Warring Heavens - An original fantasy epic

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Lavranzo, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Yeah, so in an attempt to upload the next chapter, I deleted the whole thing. Whoops. Therefore, my introduction (which before spanned several hundreds of words) will now be fairly short:
    This is a novel (ish), chapter-format, fantasy story. It is inspired by "Howl's Moving Castle", "The Lord of The Rings" and "The Dragonlance Legends" in particular.
    I've been concoting this story for around 6 months, but finally got in the mood for writing it down (thanks to @Gilligan Lanley for inspiring me with his fabulous Avali logs!), so without further introduction, I present you "The Warring Heavens" (<--- This is a link)
    Please use the link - It's the most updated one, though I try to update the chapters here every once in a while!

    Chapter I - The Invitation

    “Has hell finally found me? Or is it just you, Frederick?” a male voice spoke out, as he winced at the sound of metal against metal, scraping and scratching, banging and clanging. The noises echoed within his head and he felt as if his head were one of the giant bells of the Savior’s Church, to which a rope was attached, which in turn was attached to the grubby hands of a much too overweight monk, heaving and sighing as he pulled the rope and bell with all his might. Close to vomiting, the young man pulled himself up to a somewhat sitting position upon his bed, his shoulder-long hair covering his face. He leaned heavily upon his right arm, keeping his stomach in check with his left.

    “Ain’t you lookin’ dandy!”, a deep, bass voice bellowed. Frederick. The young man sighed.

    The youth whipped his head backwards, using his left arm to toss his hair gently into position, while parting his lips in a sickly grin. He immediately lamented this sudden motion: Though the sickening motion quickly came to a halt, the world kept spinning. This was one of the rare times he felt his room was over-decorated: The golden grandfather’s clock; the at least fifty different paintings; the three small coffee tables (one in mahogany, one in oak and one in birch) each carrying their own small ornaments; not to mention the diploma he received upon graduating from the School of Sairus, the leading college on the fields of alchemy, incantation and transmutation. It was but a piece of white paper, slightly longer than it was wide, on which small, inky letters and arcane marks were sprawled across its parched surface.

    It read:

    “The School of Sairus, its leading council and the headmaster, have conferred upon Sephaios T. Quintenson the degree of Magus in Alchemy, Incantations and Transmutation, therewith all honors, rights and privileges entrusted in recognition of his fulfillment of the requirements of this degree.

    Upon accepting this diploma, he has expressed his consent with the Wizard’s Oath, as explained per following paragraph:

    I will throughout the rest of my time on this world, wherever I may be, should I be capable of, willingly or unwillingly, serve the greater good, the Council of Sairus and the Archmage, by my magics or my body. Without this commitment, my magic is null, my art is to be vanquished and I with it: I shall be renegade, and for this I will without trial agree to the immediate disposing of myself: my soul, my spirit and my corpus, as it is. “

    It was signed by the headmaster, the three leaders of the Council and the Archmage himself.

    Sephaios sighed. It felt good. Breathing in, breathing out. He was very close to dangling his tongue out his mouth, but realized his visitor’s apprehensive glance. He pulled himself together and faced the man, while still sitting on the bed, supporting himself against the bed-supports. Frederick.

    “So… What is a noble knight like yourself doing here, in my humble abode?” he asked, failing to successfully keep up a polite smile, twisting instead his lips in a very off-putting manner.

    The knight, Frederick, was clad in heavy, old fashioned armor. Upon his breastplate the Falcon of Sairus was depicted, its great wings unfolded in flight and its claws readily held outwards in preparation of snatching whatever prey its dreadful, red eyes was fixed upon. Three symbols were inscribed at either side of the falcon, as well as above its head. At its left wing: The elaborate, swirly symbol of hope. At its right: The dense and hardy symbol of honor. Surrounding the head, like a halo of radiant light, the symbol of guidance was engraved.

    “Getting’ all lazy, are we now, Seph?”, the knight bellowed heartily, “Haven’t you received the Archmage’s invitation?”

    “I have. And I’m not the tiniest bit fond of its contents”, he muttered, while pulling himself up from his enamored bed, yet failing miserably, landing back on the bed, flat on his back. “The king and him, they’re up to something,” he paused slightly, “There’s been talk of war, Frederick.”

    Some minutes passed in silence, while white birds fluttered by the nearby gothic-styled window.

    “You’re not thinking of breaking the Oath, are you?” the knight asked, his voice now serious, in contrast to the heartwarming, stout tone he had feigned before.

    “No, I’m not-“

    “Cause then, I’d had to kill you, you know that, don’t you?”

    Silence crept upon them. Finding his balance upon the oak-wooden floors, Sephaios pulled himself up to his full height. He was taller than the knight, about half a head. But he was skinnier, one could barely call him lean. Slender seemed more fitting. He looked awfully thin compared to the knight in front of him. Like a straw of grass at the side of a rose in full bloom.

    “Would you?” he whispered softly to the knight.

    The two words reverberated against the mahogany panels, carved in intricate patterns. They bounced back and forth, shapeshifting into other sounds, other words. “Could you?” echoed back, almost inaudible, like a ghost’s calling.

    Suddenly, the knight seemed infinitely smaller than the young mage. The room itself seemed to shrink back from its master, in reverence, as he took another step closer to the knight. The very ground seemed to growl and rumble at the mage’s silent words and the paintings shook with excitement – or fear.

    “Seph, don’t. The country needs you. Your homeland needs you. The Archmag-“

    “The Archmage be damned to the abyss and back.” Sephaios spat, eyes flaring. “The man seeks nothing but power. Arcane as well as material. He’d do anything in his power to gain more. Avarice is his middle name, and Lust is his mother’s.” Sephaios spat at the knight’s feet.

    The knight laid his hand upon Sephaios’ shoulder. The weathered man, merely in his thirties, looked like he had aged twice as fast as other men his age. They stared each other in the eye. After a battle of will had been contested between the two, Sephaios pulled back, his anger quelled by the deep, dark brown eyes that seemed so earthbound, so tranquil.

    “I will not attend the meeting.”

    “The Archmage will not happy. The king neither,” the knight said, “They will definitely send guards after you.”

    “They can try,” Sephaios said smiling wryly.

    “It’ll be your own chagrin. And mine too.”

    Sephaios pulled up close to his friend. He whispered: “Frederick. Take care of yourself, and the others”. Moving past him, Sephaios left the room, heading, presumably, for some tea. His head still felt like the huge bell of the Savior’s Church, and soon he heard it ring. What a heavy-laden morning.

    Chapter II – In the Face of Death

    He was standing in the kitchen pouring hot steaming water over dried leaves and spices. The aromatic smell rose from the small clay pot and filled the crammed room. His friend, Frederick, had left few minutes ago. He reviewed one of the last things he had whispered to the knight: “Let them try”. He slammed his hand heavily against the cupboard.

    “Ugh, how cocky I can be,” he moaned “the house will get overrun by guards or worse the moment they realize I’m not attending.”

    I better set up some defensive spells, he thought to himself, as he put four teaspoons of sugar into his tea. He hastily stepped across the messy kitchen floor, ducked beneath a low hanging chandelier, and found his brown overcoat. It contained countless of small pockets containing all sorts of magical wonders: a small bag of salt, a vial of mercury, a tiny container containing something smelling like sulfur, and a stumped piece of chalk.

    “It seems I’ve run out of chalk,” he said, his eyes suddenly turning a greyish hue. He took a deep breath. He groaned, fell into a nearby chair and smacked his head, covered in his hands, unto the worn kitchen table. In the process he succeeded in bashing two old, dirty glasses onto the floor. Like bombshells from the sky, they came crashing down, exploding in cascades of glass and whatever old, muddy substance they contained.

    He couldn’t bear it. Life suddenly smacked him in the face. He realized how bad his kitchen smelled, he realized how terrible a war that was ahead, how dreadful a future he himself had: “Without this commitment, my magic is null, my art is to be vanquished and I with it: I shall be renegade.” He had broken – or was about to break – the Wizard Oath. The words “immediate disposing of” rang in his head, fluttered about in a hectic chaos storm. The chalk, the glasses, the war, his impending doom.

    “My tea!” he suddenly yelled out in a spark of clarified puzzlement, jumping up from his chair, sprinting across the very small room, which was more like taking two hasty steps, finally grabbing the grey cup and lifting it to his mouth. The hot aromatic fluid shot through his mouth, leaving a stinging sensation on his tongue. The sweetness overwhelmed him and a sudden rush of energy drove through his body. Ginger spices seemed to have that effect on him. Perhaps placebo.

    He threw the cup into the sink and ran upstairs, sudden energy sparking through his shining blue eyes. He came to a halt in front of a gold framed mirror, looked at himself dubiously, and told his ruddy reflection: “Well, you can’t very well be leaving the house in that fashion.” The man in the mirror was still wearing a soft silky shirt as well as white linen sleeping pants. His hair was messy and small clumps of yellow were affixed his eyelashes.

    He stormed through the upper, very narrow corridor, leading to a whole lot of very small rooms. It was a big house, definitely, yet everything was so unbelievably cramped. If not dirty dishes or unwashed laundry, then countless small artefacts or decorations covered the surface of every table and wall. At one place, a small statuette of a woman stood. Her figure was carved from ebony wood and her clothes from ivory. The artist had made the two very contrasting materials clash and intertwine, as if the figure had been a work of nature: Where the ivory left, the dark wood took off. Near her, a small metal sign read “Love is the heart of magic; hard is the magic of love”.

    Beneath it a picture laid, face upwards. It was the picture of a woman. It wasn’t a young, hot woman, and she wasn’t very pretty, but middle-aged, several wrinkles sprawled across her face, which was parted in a wide, homely grin. Upon the bottom of the picture, it said “Mrs. Quintenson, beloved wife, sister, and mother” with inky black letters.

    Sephaios adeptly dodged and sidestepped all the trash and mess on his way to the. He took a somewhat clean towel, drenched it in hot water and proceeded washing his face. While standing in front of the bathroom sink and mirror, he noticed something very off-putting about him. A disturbance of some sort upon his face. His soft, olive-tinted skin, normally of impeccable beauty, was scarred with a sudden eruption of a big, red zit.

    A small shriek evaded him as his eyes caught a glimpse of the red mountain. He could feel his heart pumping, trying desperately to keep him alive, as it seemed his spirit was leaving him. If not for the fear of dying, he would probably have died on the spot. As it were however, he had no choice but to bravely move forward. He grabbed one of the nearby flasks, that filled the entirety of the room, with exceptions to the bathtub, the sink and mirror, and the toilet itself. It was some sort of white-grey concoction. He pulled off the bottle stopper and sploshed some of its contents over the impurity on his face. He was suddenly so happy he had studied alchemy for the last 6 semesters.

    The zit disappeared within minutes and with it his sudden burst of energy. To be fair, a near-death-experience most often leave one exhausted, no wonder he suddenly felt so very heavy.

    “A bath. A bath would be good,” he noted, almost tumbling into the bathtub.

    As the sun slowly set, painting the horizon ardent with the avarice of gold and sanguine red, Sephaios was awakened from the tepid, dirty waters of his bath by a sharp knock on his door. Bemused, he slowly raised himself, naked, from the tub, drenching the floor with puddles of water. He stretched his long, bird-like arms before drying up himself and putting on a pair of slim-fit black pants, as well as a white, long-sleeved shirt. On his way out of the now even messier bathroom he grabbed a brush of some dark wood, carved in resemblance of a hand mirror. Once again, it knocked on the door. At the sound of this, Sephaios suddenly came to his senses and realized the situation. The guards outside his door yelled something that in his head seemed intelligible. He had to flee.

    Storming through the hallway, he noticed the picture of his mother. He didn’t know why, but he grabbed it, sensing at some point that this might be a last chance doing so. He knew he didn’t have time setting up any defensive barriers: He’d have to run as fast as possible.

    Sprinting through his house, he grabbed his coat and nothing more, knowing how every moment was precious. The knocking stopped. He heard the guards yell. He knew he hadn’t much more than a minute to escape the house. He caught a glimpse of the blue and black uniforms outside through one of the round kitchen windows. Hopefully they won’t sell the house to someone, he thought, realizing only few moments later how ridiculous that statement was. He wasn’t returning.

    Hesitation sent its debilitating chains spinning around his heart. He could stay. Perhaps he could excuse himself some way or another from the war: Maybe they didn’t want him at all, but just invited every mage as a matter of conduct.

    The doors broke down, exploding in a burst of wooden splinters and metal bands, fiery scars marking the point of entrance: They’d bombarded it with a flame spell – an incantation presumably, taking into account that no traces of the unique component of a transmutation circle was to be found. Could be alchemy as well, Sephaios mused, as four armed guards rushed in.

    “You’re under arrest, chalk-twizzler. Mutter one incantation and your brain is gone before your lips even finish,” one of the men said. He had a brown mustache and was seemingly bald beneath his decorated casket. Poor guy, probably male pattern baldness. Behind him, a single figure stood out among the rest. The man was wearing a longer, sleeveless overcoat, hasped together at his left shoulder by a silvered ornament in the shape of a crescent moon fused into the sun, a single small star in its midst. The Crescessence, the symbol of the Wizard’s Council, and its leader, the Archmage.

    Sephaios didn’t worry much about the guards themselves, a small fireball would leave them blackened beyond recognition. The stick-fiddler on the other hand…

    “Put your hands in front, cantrip, or we’ll open fire.”

    He snickered. Every moment of his life was a living hell, a living hell caused by his never-ending fear of death, the curtain call. Yet it seemed that every time he stood with the chill of Death’s gasping breath against his neck, death seemed farther away than ever. He had recalled hearing a prisoner, standing at the brink of execution, say: “From the day I was caught and up until now, I’ve been crying. They weren’t heroic tears, nor would they gain me any sympathy. I was crying out of fear and desperation, and I would yell out in my sleep at the sight of the starless void that would suck me in with the bullet at my forehead. But for every tear I cried, my smile would be the bigger, when I’d stand upon the block, facing Death with a wide grin. I won’t be crying anymore, as I’ll venture through the unending.”

    He felt the handle of his wand in his hand. He slowly raised his hands, as the guards had asked him to, but not with the intent of surrendering. He didn’t fear death, life just loved him too much.

    Chapter III - Conflagrating Sacrifice

    As he was raising his slender hands, one tightly clutching his wand, he couldn’t help but chuckle, if only slightly. In his head he was searching the prismatic nebula of his mind, looking for an incantation suitable of dealing with the gunmen. Wishing he’d had time for setting up transmutation circles, his mind slowly gathered the formula for his strongest invocation: He looked through the eyes of a younger Seph, unto parched paper scrolls, on which long strings of arcane symbols danced and riveted. Back then, he had a hard time understanding the winding characters – one small doodle represented the use of ablative, one was the core of the incantation, another the focus. Incantations were hard to master: They required very high levels of knowledge of the arcane language, even higher than he had concerning his own mother tongue. If one couldn’t unlock the puzzle, if one accidently skipped a case, slipped up on the pronunciation or even missed an accentuation mark, the spell would fizzle: All magical energy consumed by the void.

    But he knew he wouldn’t fail. He had trained for too many years, too many hours had he spent, his forehead drenched in sweat of exertion. He had passed his finals, ranking as the top student in incantation and transmutation, and he had bathed in the honor of glorification. But glory doesn’t last. Nothing does. His heart lurched and he realized that his tongue had started its journey towards invocating the powers of the arcane. The art of any self-respecting mage.

    The widdle-wand in the corner noticed. The guards did not. And before they could, Sephaios shouted out the fiddly words of the incantation. His heart filled with the energies of magic, the life essence of the celestial bodies: His eyes shined, white like the Moon, ferocious as the Sun and with the clarity of the Stars. It felt as if a black hole opened up at the tip of his wand. “A black hole?” Sephaios got to think, before noticing, as he was looking down at the place, where he felt the black hole, that he didn’t hold a wand. The mirrored surface from the back of the brush reflected his dumbfounded face. The fire of his eyes emptied out into the black, verseless void. His words resounded within the room: They jeered and mocked him with every bounce.

    Then, standing in the midst of despair, he heard it. The thunderous boom of a fired musket. He watched the bullet slowly ascend from the gun’s neck: He watched it reflect in the shiny bayonet knife, placed on the tip of the firearm. Then he felt it. Or did he?

    It’s so warm, Sephaios thought, like the warmth of a dark wine.

    Tears sparkled through his eyes.

    My blood…

    He pulled his blood-soaked hand up in front of his eyes. His right ear pulsed with the wine-like life essence. He remembered.

    He was a child, kneeling in front of the alter in the Savior’s Church. A priest was offering him some red, aromatic liquid. He put it to his mouth, and the priest told him:

    “This is the blood of your Lord, the sacrifice that he has given, so you can live.”

    “Is this a sacrifice as well?”, Sephaios thought, his vision blurring.It throbbed so vehemently in his ear. He saw himself painted, half-naked, in mosaic: “Is this a sacrifice as well?”

    His mind burned. With exhaustion, with sorrow, with pain. With wrath. He could feel the guards come closer. He could feel a burning sensation. It seared, not his flesh, but his mind, his spirit, his soul and his heart. It convulsed, pulsed, through his system, clouding his eyes further with colors of scarlet and purple.

    “Am I a sacrifice too?”, Sephaios called out.

    He felt flames roll of his tongue. He felt wings of hell sprout from his back. He felt them, though they weren’t there. He felt the fire of his burning heart stack in his throat. It was sickening. He grinned: A sickening grin.

    “The country. Is it a sacrifice too?” He didn’t ask: He shouted. His voice burned with hate, with passion and rage.

    “The people? Are they a sacrifice too?” He sensed himself motioning weird patterns with his hand. He recognized the patterns. Some of them.

    “My mother? Was she a sacrifice too?”

    It burned. It seared his skin. It roasted his mind and charred his soul. He was not a sacrifice. The people. They were not a sacrifice. His mother?

    The flames rolled out from him: From the symbols he had created. They sprouted like fiery roses and scarlet lilies. They unfolded like wings of a flaming phoenix and rose like a bird, soaring through the sky. The sky was on fire. The blue, blue sky was red. Four white birds, soaring across the scarlet sky, were scorched black; the pure were given raven-form. The flames conflagrated the world, the fuming fires bathed the corrupted and hallowed alike in a consecrating halo. Every star bowed to his inferno, every sun put itself out in reverence, and every moon lit itself ablaze, in the absence of the suns. The darkness of the void, that had stolen so much from him, from his blighted soul and broken spirit; The starlessness that had locked away so much arcane power, that had eaten it all: The transuniversal, multiverse-spanning black hole: He burned it. It collapsed. It turned upon itself, as it ate all his fire, but no space would be big enough: It burst. The heavens themselves had fallen and hell was no more: for nothing can exist, where there is nothing but that of its own company.

    Then, as a candle, whose flames had kindled with unexpected energy and intensity, he turned dark. His vision blurred once more and as he was falling towards the earthen grounds, he caught a glimpse of his surroundings: four charred bodies, in a once oaken kitchen. His ear throbbed: Was I a sacrifice too?

    Chapter IV - So very tired

    Shadows lurked in the corner of his eyes. They threatened to overcome him, to seal his eyes forever in a darkened haze. He didn’t want that. His ear throbbed: He could hear wings flutter near it, he could feel them take off in a bath of warmth and softness. The sanguine angels of compassion tended the ear, they cleansed it, and streams of ruby red ran from their handiwork. It hurt. His eyes started watering, tearing up at the soft murmur of rushing blood and stinging pain. But worse than pain was the inescapable thought of death.

    Death. It was an all too acquainted friend. It was the void, the night, that every mage would come to know at some point or another. Well, everybody does. Mages however share a familiarity with the all-consuming darkness that few others would know until the moment of their death, their escape.

    “Is this my escape? Is this my redemption?”, Sephaios mused in his head. “No. People who hide in the night will find that at some point the stars has stopped shining. At some point, the moon has drawn a veil of night and of mourning in front of its glowing face. They will find themselves in the midst of darkness, where no angels trespass, where no cry can be heard, no whisper be bellowed. They will find that they’re not even there themselves, that they have disappeared into the darkness, and that they are no more. Eventually, they will not find anything at all.

    “I am not ready for that kind of commitment. Death is a harsh mistress and I, I am not-“

    He closed his eyes in pain as his hand instinctually went to the bloody mess that was his left ear.

    “I am in no state for a long-term relationship.”

    He yelped out in pain, his eyes tearing up once more, as he rose to an almost upright sitting position. He noticed the burnt corpses in front of him. He noticed the once wooden, sturdy beams of his house, now but mere husks of coal and scorch marks. He noticed the entirety of his home, the many paintings, the bookcases, the kitchen desk, the front door: It was all scorched beyond recognition. All that had been wood was now ash. All that had been of sturdy, shining metals was now shapeless clumps of disfigured ironworks. He noticed, and yet he did not. His eyes had gone from their gunmetal blue to steel grey. The desolation. The destruction. It was incomprehensible.

    He had fought scarecrows and dummies before. He had cast spells and formulated incantations. He had brewed elixirs, potions, explosives. He had sealed spirits, locked souls in place. He had never killed. He had never killed.

    He looked down at his hands. They were unaffected, save from his own blood. His face turned pale. They are unaffected. He looked at his clothes: Unaffected. He ran his hand through his hair, unaffected. He kneeled down and picked up a small blackened item. It was his brush: The false wand, the mirror that had halted him in his initial spellcasting. He brushed off the sod from its mirrored surface. He saw his face. Unaffected. His eyes, his hair, his smile: Unaffected. Red ran from the left side of his head, he didn’t look. He didn’t like blood.

    His lips parted in a sick grin, a twisted perversion of his earlier, self-absorbed, albeit innocent, smile. He could feel the quintessence, his life blood, pump throughout his system: His heart, a demonic being, he felt, forced his body to function. He was still afraid to die.

    I know what happens to those who are not”, he whispered, glancing at the charred corpses.

    A smell of seared flesh and burnt hair pushed itself against his nose. He felt queasy, on the verge of throwing up. He wouldn’t, he assured himself, though he wasn’t sure this was true.

    I killed them. Renegade? Murderer.

    “The rest of the city guard and at least a dozen twig-snappers are sure to come soon, and I fear they aren’t taking chances arresting me.”, he announced, “but first, I must tend my wounds. Wound.”

    It’s so unfair, he thought, walking out of the house. It was still burning. The straw roof was nearly gone. The pillars that held the house groaned as the fire continually gnawed away at their weakened bones. Soon it would crumble. It’s so unfair. They brought in their lives, I raised with mine. I bluffed, was ready to fold, and then… The dealer handed out new cards. It wasn’t strength, it wasn’t hard work. It wasn’t even luck. I wonder if they had families.

    The house crashed down, a thunderous boom resounded in its wake. It seemed that a small picture of a woman rose with the flames. Sephaios looked upon the picture. I wonder if they had mothers, he said, a single blue crystal dropping towards the ground, the scarlet setting sun painting it a bloodied amber. Sorrow has a human heart. Had he?

    He tore off a piece of his shirt and put it on the ground. From his coat he pulled out the stumped piece of chalk, but realized it would be of no good use. Luckily, one can draw transmutation circles with a great many things. He felt consciousness slowly drift away, pulsing. He deterred from closing his eyes, he would not die. Not now. He put his hand against the bleeding hole in his ear. It felt like an enormous crater to him: It felt as if his leftover ear was but an insignificant fragment. The hand, now covered in blood, steered towards the white piece of cotton shirt, he had unfolded upon the grassy grounds. He started drawing. He was so very tired. So… incredibly tired.

    I want to take a nap. Mom? Are you taking a nap? Mom, give me some space, I want to nap too. Mom?

    She laid upon the soft grass, beneath the great willow tree with its lush arms. Her head rested upon the lap of Titus, and slowly, gently, he caressed her, stroking his hand across her chins, passing his thumb over her nose and running his fingers through her silken strands of dark hair. He had never thought her to look more beautiful than at this moment, her skin as pale and smooth as marble, her hair like liquid ebony.

    Her skin was feverishly hot, her forehead burning his fingertips whenever he ran them across. A rare occurrence, they were alone. He longed often for lone moments with her, but now when solitude finally came, it was bittersweet, edged with despair. She hardly breathed, her eyes glassy, unmoving.

    “Titus, are you still there?”, she whispered, her body trembling at the mere exertion of incanting those few words. Her lips, parched and dry, seemed more red than ever before to him, more intoxicatingly welcoming, and yet his soul shrank at the very thought of leaning in to kiss her, as he had done so many times before. It would seem almost sacrilegious.

    “Yes, Erilia, I am right here.”, he answered. His hand, continuing their brittle motion, was met with a sharp, stinging sensation every time he touched her, as if pieces of broken glass were strewn across her forehead and hollowed cheeks.

    She sharply drew a breath and shuddered. He felt her entire body shiver, shivers that continued into his own, and into his heart, which stuttered and expunged irregularly, leading him to believe one of his knives had carved its way into his inner chambers, twisting with gruesome apathy its sullied blade.

    “Titus,” she whispered, “Night has fallen so quickly. A more silent night, or dark night, I cannot remember having lived through ever before. The whishing and whooshes of the willow’s leaves that I heard so crisply clear before have deafened. The cold grass that earlier caressed the back of my head, I feel it no more. The sun-“. Her words came to a halt, leaving in their wake the eerie silence that Titus thought as uncanny as a sudden lull upon the chaotic cascade of the river mumble. Her face stiffened, its soft features hardening with fear, or determination.

    “The sun has gone, and no moon has taken its place. No stars have climbed the velvet curtains of darkness. Only, before me, the unending abyss of the void.”, she finished.

    “It must be the clouds, or perhaps the shrouding leaves of the willow, my dear. Twilight shadows seem the darker without the quiet song of Daedalus. I have come to miss his hymns, his lullabies, though at first they had been but a nuisance”, he told her.

    “Titus, are you still here?”, she called out, her voice thin. “Will you kiss me goodnight and take my hand, so I may rest before the dawn comes once again?”

    Moving his hand from her forehead, he leaned over and kissed her, pressing his own forehead lightly against hers. His hand found rest in hers, its warmth seeping out between her chill fingers.

    “Titus, are you still there?”, she mumbled.

    “Yes, my love, so I am.”, he answered once again.

    “I want to return home, Titus. I want to forsake this foolhardy adventure, and I want to return to the marble castle out by the mer.” Pausing, she closed her eyes, the eyes that saw nothing but darkness. “Oh Titus, and you shall meet my parents, and every day we shall sit in the vast, green pastures, in the midst of our thousand lilies, where birds sing from sunrise to sundown.”

    Titus smiled, but said nothing. Her voice was the only one to break the silence.

    “And our children shall run around the plains, and I will teach both you and them to read and to write. And every day, when we have done our chores, and the sun is nearing its zenith, we shall sit beneath the great oaks that grow alongside the river bed, and eat strawberries, washed in the clear river, with cream from the cattle the roams our lands.” Like a beam of sunlight breaks through dark clouds every now and then when it rains, so did a smile surface her face. “Every night, you shall hold me in your arms and tell me you’ll love me forevermore.”

    “I will, Erilia.”, he told her meekly.

    “I can alrady hear the birds singing, the children laughing.”, she continued, the same smile, not unlike the one of an oblivious child, upon her lips. “Oh, how I would wish the night wasn’t as dark, as it is. The unbound abyss is terrifying to look upon. Are you still there, Titus?”

    “I am.” He could not force another word out, over his hurting throat, his swollen tongue. “You are right; it certainly is very dark.” A single tear trickled down his prickly chin, glinting in the bright sunlight of day. The sun was at its zenith.

    Her hand pressed his, as soft and feeble as it was, it seemed more crushing than even the heaviest boulders to him. “And every night… Tell me you’ll love me forever.”

    “I will. Don’t you worry, Erilia, I will.”

    Silence crept upon them, the two figures beneath the tree in the broad light of day. Her marble skin contrasted the sandstone complexion of his, and never have an artist, neither before or after, caught in their masterworks a beauty like this scene: A marble goddess in the arms of a sandstone warrior, as graciously intertwining as the sun and the moon, during their fated eclipses.

    “I will. Erilia. I will.” He said as rivers ran beneath the leaves of the willow, rivers heavier than Styx, rivers more sacred than the ones that flow from the heavenly skies that arch above our cold earth, sullied earth.

    Drawing her body close to his, he wept into her hair: “I will, Erilia. Forevermore.”

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  2. haynesy566

    haynesy566 Heliosphere

    Dude I'm hooked already! Please add more! I'm such a big fan of fantasy novels! Great work and I can't wait to see more
    Gilligan Lanley and Lavranzo like this.
  3. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Thanks a lot, my heart skips a beat every time I recieve compliments like that :) I surely will keep on adding, hopefully until the entire scenario I've been thinking out for the last 6 months is concluded!
    haynesy566 and Gilligan Lanley like this.
  4. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Fixed it! For now. Between editing the formatting errors on this and on Quotev, I'm becoming slightly (if only a bit more than I already was) insane. But I got a like and got filled with determination, so I guess there's that.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  5. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Fourth chapter's up. As the title spoils, I am at the moment of writing it, very tired, and as such, I might have to revise it again tomorrow. But I guess it'll have to do for now. It's gotten pretty dark, really fast though. I should really start listening to some happier music while writing...
    haynesy566 likes this.
  6. haynesy566

    haynesy566 Heliosphere

    Ok I love this part! It just sounds so freaking awesome! Overall the chapter it's amazing. I love how much descriptive language you use and how you use it in ways I've never seen before. It really pulls the reader in and makes it hard to stop reading it. Very good work again! I can't wait for more!
    Lavranzo likes this.
  7. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    There's flatter - and then there's this guy :p
    Thank you very much though. What do you think of the bit darker turn? And have you got any critique? I'm hungering for some Lavranzo-bashing :p
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  8. haynesy566

    haynesy566 Heliosphere

    As for critique theres a couple of grammatical errors but thats the all I've noticed. I'm probably not in any position to judge due to the fact that your writing skill outmatches my own. The dark turn was very much needed, in my own opinion, a story thats all happy all the way through isn't a story at all
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  9. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    I think we're pretty much equals, albeit our writing style differs quite a lot. Mine is staggering, lyric, while yours is more action-oriented and epic (epic as in the literary definition :p) I'd take it as a compliment however: Even being compared to your writings would be an honor! (Though, I'm pretty sure it's "hylotl" and not "hytol" ;))
    I am, anyway, very willing to be judged as I'm aspiring to become continually better, and the critique of a friend has greater effect than the one of a stranger. If there is some general tendencies to certain grammatical errors that you've noticed, I would love to hear a few of them :) (That is, if you have the time and will to do so)

    As for this, I'll agree, though I was afriad that the change might be a bit too abrupt and might look a little forced (though I had no idea it was gonna happen, until I by luck (or accident) turned down that path).

    Anyways, thank you so much for reading as well as commenting, it means the world to me!
    Gilligan Lanley and haynesy566 like this.
  10. haynesy566

    haynesy566 Heliosphere

    In most instances, abrupt changes in mood and setting will cause the reader delve deeper into the story, I know for me that a story with lots of turns is far more excited then one with none at all
    (I'm rather ashamed that all this time I've been saying Hytol instead of Hylotl)
    This is where I'd beg to differ. I've had no such formal lessons in writing, and most of my style is a conjunction of lots of my favourite authors (Charlie Higson, author of The Enemy, is one of my all time favourites) perhaps we could create a conversation, you could give me tips on how to make my writing more lyric and descriptive and I'll give you advice with stuff to do with action writing. Another area I thoroughly enjoy is character development, there's just so many possiblities and I love seeing how stuff from a character'a past can influence it in the future.
    I'll read back through to try and find the grammatical errors, but by all means feel free to get in touch with me through private messages :)
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  11. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    I've done overall updates to all of the chapters - For now they're only updated on Quotev, but soon I'll get around to updating them here as well.
    Gilligan Lanley likes this.
  12. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Updated with a part of a chapter to come, once I actually get to write it all out. Very much work in progress, so by no means the final product, but felt like sharing.
    Ponamis likes this.
  13. Lavranzo

    Lavranzo Pangalactic Porcupine

    Uhm, so, I know it's like, weird and stuff, but I kinda just wrote one of the latest chapter of the novel. I kinda just felt inspired to do it, haha, but I suppose it'll more or less just serve as a rough waypoint for me to advance towards.
    Anyway, here y'all go.


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