Well, second fan-fiction. This one is going to be quite different in tone to my previous one. It will also maintain the same perspective throughout, so there will be no need to state the point of view like I did before. Until this is finished, please send feedback/ questions via PM - it'll help to keep the story easy to read. As always, I will aim for a chapter a day.
Update: Realistically, I think I will only get a chapter every few days done, since my motivation is at an all-time low and I have exams coming up this year. Whenever I get the chance to I will try and write something, but if I find that I am not in the mood for doing so, I will not add anything, as my writing may not be as good.
Edit: Good start! I spelt the title wrong. Well done me.
Picture coming soon. The captain (from Chapter 1)
Lokrya (Click to see full-sized image, then click the image again so that the details are less blurry)
Picture coming soon! Captain Sinro Vysoreth
Might add a drawing here too... Kremara
...And maybe one here as well. Kraexyn
I will eventually draw all of these... Nazaelan
Once introduced, an image will go here. Caindel
More characters will be added as I write.
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/22/2017 at 11:46 AM.
Posted: 1/3/2017 at 2:09 PM
Chapter 1 - The Storm
To begin this story, really, we have to start with a little context.
I, Drench, was named ironically by the crew of the small trading ship on which I hatched. My fear of water was unmatched by any other, and, regardless of my protests, they never seemed to understand. Sure, when it is contained in a small bowl no larger than your head, it is yours to control. You create the waves, and you can drain it at will by drinking it. But when that bowl loses its walls and covers the majority of the planet, well, that's when things begin to get terrifying.
Storms always frightened me. I would run below decks as soon as the first drop of rain made contact with my face. The rising and dipping of the ship would throw my small form around, even when I gripped on with all my might.
Hearing all of these negatives, you may wonder, why would I choose to stay on such a horrific place?
You see, I was the captain's pet, and, as such, had grown rather attached to her. The ship was also my home - during my time as a hatchling, I would chase the rats around in the cargo hold. The sharp stench of alcohol was always nauseating, but the thrill of bounding between the barrels always set my heart racing, and the feeling of pride when I finally caught one would give me a sense of warm happiness.
Now, that is enough about the escapades of my younger self. It is time to tell the story.
I remember the night as being very unpleasant. The air was damp, yet there were no dark clouds to warn of the horror that was about to descend upon us.
The thunder echoed throughout the ship, like the beating of a war drum. It woke me from my slumber, and I rolled off of my bed rather ungracefully. I'm not quite sure why I did so, but upon realising this, I scrambled back underneath my ragged blanket and its familiar smells.
I've never been the curious type, but the assault on my senses that was this storm caused me to peek out of my hiding place once or twice, mostly to reassure myself that the cabin was still intact. There were shouts from above deck - some were voices that I recognised, others completely unknown to me.
It was the captain's voice that ushered me outside in the end. She had taken the steps downwards two at a time, and had shaken me awake. I'm still not quite certain as to how I managed to fall asleep during the uproar.
"Come on Drench!" she called above the roar of the waves "We need to get to the escape boats!" It took further convincing before I took any steps into the ferocious rain, but I eventually gathered my courage and followed her, keeping close by her.
My initial grumpiness of getting only a short nap faded at the sight of the above deck. Water lashed at the boards, creating a hazardous surface for all. It was difficult to stay upright as we shuffled to the evacuation point. The captain was clutching her long, navy blue coat, her short red hair being blown in many different directions at once. The wind almost snatched her cap from her head; she managed to catch it before it flew away into the dark abyss that was the ocean.
We made it to the escape boat, but I refused to leave her side. The captain knelt down and gently stroked the soaked fur on the top of my head.
"Drench, please, go." Her voice was calm, and she had a slight smile on her face. I understood what she said, but my stubbornness did not allow me to take a single step in the direction of safety.
I've never really been able to get over the stupidity of that decision, even to this day. I was fully aware of the dangers at the time, so why did I not go?
When I finally came to my senses, it was far too late. The boat swung violently to the side, and I found myself being launched across the deck. I was unable to stop myself from sliding, and I soon found myself staring at the barrier on the other side of the ship.
Had I been human-sized, or, indeed, larger, I would have simply hit it, and then scrambled back to safety. This was not the case, however.
Despite my struggles, I missed the barrier, and went careening into my worst nightmare. The gale was too strong to fly, and so I hit the murky water with quite some force. I panicked as I felt the coldness seep through my fur and into my body.
The last thing I saw before falling unconscious was the mast snapping.
Another fan-fic! I'm looking forward to writing this one - I thought I'd experiment with a different tone of narration this time.
There would be more, but I sliced my thumb yesterday, so I can't type as easily :(
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/11/2017 at 12:49 PM.
Posted: 1/4/2017 at 1:20 PM
Chapter 2 - Washed Up
When I opened my eyes, a blurred figure was stood above me, its face a concotion of yellow, purple and green.
"Argh!" I let out a scream and shook whatever it was off. The other Sylesti was equally as startled, and backed off.
"Geez, calm down!" The voice sounded mildly offended.
The mixture of colour began to swirl and take the form of an adolescent Qitari. I wasn't quite certain how I had initially mistaken her for a horrific monster - perhaps it was the way her markings framed her face. Even then, the thought of this innocent-looking Qitari somehow being a deadly creature brought a very slight smile to my face.
"My apologies." My awareness of my surroundings was flooding back to me now - my pelt was still damp, and had rough grains of sand speckled throughout it; there was water pooled in my ears, that I could not shake out; my wings were stretched out awkwardly across the ground, and so I brought them in to my sides.
A quick glance at the beach revealed that there was nothing that I recognised, with the exception of a few shards of timber. The Qitari broke through my sense of awe and confusion with a question.
"So... Who are you?" Sitting on her hind legs next to me, her faded purple eyes sparkling with curiosity. "I don't recognise you - are you from a different island?"
"Ah, I..." I had to take a moment to recollect my memories, and then I told her everything. Her ears swivelled rapidly as she listened, half-paying attention to me, half-interested in something else in the distance. Once I had finished, she stood up.
"Oh, ok. Well then, Drench, it's nice to meet you." She gave me a smile, then continued talking. "My name is Ari." She proclaimed her name with pride, the sparkle in her eyes brighter than before. "Please, follow me. My friends may be able to help you."
I was sceptical at first, unsure of whether this Ari was trustworthy, however the promise of help was appealing to me. I wasn't sure what kind of help I needed, with the exception of somewhere to dry off for a few hours. Beyond that, I was clueless.
As the young Qitari began to make her way back to wherever she came from, I padded along beside her.
Posted: 1/7/2017 at 11:06 AM
Chapter 3 - A Forgotten Land
Ari had spoken of this 'Esior's Haven' as if it was a glorious place to be, but, compared to the towns back home, this may have well been the site of an apocalyptic event.
It was unusually quiet, to the point that I was concerned that the residents had all been abducted. The streets of Harbour Town had been bustling with people of all types, calling out to eachother - whether trying to sell the day's catch or simply trying to grab someone's attention, they were always talking. Here, only our footsteps could be heard.
Noticing that I was not particularly impressed with what I saw, Ari decided to speak.
"Ah, you see, the townsfolk are still in shock after some fairly recent events." She did not go into detail on what these 'events' were, and instead decided to focus my attention on the monochrome stone building that we were approaching. "We need to speak to the sheriff. He'll know what to do about this." A concerned look was on her face. "If we had any ships, I'd send you back via one of them. But we don't, which causes a lot of problems."
Nudging the door open with her muzzle, the small Qitari trotted inside, only to pause. She glanced up at the figure in front of her.
Clad in a light brown coat and shining black boots, the woman gave off no air of authority. Her pose was casual, and her scruffy brown hair hung at her shoulders. A smile crossed her face when she saw us, and she turned to the man stood behind her.
"Sheriff, it appears that you have some visitors," she told him, wrapping a beige scarf around her neck.
The sheriff was far more threatening than the woman. Folding his arms, he glared down at us with his brown eyes. A disapproving frown crossed his expression.
"What is it this time?" His voice was gruff and impatient. It was clear to me that he had already seen a lot of people come to him today - most likely for silly reasons, considering that his eyes looked tired and his eyebrows were pointed downwards in annoyance. Ari stepped forwards, clearly daunted by him, and nudged me. The sheriff eyes narrowed. "Who is this? I do not recognise him."
"Drench," I said, though my voice sounded only like a soft meow to him. With a sigh, he gestured towards the woman, who had still not left the room yet.
"Lokrya, hand me the device," he commanded, holding out one hand. A smirk was visible on Lokrya's face as she dove her hand into one of the pockets on her jacket, and procured an oddly-shaped object. Placing it in his hands, she pressed one of the buttons, and it let out a beep.
"What was that I heard a few minutes ago?" she mocked, her expression smug "This device will be of no use to me - take it back." The sheriff scowled, but did not retort.
"Please, say that again," he asked, addressing me. I gave a nod.
"Drench," I repeated. The device bleeped once more. The sheriff appeared confused, but did not question my answer. His gaze switched to Ari.
"What is the problem, Ari?"
"This Vulnyx, Drench... he was shipwrecked off of the coast and washed up here. He would like to return to his hometown, of... of..." She glanced over at me. "What is it called?"
"Harbour Town," I answered, filling in the blank for her. I then decided to continue talking from the point at which Ari had stopped. "I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me reach there. Ari has informed me that you don't have any boats, however, so I was wondering if you knew anyone who did."
"Harbour Town?" The sheriff pondered over the name for some time. "I... I don't know where you are talking about." He looked at Lokrya, puzzled. "Lokrya, have you ever heard of Harbour Town?" Lokrya shook her head.
"No. Unless my maps are out of date, that place doesn't exist. Unless it is a new town...?" Crouching down to my height, Lokrya's ice blue eyes met mine. "Tell me, what is the name of the country where this 'Harbour Town' is situated."
"Arrinel. Harbour Town is in Arrinel." A strange feeling washed over me. I must say, it was hard to believe that not one person in the room, especially when there is one who is clearly an adventurer of some sort, knew about Harbour Town. It was even more shocking when it appeared that none of them had heard of Arrinel before either.
"Arrinel?" Ari, Lokrya and the sheriff's expression all matched one another. It was Ari who had spoken. "I still have no idea about where you are talking about."
"Same," Lokrya added "Perhaps, since none of us have any knowledge of your homeland, it would be wise to ask around the village. There may be someone who can tell us about this place."
A few hours later, and the only responses we received from the townspeople was a statement of "What is that?". We had asked so many, yet none of them had varied in their answer.
Sitting by the fountain, I let out a sigh.
"I don't see what we can do, since no-one seems to have heard of Arrinel. It's unbelievable that so many know nothing about such a large country." Ari's purple eyes lit up, and she jumped up from her hind legs to stand in front of me.
"I have an idea!" she exclaimed, a smile spreading across her face "You know where Arrinel is, right? Perhaps we could navigate there without a map. It would be risky, but... I can see no other way of getting there." The excitement of the idea of exploration made her prance on the spot. "What do you say? Sounds like an excellent plan, right?" I considered it for a moment before answering.
"Well, I can see many ways that this would go wrong... But I can also see that this appears to be our only option." I shrugged. "Why not?"
I apologise for the lack of chapters over the last two days - I didn't have much motivation to write, and I was also trying to work out which direction I would take this in, on top of a few other things.
And wow, I can't believe that this has gotten so many views in such a short time! Thank you very much to everyone who has been reading it so far :)
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/7/2017 at 3:15 PM.
Posted: 1/10/2017 at 1:42 PM
Chapter 4 - The Captain of Nothing
"Ja, I'd help you, but, you see..." The captain swept his arms around him, as if to exaggerate his point. "You've seen over the walls, correct? Where do you reckon that I would keep ships here?"
We had made the decision not to ask the sheriff about our plan. Well, more like Ari had made that choice for the both of us. My insistence on not going behind her back had only annoyed her, to the point that she began to leave. I wasn't entirely sure that leaving her alone to plot was a good idea, and besides, she was the only one who knew me. Compared to the others, that is - we were hardly friends, but I doubted that I would find help or company amongst the crowd in the stables.
I'm not quite certain as to how Ari came to know this man, or how they had managed to communicate in the first place. Neither was I sure of whether he could really help us or not - indeed, we were in the middle of a grassy meadow, with not a river in sight.
The captain was a small man, barely above one and a half metres in height. It was difficult to make out his age from appearance alone - his face was smooth-skinned; his eyes glinted with life; little more than stubble grew on his chin - yet his body seemed old and worn with scars; his movements were stiff; his manner reflected someone whose youth had long passed them by. A black cap stained with sea-salt sat atop his head, just above square, crimson glasses perched on his narrow nose. Through the lenses, azure eyes gazed down at Ari and I, warm despite their cold colour.
Adjusting his jacket, which was in a similar condition to the hat, he continued what he was saying.
"Ari, if I could help you, I would. But I am a captain of nothing. Most of my ships were lost in various storms over the years, and after the sheriff refused to let me keep them by the coast near this Haven, I was forced to sell them." He reached for his drink, and sipped at the fizzing orange liquid.
"Sinro, we have no other way." Ari was close to begging. I had a feeling that it was more about her wanting to see the world rather than me getting home, though I did not comment.
"Ja, and that's the way it is." With a shrug, the captain emptied his glass, the wiped his mouth with a gloved hand. "Have you tried asking the sheriff?" Ari's expression froze as she formulated a lie.
"Yes! Of course we have!" She was too quick to say it, and the captain noticed. He sighed, resting his head on one of his hands.
"You lie badly." There was a pause, followed by a second sigh. "Fine. I understand. I will see what I can do. See me tomorrow." A smile spread across Ari's face, and she thanked him half a million times, before shoving me outside with excitement. I had many questions about what just happened, but rather than waste time asking them all, I selected the most important one.
"How did you do that? He was convinced by your lying... I don't get it." Titling my head to one side, I perked my ears up, genuinely interested in what she had to say.
"You see," she explained, attempting to contain herself after that small victory "Sinro, or, as everyone else knows him, Captain Vysoreth, has always had a dislike for Sheriff Thyrm, and as such, if the sheriff refuses to help someone, he will step in, as if to prove himself. Another scenario would be if someone goes to him first. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this - he abides by the law like any other, though in some cases he will go out of his way despite the consequences." Forcing the grin off of her face, Ari's voice became suddenly more serious. "We can't tell the sheriff. Even though what we are doing is not against any laws, he may try to stop us." I gave a nod to signal that I understood.
This whole business was very shady for something that was legal.
Despite this thought, I went ahead with the plan, and we both met the captain at the same place as last time. When questioned, the captain provided us with the answer that we had hoped to hear.
"Ja! Ja! I have indeed!" He must have been at least slightly drunk, since his tone of voice was all over the place, and his gestures were so wild that he was almost flinging himself from his stool. Once regaining his balance, he leaned over to give us the details. "There is a ship, tomorrow! Ja, tomorrow!" He gave a hearty laugh, folding his arms over his chest. "They will see. I will no longer be the captain of nothing!" A broad was stretched across his face as he talked. Ari looked at me with concern, and whispered:
"I hope he's not like this when he sails."
"Agreed," I responded.
We left the tavern before our eardrums were destroyed by Captain Vysoreth's merry laughter.
I'm going home, I thought, I'm going home!
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/11/2017 at 2:50 PM.
Posted: 1/11/2017 at 2:50 PM
Chapter 5 - The Strange Occurrence at Sea
Unexpectedly, I found myself being shaken awake. My eyes opened to see only darkness, and I kicked out one of my hind legs against whatever being was beside me.
A lantern flickered at the corner of my vision, swinging from a rapid movement. The soft orange glow highlighted a familiar face. Lenses flashed in the light as they tilted downwards.
"Hey, wake up!" There was a slight urgency in the half-whispered words. It was then that I saw Ari, making an effort to shove me from my sleeping position. She pressed against my back with her muzzle; pushed my head with one of her front legs; prodded my side with a hoof.
"I get it... Hang on..." I mumbled drowsily, rolling over to stop Ari's continuous annoyances. My shift of position meant nothing to her, as she simply stepped towards me and nudged me with her hind leg. "I get it!" Repeating myself did nothing - only once I had stood up did she bound down from the hay pile, disappearing through a veil of black.
"Come on, Drench," she sang from the darkness, joy emanating from her voice. I was still unsure of what was going on, though I had faith that Ari knew.
I followed my invisible guides to the door, and we slipped through the smallest gap we could allow. Closing the large wooden door behind us, Captain Vysoreth turned to face the vastness of the meadows.
"We need to hurry." Placing one hand on his head, he swept his hair back away from his eyes. "I... I overslept. My apologies for that." He gestured to us with one hand. "We need to get to the boat before the sun rises. Thyrm will lose it if he sees it by the coast."
The boat was rather unimpressive, and, in fact, fell short of what I had expected, despite my assumptions practically lowering the bar into a ditch in the ground.
Dull blue paint was peeling off from the splintering wood. Not a single piece of it seemed safe, and my gut feeling told me that I was likely to end up in a second shipwreck. Though the captain seemed confident in the row-boat, standing in the middle with a wide smile on his face. He knows the most about the ships out of all of us. We should trust his decision.
The structure creaked underneath my paws as I leaped inside. Shivering, I peered over the sides at the stirring water below. Despite being shallow, it was still deep enough to be a danger. The wind was its words, hissing like a wild animal, and the waves spat salt water into the air.
Flattening my ears, I turned to Ari, eyes wide. She appeared to be perfectly fine with the situation, perching on the bench-like structure opposite Captain Vysoreth. The two were discussing something, then she hopped out of the boat. More groaning of the rickety ship thrummed through the air as it dislodged from the sand. There was a sloshing sound, and the young Qitari was back inside, water dripping from her legs and tail.
"Let's go!" she called out to the captain. The captain nodded, and began to row.
As we left shore, I had my doubts. We're rowing there? That's insane! It could take us half a day, provided that the weather is good. If we should encounter a storm, then...
Several hours later, and that nightmare became a reality. My instructions on where we needed to go were based off of the few scatterings of rocks, and had lead us straight into an area overshadowed by dark clouds.
"What the...?" the captain exclaimed over the roaring wind "Where did these clouds come from? I'm certain we didn't see them a few hours ago!" Ari, who had been munching on a slice of bread from the few supplies we had brought along, glanced up at the sky.
"I... I don't know. Perhaps I was just not being observant enough." I, on the other hand, was not as casual. The thought of being submerged once more in the depths of the ocean petrified me.
"Do you see another way?" I let out a gasp as the water licked at the edges of the boat, almost spilling inside. "We can't just go through it!" Cowering underneath a bench, my eyes were fixated on the threatening expanse above. It held its rain, glaring down at us, daring us to venture further beneath us.
"We cannot go around! Look at it!" I met Captain Vysoreth's gaze. He was exhausted - sweat had dampened the hair above his brow, and his eyes were sullen. He was determined, however, to continue. "We have two choices. We can keep going and potentially make it, or we can attempt to flee and remain trapped underneath this storm!" There was determination in his narrowed stare. Reasoning would most likely not deter him from his plan.
The gale whipped up monstrous waves that smashed against the hull of our small boat. They descended upon us with claws of water, drenching us. My pelt was soaked through, and I gripped on desperately with my paws. Ari was by my side, but was far braver, staring with terror as we were trapped in a whirlwind of explosions of thunder and lashing rain.
The captain had dragged the wooden oars inside the boat, and sat with his hands over his head, as if praying. He was speaking, yet we could not hear him. Hands clasped together, he clenched his teeth together to attempt to resist the freezing temperatures.
It seemed to last forever. More than once, I was almost thrown from the wooden boat. Each time had caused a cry to escape from my mouth.
Ari shared my terror - without anything to hold on to, she was rolling around the hull, bashing against each side every time it rocked.
There was a sudden break in the turmoil. The seas calmed far quicker than they had appeared. Captain Vysoreth glanced up, confused.
There was a wall of water, like there was an invisible barrier. The waves still crashed around on the other side, yet here, it was calm.
Before any of us could work out what was going on, our attentions were diverted as a cluster of buildings came into view.
"What is that?" Ari asked, shaking her mane to remove the water dripping from her multi-coloured coat.
"Harbour Town... That's... Harbour Town!" I could hardly suppress my excitement. All of the events prior and my fear of water melted away as joy rose within my chest. I jumped up get a better look, and squinted at the horizon. "Arrinel! We've found it!"
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/22/2017 at 12:12 PM.
Posted: 1/12/2017 at 2:01 PM
Chapter 6 - Unwanted Visitors
The boat drifted silently through the water, then softly bumped on the sandy shore. Captain Vysoreth clambered out, then helped Ari and I from the slippery puddle that had formed at its bottom.
"Well, that could have gone worse," he remarked, brushing off some grains of sand that had stuck to his jacket. Adjusting his hat on his head, his gaze swept across his surroundings, taking note of everything. "This place... It's beautiful. I can't believe that no-one back home has heard of here before."
Beautiful was the perfect word for it. The shimmering sun hung above our heads, its pleasant warmth overshadowing the discomfort from the water that had soaked into my pelt. To the left of us, golden sands stretched away endlessly, spotted with rocky outcrops that glimmered in the light. To the right, Harbour Town's tower peered over a large hill.
The Tower of Thorns, I had heard my crew call it. It was a nickname that I had taken to using, as its actual name was spelt in Ancient Arrinellyan, its true meaning lost for centuries. This alternate name stemmed from the fact that thick, sharp-leaved vines were entangled around its base, with a single branch winding upwards to the top. Every few years, a flower would bloom from the highest point. Its brilliant red, black and white pattern was unforgettable - I had only seen it once, as a hatchling, but I had never forgotten its appearance.
Noticing that I was mesmerised by it, Ari stepped in front of me.
"Hey! Drench!" There was an odd look on her face, as if she was trying to work out what was going on within my mind. "Do you know which way to go to get there?" Still half-dazed, I nodded. The captain stepped past me to take a look at the tower for himself.
"Impressive. I can hardly wait to see it up close!" There was genuine excitement in his voice. It seemed to me as if he had forgotten our original goal. I would be sure to remind him if he began to get too side-tracked.
There wasn't a direct path to the town, so, after tying the row-boat up to one of the rocks, we followed the edge of the beach. I did not want to risk stumbling into farmer's land - the farmers of Arinnel never cordoned off where they kept their livestock, and so it was easy to wander into their meadows.
Luckily, we did not encounter any difficulties. That was, until we tried to enter Harbour Town.
Almost immediately, a guard approached us. He had seen us approach from the fields rather than the docks, and so eyed us with suspicion. His gleaming, iridescent armour was turned a threatening amber by the sunlight that fell upon it.
"State your name, where you are from, how you got here, and what your intention is!" the guard ordered, holding his hand out to tell us to halt. His accent made it difficult to make out his words, but, after a minute of thinking about it, the words came to my head. Captain Vysoreth glanced nervously over at me, then back to the armoured guard. Or, more specifically, the silver greatsword resting in its scabbard across his back.
"I am Captain Sinro Vysoreth. These are my Sylestis, Drench and Ari, and we are from Sylestia. We mean no harm to you or the people of this town - we only wish to unite Drench with his owner once more." The captain deliberately left out the method of travel, but the guard picked up on this.
"You haven't answered all of my questions. How did you get here?" The guard narrowed his golden eyes, and gave Captain Vysoreth a mistrusting glare. Something in the captain's expression switched.
"Well... We..." he stuttered, struggling for an excuse or some way around this. However, the guard had backed him into a corner. The truth was the only thing he could tell. "We... came here on a row-boat. It's on the nearby beach." He paused, then, realising that the guard's scowl had not changed, hastily added more. "We can move it if you would like."
Despite the guard masking his emotions fairly well, you could see that there was a hint of panic. Turning to his counterpart, who was dressed in contrasting ebony armour, the guard made a hand gesture and said a few words.
"Erollxis verus dev trackys." That wasn't New Arrinellyan. What was that? Had he been speaking the native language, I would have understood him fully. However, this new tongue was nothing like anything I had ever heard before.
The second guard, on the other hand, knew exactly what that meant.
"Come with me." She too had the same rough accent.
Captain Vysoreth hesitated for only a moment, but still, the female guard grabbed the collar of his jacket and tugged him along impatiently. Unsure of what was going on, Ari and I followed close behind.
Once we had passed underneath the entrance gate, we were lead into an alleyway, where we stopped. Removing her helmet, the guard introduced herself as Kremara. Before she could go any further in her explanations, the captain decided to butt in.
"Hang on, what is going on?" The confusion was clear in his voice. Kremara placed a finger over her lips, signalling for him to keep his voice down.
"I'm letting you in. Kraexyn would have you taken to Nazaelan, who would most likely burn you alive for trespassing." It was clear that Captain Vysoreth had more questions that he desperately wanted answering, but he held in his desires to speak. "Act like you've always been here. And whatever you do, do not leave through the same gate. You are strangers in this land, and we do not like strangers." With a swish of her cloak, she turned on her heels and began to return to her post. She whispered a few last words - who they were meant for was unclear. I was certain that she said something in her own language, - it sounded like an incantation of some sort, but nothing had resulted from her saying those words.
Before any of us could ask any further questions, she was gone.
There was a pause.
A raspy voice spoke to us from behind.
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/12/2017 at 2:22 PM.
Posted: 1/13/2017 at 1:41 PM
Chapter 7 - A New Identity
"This body is so uncomfortable!" Ari whined, pulling at her cheeks with her hands. The mage stepped forwards, his shapeless red cloak trailing along the ground behind him.
"This is for your own good." Despite claiming to be 'a friend', his hood was still pulled up, overshadowing all of his facial features. "The guards will be looking for a human and two Sylestis. They will not recognise you in this form." Turning to Captain Vysoreth, he continued speaking after a short pause. "As for you... There is not much I can do. Turning a human into a Sylesti is virtually impossible. Or, at least, it is for me, as I am not fully practised in the art of manipulating the physical form."
"Hang on!" I exclaimed "Does that mean we are stuck like... this?"
"No, not at all." The unknown mage was quick to explain. "The spell wears off in a few days. Should you need more time, find me once more." That was a relief, albeit it a very small one. What if we don't find the captain? We couldn't rule out the possibility that she could be dead. It was not something I liked to admit, but it was one of the many logical conclusions for someone on a sinking ship.
Ari was still complaining, and we could not leave until she had quietened down about the matter. We couldn't have her wandering around saying such things, as it would raise suspicions. Especially as she still retained the scruffy green hair and large purple eyes from her Sylestian form.
Captain Vysoreth took this opportunity to work on making himself look different. While I stood with Ari, he went off to a separate room. He returned, and immediately, Ari's attention was drawn from her discomfort to him.
She burst out laughing.
The captain had dyed his hair bright pink, and he was no longer wearing his glasses, which gave him an odd squint. He was now wearing red clothing that seemed far too casual for him, and was also far too small for his frame. In an effort to hide this, a black trench coat sat over everything, but since he left it open at the front, it hid nothing.
"You look ridiculous, Sinro!" Giggling, Ari wiped tears away from her eyes. I had to admit, seeing the captain with such features was quite amusing. Rubbing his now-shaven chin, Captain Vysoreth raised an eyebrow.
"Well..." It sounded as if he wished to deny it, but it was fact. Sighing, the captain thanked the mage for his aid, and gestured for us to follow him. "Come on you two. We have more important things to concern ourselves with than my new appearance." It was difficult to take him seriously when he looked like he did, but, nonetheless, we left the building with him, straight-faced.
Almost immediately, Ari appeared overwhelmed by everything. Cupping her hands around her eyes, she scanned the environment with her vision.
"Wow..." she whispered in awe "You can see so much from up here! As a Qitari, everything seems so much bigger, but from this perspective..."
If we were trying not to draw attention to ourselves, we had already done a terrible job. Our group had such clashes in appearance and attire that it drew more glances than we would have gotten if we had worn similar clothing.
Ari, having taken the form of a female teenager, wore a short jacket that was cut off just below the chest. It was covered in pockets, and was absolutely hideous, but she had insisted that she wear it. Underneath, a black top hung loosely on her body, much in contrast to the tightly-fitting trousers that looked movement-restricting. Why she chose such a terrible outfit, I will never know.
I, on the other hand, had gone for something far more comfortable. Or, as comfortable as I could get, since, when I changed, I had kept my mutations. As such, my wings were folded at an awkward angle underneath my brown shirt, giving the impression that I had some sort of back problem. On top of my head, a plain-looking hat covered my horns, which, mercifully, had not kept the same proportions as was the case when I was a Vulnyx. The necklace wasn't too much of a problem. The rest of my clothing was nothing flashy, with dark, unimpressive colours and simple designs.
"We should head to the dockside first. That does mean that we have to pass through those two guards again." I wasn't keen on speaking to them again. I was glad that Captain Vysoreth had a better idea.
"Let's search the city first. And perhaps do a little sight-seeing - it would be a shame for Ari and I to return to Sylestia without seeing anything." The captain smiled. "Is that ok with you?"
"Fine," I said, placing my hands in my pockets "But not for too long."
'For too long' was clearly misinterpreted by Captain Vysoreth. Hours passed until the town was plunged into darkness by the night. Lights flickered to life, their glow softening the shadows that lurked in the narrow alleyways.
Ari and I were supporting the captain as we walked along. He was barely able to stand from drunkenness, and neither was he easy to understand. When we questioned him about how he had ended up like this, he simply answered that he had been 'sampling' a selection of Harbour Town drinks.
However, it was a good thing that we had stayed for so long.
A woman was being held by the arms. Two guards dressed similarly to Kremara from earlier were leading her somewhere, clearly against her will. The woman was not struggling however.
The three barged past us as if we didn't exist. The guard on the left cursed at us in the unusual language that the guards spoke.
"Hey, watch it!" Ari shouted after them, not looking behind. I, however, had glanced back.
The woman had thrown her cloak off, revealing short crimson hair. She fought against the two guards, kicking and struggling against their grip.
Well, I was looking forward to a snow day today, so that I could finish the drawings for all of the characters. Since that didn't happen, I will spend time this weekend doing them. I will also add some drawings of the human forms of Ari and Drench, and also perhaps Captain Vysoreth's alternate appearance. I also intend to do Kremara and Kraexyn. Nazaelan hasn't been introduced yet, so his design will wait until then.
This may mean that there won't be a chapter this weekend.
Edit: Quickly just wanted to mention that the captain (Drench's captain) is not a gender-switched version of my avatar, just in case the short crimson hair confused people.
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/13/2017 at 2:35 PM.
Posted: 1/16/2017 at 11:39 AM
Chapter 8 - Fighting for an Old Friend
I felt as if the floor had given way underneath me, and my insides dropped. The world around me devolved into a blur of colours and noises, leaving just me and her.
"How..." I should have been overjoyed to see my captain once more. Why were the words not coming, and why did I feel so... devoid of emotion?
This captain was almost unrecognisable. Hardly any time had passed, and she had aged by decades. Her skin was sallow; her eyes sunken; her hair frayed at the ends. I'm not quite sure how I managed to put together enough pieces to work out who she was.
"You didn't think I'd recognise you like that, did you?" she half-whispered, tears pooling in her eyes. One of the guards hit her in the gut to stop her frantic movements, and a sob escaped from her lips. "Drench!" Her voice raised drastically as she fought harder against her captors. A gloved hand made contact with one of the guards' faces, and he stumbled backwards, clutching his nose. Blood seeped between his fingers, and he cursed under his breath.
I have to do something. This is my captain! But my body refused to obey my commands. Move! MOVE!
A small hand clutched my arm. Ari was shaking me.
"Come on!" she gasped, trying desperately to tear my attention from the scene "Drench, we have to go! They know who we are... We can't stay here!"
Logic was overcome by adrenaline.
I have to help. I can't just stand here and watch this!
Lunging forwards, I pushed the guard who was still holding the captain, freeing her from his grip. There was a crack! as his armour made contact with the side of one of the buildings. He let out a shout of frustration, somewhat like a battle cry, and reached to draw his sword.
My shirt became rags as my wings tore free of their confinements. I lunged forwards, charging, using my wings to gain extra momentum. I slammed into the guard. He let out a grunt as I shoved him further into the wall, and knocked me back with back-handed slap to the chest. My hat fell from my head, exposing my horns.
The captain and I were now back-to-back, facing our opponents. Ari and Captain Vysoreth were nowhere to be seen - they had most likely fled the scene already.
The both of us were breathing heavily. Terrified and excited by the rush of the fight, we eyed the guards with smirks on our faces, daring them to advance.
I glanced over my shoulder to see the captain falling to the ground, arms outstretched weakly.
"No!" I yelled, eyes wide. What happened? What was that? Trembling, I turned on my heels, looking for an enemy which was not there.
A second shot thumped into my back, sending shockwaves through my body.
Reaching round, I plucked out the small object. It was tiny and ball-shaped, with a thin needle on the end. The transparent material revealed that there was nothing inside.
I did not have time to finish my sentence before darkness consumed me.
This is quite a short chapter today, as I have many things that I need to do. In hindsight, it would have been better to combine this one and the previous one, but... Anyway, the next one will be much longer, and I'm excited to write that one (no spoilers as to why).
Edited By AtomicBomb354 on 1/16/2017 at 11:43 AM.
Posted: 1/18/2017 at 12:01 PM
Chapter 9 - Nazaelan
I could feel the ground scraping along my side. Someone, or, something, was dragging me by my arms, and had bound my limbs by coarse rope. Once my senses had fully come back, I cried out to my captor.
"Hey! What's going on?" My wings were also tied, forcing them into an awkward position. The ache in my shoulder as a result was almost unbearable.
Luckily, whoever it was who was pulling me along stopped, then grabbed my shoulders and commanded me to stand. With their help, I got to my feet, and my gaze rested on the figure in front of me.
Seated upon a rather plain wooden throne (of sorts - it had an appearance more like a chair) was a man. His white armour was tight around his body, and was clearly uncomfortable for him, as every now and then he tugged at its collar. Wavy ebony hair framed his jaw, and silver eyes gleamed like two metal discs on his face. The left lower area of his face was covered by a piece of mask made out of ivory.
To either side of me were my friends. An angry purple was visible in patches on Captain Vysoreth's cheeks, along with a dried stream of blood from his nose. Ari was holding her arm, seemingly unharmed, but when she shifted out of discomfort, a fresh cut glistened from between her fingers.
The captain was there as well, but not stood with us. She was chained, and was being flanked by the two guards from before, who, despite being injured, stood motionlessly like statues. The captain had sustained many injuries, and her expression did little to hide her upset. Biting her split lip, she watched nervously.
The man on the throne stood up, his armour clinking softly. His gaze swept the room before focusing on Captain Vysoreth.
"Long time no see, Sinro." His tone of voice was unusual, addressing the captain with a somewhat malicious friendliness. The pink-haired captain squinted - his glasses were smashed, and he was struggling to make out the person before him.
"Who are you? How do you know who I am?" There was terror in his words. Unable to see properly, he had almost no idea as to what was going on.
There was a haunting chuckle that echoed around the room.
"Nazaelan. Don't tell me you've forgotten me?" The man spoke in mock sadness, one hand placed on his chest in a dramatic manner. "Come to think of it, do you even remember any of us?" He clicked his fingers.
A red-cloaked prisoner was dragged in, complaining, asking over and over again about what he had done and why he was here.
Him. It's him. The mage from before.
This time, his hood was down. And what I saw shocked me.
I looked from Captain Vysoreth to the mage.
The similarities were terrifying. The same thin nose; the same brilliant azure eyes; the same spark of life in his expression, despite the situation. The main differences were the dark brown hair, the height (he did, in fact, tower over all of us, with the exception of Nazaelan), and the physical age of his body. He did not have the same stiffness that the captain did - his movements were far more graceful. Well, as graceful as trying desperately to be unhanded could get.
"Tell me, Sinro... Tell me that you haven't forgotten this one?" Nazaelan gestured for the mage to be brought closer to Captain Vysoreth so that he could see him. The captain inspected the features of the mage's face closely, yet nothing triggered a change in emotion.
"N-no..." he stuttered, unsure if that was the answer that he should give. Disappointment crossed both Nazaelan's face and the mage's.
"What kind of father forgets his own SON?!" Nazaelan shouted, banging his fist on the wall.
Silence fell over everyone. Captain Vysoreth stared at the mage in disbelief.
"Wha... I... I... Wh..." The captain was lost for words. His gaze flickered between the mage and Nazaelan.
"What, you think that some random mage off the street decided to be kind and help you?" Nazaelan spat, glaring accusingly "Maxok here has been waiting for EIGHTEEN YEARS for you to return, and that is the response you give him?" There was a pause to let that sink in. The mage placed his head in his hands, attempting to suppress the sobs rising in his chest. "He had it all set up - well-placed bribes amongst his friends who were guards; he dedicated years of his life to learning transformation spells; he even went to the length of collecting your old things for you."
"But..." Captain Vysoreth looked equally as upset as Maxok. "I... How did I f-forget? H-how could I-I forget something l-like that?" For a moment, I thought I saw Nazaelan was smirking. Something's not right. There's more to this than meets the eye. I decided to speak.
"What are you hiding?" I enquired, narrowing my eyes. Nazaelan frowned.
"What do you mean, 'what am I hiding'? I'm telling the whole truth." He was far too defensive.
"If there isn't any more, then you should have not trouble answering what I'm about to say." I coughed to clear my throat. Ari was looking at me, confused. "Nazaelan, why does no-one in Sylestia know about Arrinel?" Nazaelan seemed taken aback by this.
"That's strange." He then laughed. It was an awkward laugh though - he's masking something. "Perhaps you egotists can't handle the fact that there is a nation greater than your own, and so you decided to pretend that we don't exist." He pointed a finger at me, as if he were making fun of me. The grin that came with this gesture was not as confident however.
"Yes, very strange." I tilted my head to one side. I was in control of this, and I knew exactly how I was going to get the answer out of him. "Because that is exactly what humans do." Nazaelan's expression was unreadable at this moment. "Come on, you couldn't think of anything better? I'm a Sylesti, and even I know that that is not what people do."
There was a bolt of lightning that shot past my left ear. I flinched, looking back and seeing the huge burn mark that snaked across the wall.
"SILENCE!" I'd managed to push Nazaelan to the point at which all was likely to be revealed. Maxok glanced over at him, his eyes red from crying.
"So... It's true then." Gritting his teeth together, his voice was raised to a yell. "What did you do to them?"
Cornered, Nazaelan began to resort to what he knew best - violence. Maxok was torn from his spot and hoisted in the air with one hand gesture. He let out a gasp as the invisible tendrils tightened, suffocating him.
"It's not true! I have done nothing, you hear me! NOTHING!" The scowl on Nazaelan's face vanished a few seconds afterwards, when he realised what he was doing. Maxok was placed back on the ground, and fell to his knees, breathless.
"You... you sent him away to be an ambassador to the trade deal with Sylestia..." he wheezed, holding one hand on his rapidly rising and falling chest "What did you do to him while he was away...? What... What have you done to Sylestia?" With narrowed eyes, he raised his head to look up at Nazaelan. "Memory-wiping spells are illegal. You said that yourself."
"It would be ironic if you broke the law that you made," I commented. This almost threw Nazaelan back into a second state of rage, but he took a few breaths, then responded.
"Your father forgot. They all forgot u-"
"Stop lying to us!" Maxok propped himself up against the wall, mustering all the strength he could. Tears had reformed in his eyes. "You used me. You knew that I would make my father feel guilty. But... It's not his fault, is it?" He took a step towards Nazaelan. "It's yours. I shouldn't be angry at my father, I should be angry... at you."
Nazaelan could not deny it. It was written all over his face.
There was a blast of flame and a shot of lightning.
Maxok was breathing heavily, his blue eyes aflame with fury. Nazaelan stood opposite, staring down at his hand.
"Impressive." He drew in a sharp breath as he flexed the charred edges of his fingers.
They can't fight in here! I thought. They'll kill us as well!
My concerns quickly evaporated, as the battle was soon over.
There was a splatter of blood. Nazaelan wiped his mouth, wide-eyed.
"What... What have you done?" Clutching his stomach, he glanced up at Maxok.
A body thumped against the ground, and lay motionless.
"Maxok!" Captain Vysoreth tried to go to his son's side, but a guard grabbed him forcefully and kept him in place. The dark-haired mage did not respond to him.
Nazaelan fell as well. His eyes rolled back, and he too did not move when his head smacked against the floor.
"Farewell... Caindel." Those were the last words that Nazaelan spoke, before he went silent.