Hey all! Here is a series that will be ongoing for the remainder of the Micro Castle Competition. There are 8 parts to this segment of the story and they all connect together
to bring you one final entry for the MCC.
Hope you guys like it! This thread will be updated for each new entry, and you can also follow the progression from our Flickr.Vol 1: Chapter 9
(The collection of 1-8)
Read this chapters story in order with the othersVol 2: Chapter 5
(The collection of 1-4 by Blake Baer
Read this chapters story in order with the others
“Deep from the east an army creeps from the ashes across the rolling hills of Sorna. We must prepare. We must conquer. Two thoughts will touch, and the earth will cry beneath them.”Chapter 2
"My name is Joshua, and I’ve lived in the forest all my life. There have always been reports of battles with the death knights, but never have they been so close to home. The wind rustles through the leaves in the forest, and our houses sway responding to its whispers of war and fire. If they advance past the foothills, we are the last living village between them and our city in the heights. My father is gathering the golden gryphons and the forestmen are on the move. They say it won’t be long before she overtakes our borders."Chapter 3
“My name is… Victoria. I cannot remember who I was before I came to be called so, in some past existence, before I governed this great realm. Beneath this vast emptiness, I recall life and vitality. I cannot change what I am, nor do I desire to return to who I may have been. This emptiness is peace to me. The fullness of life has passed and the pain of touch has faded. We hollow knights of the dark wish a simple peace. We are the silent pile of ashes after the painful hiss of flaming oak. Burn softly my love, I am coming to bring you home.”Chapter 4
"We have gathered remnants of the living. As men, ogres, and wild beasts, we draw arms together, awaiting this hollow evil. The battle shall be decided on these very plains. It was here I lost her, my life. Without her I feel empty inside, but will revenge bring me peace? Lily… for you, I must survive."Chapter 5
“We bring against you war machines, how long do you mortals expect to resist? Why must your final moments of feeling be in pain? We wish for unity and peace as you do. Joshua, if death is inevitable, why do you hesitate to join me in this new lifeless existence? Lead your people into our cities of ghostly bliss. The wheels of war will turn, the momentum of death is gaining, and its gears cannot reverse.”Chapter 6
“The beacon burns bright, calling for aid in an empty world. The lighthouse seems a dim candle - a last desperate cry - seeking generations who once broke away from our city long ago. Buildings which were houses of prayer and lights to the world are now vacant, and only the ever hopeful mermaids remain. Will God hear our pleas on unholy ground? My father returns to us, riding his white horse to the field of battle. I pray the final beacon he lit draws our long-lost brothers to us once more. Behind him strays the very last men the city could spare. For now even from below our own city evil raises it’s head, creeping from lost and ancient caverns. The end, whatever end, is only a matter of time.”
--Joshua, Knight of SornaChapter 7
“Joshua, I was the love of your life, a life I no longer posses. We cannot hold back this stroke upon you. You swore unto me for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health… till death did us part. It has, and now you draw your arms against me and your fellow slain. Too often we could hear your voices on the wind wishing us back and tears on the floor bidding us home. Now we are here, and as enemies you cling to that which is fleeting. Do not wait for a hope that will not come; for no one from heaven above or across the vast sea can hear your cries for help or delay your deaths. I shall make it quick, and we shall be together. My love burns yet for you, and anew these phoenix will take us home.”
--Victoria, Lily of the underworldChapter 8
“Lily, my hope for you will never die. My prayers and intercessions will live on. Love, we shall not burn forever. Our eternity cannot be this empty netherworld. You have been lulled deep into the passage from this place to the next. I fight for our future peace, not an empty life of necrid love lit by the fading phoenix. Even now I tremble before a messenger of the gods. ‘Fear not,’ he spoke, ‘though I cannot fight this battle for you, have hope. Know that aid comes swiftly from the west.’ My hope will not die; and if my body breaks, may the gates of heaven await us both. This little castle on a hill will glimmer and shine with the coming of the dawn. Darkness shall flee from the rising sun.”Chapter 9
“Footsteps quickened, and swords shone bare under the masked sun. Joshua’s heart raced, his feet pounding beneath him almost involuntarily. The moment had come, and he could feel nothing but the rough handle of the sword in his grip and the weight of his shield pulling heavily at his arm. The ground trembled under the pounding of the elephants and the charging line of armored knights. “Where are our brothers? Will they make it in time? With how many men?” were the last thoughts Joshua had before forcing it from his mind and gritting his teeth. With a deep, shaking breath he released his clenched jaw and joined the chorus of men; shouting in a united prayer as much as a battle cry before the hordes that awaited them.
Victoria glided effortlessly across the field, ashes swirling at her feet like a low mist. It was time to erase her past and paint a new future. To wash away the painful colors of life with the beauty of grey. Death knights advanced beside her methodically, without fear or urgency. Leading vicious scorpions and machines of war, they proceeded toward the line of hopeless men. “Hold nothing back! Your kindness is in your swiftness of execution. Remember you were once like them, clinging to a pathetic life before you were awakened to a new existence! Bring these desperate souls peace through our blades.” Victoria caught a glimpse of a face in the masses that rolled forward to crash with them, sending a ripple across the still, dark waters of her heart. For the briefest of moments something seemed to grow within her... what was it? The word came to her mind unwillingly, from some forgotten past. It was... a lily. Victoria clenched her fist, and the lily faded into ashes, steeling her current resolve. The war had begun.”Volume 2: chapters 1-5 by Blake BaerChapter 1
“The time has come. We were startled by bells in the night, calling us to waken and arise. People crowded out of their houses, staring in one direction, each with different thoughts. There on the veiled horizon was a small prick of light, a beacon burning forth in the hearts of men. Our Sornan allies are sending forth a cry-- a yearning for a friend when all the world has turned against them. Ready the ships-- We sail to war.”Chapter 2
“My fathers name, Thorin, means courageous and mighty. I only wish I might inherit some of his courage. My name is Samuel Thorin-son, son of a blacksmith. All I have known is the rough walls of our cottage. My life has been hard, working for my father has grown me into a tall young man, with weathered muscles and skilled fingers. Yet still, the call to arms has given me qualms about leaving the village. I am only fourteen now, a new man in the village's eyes, yet only a boy in the field of battle. I fear the coming days will test and destroy my previous ambitions and passions. In these days ahead, I will see blood, spill blood, and have my own fall upon the graves of our kin. They say death has a face there. She is cold, beautiful and the bringer of despair. Why must I go into this seeming hell? Our blood brothers call for assistance. All of us, will answer!”Chapter 3
"My time has come. Our battalion's captain sent out the message yesterday. We're boarding final ships today and will set sail by sunset. The first two fleets have already gone, trudging across the expanse of water between us and war. My father and I embraced mum, and my younger sister before plodding along the path. Soon we met up with the rest of our men, but still the streets felt empty and air heavy. It hurt knowing I might never see this homely countryside again. I do not wish to die across the sea, but we all know it’s only a matter of time before this evil spreads. Just a matter of… My father hushed the squadron, his gaze fixated on the black forest on the eastern slopes of our land. There was movement amongst the trees. We held our breath as shapes began to crawl from the darkened forest floor. Figures, pennants, and war machines emerged. My stomach twisted at the sight of spiders larger than elephants crawling towards our home. We were under attack! Half of our army was sailing away, and we alone were here to stand between the mysterious horde and our home. War was upon us now. We may never make it to Sorna. Thornin whispered hoarsly‘Quickly now round up the villagers and head for the city!’”Chapter 4
"All the villagers were in a panic, rushing toward the mighty keep whilst looking over their shoulders, expecting every second to be their last. Then my father, myself, and our band of remaining soldiers, helped usher everyone into the castle. The thirty foot gates were shut, barred, and the portcullis was dropped. We are safe for the time being. Suddenly a repetitive crash resounded around the courtyard and the ground shook on the impact of stone against stone. 'Trebuchets', Dad whispered to me. We were caged, surviving a siege that might never end, with little to no food. But turning to the huddled people and feeble men his shouts ran out words of liquid courage. Quickly everyone was rushed to the sanctum on top of the mountain. Still, Lady Time stands against us, fading behind the ever blackening hoard. We will not be out of evil's reach for ever. Here we are. And here we will stay."Chapter 5
"We have been inside this prison for what seems like an eternity. The steady crashing of cobble is nothing more than a drizzle of rain. The north wall has spilled over and we cannot hold this stronghold any longer. Spiders press their spiny legs through every crack in the wall, driving us further back. My father pulled me aside 'Samuel,' he whispered, 'Sometimes men get to do great things for those that they love. It is not easy, but some men face a choice that will change life around him or end it. We are at that choice son.'
Before the night broke the brave men have gathered, breathing heavily for likely the last time. An entire company saddled up and geared in armor. These men representing generations and echos from countless lives now stand silent. Like stars that have been pushed into the corner of the blackened sky their courage shone, but not enough to bring the day.
My father gestured to the corner where I mounted my horse, gripping my family claymore. 'It was mine when I was your age.' My father whispered as he straddled his horse besides me. 'Alright men. Now is the time. We have family to protect, and freedom to defend, join with me.'
Without a word he started out and the all followed. The blood was pounding through my head at what seemed to me a hundred miles an hour. My breath was short and shallow. Looking at my father though, gave me courage and inspired me to ready my sword. I could see that he was praying. Reverently, I joined him. 'God help me' was all I could manage before a sound resounded through the valley, echoing through the fields, and reverberating on every mans heart. The earth was ripping apart.”