Thursday, August 25, 2016

Davasi

The Quiet Year: Davasi
It all started with a calamity. The servants of Vladasmoerker were minutes from completing the ritual known as the descent into darkness when the powerful Mage elite of the city of Davasi managed to sever their home from the material plane. The powerful magics uprooted the city of Davasi from the desert that was its home, saving their home world but sending their own city spinning off into the multiverse. Where it landed was a strange place with new plants and trees, new animals but also new opportunities away from the chaos of their old life. The city still mostly stood, the only change being a cobbled road made from the local stone cutting through the middle of the city.
The people of Davasi began to survey their surroundings. To the north was an impossibly tall mountain rising up from mostly flat plains. To the east of that a mysterious lake. To the south there was a small but incredibly dense forest. The townsfolk pooled their resources revealing an abundance of the magical crystals that that Davasi was famous for but also exposing shortages of essential supplies. The herds that provided the town with food were gone. They had little in the way of weapons or building materials. Worst of all the town that had previously relied so heavily on the educated and the magical now found itself in a strange new world where their powers refused to function and their old knowledge had become worthless. In order to survive they would need to rectify these problems.
The began by searching the surrounding areas for food and they succeeded. Two strange types of beast, the Yakkety's and the Velocemoos were discovered but that was not all the search parties found. A race similar to the Dwarfs, only with antler like horns lived on the mountain. These people known as the Dwelk were friendly if distant to the people of Davasi. To the south west a boy called Alim discovered sometching even more strange. A group of giant stone pillars built by an unknown civilisation.
In the following weeks the town leaders found a woman named Aysel among their number who was a skilled farmer. She agreed to begin farming the Yakketys to address the livestock shortage. Also one of the ruling mages, Borik, sent a pair of emissaries to the Dwelk to negotiate the beginning of trade. These diplomats were called Jinan and Beyza. Meanwhile in the town two sisters, both up and coming mages began competing projects to solve the problems of magic and knowledge. Maialen began stockpiling all the crystals in the city to study them and learn to better use their magic. Koravai began excavating the area around the stone pillars to better understand the civilisation that came before them. It was during the excavation that Alim made another discovery. A strange magical device on two wheels, though it appeared broken Koravai's workers took it into the city for further study. Meanwhile Maialen did stockpile many crystals although a group called the crystal thieves also began their own stockpile.
 From Aysel's new farm the city was receiving meat, pelts and leather but it also received another thing. A young man called Kym swore he saw a phoenix in the sky and told the people of Davasi it was a good omen. On top of that Jinan and Beyza returned and announced trade with the Dwelk could begin and the merchant Djin was tasked with building the road the the Dwelk town Celawe in the mountain. A man called Wren came to the town. He was from a race known as the Sylf and had blue skin and a small, light framed body. He was a merchant and brought strange goods from this new world. Morale remained high until Maude, the oldest woman in the town and wife of the high Mage Borik died of suspect circumstances. This causes Borik to fly into a rage. He quickly began mobilising Davasi for war using stone from the many abandoned buildings in the city to build towers on the city wall to improve their defences.
As Spring turned to Summer their were three ruling factions emerging in the city. Those dedicated to Borik and the old ways, those dedicated to Maialen and her stockpiling knowledge and those dedicated to Koravai and her impetuous exploration. Borik continued his military expansion by training a militia of battlemages who later became know as the Sandstorm. Koravai sends people into the forest to bring back wood for building supplies. Maialen sets up a school dedicated to the study of magic and crystals. While this is happening a large force of the Sylf make an encampment on the road to the east of the city. People also investigate the strange lake to the north when the guards in the town noticed it would glow aqua on certain nights.
In late summer, just when things seem just about settled another tragedy struck. The wood that Koravai's people were gathering is burnt, none is salvageable. Jinan and Beyza investigate and find it the work of her sister Maialen. Maialen loses a lot of face as it is also revealed she has been spying on the people of Davasi for weeks to improve her political standing. Things go from bad to worse when Koravai is captured by the Sylf, just days before Borik's militia fully form and begin their protection of the city.
Despite the sudden violence and upheaval in the town some people are entranced by a different thing. The lake to the north is a source of seductive power and the engineer Typhel is tasked with building an aqueduct to redirect it's water to the town. the people who work on it eventually stop coming back to their homes in the city, making a town of their own by the lake. They continue to work and soon the Aqueduct is completed. Meanwhile in the town Alim takes over some of Koravai's duties and finishes the school with help from the crystal thieves. He also discovers underground an ancient city that existed here long before Davasi. Inside that city is a library filled with books written in Davasi's language. The discovery is strange but also helpful as it solved the educational crisis in the town. The conflict with the Sylf continued to worsen as Borik's new militia attempt an attack but find the Sylf are more than prepared for their attack and have magical defences against the battle mages of the Sandstorm. Borik responds by building a military installation in the city, using buildings once held by Koravai, to increase his military power to counter the Sylf.
Yet another new person comes to the town. Cicero, of the catlike Namiir, comes to the town to escape the wild Velocemoos. Cicero's knowledge of the world is vast and he is quickly identified as very useful. When the Sylf merchant Wren disappears Cicero is the only remaining person local to this new world and so he is asked to go to parlay with the Sylf forces. The results are less than satisfactory however and the Sylf remain hostile.
It is a dark night in early autumn when the crystal thieves Isra and Jocasta, sneak into the Sylf camp and start destroying it from the inside. Meanwhile atop the magical two wheeled vehicle he had found Alim rode in and rescued Koravai from under the Sylf's noses. Celebrations are short lived however when the Sylf respond by attacking the Yakkety farm, killing Aysel, the farm's founder.
With one victory already won over the Sylf Borik sends his new improved fighting force against them and destroys their camp. His victory gains him some good will among the community until Jinan and Beyza who had been investigating the disappearance of Wren discover his body in Borik's tower, deceased from the wounds of torture. The troops of the militia fragment, those who continue to be called the Sandstorm turned to the leadership of their honourable captain Stewart while a portion, now known as Borik's Bruisers stayed loyal to Borik. Despite this turmoil there is also rejoicing as the Aqueduct is completed and the magic lake water reaches the city. People who choose to drink it feel magically empowered but people also notice changes in them. Their eyes change colour and they seem to grow a little taller. In the excitement of the new water Maialens spies destroy the tunnel leading to the underground library, again starving Davasi of knowledge of their new world.
The people of laketown report something strange. There are another race of people, eight armed fish men living at the bottom of the lake. Kym, the farmer also reports another omen, this time a bad one, where he thought he saw the phoenix again was a dead Velocemoo. People however seemed unwilling to hear his warnings. Autumn grew colder and to alleviate the food shortage caused by the Sylf attack on the farm the people bought food supplies from the Dwelk. Cicero was also put in charge of expanding the farm into a large ranch. He enlisted Isra and Jocasta as his helpers in this task. Alim and Koravai also got to work building a factory to produce work tools for the population.
As winter approached people became obsessed with a new project. With their new tools in hand they abandoned Cicero's new ranch in favour of another adventure into the forest and this time returned much more successful. With the new wood they started fortifying their homes against the coming winter but not before Cicero decided to leave, warning them that they were far from prepared for what was to come. Kym, this time accompanied by Alim, saw the phoenix once again and this prompted the community to rally, finishing the fortifying much quicker thanks to Alim and his knowledge of the tunnels of the old city. In the tunnels the engineer Typhel discovered another strange truth about this place. The old city that they shared this space with had been brought here from another plane as well.
As the first snow of winter started to fall a strange sight appeared on the aqueduct. The eight legged creatures known as the Bok-Tuoc shuffled their way into the town. As the weather grew cold people started to fall sick but the Bok-Tuoc built a hospital and used their magical healing to help these people. Winter remains harsh as a tornado destroys the trade road to the Dwelk. Borik panics as the Dwelk supplies were a cornerstone of his military power. He responds by declaring war on the Sandstorm and fighting breaks out in the streets. He also attempts to rebuild the road but with the winter weather as it is he is forced to abandon the project. Alim however begins the task of reclaiming the lost library while Maialen plans an elaborate assissination of Borik. As the winter grows darker and darker the Sylf return, torching laketown and threatening the city once again.
Then finally the magical lake freezes over. Citizens wake to find the Bok-Tuoc gone, their hospital vanished as though it was never built. Also the citizens who had drunk from the lake and been magically altered had vanished. Two days of relative quiet passed before they returned. Now horrible beasts of violence and death. They attacked the town relentlessly and with the forces of the Sandstorm stuck in the civil war the town was all but defenceless. Up in his tower Borik was torn limb from limb, a far cry from the delicate assassination planned for him but effective none the less. His broken body, little more than blood and bones lay on the strange cobbled road getting trampled by the chaos in the city. The people of the ranch were slaughtered and the survivors of laketown were too. Yet one group, led by the boy Alim survived. Their reinforced houses protected them and when the monsters breached their walls they fled further into the underground city and lasted the winter. On the first day of Spring they emerged. Their first year was over, they had survived.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The understudy

Kanyon Vermont was an actor. A great actor, he called himself. Tall, handsome, well spoken, he had every tool to be just that. But something never quite clicked for him. A missed line here, a stutter there. audition after audition, "we'll make you the understudy, get some more experience and come back next time". He had been the understudy. He needed experience, but where to get it when none would give him a chance? The night before one particularly prestigious performance the renowned actor Rupen Zantoro was set to play the lead, Kanyon his understudy. But Rupen did not arrive. Minutes to curtain the director nervously gave Kanyon the nod to get dressed in the costume of the lead part. The star of the show. It was only after the performance that the truth became known. In the aftermath when people were raving about a new star born. Rupen Zantoro was dead. Murdered by an unknown assailant. Rumours grew till they were an all but established fact that Kanyon Vermont was the murderer. Though the authorities never charged him the theatre folk hunted the young actor and his promising career appeared over. Yet another group had also become interested in Kanyon. The mysterious assassins, impressed by his cold blooded willingness and methodical precision made Kanyon a offer that launched a new career. Not one of fame, but of infamy. With each life ended he added a new page to the stage show that was his new life. With each new contract a new audience to perform to, an audience that, like his first audience, would be in awe of his skill and then never see him perform again. He took pride in his work, and sometimes even took pleasure. Yet, in the back of his mind, he always wondered. What if. What if he hadn't been the understudy that time. What if he'd been given the chance he had finally taken by force. What life would have awaited Kanyon Vermont as a great actor.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Scrappers

So I was writing last night, and I decided a needed a new idea. And I've been watching lots of star trek recently so thought I'd try a Sci Fi idea. The only Sci Fi I've ever written was Jack Steel, which is based on Unreal Tournament.

So I came up with an idea which I called "Scrappers". It's a working title (said in Archer's voice). It's set in our universe in the future, probably about 2400ish. Humans have developed interstellar travel and have colonies on planets throughout the Milky Way. Then there is a war which destroys most of Earth leaving these colonies isolated.

Now the cool bit (I think it's a cool bit) is that when the old civilisation was up and running they had these awesome high tech pieces of technology on the planets. Enormous machines that provided these like food replication, environment controls, public transport etc to run cities on hostile worlds. Another technology that was really common was cybernetics.

As the machines were so huge and complicated they needed Cybernetically enhanced mechanics to build, repair and service them. They also were connected together in a way that would maximise the city's efficiency and controlled from orbitting space stations. So when the war came through the orbitting stations were destroyed and everything stopped work. Leaving these previously working class mechanics as the supermen who could repair the old technology. The mechanics came to be called scrappers, because they would take the scrap from some machines and use it to rebuild other machines, and due to their cybernetic implants they knew how everything worked and what they needed to do.

So some scrappers tried to help everyone out, build things the recovering cities needed. Others went into business for themselves, only fixing things for a price and generally looking after their own skin. Others tried to gain positions of power, ruling like post-apocalyptic kings. Most scrappers either keep themselves super well protected with bodyguards and mechs etc, or hide their identity completely as there are cults out there trying to kill all the scrappers and destroy their technology as they believe technology is evil and has led to the downfall of man.

I don't have a main story yet, I'm sure it'd be about one scrapper, trying to be a good guy in a harsh unforgiving world. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Heartcrown: Part 1

Fires burned at the altar of the shrine of Ibrox. Anestis readied her bow and took aim at the charging cultist. The arrow hit true, right in the neck as Coist, the swordsman, sliced through another. Stoney Black, the dwarven shieldbearer battered a path through three more, flanked by Faure, wielding her axe.

Aird watched on as his fellow rangers fought, carefully readying his own attack. Another wave of cultists swarmed through the temple's doors and Aird let fly with a blast of fire, burning two to ash and bone and sending the others screaming in pain. The wizard allowed himself a smirk as he readied his next spell.

Left and right the cultists fell, with no armour and only the most primative weapons they were no match for the five well trained rangers. In equal numbers they fell to arrow, sword, axe and fire. Only Stoney Black refused to take life. His mace staying tucked behind his giant shield. His shield was enough to defend them all, they were the hammer to his anvil.

The tide of battle continued to swing their way. Faure hacked down two who feigned to flee while Anestis picked off a lone flanker. Stoney Black pressed forward but it was Coist, ever the leader, who launched the counter-charge. Three days they had defended that shrine and its artifacts. Now they would break the seige, while the fight was at its fiercest. Outside into the burning landscape they fought. Under a forboding winter moon the five battled the legion of fanatics.

Victory neared. Coist's sword was coated in fresh blood so much it glowed in the moonlight. The cultists turned, about to flee. Anestis could only watch, when fires began to explode from the enemy lines. This time it was not the work of Aird. Coist in his fervour was now isolated as the demon Ibraine emerged from the fires. One blow from the demon's burning blade was all it took for Coist to fall. All Anestis could see was the fleeing fanatics and when they were all out of sight Coist and Ibraine were nowhere to be seen.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Island


The Ship rolls on
our only landmark the sun
in the distance we see land
it grows larger on the horizon
our first view of the island

Boxes move in the cargo hold
I am a stowaway, finally released
sneaking away into the trees
I have freedom at last

Close my eyes
trying to forget the past that’s been dragging me down
I shouldn’t be escaping
there is too much left to do
what am I waiting for?
answers lie back at the ship
not on the island

Must act
sneak back
spy
so many stories being told of the island
not by her, she gives orders and they move
I follow her
looking for answers
they venture into the jungle
so that is where I must go

She walks with them, with all her secrets
leading them to who knows what
leading them to their doom
she is more than mystery
she is temptation
I want to know want she knows
not stop her

I could surrender to her
let her show me all
but that would not be how it would work
she would not lead except to lead astray

When all is said and done
my duty must be followed
answers are the goal
not her

But how do I fight temptation
when in the end I know she will undo all

Though she cannot see me
I can still feel her stare
she calls to me to turn myself in, I can almost hear her voice
“Where you wish to go, I will take you there.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Inquisitor


We’re always suspicious when another party try to share our campfire. Tonight, in the hills less than a week from Sandona was no exception. I am called Bedaris, of the elven lands of Turlai. I travel with a party of adventurers, some acquaintances, some friends. They are the Northman Dyergan, a great warrior, the dwarf Wogan, a warrior priest from Khardova, the thief Urda, a woman from the blacktown of Etrak and my apprentice, Meirlaia, also a Turlai elf.
This group who we encountered were all human, so we were immediately suspicious of them and them of us. They exchanged few words apart from their leader speaking softly with Dyergan, warrior to warrior. Each of them wore an unusual symbol that I could not place. Any group travelling under a symbol are even more likely to be quarrelsome.
“Steer clear of this lot,” Wogan whispered to me. “Marks of Almar on them, church folk can’t be trusted.”
“Armers you think,” I asked. The Armers were a radical sect of the Human religion who not only hated outsiders, despised spellcasters like Meirlaia and myself.
“Can’t be sure, not the symbol they wear, can’t be sure.” Wogan spoke in a deep bass, often repeating phases for effect. Most others found him dull and slow but his advice was always right on target. It was his opinion I always valued the highest.
If an Armer suspected someone of spellcasting they could arrest them in the name of the church immediately. That was the law of this land, although we would be unlikely to surrender without a fight any confrontation with armed warriors would result in casualties we could ill afford. Urda was staying well away from the strangers by herself but Meirlaia was talking idly with one of the strangers.
Meirlaia had been my apprentice for only a few months but she had already proved to be foolhardy and naïve at best. At first I let her speak her words, trust her judgement as I was supposed to but after a small while more of the strangers gathered around her. They all still wore their swords and armour, which should have been unnecessary with camp made. I motioned to Dyergan but he was already moving to get his enormous two handed sword, pretending to sharpen it. Urda, in the shadows, no doubt had knives by the cartload hidden in her clothes, she allowed me to see a glint of steel, though I trusted her to be prepared. Wogan was less subtle, taking up his mace and shield and walking over to the strangers.
“Best get your gear off and relax, men of Farah. We don’t wish to be armed all night.” The men looked up and the dwarf and snarled. Meirlaia looked over shocked and took a step back from the man she was talking, not realising she was already surrounded.
I stepped closer, trying to hide the fact that the pole I was holding was not a walking stick but was in fact a javelin ready to be thrown.
“Come over here Meirlaia, help me get dinner started.”
“Two elves travelling in one group. Not often we see your kind here, pointing eared one. Can I ask what your purpose is in our lands?” The man was not the leader who spoke to Dyergan but another, making no secret to the broad sword at his waist.
“Perhaps in good time friend,” I said through clenched teeth, “first we must get our meal started, and you should put away your weapons.”
Meirlaia tried to walk back over to me but she was stopped by another of the strangers.
“No matter, your apprentice here has told us enough already.”
I looked over to Dyergan and he stepped forward holding his two handed claymore threateningly.
“Let her go and be gone, you have overstayed your welcome,” Dyergan said menacingly.
The man merely laughed and motioned to his lackeys who moved on Dyergan and me.
I thrust hard at the first soldier but he parried my blow. Dyergan had two men to fight and was grimacing with effort, swinging his huge blade.
Wogan moved to rescue Meirlaia but he too was outnumbered. Meirlaia was foolishly trying to cast a spell but the man who had her was throwing her round like a rag doll and she could do nothing. The helpless girl had never learned to truly defend herself, as much as I tried to teach her of the need.
I tried to cast a spell of my own in the chaos but the man I fought would not give me the time. Eventually I released a simple fire spell that distracted him enough to stab him in the leg. Although he was still mobile and I was forced to fight on. But moments later he let out a yelp and collapsed. As did one of the men fighting Dyergan, while our leader felled his other adversary immediately.
I launched my Javelin at one of Wogan’s adversaries, seconds before the Dwarf was cleaved in two and Dyergan finished his other. In the chaos I lost track of Meirlaia and the man. Urda, who’s knives had swung the battle was nowhere to be seen either.
Wogan started his best dwarf sprint towards where he knew they went. I followed to find Meirlaia, soaked to the bone, shivering, but standing still, over the body of the man, who also had a knife in his back. She had no doubt finally got a spell to cast, though a clearly crude and ill-advised one. A ball of ice from that range could have killed her.
I went over to Meirlaia, draping my cloak over her shoulders and whispering encouragement in her ears. Urda, who had already gone through the man’s pockets, threw me a small medallion with a sun and a fist on it, the symbol of the Armers. We should have known. Travelling in the lands of men would only get more dangerous.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jack Steel: The Walls

Every night they shut down the tournament for an hour.

No Lights, barely air to breath, nothing to do but sit and wait. They did maintenance then, or so we thought.

In the maze everyone felt lost, except Jack. I never knew how he stayed so sure, even when backtracking into dead ends, till he told me.

The walls, they moved them in the night. All of them except the ones too close to shooters. Jack knew the ways so well he knew how the walls would move, which way they swung. Could do all but move them himself.

He took us to the edge of the maze. Waited till dark so he could set to work.

Waiting for dark terrified us all. We never stayed still before then. You couldn't know what would come down a tunnel at you. Every time we hunted, if the prey were still we won. Yet that time we waited. No clock to tell us how long it could be. Even Jack won't speak of the waiting, drove us halfway round the bend.

But the lights slammed off eventually and we went to work. Moving in pitch black, lungs burning for more air, we heard the walls moving. Strained our eyes to find a wall that would open up an exit from the maze. We searched blindly, knew time was against us, till suddenly it all happened and we stood outside the maze.

A man met us. Pale and diseased thing. Said he tried to escape too. But the maze was sealed off here. He could see the way out but couldn't reach it. Nothing to eat but the slime on the walls and the rats on the floor. Nothing to drink but boiled sewer water.

We saw the exit from there. A raising bridge that could move to any position on the mazes edge. We watched as the bridge went down to allow new shooters over a huge cavern and into the maze. It was too far away for us to reach in time, and we could never predict where it'd land next. Each of us stared longingly as it raised back up, closing any chance of escape.

Jack didn't even watch. His eyes just fixated on the ground. The kid looked crushed. The plan didn't work.