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The King of the North

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The King of the North

Postby Maedhros » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:27 pm

Hey, people. This is mainly a little exercising my English since it's been ages since I wrote anything but I thought I could share it anyhow. Just a small snippet, set in a campaign world I''ve created for D&D. I might make more if it proves popular. So, please enjoy and do comment whether you hate it, love it or just feel bored or confused.




Out of all the others us, yes, WE were chosen.

There was Tusk, there was Edge, there were Flame and Hammer; Hammer brandishing his latest treasure, his PRIZE, the tip of his new spear still etched with the runes of the Other Underdwellers, still marked by our enemies, by those he’d skewered upon his late one, the one Flame carried now, broken haft but point still sharp and o! how proud he did look little Flame, clutching his spear, looming close to Hammer as though the very presence - his HEROIC AURA - could give also him some glory and all the while there were Tusk and Edge standing a little farther away, a little more relaxed and laid-back as Hammer for the third time, ebony eyes blazing with the power of his blood, told of how he’d bravely survived the skirmish with the Other Underdwellers and of course we all knew the story since we’d been there as well but who were we really to deprive him of his great honour? so there was Tusk fingering the old aching scar upon his left eye, nodding gravely and there was Edge cleaning up his crossbow all the while listening and there was young Flame enthusiastically struttering around his new-found idol

and there came High Priest Skyfire and suddenly there was silence and not even Hammer was a hero anymore - not even to skulking Flame creeping back in his shadow - as Skyfire croaked and looked upon us all one by one and croaked again and of course he didn’t need to speak for we knew and as one we were in a procession behind him and ready for the Evening Prayer, Skyfire solemly gliding towards the bronzen double doors and Tusk keeping scratching that old scar that always ached worse the day after battle and Hammer clutching his new spear and Flame clutching his new spear and Edge eyeing the both of them with that slanted look of his that most thought a curse from the ALLFATHER (for the sins of his father or was it that of his mother perhaps? no one knew and no one asked for you didn’t ask anything of Edge except he told you to and he didn’t) but who’d dare question someone handpicked by the High Priest?

And so by the ALLFATHER himself, no?

No, said he for the High Priest wasn’t a CHOSEN OF THE ALLFATHER, said who? Skyfire had just put his fingers to the doors when he arrived out of whither we did not and do not know but we all noticed immediately and Skyfire froze to the spot, spinning around and so did we and there behind he was, standing tall, taller than any of us, almost rivalling the Surfacedwellers in height, scales gleaming in a slightly blue hue and eyes glistening with azure flames just as those of the ALLFATHER or so we’ve been told and the silence which wasn’t really a silence with the chanting of our people just outside was thick enough to touch and we thought we saw sparkles fly from the eyes of the Stranger who after a long enough moment told us that he had an announcement to make before the tribe and what announcement? High Priest Skyfire snorted for who was this Stranger to command him? Gripping our spears harder we encircled him, Skyfire’s mind echoing in ours, Skyfire’s constant whisperings guiding each and every step and all the while the two stood eyeing each other above our heads as if we were irrelevant to the whole situation and perhaps we were, being Temple Guards and nothing more but more we WERE TO BECOME!

What announcement? Skyfire inquired again, his voice betraying a slight quiver now, moments passing before speaking again, asking: And who are you anyway? A low chuckle of a response, a slight crackling of electricity between his teeth as he bared them in a low hiss that wasn’t a threat so much as a sign of disdain for Skyfire and perhaps an invitation for the rest of us, yes, his azure eyes glinting in the direction of Tusk, of Edge, of Hammer and even fledgling Flame, his heart jumping, yes! he IS SOMEONE, is he not? and we all felt the sudden shift, a shift in the very air and Skyfire felt it too and we heard his panic-stricken voice in our minds but it was already too late for we didn’t belong to him anymore and the Stranger didn’t even have to command us to do what we did.

As one we were upon Skyfire: spears, claws, teeth bared and a small gash upon the chest of Edge was all that he could achieve before Hammer tore his throat out and Tusk penetrated his heart and Flame swung his scepter with a triumphant roar and then all was still. Edge, panting slightly, fingering his wound, was the first one to look up again, to meet the gaze of the Stranger, to muster up the courage to ask what Skyfire had asked: And who are you?

A silence, a chuckle, fright in the air - were we to meet the same fate as Skyfire? No, for we were CHOSEN, he had picked us out, had he not? he with the eyes of the ALLFATHER, now smiling, urging us to rise, to come closer, to touch his bluish scales; said he: I’m King of the North said we: We know no kings said he: I’ll make you know and that he did.
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
- Augustinus Hipponensis
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:50 am

Very good; I loved your descriptiveness and detail. However, I did notice one major error: run-on sentances. For those of you that don't know, that's when you use to many ands, buts, and commas to join to many sentences together.

Example:

So there was Tusk fingering the old aching scar upon his left eye, nodding gravely and there was Edge cleaning up his crossbow all the while listening and there was young Flame enthusiastically struttering around his new-found idol


Run on sentence. Could be ruduced to two or three sentences. Like:

Tusk was fingering the old aching scar upon his left eye, nodding gravely. Edge was cleaning up his crossbow, all the while listening. Young Flame was enthusiastically stuttering around his new-found idol.

There were a few other things, like beggining a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, so, or, if, etc.). Other than that, you were fine on grammar (as far as I know. Someone more educated than me might see more. I sure hope not).

I'd love to see more; keep on writing!
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Maedhros » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:09 am

Thanks for the input. As for "run-on sentences", that's a mode of writing that's not all too uncommon (ever read something of Virginia Woolf or Joyce Carol Oates for example?). It creates a different mood and a different flow to the story and I for one find it quite appealing. Beginning sentences with conjunctions is really quite common too, even if not in grammar lessons at school ;)
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:14 pm

Maedhros wrote:Thanks for the input. As for "run-on sentences", that's a mode of writing that's not all too uncommon (ever read something of Virginia Woolf or Joyce Carol Oates for example?). It creates a different mood and a different flow to the story and I for one find it quite appealing. Beginning sentences with conjunctions is really quite common too, even if not in grammar lessons at school ;)


I can see the run-on sentences if it's part of the style of the story. As for beggining sentences with conjunctions, maybe I'm a bit to picky (or old-school).

I'll have to read some of Virginia Wolfe's and Carol Oats's writing. I think I've heard of Wolfe...
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Maedhros » Fri May 21, 2010 2:00 pm

Well, this isn't really related, more than being set in the same world. I'm not even sure I really like this piece myself but tried some new things and would be interested in any views on it. Enjoy!

EDIT: The Megablocks parts are of course meant to be the H-word ;)


And there he goes again, slips away, disappears. She sighs, deeply, feels a distinct taste of blood as she heaves her chest, as she breathes in, breathes out; carefully touches her left side, the sharp edges of her torn armour, the soaking clothing beneath, the marred skin, schorched flesh and tirelessly pumping veins. A bitter grimace of pain, but no sound, she’s far beyond that; contemplates her hand, the bloodied fingers, far too bloody; maybe she’ll die this time?

She had thought so once before, lying in a pool of mud and blood, her comrades in piles around her, her limp Lover with empty eyes staring up at her pained face; long ago, in another life, the Great War they call it now; she had been burned by the hell-fire machines of the Stunted People, so had her comrades, so had her Lover. No, there were no empty eyes frozen in time staring up at her, there were but two black holes in what had once been the most beautiful face she had ever laid her gaze upon. And there she lay, shrieking in grief as well as bodily pain, asking why she hadn’t died as well, why her heart would keep on for yet a few minutes, just to give her time to savour their destruction, their defeat. But then, just then, amid the splashing of the unforgiving rain, the thundering of the unholy machines, the death shrieks, the war cries, there was the sound of two feet lightly treading the mud beside her, there came into view two slender legs, kneeling, a mane of coppery hair, two penetrating eyes catching her gaze, a vaguely smiling mouth.

‘Not yet’, the thin lips whispered, ‘not yet.’

And she felt the pain go away, she felt the gentle touch of the coppery-haired woman, she felt her wounds close.
Not yet.

She stands, she wipes her bloodied hand, she picks up her long, thin-bladed sword.

Not yet, she can’t die just yet.

For there he goes, slips away, disappears; only a vague shadow amidst the barren hills now, the fledgling dragon flying on one side, that strange halfling fellow struggling to keep up on his other; there he goes, like a good son he follows her orders.

She lets him go, lets the shadow disappear among the hills, turns back to the present, to the immediate, clutches the hilt of her sword. Everything however, is silence, for the moment. She contemplates the machine that might have been her bane, with disgust she sees the dead Stunted Man who sits inside it, or perhaps is fused with it, his crazed, disturbed face cloven by her sword. It’s still crackling, the thing, still showing traces of an artificial kind of life, its blade aglow, occasionaly, like a dying ember, flaming up with a bright fire; the blade that nearly tore her apart from hip to shoulder, the fire that in such an eerie way reminds her of that old pain, of those scars that never really stopped itching, despite the healing hands of Ravīja.

That name is legend to most, a goddess to some, had so been also to her, before they met.

Ravīja Uniter, Ravīja Fist of the Gods, Ravīja Beloved of the Fey, Ravīja Mistress of Beasts.

Ravīja of the Healing Hands she’d always remain to her, Ravīja of the Ruby Eyes, Ravīja of the Serene Voice. Wounds closed she held her hands, helped her to her feet, whispered in that fey tone:

‘What is your name?’

And ‘Širīna’ she answered, meeting the seemingly shining red eyes that betrayed the draconic heritage within.

‘Will you walk with me, Širīna?’ she asked then, Ravīja of the Serene Voice, ‘will you walk with me, to the end, if that’s the will of the gods?’

Of course she would, but the end didn’t come, didn’t then, didn’t for her.

But maybe today. Maybe the still crackling, broken machine before her feet. She kicks one of its legs aside, a last look over her shoulder confirming that he’s gone now, her son; continues past the thing, limps on, eyes set on the opening in the rock some hundred feet away; there will be more, that she knows, but they won’t pass her, that she knows as well, not just yet, not until her son is safe, not as long as she stands.

‘I need you to take His Guard down, can you do that for me?’ she asked, Ravīja of the Serene Voice, and what could she do but nod, Širīna who had left her home, hearth and newborn son to fight for the survival of her people, Širīna who had minutes ago seen her beloved burned beyond recognition? She knew Him, she knew Him to be the King of the Stunted People, and she knew His Guard, she knew them by the legends, by the stories that the veterans had told her.

‘They simply won’t die’, he had mused, that old sorcerer of the name Gavatī, and he had held her gaze from the other side of the camp-fire, the red flames illuminating his face, showing every scar upon his stern features, ‘they simpy won’t die.’

But now they would, for she couldn’t let Ravīja down, not Ravīja of the Ruby Eyes, forging an eternal bond between the two of them, just through those very eyes. And they were on the move.

Like a shadow they swirled through the battlefield, seen by no one, heard by no one, like a wind they passed rank upon rank, warrior upon warrior, machine upon machine, higher and higher, closer and closer, the big, belching, wagon of the King looming ever nearer, ever bigger before them; but they weren’t alone, the wind grew stronger and stronger, the shadow larger and larger, she felt light caresses of fur about her legs, she saw vague shapes around her, she heard growls and howls, yes, Ravīja Mistress of Beasts she was called.

But today, this day below the unforgiving sun Širīna stands alone. She hears the clanks, the creaks, the thundering, the belching, she smells the smoke, she makes out their voices, their battlecries, hurries towards the opening, doesn’t feel the taste of blood in her mouth, doesn’t feel the broken ribs puncturing her intestines, wouldn’t care if she did; must get there first, must stop them from getting out, flies once again like a wind upon the rocky hills.

And the shadow fell, they were there, the skies rained fire upon Ravīja’s command; panthers leapt, tigers roared, the wagon crumpled and suddenly they were everywhere, the Stunted People, His Guard, shooting flames, heaving heavy axes. She followed Ravīja as a shadow, she lashed out, she were her living shield; never saw their faces, saw nothing but masks of iron cruelly grinning, but there was flesh beneath, there was blood, she felt the flesh, saw the blood as her enchanted sword clove their armour. Yes, they would die, they simply would die and killing them was just so simple in that moment, was the only thing she could do to deafen the grief.

Lights in the cave, flickering fires, blinking lanterns, they’ll be over her soon; she pants, clutches her side once again, knows that she has lost far too much blood by now but the flickering fires come ever nearer, she grits her teeth, deafens the pain again, summons a picture of her grown up son before her eyes, the long lost son, yes, she will fight for him, she must, just as she fought for Ravīja, but this time it’s the other way around, this time she will die the heroic death.

Just like Ravīja, just like Ravīja of the Ruby Eyes fell from the cliff, her claws borrowed in the face of the King, his blood flowing all over her, his sword deep in her chest. She wasn’t there to save her, having decapitated the last Guard she dashed to the ravine, looked upon the two limp shapes down at the bottom; felt the careless rain, cried, wailed, but to what purpose? All was still, all was silent, she alone had survived.

Bullets whistle past her, fires burn but she’s all too fast, too fast still; she dances her last dance with these Stunted Men and their clumsy machines, she cuts, she kicks, she jumps, she laughs, she cries out in joy for finally her time has come, for finally she shall join Ravīja of the Ruby Eyes in the Heavens. Bullets whistle past her, bullets tear her, bullets strike her down. She pants, she coughs, she laughs yet again at the blood coming out of her mouth, her blood, knowing that her blood will go on, knowing that it’s her blood that she has saved; smiling as the axes come down on her, as the hell-fire machines pump their lead into her flesh, regretting only that she never told him, never let him know that he had a mother, that he had a mother to look after him till the very end.
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
- Augustinus Hipponensis
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Quickblade22 » Fri May 21, 2010 7:39 pm

Cool as usual man. You know I like your style. It's different from what I am use to reading. It's great to see something worth reading in the Stories section.
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Aliencat » Fri May 21, 2010 7:58 pm

That is a great read :D I want more!
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat May 22, 2010 4:00 pm

I shall agree with AC and QB, well done, well done indeed. Keep writing so we all can keep enjoying.
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Albatross_Viking » Sat May 22, 2010 4:55 pm

And i shall agree with AC and QG and BS.
I really enjoyed reading whats in it now, and the very descriptive style it´s written in is great!
And the i-dont-know-their-name things over some of the letters (in this case in Sirina and Ravija) is a good idea, and not seen very often.
Write more of this!

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Re: The King of the North

Postby Maedhros » Sat May 22, 2010 7:24 pm

Thanks for the kind words, all of you! Nothing to motivate me as some encouragement. There's a long (at least moderately) lazy summer full of time waiting.... ;)

Albatross_Viking wrote:And the i-dont-know-their-name things over some of the letters (in this case in Sirina and Ravija) is a good idea, and not seen very often.


It's to denote long vowels. So the <i> is pronounced like in "fit", while the <ī> like ee in "feet"
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
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Re: The King of the North

Postby Albatross_Viking » Wed May 26, 2010 6:18 pm

Ok, thanks. Hope you soon make some more of this :)

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