Monday, January 07, 2013

Returning soon...

I will be back. 2013 is going to be the year of getting stuff done.

The Misery in Middale will be done soon - hoping to get it finished by the end of February. Means I have to be writing it again.

I'm determined to get my creativity back.


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dwarf Fortress - Part 2 - World background.

So – a new game demands a new world – essentially the area that this masterpiece shall be woven and the beginning of any new Dwarf Fortress fortress is the creation of the entire world!

And so it shall be done.

Dwarf Fortress Let's Play - Part 1 - Introduction

As apparently I don’t have enough to do – I thought I would mix things up a bit by doing a Dwarf Fortress Let’s Play and posting the it up bit by bit on my blog – which has started to become under used since I stopped writing as much.

There are numerous – and obvious things to ask first of all though – such as “What the hell is Dwarf Fortress?”

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Desperate to survive...

Something a bit new. More pleased with the first half than the second, but hopefully this might go somewhere new. I didn't have time to write the extra bit I wanted to on 750 words - so hopefully that'll come out tomorrow.

Inspired by my playlist OMG ZOMBIES! on Spotify.


Claire forced herself to breath slowly and shallowly as she stepped down the alleyway foot over foot, the souls of her boots making the softest of taps on the tile floor that still seemed far too loud.
Not for the first time that night, she shivered partly from the cold and partly from the smell in the air. Everything smelt of death. It seemed to permeate the air, it clung to her soft, light brown hair which was making her flinch every time it brushed against her face; it clung to her clothes - which were partly the reason for her chill, tight fitting black cycling shorts that came down to mid thigh underneath pink denim hotpants, as well as a black t-shirt underneath a pink sleeveless jacket was hardly an outfitted suited for a cold night. Though, she didn't expect to be picking through streets and buildings trying to avoid the undead either.
Her eyes closed slowly as she thought the word. The undead - it sounded rediculous but, there was no other way to describe them. They were walking around when they had no right to be. They had still been walking around with an entire clip of 28mm bullets fired into their chest and Claire had gotten the impression it was only the shot the had hit the thing over its right eye that had finally stopped it moving.
She had to find Leon, literally the only living person she had met since she had arrived in town, or Chris her brother - who was supposed to be have been working around here. He could have at least warned her that the city had gone to shit.
There was a moan ahead a noise that she had quickly associated with the walking dead and it was joined by another noise, a wet slapping noise mixed with something tearing apart. Claire opened her eyes and fought the urge to heave as she realised what the noise was - it was something feeding. She could hear the slap of wet entrails and the greedy grunting as whatever was round the corner tore apart its meal.
Her breath quickened despite itself and she gripped the handgun Leon had given her tighter. There was no other way around, crashed cars blocked the roads ahead, an exploded tanker blocked the way back, she had to go this way.
She shuffled closer and closer to the litter lined alleyway, careful to avoid discarded tin cans and other discarded trash that could give her away.
Finally - she was there - another step would take her round the corner of the alley. She braced her back against the wall briefly, the damp brickwork cooling her shoulders and the small of her back through her clothes before she pushed off and spun around the corner, searching for a target.
It was in front of her. A second zombie, uninterested in the dead body lurched for her as she spun around the corner as a shout came from somewhere ahead. "Elise!"

Elise screamed as she flinched backwards from the TV screen, almost dropped her controller that her thumb mashed the middle of instinctively, finding the pause button and stopping the groaning noise that filled the room. The light snapped on as the door was pushed open and a man, shaking with laughter stepped inside.
"Damnit Dan you... you... arse!" the woman gasped, leaning back in the armchair and balling her fists. She glared at the man who leaned agaisnt the wall, giggling childishly.
"Lis' you are too easy to make jump." he laughed as he glanced at the screen. "Resi two? Again? How many times have you started that game?" he shook his head, slightly dispairingly as his eyes fell from the tv, to the games console sat under it, to her as her shaking hands collected the trident like controller again.
"I don't care. I like it... and this time I'm definitely going to finish it!" she pouted obstinately, her finger hovering over the pause button again.
He chuckled again. "That's what you said the last fifteen times you started it. Have you at least got to the police station this time?"
She muttered in reply, unintelligably before sighing, finally having collected her wits to her again. "Was there something you wanted Daniel?" she asked icily, glaring at her housemate.
"Well, I figured you still wanted to come to classes this afternoon, or are you staying in with the curtains closed in your pyjamas playing zombie games that must be... What, ten years old?"
"Fifteen." she sighed, setting the controller down and standing to stretch. "And I don't care how old it is. I like zombie games." the was a childish whine to her voice that caused Dan's eyes to roll as he turned from the room.
"Better hope there is never an actual zombie apocolypse Lis', the amount you jump from little things like this, you'd be crap." he said, closing the door, hearing the thud of a pillow hitting the door, followed by the shout of "Dick."
"You too! Leavin' in ten minutes. Hurry up."
Elise sighed, turning flicking off the games console and turning on the radio as she hurried to get ready, tuning out when she realise the news was on.
"... and in pharmaceutical news - it's been dubbed 'the wonder drug' by doctors around the world and now something that could be the cure for the common cold goes on general over the counter sale today..." the female voice was saying as Elise began picking out an outfit.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Creative block is a bitch.

So, I was gonna 'cheat' again and use the schedule time off to preserve my streak, but I think I'll actually write something. Just... well because I haven't in a while. All the inspiration and drive I'd had from originally starting this up seems to have faded and it's getting harder and harder to write things of late. It's kinda like the inspiration has wandered off and I have to go and find it again. I don't think I'd be able to be a full time writer because my imagination is getting to be some hardcore suck. Maybe it's because I don't read/write/exercise my brain enough but... my ideas all seem to be very "samey" and not very original - even though I know it's hard to be truly original in fiction - or even cliche in places.
Which - possibly isn't a bad thing - but gets frustrating when I have all these ideas and they either peter out before I can get them down onto some kind of medium, or they just don't work as well as I thought they should when they sit in my head and bubble there - calling for my attention.
Maybe it's just cause I'm tired a lot of late or don't really get enough sleep? Makes for slower brain and sluggish thinking? What would be the cure for that? Drink more tea? (Gonna get so many responses to that! =P ) Read more? Watch more TV that isn't the same stuff I watch over and again? Listen to more varied music? Get one of those dictatphone things to record my thoughts? Or... use my phone to do the same? I could try writing challenges - but... whatever comes out always seems to be the same - or at least very similar and all revolving around the same characters. I seem to struggle with characters a lot and once I have one - I seem to latch on to them and only really write for them. I struggle writing new characters - and when I do they... I dunno - just seem to be so similar to OTHER characters I write. I struggle writing bad guys as well - which doesn't really pan out for writing stories with an antagonists because sometimes anti-heroes or that redeemable misunderstood 'bad guys' just don't cut it and you need someone properly evil.
Misery in Middale is probably the first story with original characters I've written in years - and while they all have fairly distinct (if cliched) personalities - they still seem a bit wooden to me at times? (Anyone who's read any of it would need to give me feedback as to whether that is the case or not to be honest.) The stuff I've been writing with Space Wolf has been a mix of writing my own characters and writing other peoples characters, which has been fairly interesting, the story with Aylix that I've been writing with Jenni was a pretty good collab with a strong pair of main characters - with a pretty good cast of bad guys we wrote between us (and I guess we'll see how that fairs when I come to edit it.)
I keep looking to the Xeonphotrix triology and trying to work over in my head the characters for that. And hell - the story as well - as the story is something I KEEP struggling with because it's so hard to get the characters from A to B to C. It's absolutely huge with regards to world and setting and the story I WANT to tell - I can come in about part way through and tell the latter half, but the establishing piece - which I'm normally realy good with - I'm just thinking about and dispairing - in no small amount. Maybe I should start with a later part? Or maybe just re-work the entire story to fit the setting better? It's something I keep needing to write down properly just to mull over, but I struggle getting it down in any kind of coherent format.
Add to that the other stuff I need to write - including plot for FnH (in which I've been a massive friggin' letdown of late, especially for Phil - in which I'd like to publically apologise here =[ ) where I'm just struggling to get any sort of inspiration at all for stories. I struggle with ref'ing a lot - because I find I struggle with actually getting the ideas and story that I'm trying to convey through the misson actually out there int the way I want them to... which I always just think is down to me not briefing my monster well enough because it's either too complex or.... just don't work in live action roleplay. =/ Or... something.

Bleh. That's my 750. Hi to my blog readers - sorry I've been so quiet of late. Not much to share at the moment.

Screw it - maybe I should just write bad erotica and flog it as the next 50 Shades or Twilight bestseller bullshit. >.>

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Demons, I love you's and bitter goodbyes...

Maturity warning on the below - 750Words gave it an R rating for violence, naughty language and general... darknessness. This is based on the RP done for Aylix's backstory...


((Disclaimer - while based in the FnH world - this is a lot darker than FnH would usually get in LARP and possibly suggests things Just Not Done in the LARP setting. Just so you know.))


Aylix sighed, staring out into the quiet woods around them with something approaching dispair. The woman in the very small church building behind him drove him absolutely crazy - he didn't think he'd ever known anyone to be as closed off as she was and the fact that he was... He caught the line of thought before it could carry on. No, that was daft. They travelled together because it was safer that way and they spent every night between the sheets together because well that's what people do when they're attracted to each other and each day ends with the buzz of adrenaline in their ears. He poked at the small piece of wood he had brought out with him with his knife for a couple of minutes without any real intent and discarded it as twlight took the woods. A wave of drowsiness passed over him and even as he brought his hand up to rub at his tired eyes conciousness escaped him to be replaced with gentle snores. As if taking some kind of cue a sparrow flickered past him inside the church, landing in the small side room in front of the bed Rani was now sitting on, rubbing rubbing the balls of her feet as if trying to work out the ache of the last couple of months of travel. The bird chirruped, as if to catch her attention and she glanced up at it, bemused as her thumbs worked on the soles of her feet as it hopped from side to side. Losing interest after a few seconds, she glanced back down at her tired feet with a slight whimper. "I wonder if I could ask the Ithronian to massage them without him making some kind of sarcastic remark..." she mused aloud catching sight of the bird fluttering up to the bedside stand. It was starting to get slightly unnerving the way it was just watching her, staring with almost a malignant intelligence. "You're being stupid Rani, it's just a bird." she murmered. The bird cocked its head to one side and flew up at her face making her recoil in surprise, muttering an oath in Guiadonese. The bird opened its beak but the noise that it emitted definitely wasn't anything it should have been able to make. Rani made as if to swat it away when there was a woosh of air and suddenly she was falling backwards onto a leafy floor. She landed hard, not comprehending what was going on for several seconds before it came to her in a rush. Somehow she'd left the church and now she was back in the woods but unlike the warm and almost welcoming feeling it had given her before it seemed cold, almost haunting. "Mael said you'd be here." A leery voice came from behind her making her freeze. "He definitely knows how to pick 'em." She turned slowly to see three men stood behind her - each was dressed in well worn clothing and it looked like they each had been travelling hard for seveeral days with stubble marring each of their sneers. The man who spoke was tallest, a rake of a man with wicked green eyes and lank black hair. To his left was a blond, standing not much taller than Rani but a lot more heavily built, his hair covered his eyes almost making his nose - which looked like it had been broken more than just a couple of times - seem even more prominent. The third seemed to take the height of the first man and the broadness of the second to form some kind of towering monster; he was bald with a jagged scar trailing from above his left eye over the top of his head. "Where am I?" Rani demanded her hand creeping round her back to her dagger sheath, taking some comfort in the hilt as she wrapped her fingers round it. "And who are you all? "Not far from where you were." the thin man said casually, his accent fairly thick. "And we're friends of Mael... well... you kow him as Mael at least - he just told us to refer to him as that. "Merde..." Rani hissed, glancing between the three. They didn't look armed, but even so - she doubted she could take all of them with just her dagger. "And what exactly did that particular bastard tell you?" "Ask ze boss..." the talker said with a grin, motioning behind her. Despite herself, she half turned to see the sparrow fromt he church landing on the soft, leafy floor. It seemed to shift and change shape slowly before her eyes, transfixing her as the tiny bird became a grossly obese man in very ill fitting finery. He leered at her, taking a step towards her. Rani stepped back without thinking, repulsed by the man. He was a good head taller than her and fatter than ogres that she'd seen; his head was crowned by long, greasy black hair, but it was his eyes that scared her the most as they bored into her almost hungrily with a inhuman red shine to them. "He told me that you tasted delicious..." his voice was sickening, crooning and almost smothering as it hung in the air. She ripped the dagger from her scabbard, warning him not to come any closer when suddenly he was in front of her, forcing her hand away with one large overpowering fist while the other pulled her forward. He kissed her hard on the lips, biting her lower lip hard enough to draw blood before pulling back slightly, still not letting her go, as she fought the urge to retch as a taste of smoke, old meat and ash lingered in her mouth. "He wasn't wrong." he sneered as he savoured the taste of her blood. Rani struggled against her captor, kicking him in the shins hard and spitting in his face when he didn't even flinch. She stared at him as if her force of will and the venom in her eyes was her last weapon. He laughed in her face and the rotten smell assailed her nostrils making her recoil. "Ahh, such fire... that Guiadonese passion... how fun it will be to break that..." He released the grip on her back and drew a dagger from his belt, bringing it up for her to see. It was a vicious looking blade, easily eighteen inches long, barbed on one side and glowing with a sickly purple hue that hurt her eyes to look at. Before she knew it the dagger had moved and pain flared across her cheek as he lightly cut her. Blood started to flow and the obese man gave a sharp pull on her wrist so he could draw his tongue - too long and thin to be natural along it as if it was a delicay. Rani winced, grinding her teeth as she tried to twist her wrist away from the mans grip, stamping on his feet and aiming her knee at his groin trying to break free. His skin was hard and unyielding though and did nothing except inflict a dull aching on her body to go with the sharp pain of the dagger wound.
Back at the church, Aylix jerked awake suddenly, alert and mindful of his surroundings briefly before he relaxed again. "Ugh... I must have dozed off..." he said with a groan, pushing himself to his feet, working the protesting aches out of his body as he turned back to the church. "Rani? You awake yet?" he called softly, his boots making a soft clicking on the flagstone floor. "Rani?" It was obvious that she had gone and from the pair of boots still lying on floor he guessed that where ever it was, she didn't go voluntarily. "Rani?" he called slightly louder, moving between the four rooms of the building and quickly exhausting a search. "Shit." Grabbing his warhammer he rushed for the door, shouting loudly into the woods. "RANI!"
The four men laugehd cruelly as the fat man shook his head dispairingly at her, his fingernails digging into the skin of her wrists almost hard enough to draw blood. Each of her blows was completely ineffectual. "Oh little human, you know you can't hurt us..." Her eyes widened, struggling more wildly, but doing nothing more than working the fingernails deeper into her skin. A blossom of hope rose in her chest as she heard Aylix's shout. "AYLIX!" she shrieked in response, elicting a snarl and a backhand from the fat man. "Help will do you no good, bitch." her captor snarled.
Aylix broke into a run as Rani's scream reached him by the church and he broke into a run without even having to think about it. "Crowa, Tralda... Seven... I don't know if you can hear me, I don't know if I've ever done anything to prove myself to you but... I need your help." he prayed aloud as he ran. If the Gods of light had heard however, they gave no sign and before he could mull on it he found the area that they were in. He barreled into the shorter man, hammerhead first, knocking him to the floor. The fat man smirked, throwing the Guiadonese woman at the Ithronian who caught her round the waist pulling her close. "Are you okay?" Aylix muttered, sizing up their opponents. Rani winced, stroking her abused cheek and glancing at her bloody wrist. "If we get out... I'll be fine. T-they're not human." Aylix's heart sank but he didn't let it show on his face. "We'll be fine." he murmered to her before pointing his hammer at the fat man. "Who on Arda are you?" he demanded, his hammer held steady. "Ah... the Ithronian." the fat man guffawed. "Yes... Mael warned us about you as well." the three henchmen spread out, surrounding them in a kind of triangle as their leader started to walk around the humans. "Well... I say warned, he said you'd show up. A faithful puppy behind the fiery Guiadonese woman he's falling for." Aylix's eyes widened, glancing down at Rani. "How do you know who we..." he started, but the man waved his arms and suddenly sparked to life around Aylix, consuming him. Pain flared across every inch of his body as he staggered away from Rani, falling to his knees and roaring in pain. Rani screamed, falling back from the smouldering Ithronian, lashing out at one of the henchmen with her dagger. Almost effortlessly the bald man grabbed her wrist, throwing her back at Aylix. The flames extinguished as she landed back beside him - he was unharmed by the flames but he was still gasping for air as the pain subsided. "You shall speak when permitted human... Feel free to scream in pain at any time though..." the fat man grinned wickedly as pain born from purple flames consumed both the humans. "Now..." he said, stepping forward to Rani as the flames faded again pulling her to her feet by her throat. "I believe Mael promised you to be our plaything my dear..." "GET OFF OF HER!" Aylix roared, surging forward and trying to pull the fat mans hand away from her. It didn't budge and he leered at the Ithronian as the henchmen surged forward and pulled him back heavy handedly. Aylix fought back, lashing out with fist, hammer and boot but nothing seemed to work and in short order they beat him down - their inhuman feet and hands knocking the wind and, eventually, most of the fight out of him and the Ithronian slumped to the floor, bloody, bruised and winded. "Such heroism..." lamented the fat man. "See how he fights for you, flower? See how he fights to protect you." Again and again Aylix tried to push himself to his feet to fight off their attackers, to get to Rani and help her, but each time he got more beating for his trouble. The fat man had positioned her perfectly to watch every blow that landed and hear every grunt of pain the Ithronian uttered. "STOP IT! Leave him alone! If it's me you want, then let him go!" Rani whimpered, unable to be any louder because of the fat mans hand around her throat. She tugged at it with futility as she tried to loosen the grip. "You give yourself to us? Just like that...?" he looked bemused, raking his nails down the, so far, uninjured cheek and following it up with a heavy blow to the stomach before dropping her. The assault on Aylix stopped and after several long seconds he began to drag himself feebly towards her, grunting in pain at each movement. "How much does she mean to you Ithronian? Even bloody and bruised you still crawl to her to try and protect her... And she gives herself pretty quickly to us, not knowing what we'll do to her..." he the fat man leered, dropping a hand onto Rani's shoulder and onto her chest roughly. "Or maybe she does." The Guiadonese woman shivered with revulsion, coughing to try and get her breath back, swinging her dagger up into his arm with a swift motion. The dagger sank in, and the fat man regarded it with disinterest briefly before pulling it free, tossing it to one side casually then lashing out with the back of his hand, catching Rani across the face, knocking her to the floor, stunned. Aylix reached out to her, finding her hand as she cried out in pain, his dogged determination to reach her finally paying off. "Such devotion..." the fat man sighed, aiming a kick at Rani. With a surge of movement, Aylix threw himself in the way, taking the boot to the chest and crying out in pain as he felt something crack in his chest. "Y-you... fool..." Rani coughed, pulled Aylix close to her, out of their reach. "G-get yourself out of here." she spat blood, feeling her cheeks swelling with bruises. "T-these pains are nothing... I'll be fine." she glanced around for her dagger, her heart sinking when she spotted it far too far out of her reach. Aylix spat blood which landed wetly on the grass at the fat mans feet. "No..." he choked out. "Damnit, I can't... I'm not leaving you." With a snarl of agony he pushed himself upwards to his feet, taking hold of his hammer - still attached to his wrist with the leather strap - and attempting some kind of fighting stance, despite barely being able to raise his weapon. "Leave... her... alone..." The fat man shook his head. "What should I do with him?" he asked looking at Rani, around Aylix. "Me! Look at... Look at me!" the Ithronian coughed, spitting out blood again taking a clumsy swing at the man. The fat man blocked the haft of the hammer with his forarm and drove his fist into Aylix's face and the stomach faster than either of the humans eyes could follow, leaving the captain to fall to the floor where he curled up into a ball instinctively as he struggled to breath. The fat man watched on with a detached curiousity as Aylix once again tried to stand. "Aylix, no... stop..." Rani growled, catching his arm and forcing him down, fumbling at the pouch on his belt. "Please... it'll be okay... you'll be okay..." she glanced around her as she struggled to find a potion that would help. "No... none of that." the fat man tutted gesturing at the woman before she could find anything. She was thrown away from Aylix and engulfed in fire again, her screams piercing the night air again. "You two need to be seperated..." the man mused as the fire subsided, leaving Rani untouched and unscorched. "I think I'll just kill him, because if we let him go he'll only come back for revenge for what we do to you..." he sneered at Rani, staring at her hungrily, his eyes slowly travelling over her entire body. The revulsion whelled up inside her again as she gasped for air, not noting the nod from the fat man and she found herself dragged to her feet by her hair. Her soul began to ache as the fat man stepped around Aylix slowly. "Last chance to say goobye." he intoned, causing Aylix to raise his face - puffy and swollen, one eye half closed - to look at Rani. She whimpered, struggling in vain. "Please... don't kill him... I'm begging you..." she went limp, dropping to her knees, barely noticing the resultant pain in her scalp against the rest of the agony in her body. Tears streaked down her cheeks as she watched Aylix desperately, her mind racing. She swallowed, making a descision with herself. closing her eyes. "Let him live... Let him go and... you can do what you want with me - I-I won't struggle." "No." the fat mans face creased into a frown, vestiages of horns and pale red skin showing through. "No more bargins, no more deals. I'm going to kill him and you're going to watch every torturous drawn out second of it... Then we're going to inflict more pain than you ever had before in your life. Aylix whimped, trying to push himself upright, but his limbs no longer had the strength in them to move. "No... please..." "Humans and their theatrics, noble acts and heroism..." the fat man sighed before snarling and roaring at Rani. "And for what? What is the point of it? Why are you so willing to sacrifice yourself for him?" "If you've toyed with so many of us, why do you n-not know the answer already?" Rani trembled. "Let him go! Now!" she screamed, struggling again, trying to bite at the hand which moved to cover her mouth, but the skin was as hard as a rock and tasted like rotten eggs. "Mael said getting a straight answer out of you was next to impossible." the fat man growled, "But you can demand nothing." he was next to her faster than his bulk suggested should be possible and he backhanded her across the face. "Why?! Tell me why you're so willing to sacrifice yourself for him?" She spat as much as she could - both the taste of the hand and blood after the backhand - wincing in pain again. "B-because he's my friend..." she glanced at Aylix. "M-my companion." The fat man snarled, looking disgusted and turned away moving to stand behind Aylix as the Ithronian still stared at Rani, still determined to try to struggle to his feet. "Well say whatever else you need to say him and then say goodbye..." the fat man visage was falling away and his features were becoming more and more demonic as he slowly walked around the human, chanting slowly. "NO! Stop... Please!" she screamed, tears coursing down her cheeks. " A-Aylix!" emotion ripped through her as she strained against her restraints. "Rani..." he choked out, meeting her eyes as tears fell from his eyes. "I'm sorry for all of this..." The demon paused once, speaking a foul demonic tongue that burnt the air around them. "... I don't think I've felt this happy to be with someone in a lomg time..." A second pause, a second incantation." "D-don't leave me..." Rani's voice dropped to a whimper. "I love you." "I love you too..." Aylix's voice broke as he gripped his hammer - the one lifeline he had. The pendant around Rani's throat flared with light seemingly invisible to the demons and Aylix but almost blinding to her. 'And in love may there be hope eternal granted.' spoke a voice, that was full of warmth and comfort. It faded quickly and she blinked as the light was replaced with the sight of the demon standing and bowing. "RANI!" Aylix's voice cracked as the demon spoke once more , his voice reaching a pitched crescendo. With an empatic gesture several things happened at once. Aylix was once again set ablaze but now he was being consumed. The flesh burnt slowly on his bones, Aylix's scream of pain more terrible than anything she had heard before. The next two minutes seemed to take forever as the smell of his skin burning filled the air. The screams continued and seemed to reverberate in the air long after Aylix was reduced to ash. As the first flames sprang into life Rani's soul wrenched and she screamed in agony as he chest seemingly try to tear itself apart, But again - invisible to the demons - the light from her pendant flooded the area and a voice spoke to her. 'I can do nothing for the pain... and for that I am sorry - but your soul is still your own...' When everything had finished, the light faded, the smell hung in the around her chokingly. The ash danced on the breeze, clinging to her skin which was wet with cold swear. He head was suddenly yanked backwards sharply to reveal the fat man, now a grotesque blob of a demon, stood before her, leering. "Now... for you..."

Aylix's wasn't sure when he stopped screaming, or where the indescribable agony had gone or when both had been replaced with the cool, yet slightly uncomfortable, flagstones beneath him. He gave a weak laugh as he realised that he was mentally complaining about the stones being uncomfortable when he had just been completely and uttery consumed by fire. The fire! Rani!
He scrabbled to his feet unsteadily, using his hammer as a crutch - the pain in his body retreating, his wounds completely gone. He looked around and realised he was back in the church hall. "What... what happened?" he groaned softly as a wave of dizziness passed over him.
"Love happened..." the voice from behind him was soft and warm but full of strength. He turned slowly to see a woman standing behind him. She was flawless with perfect porcelain skin, resplendent in flawless silver and gold armour over intricately stitched red robes. A greatsword was strapped to her back, almost hidden beneath her hair which shined a dazzling golden and tumbled down her back like a waterfall to her waist. She was the most beautiful person he had ever seen, but as he looked he realised that she was beautiful that was almost inhuman and she had an otherworldly quality about her. "...and that's what saved you."
The Ithronian found himself dry mouthed as he struggled not to gawp. "What... what do you mean?" he managed eventually.
"You must have realised that this is a fight you cannot win - despite your determination..." the woman said, her voice like a choir chorus. "So I'm here to ask - what would you do to save her?"
"Anything. Short of make deal with them." he replied without hesitation, eliciting a heart melting smile from the woman.
"Lady Crowa is willing to give you both the power to defeat the abominations, but you will owe her..."
"I'll do it." He cut in, not caring what the cost was. The woman stared at him patiently.
"But you will owe her. A quest or work in her name."
"I don't care. Anything, anything I can do to save her, I will do it. Anything Lady Crowa wants me to do, any time she wants to call on me, please... Anything."
The woman smiled sadly and she stepped to him. "This is the only time She can intervene in this."
"I'll keep Rani safe from her." his voice didn't waver and his eyes hardened with determination.
The woman looked pityingly at him, laying a hand on his cheek. "Well go then Aylix Goth. Be the champion your heart sings out to be."
Her hand was delicate, but full of power and flames touched Aylix again. But this time they were fortifying, they were filled with holy red light and they filled Aylix with divine power.

Two of the demons held Rani's arms spread apart as the fat demon circled her, leering at the helpless Guiadonese woman. Both of her cheeks and her neck was bleeding slowly, her body ached and at some point after Aylix's death she had vomited - the taste of the bile still fresh in her mouth.
"Have you ever been tortured before Rani? Ever felt like you were being flayed from the inside out? I could spend days tortuing a beautiful example like you... day after day causing you all measure of pain... Ripping at your flesh, you mind and your soul..." he stopped in front of her, regarding the puddle of vomit at his feet briefly before gripping her face with a twisted, bloated hand. "Where should I started with you? I could show you his death again and again... I could show you your family, burning and screaming in pain while you watched... I could flay you, strip by strip and tear your soul from you piece by piece..."
Rani winced as the demon ran it's tongue across her cheek, lapping up the blood. "And you volunteered for this. Again and again so that I would spare the Ithronian... the man you admitted that you loved..." his claws flashed out suddenly and when the pain caught up with her she had gashes across both biceps, her stomach and chest. "Was it worth it?"
Rani cried out in pain, falling limply in her captors grasp. "You... you didn't spare him though." she sobbed as fresh blood spread across her skin.
"I get sick of human pandering and while the drawn out suffering and torture is most delicious, sometimes that instant gratification is what you need... That jolt of enjoyment! Sudden and..." he licked some more blood from her pale skin, "...exquisite..."
Rani flinched again as the creatures tongue touched her, her eyes falling to the floor - refusing to look at him. The pain where he had slashed her made it hard to struggled and her shoulders ached from how she was slumped, but she didn't have the strength to stand. She tried feebly to push away from them with her legs, tried to push herself backwards, but her movements only managed to elicit sick chuckles of the ones holding her. The gash on her chest was making breathing painful and she suddenly became aware of what her ruined clothing might be revealing.
"There is a lot of... sudden enjoyment that could be had with you..." the demon murmured, stroking a finger across the gash on her chest before sucking it into his mouth to further enjoy the taste of her blood. "I don't think I've ha...." he paused as a wind started to whip round the woodland. It was powerful and had started seemingly out of no where - buffeting the trees so they creaked and throwing the leaves into a frenzy. The demons looked at each other, concern on their faces for the first time.
"What in the Seven Pits?!" the fat demon snarled as the others let go of Rani as they flinched against the gale force winds, bracing themselves against it. Rani stared up at them in shock - even though she could feel the wind, it didn't seem to touch her like it should as if she was in a calm eye of the storm.
She shook with cold and fear, watching the demons as they fought again the wind. "What's going on..." she whispered.
There was a sudden movement at her side and Aylix was there, bathed in a glow of red light. Seemingly healed of all his wounds and pain. He knelt for a second, wordlessly before placing a hand on her shoulder. Warmth, strength and power flowed through her body - her pain fled before the aura of light and she felt completely invigorated.
"YOU!" the fat demon screeched as it spotted the Ithronian. "I killed you!"
"Crowa had something to say about that." Aylix's voice boomed around the close copse of trees; it had a newfound resolution about it and fire burned in his eyes. He stood suddenly, hefting his hammer to rest on his shoulder easily as he helped Rani to her feet before handing her a greatsword. She took it, shocked - unsure of the situation, unsure of the power that flowed through her and unsure of the way the demons seemed to stare at them in abjact terror. The sword - she found - was perfectly balanced in such a way that should be able to use it as easily as a stick of wood.
"Do you want the fat one?" Aylix asked her, looking between the large demon and the group of three other ones.
She nodded in reply, turning to face the grotesque demon and starting towards it as it retreated away from her several paces.
Aylix grinned and stared down the three lackey demons, running his tongue over his teeth. His hammer burned with the same red fire as the greatsword Rani now carried and the demons cowered away from it in fear.
"Pathetic." Aylix spat as he darted forward suddenly with his hammer landing in amongst the demons who dodged, blocked and parried his attackles frantically as he swung it like a whirlwind amongst them. The short one and the large broad demon were despatched quickly in the initial flurry, but the taller one was able to get some ground, weilding two short swords.
Rani sprang forward, swinging the sword in a large arc - aiming to cut the demon in half. Her face contorted in rage as she pursued him remorselessly. The demon dodged out of the way - barely - again and again.
"You said something about sudden enjoyment?" Rani said grimly, scoring several light blows on the beast.
"Damn humans! Damn you to Sharda!" it bellowed, desperately trying to get enough space so that he could change his shape. Rani was relentless, weilding the blade with deadly accuracy like it was an extension of her being. The demon stumbled, falling onto its back and snarling up at Rani as she brought the sword up to finish it off. The smell of sulfer filled the air, heavy, choking and thick. The demons form shimmered as the magics holding it together faded. "Bitch. Mael is still waiting... you won't beat him so easily..." It suddenly leered at her. "And I'll be waiting for you in Sharda when he claims your soul..."
"My soul is my own." she glowered in return bringing the sword down heavily. The demon exploded in a shower of purple miasma, threatening briefly to choke her before disappating.
Several meters away from her, Aylix sidestepped his remaining opponnent, swinging his hammer round his head briefly before swinging for its head, banishing the demon back to its foul pit.
The demons gone, the power surrounding them both faded, the wind dropped and an strange heavy silence fell over the area. Aylix turned and was at Rani's side in a second, catching her as she fell. "Seven..." he breathed, embracing her. "I though... I..." tears pricked his eyes as he fell silent, pulling her close as she burst into tears, shaking in his arms.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rage is a dangerous thing...

Bit darker I think. WIll end up being part of Aylix's backstory I think.


The bar room was thick with the smoke from a dozen or more pipes and smelt like someone had broken more than just a couple of casks across it's tarred floor. It was dark, stuffy and choking; its inhabitants stunk and the beer tasted like rat piss was actually the main ingrediant.
It was what Aylix needed at this moment in time.
He sat in one corner, a distant and farway look in his eyes, his brow furrowed as he tried to make sense of it, tried to figure out why he had killed her. Why he had killed the woman he loved. The past few months, while far from perfect had been some of his best on Arda. Travelling across country with a stunning Guiadonese woman who spoke with just the right level of sultry and sarcasm, knew how to use a decent blade and... His jaw tightened as he closed his eyes against the images of her body that flashed on the inside of his iris'. Gods above she haad been incredible.
So why had he ran the steel through her? That sword, he had barely known it two days yet he it had seemed so familiar to him. Not that it mattered now - shattered into a thousand pieces at the side of the road...
His head dropped as the scene rushed back to him. The rain, the blood, the sword... Rani, breathing her last breath... Something seemed to be missing, there must be something he was missing. He had loved her. There had been no reason for him to kill her at all...
His fist clenched tight, his fingernails digging into his flesh - trying to use the pain in his hand to drown out the pain in his heart... but there was nothing that was about to crush that.
"Well... will you look at zat..." the voice cut through the haze was smug and full of self satisfaction, causing Aylix's eyes to snap open. In front of him was two men - one short and squat, standing a head or more shorter than the Ithronian; the other towered above him, taller than Aylix by more than a foot. Marc and Luc - that was the only names they had ever learned from them - possibly the first pair of people that he had pissed off in this country with Rani. Or for Rani... he'd saved her from having to spend the night with the squat, fat bastard. "If it isn't ze Ithronian? You've abandoned ze bitch I see." Marc leered. "You both 'ave left quite ze trail across Guiadon... following you both was easy." his eye narrowed. "I swore I'd take revenge on you both... no one shows up Marc L'Gredde. But it seemes someone beat me to it with ze bitch."
From behind his back Marc drew a dagger slowly, holding it up for Aylix to see. The Ithronian's eyes widened in horror as he recognised it, before glaring so darkly at the Guiadonese man that if the mercenary had had any power, he would have killed him outright.
"Ah... so it was 'er body we found." Marc barked a laugh, glancing over the dagger appraisingly. "What 'appened? Her mouth finally get her in trouble? Did you slap 'er around? Or did she just get bored of you?"
"Put it down. And get the fuck out." Aylix's voice could barely be heard over the background noise of the bar, and Marc leant forward over the table towards Aylix, the leer growing wider.
"What was zat? I didn't hear you?"
Aylix seized the man by the back of the thinning hair at the back of his skull and slammed it hard into the rough wood of the table in front of him. There was an explosive crack as Marc's nose shattered and blood sprayed across the table in a wide spray. As he bounced up again, Aylix had already brough his fist back and punched the man hard enough to break his jaw.
"Bathtad!" Marc choked over the blood pouring down his throat.
Luc rushed forwards, making a grab for Aylix as he side stepped, swinging the chair he had been sat on round from behind him, destroying it on the larger man's stomach and chest. Luc faltered, making another less precise grab for the mercenary who blocked it forcefully with the plate bracers he wore on his wrists, following it up with two heavy punches, born of fury and anger. Luc dropped down to one knee as the breath rushed from him, giving Aylix the opened to bring his leather boot up hard into the big mans face. Luc fell to the floor as more men emerged from the gloom, surrounding Aylix.
Not even giving them time to speak, the Ithronian was amongst them like a rabid dog. Fury filled his body and his limbs struck out indiscriminantly. Any blows he took he didn't seem to feel or react to he shed the blood and broke the bones of the five or six men who rushed him.
It was over in minutes and Aylix stood in a smoke screen surounded by bodies who were all groaning and writhing in agony on the floor.
Aylix returned to Marc who was struggling to his feet which was soon stopped as he brought a heavy boot down across the Guiadonese mans back. Marc growled in pain, as Aylix followed it up with a stamp on his wrist, forcing him to let go of what had been Rani's dagger.
Forcing Marc onto his back, Aylix dropped heavily with his knee into the mans sternum, rendering him breathless.
"Zis... isn't... over..." he choked out, almost managing to sneer.
Then he noticed the expression on Aylix's face and his face fell in terror.
"Yes it is." The Ithronian snarled, ripping the dagger across Marc's throat, spraying blood everywhere.
Aylix stood and stepped the few feet to Luc. The big mans back was to him and Aylix took the chance to grab him around the throat with his forearm. "See you in Sharda." he hissed into Luc's ear before driving the dagger into the side of his neck and tearing it roughly out again.
Leaving the two men in growing pools of their own blood and masked by the screen of smoke that filled the bar, Aylix sheathed the dagger and collected his pack and hammer leaving the bar without a backwards glance.
It was time to leave Guiadon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On top of the world...

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Lahsaa shouted, his voice almost to the howling of the blizzard around them.
Rowan glanced back at him, her face almost entirely obscured by the heavy cloak and scarf. "Don't worry Lahsaa, I can still tell where is safe to tread and where will pitch ye down the mountain. Watch that stone by your right foot."
Lahsaa's foot froze and he lowered it slowly in front of the rock, testing his intended path with his staff. The stone slipped away almost immediately and flew off the edge.
The mages eye opened wide, staring first at where the rock had vanished and then at Rowan. She winked. "Come on, we're almost there." she motioned twelve feet above them. The spire they had come to find raised above them: Arda's Peak.
Climbing that last twelve feet was possibly the most difficult part of their long climb and it was with no small amount of struggle that the pair pulled themself over the final lip to stand before the massive tower. It was a construction that belied reason. Made of the purest white marble, it stretched up for an extra fifty feet above them. Its construction was quite unlike anything Lahsaa had ever seen before. It seemed to take building styles from everywhere, Dwarvish walls, Elven door frames, overhangs that looked vaguely Rumish and the mage was fairly sure that it would contain more examples inside as well. It seemed to be a mash of culture, style and design but it worked in an odd way. The building melded together seemlessly in a way that made it look grandiose, but also as if it were aware. As if it knew that it was the highest peak on Arda and used that vantage point to look down on the world.
Lahsaa shuddered in a way that he knew not from the cold. It was watching them, he was sure of it. It had taken him a while to realise it but the magic in the air here was so rich it was nearly palpable. It was magic in its purest form, its richest and its most stable. A quick glance around with his mage-sight showed him why - thirteen leylines converged on this tower and it seemed to hold them in a perfect balance.
"Wow..." he breathed, squinting against the snow storm as he tracked his eyes up the building.
"Lahsaa! Come on! Admire the inside rather than the outside!" Rowan shouted, giving him a light shove to get his attention.
With a nod they trudged through the snow that had been untouched for the Gods only knew how many years to the massive set of wooden doors that stood as the portal. The pair knew not to touch it, both using their various skills to check for hidden surprises or traps.
"Looks free of traps and religious energies, but that's no surprise." Rowan said, leaning towards Lahsaa to talk into his ear so as not to shout again.
The sorcerer frowned as he hovered his hand over the door, his eyes wide as his mage sight tried to pick out anything wrong with the door. But he was struggling, the magic was so thick in the air it was hard to tell what was the surroundings and what was the door. "I... I think it's clear." he replied and before he could say more, Rowan reached out to the latch and pushed.
The door didn't budge.
She frowned and pushed again, slightly more forcibly and when that didn't work she flung herself forward with her shoulder. There was a crack of magical power and the forester was suddenly flung backwards into the snow some twelve feet away from the door.
"Rowan!" Lahsaa exclaimed, rushing to her side as she picked herself up.
"I'm fine! Don't worry." she replied, dusting herself down more out of habit than with any actual intention to clear the snow from herself. "Guess I got impatient."
[Declare yourselves.]
They both winced as the voice struck their minds harshly, exchanging a glance as they moved back towards the door.
[Declare. Yourselves.] The voice repeated. Whatever it was, was angry.
"Huntsmaster of Ithron, Rowan Tait. Mother Devotee of Crowa." she declared to the door.
"Lahsaa Nethir, Sorcerer, Kindred of Kharach and last of the Einherjar." he intoned, a hard look in his eyes.
There was silence, the wind stopped howling and blowing around them, it was like the entire world paused for close to half a minute before everything started again and the doors opened wide, revealing a long passageway.
[Come. I have been expecting you.]
Rowan and Lahsaa didn't even pause to think and strode confidently inside as the doors slammed shut behind them...