Nostalgia! My first attempt at writing a story!

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Colin Poole, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Hey TFF members! Loving my time here so far, in a night I've found new friends, discovered great books, reconnected with my childhood, so much fun! I was inspired to track this down, written 17 years ago when I was 15. I had a concept back then of a "Perfect Warrior," basically I had just read a book where my heart was broken and I was left crying when they killed the main character on me! I decided to write a book, well I wanted to write an entire series where there were many characters, many plot twists and diversions, but the root would be one character who was in essence "Perfect". So skilled, so experienced, that while he would be in trouble, he would never die, would never experience horrible tragedy! It's so funny, the books and recent movie about Jack Reacher (not fantasy) sort of model my idea! Probably why I loved them so much. Anyway I hope people read this...I wanted the book to start off right in the action so this should be an easy non-boring read! Let me know what you think! --This is unedited, I want to remember all the flaws in my writing from childhood :)



    A tall figure stood in the clearing, his visage shaded by the sunlight that shone on his back. He stood motionless, glancing through the trees before him at the figure which attempted to hide itself from him. The sun reflected briefly on the eyes of the intruder as it peered at the figure from behind a large tree, then they were gone.

    The man in the clearing set his axe against the stump he had been using to chop logs on, and picked up a dusty brown waterskin. He took a large swig, then broke into a violent cough, feigning choking as if he had inhaled some of the water into his lungs. He shook his head once, and that was all he needed to do. There was not just one creature in the woods before him, there were three on his right and two on the left as well. He picked up his axe once more and stretched, extending his body to its full height, just under six and a half feet. He made a show of flexing his muscular body, hoping to discourage his surveyors in case they had any hostile intentions.

    A swift and unnoticeable glance to his left and he saw two figures look at each other in apprehension. That was good, they were probably off guard now, pondering whether he was worth the trouble. He heaved the axe over his head and brought it down on a log, splitting it into two neat halves, and embedding the axe in the large stump. He bent down once more, reaching for the waterskin, and the figures on the left relaxed as well. That was enough.

    In one motion he swept up the waterskin and axe, and broke into a run away from the assailants. An arrow flew past his neck and into a tree in front of him, and then he was out of the clearing and into the woods. He heard all six sets of footsteps behind him, and spun around quickly, releasing the water skin and watching it smash into the face of the Onthiloy behind him. It fell to the ground in a stupor, and the man broke into a run again. If there were five Onthiloy pursuing him, he could not afford to stop once more.

    The wolfmen could run twice his speed on a clear surface, but he had the advantage in the woods, so long as he did not slow down. He heard low growls as the attackers ran into small trees trying to maneuver their way through the dense brush. Then there was the whistle of another arrow, and instinctively he half turned and swung his axe over his head. The arrow-shaft was sliced in two, the arrowhead embedding itself just below his armpit.
    “That was stupid,” he thought, pulling the jagged rock from his side as he flew between two trees.

    The man reached into his belt pouch and pulled out a small dagger, tossing it in the air and catching it by the tip of the blade as he ran through a small patch of thorns. He stopped and spun completely around, releasing the dagger the instant one of the Onthiloy came into view. The creature moaned and fell to the ground, futilely trying to pull the dagger from its chest with a last surge of strength. That one had blood running down its head as well, a sign that it was also the creature who had been hit with the waterskin. That meant the other five were all in perfect condition.

    He swung the axe through the air and cut an Onthiloy in two as it tried to sneak up on him. The man took the dagger from the furry hands of his assailant and stuck it in the nearest tree. He dropped his axe at the feet of the body and took the bow off its shoulder, knocking it with one of the arrows from the creature’s pack. A twig snapped to his left, in the direction of the clearing, and he let the arrow go, piercing the eye of another Onthiloy and embedding itself in its skull. The odds were now three to one. A sword came into view but the man was out of the way in an instant, losing his bow to the strong slash. He grabbed the monsters sword blade and twisted it out of the creatures grasp, and he smiled inwardly as the creature’s last action was to stare dumbfounded at its empty hands before it was stabbed through the heart with its own weapon.

    Sharp teeth bit into his neck as an Onthiloy leapt onto his back in an attempt to throw the man on the ground. He reached over his head and grabbed his opponent by the throat, crushing its clavicle and forcing it to open its mouth to grasp for air. With his neck free from the strong jaws of the humanoid wolf, the man pulled it over his shoulders and threw it onto the ground before him. He took the creature’s head in his strong hands and quickly snapped its neck.

    Reaching above him he felt the dagger which he had lodged in a tree moments before, and pulled it out just in time to hit the final Onthiloy over the head with the pommel, watching it crumple to the ground unconscious. He muttered a brief incantation of healing, and when he felt the pain in his neck reduce and the flow of blood cease from his torso, the man hefted the Onthiloy over his shoulder, picked up his axe, and headed towards his home. If these creatures were out in broad daylight, something was afoot.

    Kargath awoke with a start. There was a sharp, resounding pain in his head, and he could smell the faint odor of blood, his blood. He tried to feel his head to see if he was still bleeding, but his arms and legs where firmly secured to the chair he was in. Looking around the room he could see no windows or doors, the only way in must be behind him. There was a workbench spanning the length of the wall in front of him, covered with woodcarvings in various stages. An old table sat to his right, on top of which was a large lantern and an assortment of carving tools. He spotted the item he needed to aid in his escape, and as he was about to hop his way to the table he heard a door open behind him. Heavy footsteps could be heard approaching, and then the large man, his victim, his captor, was before him. The man had changed out of the loose tunic and breeches he had worn while cutting wood, and was now dressed in a fine white silk overcoat and complementing black pants. His thick gray hair was washed and combed, and his beard was trimmed and groomed. Despite his no longer rough and haggard appearance, the man was no less imposing, and Kargath shivered as he though about facing this man alone when the time came to escape. The man pulled a stool over from the workbench and placed it before Kargath, seating himself only a few feet away from the Onthiloy.
    “My name is Silmaris Dragonbane,” the man said with authority, “and you will tell me everything you know about what is going on here.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  2. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Scotland.
    Ratings:
    +64 / 0 / -0
    Wow, this is not bad at all; it's really good! When you said it wasn't good in that other thread, I will have to say that you were wrong. :)

    As to the idea of the perfect hero and reason for writing about one, I understand you completely: I hate it when tragedy befalls characters in such a way (such as the end of the “Magician's Guild” trilogy :eek:) and have been thinking of writing more heroic stories since then.
     
  3. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Hey Druid of Lûhn, thanks so much. It's funny I did read it over a few times and actually found myself enjoying the structure very much, I was trying to be very unique in the presentation, launching into the action right on the first page with no character development, letting the reader come to understand the characters through their actions rather than my narrative. Now I'm sitting here asking "what if I kept this going?" Right now I have severely limited my time on work and personal projects, but this might be really fun to start dabbling in again.
     
  4. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Scotland.
    Ratings:
    +64 / 0 / -0
    I would love to see what you could come up with, as this is a concept that I am interested in and I have quite enjoyed reading this.
     
  5. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the interest! It is said that one person alone can often lead to inspiration, and your kind appraisal let me to think a bit more about the overall plot, and characters, and twists I'd like to create, and I wrote some more! Let me know what you think! Now this is TOTALLY first draft if I decide to pick this story up again, so even though it's a current sample of my writing, I haven't read/re-read/obsessed over it like the first piece! This is the immediate continuation of the first portion, so I intend the last portion to stop exactly where it did and this to be the next paragraph the reader sees.


    The Onthiloy village lay in ruin. The smell of burnt flesh and hair was nearly overpowering as corpses of men, women, and children lay unattended in all directions. Not a single structure remained intact; every hut reduced to a pile of charred wood and ash. Xanthis stifled a cough and resisted his urge to wretch as he looked with distraught eyes at the carnage before him. Still unsure who or what had laid waste to the outpost, he did his best to remain silent. His horse remained tied to the branch of a tree a good distance behind him, the beast far too frightened to be trusted to stay calm surrounded by its predators, even if all appeared to be deceased. A quick glance back set Xanthis at ease, noting that the steed was handling itself well, looking back at him with only curiosity.

    He took a step forward and his brown deerskin boots sunk slightly in the mud, not a mixture of dirt and water, but dirt and blood. The attack on the village was unrelenting, and it seemed as if utter carnage was not only a bi-product of the attack, but the specific intention. Severed limbs and heads of the wolf-beasts lay beside each of their bodies, and it seemed at least to Xanthis that this attack could have only been motivated by some form of wrathful revenge.

    The village itself lay at the bottom of a deep ravine, hidden to the world and likely to have remained so if smoke rising from the still smoldering buildings had not alerted him to its presence. It was Niemar, his horse who caught the scent before Xanthis’ sharp eyes could spot the signs of disturbance. Had it not reacted with a strong tensing of the muscles and a quickening of breath he would never have paused to look off into the distance, and the two would be that much closer to their intended destination, Cralmore, the city of stone.

    Xanthis froze before he could take a second step. In that moment, gazing at the bodies that lay at his feet, he spotted a torn piece of fabric in the clenched claws of a severed hand. As small as it was, he recognized it instantly. Blue linen with white embroidery, a craft no Onthiloy possessed as dyes and thread were not a part of their culture. It was the edge of a banner, likely attached at one point to the head of a spear, a spear that would only belong to a knight of Cralmore. He wretched, the flood of questions, concern, disgust, and fear all too overpowering. In that moment, from across the village, something howled.

    Xanthis spotted the Onthiloy first, kneeling on the ground at a wrecked hut, its hands on a body he could barely see. It was a warrior, of that he was certain. A tanned leather belt held a crude stone axe to its waist, and a bow and quiver extended up over its shoulders strapped to its back. Xanthis instinctively fell to the ground, his body pressing low in the mud, now a mixture of Onthiloy blood and his own vomit, he didn’t notice. A second howl, more like a shriek followed, and from behind him Xanthis heard a branch crack, and Niemar was loose.

    If the Onthiloy hadn’t heard the snapping of the tree branch, the echo of the horse’s hooves against the worn rock path of the ravine assured its attention. It didn’t move at first, simply staring at the fleeing horse trying to make its way back up the path his owner had led him down. It seemed paralyzed over whatever body it had fallen at, unable to react to even the hunters instinct. Slowly however, it removed the bow from its shoulder, and Xanthis watched paralyzed from his spot amongst the corpses as the Onthiloy pulled an arrow from its quiver, set it, aimed, and let fly. The arrow whistled several feet over Xanthis’ prone body and he heard Niemar scream. He looked over his shoulder and saw the arrow stuck in the horses right flank, but the distance was too great and it did not penetrate deeply enough to bring it down. He looked back at the Onthiloy and it was almost upon him, having gotten up and begun its snarling and vicious pursuit of its prey. To lose his horse here meant his death, and the combination of adrenaline and survival instinct gave Xanthis the strength to remove his long bladed dagger from his waist and grasp it so tightly his forearm nearly cramped from the physical exertion.

    The reflection of the dagger blade caught the Onthiloy’s eye, and it attempted to halt its rapid progress towards the horse. So great was its speed that the resulting action was to nearly come to a complete stop right over Xanthis’ prone body, and without thought he stabbed upwards, the dagger blade passing through the Onthiloy’s groin and deep into its gut. The beast made no sound, merely looked down at Xanthis with confusion in its eyes. Xanthis stabbed twice more, his entire body shaking from every possible emotion one could simultaneously experience. Huge thick streams of blood gushed from the wounds and ran down the dagger blade and his arms, adding to the wretched pool of filth Xanthis lay in. As if sensing it had only a few moments to live, and fearing to waste them killing the man beneath it, the Onthiloy simply turned around, and started a slow hobble back in the direction it had come. Xanthis knew what was happening. He stood up, watching the miserable sight with tears running down his face as the humanoid wolf struggled slowly to return to the body it had been mourning over just moments before. It died just a few steps away from its destination.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  6. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Scotland.
    Ratings:
    +64 / 0 / -0
    Ooh, cool! More reading! :D

    It's getting late now, so I won't read it straight away, but I'll read it tomorrow morning and tell you what I think.

    Upon re-reading the first part more in depth though, I noticed a part at the end, where Kargath thinks of Silmaris as “his victim, his captor”. I don't really get that bit.

    And the Onthiloy, are they like small lycanthropes? They didn't seem to be that large in the fight, but as they're also human-like, I'd imagine that they can be quite big.
     
  7. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    His victim, his captor was referring back to the fact that originally Silmaris was the intended victim of the 6, but now Silmaris has become his captor. I didn't want to write it out, I liked the pace of the combined thoughts. And yes I don't really like Onthiloy as a name, that will change if this becomes a real project, but lycanthrope is similar save that they don't shift forms, they are always humanoid wolves. The confusion of Silmaris' observation they are out in the day is to be cleared up later as they are nocturnal hunters rather than things that shift at night! So many things I must make more clear :)
     
  8. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Scotland.
    Ratings:
    +64 / 0 / -0
    Right, I read your second part and have enjoyed it :) I really love the emotion surrounding the Onthiloy, which gives them a proper personality; they're more than just evil creatures that should be killed, which is also shown by Xanthis' feelings towards the massacre.
    I take it Xanthis is another character then?

    I do have some comments on it though:
    • Three times, you used “wretch” instead of “retch”, although the third time (“adding to the wretched pool of filth Xanthis ”) works better as “wretched”.
    • To retch is not actually to vomit: it's almost vomiting but with nothing coming out (Dictionary: “make the sound and movement of vomiting.”).
    • Near the end, you use “paralysed” twice rather close to each other, which I found clashed slightly. (“It seemed paralyzed over whatever body it had fallen at, unable to react to even the hunters instinct. Slowly however, it removed the bow from its shoulder, and Xanthis watched paralyzed from his spot amongst”)

    Other than those, I really like the story, style and characters so far.

    I would then say “his victim, now his captor.”

    By this, do you mean that the Onthiloy don't change forms?
     
  9. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    You are doing me great favors finding my errors and repetitions! That's a paying job haha! I was really not expecting more than just submitting a fun read for folks!

    Yep, I am for some reason really enjoying writing this as if it were a screenplay where any back story for the characters is revealed in the moment without a large all-informing narrative. So if I meet you in the street I'm only going to know what you tell me about yourself. I'm honestly not sure if that style can sustain a book, but in short doses it's definitely fun for me! :) The brief glimpse into the future is going to see the uniting of Silmaris, Kargath, and Xanthis. I have never written multiple protagonist characters in the same scenes, I think I'm going to struggle with it!

    Yes I had edited even worse repetition prior to the posting and still missed those. And pretty embarrassed about my poor spelling errors, this is the problem with being so comfortable with auto-correct, and becoming lazy with grammar as a result!

    So pleased to hear! I was tearing up writing the last paragraph about the slaying of the Onthiloy so I was hoping it would come across as an emotional moment and also to make it easier to accept when eventually Kargath and Silmaris become companions.

    Yep, far less confusing, done.

    Indeed, they are more like a character one would find in Narnia, though not as cuddly. When I write out a detailed description of them they still do come across in my mind as modern day Werewolves in appearance, simply that they are like that all the time, it's not a shifting of form.

    Looking forward to sitting down and writing another page soon! Thanks so much for the feedback, it's been an unexpected source of inspiration.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  10. Emerlas

    Emerlas Emerz

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Australia
    Ratings:
    +147 / 2 / -0
    wow
    wow!
    WOW!!!
    AWESOME!!!!
    this story is amazing
    needed the few tweaks here and there that Druid suggested
    as for the changing of names for Onthiloy...any ideas?
    onthiloy is a bit of a mouthful, perhaps shortening it to something strong, short and snappy could help the flow of the story, just a suggestion
    I can't wait to read more
    write more!!
    post more!!
    :D
    well done Colin
    p.s. I'm Emerz btw, nice to meet you Colin
     
  11. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Scotland.
    Ratings:
    +64 / 0 / -0
    I seem to have taken up the mantle of proofreader recently, something which I like to do when I'm really enjoying what I'm reading.

    And yes, the part with the sad Onthiloy will really help that come about and be understandable to the reader.

    As to changing the name... Following the natural shortening of language over the years, maybe something like “Ontoy”.