Tag Archives: Fantasy

Initiation: Part One

Another short story I’m writing.  Should be between four and six parts.

Ever since we were children, Levi and I had wanted to join the Order of Self. They represented the highest standards for all aspiring knights. Masters of their martial skills, but also masters of their own bodies. Initiates had to pass rigorous tests to gain entrance, and adhere to a strict code of honor and ethics. Only a single legion of knights were members of the order at any one time, though they allowed twice that many initiates to join, to serve as squires to the knights. Being a knight was a distant dream, but the yearly Tournament of Self, only two days away, was much closer.

Already, the tents were set up outside of the capitol city, and the area resounded with the sounds of construction as the Order’s initiates finished the arena, which differed each year. It was big this year, towering over the tents and booths. Merchants hawked their wares, and hopefuls sparred in the lots that were still vacant, testing themselves against their opposition.

I dragged Levi through the crowd, weaving between warm bodies and cold armor. To keep myself in practice, I tapped each combatant I passed, finding weak spots in their armor. A prod under the arm here. A poke to the side there. An easy touch on the back of a warrior who clearly didn’t care for his armor like he should.

The most amusing part was the utter confusion of those I touched. By the time they seriously looked around for the source of the touch, I had already moved several persons away through the crowd.

“Myrah, must you bother people like that?”

My cheeks warmed briefly. I had almost forgotten that I was still dragging Levi, and that he didn’t exactly enjoy my way of training. With my most innocent grin, I gave his hand a squeeze. “Come on, I’ve gotta keep in practice. The tournament is in two days!”

“I know when it is. I also know that if you get into a fight with one of these men, you’re likely to end up unable to compete. A sprained ankle is all it would take to fail you.”

I huffed and pulled my hand away from him, going over to an empty area where several competitors were training. Annoying as he was, Levi was right. One injury before the tournament, and I’d have to wait another year to compete. I felt his hand on my shoulder.

“Come now, Myrah. We have a festival to enjoy.”

We turned to go back towards the tents, but a call stopped us, and I turned back towards the field. One of the boys (for I’d hardly call him a man, yet) was waving at us. “Oi! You two look like contenders! Wanna go a round, mates?”

There were several boys near him who either nursed bruises or merely sat slumped and out of breath. Before I could even open my mouth, I felt Levi’s hand on my arm.

“What did we just talk about?”

I slipped out of his grip easily and stuck out my tongue. “He’s not going to even touch me, don’t worry.”

His long-suffering sigh followed me as I crossed the field to the boy. The look of surprise on his face when I got close was amusing. “A girl? Wot you doin’ in a getup like that? Girls don’t join the Order.”

I rolled my eyes, grabbed his wrist, and rolled backwards, flinging him over my head. He let out a surprised yelp as he sailed through the air, and then a heavy grunt as he hit the ground behind me. I turned to face him, straightening and smirking. “The Chapter-master of Cunning is a woman, for your information. As is the Banner-master of Insight.”

He staggered to his feet, glaring at me. “A nice trick. But it’ll only work once.” He picked up a pair of wooden practice swords, tossing one to me and twirling one himself. “I’m gonna join the Chapter a’ Strength! A girl like you don’t stand a chance!”

His charge was painfully obvious. I took one step to the side, kicked at his shins, and brought the wooden sword down across his shoulders. He went down hard, sprawling across the grass, his sword bouncing away.

“I have more than one trick. A brute like you doesn’t stand a chance of getting into the Order at all, even if you’re strong enough to join the Chapter of Strength.” I dropped the sword on him and walked away with an entirely necessary hair flip.

Levi shook his head as I returned to him. “Was that entirely necessary?”

“Yes.” I nodded once, grinning, and took his hand again. “Come on, there was a really nice-looking candied apple stand I wanted to try.”

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Filed under Fantasy, My Stories, Short Stories, Writing

iLife

The dust kicked up by the blast had just begun to settle when he sensed another wave of assailants rushing him. Falling to one knee, he let out a long, slow breath, focusing inward, dimly aware of the dust particles slowing in midair as they fell. He pushed up to his feet again and turned, noting the position of each new attacker, and what they were equppied with.

He turned his attention outward again, springing upwards as time resumed its normal flow. Half a dozen variously-armed melee fighters found themselves striking at empty air. In the moment before they could recover, he slapped the heels of his hands together, palms down, and threw his chi downward in a blast of raw power, reducing them to little more than scorch marks on the rock.

A high-pitched whine drew his attention, and he shot backwards several yards to dodge the blast of plasma that shot past him, the burnt-metal smell washing over him. He teleported down behind the shooter, creating a sword of pure energy and slicing through not only the armored soldier, but his comrades on either side of him as well.

Silence fell around him. The bodies faded away, leaving him alone on the open plains. He checked his heads-up display, sending a few quick replies to the messages he had waiting for him. As he prepared to teleport back to the man who had asked him to put on this little show, he felt a burning pain slam into his chest, knocking him hard to the ground. He threw his consciousness along the path of the bullet, looking across the landscape, finding the sniper and memorizing his identity just before the second bullet struck between his eyes.

He let out a shuddering gasp as his body jerked in his pod. His heart raced as he recovered from that sudden feeling of falling. The touch of a button opened the door, and he removed the tubes from his arms as he stepped out onto the hardwood floors. He tapped out a status update on the laptop on his desk: Completed challenge, but got sniped. Taking a break. Then he jotted down a note with the name of his assassin, so he could take his revenge when he went back online.

With a heavy sigh, he flopped onto his couch, flipping through his contacts and calling his favorite pizza joint. The virtual world simulated food and the IV tubes provided nutrition, but the very fact that food companies still existed confirmed his suspicion that people would always prefer the real thing. As the phone rang, he murmured to himself, “Just another day in paradise.”

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Filed under Cyberpunk, Fantasy, My Stories, Sci-Fi

A Really Cool Steampunk Fantasy

This is an idea a friend of mine originally came up with, but she decided not to use it, and since I helped her a fair bit with the development of it, she said I could use it.  So I am.  Here’s the bones of it.

 

Firstly, this is a steampunk novel.  Now, the characters.

There’s a girl.  She’s one of a small but not rare percentage of people in her world born with power over an element.  Her element is fire.  The fire only comes out when her emotions are running high; for her, this usually means when she’s upset.  She weeps tears of fire, and an aura of intense heat surrounds her.  Obviously, no one can approach her because of this, so she’s become withdrawn into herself.  The people call her the ‘Cold-hearted maiden of fire’.

Her twin brother, conversely, has power over ice.  Unlike his sister, he can use his powers at almost any time, though that may be just because he’s usually got some emotion or another running high enough to trigger them.  His constant passions earned him a nickname, as well: The hot-headed ice warrior.

His power of ice enables him to do something no one else can: comfort his sister.  When she weeps fire, he can hold her and let her fire wash over his ice and be cooled.  Now, this isn’t easy for him to do.  In point of fact, it’s very painful.  But he does it anyway, out of love for his sister.

Their father was an inventor, with power over electricity.  He was a very good man, and everyone in the town loved him.  He improved life for them all, and helped anyone and everyone he could.  One day, when the twins were about 15 or so, he took on an apprentice.  A young man with power over water.  Not ice, mind you.  There was no conflict with the brother.  When water became solid, he lost all control of it.  He could, however, control steam, which made him invaluable to the twins’ father.

Now, just as the father and the apprentice were working on a huge project that would revolutionize industry, the apprentice started to fall in love with the daughter.  His power of water let him counter her power of fire, but where the brother’s power let the fire cool on the ice, the apprentice’s power forcibly put it out.  The brother takes pain on himself to be near and comfort his sister.  The apprentice inflicts it.

Now, the father finds out about this and is angry, since the apprentice his hurting his daughter.  He expels the apprentice from his shop and, a few weeks later, takes full credit for the invention, when he finishes it.

The apprentice is angry.  He uses his power over water and some inventions he stole to create a massive tidal wave that would wipe out the small town.  The father stops it with his lightning, using so much power that he burns himself out, dying to save the town.

Now, the apprentice is back, and with a much more sinister plan.  This time his revenge is specific.  Seduce or coerce the girl into being his.  Kill the brother, slowly.  Take control of the city and rule it, with the sister as his queen.

How far will he go?  And how far will the brother have to go to stop him?

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Filed under Characters, Fantasy, Life, My Stories, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Writing

A Story, As Of Yet Untitled

This is the synopsis of one of the primary novels I’m working on. Any feedback would be appreciated.

For nearly two millennia, the world has been at peace. The magic used by everyone has not been turned to offensive purposes, even for discipline, for almost that long. However, the coming of Arkantos, the one who wields both the power of the magi, and the power of the priests, heralds the coming of something terrible.

A being of Darkness, a demon lord of corruption, has forced its way into the world, bringing with it destruction and despair. His corruption and manipulation have already consumed entire cities, and have claimed hundreds of lives, including those of Arkantos’ family. Will Arkantos be able to remain true, fulfill his destiny and destroy the demon? Or will his feelings of rage and despair lead him into the web of lies that his foe has laid?

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Filed under Fantasy, Ideas, My Stories, Writing

The Hunt for Truth

Ha. I just remembered I had this story on here. I’m planning to rewrite it and expand it.

 

I decided today that, rather than just letting this blog sit here and do nothing, I could use it to show the world my literary talent and see what the world thought of it. This is a short story I wrote a while back, and never did anything with. Enjoy.

The Hunt for Truth

By Nicholas Holley

The sun was setting. All across town, shutters were being fastened, and doors locked, as the townspeople scurried home. Tonight, there would be a full moon.

Tonight, the werewolf would prowl.

*

There were two types of people who did not return home after dark on the night of the full moon; those who were too educated and full of themselves to believe in the werewolf, and those who were too drunk or desperate to care. On this night, there was one man who fit neither category.

He knew full well that the werewolf was real, and he was neither drunk nor desperate. Yet he stood alone, on a darkened street corner, unafraid. The werewolf was the reason he had come to this town. He was a hunter. He made a living tracking things down. Animals, criminals, monsters, it made no difference. He found whatever he hunted.

Right now, he was hunting the werewolf, at the behest of the church. And he would find it. That was what he did.

And he was the best at what he did.

*

As the last of the sun’s scorching rays gave way to the soothing light of the moon, there was another man who did not fit into any of the categories mentioned. A man who regarded the werewolf with more fear than any other, but was driven onto the streets in spite of it. Driven onto the streets because of it.

As the light of the full moon touched him, he felt the change begin. His bones grew stronger, and larger, his muscles swelling and stretching to accommodate them. His features morphed, becoming neither human nor beast, but something in between. His hair grew, and spread, covering him from head to toe in a glossy black coat.

He tossed away his torn and mangled clothes, wishing against all reason that he could simply hide until the night had past. As he leapt into the streets, bounding through the alleys and across the rooftops, he found himself strangely calmed, as he always was, at the sheer release he felt, using his power to the utmost, being as fast and as agile as he could be. The nature of his curse would not let him rest. No animal, however tame, will lie down quietly after he has been let out of his cage. He will run, and leap, and revel in his freedom.

As he rounded a corner, he stopped abruptly, only saving himself from falling flat on his face by placing a paw on the ground in front of him hard. There was a man. Alone on the streets, but with no scent of fear. The only scent he had was… alien. Strange. It was a scent the werewolf had never smelled before, but which some deep instinct told him to fear.

The human turned. It spied him. It reached into its coat, pulling a strange weapon from within.

The werewolf did not linger. He ran. He bounded through the streets, as fast as a horse at full gallop, but as silent as a cat. He paused only once, and looked back. The human was gaining on him. This more than anything brought his fear to life. Desperately he fled this aberration, this monstrosity that could pursue the fleetest creature of the night with ease.

He dashed down an alley, which ended in an unlocked door. Bursting through, he found himself in a small chapel. The human at the altar looked up in mild surprise. It was very old, clearly. Its hair was white as snow, and its face was lined with wrinkles, but its eyes were still keen.

The werewolf found himself arrested by those eyes, and crouched before the human at the altar.

The human placed a hand upon the werewolf’s head. “I can see much in you. You are not the killer that prowls the streets during the nights when the moon waxes full.”

He shook his head vigorously. He had brushed against the killer once, during one of his escapades. Recalling the experience with a shudder, he was glad it had never been repeated.

The human smiled benignly. “Know that you are innocent, and be at peace. You are not alone.”

The werewolf felt as though a weight had been lifted from his heart. He no longer felt like a stranger. This human understood.

Suddenly the door opened, and a sound like the crack of a thunderbolt rang out once, twice, and the werewolf felt a strange numbness in his torso. Turning, slowly, as though in a dream, he saw the man from the street corner, holding the strange weapon, from which smoke poured from twin mouths.

Falling to his knees, the werewolf was only dimly aware of the elderly human’s words of reprimand, of scorn, and did not hear the reply of the strange one.

He collapsed, the light fading from his eyes, as the hunter stowed his weapon under his jacket and turned to go. A final rebuke from the priest caused the hunter to stop, and turn for a final look at the creature he had slain. He saw, not a monster, not a killer, but an animal. A harmless thing no more in need of slaying than an overgrown puppy.

Was it a flash of regret that crossed his features? Did he feel remorse for the needless death? Did he only mourn the wasted shots? None of us can say. Whatever its reason, its duration was brief. He had seen too many tragedies, caused too many broken hearts, to be affected by this now.

He left the chapel, for his work was not yet completed. A mistake had been made, one which had led to the death of a creature that did not deserve it, but that could not be allowed to hinder his mission. He had a killer to catch.

*

The killer in question, knowing that the hunter would seek the werewolf, was feasting on yet another maiden who had strayed away from the safety of numbers. Its feast was rudely interrupted by the crack of the hunter’s weapon, and a spray of hot metal whistling towards it. It whirled, the shots passing harmlessly through its dark and formless body. Its mouth, dripping with the lifeblood of the girl, curled into a sneer.

The hunter reached into his coat once more, this time drawing forth a small crossbow. The creature almost laughed, but the hunter was already firing. The bolt was tipped with the shape of a cross, and dipped in holy water. When it struck the creature, it wailed and crumpled into a quavering mass of shadows.

His face hard, the hunter pulled a flask of holy water from his belt and poured it over the creature, murmuring a prayer in Latin as he did so. When the screams had finally ceased echoing, there was not so much as a blot on the cobblestones to indicate it had ever existed.

The hunter looked at the body of the girl, and this time his expression of remorse was unmistakable. This girl’s death was due to prejudice. The villagers had not known what was responsible for the killings, but had blamed the werewolf anyway. As the hunter later discovered, the wolf had been in the city for many years before the killings started.

His fists clenched, he took an oath before God. No longer would he hunt out anything that was not human. No longer would he try to stamp out anything different. He would hunt for truth. And he knew that he would find it. He was a hunter. That was what he did.

And he was the best at what he did.

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Filed under Fantasy, Short Stories, Writing