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The Lorewhisperer
2nd June 2011, 19:18
Mind you, I'm rather new to this. Not a month out of picking up Facebook as a means to vacuum my wallet and already a couple of winners. A great deal of losers, though. Paper thin, gauzy excuses for the demanding hand of tribute. Sort of a send up, electronically, to the plant from Little Pet Shop of Horrors.

Feed me, Seymour!

Anyways. This is the first time I've come across something with an actual story involved. So, likewise, this is the first time I've really wanted to share something with the community of said game. Brief summary, this is my own artistic interpretation of events of the main story, with of course it's own additions, and which may or may not totally diverge at some point into the territory of complete Alternate Universe fanfiction.

New chapters to be released on a somewhat frequent basis (Hopefully) and for now, let's start with a little intro. Enjoy.
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There are some nights where I curse myself and the gods for finding that wretched stone. I must be the greatest idiot ever slapped together with mud and ill-made in the Celestial Forges.

And there are nights, under the open sky where stars shine like a brilliant tapestry over unfamiliar lands. Good and Evil vie for dominance under those stars. Peril and joy unimaginable lurks out there in the darkness. Yet beside Solus I feel a measure of comfort. A measure of safety, as if all this broken world makes sense and all one has to do is roll up their sleeves and go about picking up the pieces.

...And then sometimes it rains, and wet dragon is a rather appalling trial in and of itself.

There is a beginning and an ending to all things. People no longer believe the beginning but I continue to tell it to those who will listen, singing lonely counterpoint to the bards and their irascible taste for high drama.

This is my story, and it began with rotten turnips.

The Lorewhisperer
3rd June 2011, 03:28
The aforementioned turnip struck true. Even I was surprised as the half-blackened lump let out a loud, gooey splat colliding with Zeke's face.

Not as surprised as my best friend I think, who toppled backwards and sat in the dirt, consternation overcoming shock as he wiped vegetable goo from his cheek and short, stringy red hair. I cut in before he could get sufficient steam going.

"What is this?"

I shake another offending lump, this time a very pallid green riddled with black splotches. I help him back up to his feet with the other hand. Its not as good a lecturing position with him looming over me, but I do kind of feel bad for taking him by surprise.

Everyone has been working hard, spurred on just as much as the promise of good harvests as the terrible yield of last year. Despite my angry words, Zeke's face starts to split into a chagrined smile as I continue the tirade. His posture relaxes as I go into a blow by blow account of his heritage and its relation to various farm animals.

I am a little angry, actually. Spoiled food is wasted food-- and wasted food can't be afforded so late in the season. Still, he knows I can't stay mad with him for long and mercilessly manipulates me secure in that knowledge.

Oh, pride goes before something something--

"Here." Sarah unslung the satchel half full with four or five rotted specimens."No, Sarah. I-uh- think I got the point now." "Oh, no Zeke. Not today. I warned you about that plot. I said--" And at this, Sarah raises her eyebrows until he reluctantly finishes "--To tell you if the rot got any worse. I did. I checked just yesterday. They were fine."

The turnip goes squish as if to put the lie to his words. Thrusting it up as far as she can towards the broad farmhand, a tendril of sickly juice starts to run down Sarah's arm as he backs away. "Is this fine to you, Zeke? Gods above and below, I wouldn't feed this to the hounds. What use is this stinking clod?"

Zeke thinks for a moment and even though she braces herself, she ends up laughing. "Well, we could always use something close to hand the next time Roland rolls out those tall tales of his adventuring days." Feeling a sudden pang and hiding it quickly, Sarah casts away the turnip wiping her wellworn pants with the slimy juice. "Well, I suppose we shouldn't trust an innkeeper not willing to taste his own stocks." "More than a taste, I think."

Zeke laughs until she offers him the satchel again.

"Thank you for volunteering, Zeke"

At which point Zeke has all the expression of a deer before the hunter's arrow pierces all the way through.

The Lorewhisperer
3rd June 2011, 03:46
"Oh yes."

Her expression was now cheerful as she tied brown hair back with a scrap of cloth. She gave him a wide smile. "While I root around for something on this goddess blessed earth you haven't ruined, you get to tell good Master Roland about the turnips." Sarah looks pointedly at the satchel.

"The ones he's certainly not going to pay for, even for stew."

Zeke looks at the satchel with a sullen expression.

"Everyone hates that blasted stew."

Sarah raises the satchel even higher. "That stew saved your life and mine three winters ago. Its food. You eat it." She punctuates that with a series of small, demanding satchel shakes and pats him consolingly on the shoulder when he reluctantly takes it.

"Now you better get on, tis a long walk to town."

Again with the look as if the last few times he'd stuck HER with an unpleasant chore didn't mean she wouldn't eventually get back at him. She just gives him the smile. The same smile he had mirrored back at her before, and shrugs.

"I have very important business to get to Zeke. I need Lightning. You see, I'm willing to poke around in your area to see if there is anything salvagable on your behalf while my own chores sit idle."

This being word for word almost a shadow play of last week, Zeke only grunts and shoulders the satchel.

"Your an evil woman, Sarah."

And with this he turns himself towards town while she went looking for her transportation.

The Lorewhisperer
3rd June 2011, 04:24
Lightning is an old grey plough horse my family bought from a friend six summers ago. She's slow, and more than a little grouchy but she still has some seasons of strength left to her. The name is because of the streak. A brilliant flash of white across her forehead and one ear. The edge of the streak is 'striking' at the right eye.

It's a short ride but a long walk to the turnip plots, even though Zeke's family and mine own adjacent lands. She was not particularly in a hurry either. Most of the important chores rationed out between her and her brothers and sisters are settled so she greets familiar faces and stops to have a few words.

There is Thomas, Zeke's younger brother just old enough now to work the fields. Leena, a farmhand hired on after her husband passed away. Farther along is Samuel. He was in the town guard before a wolf crippled him, and he's still bitter about it by the set of his shoulders and his refusal to look up from his slow painstaking work. Or perhaps he simply didn't hear her.

Maybe I shouldn't have teased him so much when I was younger, but you can blame Liam for that. Really, with such a sour older brother just anyone would retaliate with humor out of self defense. Really, I'll have to make Zeke recount the entire affair today just to see if he'll lighten up this decade or so.

It's not long before she was back at the patch searching somewhat reluctantly. There was something odd though. The blight was not evenly distributed or even really all the same ailment. This one is blackened just a little while the ones three steps over are nearly soup. It gets stranger as a few more steps of, the blackened turnips wither to gnarled chunks that nearly go to powder at the touch.

Deeply contemplating running in the opposite direction, her spade clunks against something hard in the soil. Another few experimental clinks later, a few scraps of fabric worm out of the soil, the tatters still enshrouding a plain metal box.

A large red seal is emblazoned on the top, eaten away with rust and cracked through one blackened edge.

This is the part where the wise use that trusted spade to dig a much deeper hole and bury mysterious boxes. Never have dealings with things you don't understand. Never assume something as normal until you know better. That was what Roland always said, and the realization she was taking the word of a old, drunken fool of an innkeeper made her throw the spade at the box in frustration.

"They're just stories." Sarah bitterly snaps at herself, chewing the inside of her lip as she goes scrambling for the spade. Demonblighted turnips. It's a fungus surely, or some kind of rot she wasn't familiar with.

Take another sample to show her father, bury the box and be done with it.

.....

Curiosity is a terrible thing.

The Lorewhisperer
3rd June 2011, 04:49
Blasted Demonblighted turnips.

Cursed little lumps of tasteless fiber from the very gardens of the abyss. Sarah raked her hands through the soil, bringing it up for inspection. It smelled pungently of the same rot as the turnips and dripped clotted and slightly black from her fingers. How much would the rot spread. This far in a day? How much in a week or a month of enforced forgetfulness?

Sarah tenatively poked at the box. A curiosity certainly, but little more than that. The sudden blight of the soil was deeply troubling though. She'd take the box and some samples back to the town to warn them should it show up anywhere else. The village elders, or even mayor Solus might know some way to defeat it quickly before it took a toll on more important crops.

To distract herself from those unpleasant thoughts she inspected the box, almost with a subconsciously fearful caution. It was seamless save for where the seal had cracked away. A triangle inside a square inside a circle. Three long gashes. Two long, one with a crosspiece like a sword. The shorter one too, so it looked like a dagger. A third with no crosspiece.

She pushed at the seal tenatively which produced a faint click.

Inside the mysterious box was a rock.

A palm sized stone, roughly spherical. It had no beauty or luster. It was just a featureless green rock worn smooth by the ages.

It was the only thing there. Curiosity being what it is, she lifted the rock out and searched for-- something. Anything.

What was it that she had expected?

In a flash of quite embarrassing and somewhat guilty pleasure, she had unearthed a box with a rock in it. Oh, the tales she would tell to her children of this day.

Being so busy with the frustration and disappointment of her discovery (and vowing never to tell Zeke on pain of never living it down) she didn't hear them coming.

Not until the first hunting cries split the air.

=================

This is the end of Chapter 1. Chapter 2 shall begin in the next few days (hopefully)


Gwar.

The Lorewhisperer
4th June 2011, 03:50
This is one of the parts where the bards get rather dramatic. A great black horde sweeping over the fields, ogres and monstrous trolls lumbering to battle with savage packs of animal men and scores of the undead.

This is also the part where I usually have to sit down because I am laughing so hard.

You can always tell a good storyspinner by how /little/ and how /thoughtfully/ they place their embellishment. I've suffered many novices frontloading all the excitement into the beginning of their grand epics.

Lamentably, they must concoct higher perils and larger risks and more tragic forever doomed romances for themselves at each part of the tale, playing a one-upmanship game with themselves that ends only in ridiculous excess.

Truthfully, I do not remember much of the first attack on my home. Most of what I know is pieced together from other accounts and the few bright, searing flashes that come as they will. Sometimes awake. Sometimes in nightmares.

Let me share a choice few. I have them written down somewhere around here...

Ah. Here we are. I'm particularly fond of the title.

How Dirt Defeated the Kobolds at Burden's Rest.

The Lorewhisperer
4th June 2011, 04:13
Sarah had time to think about how very silly she looked, cradling a stone as she sat in the midst of a plot of rotten vegetables while kobolds surged across the fields.

She didn't have time for much else.

The screaming began around her, sound hitting her like vicious slaps mirrored by the buildup of the terrified shriek in her own throat. It built and became more desperate as the giant lizardmen, half again the size of a tall man closed with frightening speed.

The scream, shrill and desperate dies still locked in her throat as a kobold approaches, breaking off from its fellows to bear down on her. The lizardmen bandits were an uncommon sight near Burden's Rest, often wearing the spoils of conquest because kobold craftsmanship is so feeble.

She rather regretted her last thought being a fragment of yet another tall tale, fingers closing unconsciously around the rock as the lizard approached. Scrambling backwards and sideways she barely reached the left edge of the rotten earth before they caught her. Sarah got all too close an impression of battered brown scales pocked with scars.

The kobold slowed, nostrils flaring as it paused for a moments worth of puzzlement. While it did, Sarah did what she could to slow the advance of her doom.

She threw a rock at it.

Hitting just above the right eyeridge, the lizardman squealed in protest tail lashing as it staggered back stunned by the blow only half absorbed by its helmet.

Sarah dived for the stone, completely forgetting the sling and the little knife she carried around in her panic. All her brain could come up with in the whirling chaos was that it had worked before. The scream from before gets out entirely as something clamped down on her leg inches from where the rock had landed.

Sarah screams again as she is dragged backwards scrabbling for purchase across the earth while the screams of panic around her turn into cries of horror and pain. A man screams, his coarse yell sheared off midnote as Sarah is hoisted into the air dangling from one leg as the kobold prepares to joint her like a piece of meat.

Thrashing, screaming and clawing at the air Sarah almost broke her neck as the kobold dropped her abruptly. She had flung the dirt from her scrabbling hands into its face and it was now shrieking, smoke rising as it claws at its own face. The sword it held was forgotten and fell to the ground with a clatter.

The Lorewhisperer
4th June 2011, 04:30
In a mad surge, Sarah took up the sword thrusting it upwards as she unsteadily got to her feet. Red gouts hot and reeking over her hands as the sword cuts up into the stomach, lodging there as the kobold stumbles forwards then falls like a felled tree nearly trapping her underneath its bulk.

She got a view of eyes eaten away to the core at a distance of two inches away. Shrieking and slimy with blood, Sarah threw herself backwards in flopping jerks, trying to free herself with the kobold pulling itself after her like some terrible undying nightmare.

It too continues to scream, a high screech of agony and pain as its searching claws tear at her legs and side. One kicking foot soundly connects with its jaw, snapping it so that it hangs open and crooked with those terrible noises still issuing.

Something finally comes under her scrabbling hands and Sarah brings it around to crash into the lizardman's skull. The smooth green rock goes unnoticed even at hand as she strikes again and again, pulverizing the lizardman until it stops even twitching. Struggling out from under the dead weight sharply reminds her of the knife as the sheath savagely gouges her in the side.

In a painful haze, Sarah contemplates the rock with newfound respect. It had saved her life after a fashion, so maybe it did have a story to tell. If she lived to tell it-- and that life depended on..

"Lightning!"

She didn't have much hope in finding the plough horse in this madness, but the horse had stayed nearby the turnips as if perfectly calm. As if all the noises and smells of people dying around her were nothing more than an unpleasant flash of dream.

Sarah was little more than two steps from the horse when the next kobold trained on her. It lunged forwards with a weird garbled cry, blades and teeth bared. She barely managed not to get skewered, dropping prone in time to catch a heavy clawed boot to the shoulder knocking her down.

The kobold touched down hard, scraping across the dirt while making a neat turn with one claw to face it. It didn't get back up. Smoke exploded from where it stood, a ghastly black acid bubbling away at its flesh.

Its high chilling wails grew increasingly frantic as it thrashed to get away.. and even when it was still, it had attracted much attention.

Six pairs of reptilian eyes locked on her as she stood in the middle of the rotten earth.

The Lorewhisperer
4th June 2011, 04:47
Sarah flashed to eyes eaten away and the chilling wail as the six stalked the edges of the patch. Some of the looks they gave her and eachother were almost fear. They whined and garbled at eachother uncertainly, and Sarah stood there, her mind stunned, mysteriously safe while others were cut down around her.

Finally, that thought restarted her failing consciousness, and either courage or the fact the kobolds seemed to have decided to unstrap spears and throwing knives to kill her at a nice safe distance decided her. Scooping up great handfuls of the dirt into a pouch, Sarah ran for Lightning.

A spear buried itself next to her foot as she mounted the horse, a quick graze by the next sending it into a terrified frenzy. Lightning tore forewards, bolting inbetween attackers to race across the fields away from anything that remotely looked lizardlike.

Unable to control her Sarah is dragged along for the ride for an undefinable time of jolting pain and fear until a spear terminates the ride along with the plough horse, Lightning collapsing nearly atop a kobold in their path. The plough horse all but ran them down in their death frenzy, Sarah forcibly pitched from their back onto the blood soaked earth. The moment of calm followed by the shattering jerk of landing punches the air from her lungs.

Distantly in the midst of a ringing garbled madness that was once the world, she can hear a voice, somewhat familiar, crying desperately for aid.

Sarah hung in a black haze that shrouded her vision save for a tiny spot near the center. It was like a long, long tunnel towards something bright. The smudge in the center flickered, then dimmed as Sarah turned away from the confusing mess of pain and images.

Then another kind of pain hit, tearing a great gouge in the shadowy veil. She had seen her friends die. In the painful flurry of the ride, the images had all blurred together with none of them making any sense. Now she put together the pieces. Names to places to screams to terrible images. Bodies laying in the dirt. People being cut down.

Someone still screaming for help.

Someone she could still try to help. If she could only make it back down the tunnel.

One little step at a time.
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This is the end of Chapter 2. Chapter 3 will commence in the next couple of days. (Hopefully)


Huzzah.