Bear with me; Jinral's story

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Jinral, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    5-20

    Denith’s eyes were rolling in his head. His entire right shoulder was black from the fire. The wound itself was indeed seared shut, no more blood was let loose. Small bits of smoke rose from the burnt flesh. His clothing had been singed in the circumference of his arm socket. He looked up toward Jazer and managed to say, “If….you’re wondering…I do….blame you.” With those final words he leaned forward and collapsed face down in the forest.
    Understanding they were going to need a camp, Jazer had immediately began constructing a shelter for the two. At first, he was hesitant to use magic, fearing that even tapping into the power might be dangerous, but more and more he began to trust himself, at first with menial tasks like clearing debris, or holding a branch in place. Eventually though, he began to summon his power to warm wood and leaves together to create the shelter. In the end his final spell involved the creation of a continuous fire, and summoning fish from the lake. The small trout flew out of the water like a bird of prey, and then began hovering above the fire, swinging back and forth as if on invisible strings.
    He hugged his knees to his chest, placing his chine on his knees. He realized he had been nearly shivering since he awoke on the shore. He willed the fire to burn a bit hotter. The warming sensation was very welcome, but the forest surrounding them seemed to absorb any good feelings he had. The charred remains of trees felt like a graveyard, unforgiving of the damage he caused.
    It had been a long while since he could sit and reflect on the life he had lead. Sure, sitting in the house with Gifford had afforded plenty of opportunities, but now he was finally a part of the outside world once more. He felt connected with all living things instead of isolated on his own. Now however, the connection stung his very core. The dead trees were a scar in the land, unhealable. Like most of the things he had done within the past few years, they were the fruits of his labor, a bitter unsatisfying taste. What had he accomplished? He had come into his own magic-wise, finally tapping into the long dormant power. No longer did he have to do the work around, solving equations and translating on paper. He now did all of that within his mind, wasn’t this what he had wanted?
    He picked up a twig and tossed it into the fire. The small bit of wood instantly incinerated and fell to nothingness below the floating flame. That was the true result of his power, destruction. He had set out on this endeavor to bring life into being, to create. His one true creation however was just another bringer of chaos and death. Octavius was a monster, a beast knowing nothing but gluttony and rage. How had it come to pass that Jazer can do exactly what he wanted yet still manage to achieve the opposite?
    He looked over at Denith who now slept inside of a fanciful tent constructed from the raw materials around them. The Halfling, whom Jazer barely knew was forever scarred from the few months of knowing the elf. That too was Jazer’s fault. His own mind seem to betray him whenever the power took over. He had heard of mages going insane with power hungry notions, but somehow this was different. He knew he was a good person, but it seemed as if his mind had segmented itself, one the honest, scared scholar with nothing resembling a backbone. This other person though, was destructive, greedy and hateful. His other half was where the magic came from, Jazer knew at least that much. His power was coming at a steep cost, and he was sure the price was too great, but the addictive quality of the magic made him feel as if it was necessary. Maybe that was why mages went insane for power, maybe they understood the costs, the splitting of the soul, and rationalized them? Was that what he was doing now?
    No, Jazer thought, this is different. There is another person living inside of him, a powerful entity that constantly wrestled for control. Learning to best his other half seemed an impossible task, but now that the power had been awakened, it was going to be an eternal struggle. Until Jazer died that is. He shuddered at the thought. He didn’t enjoy the idea of death, but at the same time feared his eternal life. He was an elf, doomed to walk this earth until a tragic accident struck him down. How many more would suffer at his hands before that happened though?
    Jazer began to count in his mind the lives that he had ruined. Claire was dead, gone in an instant. Stefan had surely followed suit, the dragon as well. Denith’s arm was now gone, and despite knowing nothing of the Halfling, Jazer still felt sadness for him. Derek had not been since the battle started, he could be anywhere at this point, but his life too was ruined. Malius was dead, but Jazer could barely conjure up any feelings beside satisfaction at the mage’s demise. Gifford though, Gifford was killed for no other reason beside Jazer’s inability to control his own magic. The entirety of the town was slain by Jazer’s other half. Except for Mary Ann…His thoughts dwindled on her for a moment. Right now, he should be a shopkeeper somewhere or a librarian, hundreds of leagues from the nearest fight. The two of them would likely have children of their own at this point. He chose to learn though, it had not only cost him everything, but everyone around him paid the price. Thirst for knowledge, lust for power, call it what you will, Jazer knew it made him hurt everyone that came into contact with him.
    That was it he thought, he had done all of this. It was all his fault. Jazer looked toward the sky, seeing the sun finally dipping below the horizon. It was a mistake he was going to correct.
    He looked toward Denith’s tent and whispered, “I promise you, I will slay Octavius, and then I will remove myself from existence and from memory. No one else will suffer because of me.”
    It took several days for Denith to rouse form his sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. Jazer eventually had to poor water down his throat just to keep the Halfling alive. Jazer knew that Denith needed food, but was too afraid to try and give him bits of it for fear of the Halfling choking. So Jazer contended himself with giving his companion water regularly.
    When Denith finally came around, bits of his memory were not clear. Jazer tried to fill in some of the gaps, but he found Denith kept calling him by strange names. Most often Denith called him ‘Roman’. It was strange that Denith kept calling him the name despite Jazer’s numerous corrections. Denith had not yet properly healed and his mind was likely still recovering from the trauma. Often Jazer found himself using his magical vision to try to find the source of the problem, but aside from the obvious he could not discern the cause of Denith’s damaged mind.
    After nearly a week of the two camping in the forest, surviving off of the magic Jazer had learned to control, Denith was nearly ready to travel. He was convinced he was back in fighting shape, but Jazer constantly spotted him stopping to take a breath. The loss of his arm was causing grief for him as well. He would instinctively try and reach out for something with his imaginary right arm, only to find that not even a stump remained. His balance too had been thrown off, forcing him to slow down his actions often.
    The night was the worst for Jazer, because it was the worst time for Denith. During the day, he had busied himself with training, but at night Denith could do nothing but stare at the silent flames. Jazer could almost see the lifetime of memories flooding in front of Denith’s jade eyes. He watched with the utmost intensity as the fire danced before him, leaving Jazer to ponder what the Halfling could possibly be imagining. A home perhaps? A family? What had he been doing here anyway? It had been five days since Denith awoke before Jazer gathered the courage to break the warrior’s trance.
    “Who are you?”
    Denith blinked and shook his head, “What?”
    Jazer cleared his throat and picked at his boot before speaking up again, “I mean, I have no idea who you are or where you came from. You seemed to be in the right place and the right time to find me, I gathered that much. Why are you trying to save me?”
    Denith’s gaze made the fire seem to burn less brightly, but the stern look faded and Denith laughed, not mocking Jazer, but a genuine laugh. He didn’t bother to stop laughing before saying, “I was wondering when people were going to start asking questions. Then I would actually have to think of lies to tell them.”
    Jazer shrugged, “It is just us here, you don’t have to lie to me, I think we are far passed such trivial things.”
    His laughter died replaced once more by the stern gaze, “Jazer you have no idea how far we are, but I can tell you such ‘trivial’ things are still far out of your reach. This goes above anything you have ever known.”
    Jazer sat up straight, feeling the cool drops of sweat run down his back, “Then tell me.”
    Denith smiled once more and leaned back onto his arm, “I can’t Jazer, be contented with the fact that you are my charge and it is my job to keep you alive.”
    “Mighty fine job you’re doing.” The voice was nearly a growl as it floated into the camp. Jazer looked over his shoulder, ready to spring to his feet when Stefan came into view.
    “I thought it smelled like wet dog.” Denith was on his feet, moving toward the wolf man.
    Over his shoulder, Stefan was carrying a large dark mass. When he finally stepped into the light though, Jazer could clearly see Derek, unconscious over Stefan’s shoulder. The wolf man set down Derek’s unmoving body and examined Denith. “What the hell, did that thing eat your arm?”
    Denith smiled once more, clapping the man’s hand in his own, “I just wanted to prove I could beat ya with just one hand.” The two laughed at their private joke, leaving Jazer feeling helplessly lost at his situation.
    “What in the nine-hells? You two have never spoken more than a word to each other and now you are friends. I even remember you giving each other death stare’s whenever possible. What is going on.” Jazer realized he was now standing with his arms outstretched, he quickly retracted them.
    The wind quickly blew through the camp, seeming only to remind them of the silence that had enveloped them. Stefan raised a bushy eyebrow, “So I see you didn’t break and tell him.”
    Denith slammed a small fist into Stefan’s arm, “Don’t forget who is running the show here, did you see where the creature went?”
    Stefan shook his head, “No, it was heading west last I looked, the only trace I found was an area of the forest covered in bits of clay, looks like your dragon managed to blast a whole through him before dying. You do know they are going to have your hide for that don’t ya?”
    Denith shrugged, “What are they going to do to me anyhow? It is either death or victory at this point. Come, we have much to discuss.” Denith paused and looked at Jazer, “It is time to go sorcerer, we have a homunculus to catch.”
     
  2. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    5-23

    The next few days of travel were permeated with several rainstorms. Often the group would be forced to make a quick camp to avoid the elements as much as possible. Jazer was usually responsible for the hasty set up and tear down of the camp. He began to use simple magic without writing down equations of translation. The difficult spells were still far beyond his reach, the easier equations he kept firmly in his mind so he could repeat them as much as possible. After awhile he began to wonder if he was calculating at all anymore.
    Stefan appeared to be quite a bit livelier than he used to be. Jazer remembered getting nothing more than a passing nod, now the werewolf seemed almost jovial at times. Denith was also a bit lighter in mood, only when he spoke to Stefan though. Without his cloak, he no longer carried himself in such an awe-inspiring presence, but Jazer feared him nonetheless. Derek however, was the most fearing of all.
    When he had awoke, he nearly died of fright seeing where he was. Stefan had recounted the events, his fall from the creature as it neared the tree line, finding Derek, capturing Derek, and then trekking back here. Derek of course wanted nothing to do with any of them. Denith however seemed to think Stefan did the right thing by bringing the conman with them. He said it was a ‘necessary nuisance’. Derek made several attempts to escape which resulted in the one-armed Halfling subduing him quietly, or Stefan recovering him in a very violent manner. After a few scrapes and bruises, Derek decided it was best to just go along with whatever they sad.
    He still cast Jazer a strange look every now and then, but eventually seeing as how Jazer didn’t lapse into a homicidal episode, he began to converse with him once more. Most of the time it was pertaining to previous heists or cons. Reminiscing made the present seem a bit less daunting. A dozen or so times Derek claimed to have been in dire situations, but ‘with a stroke of luck’ he always said, he made it out. Jazer could see it was making him feel better to talk about it, so he let him ramble on about his previous adventures.
    He quickly became bored of Derek though, instead trying to find out more information from Denith. At first, the one-armed Halfling ignored his inquiries, but after several days of prodding Jazer finally got Denith to break on certain topics. At first it was just simple things, like what had happened during some of Jazer’s episodes. Jazer didn’t remember vividly what happened, only certain parts of the battle. Denith however, seemed to remember in great detail what had happened.
    He explained everything in vivid detail, like telling a war story to an old buddy. Some parts were a bit unclear though. Denith didn’t explain where the dragon had come from, or how Stefan had survived his fight with Octavius. Even the antimagic draught that he had cracked in his teeth was a bit of a mystery. When Jazer asked about these things though, Denith told him to stop interrupting and continued.
    It took several days for the four of them to make it out of the forest, heading due west. The next part of the journey however, was the Dorok Mountains. They were an awesome representation of nature’s power to create. At the same time, they were a treacherous path into the Deadlands, or The Plains of Purath.
    The Plains of Purath were the homelands of the Dwarven tribes hundreds of years before. Legends told of a majestic paradise sheltered by the mountain peaks. It was called a floating island, where both food and water was abundant. The plains took up the majority of the floating island in the mountains, surrounded by a ring of trees that made up the Forest of Purath. Food was abundant as well as an underground spring full of fresh water. It is said that there were vicious Dwarven war bands that raged wars against the invading orc tribes. Jazer recounted in his mind the numerous stories he was told. The most common one had the Chief Dwarf clan leading the entire Dwarf army into open combat on the plains. The other war lords only followed his strategy for its soundness, but refused to acknowledge him as their leader. This didn’t satisfy the Chief War lord however. He lead them onto the plains, organizing the men into formations against the large rabble of orcs. They collided with the enemy forces, but the Chief’s men were set up in the back, wielding bows and arrows. There barrages were efficient yes, but not enough to bring down the orc armies. Once the lines were broken and the fighting turned to chaos, The Chief’s fired into the fray from a distant hill. Both orc and dwarf were slain where they stood until not one dwarf was left standing.
    The Orc’s shaman signaled for his men to pull back. Each side had no more than a hundred men left, both sides wielding bows and arrows. The two forces approached each other without hesitation. Both Warlord and Shaman left their line of men and walked to the center of the plains. They exchanged a handshake, both getting exactly what they wanted, command of their own half of the plains. They each betrayed nearly a thousand people for a bit of the land. With a smile, each drew a knife from the back of their belts. It is said that both knew the other planned on betraying the other, but they both pulled each other in and shoved the blade under the other’s ribs. The opposing sides opened fire. All it took was one volley with each man finding his mark on the first try. The entire remainder of forces fell at once.
    The island in the mountains, a paradise nestled between great peaks, was now devoid of life. Greed and betrayal had destroyed the harmony of the land. Nature itself felt the betrayal. First the underground spring became poisoned, sapping the life from the surrounding vegetation. The trees died first, followed by the animals and then finally the plains themselves became a barren wasteland. Now it offers nothing but an unbearable pass through the mountains to the neighboring countries. The range is passable several days journey down the road. Denith had briefly considered traversing the wasteland for a straight shot into the next kingdom, but with no sign of their quarry, it seemed almost foolhardy to take a treacherous route with no chance of finding Octavius.
     
  3. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    5-25

    The group turned south, avoiding the main road as much as possible. Their destination was a small town a few miles from the base of the mountain, there the road forked, leading farther south or into the mountain pass. It was the night before their planned arrival that Jazer finally got the courage to ask what was on his mind.
    They had only just settled in. Derek and Stefan were off hunting for dinner, leaving Jazer to set up camp and Denith to plot out their plan of action. The Halfling was constructing a map out of the twigs and leaves that were scattered about when Jazer finished creating the tent. Jazer had thought carefully how to approach the subject, but before he could think, he blurted out the question, “What is happening to me?”
    Denith ignored the question at first, only murmuring to himself about his make-shift map. Jazer continued, “I heard you say earlier that magic wielders can lose their minds if they don’t use their magic, is that what is happening to me?”
    The Halfling gestured to a pebble on his map, “Resupply there, get some information, and then we’ll either head west or south. He looked up toward Jazer, “No, I made that up, there is no magic build-up, but it got them off my back.”
    There was nothing Jazer could do but sigh. He wished that he was suffering from some common ailment, that way he could fix the problem and be done with it, but now he was in the dark once more, “So, what is happening to me?”
    Denith shrugged, “You’re insane.”
    “Insane? I’m not crazy!” Jazer stood, folding his arms.
    The Halfling smiled, “Ok then, you randomly strike out at people using a power unrivaled by any who walk this earth, you’re completely sane.” Jazer raised an eyebrow in response, but Denith continued, “Your power lay dormant because your mind is split in two, it’s like two souls living in one body. One of you understands magic in a way no one else has, the other can wield it. When they combine, you get insanity backed by unimaginable power. You are crazy.”
    Jazer sat down next to the floating fire, his eyes staring intently on the silent flame. “How do I fix it?”
    “You don’t.” Denith rose from his map and began pacing about. “Your mind had taken two different paths. This wasn’t the result of some spell or catastrophe. It is possible through your intense studies that your mind couldn’t handle what was going on. It may have become damaged, and the only resolution was to separate out your spirit, so it only has to deal with half of you at a time.”
    The elf’s gaze didn’t move, “So I am going to be like this, forever?”
    Denith could only shrug, “It is possible that the wound will heal over time. There is nothing you can actually do to help the process. Perhaps when this is over, I can arrange for you to meet with men much smarter than myself. They could have more answers for you.”
    The power flared in Jazer’s veins in response to his frustration. The other half was begging to be let loose one more. At least with this understanding though, Jazer felt confident he would have a better grasp on the control of his body. He looked up at Denith, “What is going to happen to me after this? After all is said and done, what will be done to me?”
    For a long time, Denith didn’t answer. He continued to pace back and forth methodically. Eventually he sat down next to the fire, across from Jazer and said softly, “Some answers you are better off not knowing until it’s too late.”
    No more words were spoken between the two that night. Jazer desperately wanted to know more, but something was telling him that was all he was going to get from the Halfling. Despite their many disagreements and occasional brawls of the past few weeks, he felt as if he could trust Denith. Then again, it wasn’t like he had a choice.
    The next morning had been a quiet one. When they set off on the last leg of their journey, Stefan, or Roman, went on ahead, scouting. Denith clearly wanted to be the one going ahead, but Stefan convinced him that with no weapons and a single arm, he was better off in the back with the others. The three of them walked together at first, but eventually Denith decided to fall behind a ways. Jazer didn’t say anything against it, the Halfling was obviously upset at being deemed defenseless. That left Jazer and Derek alone together.
    Derek was the first to break the silence. “What the hell is going to happen now?”
    Jazer shrugged, “Don’t really know. These two are dead set on tracking Octavius. My guess is we will resupply in this town and then be on our way again.”
    “No,” Derek said sharply, “no, what I mean is what is going to happen to us after all is said and down, even if we manage to kill the creature, what are they going to do to us?”
    “What do you mean?”
    His voice turned to a harsh whisper, “What I mean is, these two obviously had been looking for you long before we ever got to that town. They want you for something. Think about it, it makes too much sense. They have some kind of plot in which you are the key. Stefan hunted me down when I tried to escape and they are forcing me to come along. If it was a simple matter of wanting to kill the beast, why would they need me? Against Octavius I am pretty much useless. They don’t need me for it, yet here I am, against my will. If they just wanted you for something, then again ‘why am I here’?”
    Jazer turned his head as they walked, looking at Derek’s fearful expression. The man was clearly disturbed by the recent events. He tried to sound reassuring, but Jazer’s voice cracked as he said, “What are you getting at?”
    He brought Jazer in even closer to whisper, “Haven’t you noticed how they won’t tell us anything? There is something secretive going on, something so secretive that it goes above their heads. They are pawns in this almost as much as we are. Someone is pulling strings on these two, they are the ones that want you. If these are the toys, I’d hate to see the puppet master.”
    “Not like we have a whole lot of choice.”
    Derek’s expression turned grave, “Yes, we do.”
    Jazer narrowed his eyes and adjusted his spectacles, “What do you mean?”
    “You Jazer, you are the most powerful mage, probably ever. You can get us out of here.”
    Jazer shook his head, “No, like you said they had been hunting me for a lot longer than we first realized, you don’t think they will just find me again? Look these two have been beaten up, mauled, had limbs sundered from their sockets and are still intent on what they are doing. They would just find us again.”
    Derek’s next words were so soft that Jazer was afraid he didn’t hear him correctly, “Kill them.”
    “What!?”
    “Kill them, we get out of here and no one will ever know where we are.” Derek checked over his shoulder to see if Denith was within earshot.
    Jazer looked back as well. Denith was dozens of paces back and not even paying attention to what was going on. Jazer turned back to Derek, “I will not murder anyone.”
    He felt Derek’s grip tighten on his collar, “Oh don’t give me that, it wouldn’t be the first time.”
    The power flared and Jazer felt his body heat as a wave of electrical power flowed over him. Derek yelped and withdrew his hand. His skin was singed slightly, but would be fine. Derek’s hands slid down to the blade on his belt, Jazer used his mind to life the blade from its sheath before Derek could reach it, floating the dagger into Jazer’s palm before Derek realized it was missing. “You know that wasn’t me, I would never do that.”
    Derek tried to calm himself as he said, “Have you learned nothing from me? You kill when it is necessary. There is nothing more important than freedom. Whoever gets in the way of that must be slain. I don’t care if it is prison, or whatever these two have cooked up for you, do what you must to retain your freedom Jazer.”
    Jazer couldn’t manage a response. He was afraid that if he were to try and argue with Derek, the man would end up becoming a smoldering pile of ash. Instead, he remained quiet and tried to calm his anger.
    From Derek’s point of view, he could almost understand the need for freedom. He had been thrown in prison several times, but those were all because of mistakes he made. Even now, when he thought he was a prisoner, it was his own fault that he was here, or was it? Jazer scoured his brain, trying to think if Derek did do anything to get himself tangled up in this. He had brought Jazer to that house to save his life.
    Jazer looked down at the stubs on his hand. So far they had done little to impair him. They reminded Jazer of what Derek had done, bringing him to that house. It was out of the best intentions yet was likely the worst option. The stubs weren’t the cause of the hasty decision, but they sure were an effect. Derek’s life had been full of hasty decisions, and this was no different. He desired freedom above all else, but Jazer could not grant it to him. Wherever this road was taking them, Derek was coming too.
     
  4. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    5-27

    Gah! Running late this update. You are getting a double update this time to make up for it

    The town itself was minuscule in size, but to Jazer it seemed absolutely grand. The dirt road ran straight through the center of it, where there appeared to be a lively market place. There were all kinds of people shouting and yelling. In the back he noticed a white wooden building with an angled roof. It was a church, something Jazer had not seen in ages. He could spot numerous established stores with wares ranging from general supplies all the way up to fine silk goods. The delicious mixture of scents filled the air from the mornings breakfast.
    Seeing Jazer excitedly looking form place to place in the town, Denith asked, “So how long has it been since you have been outside huh?”
    It took the elf a moment to realize Denith was speaking, “Me? I uh…however long I was in that house, and then add two years.”
    “It had been three years since you have seen people, or villages? My no wonder you looking at everything like a child does candy.”
    Jazer returned to what was probably the grandest village he had ever seen. In the town’s center was a grand oak tree, which had probably watched over the resident’s of the little hamlet for over a hundred years. Finally though, his gaze landed on the marketplace. His child-like smile quickly faded. The market place was bustling with activity. The market place was filled with a mob.
    The shouts and yelling had been traders hawking, but rather angry curses and yells. The town was having some sort of meeting and it had everyone in an uproar. On a risen platform stood one man with armed guard who appeared to be trying to calm the crowd. It his gestures however were having no effect. The mob itself was comprised of a wide range of people, tall and short, skinny and fat, young and old. Humans, elves, dwarves, and even a few halflings all angrily voiced their own opinions. The scene was on the brink of chaos.
    Stefan ushered them over to a nearby alley. When they got within ear shot he growled, “We’re on the right trail.”
    “The homunculus?” Denith responded.
    Stefan nodded and gestured over to the crowd, “They are upset because their mayor had done nothing. He keeps his guard close incase of another attack while the people believe he should send them out to go hunt it down.”
    Jazer looked around at the village buildings, “Are you sure? This place seems relatively untouched…”
    Stefan held up a finger with a black, claw-like nail, “The beast is learning, he is picking off traveler’s heading north to the larger cities.”
    Derek immediately looked toward the sky, clearly shaken, “We came from the north, why didn’t it pick us off?”
    Stefan bared his teeth with an evil smile, “Like I said, that thing is learning and knows we have got a bit of fight in us. He is avoiding larger settlements, especially in his wounded state. He had been pestering this town for four days apparently, since about the last time that we saw him. He should have been fully recovered after the dozen or so people he ate, but apparently it hasn’t stopped him from hanging around.”
    A dozen people dead. Jazer felt another pang of guilt, but quickly brushed it aside. There would be time for grieving later, now there was work to be done.
    Denith scratched his grizzled chin and said, “Nesting you think?”
    Derek’s eyes went wide, “You mean it can breed!?”
    Denith scoffed, “Derek shut it, and no we don’t believe it can reproduce, but it has selected a hunting ground and is likely to have some kind of safe spot nearby where it can run and enjoy its meal, or hide from danger.”
    Stefan looked toward the northern mountains, “You thinking what I am?”
    Denith nodded, “The Deadlands, how fitting.” The Halfling looked over to the crowd which had begun to quiet down some after the morning’s shouting match. “Okay, we resupply here and then we head to the Deadlands.”
    Derek shook his head, “And then what? Pray to the Gods it doesn’t eat us?”
    He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see Jazer give him a nod of confidence, “Then we kill it. If I can maintain what little sanity I have left, I can aim my power towards the creature. If what they say is true and I am that powerful, it shouldn’t take long. Besides, he is my creation and my responsibility.”
    Denith smiled a genuine smile and said, “Alright so we are agreed, everyone split up, take what you need while the town is occupied with their meeting.” He looked up at Jazer, “for those of you who have contracted the sickness that is morals, we will compensate when we return. Meet back here in a hour.”
    The four of them nodded and rose to leave, but each felt a hand on their shoulder, forcing them back down. Somehow without any of them noticing they had been surrounded my a dozen people. Judging from their clothes, Jazer figured they weren’t townsfolk. Each of them wore dark leather with masks covering their faces. Before anyone could move blades were already out and pressed against their throats. One of them, the tallest of the dozen, stepped forward lowering his mask. Denith’s eyes widened at first and then narrowed, “Morning Pinny, how you been? How are the wife and kids, tastey huh?”
    The figure struck Denith across his face with eh back of his hand. The Halfling spat, spraying blood onto the man. The man spoke, his voice gruff and low, “You would do well not to piss me off Denith. Take them away.” He turned to walk away, Jazer was about to protest when he felt something strike the back of his head, instantly, the world went dark.


    The familiar groggy feeling Jazer felt hardly fazed him. He slowly let his surroundings come to home, not trying to rush it. He had been knocked out enough times to understand the best thing was to let his mind slowly overcome the feeling. His nose was the first thing to regain its senses. The ringing in his ears had yet to cease, but the smell was that of fresh flowers. Of all the scents to smell, it seemed strange that he was smelling fresh flowers. Next came his hearing, the ringing faded slowly faded and the sounds of the room filled his ears. The voices at first seemed muffled, but slowly they gained clarity.
    “What have you been doing all this time, I swear to the mighty gods this better be good.”
    “Doing my job what does it look like?” Jazer recognized Denith’s voice, “Now why in the holy hells did you just assault me and my men. What is wrong with you Penwith?”
    “We had to get you out of the open quickly before anyone saw us or you, and I knew you wouldn’t come quietly.” That was the tall man, Jazer was sure of it. He felt a pair of hands firmly on his shoulders keeping him in place. Jazer kept his eyes shut, trying not to let on that he had awoken.
    “Do you realize who the elf is? He is likely to wake and kill everyone in this room. Have you not been getting my reports?” Reports? What reports Jazer thought. Then it became very clear, this was the man Denith worked for. Like Derek said, this was the puppet master.
    “He will be fine, we have some of the best mages with us, he will not be any trouble. You on the other hand, you breed trouble. Up until this point Roman here had not even a mark on his record. One time working with you and now look.”
    “I don’t like when people talk as if I am not here.” That was Stefan, he growled as he spoke, “Denith has done nothing wrong so far.”
    “Shut it Roman, before I report you to your handler. Denith, I am trying to keep you out of trouble, but the scriers have been watching closely. Your causing too much of a ruckus. This should have been handled weeks ago, maybe even months. A simple task of snatch and grab and you manage to muck it up.”
    “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have been trying to deal with a slight situation. That homunculus has been terrorizing the area and each day we don’t kill it, it is only getting stronger. By the time you fools decide it is an issue, hundreds could die.” Denith was clearly agitated by this point and his shouting echoed in Jazer’s ears.
    The tall man’s voice remained oddly calm, “Hundreds? You are worried about hundreds, I am worrying about thousands. If we don’t get him to the Order, than thousands could die.”
    “Fine you have him, now give me my supplies and let me and Roman go after it.”
    “We brought your supplies, but you have been reassigned. Besides, in your present condition you are useless. The creature will eventually die anyway. Once it becomes a fully living being, its body will be too big for it to carry its own blood, effectively killing itself.”
    “Once it becomes fully living? You mean once it’s consumed its own weight in people.”
    “More or less.”
    “You would let that many innocents die?”
    “For the good of the living, yes.”
    “Then you are the real monster.” There was a dull thud and then another. Jazer figured the tall man had lost his cool finally and struck Denith, sending him to the ground.
    “You insolent bastard! You have no idea the decisions I must make.”
    Denith coughed up something, likely a bit of his own blood. “Yes I bet it was so difficult to ruin people’s lives.” He paused for a second, “What about her, you still plan on using her as a bargaining chip?”
    “Mary Ann will be used if necessary, it seems to be the only way we could control him.”
    Mary Ann, they had Mary Ann. They were holding her against her will. The power instantly flared in his body. Jazer didn’t bother to try and control it, instead he let it flood through him. It was time to kill, to kill them all. She needed him and they were in the way. Jazer felt himself smile, yes, his other half was now awake. He visualized the room as best he could, trying to sort out who was who. He conjured a spell in his mind, a shockwave of power to knock them down, that would be his opening act.
    He funneled the power to his hands, but immediately it shifted to his chest. It concentrated their becoming a violent force. He could not control it any longer and it burst from his chest, but instead of an awesome display, it fizzled. There was the sound of gears spinning furiously and bolt of power struck him in his chest, sending pain throughout his body. Jazer cried out and toppled over. The man behind him shouted in pain as well. When Jazer opened his eyes he was face down against a wooden floor. Men scrambled about but the tall man shouted an order, quieting the rest. Jazer rolled on to his back.
    The tall man stood over him, staring down with a crooked smile. “Oh my, he seems to be awake. You would do well to keep your nasty spells to yourself.” The man reached his bony hand down and lifted the medallion that hung loosely around Jazer’s neck. “You see, this little contraption is going to make sure you behave.” He looked back toward Denith, “And you thought bringing her up would send him into a magical rage, killing everyone, shame on you Denith.” The man ran his hands over his slicked back brown hair. He was clearly human, but the high cheek bones and pale skin hinted at elven descent. His beady black eyes showed a calculating intelligence. Jazer wanted desperately to pluck them out, but he resisted the urge to lash out once more. He felt the power ebb away and finally subside. The figure turned, “Oh and I wouldn’t advise removing it yourself unless you feel like having your organs rearranged.
    The man continued to ask Denith more questions. Jazer did the best he could to ignore whatever they were talking about. He didn’t want to trigger another burst of magic, and he also didn’t like the two of them discussing him like two dogs fighting over a bone. Stefan only spoke occasionally, but was obviously the junior of the three. He occasionally shot Jazer glance and would give him a reassuring nod. Jazer felt only slightly better.
    After what seemed like hours, Jazer was no longer restrained by the powerful grasp of one of the armed men. He looked around what was their cell and was surprised. In the corner of the room were the remnants of a bed and nightstand. The floor was wooden with a small rug thrown over the center. He was back in his chair along with the others. There were still several men around the room dressed in all black, but now were more relaxed. Some even had their own huddled discussions going on.
    Jazer looked down at his medallion. It appeared to be made of pure gold. The amulet itself was round, shaped like a beetle’s back with a thin chain protruding from the top. On the surface of it though, were several inscriptions. Jazer was afraid to touch it, but from what he could see, they were powerful, and possibly deadly.
    Derek too was bound. He was still unconscious, or so it seemed. Jazer watched him intently for a short while. Occasionally his breathing patter would change, or his eyes would shift under his eyelids. He occasionally moved only the slightest bit. His hands were nearly to his belt now. Jazer sighed and turned away from him, hoping that he would be realize his foolishness before he succeeded in drawing the blade.
    Roman and Denith however had been unbound, and the two were sitting comfortably as they argued their points. The man seemed to be growing more and more irritable, occasionally Jazer would listen in on fragments of the conversation. The majority of it was insults being thrown back and forth between the two. Eventually, the man stormed off, leaving only a couple of his men behind. For a long while, no one said anything. Derek still was slowly moving for the blades at his belt, Denith turned and said, “Derek, we have realized you were awake for about an hour, you can give it up.”
    Derek froze, not even breathing. Then, slowly, he got to his feet. He looked down at his belt, seeing that his daggers had already been taken. He suddenly got very red in the face and looked around, “What? I don’t see any of you trying anything.”
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  5. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    5-30

    Roman sighed loudly, rolling his eyes, “That is because we work for these people, there is no purpose to try and kill them.”
    “We might as well kill them, we’re killing everyone else in this town anyway.” Denith rose from his seat. He grasped the chair’s arm rest and thrust it across the room. There was a loud crash as the chair shattered into kindling. No one moved for a while as Denith stared at his handiwork.
    Jazer cleared his throat, “What can we do?”
    Denith cursed and spat at the ground. He looked up at the two armed guards that were intently watching his every move. He turned and yelled, “Every moment we stay here and do nothing, more people are dying. Because you don’t swing the executioner’s axe makes you no less guilty when you have the chance to stop it!” Denith approached the two, but immediately their blades were free and directed at the Halfling. He stopped short and instead spit at their feet. “Just another set of pawns.”
    Soon the tall man returned, Denith looked up to and said “Bosner, so what did the higher ups have to say?”
    The man sighed and thrust a cloak at Denith, “You have been reassigned, we are taking over here. The job is done, hell they even wanted me to commend you for doing so well.”
    “Covered for me again?” Denith smiled as he struggled to put it on. Bosner gave him a hat similar to the one he had before, along with a handkerchief. Roman eventually rose to help him assemble his gear.
    Bosner’s face softened, “All these years, you still think I’m such a bad guy. I am looking out for you here Denith, I always have, my dear friend.”
    Denith adjusted his hat and approached bosner, staring up at the taller man. He held out a hand. Bosner smiled down and took it in his own. The two shook hands and suddenly the tension in the room lifted. Somehow those two getting along seemed to make everyone relax. Except for Jazer though, he could only think about how that hand shake was effectively killing dozens if not hundreds of people. Octavius would eat his fill of innocent villagers until his body became too large and died of suffocation. He looked at Denith se he released the handshake and turned away from Bosner, and the Halfling registered what Jazer wanted to say. Instead of looking away or giving a solemn nod, Denith merely winked.
    Jazer narrowed his eyes as Denith looked back toward the others. He started talking to Roman, it seemed like a new job for the werewolf as well. Roman however, seemed to be following what Denith was saying. Through some secret code only they knew, Denith was telling roman exactly what he had told Jazer. He was telling him “Hold on, this isn’t over.” Roman grunted in understanding, likely feeling confident that no one else in the room knew what had been exchanged. Jazer smiled, codes were his specialty.
    Jazer felt like cheering, but he bottled up his excitement and tried to remain as depressed as possible. There was a lot of movement as all of the men filed into the room. Several of the men began drawing lines in the ground. Jazer immediately recognized the starting’s of portal work. Soon they had it completed, and with little more than a few words of power, a prismatic colored light was summoned out of the thin air. It started out no bigger than a thimble, but with seconds it expanded to the size of a doorway. It quickly pulsed, but there was absolutely no sound coming from it. Jazer found it odd, then again, the doorway was a construction of light and time and had no need for noise. Still, he could feel it though, pulsing with magic.
    Denith readied himself and his gear. Roman had no gear to speak of except for a tiny pebble he had put in his ear. Denith walked over to Bosner and shook his hand once more. The two leaned in close, and Denith whispered something into Bosner’s ears. Bosner stood up straight and looked over toward Jazer, who shifted uncomfortably underneath his gaze. He then looked back to Denith and nodded with a small smile.
    The Halfling produced a small sheet of parchment, an ink bottle and a quill from one of the many pockets in his cloak. Jazer was beginning to think that the cloak was spelled, but Denith always seemed to have exactly what he needed when he needed it. He walked over to Jazer who stared blankly at the empty paper. Denith shoved it in to his hands along with quill and ink and said, “I am going to see Mary Ann soon, I thought you might want to send her a letter.”
    Jazer held up his hands, “Oh no, I couldn’t she would barely remember me.”
    Denith grasped Jazer’s hands and eased them back onto the paper and quill, “It won’t be any trouble at all, I caught you once writing love letter in your room at the den. Don’t you remember?” There was something strange in Denith’s eyes. Those jade crystals weren’t piercing his soul, measuring his character anymore, they were the eyes of who Denith must have been before all of this. His eyes said only one thing, there was mischief to be had.
    Jazer realized exactly what Denith wanted him to do. Roman was ready as well, he could see it in the werewolf’s posture, ready to spring into action. The only one left out of the loop once more was Derek who was just as happy for this all to end. Too bad though, because the only time Denith had ever gone into Jazer’s room, was when he was transcribing spells.
    Jazer quickly went to work. He felt the medallion hum in his chest, sensing the presence of magic. Jazer smiled as the humming died down. Jazer wasn’t creating the magic, he was imbuing it upon the paper, the paper was creating the magic. He was just showing it the way. Bosner began to stare very intently as the elf furiously wrote down his equation. He was half-way through the translation before Bosner took a step forward, “That is one hell of a letter, why don’t you let me see it?”
    Jazer punctuated his last sentence and smiled up, he knew he couldn’t wield the paper, but he had taught someone the language. They knew enough for such a simple yet effective spell. Jazer looked over to Derek wasn’t paying attention to anything but the shining portal, perfect.
    “Derek, you have always been my closest friend, do you mind checking this making sure it isn’t too much?” He had folded the paper and now held it out towards Derek.
    “Oh come now, this is ridiculous.” Bosner moved to snatch it away, but a clawed hand pressed against his chest.
    “In the matters of love, one cannot interfere.” Roman smiled a toothy grin and Bosner eased back.
    “Ah so you remember my reputation as a swindler of young hearts huh? I guess I could take a look.” He grabbed the paper and began to unfold it. Jazer couldn’t help but smile. Derek was smiling for the first time in a long time, but upon reading it, his face drained of all color. Denith and Roman were also smiling by this point. Derek looked up and the three of them nodded.
    Bosner saw this and realized what was happening, “No don’t-“
    The magic words were barely a murmur out of Derek’s mouth. The spell ignited, a bulb of white light streaming out of the paper. Before anyone could move it flew towards every person. As soon as it touched them, they collapsed to the floor. It went for every one of them, even the quickest didn’t have a chance. Then it came to the smiling Roman, Denith and Jazer, but quickly fled, finding its final target, Derek. He too crashed against the floor. Jazer laughed, “Well that went better than I had hoped.”
    Denith looked around, “Selective targeting of a sleep spell, impressive Jazer.”
    Jazer smiled once more and said, “Oh no, a dream wisp and fear spell combination, good thing you guys were smiling or I would have to write another spell to wake you, now can someone take this thing off?” He gesture to the medallion. Roman walked over and with a quick jerking motion, he broke the chain and tossed the medallion aside.
    “A dream wisp that was afraid of teeth, you can do that?” Denith said as he stepped over Bosner. Jazer simply nodded.
    The werewolf looked around, “What do we do with them.”
    Denith looked over his shoulder to the portal, “We have a bright and shiny portal back to the Order, let’s send them there.”
    Roman laughed in response, quickly snatching up the closest sleeping guard and chucking him into the portal. Without a sound he vanished through the light. “I always thought these things would be more impressive.”
    Denith shrugged, shouldering another into the portal. Once again, with no sound the man vanished. “You’ll get used to huge let downs like these. Resurrection, let me tell you is not as fancy as it seems. In fact it is quite sickening.”
    Jazer floated two more and with a wave of his hand, sent them into the portal. After a few more minutes Bosner was the last to go. He looked to be in a particularly bad nightmare, thrashing about in his sleep. Denith looked up toward Jazer, “Is he being harmed?”
    Jazer shook his head, “No, just having a terrible dream.” Jazer floated him off the ground and sent him into the portal, “There, that should do it. Now with the odd combination of spells, it should take them a while to bring them out of it. And now to close it…”
    “Wait, what about Derek?” Denith had the man by his collar. Derek looked to be in a cold sweat, clearly not enjoying his dreams either.
    Jazer bit his bottom lip as he thought. “Leave him here, the spell will subside within a day or two and then he can be on his way. It will all be just one big nightmare.”
    Denith nodded laying Derek gently back onto the wooden floor. Jazer turned and with one wave of his hand, the portal vanished, and the three of them were alone once more.
    “Now what?” said Roman, who was now picking at his claws.
    Denith looked out the window towards the town, “Well we know where it is. And the townsfolk have finally dissipated. We wait for night to fall, then leave towards the Deadlands.”
     
  6. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    So an entire chapter was missing from 5-27's update....yeah sorry about that. I reinserted it, it has been italicized to distinguish it. I would like to take this time to remind you all that this is indeed a rough draft and the rules are i am not allowed to go back and read, but while pasting the chapter in I noticed that I had forgotten a character's name. "Penny" or "Penwith" has had his name changed to Bosner. sorry for the confusion.
     
  7. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-1

    Roman shrugged, “Do we know it is actually there, or is it your best guess?”
    “Best guess, but I know I’m right, he is up there. It is the only place he can rest.” Denith moved to the other window and stared toward the mountain tops.
    Roman shook his head, “No, I fought that thing, his energy is boundless. He doesn’t need to rest.”
    “He has begun turning, without me to heal him every wound will stay until naturally healed over.” Jazer moved toward the window, “The dragon hurt him badly and he will need sustenance, sustenance gained from devouring flesh. The more flesh he consumes, the closer he comes to being a living being. If he is a living being, he will need to rest, like every thing else does. The Deadlands is the only place he will feel safe, being as immense as he is. Denith is right.”
    He gave Denith a firm nod, Denith just smiled, “I know I am right, now getting there won’t be easy.”
    Jazer smiled, “There is where you are wrong.” He gestured over to the remnants of the portal markings. “They have brought the raw materials to create a portal. If we adjust it slightly, it would put us right where we want to go.”
    The werewolf moved toward the markings, studying them. “I’ll admit I have no knowledge of magic, but doesn’t portal work require years of study? How long have you been studying it?”
    Jazer shrugged, “I watched them create it…”
    “Oh that’s reassuring.” Roman sighed and looked toward Denith who managed a shrug.
    “It is better than climbing a mountain with only one arm.” He looked back down at the empty socket, as if imagining his arm was there, just hidden by some spell. He looked back toward the other two, “Speaking of which, this fight is going to be mainly between you two and Octavius, I am just a distraction for the beastie. I can defend myself easily enough, but to contend with that creature, I am a few limbs short”.
    Jazer looked toward Roman and nodded. The werewolf sighed and slowly raised a clawed hand, “I think I will have to go full feral for this one. If after we are done, I become a nuisance, Denith will you…”
    “I’ll make it clean.” Denith reached in to his cloak once more and pulled his crossbow free.
    Jazer shifted uncomfortably, “Full feral?”
    Roman nodded, “I let the wolf take over, giving me more strength, but less control.”
    “Wait, you are crazy too?”
    The werewolf’s laugh made Jazer suddenly feel very foolish. “No,” he said, “I am not crazy, it is true that there is another spirit residing within me, but it does not make me, this spirit, crazy.”
    Jazer began speaking impossibly fast, “How does it work, is it a conscious force? How will you regain control once it is lost? What do you do to stay in control.”
    “Slow down made, one question at a time, and only a few. There is work to be done you know.” Roman rested a clawed hand on Jazer’s shoulder.
    “I’m sorry,” he said softly, “but I am struggling with this power still and was hoping you could teach me how to retain my sanity.”
    Roman smiled once more, “After this is over, I will teach you the methods taught to me. For now though, just think of your other half like you would another person. When you two share a common goal, then you will not struggle for control.”
    How was that going to help, Jazer thought. It seemed unlikely that reasoning with himself would produce any effect. Then again, Roman was reasoning with a beast. Maybe there was going to be a way…
    “Enough with your spirit talks, we have a homunculus to kill.” Denith stepped forward. He had been wrestling with his crossbow the entire time trying to figure out the best way to load it. Now though, he held it at the ready, aiming it at the portal. Roman stood taller signaling he was ready.
    Jazer adjusted his spectacles one last time and said “Let’s go.”
    The three of them stepped into the light simultaneously. Jazer felt the rush as the hole in time and space enveloped him, dragging him in. It was an intoxicating feeling. The power echoed around him and seemed in tune with his own. Limitless energy flooded his veins, but this time he did not fear it. He welcomed its embrace. All too soon though, it was over. He realized his eyes had been shut and quickly opened them. As soon as he did however, he longed for another portal, one that led anywhere else.
    The land was exactly as its name described, dead. Jazer struggled to stand as his body shifted to the higher altitude. He felt his breath run short and covered his eyes to block the sandstorm that was furiously erupting around them. The other two were there, both shielding their eyes from the sand. For what seemed miles there was nothing else but more sand. It was an oasis on a mountain that had been claimed by the desert. Jazer couldn’t think of a stranger concept.
    They looked around trying to discern exactly where they were but the sand, now rushing them in gusts, was near blinding. Jazer heard a shout but it seemed far away. The gusts of sand deafened even the loudest of shouts. The roar though, lost none of its potency as it stung their ears. The three of them looked up to see the source of the bestial cry, and the source of the pulsing sands.
    Octavius hovered just above them, seemingly unknowing of his would be killers just under his belly. Jazer saw now that his tiny legs had been long snapped of and the two stubs swung back and forth, useless under the mighty creature’s weight. Denith held up a finger, signaling them to be quite, but Roman began to cough loudly. The coughs slowly turned to cries of pain. Denith moved quickly, covering Roman’s mouth with his hand, but the werewolf wrenched his arm away, sending the Halfling sprawling.
    Roman clutched as his stomach, screaming at the top of his lungs. Quickly the human sound faded from his voice, replaced by a wolf’s howl. Then his hair began to grown, reaching down to his shoulders. His arms and legs hair became covered itself with a dark grey fur. The fur coat he wore before blended seamlessly with his new coat, the two quickly becoming one. His claws grew in length, retaining their dark color. His face though , changed the most. It twisted in agony as he screamed. His bones seemed to shatter and then reform themselves, stretching his furry skin. Slowly his ears shifted higher up on his head, becoming pointed. His nose extended with his cheek bones, forming a snout. The razor sharp teeth fell perfectly into place.
    Roman let loose a terribly howl, standing to his full height. He retained his thick burly body, but his head was now that of a wolf. The dark grey hair had extended, masking any semblance of human skin. Roman’s eyes had turned a deep amber, and they were hungry.
    Jazer was so enthralled by the site he had nearly forgot about the massive creature that was just above them. Sure enough Octavius too had heard the commotion, and now was flying higher to get a better grasp. Octavius reared his head back and dove for the trio. Jazer was the first to act, creating an invisible wall that stood between them and the homunculus. Octavius crashed into it, the force of the blow nearly driving Jazer to the ground. He held up his hands, channeling more energy into the creation. Octavius repeatedly slammed into it, again and again jarring Jazer’s body. He wanted to put more magic into the defense, but hesitated. If he let the power go, would he become an animal like Roman?
    Then the wall shattered. The other two darted away, but Jazer was too slow. Octavius’s mouth surrounded him. In an instant Jazer’s world went from a barren wasteland to rows upon rows of large teeth that threatened to shred everything in sight. Then Octavius closed his mouth, dredging up both sand and elf. Jazer summoned another protective shield, this time a bubble. Octavius struggled to crush through the force, but Now Jazer was fueling his defense with everything he had. For a moment his mind stumbled and it seemed Octavius had won, but with renewed effort Jazer reapplied his efforts, forcing the creature’s jaws open. Jazer was no longer hesitant as he put the full weight of his magic behind his shield.
    The elf looked out of the gaping maw to see the Deadlands darting all around him. Octavius was in a wild flight, clearly struggling. Octavius struggled once more, trying to crush the tiny bubble in his mouth. His jaws came down, squeezing Jazer into a smaller space. Jazer didn’t know what to do, he couldn’t hurt Octavius, it was his creation, he was responsible, he couldn’t hurt him.
    The other half was awake, Jazer thought. His magic bearing half was now conscious and struggling for control. “Okay other half, we’re in a situation,” he said aloud, “I need your help.”
     
  8. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-3

    Note to the Reader: Now that I have written the ending of the story, I have begun to go back and edit or rewrite parts of the book. During Jazer's stay at Malius's Lair, he was commissioned to artifice a large number of objects. One one such occasion he formed a slight bond with Denith when he created what he called smart bolts, or bolts that could perceive your mind's target and direct themselves toward it. The homing effect wasn't powerful, but just enough to adjust your aim slightly. I will periodically include these notes so things don't get too confusing

    There was no response, then again, why would there be? Jazer struggled to hold the shield as he searched for the power which slowly drained from him. Here he was talking to himself while being devoured alive by his own homunculus. Where was his power going anyway? It had always been near limitless and now he was losing it.
    “I have it.”
    Jazer looked around, “Who said that?”
    It was him, he realized. He had said that, the other being had finally separated himself. “Well we need it now.”
    “I won’t let you hurt Octavius.”
    This was going to be difficult he thought.
    “I just want to get us out of here. Give me control of it and I swear I will cast no spell at Octavius.”
    “Deal.”
    Jazer suddenly felt the power flow back. He had to think of something. He needed to get out of Octavius’s mouth without hurting the creature. If he teleported though, who knows where he could end up, he needed a point of reference.
    As if answering his call, a bright light shined from above. A small holed had formed just off to Jazer’s left. Claws were ripping holes in the flesh, giving Jazer a view of the sky above and Roman tearing his way through the creature. Jazer visualized himself just above Roman’s head and cast the spell. He felt as if he was being sucked into a small tube and shot out the other side was his instantly teleported outside of the creature.
    He quickly fell onto Octavius, falling backward as the homunculus darted to and fro, frantically trying to shake off his attacker. Jazer was sliding backwards along the slugs oddly formed body until he finally hit the wings, a great distance away from Roman. The elf grabbed hold of one of the scaly wings and held on for dear life. He looked back down though at the wings, realizing they were actually scaly, not just modeled to look like it. The scales were a gold color. Octavius had gone back and eaten the dragon. Jazer took a moment to realize that Octavius had been absorbing numerous different creatures to fill in any gaps in his construction. He was nearly whole now, meaning he was vulnerable.
    Bits of flesh and blood soared by him as Roman continued to widen the wound he had created. Octavius was becoming more and more agitated at the werewolf’s pestering, but Roman was showing no signs of slowing. The homunculus backed and bucked, but nothing he could do would even cause a moment relief from the full feral werewolf. Instead Octavius turned upward for a few moments, gaining altitude quickly. He then dove straight for the ground, Jazer realized too late what was happening and unable to stop the homunculus. Octavius crashed into the mountain desert sending both Roman and Jazer to be violently thrust off.
    Jazer hit the sand hard, skipping like a stone across a lake. When he finally came to a stop he quickly looked up to see the rest of Octavius’s body crash to the earth, sending a tremor rippling through the ground. Jazer dragged himself to his feet, but a clawed hand thrust him back, scratching him across his chest. Roman was on his feet racing towards the homunculus with a bit of Jazer’s clothing still stuck in his claws. The scratches were deep and stung in his chest. The pain sent a wave of fury though, and along with it, a wave of power. His only thought became incinerating Roman, but quickly he removed the though from his mind. When he looked down at his hands though, his hands were still engulfed magic flame. He looked up toward Octavius, and the moment the thought crossed his mind, the fire faded from his fingertips.
    He looked down, seeing the magic fade, then suddenly pain wracked his entire body. His veins felt like fire once more as the magic swelled within. A voice echoed in his head, “We had a deal.” The deal, that was right. The pain slowly subsided and he found himself face first in the sand. He couldn’t even think of hurting Octavius. This was going to be a lot more difficult.
    Denith was running on foot towards the flying creature. Roman was dodging the colossal beast as it made repeated attempts to snatch up the wolf man. It flew back and forth kicking up sand as it went by. Denith positioned himself in front of his next assault. The homunculus screamed toward him. Once more Roman ducked the gaping maw, but Denith was right in the creature’s path.
    Octavius stretched his mouth wider, digging into the sand as he drove closer. Denith halted, raising his crossbow. He closed one of his eyes, aiming carefully. He slowed his breathing despite the hulking mass rapidly approaching. He had one shot, one chance. He could barely see around the homunculus now. He had one chance…Denith fired the crossbow, the bolt sailing over the creature’s frame. It slammed into the base of Octavius’s left wing. The appendage seized up, causing the homunculus to sharply bank left. His mouth closed but still it clipped Denith, sending the Halfling through air, eventually sprawling into the sand.
    He pushed himself up with his arm, trying to rise. He put his leg in front of him, immediately collapsing. He coughed, blood spilling out of his mouth. His breathing became labored, his ribs were broken he was sure. He cursed, that was his one action in this fight, and it was going to cost him. He rolled over to see Jazer rushing up to him. The elf was shouting something, but there was only a ringing in his ears. He looked worried, near tears. Denith cracked a smile, pathetic fool, there was work to be done and here he was mourning.
    A bright flash of light nearly blinded him. He felt his lungs fill with air again. His chest burned with pain, but then it slowly faded. Next a sharp pain from his leg and then it too faded. He opened his eyes to see Jazer sweating. “What did you do?”
    Jazer smiled, “I healed you, I think I am getting the hang of it.”
    “Why are you wasting time on me, you should of blasted the beast already!” Denith was on his feet and digging around his cloak for something.
    “I can’t hurt him!”
    “What do you mean you can’t hurt him!?” Denith pulled on of his hands out his pocket causing something to drop into the sand. He had in his hand though, a small vial.
    “The magic won’t let me do it.” Jazer couldn’t look at Denith’s face, so he looked down into the sand.
    “Gods be damned! Stay out of the way then.” With that, Denith was off, racing towards Octavius who was having trouble flying. Jazer stared after him, he knew he had helped. He had just saved Denith’s life, but there was nothing else he could do. He was only talented in destruction, and he was useless now.
    What was he going to do? Stand idly by and hope to heal the other two before they succumb to any injuries the colossal monstrosity might give them? His fingers dragged through the sand hoping to find an answer but there was none. His hand scooped up what Denith had dropped, which was a small golden scale, a memento from his companion’s death. Was this going to be all of their fates, having nothing but a small piece of them left? No, there had to be something he could do. He tried to think back, think of something he had done. What was he capable of?
    He was an artificer, that was his profession before all of this. He could create spells through writing yes, but often times he used those spells and bestowed them on inanimate objects. The clay figurines he had five the power of movement. To Denith’s bolts he had given the power of intelligence. He wasn’t out of this fight yet, he was far from it.
    He looked up, instead of worrying though, now he was analyzing. Seeing every movement, every possibility, he was going to find a way to ensure their victory. Octavius had just thrust Roman off of him, the werewolf landing on his feet quite a distance away. Denith had already released the vial, the acidic content burning a hole in Octavius’s side. They were doing well, but the beast so large that the effects of a bottle of acid or several minutes of biting and scratching were barely more than pin pricks. They needed help. Jazer needed more time though, to figure out the finishing blow. He had to hide them from Octavius who was hovering barely above the ground. He turned to Denith who sprinted towards the homunculus with a short sword in his hand.
    Octavius heard him coming, that’s how he perceives the world around him, and he hunts by sound. Jazer quickly conjured up in his mind a deafening spell. Before he realized it his hands were going through the complicated motions and the words of power echoed from within. The instant the power left him, the entirety of all sound within the Deadlands was immediately whisked away, replaced by an eerie stillness. Octavius hesitated for a movement, thrashing in the air, trying to find the source of the mischief. It didn’t take Denith long to figure out, and Roman didn’t seem to care. He raced toward the homunculus, clearly ready to attack once more.
    Roman leapt toward the underside of the creature, hooking in with his clawed feet and hands. He began to tear into Octavius, creating yet another small hole, but this time Roman didn’t let up. Octavius bucked wildly trying to find where he was or what was happening but it was no use. He was helpless to defend against the werewolf’s attacks. Another explosion of alchemical liquid burst near Octavius’s hind end as Denith renewed his assault.
    Jazer smiled, trying to think of what he could do next. Octavius was now darting to and fro, trying to shake the beast that had him by the gullet, but Roman held on, the hole growing wider, more blood spilling out. Then Roman started pulling teeth out form the hole he had made. Though he was several meters away from the mouth, still there were teeth to be found. Octavius was really an amazing creature, but his best quality was his capacity to learn. Jazer’s heart dropped to his stomach. He realized he didn’t have long, but still he had no solution. They were going to have to bleed him out.
    Denith fired another bolt, but it went wide missing his targets. He had run out of the smart bolts, Jazer thought. He had no raw materials to create more. “Damn,” he silently cursed, the sound removed by the spell. He was helpless yet again, but at least he had given them the edge over the homunculus. Denith fired again, this time it stuck in Octavius right wing, towards the base of the appendage. The homunculus dropped altitude, but quickly recovered, his flying becoming worse. The wings, if they destroy the wings, he’d be an immobile slug. Jazer formulated in his mind how they were going to do that when Octavius bucked wildly. Jazer could see Roman dangling from the wound he had created. Then Octavius stopped flapping his massive wings, letting his slug-like body fall back towards the earth. The height wasn’t too great, so Roman had little time to react before the homunculus slammed down on top of him. In an instant, Roman was gone, straight through the wound he had created.
    Jazer hoped that Roman had gotten away, possibly jumped or buried in the sand. Just about Octavius’s mouth though, the skin rippled, patches of fur growing in. Dark grey fur, Roman’s fur, filled the entire area like a bearskin rug. In the center, the skin bulged up in a large mound, then slid backward to reveal a large golden eye.
    He had taken Roman for his parts, he broke down his internal organs, and remade them into an eye…that is impossible, Jazer thought. Octavius had just recreated exactly what he needed using raw materials. The large golden orb rotated in its socket, focusing on Denith who simply stared in horror. Jazer screamed in warning, but his shouts never formed. Jazer mentally severed the deafening spell, bringing the sound crashing back. Like rolling thunder, the sounds of the events that occurred during the spell happened all at once. The din stunned Jazer and apparently Octavius too as the homunculus crashed back down to the earth.
    He quickly picked himself back up, beating his wings but Denith was already running with a considerable lead. Octavius soared after him, flying impossibly fast for such a large creature. Jazer blinked his eyes and in an instant he was next to Denith with Octavius right on their heels. He summoned another magical barrier around them, the magic shimmering around the two. Denith slammed into the magical wall, falling backward. Octavius dove headlong toward them, his mouth stretching wide. Jazer braced himself as Octavius crashed into the shimmering shield. The crash echoed in their tiny cage, which glowed brightly as the homunculus collided with it, but the magic held and Octavius careened to the left, crashing into the sand once more. His large tail was lying on their tiny shield causing Jazer to strain under the weight. He held his hands up, trying to preserve their protective shield, but its strength began to wane.
    “Denith! We need to go now.” Jazer’s mind began to fatigue, he was pouring what magic he had into his efforts, but the sheer weight of the creature was crushing down on them.
    Denith got to his feet slowly, “Warn me next time!” He looked up, “Dear Gods, what in the nine hells do you plan on doing now?”
    Jazer’s legs began to buckle, “Was hoping you had a plan.”
    “Cursed creature! I….I…” he looked down, “I haven’t any idea what to do.”
     
  9. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-6

    Jazer looked back at him, his face wide with fear. “Okay, I am going to try something, let’s hope it works!” Jazer released his control over the shield, the shimmering protection phasing out almost immediately. Jazer dived toward Denith, tackling him to the ground. His mind instantly conjured the spell, ripping a hole in the fabric of reality. Both elf and Halfling tumbled through the hole, Jazer felt his body being ripped apart, and then reassembled. In a flash, the two appeared several meters away from the tail. Jazer quickly reformed the sand into a berm, hiding them from view.
    Denith was choking on his own vomit, Jazer gave him a quick pat on the back, spilling the contents of his stomach onto the desert floor. Jazer asked, “What now?”
    He finished vomiting and coughed up what appeared to be a bit of blood. “We need wings.” Denith touched his ear, “We need them now damn it!”
    “Who are you-“ with what sounded like a crack of a whip, two small dragons phased into existence, soaring for the pair. Jazer stood awestruck, “How did you-“
    “Later, for now we have wings, you can’t hurt him, but you can direct the dragon to cook him in dragon’s breath, now come on!” Denith was on his feet, racing towards the first of the dragon’s which had nearly reached him. The first was a bright crimson red, an adolescent still like the previous gold one. The other was a cobalt blue, trailing the red by a short distance. Denith found himself smiling, “Try this on for size you homunculus basta-“
    Octavius darted into view, the lower half of his jaw hanging loosely from his mouth. The red dragon saw it too late and couldn’t get out of the way before Octavius swallowed him whole. The cobalt one darted out of the way, spraying Octavius’s back with a blast of fire. Octavius roared and continued on, his wings already extending farther with a crimson color.
    Denith looked toward the sky, “What did I do to piss you people off!?” He cursed several times and stomped his foot on the ground. “What cursed thing could go wrong next!?”
    Octavius circled back, aiming for the smaller dragon. The cobalt dragon took off, flying as fast as his wings could carry him, but that did not stop the homunculus from giving chase. He soared after it, beating his mighty wings faster. The dragon realized that Octavius was gaining on him through sheer strength of wing and instead began darting in different directions. The dragon’s small size and agility paid off, easily avoiding Octavius. The homunculus turned and uttered a roar, but with it came a cone of flame erupting from his mouth. The dragon was caught in the middle of the fiery blast and bearing the full bore of it.
    Jazer watched in horror as the homunculus repeatedly fire d off spouts of flame, trying to incinerate the smaller creature. Despite the dragon being caught in the flame several times, he continued to avoid Octavius. Jazer turned to Denith who began to smile, “First he eats my dragon, and then learns to breathe fire.” He laughed maniacally, “This is just getting better and better.”
    “How is the blue one still alive? He had been incinerated multiple times!” Jazer stared and watched the aerial battle, feeling helpless.
    “He is a dragon, fire doesn’t hurt them much, that’s why their mouths don’t melt when they breathe fire,” Denith answered. “Octavius on the other hand…”
    It was true, Jazer could see from here that Octavius’s front end was covered in scorched skin a result from the numerous attempts at burning the little dragon. The dragon though, couldn’t fly forever. “What do we do now?” Jazer asked.
    A burst of flame crashed into the berm, sending the two sprawling into the dirt. Jazer quickly rose to his feet as Octavius fired another gust in their direction. Denith sprang from the ground, rolling to the side. Jazer stood in front of the blast, raising his shields. Denith began to scream, “No don’t!”
    Jazer realized too late what he meant. The fire tore straight through, unaffected by the magical shield. His power flared instantly and his mind went dark. He felt the blast scorch his entire body, thrusting him backward. He bounced several times and rolled to a halt. His mind came back to him, but now he was just watching as his body moved. The power was awake, and it was angry. Jazer lifted his arm and pointed to a mound of sand. The earth shook beneath their feet as the mound became a pillar.
    Denith was on his feet, running for his alive. He yelled for the dragon in a strange tongue, which promptly raced toward the Halfling. With Octavius distracted by the ever growing mound of sand, both dragon and rider had plenty of time to ready themselves. As soon as Denith was well seated, the dragon kicked off, racing into the air once more. Denith steered him to the edge of the battle and both watched as Jazer’s fury unleashed itself.
    Octavius had been hovering watching curiously as the sand’s height rivaled his own length. The pillar was massive, and slowly it formed the shaped of a great armored soldier, complete with mace and shield. The colossal sand creature was sentient, Jazer knew, but it only understood one thing, rage. The creature swung its sand mace, sending Octavius crashing to the earth. The homunculus quickly recovered, flying between the sand beast’s legs. Jazer wasn’t controlling it nor was his other half. The creature was very much alive and it chased Octavius , the slug-like creature being swatted out of the air every time it swung the sand mace.
    Jazer felt himself float from the earth and watched as the battle raged on. Octavius had now gone on the offensive, colliding with the sand creature’s center. It burst through, dragging sand throughout its broken mouth. The hole itself though, simply refilled itself. Octavius took another clubbing, the mace dragging off the homunculus’s charred skin. Octavius began bleeding profusely as he struggled to stay airborne. He fired off a spout of flame, but it did nothing against the sand. Octavius hovered for a moment, as if considering what to do next. The sand monster charged, but Octavius was faster, darting straight for the creatures head. Even with his gaping maw the head was too large for Octavius to wrap his mouth around, but he took the majority of it with him as he flew by. The sand monster turned, his head reforming, but Octavius kept flying . He was headed east and he did not look like he was coming back.
    With the homunculus fled, Jazer breathed a sigh of relief. Then the sand monster turned to him and swung his mace. Jazer could barely do more than blink as his body snapped out of existence and back in moments later. He watched as the mace struck the ground where he was standing moments ago. Denith was on the move now racing toward him. Jazer held up a hand and said, “Beast! I am your master, you will obey me.”
    As if in response, a deep rumbling sound echoed form the creature’s gut. It swung again, this time in a wide arc. Jazer looked toward Denith who was still a considerable ways away. He squeezed his eyes shut and reality faded once more. When he opened his eyes once more he was falling from a great height. Denith realized what he had done and had the dragon dart for him. Jazer reached out for Denith as the two of them entered a steep dive. Denith squeezed his legs around the dragon, placing the reins in his teeth. He then reached out for Jazer, pulling him closer. Once Jazer was close enough he yanked back with his teeth, pulling the dragon from the dive. Denith hauled Jazer onto the dragon’s back and the two were off.
    The sand monster was on them now, running towards them with his mace held high. The dragon was already tired from the fight with Octavius, but its fear of the new monster gave it new incentive to fly faster. They eventually outran the thing, the monster giving up its chase. The trio was near the edge of the plains before Denith pulled them to a stop. He turned to face the beast which satisfied its anger by staring them down. Denith yelled back, “The next time you feeling like creating something, don’t!”
    Jazer yelled back up, “It wasn’t me!”
    “That excuse is getting old!” Denith kicked and sent the dragon in the beast’s direction. The monster hefted his club, swinging for the cobalt dragon. Denith took it into a dive, ignoring the mace as it sailed over them. Jazer could barely hang on as the dragon dove toward its legs, releasing a cone of fire. The sand moved, causing the creature to stumble but it reformed just as quickly.
    Denith yelled once more, “You can help at any time you know!”
    Jazer already knew what was going to happen, but the moment he raised his hand toward the creature, it began to tingle with power, power that would turn on him without a moment’s hesitation. He yelled, “I can’t he won’t let me!”
    “Son of a whore!” Denith steered the dragon upward, missing another swing from the mace. “What now?”
    “Hold on!” Jazer stared at the creature once more analyzing its magic. It didn’t take him long to break it down in his mind. “We have to destroy him all at once.”
    “How do you propose we do that, or are you going to turn the mountain into another monster for us to fight?” Denith kicked once more willing the dragon to avoid another might swing.
    “We need sustained heat on his legs, that will slow him.” Jazer pointed down towards his legs, “It is our only shot.”
    “You better be right!” Denith guided the dragon down, after whispering a few words, again in the strange tongue, into its ears, Denith let the dragon take over. The cobalt blue breathed in deep, Jazer felt his lungs expand beneath him. The dragon let loose a controlled cone of fire, continually incinerating the creature. It stumbled once more, but then it was rooted in place. Jazer watched as the superheated sand began to shine, and mold together. After a few more seconds, the giant’s leg had turned to a translucent glass. Jazer felt like cheering when the leg did not restructure itself
    Jazer yelled, “Now the other one!” He could have sword he saw a smile streak across Denith’s face. The three of them glided toward the other leg, and like before the dragon breathed deeply, then let loose another stream of fire. After only a few seconds, the effects began to take place. Before they could finish though, the large sand club crashed into them. For a moment Jazer wasn’t sure which way was up and which was down until he crashed once more onto the hard desert floor. He wasn’t sure, but he felt as if a few of his ribs had broken this time.
    When he tried to stand the sand was still settling around him. He called for Denith, but the pain was too intense to even get a word out. He limped through the desert, trying to find Denith and the dragon. It didn’t take long as Denith popped out from under the sand. The dragon was visible a few meters away, motionless. Denith rushed towards it with Jazer following close behind. Denith sighed as he approached, a sigh of relief. The dragon was still breathing, his breaths labored, but still alive. Jazer smiled and then winced at the pain in his chest. Denith looked back up towards the sand giant, “At least he is stuck up here and can’t hurt anyone.”
    Jazer smiled weakly and watched the sand giant struggle, and then with great effort, the sand giant’s leg cracked, and then fell apart, the sand reforming. Denith’s eyes went wide, “OH GODS CURSE THAT SON OF A WHORE!” He breathed deeply, trying to recompose himself. “Jazer, the next time I open my mouth, please, just kill me.”
     
  10. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-8

    “If we can find a way to turn him completely to glass we could shatter him all at once.” Jazer looked down at Denith, “Got any more dragons?”
    Denith shook his head, “No, these last two took every string I had to pull, now I have nothing.”
    With a loud sigh Jazer looked toward the earth, “Every time I use magic, things always get worse.”
    “I’ll say, speaking of which, down!” Denith threw Jazer to the dirt as a large shadow passed over them. Jazer felt what could only be described as a cool bucket of water drop onto his head. He looked up and saw Octavius, dripping water from the wound Roman had caused.
    “What the-“ Jazer watched as Octavius flew high into the sky. The sand giant stopped struggling against his other leg and began to swat at Octavius, but the homunculus was well out of reach. Octavius positioned himself straight above the sand giant and then flipped his tail in the air. From his mouth fell an immeasurable amount of water. It fell from him as if he had been full of it from head to toe. The water crashed into the sand giant’s head, immediately pouring through the rest of its body. Both head and torso landed in a large pile of mud between the giant’s feet. With no body to attach to, the arms fell into nothingness along with the feet. The only thing left was the stump of a glass leg. The particles began to reform but before it could, Octavius dove on top of it, consuming both glass and reforming bits of sand. When he finished his meal, his jaw had been fixed and he let loose a mighty roar, as if pronouncing his victory.
    Jazer felt himself smile at his creature’s intelligence. It seemed the longer it lived the smarter it was getting. Then Octavius turned toward the two small beings and began to beat his wings. Though he was severely hurt from the sand giant’s beating, and the scorched skin from the dragon, still he wanted more. Jazer’s smile quickly left his face.
    Denith saw it two and yelled, “Split up!”
    Jazer phased through reality, landing far away from where he had been. He could see though that Octavius didn’t care, he was still charging in the same direction, toward Denith. The Halfling had taken off running but Octavius was much quicker, the distance closing between the two. Jazer tried to phase back, but collapsed from the pain in his chest. “Come on damn it!” he wheezed, “I need to go now!” He looked up and watched as Octavius reared up, preparing to unleash another inferno. Denith was right in the path and stood no chance.
    Everything stopped for a mere moment. The sand that had been kicked up in the air, Octavius’s flapping wings, the sweat running down Denith’s brow. Nothing moved as Jazer rifled through his pocket, picking up the dragon’s scale. He looked over to dragon, who was frozen in time. It had begun to get back up. Jazer was amazed at the creature’s ability to take punishment, it would probably survive another blast of fire if it needed to. His eyes went down to the scale, and back toward Denith. He knew what he was must do.
    With time still frozen, he began to cast the spell. In his mind he broke down the scale’s components, reproducing them over and over. His mind was still his own, but the magic coming to him in a flood of power and knowledge. He didn’t know how he was doing it, but he began to summon ligaments and tissues, sowing them together. He used the metal content of the sand to form the bone to wrap the tissues around. Finally, the scale, reproduced ten-fold to cover the appendage. With the last bit of magic he reached out to Denith, fusing his creation to the Halfling. Then his world went dark.
    Denith screamed in pain, and an instant later Octavius’s fiery breath rushed toward him. He stuck his right arm out trying to shove the fire away. The fire crashed into him like a tidal wave, but it did not burn. His right arm warmed slightly, but he held it against the pressure. The air around him heated up and he felt the flames lick his skin, but no more than a painful sting. He opened his eyes as the fire passed, his cloak was still enflamed and his hat was gone. He tossed the cloak to the ground, sliding it off his right arm. Wait, he though, right arm?
    Denith stared down at his arm, covered in gold scales. The arm was thicker than his own, and ended in two claws instead of fingers and another where his thumb would have been. He stared down at the slightly blackened dragon’s arm in amazement and horror. He looked back up at a very confused Octavius.
    The homunculus, after seeing his quarry still alive, wasted no time and darted in for the kill. Denith waited as Octavius closed the distance. He watched him come closer, his mouth opening, the rows of sharpened teeth beckoning him. He even swore he could smell the creature’s breath. With one last look down at his new arm he dove to his left, trying to escape the creature’s maw. He did, allowing Octavius to fly straight by him, scooping up nothing but sand. Denith slammed his fist into the homunculus’s side, trying to grab on. His dragon’s claws dug into Octavius’s flesh, but the charred skin easily gave way. It peeled away, blood flowing freely as Octavius took flight once more. Denith held on, but the skin was giving away fast as the homunculus gained altitude. Before long, Denith had slipped down the length of his body, the last piece of skin ripping away, causing Denith to fall from a short height.
    Denith landed on the ground next to the pile of fileted flesh. He was back on his feet warding off yet another blast of fire. Despite his wounds, Octavius was showing no signs of slowing. He may have been mostly living, but he must have retained some of his inner workings to still be moving as he did. The homunculus went for another dive, but Denith once again avoided his jaws, stripping more skin. He howled in pain and took off once more, flying higher this time. Octavius flew in a wide circle, as if considering what to do next.
    Denith looked over to the cobalt dragon, which had gotten back to its feet. The dragon was testing his wings, inspecting the damage. The Halfling ran toward him, his eyes never leaving the circling homunculus. Octavius still had not decided what to do next, giving Denith time to consider his options. Denith gripped the reins as he hopped onto the dragon’s back. He patted the dragon’s leg, “Alright boy, let’s finish this.”
    The dragon roared in response, but it was a cry of pain. Denith looked down at his clawed hand, he didn’t realize he had used that arm, but it still should not have hurt the dragon though. He checked the leg, seeing where he had drawn blood. The wound was no more than a scratch, but the dragon’s leg had no scales to protect it. The blood flowed smoothly over soft exposed skin. Denith shook his head and kicked, urging the dragon to take flight. It did without hesitation.
    Once more Denith was soaring through the air, checking the shadows, waiting for another strike. He constantly turned his head back and forth, watching for Octavius, and looking for Jazer. The latter was not hard to find, being a black speck amongst the golden sands. Denith glided down toward him, unwilling to make any sudden moves. The elf was on his back, his eyes closed. Denith willed the dragon to move a faster.
    He dismounted before the dragon’s feet ever landed. He yelled to the dragon, “Keep an eye out!” The cobalt blue gave a curt nod and turned his attention toward Octavius, who had stopped flying in circles, but simply hovered in the air, watching his prey. Denith knelt beside Jazer, afraid to too him.
    Through the tattered clothing, Denith could see the mage, who had been thin to begin with, looked to be on the verge of starving to death. His bones threatened to tear through his skin, his stomach was sunken in and he was very pale, even for an elf. Jazer was breathing slowly, but his breaths were weak.
    Denith scooped Jazer up, propping the tall elf onto his shoulder, “Come on, I got ya.”
    Jazer whispered, “Did we win?”
     
  11. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-10

    The Halfling looked up, “Gods damn me to hell! Come on we have to move.” The dragon was howling now, warning them of the impending attack. Octavius was now flying at full speed toward them. The bastard had waited, Denith thought, he knew I was going to pick him up.
    He lifted Jazer onto his shoulder now, quickly hopping onto the dragon’s back. The dragon needed no more prompting and took off darting away from Octavius. The homunculus was already on them, forcing them to make numerous twists and turns in efforts to out maneuver the larger predator. Every time they did, Denith had to release the reins to keep Jazer from falling.
    Jazer groaned, “Just go, leave me, this is the fate I deserve.”
    Denith hollered back, “I am sick and tired of your whining damn it, you are not giving up.” They ducked a spout of fire, the flames close enough to sting Denith’s skin. “Now think damn it, how are we going to beat him. You said his heart right? How do we find it?”
    Through groans of pain, Jazer responded, “I…I don’t know…”
    “How Jazer?”
    “I don’t know!” Denith heard him begin to sob, “I don’t know what to do, everything I do makes things worse, I don’t know!” Another sob, “I just want to be done, let me go, let me die.”
    Octavius took a snap at them, the sound of the powerful jaws snapping shut made Denith want to cover his ears. He darted passed the homunculus once more. “Oh grow up! So many people have died, are you going to let them die in vain? Roman, Claire, Malius, those villagers, the dragons, how many more must die Jazer!?”
    “Please…”
    “If we don’t stop this thing now, his next meal could be Mary Ann.” The following silence reassured Denith his words at finally hit home.
    Jazer stared down at the sand below, this was it he thought. None of them could continue on much longer. Octavius even looked to be slowing, this fight had gone on long enough. The homunculus continued to chase them, snapping his jaws anytime he came close. Mary Ann, he thought, he had to protect Mary Ann. Once more the power flooded his veins, but he couldn’t aim it at the homunculus if he tried. The most powerful sorcerer in the known world, and he couldn’t cast a single spell. He might as well have that locket back on him.
    He looked back toward the sand and began to think. He had managed to work around the locket before, this one was no different. Denith screamed another command in the strange tongue, the dragon responded by plummeting to the earth, dodging Octavius once more. Jazer managed to ask, “You speak magic?”
    “Your magic language is the language of dragons, I know it.” He mumbled more words and the dragon darted once more.
    Denith knew the language, but Jazer had no paper with which to imbue magical writings, but he had sand. “Keep him busy,” he yelled. Before Denith could shout back, Jazer leapt from the dragon’s back, letting the magic suspend him in the air.
    “What are you doing?” Denith screamed as he avoided another wave of fire.
    “Acting like and artificer!” Jazer climbed higher into the skin. He focused on what he needed and the equations involved. The spell was familiar enough, he thought, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult. He ignited his hands, surrounding them in a potent flame. He climbed higher still, he wanted to be sure not to miss.
    Octavius was too busy with the dragon to notice the tiny elf floating in the sky. Jazer released the power in a steady stream, the flames arcing toward the ground. The sand below blackened with the fire’s touch. With his power he began to draw in the sand. “Increase the air circulation,” he muttered to himself, “Creating friction with the ground, the sand is iron based, iron burns at after enough heat is applied,” He continued drawing the massive equations in the ground far below. “Air burns as well, contained by an extreme density.”
    Octavius now turned toward the caster, drawn like a moth to the flame. He darted upward roaring as he did. Jazer ignored him as he drew closer. Denith banked the dragon in pursuit. He kicked the dragon, hard. The cobalt blue darted, keeping pace with the homunculus. Denith continued to kick harder and harder, willing the dragon to fly faster. The dragon flew in-between Octavius’s wings, releasing a breath of fire. Octavius ignored it and continued to fly. They were nearly on the elf now, Denith cursed, allowing himself to fall from the dragons back. He drew back his golden arm and slammed it between the homunculus’s wings. Octavius instantly dropped, howling in pain. His teeth snapped, nearly catching Jazer’s boots in his grasp.

    Jazer continued mumbling to himself, “Increasing rate of friction to consume all air…” He finished the equation and began translating it into the magic language. The fire easily scorched the earth, leaving a black trail, effectively writing the language into the sand. He yelled to Denith, “Just a bit longer!”
    Stop it, he thought, you’re going to kill him. “No,” he whispered back. We had a deal, the voice yelled back. Jazer smiled, “Judging from your inability to stop me, I don’t think I broke that deal.” You’re going to kill Octavius, you can’t hurt him, you can’t cast the spell! Jazer chuckled as he finished the last of the translation, “No, I can’t but the language of magic is written in dragon’s tongue, Denith just happens to know it.”
    He looked back toward Denith, his voice hoarse, but his power carried it to the Halfling’s ears, “Read it! Get out of the way and read it!”
    Denith was barely holding onto Octavius now, who bucked wildly, trying to throw the tiny creature off of him. Denith yelled for the dragon once more, the cobalt blue flying in close to pick up his rider. Denith slammed his fist into Octavius’s wing joint once more, sending the homunculus down to the earth. He sprang from the falling creature and latched onto the dragon’s leg. Jazer glided over to the pair and hefted Denith onto the dragon’s back, “Read it now!”
    “Are you crazy you will kill all of us!” Denith checked the wording of the spell and stared in horror back to Jazer.
    “Trust me…” was all Jazer could say.
    Denith cursed and looked back toward the earth and began reading the words written in the ancient tongue. As soon as he finished, the letters turned a fiery red and then so did everything else. The earth ignited into a wild fire, first turning into red flame, and then heating into a bright white light. Jazer wrapped his arms around the other two and mumbled his own words of power. Reality separated and the three of them fell into the void, appearing an instant later on the edge of the Deadlands.
    Denith vomited uncontrollably as Jazer watched the awesome sight. The sand had turned a bright white, burning under the intense heat. A shimmering shield surrounded nearly the entirety of the Deadlands. The dragon turned his eyes away from the light, but Jazer watched through magic vision as the very air erupted in flame. Octavius thrashed and tried to fly away from the heat, but the very air he breathed was an inferno. Then the entire sky turned the bright white, the flames burning hotter than he could have ever imagined. Soon, Jazer lost sight of Octavius as the homunculus was incinerated, turning to ash before ever hitting the ground. No roar echoed from his mouth, no death rattle was uttered. Then, all of the air was consumed in the flames and the spark died, leaving behind a screen of smoke. The shimmering shield faded, leaving only the blackened sky and earth.
     
  12. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Hey guys just wanted to give you an update, unfortunantly I have postponed all editing on this novel. I am doing one last revision of my other novel and hopefully will be able to publish it within a month or so, I'll keep you guys posted. As for the next novel to appear here in the forums, I have an intro written and several chapters...unfortunantly they aren't in order so I'm going to have to balance time between the two. And also have to work the next two weekends...stupid having to to eat thing.

    also if anyone can teach me to spell 'unfortunantly' I'd appreciate it
     
  13. WildPony

    WildPony New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The Wilderlans
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Unfortunately :] I specialise in editing and proof reading [honours degree in English Literature], so if you need any assistance just let me know.
     
  14. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-13

    Jazer shifted uncomfortably in his chair. They had left him there with a mountain of work to do and little instruction has how to do it. Countless artifacts littered the room, and each one had a paper request to match it. The paper was stacked impossibly high on his shabby desk, he wasn’t sure is he could reach the top paper if he tried. He looked back down to the necklace around his neck, the familiar locket reminding him that he was once again a prisoner. He studied the numerous things in the room, the swords and axes, shields and armor, clothing and jewelry, all of them waiting for magical infusion.
    He was told to take care of it and quickly since there would always be more. They had been nice, but stern. He guessed their treatment of Bosner had gone relatively unnoticed, much to Bosner’s dissatisfaction. Every time he had seen the tall pale man so far, Bosner only managed to scowl. Jazer got up from his desk and walked out of the tiny cramped office. The gran room that greeted him however, still made his eyes widen.
    The Grand Hall of Logistics as it was called, looked to be the size of a small village. The walls were made of brick, and the torches reflection made it resemble a dungeon, but constantly flashes of magic would illuminate the area, or the roaring fires from the multiple blacksmiths would give life to the place. There were lines upon lines of desks where tinkerers, sorcerers, builders, and craftsman all worked. There could have been six dozen of them or so if Jazer bothered to count them all. The atmosphere was amicable, but Jazer found it similar to purgatory, eternal strife with the promise of reward.
    He navigated through the workers, greeting some of his new friends that he had made. Though his very own office had made the others jealous, he envied them, actually having contact with other people throughout the day. They had spent nearly a week explaining how things worked here and what exactly happened during the past few months. Today was his first day on the job, but it was also the first day of the trial.
    He had to report in during the beginning stages of the trial, but now that his supervisor was away, busy with work, Jazer had quickly snuck away. He navigated through the winding halls, taking a turn here, a portal there. Eventually, after getting lost twice, he found the doors to the court room. He pulled back on the ornate brass handle and the large maple door easily swung open. He quickly stepped through and found an empty seat, an easy task seeing as how only six people were scattered throughout the seating area. He quickly listened in to the unfolding events. Twelve men stood behind a half circle desk, each one wearing pure black robes and staring intently at the man in the center, whose limbs were chained to the floor. Several armed guard stood nearby, poised and ready to strike.
    The center judge was in the middle of what appeared to be a speech, “…disobeyed direct orders, you endangered your objective. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
    “Yeah, why is it you people always refer to him as an objective. He is a living being, much unlike you old bastards.” Denith jerked on his chains, the light metal jingled softly, but the thick iron links on his right just resounded dull thuds.
    The center judge laughed softly, “And still you are obstinate, do you admit to disobeying orders?”
    Denith spat on the ground, the bottom end of a pike slammed into his gut, causing him to double over. The guard recovered his weapon. Denith slowly rose to his feet. “The orders were dung.”
    “And you disobeyed them.”
    Denith smiled and spat once more. Another pike clammed into his gut, but this time he was ready for it. He grunted loudly but held his ground. The guard slowly withdrew his weapon this time. Denith laughed, “You are damned right I disobeyed them! And I did my job, saving people’s lives, or did you forget that there was a giant homunculus with a taste for people.”
    “Silence! Your intentions would be taken into account along with your recent actions and with witness’s testimony. Your sentence has been decided.” The others were nodding in agreement.
    Denith slammed his foot on the marble floor. “Then why both having a trial!?”
    The center one smiled, “A mere formality.”
    Denith shrugged, “At least you’re honest.”
    “Your sentence is as follows…” He held up his hands and everyone in the room sat a bit straighter, “You will retain your rank, but you will be stripped of all privileges-“
    “Wait, what!?” Denith’s voice was near shrill. “I stay the same rank, but no privileges!? Are you guys insane?”
    “You are retaining your honor, the privileges were always earned anyway.”
    “Gods be damned, I still stay a class four but with no specialized equipment, no summoning circles, no back up? Do I even have scryers?”
    “We said no privileges.” After the old man finished there was an audible silence
    “What are you going to give me paper orders too?” Denith struggled against his chains once more, but they held tightly in place.
    “Yes, actually your next set of orders is in your box.” The old man continued to smile. He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying torturing Denith.
    “Well isn’t that just salt on the wounds! They might as well be a death warrant! Class four jobs and no resources...” Denith looked as if he was going to spit on the ground once more, but stopped as he stared down the guard. “Fine, when do I begin?”
    The head judge clapped his hands together, “Good, you were always an eager one. Your orders are effective immediately, report to portal transfer as soon as you have prepared. Oh and agent forty-six…”
    The guards had begun unshackling him, clearly wary of Denith’s foul mood and his right arm’s impossible strength. When they had finished, Denith rubbed his wrists, looking back up to the judge, “What is it?”
    “Keep a low profile this time, and that means keep your abomination out of sight.” He gestured down to Denith’s right arm. “We don’t need any more attention.”
    Denith nodded slowly, “I’ll do what I can.”
    The old man nodded in return, “I know you will forty-six.”
    Denith turned to walk out of the room and spotted Jazer. He nodded toward the doorway and Jazer immediately went outside. He waited a few seconds before Denith made his way out, he still wore the same torn and tattered clothing he had been wearing a week ago, and judging from the smell, his short time in the Order’s prison had not involved bathing. Jazer tried to ignore it as the two walked towards Jazer’s office. Jazer once again nodded to his new friends as he passed them, winding through countless tables.
    When the two finally stepped through the door, Denith through his hands in the air and yelled, “Those wrinkled bastards!”
    “Denith, I am still new at this, why are you mad?” Jazer moved past the halfling and took a seat at his desk. He looked up toward Denith who had begun pacing the room.
    “Why!? Why am I mad!? I am mad because I just got back from what was supposed to be an easy mission. Spend several months undercover, enter a criminal organization, snatch and grab a person of interest, and disappear. A class two could have pulled the job.” He slammed his fists against the wall, leaving a gaping hole. Jazer would have to fix it later.
    “As a class four, you have to take on…” Jazer started
    “Missions that are a lot more dangerous than you. I don’t think I have enough limbs for this.” Denith leaned against the wall, staring off into a corner.
    Jazer smiled a bit and looked at his work that was yet to be done, “Well if it is any conciliation, I would gladly trade places with you.”
    Denith looked up, his eyes going from the stack of papers down to the locket around Jazer’s neck, “Like old times huh?”
    “Despite many efforts, I still became a prisoner.” Jazer snagged a large chunk of papers form the top of the stack and begin sorting through them.
    Denith shrugged, “At least the perks aren’t bad, plus you get to do good for the world.”
    Jazer glared at the halfling who had somehow managed to shove his large claw into his pocket, “Good for the world huh? Yes now I work for men who dangle everything on strings, the puppet masters for all living things. And now I am the string they pull on the puppets below…” He shoved the papers aside and began scribbling equations down on his parchment.
    “Your anger will pass Jazer, trust me.” Denith turned to walk out.
    Jazer yelled after him, “Yours hasn’t, I saw what happened in the court room. You are still angry, likely angry since day one.” He looked back down at the translation he had begun on his desk, “Is this what I have to look forward to?”
    Denith walked back over to the desk, easing his hands onto the table as to not disturb the artificer, “I am angry, because despite the danger they are putting me in, knowing I very well may die, I know I’ll still do it. That is why I am angry.”
    “Why?” Jazer asked without looking up. He felt the tears form in his eyes, and begin to slide down his nose, dripping onto the paper.
    “Because Jazer, I too am fighting for a better world for the one I left behind.” Jazer looked up, Denith’s gaze was stern, but he wasn’t looking at him. He was looking past him once more. “If you want her life to be perfect, continue your work. The longer you stay here, and keep working the more ‘fortunate’ things will happen for her and the more attention she will get from the scryers. You see, that is our reward. Through our sacrifice, the world continues on the directed path. That is the Order of the Sanctum’s job, they ensure history is written the right way. For its members, they ensure their families and their friends are taken care of along the way. So Jazer, you do it for her.”
     
  15. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    6-15*

    I'm going to be traveling for the next couple days and I wont have access to internet, so I am throwing up the final chapter. This has been fun and a little too interesting. I am now convinced that the planning stage is critical and necessary. Other than that though it was a lot of fun to not know where it was going. My imagination took off and my fingers followed on the keyboard. Hopefully you have had as much fun as I have. I will self publish at least electronically after the numerous revisions that are needed. Look for my next novel on the forums, thanks for reading!

    Without further adieu....


    Mary Ann lifted the basket from the ground. Her back ached form carrying the heaving thing around, but she was nearly done. She strolled up and down the orchard, plucking apples from the young trees. They were all perfectly ripened, a shiny red appearing majestic against the cold grey background. Everyone had told her that nothing would grow here in this land. It was supposedly barren of anything fruitful, yet somehow she had a feeling about this, she knew it would work. The shiny red apple in her hand was evidence of that.
    She set down the basket and ran he hand through her auburn hair. It seemed like yesterday that her village was attacked by the dragon. That is what the man said, a dragon had come and raided their village. She felt sorrow for all of those who didn’t make it, but she had been saved by strangers, whisking her away the danger. It comes back in images and flashes in her mind. The attack was likely the scariest point in her life. Then again, how would she know.
    They told her she had hit her head, that it damaged her mind when she did. She couldn’t recall anything before then, but they had assured her that her memory would come back on its own. She continued to run her hand through her hair. The healers had done miracle work, there was not even a scar to remind her of the trauma.
    She leaned over and hefted the basket once more. They had told her nothing would grow in this orchard, that the land would reject it. The seeds she had found were in her pocket, dozens of them. Why she had been carrying so many didn’t seem to matter, perhaps in life she had always wanted to grow apple trees. Now she had her chance. The rows of orchard trees amazed her, every single seed had taken root and grown quickly. It had been a couple years since that day and the trees were nearly full grown. It was amazing how fast they grew, everyone said that she must have had a magic touch.
    She looked at one of the apples in her basket, despite her luck life was not very easy. She woke up early and went to bed late. If she wasn’t picking fruit, she was selling it in the market, or cooking with it to create things to sell in the market. She wiped the sweat from her brow and snatched up one of the apples. She decided it was better to lighten the load and took a bite from the apple. The juice tasted so sweet she nearly forgot to chew. Mary Ann sat down on a nearby rock, slowly nibbling at the apple. Whatever her life was before, she didn’t care. Despite the heavy work that life had brought her, it kept her busy, which kept her happy. She didn’t have time to be sad about losing people she didn’t remember. The only face she could even recall was of a young elven boy, looking nervous as he rode away. She remembered his blonde hair and blue eyes as he stared back at her.
    She smiled to herself, perhaps one day she will see him again. Then again, perhaps he was just a figment of her imagination, a dream she had made up. She took another bite of her apple, leaving only the core. She tossed it aside and smiled, dream or not one day he may come and rescue her from her new life. She picked up another apple. “Until then,” she said, admiring the apple, “this isn’t so bad.”