Archive for the ‘The Fellowship Gathering’ Tag

chapter 3

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

“Why so stereotyped?” said Magus.

“What do you mean?” said Abda. “This is my home. What did you expect it to be like?”

“Not like this!” Magus replied. “I mean look! Almost everyone’s wearing a turban!  Why, I wouldn’t put it past this place to be ruled by a sultan!”

“Well who else would you have ruling a country?” said Abda. “A king?”

“Of course!” said Magus.

“Look,” said Abda. “It’s our country and we have the right to live in a cliché. It’s not like the empire’s any better. I mean aqueducts and fire engines? We might as well call them not-currently-ancient Grome!”

“Fine,” responded Magus. “But we better not find any more Middle Eastern stereotypes, or else I leave, no matter what the danger in the Empire is.  If I never see another minaret, it will be too soon.”

“What about terrorists?”

“Terrorists too! Blending time periods is almost as annoying as steampunk!”

“Then don’t look in front of you.”

Magus looked in front of him. As expected, there he saw some insurgents attacking one of the garrisons the empire had placed in the cities of its ‘allies’. They were impressive, showing matrix-esque feats of agility, slaughtering the guards with ease. Soon, there was only one left, a kid just barely old enough to join who probably had thought that he would get a medal by the end of the week. He was on his back in the dirt, quickly attempting to scuttle away.

“Please!” he said. “Please don’t kill me! I don’t want to be here, I just got picked up by the draft! I’ve got a family, a life, and I can’t go back to any of those if you kill me pleasenononononono,” he said as he broke down and was reduced to incoherent babbling. The insurgent in the front, a medium sized man garbed head-to-toe in wrapped cloth simply reached down and broke the guard’s neck.

Magus looked on the scene of carnage, obviously shocked. Then, as the insurgents began to disperse into various alleyways he said “We have got to figure out how to join them.”

“It’s not that hard,” said Abda. “This novel is rather linear. Here, watch,” he said, gesturing to a hovel with smoke leaking out from the holes in the roof. “I bet you that if we walked in there we’d find some kind of contact for them.”

Inside the hovel, there were two fires, equally spaced, with an old man in red robes standing in between them. The floor was coated in so many layers of soot it was as black as night, and the walls were a sickly green. The old man looked straight at Magus as if he could peer into his soul, before spreading his hands and saying, “Walk into the waterfall.”

“Dammit,” said Magus. “I have had it up to here with clichés. Tell us where to find the insurgents base or else.”

“Walk into the waterfall,” said the old man.

“Say that one more time and I kill you,” said Magus.

“I know you won’t hurt me,” responded the old man. “So I say unto thee once again: Walk into the fucking waterfall!”

“…”

“ARGH! MY BRITTLE, OLD MAN RIBS!”

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More! More!

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Trying to compensate for lost time.

For the Emperor!

********

“Now what?” said Ærin.

“Look, you’ve used that line twice already,” said Magus. “Try to be more original.”

“And?” responded Ærin. “It’s still a valid question. We’re stuck outside a collapsed escape tunnel in a forest in the middle of nowhere and it’s only a matter of time before the cops come after us.”

“Simple. We have created a precedent. We killed the baron and there was nothing they could do about it! We shall rise up and tear the Empire stone from stone, starting with the baronies, and ending with Ankhgard itself.”

“Well that’s nice and all,” said Ærin, “but I meant in the short term.”

“Look,” said Magus. “I think I know where we are, and according to the map there’s a town over there. Let’s just head on in and figure out what else to do tomorrow.”

******

“A town you said. Nearby you said.”

“Shut up Petrov,” responded Magus. “This is a town.”

“This isn’t a town,” said Petrov. “This is a group of thatched huts that huddle together for warmth.”

As Magus looked around, he found that he had to admit that Petrov was right. The largest building was the inn, which was made out of stone, and had a few rooms for visitors. All the other houses were shacks which housed the people who worked at the inn.

“Does it really matter?” he said. “There’s going to be food and drink. What more do we need?”

“Hot water,” said Abda.

“A roof that doesn’t leak,” said Ærin.

“A bed whose insects haven’t yet discovered the wheel,” said Petrov.

“Come on,” whined Magus. “It can’t be as bad as that.”

******

Drip. Drip. Drip.

“We told you so.”

“Look, I said I was sorry! Now will you just shut up!”

Drip. Drip. Drip.

******

“Out,” said the innkeeper, rudely awakening them from sleep.

“Hey—” said Magus, but before he could finish the sentence the innkeeper said “Out. The empire’s looking for you.  I did you a favor by not turning you in the minute they knocked on my door.”

“Look,” said Magus. “Surely there must be something we can do to make you hide us.”

“You don’t understand the kind of trouble you’re in, do you?” said the innkeeper. “They’ve sent a steam tank after you! Out! Now!”

Harried by the innkeeper’s comments, the party ran out into the forest until they eventually reached a lake which barred all progress.

“All right,” said Magus. “I think this is far enough.”

“Dammit!” shouted Petrov. “You jinxed it!”

Then, there was a crashing sound. And another. And another. Suddenly, out of nowhere came a huge boxy thing. It had two caterpillar threads on either side, with a central body that looked like a huge, mobile water tank. There were two slits in the front, each about the size of a human head, and a boxy thing on the top with a long nozzle protruding from it. In addition, there was an aperture on the back that belched smoke and steam. There were two arrow slits on each side, and positioned around it were ten imperial soldiers.

Six of the soldiers had standard gear with the exception of some metallic eggs pinned on their belt. Two in the rear of the party were carrying odd metal devices, and had several rods strapped to their back, and one to the side had an odd mask, made out of chain mail and smoked glass, along with a tube that had some kind of hose leading into a metal barrel attached to his back.

As the formation moved, the nozzle attached to the device swiveled from side to side, and the formation would change so that none of the infantry were in the way as if the device was about to spout some kind of horrible, flaming death. Then, it turned toward the party and began to spout horrible, flaming death.

Said flaming death came in the form of what appeared to be liquid fire, which spouted out from the machine in an arc. Ærin managed to block most of it with her shield, but quite a bit splattered past and landed on the lake, where it continued to burn in defiance of all common sense.

“What the hell is that thing!” shouted Abda.

“It looks like one of our baks!” responded Petrov. “The imperials must have stolen the design!”

However, as quickly as the flame started to spout, it suddenly stopped, and from inside the tank came the sounds of cursing and someone hitting a pipe with a wrench. Petrov took this as an opportunity to attack, shouting his battle cry of “Death to most tyrants!” as he leaped into a group of soldiers. The rest of the party tried to follow suit, but one of the masked soldiers bought his tube to bear, spraying flaming oil from its nozzle. Magus leaped over it, swinging his staff and denting the soldier’s tube, but he suddenly realized he was now right in the middle of a group of enemies, exactly the worst spot for a wizard to be.

He prepared for the inevitable beating, but after a while he noticed that it did not happen. When he looked up, he saw that the soldiers had all backed away, and one of the bombardiers was franticly shoving a rod into his device, while the other soldiers were kneeling and winding up the winches on their crossbows. Relieved, Magus waved a hand and a golden shield formed between them. Meanwhile, the tank had gotten the turret working again, but no matter what it did, the oil burst out over the heads of those nearby. Meanwhile, judging by the sounds coming from the other side of the machine, his comrades were doing just as well.

Then, unexpectedly, the rod burst out from the bombardier’s tube with a whoosh of flame, smashing through the golden barrier and heading right at Magus! He knew he had to act fast, so he quickly cast a spell.

“Job mi ut flant. It’s job ictu.”

The gust of wind did not smash the missile into the ground as Magus had expected, but instead it sent it right back at the soldiers.  The formation simply stood still, standing in shock although a soldier in the back went and threw one of the eggs attached to his belt before the rod exploded, blowing him and his comrades to smithereens.

It missed Magus, and he picked it up, looking at it. Then, he remembered the tank. He leaped around, and saw that it had backed away, knocking his comrades over, and was now charging at him! He knew he had only seconds to live, and in desperation, he remembered the egg and threw it and it went straight through one of the vision slits in the front.

From inside the tank, he heard someone shout, and then there was an explosion. Bits of metal and odd pipework were thrown into the air, and the burning oil was scattered about the landscape.

“Dammit!” shouted Magus. “Why does this kind of thing happen to me! Gandalf never had to deal with this steampunk crap! I mean, exploding metal eggs!  What kind of insanity is this!”

“It was probably a granat,” replied Petrov. “Just in case being a dying race wasn’t bad enough, we’ve got oneandahalflings all around trying to steal our technology. Why, back in the old county—”

“NOONE CARES!” shouted Ærin. Then, standing in the wreckage of the tank, surrounded by boiling oil, she asked the logical question:

“Now what?”

Extra long bit of chapter 2

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Please forgive me for not updating for so long. I was unable to do so because my computer was being repaired. To make up for it, here is an extra long update on the novel.

“Now what?” said Ærin.

“I think you used that line before,” responded Petrov.

“And?” said Ærin. “The point is still valid. We just killed the baron, the cops are after us, and I’m fairly certain that we can’t leave the same way we got in. What, exactly do we plan on doing from here?”

“We know what not to do,” said Magus. “For example, it’s best that we don’t slit our throats to make the cops lives easier.”

“Thank you for that information.”

Look, can you just stop arguing! I have a story to tell here!

“And?” shouted Magus. “There’s no way out!”

Look, all you’ve got to do is… wait a minute; you’re trying to get the solution from me, aren’t you.

“Nonsense,” said Magus. “We want a full blown deux ex machina or nothing.”

Like hell that’s going to happen.

“Fine then. We’re going to stay here and die, and this book will be rejected by every publisher who finds it. Your plots shall fade away into darkness and this shall become the greatest story never told.”

All right. The baron has an escape tunnel in the basement. Just get in there before anyone realizes he’s dead and head on out.

“How convenient,” said Magus. “Come on, let’s go.”

******

“I can’t believe we didn’t notice this the last time we were here,” said Petrov. “I mean, it’s got a glowing sign over it labeled escape tunnel and everything.”

“It must have been hiding in hammerspace,” responded Magus.

“Hammerspace?”  asked Ærin.

“Highly complicated magical concept,” responded Magus. “What it boils down to is that it’s where the narrator keeps plot devices when they’re not in use. It also functions as a portal to Chekov’s armory. Anyway, let’s head on in.”

Magus and company walked on in, their footsteps echoing through the tunnels.

“Lousy human work,” said Petrov. “Dwarf make would echo better.”

“Why do you keep going on about how good the old country was if the place was hard to live in!” shouted Magus.

“Things have changed since the elder days,” responded Petrov. “One thousand years ago, back when I was a tiny beardling, our empire was at its height. The skies were filled with gyrocopters and airships, and the seas were tamed by our ironclads. However, we found a great treasure, one that would be our downfall. I had just one glimpse of admantine during that time, and I have hoped for my entire life that I would get another. It was beautiful. It shined like silver, but with an azure luster. It had an inner strength that no blow could break, and although weapons made of it would never need to be sharpened, they had an edge that could cut through steel. Alas, it was our undoing. We tunneled down, down, determined to get more of this wonderful metal. Everything was perfect. We were winning the war with the elves, and the goblins had finally been cleansed from our lands.

I had gotten a job as a miner, and I was tunneling along the admantine vein, when suddenly, I discovered an eerie cavern. The air above the dark stone floor was alive with vortices of purple light and dark, boiling clouds. Seemingly bottomless glowing pits dotted the surface. Then horrifying screams came from the darkness below! That was when I realized that we had dug too greedily, and too deep, for—”

“You unleashed a shadow of fire and flame?” interrupted Magus.

“No,” responded Petrov. “That was back in Sorok-D. This was worse. Down in the pit there were things. Eldritch things. Three legged elephants with venomous spittle, vaporous beasts with noxious secretions, and flying, crystalline, dual-mouthed carp!”

“Carp,” said Magus. “Carp. Do you really expect me to believe that you mined into hell and found flying carp? And besides, if you mined into hell, how are you still alive?”

“It wasn’t much of a biggie,” said Petrov. “Unlike you oneandahalflings we weren’t stuck in medieval stasis. Not even the fiends of Lodkaubity can survive being shot point blank in the face.”

“What, now you expect us to believe that you conquered hell?” said Ærin. “What kind of fools do you take us for?”

“But it really happened! We established a colony there and everything! That was not the event that destroyed the dwarven race, although that which did came soon after. You see, after colonizing hell, we did what any sensible dwarves would do. We held a party.”

“And that was harmful why?” responded Magus.

“The dwarven race died,” said Petrov. “Because that night… we didn’t know when to say when.”

“No, really!” he said, having apparently decided to forgo the accent. “The finest minds of our generation all died of acute liver failure that night. I thank Armok that I was lucky enough to slip into a coma halfway through! Depopulated as they were, almost all the great dwarven holds fell that night! Glavapobegi, Strah Zimoĭ, Siroplista, all of them. The elves attacked and in the end, we were reduced to huddling in the Mountainhome praying that they would go away. We have regained much of our land since then, but we are still spread thin, and we shall never regain our lost grandeur.”

“I have a question,” said Magus.

“What?” replied Petrov.

“Whatever happened to your accent?”

“Errr… vhat you mean?”

“Look, I just want you to stop screwing with us,” said Magus. “Now tell me: what happened to the accent?”

“Nothing, comrade!” responded Petrov.

“Don’t comrade me!” said Magus. “You just said that the country is ruled by the Tzar. Why all the Russian stereotypes?”

“Vecause Ve Van!” said Petrov.

“Look, just stop it, will you?” replied Magus. “There’s no point! We already know you don’t actually have an accent!”

“Vonsence!” said Petrov.

“Look, just tell us why you’re using the accent?”

“Look, do I have to have a reason! Can’t I just adopt a fake accent for no reason at all?”

“No, not really.”

“Fine then.”

Chapter 2 again

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Hot kobold XXX! Just 999.99$ per month!******

“All right,” said Ærin. “This is the baron’s room. Let’s burst in and slaughter him.”

“Why?” said Abda. “You guys may have grudges against the empire but I don’t.”

You’re going to enter because I say so.

Then, his mind suddenly changed, Abda followed Ærin as she bashed down the door. Inside the room they saw a rug that probably had taken the lives of thousands of small furry creatures and a bed that could probably fit ten people although no-one was really sure why it would need to. Inside the bed there was a skinny man who probably thought of himself as rather dashing, and next to him was a wizened kobold wearing lipstick. Both of them were both in the process of taking their clothes off.

“AAHHHH!” shouted Magus as he attempted to claw his eyes out. “Brain bleach! I need brain bleach!”

“It’s not what it looks like!” shouted the baron. “And—wait, who are you?”

“Your death,” said Ærin.

“Didn’t we already use that line?” said Petrov.

“The death of me?” said the baron as he shrugged on a robe and pulled a rapier out from under the bed. “I’m not just a rather dashing wizard; I’m also a good hand with a blade. I think you’ll find that—“

There was a clatter as Ærin swatted the rapier out of the baron’s hand before he finished his dramatic monologue.

“Curse you Rohirm fiend! A pox on you and your descendants! May your car keys always fall into the deepest crevices of the sofa, and may your socks never match!”

“You call that a curse?” said Ærin once she was done laughing.

“Well I just started this wizarding thing. Just skimmed the introduction packet really. May I try again?”

“No.”

“Crap.”

******

More of chapter 2

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

********

“Well that was easy,” said Ærin. “Now for the hard part.”

“The hard part?” said Magus. “I thought this was the hard part.”

“Oh no,” responded Ærin. “The hard part is where law enforcement chases us in an attempt to have us executed for being dangerously competent and contributing to the public order. Trust me, I know how this goes.”

“This is the police!” shouted a voice from outside the guildhall. “Get on the floor and put your hands behind your head!”

“See what I mean,” said Ærin. “Come on, into the basement. We’ll figure out what to do from there.”

The basement was a place made out of stone, entered by a steel door at the end of a logn passage. Said passage was full of fortifications and arrow slits that couldn’t be used from that side. This, along with the dwarvish lock on the door, made it obvious the basement was a panic room.

The bunker was filled with iron rations, weapons, and barrels of water. It was obvious that Bromad had been planning to hold out in there for a long time.  There was a patch of mud in one corner with huge, purple mushrooms growing out of it, starkly contrasting with the rest of the room.

“Look!” shouted Petrov. “Plump helmets!”

“Plump helmets?” said Magus.

“Ve had zese back in old country!” replied Petrov.  “I didn’t know zat anyone knew about zem here!” Petrov then sat down, plucked one of the mushrooms, and started to eat it with every sign of enjoyment.

“Petrov?” said Magus. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“Oh, yes,” said Petrov. “I completely forgot about you guys. I’m sorry. Here you go.” And with that, he threw them each one of the vile fungi.

“No Petrov,” said Magus. “I meant the cops.”

“I didn’t forget about them,” replied Petrov. “I just wanted a snack first.” Petrov then got up, shoved the rest of the plump helmets into his pockets, looked over at the wall, and said “This place ought to do.” He then wacked the wall with the spike on the rear of his axe.

“Petrov?” said Magus “What are you doing?”

“Mining our way out.” replied Petrov. “Everyone and zeir mother have basement these days.  If we mine through and brick up behind us, no-one will know!”

Petrov got into a steady pace, and soon they got through into the wine cellar of some other building three blocks down. The place was cool and damp, with shelves and shelves of wine bottles, going back to the eight hundreds.  Petrov took a sip of the oldest one, spat it out, and said, “Foul human rubbish. I’ll take vodka every time.”

“Does it matter?” said Ærin. “Anyway, where are we?”

“Some rich guy’s place,” said Abda. “Only a nob would have a wine cellar this big. An army of dwarves would take fifty years to drink all this stuff.”

“Why the yebut vould ve vant to!” responded Petrov.

“Look,” said Abda, “it vas a figure of speech!”

“Can we just get going?” asked Ærin. “If we stay here someone’s bound to find us.”

“And?” said Petrov.

“Well,” said Magus, “the sane thing to do right now would be to leave.”

“SANITY IS FOR THE VEEK!”

“Here, I’ll make this simple,” said Magus. “We leave this wine cellar or I kill everyone in it.”

“Ha!” shouted Petrov. “Vizard boy, you couldn’t hurt a fly.”

“Really? Ardens gaudendum!”

As Magus spat out those words, a ball of flame burst out and hit a small casket of brandy, causing it to explode, scattering burning alcohol everywhere.

“Vhat the hell’s wrong with you!” shouted Petrov.

“I’m sorry; I couldn’t hear you over the sound of being surrounded by several thousand gallons of ethanol.”

“Hey, vizard? What say we go upstairs?”

“Much better.”

So, they went upstairs, passing lots of racks of elderly wine bottles as they did so. The upper half of the house seemed to emanate wealth, with floors made out of mahogany and walls coated in plaster.

“Vhat a dump,” said Petrov. “Vhy, back in the old country—”

“No-one cares!” said Magus. “If the old country was so good then why did you have to leave?”

“I fell out of favor with the Tzar.”

“The who?” asked Abda.

“The Tzar. It means king. He and his nobles rule over our realm with an iron fist, squeezing all money he can out of peasants.”

“This coming from someone who obviously used to be a peasant squeezing noble,” responded Magus.

“Well, you see—” said Petrov, but then, in the middle of his sentence, a rough voice shouted out “Oy! Don’t you know it’s illegal to develop the plot in other people’s homes! That’s breaking and narrating that is.”

As the source of the voice walked into view, the fellowship saw that it was a guard wearing the uniform of the empire. His face was—

“Hey! That goes for you too mister. If you want to narrate, go do it somewhere else.”

Did you just say what I think you just said?

“Yes, I did. Now get out or we’ll have you in chains.”

Really… *Ahem* FOOLISH MORTAL! HOW DARE YOU ATTEMPT TO ARREST ME! I AM THE MASTER OF LIFE AND DEATH! I RULE ALL!

And so, as the guard stood there dumbfounded like the insipid little mortal fool he was, a bolt of purple lighting burst down from the sky and hit the guard right in the chest. His body flopped around in agony for several seconds as the eldritch flame burnt through muscle and sinew, until there was nothing left but bones, and soon even these were consumed, leaving nothing but a gray powder. As the heroes watched, somehow they knew that despite the fact that the guard’s mortal form had been destroyed, his spirit was still alive in some nether-hell, soon to be eternally tormented by a foul demonic being that would leave him wracked in pain for what would be a unnaturally extended life.

“Wow,” said Magus. “Great job. I really liked that glowy text effect.  Next time maybe you could work on the insults a little though. Insipid seems a bit cliché. Be a bit more original next time. Maybe try something with maggots.  That bit at the end was good though.”

Thank you.

“Don’t mention it. Anyway, can we get back on the road now?”

Oh all right, if you insist. Anyway, the fellowship went onward, sneaking, with nothing but the sound of their boots to tell you that they were there. Well, the sound of boots and armor. But the armor wasn’t that loud. Just sort of a CLANG BANG CRASH BASH BOING BOP PITING. See? Not that loud at all.

“Hey!” said a guard. “Who are you? You can’t be thieves, or at least not good ones. I could hear the sound of your armor from a mile away!”

Magus thought quickly and shouted, “Surprise inspection! Quick, where are you?”

“The baron’s house,” replied the guard.

“Good,” said Magus. “Now, what are you supposed to do when you find a bunch of intruders dressed up as surprise inspectors?”

The guard thought for a bit and said “You’re supposed to shout ‘GUARDS, GUARDS!’ and then—ARGH!”

That last bit there was not so much something he said voluntarily as much as it was something that you say when your internal organs have turned into kittens. Just in case you were wondering.

“Now what?” said Ærin. “We can’t do that to all of them.”

“Why not?” responded Magus.

“Because, there’ll be more people with them, and they’ll probably notice the corpses,” said Ærin.

“And?  We’re the heroes,” said Magus. “Winning when we’re outnumbered ten to one is what we do.”

“That sort of thing only happens in stories.” responded Ærin.

“Exactly!” said Magus. “Look down there! A page number! This is a story.”

“So was ‘The Horror at Insmouth’,” said Ærin. “That didn’t have a happy ending.”

Suddenly, a voice came out of the darkness! Again!

“Oy!” it said. “Wot the ‘ell are you doing in ‘ere?” Rather like the previous voice, this one belonged to a guard.

“Surprise inspection!” shouted Magus.  “Quick, what you do when you find traitors disguised as surprise inspectors standing over the corpse of your comrade while contemplating how to kill you?”

“Well you’re supposed to—ARGH!”

After gutting the guard, Petrov turned back to Ærin and said, “Told you so.”

******

Chapter 2!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Chapter 2
When You’re Tired of Civilization, You’re Tired of Living in Ankle Deep Shit.

“All right,” said the shopkeep. “So that’s one breastplate of temperature resistance, one shield, one sword of kitten transmutation, two punching daggers,  and one knife with squiggly runes engraved on it. Will that be all?”

“There’s also a battleaxe!” interjected Petrov. “Don’t forget the battleaxe!”

“Ah yes. And one battleaxe. That will be one hundred lords please.”

“Lords?” asked Magus.

“The steel coins.”

“Oh, sure. Here you go.”

Magus handed over the money, but when they walked out of the shop a group of people carrying instrument cases and pretending to be bards walked over. Since all of them were over six feet tall and wearing cheap suits, it wasn’t very convincing. The largest of them, a hulking giant with one eye, picked up Magus by the hem of his robe and said “I dot Midder Bromad made it clear dat nobody was to buy nuffen ‘ere.”

“Sorry!” Magus squeaked.

“Youz gonna die mage.”

Magus turned to the party and squeaked, “Help!”

“I might as well,” said Ærin. “I was looking forward to seeing what this sword could do.”

Ærin poked the thug with her new sword and a droplet of blood dripped down it.

“Was that supposed to ‘urt!” said the thug. Or at least that was probably what he had been meaning to say. It descended into agonized screams halfway through, quickly dropping Magus in order to writhe in agony properly. After a while, his thrashing stilled, and there was a scratching sound. Then, a claw punctured his abdomen from the inside. The small hole was widened and soon, out came a litter of tabby kittens, coated in blood and gore, along with a black cat that tunneled its way out of the thug’s skull via an eye socket.

The other thugs looked at this for a bit, recovered, and then opened up their instrument cases. Surprise, surprise! They weren’t keeping instruments in them. While Magus crawled off, Ærin and Petrov leapt into the fray. The nameless thugs attacked, but they were obviously outclassed. Ærin feinted left and right, stabbing them every time. Arms, legs and kittens were scattered everywhere. When Magus finally got up and reduced one of the remaining thugs to a pair of boots with smoke coming out of them, the rest lost what little morale they had left and ran off.

Ærin looked down at her sword and proclaimed, “I shall call you Kettlingr.” Then she turned to Magus and said “Now what? I can’t follow them in heavy armor, and we both know you’ll get your ass kicked if you head on alone.”

“Don’t worry,” said Petrov, “I can find them.” He then walked over to the nearest hobo, picked said hobo up, slammed him into the wall, and shouted in his face “Vhere’s Bromad! Vhat you know about him!”

“I don’t know nuffen!” responded the hobo.

“A double negative!” roared Petrov, taking out his axe and shoving it in the hobo’s face. “Vhere is he hiding!”

“He runs the adventurers’ guild!” said the hobo. “The guildhall is up on Short Street!”

“Much better!” said Petrov. “Ve won’t kill you. Yet.” Then he turned to the rest of the party and said “Bromad leads ze adventurers’ guild, vhich is placed up on Short Street. Come on, let’s go.”

Ærin looked at him and said “I’m all for fighting, but shouldn’t we check the place out first? I mean, what if everyone in there is as powerful as us?”

“Oh fine. You humans and your caution,” said Petrov. “Why, back in ze old country-”

“Nobody cares,” said Magus. “Anyway, come on, let’s check this building out.”

*****

So, yeah. Tell me what you think!

Yet more of chapter 1

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Here you go!

***

“One thousand ninety eight, one thousand ninety nine… eleven hundred,” said Magus as he went through the coin purse of the recently deceased. “I think we have enough money to rearm ourselves. According to the map, there’s a discount magic item shop nearby.”

After a bit of travel, our heroes got to a shop which, for inexplicable reasons, had a picture of a cat on its sign. The store looked unfrequented, unlike the other shops to either side. Inside, there was dust everywhere. The weapons were cluttered together in umbrella stands, with labels on them saying things like “fifty percent off!!” or “GREAT BUY!!!!” which had not been changed for some time. Suits of armor were hanging from the walls, ranging from a chain hauberk to a full set of plate mail. There was no light other than that which came in from the windows, and although the merchandise had been taken care of, it looked like no-one had been in the store for a very long time.

Ærin took a broadsword out of a bin, swung it around a bit and said “This one. This one’s mine.”

“Why can’t we just steal weapons too?” asked Abda.

“Because,” said Magus, “any wizard capable of making magic items would be able to fireball anyone who tries to steal them.”

“Let’s go find the counter then.”

Suddenly, out of nowhere came a bald, stunted and gray bearded apparition with blue robes and a black cape. The specter walked up to the party before looking at Petrov and saying “Allo, Privet!

Allo!” responded Petrov.

“Wait,” said Magus. He then looked at Petrov and said “Your last name is Privet?”

The two dwarfs looked at Magus and burst into laughter.

“No, no,” said Petrov after recovering. “Privet is what you say when you meet someone.”

“And the allo thing?” responded Magus.

“Zat means Hello,” replied the dwarf.

Magus looked at Petrov for a bit and decided to drop it.

“Anyway,” he said to the dwarven shopkeep. “We’d like to buy this and a couple daggers.”

“And a battleaxe!” said Petrov.

“Really!” said the shopkeep, a rising hope in his eyes. “Bless you!”

“Why are there no other customers?” asked Ærin. “Your weapons are very well made.”

“Because,” said the shopkeep, “the adventurers’ guild is boycotting me. Said my goods veren’t up to snuff. What’s worse, it’s not because of their quality, it’s because of their effect. That sword you hold turns its victim’s internal organs into kittens! Sure, it doesn’t look as cool as a flaming sword but it has a far more useful effect!  I haven’t had any customers in months!  Hell, buy a shield too and I’ll throw in a breastplate for free!”

“All right then,” said Ærin. “Do you have them in red?”

***

What do you think? Comments would be appreciated.

Table of contents: Guess what each chapter is about.

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Here’s the table of contents for the novel. First person to figure out what each chapter revolves around gets a free copy of the rough draft.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue. 2

Chapter 1: They All Met in a Cliché. 5

Chapter 2: When You’re Tired of Civilization, You’re Tired of Living in Ankle Deep Shit. 14

Chapter 3: Elf Qaeda. 28

Chapter 4: Khazad-Dumb. 39

Chapter 5: Orpheus can suck my Gonarch. 49

Chapter 6: The Greater Purge. 55

Chapter 7: Odin for the Ӕsir, and Pain for the Elves. 63

Chapter 8: And Yet It Moves. 70

Chapter 9: The Tax Romana. 81

Chapter 10: For Doom the Bell Tolls. 86

Chapter 11: The Dork Lord. 90

Chapter 12: ONE MORE FINAL: I Need You (Not). 96

Put guesses in the comments section.

More of chapter 1

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This is continued from last time.

********

“Dammit!” swore Magus. “Who in their right mind puts bars on the exit of a sewer? Are they afraid of the smell escaping! Don’t want it in their nice disgusting river?”

“You vizzard,” said Petrov. “Can’t you just melt zem?”

“Yeah, but that’s not the point. Anyway, stand back. I’m going to hit it with a blob of acid.” Magus began to wave his hands, arcane energy trailing behind them. Then, after looking suitably impressive, he began to chant in a mysterious language. “Ero accommo hospes mihi crede Sturm,” he said. “Non lectus paro igne orum, et si venenum bene.”

A green haze appeared over the bars.

Amor sum mulier pulchra et nesciebam. Modo nostram fortunam.

The bars began to sizzle.

“Peccavi satis cum mundo. Docentes a magica erit kender damnationem.”

Little droplets of molten metal began to ooze off the bars.

“Neque enim fabula Fairy timet?”

And with that last eldritch phrase, the bars dissolved until there was a hole in them big enough to walk through. Magus stepped through, and the rest followed.

“Now what?” said Ærin.

“Well we go get new weapons, obviously.” responded Magus.

“Yes, but they took all of my money.”

“And? Why else do we have Abda with us?”

“I take offence at that!” replied Abda.  “I’m not a thief, I’m a rogue!”

“You pick peoples’ pockets,” said Magus.

“That’s not stealing, that’s a public service. I’m cleaning them! Think of how cluttered they would get if I wasn’t here to help.”

“Well go help someone then!”

They watched as Abda tried to take peoples wallets, but somehow everyone knew when he was coming.

“I’m sorry guys, but somehow they know when I’m coming!” said Abda, nicely recapping. “Maybe everyone in the city is psychic.”

“Or it might be because they can smell you coming from a mile away,” said Ærin.  “Let’s face it. After that trip in the sewers, we stink.”

“Ha! You humans soft,” interjected Petrov. “This is nothing compared to life in old country! Back in Boĭneudalos’, floors were coated with noxious secretions. Just touch them and your legs rot off. When goblins invaded, we didn’t wear armor because nothing was more dangerous than taking clothes off to put armor on!”

“Good for you,” said Magus. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we soft humans are off to go see if we can find some water.”

Suddenly, upon hearing Magus proclaim their search, Ærin burst into laughter. “Water! Clean water! In a city! What are you, some kind of an idiot? You may not be a plot important orphan but you were definitely raised by hillbillies.”

“I was raised by a wizard!” said Magus “He had a tower and everything. It was like… three stories tall!”

“Look around you!” shouted Ærin. “All the houses here are around three stories tall!”

“How does zis even relate to what we were talking about!” interjected Petrov.

“What?” said Ærin. “Oh yes, the water. This is a city. There’s so much dumped in the river you can walk across it. It takes so much time to boil water you’re lucky there’s any for drinking!”

“Look,” said Magus as he walked over to an elderly lady wearing expensive clothes with her face contorted into a permanent grimace. “Everyone here’s clean. There’s got to be bathhouses or something in here. I’ll ask her for directions.”

“Hello,” said Magus. “Me and my companions have found ourselves in dire straits, and would be very appreciative if you help. Can you direct us to the bathhouses?”

“Yes,” said the old lady. “I can.”

Time passed.

“Well?” said Magus, obviously becoming impatient.

“What do you mean ‘well’?” asked the lady. “You said can I, not will I. I know what you meant, but I don’t see any reason to do so.”

“How about in the name of common decency?” said Magus, quickly becoming enraged.

“Of course not,” said the lady. “Decency is common, and thus found in commoners. I’m an objectivist, and we’re rare. Scum like you sit around in the street and wait for someone to help you, whereas we build industries with our bare hands.”

“Really?” said Magus in a sarcastic tone of voice.

“Yes,” said the old woman. “Technically we employ people to build them, but they don’t have a six figure salary, so they don’t count as human. Now, why don’t you get out of my way, and learn not to be cheeky to your betters.”

Magus’s eyes narrowed. “No.” he said, as a ball of eldritch balefire materialized in the palm of his curled hand. “Perhaps you are different from normal people, but you know what: I’m willing to bet you burn the same.”

********

I was worried that I might offend fans of EYEEEEEN Rand’s magnum opus, but than I realized there aren’t any.

Prologue part 3

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

I changed my mind about keeping the final bit secret. Decided to post it. Here you go.

********

After an undetermined amount of time, Travia ventured out of the cupboard. Not because she thought the danger, had gone, but because she smelled burning. Sure enough, when she got out, she could see smoke rising up through the floorboards. Surely enough, when she rushed downstairs, the ground floor of the tower was ablaze. Her master’s dying body laid in the courtyard, with Magus standing over it, eyes full of tears.

“Magus,” said Sinyeĭ. “There’s something I never told you. Your… parents… they were… ”

At this point Sinyeĭ died. Travia glared at Magus, jealous that she didn’t get any last minute plot important revelations. At that point, she decided. She was going to avenge herself against the Empire. And so she did.

********

One more, the painful memories almost brought tears to Travia’s eyes. Almost. She was going to take the officer test soon, and once she became a captain, she would contact the local insurgency and become a mole. It was a perfect plan. After all, she came up with it.

********

“Unless it’s a farm!” shouted the drill sergeant, finishing his rambling and highly incoherent speech. “Now, you are all men! Except for those of you who aren’t! Everyone, to the barracks! You’re heading to the front lines tomorrow.”

Everyone headed to the barracks, except for Travia. She had guard duty that night. Still, she didn’t have to ship out in the morning, due to being held back for officer training, so it didn’t matter.

Hearing a rustling in the bushes behind her, she chuckled. “Well,” she said to the bush in front of her. “Throwing a rock behind me in an attempt to get me to turn my back on you? Come out with your hands up.”

When the fireball hit her in the back she realized there is such a thing as being too genre savvy.