never have missed this and they would’ve been able to avoid their precarious situation. Damn that incompetent boy. All they could do now was be completely silent and hope that no-one noticed the fake wall they were hiding behind (an illusion she had created). The woman felt for the knife strapped to her leg and hoped that she wouldn’t need it. The best thing for each of them to do was to think of a way out.

Nikke was sitting with her back against the wall trying to think happy thoughts, it wasn’t working. Her father had been a soldier from Raven’s Hollow and she knew all too well why the biggest orphanage was in the second military district of the city (Hummingbird Bay wasn’t really a place where many people lived). She knew what it felt like when people died and by then she also knew that soldiers weren’t the only ones that were harmed; some of the kids in the orphanage had come from raided villages far from the citadel and been brought there by whoever had survived. The kingdom’s borders weren’t a very safe place to be, especially the one long border shared with orcs and goblins. Shivering against the wall, she had no idea what to do.

The others were wondering how in hell anything like this could happen so fast.

Sasha had watched the army approach swiftly and silently, he was near the top of the mountain, someone had spent the night in the cave that led to his home and they hadn’t left yet. The cloaking spell he had cast on himself worked perfectly, but then again it had no reason not to. The other spell he had cast to deflect danger hadn’t been needed yet but seeing the royal fleet approaching he had no doubt it would be very useful. He was a bit annoyed about being in the centre of the fighting but he guessed he would have to work with that.

The majestic battleships shined in their armour, all cannons aimed down and raining fire as soon as they were within reach of the enemy, it was beautiful. Sasha smiled as he put his goggles on and his mask up, this would be fun! His bombs were in reach and his arm guns (which shot sharp wooden bullets) were loaded and his magic grappling hooks were loose, as soon as the fleet came near enough he would be able to launch himself into the air and rain destruction slightly more precisely than the big cannons. His goal was to find whoever was in any sort of command, if he eradicated those, the lesser pawns could end up running around like headless chicken.

Finally the ships were near enough, using his magic grappling hooks and aiming with his mind Sasha pulled himself up and flew, raining poisonous gas in dirty glass bombs wherever there wasn’t fire. Bullets, cannonballs and shrapnel all swerved around him while he looked for someone in charge, swinging from bronze hull to bronze hull.

Meanwhile Marissa was not fussing over a way out or how to keep everyone alive and whole, or busy thinking about the dead, or asking herself how on earth she could have missed an entire army, or trying to put away clanky things completely noiselessly. She was worried about her sister but that didn’t stop her from noticing a darker part of the wall that almost looked like a tunnel. All her childhood she had been looking (more or less successfully) for secret passages in the castle and this tunnel looked as if it might want to be a secret.
“Hey guys,” she dared whisper, “I think I found a way out!”
Luckily there was enough chaos outside for her not to be killed by the others, namely Angel who seemed to have unsheathed a knife from nowhere. They simply made signs as if saying “well? Go in!” Marissa figured they might still want to kill her and made signs to say “I’m not going first!” (It was unsure whether that was the message received).

Sasha was annoyed to get alerted by the alarm that was sent off when the first alarm to check for intruders was deactivated. Someone had found his home. He could only hope that they wouldn’t touch anything. He had already put down three potential leaders and he would be home soon. Whoever’s army this was, they were pretty stupid to think that they could invade from the mountains, or maybe they thought no-one would be waiting for them because it was an easily defended site: because of the uneven ground all of their machinery would have trouble moving and being aimed whereas the flying ships could easily bombard them. The third option was that this was a diversion and the real fight was somewhere else, but if so it was a pretty convincing one and led Sasha to wonder how many soldiers they had in the real army. It all seemed so stupid, all this bloodshed because of the disagreement of two men. Or whatever else had caused it. Even more pathetic was the fact that it was two armies of the same race… that was only pitiful, if humans couldn’t get along with each other how could they ever hope to achieve peace with any other race?

The alarm that was supposed to go off when the traps were disabled just alarmed him that the traps had been disabled. Why couldn’t he just live in peace?

……………………………………..zzzzzZZZZZZrflsnooregoodnightmunchkins………………………………….

At first I was going to make Sasha another girl but then I felt kind of sorry for DragonSpark (having to figure out what could be going on in the heads of so many girls/women 😉 ) so I evened up the numbers a bit…

I made a small drawing of what I thought Sasha’s magic grappling hooks could look like:

Scan1

 
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Posted by on 29 August 2015 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

… And into the fire!

Arthur awoke as the sun streamed into the cave. He squinted his eyes at the bright light, trying to shield himself from it while his hands freed themselves from the tangle of his sleeping bag. His muscles awoke one by one, most of them reporting dull sensations of pain and stiffness from sleeping on the rough, uneven stone of the cavern floor. It had been a long time since Arthur had been forced to sleep on anything harder than hay, though he felt the experience was a formative one. Complaining was useless at this point. He eventually got up, grabbed his shirt from a nearby stalagmite, and walked out of the cave.

It was a beautiful day. Mountain birds chirped and flew from bush to bush, hunting the few insects that were at this altitude, always seeking a berry or two to round out their food supply. The morning air was dry, but not cold. Around Arthur, the bare rock followed the noticeable slope of the mountain. He stepped across the relatively flat, narrow path they had used the preceding night, looking down the ditch. Bellow, in the distance, the city could still be seen, it’s greatest buildings now the size of specs in Arthurs vision. On the horizon, the plains stretched as far as the eye could see. “These plains will soon be ripe with fire and death”, he thought. After a few minutes of uninterrupted silence during which he let his mind flow freely, Arthur was brutally brought back to reality by the panicked screeching of a little girl.

….

Marissa had awoken painfully from a frightful night of troubled sleep. Every time the pain reached the threshold she was willing to tolerate, she shifted her weight and her body, then only staying idle for a few minutes, until yet another source of discomfort forced her to repeat the process. Eventually she ran out of new positions, and her body ran out of energy. She fell in a sleep filled with troubled dreams of burning buildings and oncoming daemons. The sight of light streaming in from the cave entrance was a welcome one, signalling the end of this ordeal. She pulled herself from her sleeping bag and headed out the cavern. Immediately she felt something was off… Something important was missing. Then it hit her: The wagon! It was gone! Someone had been here and taken it! She screamed out these realisations as they streamed in to her mind, slowly wrapping her head around the possible implications-

“In the name of what god are you screaming like this?” It was a feminine voice, intense and angry. Marissa turned around to find Angel, still in her night gown, glaring at her with a fire in her eyes. “Can’t you see some of us where sleeping?” As she spoke, a still shirtless Harry and a half awake Nikke stumbled out of the cave.

“Somebody stole our wagon! They must have come when we were sleeping! We have t-”

“Nobody stole the wagon” Marisa turned around to the sound of Arthur’s voice. He was standing on the edge of the path, looking back at the cave, calmly cracking his neck. “In the Hollow, favours are the main currency. The merchant we got this from owed me a favour, a service, not a permanent mode of transportation. That would be insane. One of his lackeys was probably sent overnight to recover what was rightfully his.”

Marissa turned around once again to evaluate the reactions of the rest of the party. Angel was nodding in approval, clearly well aware of the practices of the shadier side of town. Nikke was supressing a laugh at the thought that her regal friend was unaware of what surely seemed to her like an evidence to her. As for Harry, he seemed slightly worried.

“I had cargo in the back. Did they take it back with them?” As an answer, Arthur raised his chin in the direction of a bush near the entrance of the cave. Sure enough, all of Harry’s cargo was hidden within the vegetation. The band soon settled for a rudimentary breakfast, mostly composed of leftover supplies and a bird Angel shot down easily with her arrow. Harry took advantage of the situation to empty the components of one of his bags in between the bunch. Armour and weapons spilled out as the smithy spoke up.

“If you lot or going to actually pull your own weight during this little escapade, you need to be equipped. Thankfully, I brought some spare gear with me. Here you have padding, mail, rudimentary-”

Angel had risen her hands, signalling everybody to stop talking. Silence instantly fell on the small party. Her face seemed intensely concentrated and worried. Instants later, Nikke breathed in sharply, her face growing pale. Almost at the same time, Arthur and Harry’s facial muscles clenched, their fists tightened. “I heard it too” Arthur whispered.

And then Marissa heard it: A war horn. The band hurried back to the edge of the path to survey the city and the surrounding peaks. The entire mountain across from theirs was covered in red figures, all in formation, banners flying above them, dust rising in the air from the marching. Amidst the army were catapults and ladders. It was the invading army, approaching from the mountains.

“What kind of sorcery-” Angel was interrupted by another war horn, this time much closer. The members of the group sent panicked looks to one another, and, without a word, hurryingly gathered the equipment and rushed inside the darkness of the cave. Soon after, the light from the outside was dimmed by rows of passing soldiers. The air was filled with the constant drumming of thousands of armoured feet stumping the ground in rhythm. The occasional roar of the war horn resonated into the cavern. Marissa was struck. How could they already be here? How come even they didn’t see them approach? More importantly still, how was she to escape this new threat to her freedom, to her life?

…………………………..FREE//BIRD…IMAP:DRUMS…………………..ListenzekkchildorTHEYZILLQAUSEYOU<<

 

And once again, Hannibal crosses the Alps 😉 And yes, my job in this collaboration is to make everything more complicated for our heroes… Though I must say the preceding title kinda forced my hand. This one is just over 1000 words, and definitely one of the longest pieces I’ve written for this site. Hope you don’t find it too boring.

 
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Posted by on 28 August 2015 in Dragonspark, Epic Co-written Story

 

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Out of the frying pan…

Part 9 of Epic Co-written Story

Angel was a natural leader and she obviously had way more experience than the others so she pretty much came up with the plan all on her own. Arthur knew a man who could make a wagon with a double floor to hide Marissa and Angel knew a man with a horse; as she had explained there were now a lot of people for her to protect (despite Nikke’s protests that she could protect herself, Marissa’s insisting that she wasn’t that useless and Arthur’s disapproving silence) so she would have to get help from a trusted friend. And that friend had a horse so it would be like killing two birds with one stone, an expression Nikke was surprised to hear as it was mostly used by those who actually did have to hunt birds with stones and she hadn’t thought Angel to be of that sort of people. She had just imagined this woman to have appeared fully formed and majestic with nothing anyone could do about it.
“I need a new name!” Suddenly announced our little royalty.
“Then you can be Sticky” declared a slightly irritated Angel who had decided not to treat this fugitive as a royal princess anymore. She may be full of good will but she didn’t plan this escape of hers very well, the woman thought, all the gates were already closed and if Marissa’s disappearance was found out before the gates were reopened then they would need another way out. Angel had already chosen her gate: the enemy would be suicidal to attack from the mountains so that was where her little troop would be heading, out from the Eagle’s Gate. Luckily that was also where she would find less trouble getting out of town.

The following morning they went to find Angel’s friend, having already retrieved the special wagon. The blacksmith opened the door and Arthur was a bit jealous of all his muscle but soon that was forgotten in the awe of seeing the forge. They had entered through the back door so instead of seeing the great shop full of shiny weapons and armour he usually saw, Arthur discovered the man’s working place, glowing red and gold with huge machinery all around. A heavy slap on the back brought him back to reality,
“Glad my work’s appreciated boy! But y’all ain’t here fer that I’m thinkin’ ” that last line seemed addressed to Angel as he started to unwrap a normal enough looking bow to the untrained eye, but Marissa knew that it was special and may even contained enchantments.
Angel smiled when she received it, “you’re a wizard Harry!”
“Nope,” he replied, “I’m just a blacksmith!” But then he winked.
“Well ‘fs all the same to you I got a group quest up high in them mountains I wouldn’t mind some help with.” He said picking up a huge double-sided axe that left Nikke, Marissa and Arthur rather dubious about the “needing help” part of that.
Then he dumped a huge bag and enough weapons and armour to finish filling the wagon onto it, after that the princess (who everyone was calling anything but “Marissa” while waiting for a preference to appear) hid under it.
The troop was ready to leave and they crossed half the citadel to do so. When they finally left the guards were staring at them from their towers, sending shivers down their backs.
“Well that wasn’t so bad!” Said the optimistic wagon.

They waited until nightfall before Marissa came out, they had found a good unihabited cave for the night.
“Aaah it feels good to be out! So where are we sleeping?”
The others stared at her as if saying “Isn’t it obvious?”
“What? I don’t see the beds…”
“Em we’re not sleeping in beds” explained Harry.
“Well then where are we supposed to sleep?” She couldn’t understand how they were supposed to sleep without beds.
“Look!” Replied Nikke, getting thin person-sized leather rectangular things out of the wagon “we sleep in these!” She said enthusiastically while sliding into one to show her friend.
Marissa was not convinced.

…………………………youreawizardharry………onlyyoucandefeatyouknowwho………..whathaveidone………………………..

What I did not just name a character just for a joke?! Who told you that?! (Ok it’s true but shhh don’t say it!)
That was my brother’s idea, I was looking for names and my brother was next to me so I asked him and after a few other suggestions he just said “you should call him Harry, then you can say “You’re a wizard Harry!” ”
Sorry DS your name was good too but this was just too tempting 😉

 
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Posted by on 26 August 2015 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

DS Hooded conspirators

The streets of the Hollow had changed drastically since Marissa’s last escapade. At first she wandered a bit randomly, somewhat lost. Guards were everywhere, preparing the city for the invasion. Marissa hid under her wide hood to avoid being recognized. Eventually she spotted the familiar landmarks of the neighbourhood, unchanged despite the years. She came upon the narrow back alley with the vines she and her friend Nikke used to climb, the gateway to their childhood hideout.

Muscle memory kicked in. In a few surprisingly swift movements, and despite her bags, she grabbed onto the edge of the roof. She pulled herself onto it and made her way through the rampant vegetation. Marissa was caught off guard by a voice.

“If that is what you want, then I suppose I am the best person to ask.”

The princess froze. The voice was that of a woman, and yet it had an edge, an intense confidence to it that made it intimidating. Marissa breathed deeply and took careful, quiet steps towards the voice. She came upon a beautiful woman in a dark green dress shelving a dagger in a hidden scabbard strapped to her thigh. Kneeling in front of the woman was a small figure. Marissa immediately recognized her childhood friend. A smiled forced itself onto her lips, not that she had any will to fight it. She thoughtlessly ran from her hiding spot, dropping her bags and cape on the way, screaming Nikke’s name gleefully.

The adrenaline of having a veteran quester accept to become her mentor was still flooding her system when Nikke heard a familiar, overexcited voice scream her name. The next thing she knew, the junior princess of the kingdom had tackled her to the ground. Nikke couldn’t help but laugh at that thought. She had finally been reunited with her regal friend.

Angel let the two girls laugh and talk and giggle for a while. At least now she knew for sure the girl she had talked to before the princess arrived was genuine. The princess and an orphan, childhood friends. Who could have imagined that one? After pondering that thought for a little while she decided it was time to once again focus. Angel cleared her throat. The girls immediately fell silent.

“Ok, back to business ladies. First things first, princess, where do you need to go?”

Marissa was caught off guard by the question. She hadn’t exactly planned it this far. “Well, anywhere safe really. I just need to get out of the city before the walls are closed and the army takes over in preparation for the invasion.”

“Wait, what kind of escort mission is this? Hasn’t the crown assigned you a drop-off point? Somewhere where the army can take you under protection and take you overseas?”

“To be perfectly honest, this isn’t official business. The crown doesn’t know I intend to leave the city. Nobody know I’ve even left the castle.”

Angel frowned and crossed her arms. She had walked into an illegal quest, commissioned by the princess no less. This job didn’t start once outside the walls, it had already started. In fact, those walls were the first obstacle. She couldn’t back down either. Admitting to taking an illegal quest had dark implications, for her own career and for the already very fragile place of women within the questing world. Not that she ever backs down from a challenge.

For a second, Nikke was scared that Angel would back away. However, after a few seconds, a new fire sparkled in her eyes, a fire of determination. “OK. I’ll take the job regardless. But we need to find a safe way out of the city. The main doors are all monitored by the army, even more than usual. We’d need someone with connections, someone who we could talk to without attracting attention. Someone-”

Nikke smiled and chimed in. “Someone like a tavern boy at one of the Lion Road’s most famous tavern?”

“Well, yes… That would be ideal. But do you actually know such a person?”

Arthur was laying on his bed, flipping a coin, dark thoughts in his head. All of the city’s underworld said it didn’t stand a chance against the oncoming imperial army, and Arthur had no way out. If the city was his grave, it was also safer than out in the fields of the nation. By now, the boats would already be crowded with refugees, so even that escape route was cut off. He was stuck, back against the wall, and that wasn’t a good thing. Arthur wasn’t used to being stuck.

He wasn’t used to people knocking at his door either. Few were those who knew where he lived, though most of the inhabitants of the Hollow knew him by name, and one of the sharpest lads in the city. Yet that Nikke girl had stumbled in that very morning. Arthur heard the knock of fist on wood from his bedroom. He glanced outside. The sun had just set. He took a dagger and hid it behind his wrist. At this time, anything could come knocking. However, the last thing he expected was three hooded women, one of them being the junior princess, another the orphan who he had welcomed that morning, and the third a woman too beautiful even for the most expensive brothels of the noble district. Arthur frowned, not exactly eager to trust these three women. “What is this about?”

“Hey Arthy! Remember me right? We met earlier today. I need to be snuck out of town along with these two fine ladies. We thought if anyone knew a way out of town, it was probably you”.

Arthur sighed, sheathed his dagger in a scabbard on the back of his belt, and rested against the doorframe, crossing his arms. He smiled. Arthur had never been called “Arthy” before. This seemed almost surreal to him. “The city is going to be burned to a crisp before the end of next month. I could sneak you out of town, but what do I get in return?”

Angel stepped forward. “Well, as you said, the entire town will probably be burnt, so money isn’t exactly a useful commodity in the long run, and neither is staying behind. However, we could take you with us. I’m a high level quester. With me, you’d be safe on the outside.”

Arthur smiled again. This may just be the escape he was looking for.

…….SNEAK//BeYoNd->………………………………………….HTTPS//ADVENTURE:Exec………………………

Huzzah! All the pieces are together, the action can begin…. Finally…. Ish. Dunno, depends if BW wants to set things up more or escape the city next time around, or something else entirely. Find out soon! And yea, these pieces do seem to be the longest ones we write. This one is just over a thousand words. It seems that is the minimum word count to make a coherent addition to an already rather complex plot (4 main characters, which is huge, a brand new world and society, an oncoming threat, etc…)

Previous chapter here.

First chapter here.

 
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Posted by on 24 August 2015 in Dragonspark, Epic Co-written Story

 

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Where All Roads Lead

Part 7 of Epic Co-written Story

Despite her new friendship with the tavern boy Nikke didn’t want to abuse of his hospitality so she went back to the Quest Hall to do the honourable thing and apologise. When she arrived she found the guard she had rudely (but not quite wrongly) attacked, “Sir, I am sorry for my conduct yesterday, I was surprised and I reacted too fast, I should not have hurt you and I should not have run away after doing so. I present to you my humble apology.”
The guard was flattered by the “sir” but still he replied:
“Your apology has been accepted, you may enter this hall however I will not permit you to take any quest.”
Nikke was profoundly hurt by this but she acquiesced. All she could do now was look, so she would look and wait. A guard putting up a quest on the last board caught her eye, it seemed the statue glanced at it then had an annoyed twitch but she couldn’t be sure if it was real or only imagined, it had lasted less than a second and had she blinked or looked elsewhere she would’ve missed it. Nikke moved closer to see…

HIGH QUEST

ESCORT A PRINCESS

DURATION: UNSPECIFIED

it was a very small sign and Nikke had barely read it before the guard came to her asking why a girl like her was looking at these high ranked quests. But Nikke had understood. And she didn’t need to check the back of the quest for more information, she knew exactly where her friend would be. And she hoped with all of her heart that the mysterious woman would be there too. And she waited to see who would take the quest.

The young quester waited a for long time, she almost fell asleep, she was ready to give up when she saw a graceful woman in a long dark forest green dress, long black curly hair and small daggers in her boots. Her face was determined and her eyes inspired respect and a “I should stay away from her if I don’t want to get hurt” kind of feeling. She strode confidently towards the last board, took Mali’s quest without so much as a glance and left, holding her head up high. She was beautiful and for the time she was in the hall, time held its breath, everyone stopped and turned in wonder. Once she left everything went much faster, as if trying to catch up on the lost time, Nikke sprinted out but by the time she was outside the woman had disappeared in the crowd leaving no trace to follow. Seeing the dense crowds Nikke quickly climbed up on the rooftops to get to her and her old friend’s secret hiding place from all those years ago. Running against the wind she had to hold her hood down and reminded herself to get a bigger one (preferably with a longer cape) when she had the money to spare.

Finally she got there but the place was empty; it was a small rooftop garden never used by the people who lived there so that the vegetation had gone wild in the small space and vines climbed up the chimneys, it was a place where you were hidden from the rest of the world, but if you looked out you could see the streets around without being seen. No-one seemed to be about so she found a good spot to hide and waited. She quickly regretted not having accepted Arthur’s picnic and wondered why even at her poorest she could never accept hospitality very easily. But then she knew why: growing up mostly on the streets had made her used to taking care of herself alone with no-one to care about her. She wasn’t used to people offering her things or taking care of her, and she wanted them to see that she could do it alone. It sounded stupid but it was also a personal pride.

After having waited,watched an listened for hours Nikke was wondering at what time her friend was supposed to come. Thinking about it, it would most likely be at night. Unaware of having been found out, she felt a cold steel blade tickling her neck…

As soon as she heard about the war Marissa knew she had no time left. She also knew that she had no way of finding Nikke. She remembered her friend talking about how when she was older she would take quests and eventually become a famous adventurer, so she figured that if she found a quester then they might know Nikke. She decided to ask her most trusted servant Sebastian to put the small sign she had made on a quest board, giving him a little money because she knew that the higher level quests cost money and she didn’t want just anyone to find her. Then she packed, what would she need? Definitely her bow, but it would need to be concealed, at least at first because ordinary people didn’t walk around with such fancy weapons. In the kitchens she found a big enough baker’s bag for bread, it was long and wide enough to hold her bow and rapier (she left an envelope “for the bread bag’s owner” with some coins in it). Then she took a big bag with two straps and put her armour in it. She also added a few thing which she felt might be useful on her journey (some of which she then had to take out because she couldn’t lift he bag). She had swapped some clothes with Sebastian’s sister and she would leave with the servants when Sebastian would go with her to the meeting point and the next morning he would come to the castle as usual and pretend nothing happened.

There was a lot of running around in the castle but none of it concerned her so she managed to easily slip in and out of rooms preparing for her great adventure. She knew that she wasn’t ready to face this alone and hoped that Nikke would be. If not then maybe the quester who picked up the quest could help. If they could cross the mountains then maybe they could be safe from the incoming invasion. The last thing to do would be to leave a note saying that she had left of her own will (so that the enemy couldn’t use her disappearance against them) hidden somewhere in her room where it would be found in a few days at most. That night she left as one of the common folk, into the unknown wonders the city had to offer her…

“Who are you and what are you doing here? Do you know why I’m here?”
The voice was soft and firm and definitely a woman’s one. Most likely she had been watching Nikke for a while and she felt stupid for thinking she could hide from such a person. She decided not to lie as that could only make things worse.
“Mali- princess Marissa is coming here and you’re going to escort her she used to sneak out of the castle when we were younger and we were best friends my name is Nikke Raven!”
She had spoken fast in fear of being interrupted because she knew too much and there was a terrifying silence for a while. Then the knife was withdrawn and the woman stood in front of her.
“What are you doing here?” She repeated.
Nikke had a bit more trouble answering that question. “Well…” She started, “at first I only wanted to see my friend again… but when I saw you take the quest…” And she explained how she had heard of her, at first from one person then when she looked for her she found other signs or rumours of this woman’s existence, enough to persuade Nikke that she was real. Since then she had spent as much time as she could trying to find her and hopefully learn from her because not many people would teach a girl and even less a penniless orphan so in the small hope that this woman would teach her she had spent so much time looking for her.
By the end of her story she was very embarrassed but at least the woman had lowered her weapon. Nikke didn’t know what to do now. The woman broke the silence: “You might not like what I have to teach you”, she spoke softly but clearly, Nikke thought she could have a voice to charm an army, ok maybe a small one, or a tavern full of soldiers…
“I want to learn how to fight anyone! I want to be able to use weapons… At least daggers or throwing knives, I want to be able to have the level to take a level 7 quest! Or almost…” she replied.
Then the woman had a sad look on her face but she said “If that is what you want, then I suppose I am the best person to ask.”
Nikke decided that was more of a yes than a no and she grinned.

……………………………………………………….andthentheywillmeet……..whatwillhappen……………………………..

I was writing… And writing… And I realised that I had already written a lot so I figured I might stop here and let DragonSpark continue a bit (don’t worry you don’t have to write as much as I did). These bits of story (I think we could call them chapters) are getting longer and longer!
Sorry DS for finishing this fast, I guess I was really into it…

Exclusive: a memory of Nikke and Marissa AND a map(-ish looking thingy) of how I see this ever expanding world for the moment (DS feel free to use it or completely ignore it or even make one of your own)!

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Posted by on 22 August 2015 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

DS A Sinking Feeling

Morning streamed through the silk curtains of the royal castle. Marissa awoke from her dreams, where she had escaped from her regal life, and become a famed adventurer. In her dreams, she had a sword worthy of the kingdom’s greatest Dammes, worthy even of the army’s Valkyrie units. Worthy of her sister. However, the blade that lay against the wall opposite to her bed was a fine rapier the Smithy had made just for her. It was an elegant weapon, yes, but one not fit for a brave warrior. On a stand next to her blade was her armour. Behind the stand was her bow. It was also specially made for her, with a strong yet sturdy ebon wood and lined with Ivory. It was akin to a piece of art, but in her hands, it could rain death on any foe, that she was sure of.

Marrisa looked longingly at her equipment, already beginning to imagine alternate lives in which these tools led her to fame and glory, despite their frail nature. She was brought back to reality by the hollow thus of the drawbridge falling on the opposite side of the moat, directly below her room.

The castle was exceptionally busy this morning. Steps echoed up and down the hall beyond her wooden door and the distant clatter of horse and armour could be heard out of the window. Puzzled by this activity, Marrisa was heading to the window when her attendant, a kind old lady that had cared for her and her sister since her mother had died, many years before, burst through the door.

“Your highness! Get dressed quickly. An urgent matter has come up.”

Marrisa felt shivers crawl down her spine. Her sister had several counsellors for each task, from military to agriculture. What could be so urgent that even she was to bear witness to? Nervously, she put a gown on, and followed the halls and corridors she knew by heart until she came to the great wooden doors that led to the throne room. Two guards pushed them apart. Her father, the king, looked up at her with a sad look, even sadder than usual. Whispers echoed as she walked down the aisle at the centre of the room, leading to a large table placed at the bottom of the steps that led to the throne.

Placed on the table was a large map of the kingdom. Scattered all throughout the map where small wooden foot soldiers painted in blue, which she supposed represented the Kingdom’s humble yet efficient military forces, scattered throughout the few large cities within their borders. At the far side of the map, behind a line which represented the border with the neighbouring kingdom of Torei was a huge number of similar pieces, painted red, all looking ominously towards the other side of the line.

Marisa’s sister stood over the table, her usual dress replaced by her armour. Her jaws were clenched, as were her fist. An aura of rage was emanating from her. In between her fists was a parchment that bore the seal of Torei, which she was clearly in the process of reading. After a short while, she looked up at a man which Merissa recognised to be the Grand Master of Arms, a kind veteran knight, now in charge of all the armies of the kingdom.

“How many?”

“Too many” the knight answered, clearly worried.

The crown princess immediately followed up: “How much time do we have?”

“If they head straight for the capital, they’ll be at the walls within a week. If they assault every town they encounter, or even only the larger cities, that gives us anywhere from two weeks to a month, but not a day more.”

Even Marissa knew it. That simply wasn’t enough time to prepare for a large assault, or even to evacuate the populace. Her sister swiped her arm in range, toppling the red solders, and crumbled up the parchment, which Merissa guessed was a declaration of war. The crown princess started to walk out the room angrily. Several people fell in behind her, including the Grand Master of Arms. Before leaving the room she turned around.

“Summon the master of the guard and all members of the military council not yet present. From this moment on, we are at war!”

Marissa’s heart sunk. Given her sister’s attitude, this war wasn’t one the Kingdom was likely to win. Now she knew more than ever: She HAD to find Nikke Raven.

……………………..DOTS//When//Will//They//Leave?………………………………………..NeVeR//http:Complet

It’s been a long, LONG time since I sat down to add to this story. This morning I sat down, armed with coffee and music, and promised myself not to sit up until I had finished this piece… I broke that promise several times, but I got it done before sunset nonetheless. As I was rereading what came before and jotting down Ideas, I couldn’t help but feel the story was progressing slowly, the consequence of having two authors, I suppose. So I set out to write something that will push this world out of the relative status quo, and into the adventures ahead. I leave it now to Bookworm to craft the first steps of this adventure, whatever that might mean.

Previous chapter here. First chapter here.

 
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Posted by on 8 August 2015 in Dragonspark, Epic Co-written Story

 

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Dreams of Angels

Part 5 of Epic Co-written Story

“Hey what happened?” Arthur asked the shaking girl in front of him.

She smiled back awkwardly, “I was in the Quest Hall, you know, in Raven’s Hollow and a guard surprised me and I attacked and then I panicked and then…” She trailed off, realising that the person in front of her was staring and slightly invading her personal space, he backed off apologetically and she continued “you know it wasn’t even really a problem for me, being there, I mean it’s not as if girls aren’t allowed, anyone can take a quest right?” And she chuckled at the absurdity of it. “I should probably go and apologise tomorrow, I mean it’s not like I can afford not to anyway…”

Nikke started to get up, her hood fell off and Arthur saw the wavy dark hair and the fragile pale skin, but what struck him most was the fire and defiance in the eyes of such a small girl. She was no longer a child but compared to him she wasn’t much. It intimidated him. And it shamed him that she had probably already been on many adventures when he had been cowardly stuck in an inn. It wasn’t a time when there were a lot of customers, just Lazy Bum (who seemed to live in the corner on booze and whatever the others’ charity could get him) but he was snoring peacefully, so Arthur invited Nikke to the counter to ask about her adventures as he offered her a drink. And then she offered to accompany him on his errand. He found out that Nikke had been taking small quests since she was 12 and living on the streets since she was 14. She had been looking for her childhood friend who had mysteriously disappeared (and who she suspected had been kidnapped) since she was 12. She found out that he’d had a pretty ordinary life until his parents moved out to his uncle’s farm outside the citadel and he had stayed, stubbornly insisting that he would become a soldier and go on exciting adventures. He’d discovered later that often it wasn’t the soldiers who went on adventures, it was the rogues, the rich discoverers, the hunters and the questers. He had half a mind to abandon his job, take a quest and discover the world. But the other half of his mind was more sensible and it reminded him that he might not survive long outside alone.

“So you mean you’ve never been outside?” Nikke laughed “How far have you ever been?”

“Hummingbird Bay and back,” he answered, embarrassed “I’ve also been in the districts around here but I haven’t had much time to go further. I have met a lot of interesting people though!”

“And do you buy them all a drink?” She wondered, half knowing the answer.

“That depends on whether they can afford it.” he winked, Nikke blushed and looked down. Arthur continued his answer more seriously, “The lady ones, sometimes. But there aren’t a lot of ladies around here who would go to the tavern alone.” He looked back at her, “And none of them have been on adventures or they don’t stick around the bar to talk about it.”

“Well that’ll all change soon when king dies and the princess becomes queen…” She said, unknowingly staring at a very precise point on the wall.

The king was old and talk was going around about what the princess would or wouldn’t do when she came to power. No-one asked which princess, everyone knew. Meanwhile the other princess was lying on the floor of her huge bedroom, brooding, sketching, thinking about her strong sister with the golden hair, bronze skin, silver or steel eyes. She was everything that a queen should be. Marissa was not. She was weak, crumbling under the weight of her armour, shield and sword so that the armorer had to make her a special light armour and shield and the weapon smith made her a rapier and a set of small daggers. Marissa had tanned skin, but it wasn’t bronze and her brown hair might be pretty, but it wasn’t gold. Her eyes were deep hazel and warm, they weren’t the eyes of the queen of an important military kingdom. She didn’t have the perfect body of her sister and the only thing she was better at was archery. She would be married to a faraway prince to keep relations and power. But she didn’t want that. What she wanted was to go on adventures, without guards, without even being recognised. She wanted to be free, to be renowned for something other than her name. And she wanted to fall in love, and to be able to stay with the person she loved forever; and she knew that this could never properly happen if she stayed royal. So Marissa planned her escape on her bedroom floor. She thought about what her new name would be, people would be looking for her and it would be stupid to keep her name, and besides she didn’t like it much. Malika? It had been what she’d call herself as a child whenever she escaped the castle to find friends before someone eventually found out. Or just Mali? It had been what her best friend had called her. Or maybe Angel? The orphans of Raven’s Hollow were all called Raven (it was their last name), so it would only be fit for her, coming from the castle which was in Angel’s Keep, to be called Angel… Or maybe she’d be better off with something completely different? She was sure of only one thing: she had to find Nikke Raven.

……………………….DundunDUN!!!Suchdrama…………………………………………

I actually meant to post this yesterday but I forgot ^^’
This is the FIFTH part of our Epic Co-written Story which remains unnamed for the moment (if you have any ideas feel free to share them in the comments). The last part is the last post (Encounter) so I won’t bother linking it and if you want the rest there’s a new fancy thing at the top of the page next to “about us” that says “Epic Co-written Story”!!! I’m very proud of that because I had no idea how to do it but I found out by trial and error, that’s the best way I learn things 🙂 (the earliest is at the bottom, I don’t know how to change that so it’s probably just going to stay that way).
Your turn now DragonSpark! (Tell your exams I said sorry 😉 )

 
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Posted by on 17 May 2015 in Banzaï, Epic Co-written Story

 

DS Encounter

Allow me to summarize our story so far: A young man, Arthur, once ambitious and yearning for adventure, has now become tame and satisfied with his humble life as employee in the local inn. However, a spark of his past self still glimmers in the depths of his soul, waiting to be unleashed.  Meanwhile, across town, a young woman, Nikke, is breaking the taboo of gender roles by taking up bounties to track down criminals, slay mighty monsters, and explore uncharted land, adventures usually reserved to men. As a matter of fact, she accomplishes this task in a disguise, so as not to reveal her true nature. Rumours of another woman-knight are being whispered in the deepest areas of the guild hall. This feminine blade wielder is told to possess formidable strength, dexterity beyond imagination, and superhuman speed.

For Arthur, this was just the start of another day in Lionsden, a humble quarter of the capital. He worked as tavern boy in the King’s rest, a cosy tavern huddled between two small shopes, on the side of one of the quarter’s bigger streets. He did all kinds of things in the tavern. He served meals, made the beds, cleaned the rooms, ran errands, tended to horses, and even cooked a little. It wasn’t an easy life, but a satisfactory one, with enough purpose to rise in the morning, and enough coin to afford a bed at night. Over the years he had built a solid endurance and was quite fit, though not enough to join the royal guards he once admired. His clothes were rough, his shaving blade blunt, his hygiene barely satisfactory, but he was happy… Or at least, most times he was.

Indeed, his dreams of adventure and fame hadn’t quite all gone away, and a spark still shone in his eyes every time the young boy saw military cavalry in the streets, or when his errands took him into the forger’s district, where steel blades of all kinds were on display.

Meanwhile, down in Raven’s Hollow the vaguely feminine figure that was showing interest in the quest board was starting to attract unwanted attention. Nikke was usually careful when scouting the quest board for jobs, and looking out for the near-mythical woman-knight. She was always swift, discreet, and cloaked. However, this time, she had stayed for too long. One of the guards of the quest hall approached her from behind.

“Hey lad!” he shouted, “You know it’s impolite to wear a hood inside public buildings right?” Taken by surprise, Nikke realised her mistake. She cleared her throat, trying to make her voice as deep as possible. “I’ve seen more bizarre in these halls. Why call out such a minute piece of cloth when other hunters wear full suits of armors. However, if so is your wish, I will be on my way. My business here is done.” She turned swiftly, making the end of her cloak revolve gracefully.

“Just hold on a minute!” the guard said, grinning, almost perversely. His hand grabbed the back of the hood. He yanked it back and Nikke’s face was exposed to full daylight. Her eyes widened in surprise and shock. She thrust her elbow in the guard’s face. The guard barely had time to realize what happened when Nikke followed up by jabbing her heel into the man’s abdomen, using him as leverage to dart forwards, as the gasps of indignation started to echo on the high walls.

She swiftly jumped off a bench and over the heads of the two guards guarding the entrance, and ran into the streets, hoping to lose any pursuers in the crowd. However, her hopes were quickly dissipated when she heard the steady beat of a horse’s gallop closing in behind her.

“Get her!” The guard on the back of the horse had his sword drawn, murder in his eyes. “All that just because I happen to have breasts!?” Nikke spat. Luckily the crowded and narrow streets of the neighbourhood made it difficult for the guards to move forwards. The mass of people were spreading to let the horses pass barely faster than Nikke was pushing and shoving her way through the crowd.

Her luck ran out as she turned the corner. Another patrol of guards on horseback were making their way towards her. She was effectively surrounded. As she was evaluating her options, a young man with a heavy looking bag opened the door of the small building immediately to her right. Nikke didn’t think. She jumped through the door and into the building, hoping the patrol in front of her hadn’t noticed her, and knowing the patrol behind her had yet to turn that corner.

Arthur didn’t really have the time to realize what had happened. His eyes hadn’t yet recovered from the sudden stream of sunlight flowing through the door that a mass had pushed him onto the floor. Arthur, thinking the intruder was a mugger, reached for his knife. He shifted his weight forward, from his back to his feet, planting his free palm on the ground, and used the three limbs to stand up quickly, his knife hand ready to defend any oncoming assault.

However, instead of attacking him, the person that had shoved him back into the inn turned around, bolted the door shut, and collapsed to the floor, breathing heavily. Arthur looked down on the strange, heaving figure at his doorstep, confused. He folded his knife, sheaved it and kneeled to the stranger, putting a hand on her right shoulder.

Nikke looked up at the young man kneeling in front of her, relief flooding her mind. Little did she know that this encounter was going to change her life forever.

Ctrl;toorganizeàNOTES………BUILDafantasyworldWithwords……………….comebacktime?………………….

Hello all! This is a continuation of our coop story, where BW and I take turns writing “episodes” or chapters. The ball has been in my park for a long time now, but my chapter is finally here. Where will BW take this? *dramatic voice* Find out next time!

For those whose memory needs refreshing, here is the preceding part, and if you are a new reader and missed all of it here’s the first part. On a closing note, this is my first story in months, so excuse the slightly rusty writing…. I have a few other rough drafts in the pipeline that I’ll try to polish before summer break. In the meantime, take care!

P.S: As an added bonus, I’ll include some of the sketches I did before writing this. I’ve been trying to get used to digital art. These are my first steps, but I’ll share them regardless:Coop episode 3- roughs

 
 

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