Posts Tagged ‘Unnamed Fantasy Project’

Princess Celeste

February 4, 2017

Celeste rose from her bed like a waterfall in reverse, suddenly and with great force. She could have waited for her lady in waiting to arrive and pull back the curtains but she could not lay still anymore. She could also not have slept any later because today was the day. She paced back and forth next to the bed and then changed her path to travel more of the room. She was getting perilously close to the crown. She did not want to be there and she crossed away from it. She looked in the mirror and saw her own fiercely purple eyes looking back at her. They were a mark of royalty and now that mark was calling her to action.

The door opened and Agatha floated into the room like a seed on the wind but she stopped short when she saw that Princess Celeste was already up. She turned her gaze to the floor and hurried to the windows and swept the curtains back and tied them as quickly as she could manage.

“My apologies, your highness,” Agatha said with a quick curtsey, “I had not realized you had already risen.” Agatha’s family was born and bred to attend royalty and the apology tumbled easily from her mouth.

“Nonsense, Agatha,” Celeste said with a bright smile. “You had no earthly idea that I would rise so early especially since I feel I never got to sleep in the first place. I am glad you are here, though. I need your help dressing so we can start this day.”

Agatha smiled and watched her princess for a moment. “I suppose we should take our time to make sure we get it right, then?”

“And make everybody wait?” Celeste asked with a guilty expression.

“You are the princess and today you will be queen. I believe they are required to wait for you.”

“You are remarkably clever, Agatha,” Celeste said with a happy smile on her face. “I believe we can move at a more leisurely pace for the time being.”

Agatha smiled and helped to remove Celeste’s pajamas carefully. She folded them up and set them on the bed of some of the fairy attendants to tend to along with making the bed. She pushed the princess gently toward the bathroom, a luxury even in Cammaratta. A lever brought magically heated water to spray out of a hole in the ancient yet polished castle wall. Celeste let the water cascade over her, reaching up to run fingers through her dark black hair to make sure it got rinsed out. She felt better just being in the shower and she shot a smile at Agatha who was quietly monitoring the magic forces in the royal apartment to make sure everything was tightly controlled and running smoothly. Agatha smiled back, she loved working for the Princess of Altiria just as her mother enjoyed working for the Queen.

The water stopped flowing and Agatha was waiting with a large towel and it felt so soft as it wrapped around her. They stayed like that for a moment before Agatha vigorously dried her hair. The familiar action made them both grin and Celeste dutifully marched to the mirror so that Agatha could brush her hair carefully. They slipped her most beautiful dress over her head and Agatha went to work tying all the ribbons that kept the dress in perfect position. The dress was absolute replica of one her grandmother had worn for a portrait sitting at the Grand Festival Cammarata. It was therefore fitting that Princess Celeste would wear it at one of the highlights of this year’s Grand Festival.

Agatha started the arduous process of braiding, tying and placing clips in Celeste’s hair. Celeste stood patiently as this was a regular occurrence since she was a little girl. Princesses had to look their best. Of course, Celeste was an uncrowned Princess until her sixteenth birthday. That day was today and the crown was sitting on the other side of the room where it had sat since soon after her birth. It was a reminder of her duty. A duty that terrified her. The last few months she had lived in terror of the weight of that crown but today was the day and fate could not be avoided.

It was not that she wanted her freedom. She knew all the good she could do for her people as a crowned princess of Altiria. She wanted to use the crown to protect and help the people who depended on her. She just also did not want to fail. She was terrified of letting her family, her ancestors and her whole country down. It scared her but there was no choice now.

“Do you want to talk about it, Princess?” Agatha asked.

Celeste sighed and shook her head. “I believe we have exhausted that subject, Agatha. I am trying to be excited about today.”

“Of course, Princess,” Agatha said. She bowed her head slightly. “I am here for you in all things and I think you will do great things.” She smiled and Celeste nodded and smiled back.

The sound of heavy boots on stone came from out in the hallway and the door burst open. Agatha’s fingers were already moving intricately to prepare defensive wards even while Celeste’s eyes widened at the intrusion. Surprise turned to indignity when they saw who it was. It was one of the Seven Swords of Altiria, the highest tier of both the royal guard and they came from every branch of the military. In particular, this was Daria who was one of the best with a sword around. She looked concerned.

“Sword Daria! You should not burst into my royal chambers! The very idea!” Celeste said. Her face was red with anger and embarrassment.

Daria bowed at the waist. She was usually very curt and cold with people but she was nothing but friendly and respectful with the royals. “Apologies, there is an issue that you must address, your highness.”

“What? But I was just about to have a coronation.” Celeste said. This was confusing to be sure.

“We cannot have the coronation,” Daria said.

“And why not?” Celeste said with alarm and disappointment.

“The King and Queen are missing, your highness. They must be found.”

Celeste’s mind reeled as she worried about what might have happened to her parents. They would never miss their daughter’s coronation on purpose. Something horrible or horribly important must have happened. She was betting on the former since the Seven Swords obviously did not know what happened. Celeste took a deep breath and closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes, she had the beginning of a plan.

“Assemble the Seven Swords and my father’s advisory board in the war room. I will be there shortly and we will begin to coordinate the search. Agatha?” Celeste said as she turned toward Agatha.

“Yes, your highness?”

“Bring me my crown.”

Advertisements

Death Dealer

September 10, 2016

Sann looked out over the crowd and idly wondered how many of them were guilty. Walking through the marketplace just being eaten by their sins. They might not even realize they were being consumed. They might walk around without a care in the world that their morality was forfeit. Then there were the ones with the shifty eyes and crooked, wary smiles. The obviously guilty. So obvious that even they realized and shrank away from sight when you looked directly at them. They were the easy ones.

Of course, the whole marketplace was guilty. The whole marketplace was guilty because everybody was guilty. Everybody born under the sun was guilty of something. The King had once stated that this belief is what made Sann a great executioner. No hesitation, no remorse. The King’s tone had not indicated that this was a positive trait. Sann had to agree with the King on that point. If he executed every last person in the world, Sann would have to execute himself last. Of course, he would do so without hesitation.

It was the third day of the Grand Festival in Cammaratta and Sann was bored already. He had no heart for festivities and so he only wanted to remain on duty during the festival. Unfortunately, during the Cammaratta Grand Festival, there was a moratorium on executions. Not that there were many executions in a normal day but having guaranteed none was torture. There was no difference between being given a vacation and being forbidden from doing his job. No death was a big thing to ask for Sann. He did not hunger to kill but it gave his life structure.

So, Sann was sitting in a high place at Cammaratta’s largest marketplace. He scanned the crowd for the visibly guilty. The place was teeming with citizens of Cammaratta and other places in Altiria and many travelers from outside Altiria’s borders. He had to see their crime before he could punish them. No killing was allowed but bodily injuries could be very instructive. For that, Sann carried a long bow. In fact, it was close to double the length of a normal longbow. Its distance was unparalleled. For a more personal touch, he had a broad scimitar he had gotten imported from the southern continent. It could be very brutal and just the sight of it dropped crime rates.

Of course, there were always exceptions to every rule. One of those exceptions was illegally grasping an apple off of cart some distance away. There was obvious intent to steal. Before the man could pivot his feet to run, Sann had drawn back his bow. He let the arrow fly and watched and he watched the arrow hit the man’s hand, just missing the apple. The shrill, wounded cry he let out was thanks enough for Sann doing his duty. He watched the man sink to the ground. Two little field mouse guards scurried across the marketplace to retrieve the prisoner. Sann smiled proudly as the crowd acted with nervous dread and horror.

Sann turned to grab another arrow from the bucket behind him but froze instead. There were two stern-looking guards standing very close behind him. Too close.

“Stand away,” Sann barked, “that was a clean strike! My target will live. For now.” He added the last as an afterthought.

“We’re here on behalf of the throne. Collect your things and come with us.” The blond one said.

“Not unless I am given a good reason,” Sann said and moved to reach for another arrow anyway.

“The crown has a job for you.” The red-haired woman said.

“A job, you say? That is more interesting,” Sann said with a tiny smirk. “Fine. Lead on.” Sann picked up his weapons and started to follow the guards, noticing they kept their distance from him.

The two guards were silent as they walked toward the palace. They could remain silent but they had said so much already. They had been vague in their statements but they had been careful to use the correct pronouns. They had called it the crown and the throne which were meaningless terms. They referred to inanimate objects and not people. Those words could mean anyone with authority from the King all the way down to the smallest sniveling official. Sann normally only took his orders from the King and nobody used euphemisms instead of referring to the King. Most people felt that orders from the King were an honor and would never stop using that word. Something was strange and Sann wanted to find out what it was before refusing these new orders.

He wondered what had happened to the King.  If he was dead, perhaps he had been murdered.  Killing the King was the worst crime in the land.  The idea excited Sann almost far too much.  His heart began to beat faster at the thought of somebody guilty of regicide.  The crime would potentially make that person the guiltiest person that Sann had ever been given.  Killing that person or persons would feel better than any he had killed before.  It was an outrageous thought.  The thought brought such pleasure that Sann knew that it must not be true.  The King was merely away on business or incapacitated.  Nothing truly good ever happened to Sann and he guessed that nothing ever would.  He would die, his work of killing all the guilty people would remain unfulfilled.

The Eye of Balor

March 19, 2016

Fearal had grown up living in Omata. It was a rough and tumble life in the small town that was only seen as a crossroads on the way to Cammarata. While the port town of Cammarata was seen as sunny and beautiful, Omata often looked dusty and dried out and far too hot. People who visited Omata rarely wanted to stay longer than a night and even then they rarely wanted to do that. The inn was rarely half full and most of those guests were caravans transporting goods to the markets of Cammarata or the ports. Fearal had even helped feed horses and move boxes for coins when he was a little boy.

Now he had just reached thirty years of age and he had never really done much. He had never left Omata during his entire life. The jewel of Altiria, the port city of Cammarata was not too far down the road but he had never been there. He had no reason to go to the big city where merchants tried to steal your money before the thieves could get at it. He had grown into a strong and honorable man. Sure, he was the first to admit that he was not the smartest man but honor went a long way. It had gotten him chosen by the town to be local constable and he was dedicated to keeping the law in Omata.

Fearal started his day on the outskirts of town, every morning. There he always got breakfast and strong coffee at the home of Pella. She was a beautiful woman who farmed up a meager existence near town. Mornings with Pella were easy and a comfort since Fearal was not a morning person. After Pella, he made his rounds to all the farms that surrounded the town. The only thing Omata had going for it besides shipping was livestock. There were three cattle farms and two horse farms and they all worked together in an alliance. Still, it was good to check on them because there were sometimes disagreements.

There had been no disagreements that morning. All of the horsemen and all of the cattlemen and women were playing nice which was always a blessing. Fearal made his way back into town and walked down the main street. Of course, that was also the only street in town but that was barely worth mentioning. He checked in on the general store and it was empty except for a single sleeping shopgirl. Fearal then headed over to the inn. The inn was generally where all the trouble was if there was going to be trouble. He always visited the inn second to last as it could very well be the hardest part of his day. He walked into the place with a sense of dread in his chest.

“I don’t have much time today, Murio. Please tell me there aren’t any drunks to toss or arguments to settle. I don’t think I even have time to make sure one of your bills are paid.” Fearal said as he walked across the floor. The inn’s main room was empty and sound echoed back from behind the front desk.

“Isn’t that your job, Constable?” Murio asked. He had inherited the inn from his mother and, like her, he accepted no nonsense.

“My job isn’t so strictly defined. You know I do what needs to be done,” Fearal said.

“Funny you should mention jobs that need to be done,” Murio said with a smile.

“Oh please tell me it’s not a drunk.”

“One of my guests has boxes at the warehouse. He said that there was a commotion over there last night. Did you hear of anything?” Murio asked.

“You know I sleep like a stone, Murio. I didn’t hear any commotion but that doesn’t mean anything.”

“So can you check it out?” Murio asked.

“Of course. It’s probably nothing but a rat,” Fearal answered.

“Do you need me to get the blacksmith’s boy so you can have some backup?” Murio asked with a smirk.

Fearal gave the innkeeper a rude gesture and headed off toward the warehouse. He had a rusty sword handed down to him from the previous constable. He had never had to use it this whole time and he was sure today would be no different. He grabbed the sliding door on the warehouse and shoved it aside. The unrelenting sun shined into the warehouse, illuminating the shelves and boxes. And yet, there was something in the corner that Fearal could not make out. Fearal advanced and something made him pull his sword this time. He found himself trembling and not knowing why.

“Did you really think a sword would help you deal with us, mortal?” A woman spoke from the darkness.

“Who’s there!?” Fearal called out. He pointed the sword at the woman as she came out of the shadows. There was still something huge behind her that Fearal just couldn’t see.

“It is not important for you to learn my name. It will do you no good,” She said.

“You need to leave,” Fearal said but his voice was far too shaky to be authoritative.

“Oh, we’re not going anywhere. We used to rule this place and we will gain the power to do so again,” The woman said again. “You are not important enough to know my name but I will introduce you to my husband. His name is Balor and the world will feel his gaze.”

The thing in the corner stepped into the light. It was nine feet tall and it had three eyes. The two that were open were cold and emotionless as they looked down at Fearal who was paralyzed by fear. Balor walked forward, step by plodding step until it came to a stop. Slowly the third eye started to open and Fearal could feel the sun’s heat become more unbearable. The heat was rising fast and Fearal heard the sword clatter to the floor without remembering he had dropped it. Too late, he realized that the heat was not coming from the sun but from the eye of Balor and Fearal screamed as he burst into flames. Balor marched toward Omata.

Sashi the Brave

November 7, 2015

Sashi wiggled her dagger in the lock uselessly. Her sister was the thief, not her. Sashi was born for the freewheeling life of an acrobat. Lately she had found it necessary to add sellsword to her resume as well. Truthfully, her sword figthing wasn’t up to the level of her tumbling. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much call for tumbling these days. Well, not as much as there was need for a decent swordhand. The world was troubled and you either learned to run or you learned to fight.

Her sister, Kariah, had learned to run pretty quickly which was why Sashi was stuck tring to pick the lock on the chest. Her sister had been way better at larceny. The chest had the General’s plans in it which the government apparently couldn’t ask nicely for. However, they could pay handsomely for the plans which was coincidentally the right price to hire the Leva Troupe for this sort of mercenary work. It would have helped if the locks were more cooperative though.

As it was, the distraction provided by Abelli and Rista would cease being so distracting pretty soon. At that point, the guards would return and the game would be over. The lock was never going to surrender to such clumsy approaches though.

It was at this moment that Caban’s axe came down hard on the chest. With a grunt, Caban pulled his axe from the wood and something cracked near the lock and the thing popped open. Sashi shot him a look that was equal parts frustration and gratitude. He responded with a trademark sheepdog grin.

“Getting bored. It is open. Grab papers?” He asked.

Caban’s native language was not Etlyan. From what the rest of the troupe could tell, his native language was hitting things which made him the perfect strong man. He had come from Ceylar which explained the thick accent and why he spoke only broken Etlyan. He was a broad-shouldered man with a strong jaw and a prominent brow. He looked big and scary but he was kind to those who were kind to me and especially delighted in putting smiles on children’s faces.

Sashi grabbed the papers and tucked them into a leather bag and cinched the bag to the small of her back. She arranged her cloak over the pouch and ran for the door. She could feel Caban close behind her like a sprinting grizzly bear. She looked over her shoulder and locked eyes with Rista for a moment. A split-second later and Rista and Abelli vanished in a cloud of smoke. Their distraction was gone and they had to get out now or risk a life in chains in the capital.

They reached the wall and Caban braced himself against the wall and bent down and offered his hands. Sashi stepped into his hands and Caban tossed her up and over the wall. She smiled brightly as she felt that familiar thrill as she tumbled through the air. She somersaulted and landed carefully in a crouch at the base of the wall. She looked up and saw Caban’s massive hands suddenly appear at the top of the wall and then he vaulted over the wall with a massive grunt. She cleared the area as he landed with a massive thud.

“Come on, rendezvous on the King’s street.” She yelled as they navigated the alleyways. She knew they all wanted this job done as soon as possible. The money was good but the risks and complications could be huge getting involved with the military and the government. Maybe this job was a mistake but they all trusted Leva to take the jobs they could handle.

They rounded the corner and Sashi stopped short.

“Why stop?” Caban asked.

“Our contact is supposed to be here.” Sashi said, drawing both of her swords. It never hurt to be prepared.

“Your contact? And just who would that be?” A tall, spindly man said as he pushed open a shop’s back door and stepped into the alley. He wore all black and he was carrying a long, silvery chain that looked strangely menacing.

“Why is that your business?” Sashi asked, holding her swords between her body and the creepy man in black.

“Well, we must have spooked your contact and we would very much like to know who it was. In the meantime, we would also like the papers from your satchel.”

“Hell no. That would be a breach of contract. Come on, we’re getting out of here.” Sashi said, walking toward the busy street just a few yards away. Caban fell into step behind her.

“I don’t think so.” The man said. He opened his coat and fingers of smoke trailed from underneath. The smoke turned into seven armored soldiers, armored in flat black armor. The soldiers soundlessly drew swords as they blocked the path. “Hand over the papers.”

It was eight on two and neither Sashi nor Caban had any armor on. Suddenly an arrow whistled through the air and found a gap in the armor of the soldier right in front of Sashi. It slumped to the ground with an arrow in its neck. There was a stunned silence and then more whistling arrows found their mark. Then, from the other direction, knives flew through the air and more soldiers slumped to the ground. Sashi drove a sword through the last one. Somewhere during the action, the man in black had slipped away.

Abelli and Riva hopped down from the north wall. “You keep getting into trouble.” Riva said, slipping her bow over her shoulder.

“And you keep getting me out.” Sashi said with a grin. “I have no idea what’s going on.”

“She alerted us to the danger and we got here as soon as we could.” Abelli said.

“She who?” Sashi asked, sheathing her swords.

“How about your sister?” A familiar voice asked from up high. A shadow dropped from a window and when it landed, she took down her hood. It was Kariah, the prodigal sister.

Questing

September 28, 2014

As you can see, this is a little story snippet from my Untitled Fantasy Project. I’m still exploring the world and discovering the mythos on the spot.  It will be an interesting world to explore either in writing or if I ever run an RPG campaign in it.

*                                *                          *

Lao crawled out of the weather-beaten tent slowly on his hands and knees, he had never mastered the low crouch that was a slightly more dignified way to exit.  The sunlight hit his eyes like the savage thing that it was and he cringed and blinked and covered his eyes for a moment.   The moment stretched on until he heard Allendra clearing her throat and he drew his hands away from his face slowly.  There she was, sitting by the fire and giving him that same disapproving look she gave him every morning.  Thankfully she was still blurry so it had less impact which was always nice.

“I told you not to stay awake so long reading.” She said as she thrust a bowl of something tan and sludge-like into his hands.

He grunted and nodded and mumbled something about being sorry before starting to eat.  Everything started to come into focus as he got some warmth and food into his belly.  The first thing he noticed was Allendra’s golden hair blowing in the breeze and the second thing he noticed was that she had already put her armor on.  He knew that somewhere behind her back, her sword floated invisible and ready for action.

They were in the hills of northwest Altiria not far from Glassare Lake.  He could barely see the starting point of their journey, the Grand Spire of Cammarata, far in the distance.  The Lake of the Ancient Frost was definitely another marker.  In the lore, they said that the lake was left over from a massive magical ice storm a long time ago.  It was still a point of pilgrimage for people who took the spirit of ice into their souls.  If they were going to find a clue there, they would picking over ground covered by thousands of young people from year to year.

“It’s about time you got up.  Where are we going?  Which way is the map telling you?”  Allendra asked impatiently.  She would not sit down but Lao had rarely seen her rest so he was not surprised.

“It’s not that simple.  The map is written in three languages and one of them is almost dead.  The map referes to markers we’ve seen along the way.  You know, like the mark of the Fallen Soldier.” Lao explained.  He could tell by Allendra’s frown that it was not satisfactory.

“Yeah. I remember all of the symbols.  I am not just here to swing a sword.”

“And my sisters are Swords of the Throne and they taught me everything they know.” Lao said with a smirk, shovelling more of the gruel into his mouth.

“I never say that.  Who have you been talking to.” She was giving him a vaguely threatening but curious look.  It was important to be careful here.

He took the last bite of the gruel and started to scrape the bowl out as he chewed.  This was definitely not a stalling tactic.  Stalling could be dangerous against a woman like Allendra.  Sure she was charged by the crown with protectcing him but it was always better to err on the side of caution.  So this was definitely not a stalling tactic.  This was a moment to diffuse the tension and besides he belly was still grumbling.

“I studied up on you.  That’s what I do.  I study.  Information on you is freely available especially in a place like Cammarata where rumors are more abundant than water.”  He answered, depositing the mostly clean bowl and spoon into her pack.  She insisted on carrying the heavier pack which was just fine by him.  He was a city boy used to his lonely little library study and all of this walking was hard enough on him.

“Well, I guess that makes sense.  Zoe and Mabella are really famous and people are bound to run their mouths.  You’re not one of those people, right Lao?”  She gave him another pointed look and he could see the rising sun glint off of her armor.  Lao had been swallowing down half a jug of water and it was hard not to choke on it when she looked at him like that.

“Of course not.  I just make it my job to learn everything I can.  How else am I going to quantify our strengths and weaknesses out here?”

Allendra harrumphed. “You’re the weakness out here.  The sun’s already up and you’re barely mobile.”  She started to break down the tent as they talked.

“That’s only because I spent most of the night studying that map and the fourth and fifth symbols.  What’s your hurry?  I know I wish I was back in my comfortable bed but this is an epic quest, right?  We may be the first people ever to walk this path.”

“So far it’s been pretty tame, Lao.  So far it’s been a lot of walking.  I have trained my soul to fight evil and injustice and so far we have just been walking here and there through the countryside.”   She rolled up the tent and tied it to her pack.

“If this artifact is as important as I think it is, then other people might be coming after us.  If they get the map, they could tip the balance of the peace.”

“All the better for us to get going then.  If we’re going to save the world then we had better get there first. Right?” Allendra said as she shouldered her pack.

“You’re right.  We’re heading to the Lake of the Ancient Frost.  We’re going to find something that nobody has ever seen before.”

Allendra smiled and started walking toward the lake. “I like that confidence.”

More Flavor Text

June 12, 2014

Yet more working out of my Tabletop RPG.  I’m getting more confident about the world now and if you notice I might have a name for the world and maybe the game too.   This is a quick outline of magical abilities within the world of the game.  Of course, this is for player characters, for everything else I can break the rules.

*                    *                          *

There are five kinds of magic that have practical application in the world of Maatero.  That is, there are five applications of magic that do not require ritual to work.  Each of these uses a being’s spirit bound to magic which can be incredibly dangerous.  Only a creature of great magic can perform this binding although once in a blue moon it can happen by accident.  When done on purpose, it can be done as a blessing or a curse.  Only three are generally seen as blessings but all five are an ordeal.

The first is Elemental Fusion which is the practice of placing a portion of an elemental spirit in oneself.  This allows a person limited control of one element (fire, ice, wind, earth, etc.)  An elemental spirit is of primal origins and allows a person to attack or defend using that element.  It requires great mental focus and the power can only be summoned so much before a rest is needed.

The second is Animal Fusion which is the practice of placing an animal spirit in oneself.  This allows a person to call upon the skills and attributes of an animal from nature.  They can even transform into that animal although it causes a great deal of stress to do so.  This is one of the ordeals that can easily be inflicted on someone as a curse.  In this case, the animal side can be hard to control in times of stress and may present itself at the worst of times.

The third is the Soul Weapon which is a magical weapon bound to a person and inseparable once formed.  A part of the soul is separated from one’s inner being and forged into a weapon by following the rites of Aeon.  This weapon is indestructible and only exists on the material plane by a force of will.  The only people who wield this power are followers of the tenets of Aeon who are all noble souls.

Fourth, a person’s spirit can be placed inside an inanimate object or objects which is almost always done as a curse or punishment.  When this happens, the person is no longer “alive” but depends on the well-being of the objects they are in to determine how long they can live.  There are few people who would want this to happen to them.

The final option is no option at all.   The forces of Hel can infuse someone’s spirit with Helfire which grants Hellish supernatural powers.  This is done through a contract with a demon.  Going back on said contract almost always results in being banished to Hel.  If you do not enjoy being chased by Helhounds, do not go back on a demon deal.

Flavor Text

June 1, 2014

Here’s some flavor text for the RPG setting I’m trying to create.  I still have not named it.  I wanted to call it After the Fall but I figure that the Angel comic books already grabbed that title.  Plus, I’m not completely loving the title (though I may come around on it).  I’m still figuring out what this is but I’m getting a better handle on it.  I get at least a dozen ideas a week and I have to decide what I want to ditch and what I want to keep.  Good times.

*     *      *

It has been 2,000 years since the Fall cast the previous civilization into disarray.  Remains of this civilization are now scene as curious puzzles or half-forgotten artifacts to be razed on sight.  Countries have formed and borders have been to drawn to protect culture and establish sovereignty.  Royalty and heads of state play their games and the ordinary folks live their lives day to day.

It is a time when adventurers could profit.  Much of the land is still unknown and there are many patrons willing to pay for the jobs that nobody in their right mind would do.

It is the time of the 115th Grand Festival of Cammarata in the Kingdom of Altiria.  The Cammaratan festival is the largest and most popular of all the Grand Festivals in the world.  The busy port city is full to the brink with revelers, merchants, the ordinary citizenry and the usual thieves and brigands that accompany any Grand Festival.

Dignataries, both foreign and local, make more public appearances here than they will the rest of the year.  The Artisans District sells anything from useless geegaws to well-crafted artwork and useful items.  Fighting is forbidden in the streets (as it is the rest of the year) but differences are settled in the Arena.

Currently, it is the second day of the festival which is also known as Youth Day, a day celebrating the young people of the world.  It is early summer weather nd there is a humid, creeping heat under a bright sun, unhampered by clouds.  Wine is flowing, music is playing but not everybody has come to party.

Jinder

May 21, 2014

Jinder Cammack walked along the rooftops in the Artisans District under cover of darkness.  Thankfully the streets were narrow here so he could jump the gaps between buildings with minimal effort.  The lamplight did not quite reach the second floor, so he felt fairly safe but he stayed low and watched his footing.  One wrong step could send shingles falling to the streets below and Jinder would not be far behind.  He used his cane to help him balance but was practically sprinting along the roofs.  He had slung his boots over his shoulder and ran barefoot, toes gripping the spine of the roof with ease.

Finally he arrived at the shop of Paulson du Lykos, world famous artisan and inventor.  He was thankful that he had cased the shop two days prior and had noticed the skylight on the roof.  Otherwise, he would be creeping up to the back door right now and trying his luck there.  He laid down on his belly, thankful the moon wasn’t full and the festival was loud.  If he had the time to plan, he would not have done this during Grand Festival time but this was a time sensitive issue.  The conditions were ideal for a robbery even if he did risk thousands of eyewitnesses.  Of course, most of the revelers might be drunk and as long as he got away clean, who cared what they saw?

Cammarata was just the sort of place where people locked their skylights, of course, so Jinder pulled out his lock picks.  He focused his will and called on the animal spirit from within.  He knew from experience that the area around his eyes darkened.  He could suddenly see so much better in the darkness and his fingers became extremely sensitive and agile.  He worked the lock picks with artistry and soon heard the click and lifted the bars off of the skylight.

Unfortunately there was a second lock on the skylight itself.  He set to work again and this lock was ten times more difficult than the inital lock.  As soon as the second lock clicked, Jinder carefully opened the skylight.  After thinking for a moment, Jinder set to work dismantling the lock from the inside, mostly out of curiosity.

When he opened the lock, he found complicated mechanization and a vial of amber liquid.  He held the vial up to what little light he could find and guessed it was some sort of alchemical accelerant.  If he had made a misstep in picking the lock, the vial would have burst and the lock would have spewed burning oil.  At best the fire would alert witnesses and incapacitate but at worst he would plummet from the roof and either burn to death or die from the fall.  A very clever contraption.

He carefully pocketed the vial and swung down into the shop, closing the skylight behind him.  The place was full of wondrous devices and artwork both finished and in some unfinished stage.  However, he had no time to marvel over everything was a waste of time.  It was also a waste of time to consider how he would steal each item for additional profit but his brain did that automatically anyway.  He walked past fearsome-looking weapons and potentially priceless artwork and to the artiste’s own desk.

Rifling through another’s belongings had become commonplace a long time ago.  It was always interesting to see how other people prioritized their belongings.  Apparently artists were not too particular on where they kept their things so it was hard to gauge where the target could be.  There had been no other booby traps or alarms but Jinder had a feeling in his gut that his time was limited.   The dossier had been specific on what he was supposed to grab.

Finally, tucked into a cup in the back of the desk there it was.  It had a worn nib and was stained heavily with ink.  It looked like just an old pen and it probably was but the dossier had said to grab it so that was what Jinder was going to do.  He grabbed the pen and slipped it carefully into the pouch at his side.  He picked up his cane and headed toward the back door but about two feet before he reached it, the floor felt wrong.  That was the only way he could describe it.  His senses lit up every alarm bell in his brain and he found himself leaping backwards.

The floor around the door was suddenly on fire.  There must have been a magical trap laid down by somebody with experience.  What was Du Lykos’ obsession with fire anyway?  The fire was not spreading but it was definitely time to leave.  Jinder turned toward the front door just in time for it to burst open and three guards entered the room.  This was not an optimal mission anymore.

A shrill voice came from just outside, audible even over the festival outside and the fire inside.  “Stop them!  My devices are worth more than your lives!”  Which must have been Du Lykos.

The guards closed in but one got too close and Jinder was able to hit him with a grazing blow from his cane.  It was enough to set him stumbling into scrap metal storage with a loud clatter and clang.  One down and two to go.  Jinder pulled a throwing knife from a holster behind his jacket and tossed it, hitting the one female guard in the shoulder.  She went down but would only need medical attention.  Jinder just bull rushed the last guard, knocking him to the floor on his way out the door.  He passed Du Lykos and gave him a mock salute and the skinny little man gasped in surprise and indignation.

The guards of Cammarata were all mobilized and everybody was looking for the man with dark circles around his eyes who wielded a cane.  Everybody who came close to that description was detained and questioned with extreme prejudice.  After all, it was not everyday that somebody had the balls to try and rob a weapons designer so blatantly.  Hours later, when the sun was coming

Untitled Fantasy Project Post #2

May 16, 2014

Here’s some more stuff I thought I’d throw up.  I’ve never created a whole world before and that is how this project began.  The first sparks of creation came from combining inspiration from Adventure Time, The Dresden Files and the Lies of Locke Lamora.  The idea of everything has evolved past those sparks and, to further the metaphor, I let the flame burn on its own for a while and I’m just now getting back to it.  I’m tending the flame once again and definitely feeding it.  We’ll see what happens with it.

*                     *                         *

The Fall – Not much is known about the event known as The Fall.  All that is known is that it happened approximately 3000 years ago and that it was a cataclysm that destroyed civilization.  The rest is rumors; mostly that it was caused by human excess and the mysterious Ancient Gods.  Many powerful creatures like the Fae, Demons, Dragons, Aeons and Djinn lived through The Fall but offer no information on what happened.  Scattered over the world are ruins of ancient civilization but most will try to destroy these ruins when they are found out of fear that any connection to Pre-Fall society may cause a Second Fall.

Therianthropes – Therianthropes or Therios are individuals who are bonded with a spirit of nature.  They retain elements of that animal and can even transform from human to animal form.  The bond comes from either requesting it or being cursed with it.  Those cursed usually have more trouble controlling the bond and often transform involuntarily.  The bond can be formed by any powerful  being with a connection to nature.

Demons – Creatures of Hel, demons are driven by the evil and chaos of the world.  They are experts at preying on weakness of character and ambition. They, more than any other creature, are masters of making deals.  Demons have no real form as they are formed from the twisted energies of Hel.  When they appear on Earth, they can appear in any form they wish. They are able to invade dreams and make deals with people usually in exchange for eternal servitude.

Demon Clients – Demons mark their followers with demon scars which are inflicted in a lucid dream and show up on the physical body after waking when a deal is struck.  The demon is able to make the demon scar hurt in order to control their follower if they try to disobey.  If there is further disobedience, the wound may open and bleed which can be used by Hellhounds to track the traitor.  There is currently no known way to remove a demon scar.

Djinn – Ancient beings that come from the desert areas in the world.  They hold vast reality warping powers that have no known limit.  The Power Accords have placed Djinn under limitations through a list of rules.  Djinn cannot affect the mortal world unless requested to do so and can only act on their immediate area.  They often appear humanoid but also appear as sand creatures or other Egyptian-like forms.

Aeon – Aeon is a God usually depicted as a six-winged humanoid and is a soldier of Order against the agents of Chaos.  He chooses mortal agents to act as his clerics and paladins.  His agents founded the Fayth of Aeon that mainly seeks out and responds to injustice and chaos. They specialize in combating agents of demons, lesser demons and the undead.  However, they truly shine by being a sword and shield against injustice.

Magic – Magic is a powerful force in the world.  Many people have no access to it either by choice or by lack of opportunity.  Most who do have access to magic function as one trick ponies with only one particular type of spell that they’re very proficient with.  Those select few who gained great control of magic are known by many names (Mage, Wizard, Sorcerer, etc.) and are quite rare.

Oh and what’s this?  Is that a map that I spent a lot of time on?

Work in Progress

Allendra

May 15, 2014

So I’ve been working on creating my own fantasy world for a long while now.  I can’t remember when I started but it was definitely been over a year.  I took some time off from it but I really do want to continue.  As part of the effort to continue the initiative, I wanted to write something just to play in the world a bit.  I don’t know if this a work in progress or just an experiment but I like it.

*                                    *                                *

Allendra rose from her bed and felt every bruise and muscle ache and shuddered but kept going.  Her bedchamber was pitch black which was a blessing this early in the morning.  She drew strength from Aeon and felt the pain of all of that battle damage fade away.  She stretched in the darkness, feeling almost ready to start her day.  This was important as there were schedules to keep and people to see.  When that person was a representative of the throne of Altiria, those schedules became so much more important to keep.

She stepped toward the curtain and threw her arm over her eyes before brushing it aside and stepping into the bright dawn sun streaming through the oculus above her bathroom and wardrobe.  She could hear the city of Cammarata coming alive outside.  By the time she hit the streets, they would be bustling with people.  Allendra thanked Aeon she had been wise enough to select a room far from the noisy Artisans District.  Thankfully she was not too near the Fish Market either.  Here, nestled in the Legal Quarter, it was fairly peaceful.

Of course, the Grand Festival Cammarata would begin soon enough.  That would bring huge crowds, fireworks and plenty of loud music.  That was not her idea of a good time and she hoped that she would be assigned a mission during the three weeks of the celebration.  Allendra must have been the only person any realm who would rather be engaged in a life or death battle than be in town for the Grand Festival.

She stretched in the sunlight and heard several pops from her back but it felt oh so good.  She stepped into the bath and a chill ran from her foot all the way up her body.  She overcame that voice in her head that said it was too cold and quickly sank into the water.  That voice in her head very loudly protested again that it was too cold but it was definitely waking her up.  She took a breath and ducked her head under the water.  She fought discomfort to keep her head submerged and then surfaced with a huge gasp.

She climbed from the bath and happily dripped water everywhere, all over the stonework of the floor.  Her mother had hated that and part of being an adult was doing things to spite your parents, right?  She grabbed a cloth and carefully dried off her body before drying her hair.  She tossed the cloth aside and fully intended to pick it up later.  She ran her fingers through her hair and felt that was good enough.  She was not some debutante out to impress the gentry at the castle.

As she started to dress, Allendra thought about what the Crown could possibly want from her.  She held no special allegiance in her heart for the crown.  At least, no more allegiance than any citizen owed.  Like all those of her order, she cared only about doing the right thing.  There were people out there who needed protecting and that was Allendra’s calling.  She had no skills for politics or preaching but Aeon had granted her the strength and speed to do well in battle.  She had trained for it all of her life and she was damned good at beating up bad guys.  She was good at killing them too if it was needed.

She pulled the last strap tight on her armor and thought about whether or not to bring her helmet too.  She usually only brought her helmet when she knew things would go very badly.  She would be shocked if things went that badly at  what was supposed to be just a meeting.  She decided to leave the helmet where it was.  Instead, she carefully arranged her hair and clipped it into place with four silver clips.  The hair clips had bee a gift from a wealthy woman that Allendra had rescued a year ago.  Allendra had tried to refuse but the woman had insisted and now Allendra had grown attached to them.

She pulled her boots on and headed out the door, firmly shutting it so that she could lock the door.  She placed the key in her pouch and hung it around her neck and slipped it down into her armor.  She did not own much to steal but she trusted the thieves of Cammaratta would steal it all before she returned.  Lock designing was a pastime in the city which only made the city’s lockpicks the best in the world.  The lock would not stop them but perhaps it would persuade them to look elsewhere.  At least her lack of possessions would make them feel stupid upon spending the time picking the lock.

As for the more common footpads around the city, Allendra did not fear them in the slightest.  A disciple of Aeon was never without a weapon.  At age fifteen, Allendra had undergone a lengthy set of trials and ceremonies that basically separated a portion of her soul.  That shard of her soul had been forged into a great sword.  That sword now floated invisible behind her back, ready to be grasped at a moment’s notice.  She could never be separated from this weapon and it was the weapon she primarily fought with.

That was enough preparation.  It was time to step out and see who the Crown wanted her to fight now.


Silence Killed The Dinosaurs

Comics, Stories, Dinosaurs, Cats

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Wrestling Dreams

Wrestling analysis from the fans to the fans

The Empire of Carane

Where fiction comes to life

DMing With Charisma

Stories, Reviews and Opinions!

half a 1000 miles

cringeworthy (adj) -- causing feelings of awkwardness or embarrassment

kayrayiam

Adventures of a Gypsy Nurse with a Cryptic Past

Abbs Abroad

27 Months with a Maryland Girl in Senegal

Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

the eye of the beholder

(a place where beauty is found)

%d bloggers like this: