A Light In The Darkness

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A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:30 am

This is the beginning chapter to another of my stories, basically about a boy who recieves elemental powers and while learning to control them, learns the difficulties of life and war. Since he was sheltered as a kid, he is nearly driven to insanity through the pressure thrust upon him, although that comes later in the story.

Through the Eyes of a Child.

An explosion jolted me awake from my sleep. I sat up in my bed and tried to wake myself up. Looking outside, all I could see was black. There was no rain either. So where did the explosion come from? I stood up and walked to my door, pushing it open slowly. A flash of light filled the hallway, followed by another explosion noise. I blinked a few time to get my sight back, and looked around the corner. A man in a flowing black cape and a hood walked out of my parents’ room, smiling and chuckling evilly. He turned around and looked directly into my eyes. His smile vanished and a savage scowl covered his face. With his arms outstretched, I could see lightning coursing through his fingers. In terror, I closed and barred the door, pushing any piece of furniture I could find in front of it. No sooner had I closed the door, I saw the flash of light from underneath my door, with an explosion to follow. I had managed to push my dresser in front of it when his footsteps were heard next to my doorway. He knocked on the door experimentally and then with inhuman strength, proceeded to pound the door with his fists. I could see the wood start to crack and I frantically looked around for anything I could use to defend myself. My eyes came across the daggers my father had given me this past year for my tenth birthday. I grabbed them quickly and moved away from the door. His attacks became more savage until suddenly he stopped. With a flash of light, both the door and the dresser were turned into a pile of ashes. The cloaked man stepped through the smoke and grinned menacingly at me. I held up my daggers defensively and he laughed. “Do you honestly think you can stop me? A mere child-“ His speech was cut short when he cried out in pain to find both daggers impaled in his gut. I looked with awe and fear at what I had done and pulled away quickly. He grimaced in pain and looked at me with hatred, “You… will pay… for that!” A mass of lightning formed at his fingers. In fear I wiggled my way out of my window and jumped onto the tree outside. I had barely started climbing down when the man’s lightning blew off the top of the tree, sending me falling to the ground. I could hear a man running quickly to my house. He ran by me in a blur and rushed into the house. There were a few sounds of battle and a scream as a flash of light erupted from my window. Everything had fallen silent and I huddled against the tree. A man walked out of the door and looked around. Fearful it was the hooded man I hid behind the tree. “Brendan? Brendan, come out, it’s me!” I looked around the tree to see my neighbor and distant relative, Ian. I ran up and hugged him and he jumped slightly, but put his arms around me as well. “Everything will be alright Brendan…” After a minute he pushed me away and knelt down to look at me in the face, “It’s still late… Come with me and I will take care of you. Aunt Mara has a warm bed all ready for you in the guest room. Would you like that?” I nodded and looked back at the house, “Could I get something to remember mom and dad by first?” He nodded and stood. I walked inside and made my way to my parents’ room. Two small piles of smoldering ash were on the floor. I looked away and around the room and spotted my mothers amulet. It was one father had given her for one of their anniversaries. It was beautiful; it had a silvery chain with a bluish tint which held a crystal eagle with its wings outstretched. Those wings then touched again at the tip. When I picked it up off the dresser, I could feel its strange warmth. It was comforting. I put it around my neck and could feel its warmth near my heart. I looked around the room and spotted my father’s walking staff. He had created it himself but would never tell me when. It was almost perfectly straight except for a small twist at the top, making it look very interesting. I picked it up off the side of the wall and held it in my hands. Etched along the entire staff were small letters, none of which I could read. I will have to learn what it says some other time. Taking these two items, I walked back outside. Ian nodded in approval, “Two good choices. Now come, the house just around the corner.” We began to walk through the forest to his home near the ocean. I kept moving my head around at every sound and creepy shadow that seemed to lurk just off the path. “I never realized how scary this place could be in the dark” I said as I jumped because of a hooting owl. Ian chuckled, “I know what you mean, but if all goes well, you will never have a reason to be scared again. I saw the wound you gave that man. If you can do that, there is much hope that you can learn…” He stopped walking and looked around. With a frown, he motioned me to get down and he drew his sword. I quickly ducked and looked around. I could hear a faint crunching and then a growl. A wolf appeared out of nowhere and began to attack Ian. The wolves in this area have been left unchallenged for many years and have grown to massive sizes; luckily this one was small compared to the rest. It tried a quick lunge at Ian but he easily blocked it, following through with a quick sideward slash. The sword struck flesh and the wolf howled, limping away. Sheathing his sword, Ian said “I always hated those wolves, just be glad he didn’t see you. Come, the sooner we get home, the less we will have to worry.” He ruffled my hair and began walking back down the path. We finally reached his small home, a circular home with five rooms and one large fireplace right in the middle. Ian’s wife, Mara, rushed outside, wrapped me in a blanket and led me inside. She put me in a spare bed and left me to sleep. I could hear her and Ian talking. “What happened?” whispered Mara in a hurried tone. “They came for his parents; I knew this was going to happen someday…” replied Ian. “Oh the poor kid, he probably has no idea what is going on, he…” My eyes began to close and all I could hear were muffled voices as I drifted off to sleep.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:41 pm

Now that I read through it, it doesn't sound quite asgood as I had wanted, lol, I'll probably edit it later. Here's another bit where they're being attacked by pirates.

"The next few days went by slowly, since the main mast was broken. We had tried to put it back into place but it was too damaged for it to stay up there. We suffered relatively few casualties from the storm. The captain told us stories of giant waves the size of mountains swallowing ships without warning, and of monsters whose long bodies could crush a ship with ease. Although they both seemed like tall tales, the captain spoke in such earnest that almost made me want to believe him. He was in the middle of telling us of his great escape from a whirlpool when there was a warning yell from one of the sailors. The captain stood and quickly went to the deck. Andrew and I looked at each other and followed him. He looked behind the ship toward the sea, “There be black sails flying… We won’t be able to out run ‘em either. Blast the luck. You two go downstairs to your quarters and get Markus, and Rhoc if he has gotten over his land legs. They will be here soon.” Andrew ran down the steps with me right behind, he burst into the room and Markus jolted up, smacking his head against the upper bunk, “Ow! What is it?” Andrew spoke quickly, it was obvious he was excited, “There are black sails behind us; the captain says to get on deck because they’ll be here soon.” Markus nodded and grabbed his sword, hopping down from his bunk. Rhoc perked up from his bunk, “We may be getting some action now?” He stood on the floor with wobbly legs, “Well as sure as the earth is solid, I am –not- just going to sit here!” Rhoc picked up his ax, nearly falling on it as well. He worked his way to the door and ran up the steps with Markus, Andrew and I right behind him. Rhoc worked his way to the captain, not wobbling near as much as he was before. The captain nodded and looked back out to the ship, “They’re almost upon us… they can already see we’re fish out of water without our mast, they will most likely simply board us. If they be expecting an easy take over, we’re going to give ‘em the fight of the lives!” Rhoc nodded, “I may not be a sailor, but I am a soldier. Let’s send them to the bottom of the sea where they belong.” The captain nodded and muttered under his breath, “Pirates always trying to steal cargo… give them a run for their money I will.” Andrew glanced at me, “Remember the idea I had, the one we wanted to test out?” “Yeah, what about it.” He grinned, “Well now is as good a time as ever.” The ship pulled up along side us and the pirate captain waved his sword about, “Will ye give us yer cargo peacefully or will we have to do this the hard way!” The captain yelled back, “Ye can take it out of my dead hands!” The pirate sputtered a curse and grappling hooks latched onto the side of the ship. A swarm of pirates came swinging in from their ship, all of them clearly ready for a fight. I quickly took out my bow and managed to shoot the rope of one of the pirates, who yelled and plunged into the water, but not without smacking against the side of the ship first. Andrew pulled out his sword and motioned for me to come. I put my bow away and we hurried to the deck where the fighting had already begun. I pulled out my staff and Andrew grinned at me as two pirates came barreling toward us. We locked arms, me behind him, and he swung me at the pirates. My feet could barely touch the ground as I swung my staff in a quick arc, tripping one pirate and smacking the other in the face. I could hear flesh against metal as Andrew finished them off. I refused to turn around, the sound made me nauseous, I could not bear to look at the result. This continued on for an hour until it seemed as all was lost; the pirates had threw overboard almost half of the crew. Suddenly, there was a rumbling noise from underneath the ship, and it rocked. The sky was perfectly clear and the waves were small. The fighting stopped abruptly and the pirates looked at one another, even the captain had turned pale. The pirates all fled back to their ship as fast as they could and began to sail away in haste. I could feel something brush against eth ship again, not very hard, but it was noticeable. I looked over the side of the ship and could see a long, dark shadow circling us. I saw one giant eye peer out of the water at us, and then turn tail toward the other ship. It swam with great speed and agility. I could see its blue scaly back with a long, black dorsal fin on the top. It circled the pirate ship quickly and then surfaced. Its scales were as deep a blue as the sea, and its eyes blazed with a yellow fire. One large, clawed hand stopped the ship in its process and it reached its head down to the ship. A subtle voice growled, it came from the creature, “Plunder and pillage, that’s all you can do… Terror of the sea, -master- of the sea? I think not… Why should I not crush you now like the minnow you are?” The captain’s voice was obviously shaky, “I-if it pleases you. I-I will give everything I have. We have gold and-“ The creature roared, “Gold?! You think you can buy your innocence with mere trinkets? Let me show you what the true master of the sea can do.” The creature growled savagely and dived beneath the water, seeming to vanish. The pirate captain yelled to his men to get them out of there, but it was useless. The black shadow of the creature circled beneath them, getting small as it dove deeper. Suddenly it stopped circling and grew at a rapid pace. The head of the creature smashed into the bottom of the ship, splintering it into pieces. The creature roared again and continued to rise into the air, using his leathery wings to gain height. The dragon folded its wings abruptly and proceeded to land on top of what was left of the pirate’s ship. The dragon made its way back to our ship. He surfaced again, his great eyes looking at us. They swirled with colors, the most dominant being yellow, “Do you have anything to say…” Andrew gulped slightly, “We aren’t pirates!” There was a rumble coming from the dragon’s throat, it sounded a lot like laughing, “From the mouth of a child.” It turned to the captain, “May the remainder of your journey go well.” It sunk back into the depths and disappeared. The captain just stood there grinning, “I believe ye said something about ‘tall tales?’” He chuckled and walked away. Andrew and I stared at each other, it had been the first time either of us had seen a dragon. “I only read about them in stories, I never thought they were real.” Andrew nodded quickly, “Agreed.” Rhoc walked up to us, “So the legends are true… I had heard about dragons attacking my people, but that one seemed outright friendly.” Markus joined us, “Things aren’t always what they seem. That and this one was a sea dragon. They usually guard their territory with ferocity, but they are wise as well as just, as you have seen.” Rhoc nodded, “Never thought I’d see the day…” He walked off mutter to himself and went back below deck. Markus turned to us, “You had better get some rest. We’re only a day away from land and we will be travelling as soon as we reach shore. We’ll be there by the time you wake up.” Andrew nodded, “Alright, sounds good to me.” He jumped down to the lower deck and went down below. I followed behind. It didn’t take us long to fall asleep, despite the now very noisy snores of Rhoc. It was going to be a busy day tomorrow."
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by ToriMP3 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:29 pm

Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap
Yet another amazing story Very Happy
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:35 am

I agree with Tori. AMAZING. Completely unique in the way it was written. Kudos!

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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:00 am

This piece is a small fight scene between the main character and some large wolves, and yes, the ending is a cliffhanger for you people =P I will probablypost what happens after that tomorrow.

"He leaned his bow on the side of the house, “I am getting really tired, and I think it is time for me to sit.” We both walked into the house and I nodded, “Alright Uncle Ian. I can not seem to keep my feet still, do you mind if I take a walk down the trail?” He smiled, “Of course, but I want you to take your staff, I’ve heard rumors that the wolves are becoming more active lately.” I picked up my staff that was leaning against the wall, “Okay Uncle Ian, I should be back before the sun goes down.” He grabbed a cup of water and nodded, “Be sure that you do, it is going to start getting dark soon.” I walked out of the house and began jogging down the path. I began thinking to myself, “These woods are so nice this time of year and everything is starting to change again.” I stopped after a while and began twirling the staff in my hands. “What was that?” I turned around at the sound of a snap. I continued walking down the path, being wary of the shadows. “Whatever it is just started walking again…” I turned around just in time to see a wolf begin to leap at me. I put up my staff up quickly. It lunged and I hit it on the side of the head. “Why do I get the wolf that is almost as big as me!?” It landed on its feet and began circling me. It let out a howl and I heard growling behind me. “This is not good.” I heard one of them jump at me from behind and I drove the back of my staff up quickly, nailing it in the jaw. The largest of the three wolves that circled me jumped just after I had struck the first wolf. I twisted my staff upwards and drove the staff into its ear. I could hear the wolf behind me whimper and run away. “Well, one down, two more to go. Wait, where is the other one?” I looked sideward to see a wolf with large teeth within six feet of me. “That is WAY too close!” It lunged and drove its teeth into my leg. I cried in pain and smashed the wolf in the back. The larger wolf tried attacking me from behind as I brought my staff up to block a swipe from its claws. It grabbed it in its mouth and tried wrenching it out of my hands. “Don’t you dare...” I delivered a swift kick into the stomach of the beast. It rolled backwards and stood up again. I cringed as I began to feel the effect of my kick. I felt something warm trickle down the lower part of my leg. Using both of my hands I brought my staff down on the head of the smaller wolf. It yelped and began to run away, I could see the indent of where its nose hit the ground. I turned to face the last of the wolves. “Why wont you go away already!?” I picked up a handful of dirt and threw it in its eyes. It began running around in circles, biting anything it could find. I hit it on its head again and it fastened its teeth on my staff. It began to wrench it violently and I heard a pop. The wolf stopped struggling and opened its mouth. I saw blood begin to come out of its mouth and a tooth fell out. It growled and ran away, running into a tree in the process. I bent down and began to patch up my leg with pieces of cloth from my tunic. “Ouch... ouch… ouch… why do they always have such sharp teeth?” I saw a flash of light and a loud crack of thunder."
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:16 am

What happens after the wolf bit.

"I saw a flash of light and a loud crack of thunder. “It was not supposed to rain! Oh great, and I am too far away to run home. I had better find some shelter to wait out the storm.” I began to run down the path, only to fall down a few steps later. “I guess running on an injured leg is not a great idea.” I limped down the path, leaning on my staff to support myself. I felt a drop of water on my nose. “Oh no, don’t rain now!” I began to walk faster. I could feel a few more drops on my face and arms. “Well at least it did not start fully yet.” I looked up to see a giant black cloud hovering overhead and a surge of rain began to fall. “I guess I spoke too soon!” I began looking frantically for some shelter; it is not smart to be under trees during a thunderstorm. I saw a cave just off the path. “Perfect!” I began to run, then slowed down, remembering what happened last time. I rushed those last few steps and walked into the cave. I put my hand to my chest. Just walking with this leg took a lot of energy! I noticed that I didn’t feel the accustomed bump by my neck. “My amulet is gone!” I began looking frantically inside my pockets. I looked outside and saw a glimmer. I rushed to the edge of the cave to see the amulet sitting there in the mud, “Great, now it is filthy! At least I did not lose it.” I wiped off some of the mud. “Nothing is broken. Good.” I picked it up, and observed why it had fallen off. “Hmm, looks like the fastener became loose.” I gripped my staff and turned around, looking down the cave. “Is that a light?” I saw a soft glow far down the cave and began walking towards it. “It smells… odd.” I sniffed the air. It smelled like nothing I’ve ever smelled before, a sweet smell mingled with a freshening scent, like energy and water, yet different. I couldn’t seem to put a finger on what it was. I walked farther down the cave. The light continued to glow and get brighter as I continued toward it. Quite suddenly I came upon a large cavern. It was shining a soft blue from the crystals surrounding the cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a crystal clear pool of water that seems to swirl with color. I looked in the pool; it looked so deep that it has no end. I looked up at the walls. “There are symbols on the wall!” I began looking over the walls; I could see a leaf, some fire, a water droplet, and what looked like something that resembled wind. I could also see a bright sun, a lightning bolt, a rock, and a glob of black. “What is that supposed to be?” I walked up to it and looked closely, “Oh! It is a shadow!” I looked around for more symbols. I could find no more. I looked down at the water and my dirty amulet. “I guess I could wash it off here.” I sat down beside the water, cringing as I bent my leg. I picked up the amulet and dipped it into the water. As it touched the water, the room began to glow brightly. I tried pulling my hand out of the water but I could not move. I looked up at the wall to see the room spinning. The symbols on the wall began to glow brightly and the pool of water shimmered with colors. I watched as the symbols appeared to leap of the wall in colored light. Green, blue, white, yellow, red, and a strange black light swirled around me and began to enter the water. I watched the colors dance around in the water in complicated patterns. Then everything stopped, the room sat still, and the colors stopped spinning. I looked down to look at the colors. Suddenly in an explosion of activity the water churned and the colors began to swirl around at a blinding speed. One by one each color light seemed to dive into the amulet, making it swirl with colors. When the last color dove into the crystal amulet, everything stopped, the water stopped churning and the colors stood still. I yanked my arm out of the water and everything returned to how it once was. I looked down at the amulet; each color seemed to inhabit a different part of the eagle. I watched the colors spin in place and suddenly change position. “That is… interesting.” I put the amulet back around my neck, making sure that it was securely fastened this time. I hid it underneath my coat. “I think I should keep this hidden until I figure out what just happened.” I tried standing up but I felt very weak. I looked at one of the glowing crystals and yawned. “Maybe I should sleep, a lot has happened today.” I yawned again and took off my coat. I pushed my back against the wall and put my staff beside me. Pulling the coat under my chin, I leaned back and fell asleep."
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:36 am

The next few sections I just felt like posting because I just read them myself, lol. It's basically his time in the army, and yes, I'll have another cliff hanger.

"It seemed relatively easy, until the other soldiers began to notice the ‘new guys.’ The first few days went relatively well, but the others began to notice our skill with the blade and bow, and began to become jealous, at least that’s what they led us to believe. At first it was just mutterings behind our back, but eventually it escaladed to taunting and name calling. It was fairly easy to ignore them at first, but they grew very annoying quickly. When I thought I couldn’t handle it anymore, they crossed the lines…

“Well, well, if it isn’t the ‘master of arms.’” Derrick stepped in front of me tauntingly. I rolled my eyes and sidestepped, “Hello Derrick…” He moved back in my way and sneered, “What? Can’t stay for a friendly chat?” “Since when were your chats ever friendly...” He glared at me, “You might want to watch your tongue you little runt, you might find it missing.” I stepped to the side again, working my way around him, “Like you’d be able to do anything, you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn…” He growled and nodded. I felt someone punch me from behind and I had barely enough time to roll before Derrick swung at me. I stood quickly to be faced by Derrick and his smaller, but no less obnoxious friend, James. James may have been small in height, but he was very quick. I had a hard time keeping away from his jabs. Derrick pushed me and I nearly ran into a tree, “Come on Brendan, can’t take a few hits? What kind of a warrior doesn’t fight back?” He wound up for a swing but an arrow whizzed by his face, embedding itself in the tree beside him. His arm froze mid air, “What kind of trick is-“ Before he even finished his sentence, he was sent flying by a strong kick to the gut. His little friend barely had time to look before he too was down and out. A slender woman stood before me, her eyes a calm blue. She seemed casual as she walked away, stepping over the groaning figure of Derrick. Derrick kicked out his leg and tripped the woman and proceeded stand up swiftly and swing, nailing me in the arm. He brought his leg back for a kick, but in an instant I was up again and drove my fist into his jaw. I heard a crack and he cried out in pain, grabbing at his chin. He leaned against a tree and sunk to the ground. The mysterious woman was standing again, staring at something on the ground. She picked up my amulet and held it in her hands, “You may want to put that somewhere safe…” Her voice was serious but held a note of amusement as I took the amulet from her. She had a fair face with long, brown hair. Points from her ears barely showed through her hair, much longer than a human’s ear. She smiled slightly and nodded, walking off back to camp. The amulet was glowing faintly, barely noticeable to the eye. I put it around my neck and walked back to camp in silence. Markus walked swiftly up to me, the elf from before following behind him, “Aerilyn informed me you had a run in with some others… Is this true?” I nodded and showed him the obviously red arm. It throbbed with pain, and Markus made it no better with his slightly rough handling of it. Markus grunted, “Whoever hit you has a good arm… This won’t be taken very lightly. Get some numbing salve on that and don’t use it anymore today, hopefully you can still use a bow… I’ll be at your tent in an hour to see how it is doing and explain what happens if we actually do get attacked.” Markus walked away quickly, needing to attend other matters. Aerilyn stood there, grinning slightly, “You look confused. Is there something you want to know?” I nodded slightly, “Not to be rude, but you’re the first woman I’ve seen since I got here. I thought they weren’t allowed in war.” Aerilyn nodded, “That is true for your kind. My people don’t put limitations on gender. But then again, rarely do we attack. My people don’t usually like to participate in war, as you can see by the lack of elves here. It seems men have an excessive need for war… or at least some of them.” She shrugged, “It does not matter. Get some salve on that arm.” She grinned slightly, “I think Derrick will need a bit more than salve for his jaw.” On that note she walked away quickly without saying another word. I made my way back to my tent and found a small jar of salve by it. The bitter smelling herbs had a cooling effect on my arm, effectively numbing the pain. It didn’t take Markus long to get to my tent with Andrew, both of them carrying plenty of maps. Markus laid them out in front of the tent and began showing us the many different battle plans the crafty general had planned out. Everywhere there had been drawn small groups of people with many lines leading to different areas. Markus pointed to a small ground labeled one hundred, “This is where we will be in the event of an attack. When the scouts get here warning us of their coming, the main army will walk down the field to catch them at the passage, preventing a large amount of people from coming out at once. The passage can only fit fifty people through at a time. That should make it easy to hold them off. In the event they do manage to push past the Basin’s opening, we will be hiding in the forest, waiting for them with bow and arrow. When they come out, we can pelt them from the side with a hail of arrows. When they begin to fall back again we hold off and wait for if they break out again. It shouldn’t be that hard. It would be foolishness to try and overpower us with fifty men at a time; the chances of them being able to break through are slim to none.” Andrew frowned slightly, “In other words we do almost absolutely nothing unless needed.” Markus nodded, “To put it bluntly, yes. If they do manage to somehow break through, they won’t get very far. It will at least give you a taste of war without thrusting you into it. Most men flee the first time they are put into it.” Andrew nodded slightly and looked back down at the map, “What’s that?” He pointed to a particularly large drawing. Markus frowned, “A giant. I am hoping we never have to meet one. They will crush anything in their path; they were absolutely devastating to both sides during the last wars. If by some random chance we do encounter one, run. Get back to the main army and begin firing every arrow you can into that beast’s face and hope for the best.” “I’m just hoping they don’t even try to come out, if they’re even in there.” Markus nodded, “We’ve sent scouts in there numerous times to look for any activity, so far they’ve seen nothing but the ground looks like it moves sometimes. It makes them nervous. General S. says it’s all in their head, but he’s not taking the reports lightly as you can see by the plans he has mapped out.” Andrew nodded, “I think I got everything. It’s getting late; I’m going to head to bed, another day of training tomorrow.” Andrew helped Markus pick up all the maps and left. Markus glanced at my arm and nodded, then walked off with Andrew. I entered my tent and lay on the mat, staring into space. The bitter smell of the salve still filled the air. The quiet chatter of people lulled me to a restless sleep as my thoughts wandered to moving ground and giants."
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:36 am

"Everything was a blur around me, people rushing by like streams of constant movement. The ground shifted and shook and the mountains seemed to part. There were yells of war all around, masses of black and gray colliding together in one giant blob. A giant stomped its way out of the mountains, his face contorted in rage. With a single swing of his club he attacked both friend and foe. Without thinking I launched an arrow into him. He turned his horrid gaze toward me and ran at me. The ground shook and he brought his club down on me. Darkness was all that was left.

I sat up again, frustrated by these constant nightmares. Sleep escaped me as I sat there, staring out into the darkness. I walked out of my tent and looked up at the sky. Everything was perfectly clear and the stars seemed to be shining brighter than before. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I jumped. Aerilyn stood beside me and stared up at the stars as well, “Can’t sleep?” I shook my head and stayed silent. She looked back at me then at the jagged hills. They looked much more intimidating in the dark, “War is an unnerving thing…” I glanced at her and she looked at me, her eyes shimmering in the darkness. She frowned slightly, “Believe me; I know that more than most would expect.” She glanced at the others silently walking about, probably elves as well, “Many of us do…” She looked back at me and before I could react, she lightly touched the amulet. I could see it glowing brighter through my tunic, its warmth soothing. She nodded and the world began to fade, her words echoing in my mind, “The weary rest, the weak grow strong, a constant cycle in life’s song…”
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:37 am

"I woke up looking at the top of my tent. Everything was dim, but it wasn’t quite like night. I stepped outside and looked at the sky. Fog covered the sky and the valley, making it a very depressing gray. Andrew was sitting beside my tent, he looked at me in surprise, “You’re awake! It’s about time. You’ve been sleeping for two days. I need to go tell Markus you’re awake. I’ll be back.” He got up and ran off quickly, leaving me standing there. Something seemed off today, I couldn’t tell if it was just the weather or something was actually wrong. The few elves I saw had solemn faces and were slightly downcast as well. Dwarves kept muttering about the earth twitching. None of it made much sense, but something was definitely wrong. In the distance I thought I had heard a yell. The elves stopped in their tracks to listen. Then one of them ran quickly up to the warning drums and pounded the call to arms. The camp was dead silent for a split second, and then in a burst of activity, the people ran to grab armor and weapons and hurried to get into place. I quickly got inside my tent and grabbed my bow, quiver, and staff. The moment my hand touched it, the writing started to glow a faint red tinted with green and burned my hand. I waved my hand around to cool it down and quickly put on gloves and grabbed the staff. When I stepped out of my tent I could feel Markus’ hand on my shoulder. He pulled me toward the trees where we grouped up with the others in our small group. A few stragglers quickly ran up to the group and stood ready. Markus straightened his shoulders, “Today is the day we hoped would never come. They have used the fog as cover and killed our scout before he could report back to us. If they want a fight, they’re going to get one. For the fallen brother.” There were murmurs of agreement and we began our journey through the trees. I could hear the general yelling orders and his version of a ‘pep talk.’ ‘Let’s go soldiers! This is the day you’ve been training for! To protect your homes and family. They’ve destroyed so many others, are we going to let them take more?!” There was a resounding chorus of “No!” by all of the soldiers in the camp. He roared out in a bellowing voice, “This will be a glorious day for men, elves, and dwarves alike! Return to them tenfold the suffering they’ve given us! We will not back down!” Many of the men in the camp cheered. Those with us walked in silence. One elf spoke aloud, startling everyone, “He has a twisted sense of war and glory.” One or two muttered their agreement as the roaring voice of the general faded away. The fog was beginning to clear, but it was obvious before we could see it all we were in for something big. Even from the distance, we could hear the clanking of metal and the shifting of restless feet. The fog lifted finally and we could finally see what we were up against. To the surprise of myself and many others, their numbers far outmatched our own. It looked like a sea of endless metal, just waiting to crash over the smaller army. I could hear the general yell the order to charge, and there was a resounding yell across the valley. The Bleeding Flame stood there, their eyes gazing straight forward, suddenly stiff. When the others were about halfway through the valley, there was a booming drum roll and they began to march as if driven by one mind. They seemed much more disciplined than our rag tag army charging down the valley. Everything seemed like dead silence to me, I could hear my heart beating faster and saw the gruesome sight of army smashing against army. Markus called the order to fire, and fire we did. It seemed like an endless stream of arrows flying to the rear ranks of the Bleeding Flame, knocking many of them down. Markus nodded, “Well done! Don’t stop!” The soldiers in the rear of the bleeding flame raised their shields above their heads and simply kept on marching. There was a blood curdling yell and the entire Bleeding Flame army seemed to have lost complete control of their sanity. They suddenly broke formation and began running at the smaller army with savage fury. Markus grunted and motioned for us to follow him back around to our army. We began to run quickly but could hear cushioned feet behind us. We turned around but one of the elves cried out in pain as he was run through by a small group of bloodthirsty soldiers. The elves as if driven by an unnatural force all drew their swords and cut down the soldiers before anyone else had much of a chance to react. I had my staff ready but I was too far back in the lines to do much of anything. The elves cleaned their blades and continued walking, a strange glint in their eyes. We finally got far enough away to circle around and fire arrows from the rear of the group as we worked our way forward. I was surprised to see that despite our lack of numbers, we were holding off fairly well. Overtop the noises of war, I could barely hear the pounding of footsteps. One of the dwarves yelled ‘Giant!’ and pointed at the entrance to the Basin. And giant he was, almost filling up the entirety of the gap; he stood at least twenty feet tall. The giant roared and came barreling toward us, crushing both friend and foe in the process. It stopped swinging to pick an arrow out of its shoulder. He looked toward our group and howled when he found eighty other arrows sticking in his face and torso. He looked at us with rage and slammed his club into the ground. The ground cracked around it and I could see he had picked up a large boulder. “Scatter! He’s going to throw it!” Even though the suggestion came from me, they obeyed quickly and avoided getting squished. In the distance, I could see Andrew jumping onto the giant, slashing at its legs. I ran toward them but was blocked by a particularly large man. He was heavy set and very tall and wielded a two-handed sword. I would have been cleaved in two if it weren’t for the blade he found protruding out of his chest. In a silent yell he crumpled to the ground, his eyes shifting from that dull gray to brown. The elf looked slightly maniacal as his eyes swirled madly with delight. He grinned slightly toward me, “This, my friend is why you never put an elf into battle! Ha ha!” He jumped on top of another soldier and began brutally beating him, it was gruesome to watch. The soldier at my feet groaned and looked up at me in confusion. His eyes lost their light and his head slumped to the ground, still staring into space. I turned away just in time to find another man leap at me. In self-defense I smacked him to the ground. He screamed as there were deep burns where I hit him with my staff. I shivered slightly and looked toward the giant. It was swinging its club madly to try and hit the little pest by its feet. He eventually stomped and sent Andrew flying. Andrew yelled out as he landed into a group of Bleeding Flame where I lost sight of him. I could no longer feel the world around me, all emotion drained from me, except bitter rage. I ran toward the giant. Leaping on top of the enemy soldiers’ helmets I managed to get halfway up the giant’s torso, where he cried out when he found a sword protruding out of it. He swatted at me and I fell to the ground and rolled to the side. He swung clumsily at me, taking out a few of his own men in the process. Frustrated by my constant dodging, he slammed his club straight down. I jumped to the side right before it hit and climbed onto it. Before he could raise his arm again I had ran up his arm and attacked his face with my staff. He wrenched violently and shook me off, sending me flying to the ground. Twisting in the air I managed to land on top of a soldier about to cut down a man. I quickly glanced at him and found it to be Derrick, who was staring at me, dumbfounded. I charged toward the giant again, grabbing another sword from a fallen soldier. He swung his club wildly, his now burned face contorted in anger. His only thoughts were of smashing the little pest. He swung just as I had reached his legs and nearly took his leg out from under him. He howled in pain and hopped around on one foot. He stomped again and I nearly fell over. I had little time to react as his club came swinging toward me from the side. I had no longer put up my staff in defense when I felt the crushing blow. My feet left the ground and I landed a good deal away, being stared at by some Bleeding Flame who were now taunting me. When my eyes readjusted, my staff was lying on the ground, shattered into pieces. I could feel something stabbing at my chest. I quickly brushed away what was causing me pain, only to find it was the shards of my mother’s amulet. The Bleeding Flame soldiers laughed, calling me a ‘girly man’ for carrying around an amulet. The words had barely left their mouths when they found large gashes in their throats. Two of them died instantly while the third gasped in pain and surprise. I gripped my daggers tightly and looked him in the eyes, “A last remembrance… for my dead parents.” He grunted and fell to the ground, gripping at a gash in his side. I turned to face the giant, who was slowly making his way toward me. I could feel a boiling rage flowing in me. “They killed my parents, and now have given me the grace of nothing to remember them by? His head would be a good reminder…” He swung the club at me and grinned savagely. He looked in surprise when my daggers had stopped it mid swing. He grunted and swung at me again, to no avail. He lifted the club high into the air, much as he did in my dream, and brought it down straight on top of me."
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:23 pm

"From the journal of a warrior

When he brought the club down, we thought it was the end of him. The giant grinned savagely and lifted his club, only to find it burst into flames! The soldier walked out of the small hole as if nothing happened and glared at the giant, his daggers glowing slightly. To the amazement of both us and the Bleeding Flame, he began to lift into the air, his skin steaming. He muttered something strange and his entire body burst into flames. The giant stared at him in horror and backed away, nearly falling over his own men. The burning soldier swung his daggers around in a quick pattern, seeming to draw lines of fire in the air. They crisscrossed back and forth and with a movement of his hands, they erupted into flame, flying across the field in front of him. The giant along with anyone in the wave of fire were incinerated instantly. I was beginning to think we might very well win this battle, when the soldier fell from the air and landed on the ground in a heap. His skin turned to normal, or as normal as it could be considering most of it was blackened to a crisp. General S. was yelling some insults at the Bleeding Flame when there was a horn call. Suddenly the gap leading out of the Basin seemed to grow wider and an even larger army marched out of it. General S. stopped mid sentence and his hand dropped to his side, “RETREAT!” I have never run so fast in my life! The Bleeding Flame cut us down from behind like we were no more than fish caught in a net. I’m regretting this decision more each day. Hopefully we can reach the next town before there’s none of us left. James
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:23 am

Under the shadow of the enemy

Everything hurt and ached. I could feel tiny prodding hands poking my belt and arms. I heard tiny squeaking when I groaned and tried to move my head. When I opened my eyes, the entire world seemed to swim and I shut them quickly. There was high pitched, rapid chatter as I felt a flurry of motion around me. Something picked up my head and laid something under it. Whatever it was, it was wrapped around my head quickly and fastened from behind. I nearly cried out in pain, but there was something holding my mouth tightly, and I heard a quick ‘shh.’ I opened my eyes again, finally being able to see, only to be looking into a pair of shiny eyes. It backed away quickly and put a finger to its lips. It was a small creature, completely covered in fur. It had fairly large eyes, and a slender frame. It both walked and looked human, but its face was more like a cat’s than a human’s. I looked down at my arms and found that they had been bandaged to an extent. One of the creatures walked up to me and began chittering wildly. At my confused expression, it slowed down its speech to something audible, “Don’t move, tall men kill if you do. We help you, we save you from tall men. Don’t move.” I could feel three pairs of tiny hands pick me up with relative ease and walk me toward a large mound. It was hard to tell what it was in the darkness. As we got closer, I became aware of the sickening stench of blood and decay. They took me by the pile, which I found was comprised of bodies, and snuck past a watchman. They quickly worked their way into the forest and lay me onto the ground. I could feel a light brushing and found the rest of my wounds had been bandaged. One of the creatures seemingly appeared out of nowhere and looked at me, “We help fire elf. Now fire elf helps us? Mean men, tall men, they say they crush village under foot if we don’t help. We help tall men but they very mean. Help us?” An older looking one of them stepped beside the quick speaking one, “Leafcatcher young. You injured and only one fire elf. You run! Run from tall men. Get help? Get more fire elf to stop tall men!” In his excited ness he began to speak so fast nothing was able to be discerned from his random chattering. “I’m not a fire elf…” I tried to sit up but was still weary, “I’m not even an elf.” Leafcatcher pulled back my hair and tapped my ears, “You fire elf. Fire elf has short elf ears.” I put a hand to my ear. I had never noticed before but it formed into a nearly imperceptible point. Compared to an elf’s ears, mine were shorter, but the point was obvious. Leafcatcher stepped back quickly, an impish grin on his face, “Fire elf stop tall men easy. They think you dead but we know better! Moonwind say we have to listen to tall men, but we help you when you ready!” The elder nodded and frowned slightly, “Tall men have no right to threaten and kill. We help stop.” There was a harsh yelling in the distance. Moonwind growled, sounding much like a cat, “We needed. Run! Get out of here.” They disappeared almost as quickly as they came, leaving me in silence. Leafcatcher appeared again and pressed something into my hands and disappeared again. I sat up and looked at it; it was my dagger, or what was left of it. The blade was melted at the top, giving it a wicked looking curve to it. The hilt was blackened to a crisp but was still firm enough to use. I put it on my now frayed belt and walked quietly away from the sounds and smells of the aftermath of war.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:59 am

I continued to stumble through the forest, my legs throbbing and my stomach growling. Everything ached, if only I could rest… No, I need to keep moving. I need to get help. Keep going. I tripped over a branch and nearly landed face first into a tree. I put my hand out quickly and stopped my fall. My arm gave out and I crumpled to the ground, completely exhausted. I need to keep going, but I’m so tired. Just a little rest…

I opened my eyes to find it was mid day. I had slept too long already… I stood quickly and looked around me; I had no idea which direction the next town would- is that food? I stooped down and picked up a small pile of berries and fruits. Not giving a second thought I ate them quickly and looked around. I couldn’t find any footprints. I looked back at the spot and saw some twigs on the ground, shaped as an arrow pointing north. Hopefully it leads to civilization, it’s worth a shot. I walked quickly down the path, which seemed fairly well traveled. Was this some type of trap or was this mysterious person actually trying to help me? I stepped off the path slightly and walked quietly. The trees over me thickened and the sun was less bright against me. After what seemed like an eternity, I stopped to rest for a minute. The path had become more wild and untamed, making it difficult to walk. I leaned back against a tree and looked up. I nearly yelled out loud when I saw someone hanging from a branch staring back at me. He grinned and dropped down from the branch, landing on his feet, “I was beginning to wonder if you were actually alive back there or not.” He grinned mischievously and leaned casually against the tree opposite me. “Who are you?” He nodded and clapped his hands together, “Nearly forgot a proper introduction didn’t I. I’m Roban. Some call me a thief, others a ranger, but I’m just a wanderer. I hate staying in the same place.” “Do you always drop from trees?” He grinned again, “Not always, but it does make things interesting.” His chipper mood made it hard not to smile along with him, he was a strange fellow. He was short with curly brown hair and eyes to match. “Why did you help me?” His smile changed slightly but he still kept his voice the same, “You fell over, and judging from the burns on you, you either had a run in with a camp fire or you were part of that battle a few days ago. You’re lucky to be alive at all. Saw the whole thing I did. Never saw anything like it, the fellow just rose into the air like some possessed thing and burst into flame! He must’ve caught you in the wave. After he fell the mountains rumbled open. I never saw soldiers run so fast in my life!” “Did any of them make it?” He nodded, “Oh yes, about half of them managed to escape. No telling where they were heading though. Speaking of, where were you heading?” “Anywhere I can get some equipment. I lost almost everything. And thank you for the food, I really needed it.” He nodded, “Aye, I was hoping you were alive enough to eat them though, never good to waste berries. Come, I’ll take you to the nearest town and we’ll see about getting you patched up and supplied.” He waved with his hand and walked briskly down the path. Despite his short size, he walked very quickly; it was difficult keeping up with him. Roban walked along like he had no care in the world, chattering on to no end. He stopped abruptly and began picking up all the wood around him, “Getting late. Need to get a fire going before it gets too dark to see, we should reach the town sometime tomorrow.” He threw the sticks in a general area and began doing wider sweeps for the sticks. I rolled some stones into a small circle to make a fire pit. He dropped of the stick again and nodded, “Good, glad to know someone other than me knows how to make a fire!” He rushed off again and came back a few minutes later with more twigs and two rocks, “See if you can get it started, I’m going to grab some of the bigger logs.” He rushed off into the woods, whistling the entire time. I clicked the rocks together and out shot some decent sized sparks. I piled the thin twigs on top of some dry leaves in the ring and began snapping the rocks together. By the time Roban had come back with an armful of logs, I had a decent sized fire going. Roban grinned, “Excellent! I’ll be back in a while, these logs are proving very difficult to find.” He dropped his pack by the fire, “Go ahead and make yourself something to eat, I’ll eat when I get back.” He rushed off again, disappearing into the forest. Interesting how there’s few logs around here, oh well. I opened the pack and pulled out some food. There was a loaf of bread and some goop in a closed bowl. I smelled it and tasted some; it was very sweet and tasted very much like the berries I had eaten earlier. After a simple meal of bread and the stuff spread on it, I leaned back against a tree behind me. I could hear the crunching of leaves and turned toward it. At first I thought it was Roban, until the figure stepped out from the shadows. It was like a nightmare played all over again. Standing in front of me was a man in a black cloak with the emblem of the bleeding flame on it. I quickly picked up a flaming log and held it like a club. The man chuckled, more of a wheezing sound than a laugh, “Fear, as well as it should be.” His sneer turned into a savage scowl, “Time to repay the damage you did child. I am going to enjoy every minute of your suffering.” He pulled part of his cloak to the side, revealing a very large scar in his gut. He twisted around quickly and drove his foot into my head. The log flew out of my hands and I fell to the ground. He laughed, “Not so brave now, are you?” He kicked me hard in my gut and sent me sprawling. He looked overtop me and smiled tauntingly, “Your parents were so easy, I never imagined a child would give more of a fight! They were weak- agh!” He smashed into a tree as I flipped around and kicked him in the gut. He gripped at his stomach, coughing violently. He stood slowly. The air around me began to feel strange, yet familiar. His fingers coursed with lightning and he rose his hands into the air, “You insolent little brat! Now you –die-“ I could feel adrenaline pumping through me, everything seeming to slow down. The energy of battle flowed through me. He brought his hands down and a stream of lightning flew toward me. I brought up my arm in a block, expecting to be struck. When I felt nothing, I opened my eyes and looked at him. I could feel masses of electricity flowing through me, screaming to get out. His face contorted in rage as the lightning continued to come. Every part of me screamed in pain, yet no harm was done. Before I knew it, instinct took over. In one motion I leapt at the cloaked man and grabbed him by the head. I could feel the energy that had been part of me discharge suddenly. The force of the discharge sent me stumbling back. Using a tree to support myself, I looked up at him, or what used to be him, before my feet where a smoldering piles of ashes. I felt nausea and exhaustion come over me as I just stood there. Roban’s yells sounded distant as the world around me faded to nothing once more.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:57 am

Something cold and wet was being put on my face. My eyes snapped open and grimaced, the light was blinding and whatever was on my face was beginning to burn. Gentle hands pushed me back when I tried to get up. I closed my eyes and could barely talk; all that came out was a slight groan. I could hear muffled voices and soft humming. When my eyes adjusted to the light, I could see a shorter, elderly woman slathering a green paste on her fingers and then putting that onto my face. She glanced at me and smiled slightly, “It’s good to see you’re awake. The short man outside has been pacing the halls enough to wear a hole into my rug!” She put the bowl away and walked out the door. There was some quick talking outside and Roban walked quickly into the room, “Good golly I thought you were dead! Glad to see you’re up and about now, or, at least awake.” “What happened?” “When I came back with the logs, I saw that man shooting lightning out of his fingers. No idea how he did it either. When I saw you work your way toward him I thought you were trying to get yourself killed! Then in a flash of light, poof, everything was over and done and you fell to the ground. I thought you had either died or fainted, but you had some nasty marks on your body. I drug you to town and brought you here, where these kind folk have taken care of you. Mrs. Barley’s salve has worked miracles on your marks.” He grinned slightly, “If you can take that much of a beating as you have these past few days, the Bleeding Flame have something to look out for!” I shook my head, grimacing in pain, “No. I’m one man, I can’t stop them. On top of that, I’m injured. If anything, I need to warn people, anyone. They caught us off guard last time, if we can give them a force to be worried about, we may very well be able to beat them back to where they came.” Roban frowned, “A bit late for that lad. The Bleeding Flame has already pushed their way past your army’s larger forces.” “Then maybe we can attack them from behind. From the sound of it they’ve been attacking near the mountainside. I can travel west and find anyone willing to help, we have to stop them.” Roban shook his head, “You do whatever you want, but I say it’s crazy.” “Crazy or not I have to try.” Mrs. Barley walked into the room, “Not today you aren’t. You need rest. Come on, out out out.” She nudged Roban out of the room and closed the door behind him. She glanced at me, sadness in her eyes, “He lives off of the fruits of the forest, but we’ve lost much of our farm land because of them. He is right, it is crazy, but you are young and fast.” She thought for a moment, “There is a castle directly west of here, Thoric’s Refuge, it is fairly large, but it is secluded. If you can get to them, warn them, they have fought the Bleeding Flame before, they will be much help. From there you can get better supplies and continue to any town near there.” Her eyes showed hints of anger, “You –must- get them to help us. We have already lost more in a few days than we had ever wanted. During the Bleeding Flame rampage, my son was killed trying to protect his family. They must be dealt tenfold the suffering they have given the families that have been torn apart because of this war.” Her voice wavered slightly and she composed herself. She looked as if nothing had ever happened and walked quietly out the door.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:49 am

Three days passed, leaving very little to remember them by, except today. I was roughly awakened from my sleep, looking at the face of an elderly man, with a bushy beard and a worried look on his face, “Get up, quickly.” He quickly pulled me out of the bed and handed me a small bundle, “You must get out of here. They’ve been spotted in the distance. Go to my barn, the one with the horses in it. Put on the riding clothes there and take the one in the third stall, that one is fastest. You have enough food to last you a few days if you make it last.” There were heavy footsteps and a knocking at the door. The man pushed me toward a window, “Go!” With a push I was out the window and in the shadow of the house. I ran as quietly as I could to the nearby barn and pushed open the door just enough to get into it. I grabbed the riding equipment from a peg and put it on quickly. Putting my food in a small bag, I walked to the third stall. I opened it wide and looked at the huge animal. Every muscle in him looked tense and ready to bolt out that door when needed. He was already saddled and ready, so I climbed on to him and fastened the pack so it wouldn’t fall off. As if he could feel the urgency of the situation, he barely made a noise as he walked toward the door. I pushed the door open enough for him to walk through and began to close it, but the door began to creak loudly. I let it go and urged the horse into a quick walk. I heard yells behind me, and heavy booted steps. The horse burst into a gallop, leaving the soldiers in the dust. He truly was fast, as well as agile. He worked his way around every dip and hill with ease as he worked his way to the surrounding forest. He veered to the right and rounded a small hill. Behind it was a trail that led off into the forest. As he ran swiftly down the path, the entirety of the situation hit me. The Barleys are putting their life on the line to get me out. How many more lives would this war claim before it came to an end? Time lost its meaning on that long journey. Whether it was hours or minutes, it didn’t matter. Time itself seemed to stop and go as it pleased. The only indicator I had was where the sun was above me; even then it was hard to tell. It was growing late when I finally stopped. The horse went from a trot to a complete stop in front of a quick running stream. I slid off of its back and took a drink. The horse quickly followed suit, much of him covered in sweat. I could see what Mrs. Barley meant by trying to get there. This river was both wide and deep and ran swiftly along the rocks. From the looks of it I may have to leave the horse on its own to find the way back. He nudged me and looked slightly fidgety. He looked very much like he wanted to run again, but I was so tired. I leaned against a tree and the horse lowered its head and fell asleep. It amazed me how much this horse could read a person. I sunk wearily to the ground and promptly fell asleep.

I awoke to nudging. I opened my eyes quickly and looked at the giant head of the horse. Every muscle was tense and he seemed to know something was wrong. He picked up my sack with his mouth and motioned to the saddle. I took the pack quickly and hopped on his back. Soon as I hit the saddle, he turned and began to trot at a swift pace. I quickly shook the grogginess out of me and listened to my surroundings. Despite the soft thumping of the hooves, I could hear some quick running boots coming along behind. I urged the horse into a gallop and he quickly obeyed. He suddenly veered off to the left, right into the stream. At first I thought he was mad, but I could see there was a shallow spot in the river. He crossed it with slight difficulty and nearly fell in once but we made it to the other side in one piece. As we galloped away, I turned around. A tall figure was standing on the other side of the river, hand on his sword. His cape flowed in the wind. He turned swiftly and walked away from the river and passed away from view. The constant drumming of hooves became dull as I quietly slipped into a restless sleep.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:33 am

I woke up with a start. I had nearly fallen off the saddle as the horse climbed up a rocky slope. I could see large towers in the distance. When I looked up at the sun, it was almost noonday. The horse was panting slightly, but he continued to push on. Over rock and hill he ran, it was only until I urged him to slow down did he break his pace. Even though he slowed his pace, no matter how much I urged him to stop he kept right on going. I was half afraid he would injure himself from exhaustion. He walked quickly past the quarries lining the large stone cliff side. The horse worked his way around the cliff and to the main road leading to the gate of the castle. There were may well traveled paths leading to this gate, it was wonderful knowing that ours was the one that wasn’t. He walked swiftly up through the gate and into the heart of the castle. The place was huge, stone walls seeming to reach up forever and people swarming around setting up market stand in the center courtyard. People milled about, barely paying attention as I passed by them. I tried to turn the horse in the direction of the stables, but he continued forward. He never stopped until he reached the front door leading into the massive building the lord used as his meeting hall. Two guards stood there in front of the door. They looked at each other and continued to look silently at me as I slid down from the horse. They quickly barred the way in when I began to walk closer, “State your business.” I managed a tired bow, “If it is not much trouble, I need to speak with the lord of this castle. It’s very urgent and concerns the safety of both this castle and those inside.” One guard coughed and quickly composed himself. The other glanced at him, fighting back a grin, “Listen lad, no one sees his lordship unless invited to do so. Even if your tale were true, no one has penetrated these walls in a hundred years, what makes you think that will change now?” I absentmindedly stroked the horse’s neck, he stamped his hoof on the ground in restlessness, “Because I have both witness and have been affected by what the Bleeding Flame can do…” The snickering soldier’s face went solemn, “The Bleeding Flame is no laughing matter lad, what can you tell us to confirm your story.” I gave them a quick recount of the giant, the masses of soldiers flooding our little army, and my recent journey here, to which they nodded slowly, “We will give you your audience, but he has pressing matters to attend to right now. And besides, you can’t see his lordship looking like that!” I looked at my hands, they were covered in filth. I brushed away a small bit, the skin beneath was completely healed. The guard motioned down the street, “Head to the stables, Matthew knows what to do, just mention the Barleys. Mr. Barley has been here before; I was slightly taken aback when I saw you riding his horse. There’s an inn beside Matthew’s stable you can get some food and wash up, heaven knows you need it.” I smiled slightly and thanked them. It didn’t take long to find the stables; Mr. Barley’s horse nearly dragged me there. A tall elderly man met me at the front of the stable, “Ah, good to see you again you magnificent beast.” He stroked the horse’s muzzle gently, “I’ll take it from here lad.” He threw me my pack and led the horse inside. I walked quickly to the inn by the stables. It was warm with the fireplace blazing in the center. A small lady greeted me, “Welcome! What can I get for ye?” “Just a meal and a place to wash up.” Her head bobbed up and down, brown curls acting very much like little springs, “Right, of course you do. You’re a bit dirty aren’t you? Let’s get you some good food and a place to wash up now shall we?” She led me quickly down a hall, talking the entire way; she seemed to enjoy her job very much. “Here you go. If you need anything else just say the word! I’ll see about getting a bit of food. That cooks needs something to do anyways! Never does anything but sit around and sleep, would serve him right to have a swift rap on the head!” She walked out hurriedly and closed the door behind her. The water was cold, but refreshing. It took no more than a few minutes before I was back out the door again. I walked down the hall and returned to the main lobby where the woman looked at me in surprise, “You’re a quick one aren’t ye. Hurry up Bill, we got a hungry one!” She hustled off through some swinging doors. She hurried back out the door again and gave me a large smile, “Go ahead in, he’ll be finished soon.” I walked cautiously through the still swinging doors. A heavyset man was standing at a large fire with a pot hanging over it. He stirred the contents absentmindedly and turned to me, “No wonder why she wants you to eat, you’re as thin as a twig lad.” He gave me a quick grin to show he was poking fun and turned back to his pot, “I hope ye like stew. Martha’s own recipe. She claims I make everything, but we both know better than that.” He gave a deep chuckle, his voice was very deep and his entire body moved when he laughed, “I’m better with a pan than a pot. Well don’t just stand there lad! Pull up a seat.” He motioned toward a stool. I grabbed it and sat beside the cook. The smell of the stew was absolutely wonderful. With surprising dexterity he snatched a bowl from his stack of dishes and put some stew in it, handing it to me. One bite and I could tell he wasn’t kidding, the stew was delicious. He chuckled at the look on my face and grabbed a bowl for himself, “I told ye. Best stew when the fall months come rollin’ round. Top of the harvest season too!” He took a large mouthful of the stew and muttered in pleasure. “You’re lucky ye came during the mid day, rarely anyone comes round during lunch hour. I was fixing myself this stew when Martha comes in a’hollerin’.” He chuckled to himself, “Good thing I can eat enough for two, eh?” He patted his stomach and took another large mouthful of stew. Martha walked into the room, “Not to hurry ye or anything but there’s a guard out here saying he sent some boy here. I take it that’s you?” I nodded and finished my stew quickly. I thanked Bill and followed Martha to the door. The guard from before nodded and motioned for me to follow. We walked in silence back to the meeting halls. When we got to the door he turned to me, “Do not speak until you are spoken and unless you are spoken to! His lordship is in a very… unfavorable mood.” The other guard nodded vigorously and opened his end of the door. I stepped inside and the doors closed behind me. Every footstep echoed in the hall as I worked my way to a larger pair of doors. I stood there hesitantly and then knocked on the doors, which swung open. The lord of the castle was sitting at a large table, his forehead resting in the palm of his hand. I stepped in and the doors closed behind me. He looked up and I gave a short bow. He nodded in acknowledgement and motioned for me to sit. I did so and we sat there in silence for what felt like an eternity. He muttered something and looked at me wearily, “What do you want boy. I’ve had a long day, it had better be important.” His voice was slightly harsh, he was obviously very tired. “I just came from the town east of here. The Bleeding Flame pushed our men back away from Ralith’s Basin and have worked their way to that town. I have reason to believe that they may be coming here to-“ He held up his hand and I fell silent, “You call this a problem? No… You were ill prepared, especially if your ‘men’ consisted of boys to the like of you. No, this is no problem. My men are highly trained soldiers, not a rag tag group of peasant farmers! I have little to worry about from the Bleeding Flame. Even if they did make it across the river, they would be no match for my military might. I’ve defeated them before; I know every tactic they have in store. Everything!” He fell silent for a moment, “Although, if this dispute continued my men would be too spread out to defend effectively…” He continued to talk to himself, completely oblivious to my sitting there. He stopped suddenly and looked at me, “Yes! That’s it. Listen boy, even if the Bleeding Flame isn’t a problem, I can’t have my men spread out too much. The neighboring castle has had a recent… disagreement about land boundaries and threatens to attack. If you really want to help, go to him, and give a message.” He quickly grabbed a quill and paper and hastily scribbled something on it. He folded it and sealed it with wax and his ring and handed it to me, “Take this to the lord of the neighboring castle. Tell him you were sent by lord Thoric and that I have a compromise. If all goes well, we will have nothing to worry about.” He leaned back in his chair, looking as if a great burden was lifted off his shoulders, “You came at a good time. This has lifted a great burden off of me. Make haste! Take any supplies you need for your journey and go quickly, there is little time. I do not know when he may strike against me.” He slid a shining object across the table and the guards made slight noises of surprise. It was a gold piece. I grabbed the piece and put it in my pouch. “Use it for whatever supplies you may need. Consider the leftovers as payment for your service to me.” I nodded and stood, “Thank you sir. I will not disappoint you.” He nodded, “Be sure you don’t!” He motioned for me to leave. I reached the doors and the guards were looking slightly jealous, after the doors were closed most of the way, I caught the whispers of one to another, “That’s more than we get paid!” It was indeed a great treasure; I had only seen copper and silver coins in my lifetime. This shining gold piece was certainly worth much more. I exited the halls, feeling both pleased and sad. Even though he had come up with a possible solution, he never let me tell him about the Bleeding Flame’s strength… I hope he was right in his judgment of their strength.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:19 am

The marketplace was full of people, all milling about the stands, bartering and making quite a commotion, it hurt my ears. I didn’t need much, the only things I really wanted was a good cloak, since it got chilly at night, a new belt, since mine was almost falling apart, and some food. I stopped by a weaver’s stand, her hands working needles back and forth quickly. She glanced up at me and nodded, then continued her needlework. There was a wide array of cloth gloves and other things folk would consider finery, but a cloak at the back of the stall caught my eye. She looked up at me, “A traveler?” She set her needlework to the side and brought out the cloak. It was very well made; its colors were dark brown with hints of green and gray. She handed it to me and nodded, “Should fit you nicely. If you don’t like the color I have others as well.” I shook my head, “No, this will work fine. What do I owe you for it?” She thought for a moment, “Three silver.” When I was a younger, Ian had bought a cloak similar to this one. He had bought it for half that price. She must have thought I was inexperienced. “One silver, thirty copper.” She raised an eyebrow and then grinned. “Two silver and that’s my final offer.” I nodded and handed her the gold piece. Her eyes widened in surprise, “Good golly, never thought I’d see one of these.” She rummaged around and pulled out a small handful of silver coins, placing them in my hand. She sat back down at her stool and continued her needlework in silence. I counted the coins quickly and placed most of them in my pouch, I placed four of them back on her counter, “You miscounted.” I walked away with the cloak in silence and I heard the slight clinking of money from behind me, “Honest lad… He’ll be going places.” I was grateful for the smaller change; it made paying for the food and the belt much easier than it had been for the cloak. I walked quickly back to the stable, my cloak on my back, food in my pouch, and a new belt to hold the still warped dagger. I carefully moved the sealed letter to a safer compartment of the pack. I stepped into the stable to find Matthew brushing Mr. Barley’s horse. He gave me a slight smile, “A good horse this one is. He’s already sayin’ he wants to run again! I’ve fed him and brushed him down.” He ran his hand down the horse’s back affectionately, “I hate to see him go already. Got a whiff that you’d be leaving soon so I saddled him up and he’s ready to go.” I smiled slightly, “You have big ears for a man who lives with his horses.” He burst out laughing, slightly startling the horse, “Sorry big fella’, didn’t mean to startle you.” He grinned at me, “Word gets around here fast. Also lad, a word of advice, you may want to tame that quick tongue of yours around certain people, some would take offense to that.” He held up his hand quickly, “I didn’t, but I’m just saying.” I nodded. I mounted and he nodded toward me, “Safe trip to you my friend.” I pressed two silver into his hand, “And a pleasant life to you. Until next we meet.” He nodded and walked to another horse’s stall as I urged the horse out of the stable. We walked out of the gate, with a friendly wave from the tailor lady, and approached the signs that marked the road. I groaned. The lord had never given me the name of the neighboring castle! I glanced down at the sign, ‘Kendron, two miles.’ Beneath that was slight scratch marks naming insults. I think that may be it, although they may want to change the sign after this is all over. I urged the horse onward, and he complied without question. William wasn’t kidding when he said the horse wanted to run. “I wish Mr. Barley would have told me your name.” I rubbed the horse’s neck and he shook his head slightly before continuing to run down the path. “I guess I could always name you, at least until I get you back to Mr. Barley.” I grinned slightly, remembering the strange creatures I had met, “How does Windrunner sound.” He bobbed his head slightly and continued running. The trip was relatively short, it was no wonder they were having land disputes, they were so close together! As we approached the city, it was obvious why lord Thoric was worried. This castle dwarfed its neighbor ten to one. It was heavily fortified with looming towers and a large moat surrounding. Guards patrolled the upper walls and watched me as I approached. There was some commotion and the drawbridge was lowered across the moat, giving me access. I slowed our pace down to a walk and entered. A guard stood in my path, “Welcome stranger, what brings you here.” Windrunner slowed to a stop, “I bring a message from lord Thoric to lord… er… the lord of this castle. He neglected to give me a name.” The guards smile vanished and his face took on a serious look, “I see… If you would dismount and follow me.” I slid off of Windrunner’s back and he was led off in a different direction. The guard led me to the all too familiar meeting halls, “Lord Aaron has been very impatient of late because of the recent squabbles. He is having a meeting with his war generals now, but this message takes precedence. Unless he says otherwise, simply state your purpose and give him the message. You do have the message, correct?” I pulled it out of my pouch and he nodded, “Good.” The doors swung open and he led me down a short hallway. The layout of this hall was very much like that of his neighboring castle. He opened a second door that showed lord Aaron and three generals crowding around a map moving small figures all over. The doors closed behind me, making a loud boom. Lord Aaron looked up in aggravation, “What is it, can’t you see I’m busy?” I gulped slightly, he was a very intimidating man, “I bring a message from lord Thoric. He says he has a compromise.” I walked up quickly and placed the letter in his outstretched hand. He muttered under his breath and opened the message hastily. His face went from simple aggravation to rage, “What kind of a fool does he take me for?! He is only giving me –half- of what I own already?!” He crumpled the paper in his hands and threw it into the fire, “I am a patient man… I have given him plenty of reasonable suggestions and time, and he returns with the bare minimum? That stubborn fool has kept my land from me long enough. If he refuses to give back the land he owes me in full, he will no longer be on the face of this planet.” His utter rage caused me to step back a few feet. He turned to me and his face softened slightly, “You are obviously new to this, because most of his messengers defend their lord. He has made a claim on –my- land. We had established boundaries long before he ever became lord of his ‘refuge.’ Out of greed he has killed people on that land, innocent blood, and took it for his own. At first it was minor, because it was a small piece of land, but when word reached me of the killings, he had gone too far. He has stolen much of my land, but now his greed will be the end of him… Go now, and pray when you give him my message he doesn’t take your head with it.” I nodded slightly and worked my way to the door. Aaron’s eyes seemed to pierce through my mind, seeming to invade my every thought. I quickly exited and pulled the cloak tight around me. The guard from before met me outside of the hall, “Well?” His face saddened when I looked at him, “Oh… It is no surprise his message was ill news. Tell me, what did lord Aaron say?” “He said that lord Thoric’s days were ending.” The guard frowned and nodded, “A pity is has to come to this, but we must do what we must do. Are you going back tonight?” I shook my head, “No, I am far too tired. Many things have happened today.” He glanced at my belt, “Did you travel weaponless this entire time?” I nodded slightly and his eyes narrowed, “It would figure he wouldn’t tell you about the bandits! A little dagger like that won’t do too much. Come, I’ll take you to the nearest inn and find you something suitable to defend yourself with.” He led me down the winding streets and to a very busy sounding inn. The minute he opened the door, the chatter from people filled my ears. The guard leaned close, “This inn doubles as a tavern. Gets kind of rowdy at times but you should get a good night’s rest none the less.” An averaged sized man with a balding head walked up to the guard and nodded. He handed him a key and the guard gave him a few pieces of silver. He led me down the hall and opened one of the doors. We walked inside and he threw me the key, “Take care not to lose it! It takes forever to get a new one made.” “You didn’t have to pay, let me at least pay for most of it.” I reached in my pouch and handed him half of what he had paid earlier. He nodded and pocketed the money, “You are nothing like Thoric’s people. They try to take every last piece out of your pocket.” I nodded slightly, “So I noticed… a woman tried to make me pay 3 silver for this cloak. Where I came from it was half that much.” He raised his eyebrows, “Actually that was a reasonable price to begin with! Whoever sold that to you must have been feeling generous.” I looked at him in surprise and looked at the cloak, “I would have never guessed… When I go back I will have to pay her what it’s worth.” The guard shook his head, “No, don’t do that! All offers are final and can’t be given back, or you may have her looked down upon. It’s a strange cycle but giving her the extra money would make her look like a bad merchant. In others’ eyes, it may make her look dishonest, which is very bad for business.” I frowned slightly, “Very well…” He looked me over quickly, “I’ll be back. I have to get some weapons for you to defend yourself.” He walked swiftly out of the door and closed it behind him. I lie on the mattress and almost immediately fell asleep.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:39 am

The door opened abruptly and the guard walked back in, carrying a small bundle. “Sorry, did I wake you? No matter, I have everything here. And don’t worry about payment; I got permission from lord Aaron to get these from the spare supplies.” He opened the bundle beside me on the bed and out fell a long sword, a longbow, and a small quiver. He looked at me and grinned, “It looked as if you had the eyes of an archer, so I figured you’d enjoy a bow.” He picked up the long sword and twirled it in his hands, “Made by our best blacksmiths, as are all of our weapons. It should suit you well.” He handed it to me and I took it, attaching it to my belt. He nodded, “I will leave you to get your much needed rest. And your horse has been taken to the stables on the other side of town, if you have trouble finding them just ask one of the guards. Farewell to you.” He walked out of the room without saying another word. I put the equipment on to the floor and lay back on the mattress, falling asleep once more.

A cool breeze flowed through the open window. I groaned slightly and closed it, it was still dark outside. Grabbing a quick bite to eat, I left the inn and stepped outside in the darkness, breathing in the cool air. There was still a slight commotion in the tavern, showing some late night travelers. I could barely see the light of the sun peeking over the hills in the distance. Make that some really early morning travelers. I went back inside and grabbed my equipment, then, making my way across town, worked toward the stables, or where I thought they were. After wandering for a good thirty minutes, I finally asked a guard. He pointed to the building down the street. Brilliant, a few more seconds and I would have found it myself. I walked into the stables to find a young man sitting on the stool, fast asleep. I walked past him in silence and quickly found Windrunner. He stamped his feet and pushed against the door. I opened it for him and he walked out quickly. As I put the saddle on him, the young man stirred and looked at me. His eyes widened and he stood quickly, grabbing a large stick. I held up my hands quickly in reassurance, “I was just coming for my horse, no need to go swinging that thing at me.” He relaxed slightly and nodded, “How do I know it’s yours?” “He was brought here yesterday by a guard because a messenger came. That messenger was me, and I have come to take my horse back. And besides, no other horse would act this friendly around a stranger.” The man nodded and set the ‘club’ back down, “Very well. Seeing you have already found and saddled him, I will accept you story.” He sat back down on the stool and promptly fell back asleep. I shook my head and got on Windrunner. He walked out of the stables and made his way back to the gated drawbridge. The two soldiers there nodded at me and began to open the gates, “Be careful out there. Early morning is when evil is desperate for some fun.” I nodded and began my swift journey to Thoric’s Refuge.

I took one last look at the large castle as we traveled into the grasping shadows of the forest. Lord Aaron picked a very good position for his castle. That was obvious. All around was fertile soil, and nearby a forest for wood, and a stream relatively close by. All around were well traveled roads, making it an optimal trade route rest stop. Despite my wandering thoughts, the darkness of the forest unnerved me. The morning light was hidden by trees, making it a very dark place, with many leaves on the trees, all beginning to change color because of the cooler weather. I became uneasy, and it was obvious Windrunner was the same. I silently put my hand on the hilt of my sword. Windrunner went from a trot to an outright gallop, nearly throwing me off the saddle. I could hear quick feet keeping pace beside and somehow, above us. I made the fatal mistake of looking up, only to feel myself smacked off of the saddle. I fell with a thud and darkness covered my eyes.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by surrenderforever on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:56 am

I don't know if it's because it's not in the regular paragraph form, or if its just me, but it seems to me that you go from one "topic" to another too quickly; maybe have more sensory details in order to flow from one part to another? Other than that, it's pretty good.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:11 am

I know it jumps from topic to topic quickly, maybe a bit too quickly, but the speed of events becomes a crucial role in the main characters life. I will admit it goes too quickly for my taste, but I am horrible with fillers, lol. Besides, this is a veryrough draft, it was mainly to get ideas down =)
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:48 am

I woke to the sound of guttural mutterings and loud crunching and smacking sounds. My eyes focused slowly and I looked around me. Both of my hands were tied, as so were my feet, at least to an extent. I looked at a short, ugly creature staring off into the distance, muttering to himself and rubbing his stomach, “Want meat… Horse meat! No, watch filthy human.” He smacked his lips together, “Me get first bite. Other goblin don’t touch until I do. Grr, so hungry. Want meat now!” He twisted his head at me and I closed my eyes hastily, acting unconscious. He muttered, “Need to wait… must wait… horse meat tough. Fleshling much tastier. Yesss… but hungry…” His stomach audibly growled. I disguised my voice and kept it down to a whisper, making it sound much like his mutterings, “Eat. Human asleep. He won’t wake. Must eat.” The goblin looked around in surprise and nodded slowly, a devious grin creeping onto his face, “I eat, human not wake! Too weak to wake. Haha! Eat!” He ran away quickly. I sat up quickly and felt a slight wave of nausea when I realized what ‘horse’ they were talking about. I quickly kicked off the sloppily tied ropes around my feet. My weapons and food were strewn about. Considering my hands were tied, literally, I simply began to walk away quickly. There was no way I’d be able to get something to defend myself without making a commotion. Who knows how many goblins there may be! There was high pitched yelping and cries of surprise and anger. I began to run as fast as I could, nearly tripping over a root in my hurry. I looked around for a moment and realized I was running into a large ditch. It was too late to turn back now. I looked forward again stopped quickly as I nearly ran right into a stone boulder. I looked around quickly and realized I was in the entrance to a cave, but it was blocked off by this boulder. I looked at the boulder quickly and saw two small, round disks with symbols on them and writing beside it. ‘Entrance to a great treasure inside. Figure out my riddle, and begin this wild ride!’ Not giving it another thought, I looked quickly at the two disks. They have 6 symbols on each of them. Beneath them were two levers. I quickly pulled one and the disks both rotated, the left clockwise three clicks, the right counterclockwise two clicks. When they turned, some symbols on the walls showed, matching those on the wheels. Only five of them were showing though, a small v was the only symbol missing. I continued to pull the levers, when some of the symbols matched, they shone. With one more pull of the lever, the symbols matched, as well as the two v’s pointing toward one another. The boulder rumbled suddenly and it split down the middle, opening wide. I heard crashing behind me and I ran through the door, which closed promptly behind me. I could hear cries of pain and anger as there were loud smacking noises against the door. I didn’t wait to see if goblins were smart enough to figure out the puzzle. I quickly ran down the dark halls, smacking into bumps in the floor and ceiling. Small lights shone in the distance. I quickly ran toward the light and slashed my ropes binding my hands using a sharp piece of rock. I saw water running down the side of the cave. Suddenly, I could feel my mouth was very dry. I quickly drank some water, it was very refreshing. I whacked my head off of the ledge above me when a loud echoing voice boomed through the cavern. It was slightly crazed in sound, “Ha ha ha! Well looky here. Someone daring enough to try my tests. What brings you here? Lust for money? Glory? Or- there’s goblins outside my door! Goblins! HA! You were running?! HAHAHA! Well it’s a little late now. You need to continue through. Hopefully you live longer than the poor saps that tried before.” There was a clicking noise and the voice stopped. I looked around and found more writing, ‘A well deserved drink, a pity it may very well be your last. Good luck, you will need it!’ Luck? We’ll see about that.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:47 am

This man was obviously a mechanical genius. I had encountered at least five other puzzles, all relatively easy, that resulted in a dramatic moving of stone. I was pleased with myself. I was safe from the goblins, and I was mastering these puzzles like they were nothing. I was walking swiftly down the path when the crazed voice echoed through the cave once more, “So you think you’re so smart. Bah. You’ve only scratched the surface! Oh, and a little warning, I’ve had a slight bug problem lately, you may want to watch your step!” He laughed maniacally and that all too familiar click sounded. I was wondering what he meant when I heard a skittering noise. In the dim light I could see a large bulge forming in the distance. I quickly pressed myself hard against the side when a beetle the size of the tunnel came barreling down the passage. It passed, barely touching me and the voice cackled, “I warned you!” I ran down the hallway quickly and pressed against the wall again when I heard that skittering noise coming from behind me once more. The beetle was rolled into a ball now and was acting very much like a large boulder, smashing down the slanted cave floor. It actually seemed to be having fun. I ran quickly behind it, barely managing to keep up. It slid to a stop suddenly in front of a crack in the wall, and then turned around. It clicked its large mandibles together and began to climb its way back up the slope, nearly running me over. I ran quickly to the crack in the wall and tried to squeeze myself through. The voice cackled again, “Such a tiny little crack in the wall, can the tiny little person fit? He may want to move quickly, for the roly poly comes back soon!” I could already hear the rumbling as the beetle began its quick descent. I frantically tried to push my way through, and then saw a small tunnel to the side, hidden. I quickly pulled out of the crack and dived through the tunnel as the beetle crashed into the crack in the wall. I waited for my heart to stop pounding and continued through the tunnel. It was cramped, but larger than the crack in the wall. I finally emerged on the other side and saw bones littered on the floor. I quickly made my way to the shadows and hid there. After a minute I began to creep forward, hoping I wouldn’t wake whatever creature was here. I was caught by surprise when a large stone ‘log’ swung from the ceiling at me. I rolled to the side and lay flat on my stomach. It passed by me with a great whooshing noise. I stood up and ran quickly, then dived to the side again when I heard the stone coming back for a second round. It passed by me and suddenly I saw numerous arrows fly out of nearly unnoticeable holes in the wall. Luckily I was low enough on the ground to avoid getting poked full of holes. Adrenaline coursed through me and I stood to run again. I could see the arrows begin their flight out of the holes once again, but they seemed to be moving in slow motion. I jumped quickly and avoided most of them, batting aside those that would have hit me. Another stone log came swinging behind me. Using this new advantage, I ran quickly from it, and then jumped. I planted my feet firmly on the front of the log and used its momentum to propel me forward. I jumped off and was sent flying. I had over jumped and nearly ran head first into a wall. It was slanted enough I simply ran along it until my feet finally touched the ground. The adrenaline rush wore off and I suddenly felt very weary. It was hard to breathe and my hard was pounding in my head. I continued on in exhaustion, using the wall as support. The voice came booming down the cavern, in mock pity, “Oh so the great runner is all tired? Too bad so sad. Look on the bright side, you aren’t full of holes or smashed against a wall! Ha!” Whoever he was, he was getting –very- annoying. He has taunted me over and over. I sighed and continued down the passage, regaining my strength. If he wanted to play rough, I’ll simply play harder. I continued on in silence, grateful for the lack of traps. I could hear the sounds of people and walking in the distance. Strange. I picked up speed and rounded a corner, only to find about ten makeshift huts with some people milling about, collecting moss and mushrooms and talking quietly to one another. They stopped suddenly and looked at me and began talking in hushed tones. A man walked up to me, talking quietly to a woman beside him, “I know he’s not injured… Yes, I can see- Yes- Will you- …” The woman fell silent and looked at me, then walked silently back to the circle of huts. The man shook his head and gave me a slight bow, “It’s not very often a new one comes, let alone survives the traps. Where do you come from? And why don’t you have anything to defend yourself with?” “I guess you could say I’ve come from many places. My weapons were taken from me by goblins… they were finishing what was left of my horse when I began to run, and worked my way to this cave. I didn’t give second thought to the writing and simply solved the puzzle and ran inside, since the goblins were on my tail.” The man nodded slowly and had a slight look of surprise, “You should hear some of the stories of the others. Most of them have fairly dull stories but there are a few interesting ones. I was told the legend of this cave and the great treasures it and, like many others, was foolishly lured into his trap.” He motioned for me to follow and he led me to the huts, “Come, we’ve collected food and water over the years. We’ve learned to survive in this death trap.” “Why are you here in the first place?” “Oh yes… well… this town was here for many years, it was first started by three adventurers who were stumped by the puzzle ahead, and anyone who could not figure it out, came back to here to stay. No one has ever come back to tell us the answer to the puzzle, we can only assume they were either killed or forced to continue. But that is beside the point for now; you’re tired and probably hungry. Come, join us, we finished collecting for now, it’s time to eat.” He led me to a large hut. Inside about twelve people were crowded around a large makeshift table. The people there ranged anywhere from professional looking soldiers to farmers, how they managed to get past the arrows I’ll never know. Around the tables were dwarves, elves, and humans alike, most of them male, although there were about three women there. The women were mostly silent during the meal, but it was obvious they ranked the same as the men, because they treated one another as equals. They must have high respect for those who pass the last test. Despite the fact we were eating moss and mushrooms, it actually tasted fairly good. A man beside me spoke between mouthfuls, “Took months of trial and error to get these right, I pity the ones who ate the poison mushrooms. Good thing that won’t happen again.” The moss and mushrooms suddenly looked much less appetizing than they did before. The woman beside him nudged him hard and he coughed slightly as he nearly choked on a mushroom, “Keep up those stories Ryan and you won’t need a mushroom to kill you. Don’t listen to a word he says, he never seems to learn to keep his mouth shut.” Ryan chuckled slightly and continued eating his small meal. A man at the head of the table stood and clapped his hands together twice, the room fell silent, “If you haven’t already noticed, somebody new has entered this insane labyrinth. As you can tell by his being alive, there is more to him than meets the eyes. The best of luck to you my friend in learning the next puzzle, and if you fail like we have, you are always welcome here.” The others muttered their agreement. I nodded and managed a quiet thanks, I hated being the center of attention… I finished my meal quickly and left the building. The man that had announced my arrival walked up behind me, “I had no intention of embarrassing you, know that, but if you plan on leaving so soon, take this with you.” He handed me a sword by his side, “It hasn’t failed me yet, and I hope you may be able to put it to good use. Just don’t try using it on any beetles, it does not work.” He pointed at a slightly dull spot on the blade and he grinned slightly, “I haven’t had anything to hone it with, maybe you’ll get lucky.” I nodded my head, “Thank you sir. If all goes well I may never see you again. If I somehow find a way back here or manage to write the answer on the walls, I will try my best.” He nodded, “Good luck to you. Although I doubt you will get through, I only know of four that made it.” I thanked him and walked off in silence.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:53 am

The tunnel seemed to stretch on forever; I was beginning to wonder what the man was talking about. There was no puzzle here, at least none that I could see. I heard frustrated yelling in the distance, “Oh come on! Wait, don’t reset- Hey!” I rounded the corner and saw a relatively short woman walking around, looking at the floor and at some strange pillars that were consumed in light. That voice cackled, “Spin the floor, and spin the tile. Make the lights match, and finish my trial! Spin them too slowly, and as you well know, they reset themselves, so go go go!” The woman yelled at the ceiling, “Be quiet you crazy old man! I’ll figure out this puzzle if it kills me!” The voice cackled, “Oh, we got a spunky one! Hehe, keep it up, you may finally figure it out after another five hours!” She stomped in frustration and began laboriously turning tiles on the floor. She turned a tile near one of the four pillars in the room, each one reaching a corner. It was a fairly large room we were in; an arrow shot’s length if you shot it straight ahead. She continued to move the tiles, which I found was partially easy, all she had to do was stomp on them, which explained why she did it so often. As she continued to turn the tiles, I could see they had little ‘pipes’ drawn on them, and when they matched up with the light, it would appear to travel through them. She had nearly finished one pillar when they suddenly spun around and reset. She yelled in frustration, “Come on!” She looked up and saw me standing there. She fell silent and continued to turn the tiles, finishing two pillars until they reset themselves. She sighed and walked over to a wall. She turned around and leaned on it, waving her hand in exasperation for me to try. I walked to the center pillar, which was unlit. All around it were four openings, that was where all the light from the other pillars were supposed to go. I stepped on the four corner pieces so that they matched up with the center pillar and waited a little while. Surprisingly they didn’t move. I continued to work my way out in the same fashion. I was about halfway when they reset themselves again. The woman pushed herself off of the wall and watched me with interest as I tried once again, getting that same distance. It seemed that as long as I worked my way in a circular pattern, they didn’t reset, until I reached halfway. She snapped her fingers and ran to the outer pillars, “I’ll go the opposite way you are, maybe that will work.” At the halfway point I stopped and watched her continue to move the tiles, one at a time, until we were almost next to each other. She had an excited glint in her eyes. I finally got a good look at her; she had slightly curly brown hair and light brown eyes to match. She also had small points of her ears sticking out of here hair. Something I haven’t seen yet, an excited elf, usually they’re all quiet. We both looked at the last tile that needed to turn. She was trembling in excitement and looked at me, nodding. We both stomped on the tile and the light flooded into the center pillar, shining bright on to the ceiling. The whole room was illuminated, making it hard to see. Suddenly the floor begins to shake and it falls out from under us. We landed –hard- on a stone floor below. The tiles seemed to shatter all around us. There was a muttering echo and that all too familiar voice sounded once more, “Well well… so you are smarter than you look. Congratulations… I suggest you keep moving if you ever want to get out though. These walls have the notorious habit of crushing those between them.” He laughed maniacally and the shattered tiles flew back up the hole in the ceiling, obviously to reset themselves for the puzzle. I helped the woman to her feet and we began to run down the hallway. Just as we started running, the walls began to close in around us. The woman looked around quickly and helped me run faster, using her elven speed to her advantage. I looked up, “Jump up above! There’s a ledge above the walls!” She glanced up and nodded. She jumped up quickly and I followed. We squeezed ourselves between the ceiling and the top of the wall, managing to make the curved ceiling like a small tunnel. The walls smashed together with a resounding boom and we continued to crawl along the makeshift tunnel. We finally reached the end of the crushing walls and crawled into a normal sized tunnel. The woman looked at me and nodded, “Thank you, for everything.” She extended her hand in a friendly gesture, “I’m Inwë.” We quickly shook hands, “I’m Brendan.” We continued on in silence, watching the walls and ceilings for any hidden traps. The silence was awkward but the company was very much appreciated. “So what made you decide to try this… puzzle?” She looked slightly surprised at the sound of my voice, but regained her composure quickly, “I’d rather not say. How about you, what brings you here?” “Being chased by goblins who want to eat me alive.” She grinned, “You sound so casual about that.” I shrugged and continued on in that awkward silence. I guess it was awkward because I was so used to traveling alone, now someone is here and they barely even talk. The voice sounded out of nowhere, making dramatic noises, “Dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun. Watch all around! The creatures be coming for ye!” His fake pirate voice was incredibly annoying, but we had barely any time to think about it when everything around us began to move. Blades suddenly jutted out of the ground and walls and started spinning around. Some blades followed the circular design of the tunnel, while others ran the length of the tunnel. Inwë jumped back as one of the blades flew at her, stopping just short of her. I looked down at the floor and saw grooves in the floor. That must be where the blades follow. Inwë glanced at me, “That man truly is mad!” I nodded, “Let’s wait here a moment, maybe we can find a pattern that will be the easiest way though.” The blades moved about very quickly, making it hard to see them, but slow enough it wasn’t unreasonable to get by. There were three blades that ran across the floor of the tunnel, but they each came at a different time. By the time one blade reached us, the second was halfway down the track it was on, and the third at the other end. That pattern was fairly easy to dodge; the hard part would be avoiding the ones running along the ceiling as well as the floor. There were three, just as the blades running across the floor, but they were spread out along the length of the passage. Inwë nodded and motioned for me to stay, “Do what I do, I think I got it.” I was about to say something but she had already bolted off. Soon as one blade touched the edge of its track, she began running behind it, managing to stay right with it. When she reached the first circular running blade, she simply dived through the opening in the middle, which proved to work very well. When the blade to her right passed her, she switched tracks and began running along that one. She repeated this pattern until she was across to the other side. I could already feel butterflies in my stomach. She had made it look easy but I knew better. I breathed deeply to calm my nerves. Inwë motioned for me to come, “It’s not that hard. Just do what I did!” I nodded and waited for the first blade to reach me. It touched the edge and I began to run, surprising myself with the speed I was running, I could have nearly caught the blade. I quickly jumped over the circular running blade and switched to the second track. I had nearly got caught by the blade, my mind was wandering. I concentrated hard on the timing of the next jump. I quickly jumped and cleared the second circular blade and switched tracks, I could hear the third blade just touch the edge at the other end. I switched tracks quickly and jumped over the last circular running blade and nearly plowed into Inwë, who caught my hand and kept me from flying into the wall, “I told you it wasn’t that hard.” She grinned slightly and I nodded, feeling slightly sick to the stomach and breathing hard, “That man… really likes big and deadly.” Her face grew solemn and she nodded, “Rest for a minute, you don’t look too well. I’ll search ahead real quick.” She ran ahead. She had been gone no more than ten second when she was back, “If you’re up to it, there’s a small trickle of water ahead. I don’t know about you but I could use a drink.” I nodded and stood and we walked quickly to the water. It was very refreshing. Inwë drank some directly from the stream, but then pulled out a small water skin, filling it full, “Who knows when we’ll find some next.” I nodded and stood from my drink. Inwë looked at me oddly, “Aren’t you going to fill yours?” I shook my head, “Goblins took everything. I can’t exactly pull a water skin from thin air. The only reason I have a sword is because a man from that town lent it to me.” She nodded slowly and threw me hers, “I can last longer without than you can, I’ll see if I can find another from the ‘deceased.’” I shivered slightly, I had only seen scattered shadows out of the corner of my eyes, but I never actually went to explore them. We continued on in silence, completing the few puzzles in our way. Luckily they were easy. That man may be crazy, but we were grateful all of his puzzles weren’t death traps. Inwë had found another small water skin from a pile of armor in the corner; we split the water between the two sacks. We hadn’t even given the thought that there was armor in the corner until a hammer nearly smashed us into the floor, “Well, I think he’s back to his tricks again.” Inwë nodded and rolled past before the hammer could come down again. I followed quickly behind. I could feel the wind of the hammer smashing down again, nearly crushing me. Inwë frowned, “Got to be quicker than that.” “Well I wasn’t exactly moving slow.” She shrugged and continued. We entered a large room, seemingly empty. Inwë looked around cautiously, “I’m not liking this.” “Agreed.” We walked quietly to the center of the room, every footstep echoing. There was that cackling laugh again, “Echo, echo, everything echo. Don’t you just love big rooms? They seem so empty! Let’s fill them with something, shall we? Maybe some friends to come out and play?” The entire room began to rumble and each of the four corners began to crumble to dust. Out of the dust came four very large, human looking statues, each wielding a giant two handed sword. “Statues? What does he expect to do with-“ The rumbling intensified and there was a glow in the eyes of the statues. They began to move in very lifelike motions, no jerky movements as you would expect from something so large. They moved with a grace that was terrifying. Each of them turned toward us, reminding me very much of the giant from before, only they moved a bit faster. “Spread apart! There’s no way we’re going to do damage against stone!” She nodded quickly and ran between the legs of one. It swung its sword quickly and nearly took out its own legs. “That’s it! Just like before! Make them hit one another!” I quickly ran between two of the statues. They both swung their swords, dealing a large amount of damage to one another’s legs. Inwë began to jump up to the torso of one of the statues. The statue nearest her began to bring down its arm. “Jump!” She quickly jumped to the side, just in time to avoid a devastating blow from the statue beside her. The first of four statues tumbled to the ground and shattered. I jumped to the side quickly as one of the statues brought their sword down on top of me. It smashed into the ground and I began to run up it. It brought its fist down on top of me, or at least it tried to. I jumped off but the force of the fist hitting the arm of the statue threw me off balance and sent me sprawling. I rolled onto my back and drew my relatively small long sword as the giant stone sword came down on me. I planted both feet against the flat of the bladed and braced myself. The sword came down with tremendous force; putting a large dent in the blade and making my legs feel numb. The giant brought up its sword for another swing, but was smashed by the blade of another giant, thanks to Inwë jumping from statue to statue. Two statues down, two to go. I quickly stood and Inwë and I looked at one another. She nodded and began to climb the third statue, and I grabbed the attention of the fourth. It came running toward me quickly. I then pointed at the third statue, indicating Inwë. I saw the third statue getting ready to swing at me as the fourth wound up to do the same. I jumped onto the torso of the fourth statue and jumped off again when the third statue swung. Inwë jumped off the head of the third statue as the fourth did the same. We both landed and watched as the now half cut and headless statues fell to the ground. Inwë grinned, “And that, is how you destroy a statue. Not that I ever expected to, but hey.” I nodded, “I think the fact they were moving might have hinted to that-“ The stone pieces began to rumble and swirl around the room, blinding us. The dust finally settled to show all four statues compiled together into one giant statue. It had one head, human like it had before, but instead of two arms, it had eight, each one at a different point on its torso. Each of the hands held the swords they had before, only they seemed to be much larger. It just stood there, each of the blades at an angle that looked very much like wings. It looked at us and began to shift and move. We both rolled out of the way but it made no hostile movements. Its first sword touched the ground, the second on its arm, the third on that arm, and so on, making a large ramp up to its head. Above its head formed a large hole with the grinding of stone and down came what looked like a ladder. I walked up to the first sword and looked up at the head of the giant. Both of its eyes were closed, though I could still see the faint glow behind them. I began cautiously working my way up the bladed ramp. Luckily the flats of the blade were down, but the angle was steep, making it a difficult climb. By the time we had reached the top, we were out of breath, had slid down the blades almost falling off twice, and tripped at least four times. I helped Inwë climb up the head and we looked at the ladder. It was too high to jump up, but not so high it was impossible. There was nothing we could use to go higher, we were so close yet so far. “Do you think you could get me up there? As soon as I grab it, you can use me as an extension and pull yourself up.” Inwë nodded slightly, “I could, but we’d only have one shot. If we miss you might fall.” She was right, if I slipped, my fall would make me slide off of the giant’s head. I looked back up at the ladder, “We don’t have much of a choice. I don’t see any other way to get up there unless the statue itself looks up, but I don’t think that is happening any time soon.” She nodded slightly, “Alright… Just be careful.” She cupped her hands together and I put a foot in them. She struggled slightly at first but was surprisingly strong and continued to lift, “Ready? I need you to jump when I do. That should get you high enough.” I nodded and she ducked down a little, as did I. “One, two, three!” She pushed up and I did the same. The momentum of the push made me feel like I was flying, it had much more power behind it than I had expected. I wormed my way to the side to prevent getting hit my head on the ceiling and slipped through the hole, grabbing the ladder. I climbed down to the bottom rung and let my feet hang, “Well, it’s strong enough to hold the both of us. Come on up.” I could feel a slight pull as she grabbed my feet for support, but it was a mere few seconds before she was already above me. “You move fast enough.” She grinned, “I’ve had practice.” She climbed on in silence, reached the top well before I did. I finally emerged at the top and was met by a surprising amount of light. Everywhere it was shimmering and shining, multiple colors of light shining on the walls. Beams of light came from the ceiling, scattering in all directions and landing on the crystals on the walls and ceilings, making the colorful light show. There was a small trickle of water running around the crystals and fading into the distance, it shimmered in the bright light. It had a nearly mesmerizing effect. Inwë seemed nearly stunned by the light; she looked around following the constantly shifting colors, “They’re beautiful.” I nodded, “Hidden beauty for dark times.” She glanced at me, “Well said…” I frowned, “If only there were some way to keep this beauty.” She nodded slowly, “We may not be able to bring it with us, but it will be in our memories.” I nodded and forced my legs to move away from the hypnotizing sight. Inwë followed behind, it was obvious she was also reluctant to leave the sight. We walked on in silence, Inwë looking very much like she was deep in thought. I heard a clicking noise and I quick pulled Inwë back as a blade nearly cut the two of us in half. Inwë looked surprised for a moment and then looked at me and nodded, “We need to remember where we are, this is no child’s game.” I nodded and rolled past the blade, Inwë close behind. Inwë motioned toward the sword, “What do you plan on doing with that, it’s practically useless.” I looked down at it, “As long as it is in one piece, it’s still useful.” We continued in silence, “Thank you.” She raised her eyebrow, “For what?” “For saving my hide back there, I was very nearly crushed by the statue’s blade.” She nodded slightly, “What are friends for? You saved my life, twice.” She considered me a friend? That was an honor considering the situation, but slightly odd. She stopped for a moment, “It’s late, I can feel it. It’s time we rested.” The minute she said that, I could already feel by body aching for rest and my mind became slightly hazed. It must have been late. We moved to the wall and sunk down wearily. Inwë threw me a piece of bread and took a bite out of hers, “It’s not much but it’s all we have.” I nodded and thanked her and quickly ate some. I saved the rest for later and leaned back against the wall, “It amazes me we did in one day what the others couldn’t in four years…” She nodded, “They were overconfident in themselves. They became discouraged and simply gave up. I don’t think they even tried to move on after that first attempt. I wonder if the other four made it out…” I nodded and leaned my head against the wall, “I don’t know, but I hope they did.” She nodded slightly and fell silent. The constant dripping of nearby water drummed in my head as I slowly faded into an exhausted sleep.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:43 am

Everywhere was darkness. I could hear that maniacal laughing echoing in my ears. Sudden lights blinded me and I was in a room, an old man standing on a ledge above the floor. He laughed and pulled a lever, opening holes in the walls. Out crawled hungry looking wolves, snapping and growling at me. I could feel someone behind me and saw that Inwë was also there, holding a sword. I was also wielding mine, as dented as it was. One of the wolves jumped and instinct took over. I drove the hilt of my blade up and smacked the wolf in the jaw. The fighting went well at first, but they seemed to grow menacing in size. The man was rolling on the ledge laughing and pointing. I could hear Inwë yell in pain and I turned for a split second only to be met in the face by a wolf’s mouth. Then, darkness.

I woke up with a start. The lights from down the path shimmered dimly, casting weird shadows. I shook my head and stood, almost smacking against the ceiling. I walked in silence around the cavern, getting the stiffness out of my neck and legs. Inwë was still curled up into a ball, sleeping soundly. I sat back down and nibbled on what bread I had left. Why do these nightmares keep haunting me? First, the hooded man, and now, death of a… friend. Images of the first man I saw killed up close flashed into my mind. His eyes of fear, confusion, and pain, the last bit of life fading from him. I shivered slightly and Inwë stirred. She looked up at me and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, “You don’t sleep long. And I thought I woke up early.” She stretched and stood, already wide awake. So that’s how they’re never caught off guard, they sleep lightly and wake up instantly. I stood and put the bread in a pouch. She took a quick drink from her water skin and began to quickly walk down the passage. I followed behind; although slightly less easily since her steps were so quick. She glanced back and slowed down, “I keep forgetting humans walk slower.” We walked on in silence. I was still playing my dream over in my head when we reached a large door. “Well that’s new.” She nodded and pushed against it, but it didn’t budge. We both pushed, and still, nothing. “Look! It’s like the puzzle where we met. There’s light at the four corners.” She nodded, “But there are no pipes for the light to go through.” I experimentally pushed on the door again and saw faint light as I lifted my hand off. The light stayed there for a second then vanished. I quickly drew my finger across the door from the pillar of light to the center of the door. It stayed there for a split second then vanished, sending a shock into me. “Ow!” The voice laughed, “Ha! Shocking, isn’t it?” Inwë muttered something under her breath then looked carefully at the puzzle, “Should we try the same thing we did before?” “No, he wouldn’t be that obvious.” She nodded, “True.” She ran her finger experimentally across the door, getting the same shock I did. She waved her hand around, “How on earth are we figuring this one out?” Inwë tapped the door, causing points of light to burst out. I pushed the center piece of the door and it began to glow. Suddenly, two streaks of light flashed to two of the pillars and then everything was dark again. I ran my fingers along the paths the streaks of light took. The light continued to glow brightly and the center flashed again, shooting out two more streaks of light. Inwë followed these two streaks, causing the center to flash again. This time, one point of light left the center and began to spin around the door frame. It stopped and quickly reversed direction, copying the same pattern we had used to solve the puzzle from before. Inwë smiled slightly and put her finger where she started with the floor version. I put my finger in the center and we both began to circle around, having to take our fingers off occasionally to prevent from running into one another. We met in the center and the door shook violently. It rumbled to the side and opened to another large room, no surprise there. The only thing different, was that instead of being empty, it was full of statues holding mirrors. The voice chuckled slightly, “I figured you had enough of ‘life games.’ Now for something a bit easier. You’ve gotten this far, you can figure it out soon enough.” A beam of light shot from the ceiling and hit the mirror in the center, reflecting it toward one of the walls. Inwë and I looked at each other, “At least there’s nothing to threaten our life this time.” I nodded fervently and we walked to the mirror the beam of light was next to, “It looks like we can’t move them, but the mirror is backwards, maybe we can turn them?” We quickly turned the statue so that the mirror reflected the light beam off too another statue. Inwë and I split up and began turning statues around, catching the beam of light and sending it different directions. Inwë pointed to one of the walls, “Over there! There’s a hole in the wall. Maybe we need to make the light shine in there?” She ran over to the statue perfectly lined up with it and turned it so that when the light shone on it, it would shine into that hole. The only problem was, no matter what statue we turned, the light would not go where we wanted it to go. “Let’s follow the light backwards. Maybe we can see which way we need to turn the statues then.” She nodded and we began to trace the steps from the hold in the wall, to each of the statues. As it turned out, we had one statue turned the wrong way so it was shining onto a different statue than the one we wanted. We quickly turned it and the light bounced off of the mirrors, and into the hole. At first nothing happened, but suddenly the entire room began to shake and the wall itself lifted off the ground, revealing a stairway leading down. Inwë ran ahead and motioned for me to come. I just started to run when the wall began to close. Inwë yelled, “Run for it!” “I’m trying!” I put every last ounce of energy I had into running before the door closed on me. It was already too low to simply run through, so I dove. I could feel Inwë’s hands grabbing mine and pulling me the rest of the way through, just before the door slammed into the ground. I leaned against the wall to catch my breath, “So much for not life threatening.” The voice cackled, “The puzzle wasn’t. I just didn’t expect you to go through the door separately, it’s rigged to close after one person, you just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite a show though!” Inwë glared in the direction of the voice and continued walking slowly. I followed quietly behind. My thoughts drifted to the goblins, “You never did say how or why you came here.” She looked back and me and nodded slightly, “I will tell you when we get out of here…” I nodded; I guess it is best if we did focus on what was at hand. We continued to walk on in silence, encountering nothing but simple puzzles along the way. The puzzles continued to get more complex, each taking longer and longer to solve. I was beginning to think that if I learn any more combinations for all these puzzles, my brain would explode! And I thought the lessons Ian gave me were difficult. By the time we had reached the thirtieth puzzle, our patience was spent along with every ounce of brain power we had left. The voice laughed, “A bit tired are we? Take a rest. No tricks this time, but behind this door is a physically exhausting test. I would hate to have to kill you simply because you could barely hold your head up straight!” I looked up at where the voice was coming from. Did he actually sound like he had pity for us? Inwë sat on the floor without another word and leaned against the wall, “Whether he said it or not, there is no way I can figure out that puzzle right now.” I nodded and sat on the opposite side of the wall, “We made good progress today. We deserve a rest.” The words were barely out of my mouth when I noticed her head was on her knees and she was breathing softly. I grinned slightly and leaned back against the wall, gratefully accepting the much needed sleep.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:22 am

My stomach growled. I rolled onto my back and opened my eyes slowly. The ceiling looked weird, or was that just my eyes? I rubbed my eyes and sat up. My stomach growled again and Inwë stirred. She looked up at me and grinned slightly, “Well, at least I don’t have to wake you up.” She sat up and pulled out another small loaf from her pack. She split it in half and handed me some, “This is the last I have, hopefully we make it out soon or we’ll have to start experimenting with the moss and mushrooms. Only thing is, I haven’t seen either of them.” I nibbled on the piece of bread and looked at the large puzzle beside us. I quickly shoved the rest of the bread in my mouth and stood, looking at the puzzle, “We must have been tired, this one is obvious. Look, doesn’t it look just like the puzzle for when you first get into the cave?” She stood and nodded, “It does; only there are three wheels now and three levers.” She pulled one of the levers and the wheels shifted, the first one clockwise one click, the second counterclockwise two clicks, and the third three clicks clockwise. There were four symbols, much less than there were before, but the fact we had to get all three of them matched up would be difficult. We continued pulling levers, usually getting one wheel matched while the other two were still out of sync. I pulled the one in the middle and they all shifted right, “As long as we can get the pattern right, we can move them so that they fit with that lever.” She nodded and we quickly matched up the three wheels so that when we pulled the middle lever, they would all match correctly. We both pushed it down and they turned. They clicked into place and began to glow softly. They continued to glow brighter until they nearly blinded us. The glowing stopped abruptly and we were standing in the center of a very large room. It was completely empty; the only strange part was that there was fog on the floor. Everything looked too much like in my dream. That same ledge was on the one wall, and the fog swirled around us. I quickly drew my dented sword and Inwë did the same. We stood back to back, getting ready for anything. Laughter nearly made us jump out of our skin as we looked toward the ledge. A shadow was there, the shadow of a man. Its arms were folded and it was obvious he was grinning, “Well, it’s nice to see you in person! Welcome! It’s about time somebody made it this far. Those other fools had no idea what they were getting in to. Ha, I guess neither did you, but you faired a bit better, didn’t you?” He cackled, “Don’t worry, you’re almost finished. And yes, I know I stopped talking in rhyme, it gets quite boring after a while! Now this, I’m hoping you will give me something entertaining!” He pulled a lever beside him and the walls opened wide, revealing holes and glowing eyes. I whispered to Inwë, “Be careful. They move fast and are hard to hit.” “How do you know that?” “My dream.” “What?” I had no time to finish my explanation, because the first of six creatures rushed out of the door. It was more hideous than my dream. Its fangs were all different sizes and its eyes were slightly off. I had barely gotten a look at it when I was forced to put my blade up in defense. It growled and lunged at me. I twisted and drove my blade upwards, striking the gut of the beast. It howled and stumbled to the side. Bright sparks of light flashed out of its wound. There was an earsplitting grinding sound and the creature simply fell, completely stiff. I could hear growling behind me and I brought my blade up quickly. Unfortunately, I hit it with the dull side of the blade, doing no more than giving the creature a good whack. It continued to fly over me, only to be met by Inwë’s blade. She had a fierce look in her eyes and she nodded at me. The other four creatures all crawled out of their holes, looking much larger than the other two. One of them looked like they were about to lunge. Inwë held out her arm, “Throw me!” I nodded, remembering the tactic Andrew and I had used. I grabbed her arm and swung her at the creature. It started to lunge, but had barely gotten more than a few feet before its head was rolling on the floor. There were strange sparks of light coming from the severed neck, all of them coming from long, thin tubes. I didn’t have any time to look at it more closely when the fourth creature ran at me. I swung my sword straight up, about to cleave its head in two. It turned its head sideways and grabbed the sword in its mouth. There was a sickening sound of metal being crushed as the creature ripped the entire blade in half. I looked at my now very short sword and at the creature. It shook its head violently and spit out the metal then looked at me menacingly. It tried to pounce on me, but I managed to duck beneath it and drive what was left of my sword into it. It howled and crumpled on top of me. It was a –lot- heavier than it looked. It knocked the wind out of me. I quickly pushed up against it and it moved slightly, but not enough. I quickly drew in a breath and pushed with all I had, managing to roll it off of me enough to crawl out. I ripped out the sword and found it covered in a strange black liquid. I wiped it off and turned at the sound of Inwë yelling in pain and anger. She was holding off two of the creatures and the larger of the two had gotten a lucky swipe, sending her sprawling. I quickly ran to her as the creature jumped to crush her. With a yell I threw what was left at the blade at the rising creature. It hit its head with a dull thud. It let out a weak yelp and fell sideways, narrowly missing Inwë. I was still running, but everything seemed slow motion. The last creature was about to drive its teeth into Inwë, who was fumbling for her scattered blade. Even at the sacrifice of myself, she is not going to die in this death trap. Every drop of energy I had poured into running. Its head was on its way down to her, I could see the look of terror as she turned around. I dove at the creature, not having any weapons, I used my fists. We collided and the creature flew into the wall. Not having control over my own body I ran up to it as it was standing. It quickly lunged at me, teeth first. I had no time to react. I put my arms up in defense and close my eyes.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:51 am

I heard a dull clinking noise and didn’t feel the pain I had expected. I opened my eyes to seem my arms, covered in stone, holding the jaws of the beast open. With strength I never knew I had, I continued to push against the jaws. There was a sickening grinding sound and the jaw completely ripped off of the creature in a flash of sparks. It growled and pounced on me, or tried to. I gripped its claws and began to swing it around. I let go and it landed in a crumpled heap against the wall. The thrill of battle began to wear off and I noticed the stone on my arms begin to fall off, revealing normal skin underneath. I could barely stand by the time the rest of the stone had fallen away. Inwë grabbed me by the arm and set me on the ground as I started to collapse. The man in the shadows jumped down from his ledge, looking at me in amazement. He had a long, gray beard with hair to match. His eyes looked weary and tired, but they shimmered with a young light that was obvious in the way he held himself. He walked like a king, not like an old man. He was wearing a tattered brown robe, underneath showed just as ragged pants and tunic. He was shaking his head in amazement, “I’ve seen some crazy things in my life… but I’ll be a pile of bones by the time I see something that tops that!” Inwë glared at him slightly, “You may end up being a pile of bones now if you try anything stupid.” He held up his hands in mock surrender, “Believe me I won’t. You must be that feisty one.” He chuckled slightly, he sounded much different in person, or was he simply hiding his insanity? I was finally able to sit up without falling over, “Who are you? You don’t sound at all like the man that keeps taunting us.” “Oh really?” He laughed, very much like he did when he was taunting us. His voice changed to that crazed sound, “It gets so boring all alone! You’re the first that made it this far! So close to the end!” He laughed maniacally, having that crazed look in his eyes. He jumped quickly to the ledge with a grace strange for someone looking his age, “One more test, one more try. Catch me if you can, and I may let you go by!” He laughed and vanished through a hole that suddenly appeared through the wall. I stood up quickly, nearly falling over again from weariness. Inwë helped me to my feet and I could feel my energy coming back, “Let’s get him.” She nodded and jumped up to the ledge. I jumped up, not quite high enough, but Inwë grabbed my hand and pulled me quickly to the top. We ran through the hole and could hear the man’s maniacal laughing. We ran swiftly down the passage. It twisted and turned, making it very difficult to gain speed. Suddenly Inwë stopped, and I nearly plowed into her. She grabbed my collar and pulled be back quickly as I looked down over a ledge to a very deep hole. The man was on the other side, waving his hands and laughing. He ran off down the passage. “How on earth…” Inwë looked around at the walls and ceiling, “Well, there’s no way he could have ran along the walls or used the ceiling, they’re too smooth. It’s also too far to jump.” I nodded and looked down at the blackness below. I noticed something strange as I looked down. Most of it looked normal, but there was a thin area where the view was distorted, “Look.” I touched the distortion with my hand. It was solid, “It’s an invisible bridge!” She nodded and quickly began walking across, watching her step very carefully. I followed behind. When she got close enough, she simply jumped across and began to run. I began to run on the bridge, nearly slipping off, but catching my footing enough that I could reach the opening. I followed right behind Inwë. This tunnel was straight, so we could gain a lot of speed. The laughter continued to echo down the tunnel, seeming farther away now. We put on a burst of speed and emerged into a large room. The old man was swinging on a metal pole attached to two of the walls. He grinned at us like a child and began swinging in circles. He let go of the pole mid swing, landing on a large ledge high up on the wall. He waved mockingly and ran off. I looked down and saw that Inwë was already climbing the randomly placed stone ledges to the poles stabbed into the wall. She jumped and grabbed the first pole and began swinging in circles, just as the man had done. She let go and grabbed the next pole, the momentum from her previous swing sending her spinning again. She continued this until she finally reached the top. She turned to look at me when she reached the ledge and motioned for me to hurry. I was already on the second to last pole, so it wasn’t long before we were both running down the tunnel once more. The laughter was very far away now and Inwë was picking up speed fast. I had trouble keeping up with her. The tunnel began climbing upward, making it difficult to keep our footing. By the time we reached the top we were out of breath. We stopped for a moment to catch our breath and continued on. We hadn’t traveled for before we reached a small room with a domed ceiling. The man was sitting there in the center of the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed. Inwë began to walk forward but I held her back, “Wait, we don’t know what he’s going to do.” The man looked up and grinned slightly, “Smart lad. Because of your physical endurance you have managed to get here, it is by your mental agility you will get out.” He closed his eyes again and appeared to be thinking. He looked up again, a wise old grin on his face, “Three riddles you must answer. Figure them out and you can pass. But get one wrong, you end up back at the bottom of the tunnel, only to work your way back to the top to try again.” Inwë and I looked at one another then I turned back to the man, “Alright. We’ll take this challenge.” He chuckled and nodded, “Every answer right, opens the door to the light. Now, we begin!”
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

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