Home forum Help Search Login Register

Site Sections

User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
February 22, 2019, 01:31:53 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent Topics

Site Tips

Our site is made by the fans for the fans. Support the Midnight community and register yourself today.
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Author Topic: Dark Water  (Read 8235 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« on: October 31, 2011, 06:18:12 AM »

It’s too long since I wrote anything on the setting. After a little encouragement from Dain, I decided to write another serial, this one on the Danasil and the Aruun. Every time  I write a serial, I try to do something different, something to stretch my writing. This time, I‘m going to be telling the story from two separate viewpoints. One an investigator, trying to piece together what occurred in the southern Aruun over the past year, and the other from a Danasil hunter as he experienced the events. Hopefully the switching of viewpoints won’t be too confusing. I’ll label each piece to make it clearer. Without further ado, here’s part one of Dark Waters.

Dark Water chapter 1 - Caradul, 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

We have lost so much of our history, our culture, and our basic morality to the endless war of survival. Life, which was once so precious to us, has been reduced to mere numbers; how many can be sent to stop the advance of the Burning Line, how many died in the latest attempt by the Shadow to storm Three Oaks. Names of the fallen are forgotten, ignored, or recorded in ledgers by the scribes of the dead. There is nothing our Queen will not sacrifice to stop the Dark God. My adoration for our Queen is gone, like the bloom of my youth. I serve, but out of duty and family honor only.

I have not hidden my thoughts and the Queen’s ears are everywhere. Her summons therefore, came as a great surprise. Our meeting was brief and the task seemingly simple; determine what has happened at the headwaters of the Felthera. Contact had been lost with several isolated Danasil villages at the base of the Arunath Mountains. I had so many questions, but looking into her dark eyes, I felt her despair, the burden she carried. I could not take her time with my half formed questions; she had tasked me, judged me worthy of this mission, and I could not fail her.

I barely remember the next few minutes. Hands dragged me away and I found myself in a room brightly lit by the morning sun. On the desk in front of me was a very detailed map of the Felthera, a sheaf of papers, reports of the past months, and a token of the queen, my symbol of her authority. This was my start, everything the queen’s agents had or were willing to share with me. I was not naive enough to believe that I would be made privy to everything the Queen knew. There are secrets to be uncovered. I would have to prove myself and find the truth. That caused me to chuckle. Such a silly and simple word - truth. In this Last Age, truth is a luxury and the first thing sacrificed if it imperiled the queen or the war against the Shadow.

Still, I had days worth of information in front of me; a solid basis from which to start my investigation. The map alone was a treasure, more detailed than any other I had ever seen. The region around the Arunath Mountains was supposedly abandoned during the First Age. Yet, if this map was to be believed there were still villages there, Danasil considered lost centuries ago. I was intrigued. What was hidden here and why does the queen care. The villages had to be tiny, several hundred Danasil at best. We lose that many almost every day along the Burning Line. What is so important about them? What does the queen expect me to find? Does she already know or fear what I’ll find?
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 07:14:54 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 2 - Village of Massala 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

The day had finally come, the day I was accepted as a hunter, a guardian of our people. I had faithfully learned the lore, provided meat for our village, and killed predators that waited to strike at the young or the weak. I have prayed to the spirits of our ancestors and given my blood freely at the ward stone that has been tended by family since the Dark One fell from the sky and shattered the world. Fetishes of panther claws and the fangs of the great python are proudly worn around my neck. I would show them that I was more than worthy of this honor; I would be a leader of men, a scourge of the darkness that haunted our lands. I was an idiot, a foolish boy with the body of a man. That day, which had started out so bright would lead to blood, horror, and madness.

The moon was weakening; it was time for it to rest in it’s war against the darkness. Only the palest sliver was still visible when the other hunter arrived at our village. It was a large gathering, almost thirty; more than I had ever seen in one place. The most skilled hunters from four villages. The elders had read the signs, the disappearance of game, felt the tremors in the Ayrth. Something stirred in the south. We were to find this threat, see if the ancient wards still held, and if not, contain or kill whatever had escaped.

That night we met and shared food food around the fire. Kyga, our wise one, the crafter of wards spoke to us of the place we must go - Dark Water. I had heard the stories as a boy, a place that even the most experienced hunter feared; a place ringed with ancient wards from when our people were strong. Whatever was there, could not be killed when our people were at the height of their strength. It could only be contained as long as the wards held. If they had fallen, our people would die.

From the stories, Dark Water was a series of pools in a vast clearing where nothing grew. The water was black and motionless. Light did not reflect from its surface and when the spring winds blew the water remained motionless, no ripples on its surface. No living creature would willing approach. As Kyga spoke, I could see hunters, men I have admired from my youth show hesitation and tighten their grip on their sepi. That was fear I was seeing. At the time I was shocked and disappointed. they were afraid of a story, a place they hadn’t seen. I thought to myself that I would show them courage meant.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 08:00:13 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 3 - Caradul 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

The next four days were spent barely sleeping, eating food that appeared before me. I read of tribes and villages long cut off from their brethren to the north. The whisper was nearly non-existent that far to the south; scattered groves casting a very porous net over the southern swamp. The queens eyes and ears were focused on the dread ruin of Ibon-sul, but there was something, some reason or reasons why the Arunath Mountains had been abandoned.

From what I could piece together, the queen had ordered the evacuation of the region in the First Age. With the war against the Dark God, few resources could be spent protecting a few dozen villages in a remote corner of the jungle. Thousands of Danasil left or were forced to leave villages that had been held for millennia. Yet, if the map and some recent reports were to be believed, there were a double handful of villages, near the source of the great Felthera River, that remained; that had defied or were allowed to defy the evacuation. Why? From the evidence on the map, the queen and her agents knew the villages still existed. The queen does not excuse defiance, they were left for a reason. Nothing in the papers, nothing in my research could show me that reason. If I could find and understand that reason, I was sure it would explain what had happened, was happening in the deep south.

There were markings on the map that I didn’t understand. The characters were the language of the lost elthedar. I sought out the most experienced scribes and scholars and they confirmed my guess but said that they were not words, or if they were, it was a dialect they didn’t understand or possibly a cipher. I asked an old friend of my family, a councillor and historian to take a look. He was intrigued about the challenge until he saw the map with his own eyes. Moments later he brusquely stated he couldn’t help me and left. I was sure he recognized the hand that wrote the notations. Yet another mystery for me to solve.

If I couldn’t attack this problem directly, I needed to find a new approach, something that would not be restricted, not seen as a threat. I began to scour tomes of legends of the Arunath, scrolls on the rare herbs and animals of the region, and tales of great Danasil hunters. Buried in the minutia could be the clues I sought. So well hidden, that it has escaped being purged. I needed something, some thread to pull on, or I was at a dead end.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 09:09:50 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 4 - Village of Massala 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

Kyga raised his hand to silence the hunters. It was not a time for talk, we had a task that must be done for the safety of the people. None challenged Kyga’s authority. He had been the wise one of our village from my grandfather’s time; master of our wards. Without him our village and the villages of the north would have fallen to the the angry spirits and demon spawn that haunted the Aruun long ago. His word was law.

He told us that time was short. If something stirred in Dark Water we had to strengthen the wards before they failed or the ancient evils would be released. As he spoke, two wise ones carried a long stone and raised it before the fire. It was stark white, maybe half a man tall and two hands wide on a side. In the firelight the surface looked smooth as glass as if it had rested under the river for an age. This is what we were to carry south; a new ward stone.

As Kyga spoke about the trip he motioned us forward a few at a time to look upon the stone. Once close I could see that the surface wasn't completely smooth; etched into its surface were family symbols. Some were familiar to me, families from my own village. Others were strange, but clearly recognized by the other hunters. A spark of pride ran through me as I found the symbol for my family.

Once each hunter had the chance to see and touch the stone we knelt in a rough circle around the stone and began a prayer to our ancestors. One by one we were led to the stone and gave our blood to awaken and feed the ward. When my turn arrived, I spread my blood over the symbol of my family and whispered a silent prayer to my father asking for strength and a swift hand. After the last hunter had given his blood, my head was on fire. I could feel the raw power of the stone and what sounded like a thousand voices in my head. I had never felt a stone so powerful. Even with its power a small fear, a doubt, grew inside me. I feared it wouldn’t be enough to stop what was coming.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 01:24:21 PM »

Dark Water - chapter 5 - Caradul 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

As I continued my search for information on the legends and people of the region, I became ever more convinced that I wasn’t the first to look for the same information. Every text I looked for was well labelled and held in one of two places; not scattered across the many libraries throughout Caradul. My predecessor had been methodical, not only seeking the information but cataloging what he found. How I wished I had access to his notes.

As I read, it felt that someone was looking over my shoulder or sitting in a chair nearby reading with me. My faceless predecessor driving me forward, seeking the truth. There was something here that I was missing; some connection that he who came before me found. It was at times encouraging and at times maddening. Why couldn’t I find that missing link, tying the legends of the past to the villagers that were allowed to stay in a region the Queen ordered abandoned?

With my level of frustration growing, I did things I’m sure that were not approved by the library scholars. I took every text, every parchment, and laid them out in a large open room arranged by their age. I wrapped them in colored ribbons; red if they were original documents, and blue if they were copies of earlier work. What had started as a flight of fancy, proved to have value with a large pile of blue ribbon wrapped documents all dating toward the end of the previous Age. Why would so many documents be recopied at that time? I saw the hand of my mysterious predecessor.

So what did this tell me? First, that the task I had been set was not new to the Queen or the inner court. Someone else had been tasked to seek the same information over a hundred years ago. Someone  who no one would speak to me of. Second, my predecessor, my hidden benefactor, had the power to have texts drawn from across Eredane and laboriously translated and recopied; no small task especially with the rising of the Dark. One final thought came to me. Maybe it was my suspicious nature, but was I chosen like my predecessor because I was expendable. How much danger was I in? Would I end up like my predecessor, forgotten, written out of history?
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 07:05:42 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 6 - The Village of Massala 98 Last Age - Yidrin's Tale

With the ritual completed, we were told to gather supplies and get what sleep we could as we'd leave at first light. The moon's protection was fading and we had to be at Dark Water before the moon was gone and the spirits no longer had to fear the light. I'd been prepared for days and needed little time to gather somedried fod and to sharpen my blades. Still my sleep was fretful, I was too anxious to sleep.

Just before dawn the village was awake pulling fishing boats out from cover and moving them to the th river's bank. We were to travel in groups of four, south along the river's course until we reached Xirin's Fangs, the swift water. We could travel in two days by boat, what would take three, maybe four times that long by foot. For speed we would sacrifice safety and there were few hunters who approved of this plan.

I may be young, but I sided with my elders who prefered the slower route, regardless of the phase of the moon. The water was fickle and provided no warning of danger. There was no way to chose your battleground; no means of protecting yourself from attack. I could hear several of the elder hunters arguing with Kyga and the wise one patiently listening to their concerns. This was all out of courtesy and respect. Kyga had made the decision and there was no other option.

As the false dawn reflected off the water, the boats silently slipped into the river. There was no one to see us off; all our words had been said the night before. I tried not to look back, but couldn't stop myself. I felt as if I would never see my home again. Not a good omen for our journey. With the hunters gone it looked so small, with only the unblooded and the aged to protect it. The heart, the strength of the village was on these boats. If we failed, the village, my home, would die with us.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 07:23:58 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 7 - Caradul 99 Last Age - Harantel's Journal

I had a rough idea of when the last investigation had begun but I couldn't find a way to turn that to my advantage. I poured through the records of fighting in the southern swamps during the peiod and I couldn't find anything to warrant my predecessor's interest. The records were very complete and bore no signs of tampering. If i wasn't the war against the Shadow that sparked my predecessor's interest, there was something else, something I had to find.

I spent hours, which slowly turned into days, staring at the map the Queen had given me. The hand written notes were still undeciphered and I began to imagine meanings based on idle fantasies that wrapped around my concious mind. I placed every map I could find on an open wall and looked for differences, for omissions, for a pattern that would explain why these few villages were important to the Queen.

It was late at night, twenty-three days into my research that I had my first breakthrough. I had been focusing almost purely on the Queen's map and what existed today, not what had been in the region in the past. In that flash of inspiration, I began to sketch in the location of known elthedar ruins around Dark Water. Once the few I knew were on the map, I could see a rough shape appear. A gigantic spiderweb of existing Danasil villages and elthedar  ruins that enclosed Dark Water. The placement was too precise to be by chance. These villages, past and present had been placed there for a reason, to contain the demons of Dark Water. The villages were part of the ward.

I sat back, convinced that I had found one of the underlying truths of the mystery. The Queen knew the importance of these few villages. If she had lost contact with them, had the wards failed? My petty concerns about court polotics were meaningless if the ancient evils had been released. I cursed myself for the time I had wasted safe and cozened in the libraries of Caradul. I needed to see the villages and even possibly Dark Water firsthand; confirm my suspicions.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 10:14:08 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 8 - Felthera River 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

The first morning passed with a barely a word spoken. We were heading upriver which meant each man had to take turns paddling. It was hard work and unfamiliar to me. I could feel my arms burning by the time we made a short stop to stretch and eat. We would continue on the river until dark and spend the night at a clearing, a former trade post used when there were more villages along the river.

I was uneasy about the trip, even though the river was good to us. The jungle was too quiet, the air too still and heavy. It felt as if the jungle was waiting for some event to occur. I wasn’t the only one to feel that way. Each boat had at least one hunter ready with a bow strung and arrow notched. I could feel eyes watching me from both banks of the river.

The day was slowly fading when we came to the waystation; a series of ancient stone docks stained green from centuries in the water. As we tied the boats to the docks, almost a dozen hunters slipped into the underbrush to secure the camp. I was tasked with setting up the camp and getting a banked fire started. I had to clear months if not years of dead branches and creeping vines. The waystation clearly hadn’t been used for some time.

While I cleared the camp I tried to stay close to Kyga and the senior hunters. Kyga was concerned, guides from at least one of the southern villages were supposed to meet us here and add to our numbers. There was some talk that they could have been delayed, but it was quickly discounted. Some word would have reached us. Kyga ordered the watch doubled and the fire doused as soon as the evening meal was completed. No one spoke of the missing guides, but I could see the concern in the other hunters’ eyes. Had what we sought to contain already slipped free? What would we find when we reached the first village?
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2011, 08:24:06 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 9 - Caradul 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

Having made my decision to travel south to Dark Water, I was surprised at how little I needed to do to prepare for my trip. I had never hidden my opinions of our Queen and had lost many friends; and even my family had distanced themselves from me. There was no one I needed to see or would want to see me. My closest friends, those from my early studies and those I had fought alongside were either dead or scattered along the various warfronts, hundreds of miles away. I was basically alone, living simply, recovering from my wounds received in the ill fated insertion near Cambrial, over a year ago.

At the day’s end, I had gathered my few belongings, reclaimed weapons from the armory, and penned a short note to my sister in the event that I didn’t return. It was startling to realize just how small my life had become; a few personal possessions, a handful of scattered friends that I had not seen in over a year, and a family that ignored my existence. Was this why the Queen chose me, because I had little to live for? Or, maybe, being charitable, was she trying to restore me in the eyes of my family through service? It didn’t matter either way. Few would mourn my passing or celebrate my return.

I threw my bag over my shoulder and set off toward the river. I’d have to hire a boat to get me at least as far south as the Orchid Bridge. There were whispered rumors of faster ways of travel; old and powerful magic, but if they existed they wouldn’t be offered to the likes of me. The river is the quickest route and if I was right, time was of the essence.

The river’s docks were busy as always, ferrying supplies and soldiers. Finding a boat heading south that would take me as a passenger could be difficult. I went to the dock master to ask about potential boats heading south. He asked me my name and when I told him, he said a boat was already waiting for me and had been for some days. Did the Queen know my mind so well or was there no other logical choice once I began my investigation? Why not just order me south? Was there some value in giving me the illusion that I had some form of choice? I was both amused and annoyed, but with little time to waste, I would take what was offered to me.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 12:24:10 PM »

Dark Water - chapter 10 - Felthera River 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

I had the second watch, so I was awake at first light. We were traveling light so there was little to do except eat a cold meal and get back on to the river.As I prepared our boat there was a stir in the camp, two of the hunters were missing. Both had stood my same watch along the outer edge of the clearing. There had been over a dozen of us on watch, and no one heard a thing.

There was no talk of a search. Kyga moved us quickly to our boats and back on the river. Aris, the senior hunter from my village joined my boat. I could similar changes on other boats. The senior hunters were paring with the fresh bloods. If they thought it would bolster my courage, they were wrong. I was afraid but I would not break. I need no one watching over me.

As we paddled south, Aris quietly talked to me about the last few days, trying to judge both my fear and my knowledge. He told me they had found little sign of a struggle. Whatever had taken the hunters was fast and silent. Aris didn’t lie to me. All the signs led to one conclusion, that the wards were weakening or gone at Dark Water. He told me to stay close to him in the days ahead and we would watch each other’s backs. I was honored by his faith in me.

At twilight we arrived at the first of the southern villages. As we pulled to shore there was no greeting, no sign of any life in the village. Weapons drawn we slowly moved away from the boats. There was signs of fighting and there was blood, only days old. I went into one of the buildings and in moments ran out gagging and fighting back tears. There was a family inside; a mother and three children, all dead. They were impaled and displayed like they were sitting down to a meal; carefully arranged around a small table. This wasn’t the only display, there were others throughout the village. Maybe sixty dead and displayed; all aged, very young, or infirm. Just a few of fighting age. The hunters, the protectors were all gone.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 08:38:31 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 11 - Upper Felthera River 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

After walking down a bustling pier jammed with barges moving weapons, food, and other supplies toward the war fronts, I found the boat waiting for me. It was beautiful; an intricately carved river runner that had to be centuries old. Built for speed with a single bank of oars and a sharp prow designed to cut through the water. So out of place in this Last Age and a sharp reminder of a life and time long lost.

The ship’s captain was waiting on the pier for me. He was happy to see me, anxious to get back on the river and get rid of his cargo. I wasn’t the only passenger, there were four others. All had the look of hunters with the scars and the dead eyes of those who had seen every horror and could feel no more pain. Just the sort of killers the Queen favors and uses to implement her will.

Without a word from me, the captain cast off and we moved clear of the other traffic on the river. The oars were out and the ship lurched forward moving with a speed that couldn’t be entirely natural. As I watched the river speed by, one of the hunters came forward and introduced himself. His name was Jarik and he was leader of the group. He and the others were to be my guards as we travelled south. I was both amused and concerned that the Queen had sent them. Amused that she even cared about my fate and concerned that she thought I would need them.

The trip took a little over two days and in that time I was able to coax a little information from Jarik and the ship’s captain. I was not the first to head south; the Queen had sent one other several arcs ago, who never returned. That I was not her first choice didn’t matter; just reinforced my fears. I also noticed that Jarik was very protective of a small carved box. He wouldn’t discuss it other than to say it would prove of use. Jarik also said we’d need to find guides and more blades before heading south. We wouldn’t be at Orchid Bridge long.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 04:30:50 PM »

Sorry for the delay, really busy day.

Dark Water - chapter 12 - Jalo Village 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

I’d seen warriors with horrible wounds; ripped apart, but it was not nearly as bad as the dead of Jalo village. There was no time for a proper burial and their spirits, if they still lingered, were now polluted by the demons. My mind was racing and my stomach was churning. I was breathing deeply, trying to calm myself and not look weak in front of the others. When they told me to help start a fire, I didn’t object. We were going to burn the buildings with the bodies still inside. No one wanted to touch them.

It took almost two hours to get all the buildings to start to burn. All the while the hunters were talking in low tones. There was trouble coming as many now doubted our mission. It finally erupted when several hunters started to prepare to get back on the river and head north - home. Kyga and a few of the elder hunters tried to talk to them. The hunters argued that clearly the ward was down and the demons were free. There was nothing left to do but to go home and defend their village.

Voices were raised and a few hands reached for sepi as Kyga moved to get between them. Aris joined Kyga trying to shout down the hunters. He said we had to continue as the ward may not be completely down and worse may still be held under the water. I agreed with the others, we have to protect our own families our own villages now. This mission was at an end. I was about to add my opinion when Aris’s eyes bored into me making it clear that I was out of place; he would speak for our village.

I was angry and stalked away to ensure the buildings continued to burn. After several tense minutes, the arguments ended. We would keep moving south toward Dark Water, but now on foot. As we gathered what we needed and hid the boats, Aris walked over to me, aware how angry I was. When we were alone I told him my heart, that this was wrong, we needed to go home. He opened his arms wide and told me to look at the ruins of Jalo. What hope would a single village have against what was out there. We needed to stay together and draw the demons to us and away from the north. If we went home, they would follow us. We couldn’t allow that. Better to fight and die here.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 08:32:17 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 13 - Orchid’s Bridge 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

I’d hadn’t been to Orchid’s Bridge in a dozen years and the changes were very noticeable. There was far more activity as the war had creeped ever closer. A place of beauty now a place of war; artisans replaced by soldiers. There were Danasil wherever I looked; hunters, refugees, and traders. More than I’d ever seen in one place. I couldn’t help but make the connection between my current mission and the number of refugees.

Jarik was busy as soon as we arrived looking for guides and skilled hunters to go with us. He was gone for the better part of the day and was obviously unhappy when he returned. He could find only a few willing to travel with us. Word of the results of his last trip south was still fresh and many thought we were on a fool’s errand. Even with the Queen’s writ we added only another five warriors to our band.

I pressed Jarik on his last trip; he’d been silent for too long and I needed to know what occurred. He was still reticent to go into great detail, but what he said was sobering. Late last year he was part of a large search team, almost thirty strong. They had a seer and an adept that could hear the whisper. As they moved south they came across empty villages and were stalked by things just out of sight. During the night they could hear the pleading voices of woman and children in agony. They could find fresh blood but never any bodies. As they moved further south, the adept began to weep and then speak in an unknown tongue, before his eyes turned black and blood flowed from his mouth. The worst was the nightingales. Every time one of the group was killed, they could hear the songs of nightingales, sweetly singing in the distance; mocking them.

There was little more we could do here. News from the south was old and stale. We’d need to move further down the river to a village called Salia, to get guides who knew the terrain. It was doubtful we’d get more blades to follow us, so there’d be just ten of us. Six months ago, thirty couldn’t accomplish the Queen’s task and now we’d try to do the same with ten? We’d have to be quick and try to strike south as rapidly as possible. Get what we could and get out.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012, 08:17:33 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 14 - Jalo Village 98 Last Age - Yidrin’s Tale

No one wanted to stay in the village but we couldn’t leave until we knew the bodies were ash. The fires burned fiercely for hours as the buildings collapsed and we added extra fuel. The smoke billowed, dark and thick, and would be visible for miles. The smell was the worst. I tried to block it by covering my mouth and nose with a wet cloth but it did little to mask the smell of burning flesh.

As the daylight started to fade, one of our hunters flashed trail sign that there was movement coming toward the village. I got up and walked slowly toward the edge of the village my weapons in hand. Before I got there, a new signal, hunting party. Were the warriors returning to their village? What would we tell them and would they accept our explanation? We had just burned their home and destroyed the bodies of their families.

The hunting party spread out as they entered the clearing, not saying a word. Without warning they struck, moving at incredible speed; their blades seeking our flesh. Only instinct kept me alive. My blades came up just in time to stop a blade from reaching my throat. I still took a bloody gash along my face before returning a strike. My opponent was a woman who showed no emotion as she rained blows at me.

Several of our warriors were down in less than a minute; taken by surprise and unwilling to strike at other Danasil. It was Kyga who broke the impasse, who screamed that they were demon bound, no longer truly living. As his words began to register, I could see thin tendrils of vine snaked across her face up into her nose and ears. The eyes were lifeless and the lips sewn shut. It was no longer a woman, it was a thing. A thing I could kill. Stepping into it’s blow, I ducked low and cut both of my blades across its stomach, which still gushed red blood. As the thing fell, a scream tore through the jungle; ‘she was my favorite toy. Her pain and screams were sweet music. You will suffer for taking her from me. I will kill you last.’
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 07:57:58 AM »

Dark Water - chapter 15 - Salia 99 Last Age - Harantel’s Journal

The trip to Salia was fast as there was little traffic on the river and the current was slow this time of year. I expected to see little sign of life, but there were fishermen and small hunting parties evident during the day. The thought that my fears might be unfounded greatly improved my mood. While there was a small smile on my lips, Jarik remained stoic as he studied everyone we passed and never let his hands stray far from his weapons.

We reached Salia on the afternoon on the third day after leaving Orchid’s Bridge. Salia was much more than a typical Danasil village, it was the critical waypoint of southern Erethor. It provided supplies to the Druid’s Swamp and was the major trading post for Danasil villages scattered along the northern rim of the jungle. On the day we arrived, there were easily over a thousand Danasil there. Jarik was surprised as he also expected the population to be much lower.

As we pulled into the pier Jarik pointed at some of the structures along the river. They were new and many hastily built. He also commented on the number of children. There were too many children for a village of even this size. They had to be refugees from the south. Were they from the villages we sought; those closest to Dark Water?

Time was still critical so we planned to only stay the night. Jarik went to seek guides and I went to village elder. He had much to tell me; little of it good. Refugees had started streaming north at the turn of the year and had stopped a little more than an arc ago. Some of the refugees were from the deep south and spoke of a rising of demons and dark spirits, fierce battles, and failed wards. The warriors could not hold back the demonic tide and fled north expecting the demons to follow, but for the past two arcs, the jungle had been silent. Scouts had visited some of the closer villages that had been abandoned and they remained untouched. The elder had no explanation of why? The elder believed that I had been sent to find that answer and see if it was safe for the refugees to return to their homes. He was more than happy to see me on my way.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 08:58:24 AM »

Have to apologize for a lack of an update. I've been called out of town on a family issue and have little time or internet access. Should be back on track before the end of the month.
Logged
Luiniel Blades
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,570


"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 01:39:23 AM »

I don't know what drove me to it, but I suddenly remembered that this story even existed. I'm a little sad that with Kane's apparent absence, it will not be finished.
Logged

Currently reading: Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series; The Hero of Ages.
Dain
Insurgent Commander
***

Spell Energy / Taint +17/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 318



« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 11:16:00 AM »

I miss him too,
Hopefully, he's just working hard for FFG on a reboot of MN Grin

just dreaming  Roll Eyes
Logged
Luiniel Blades
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,570


"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 12:17:06 PM »

He worked for Fantasy Flight Games? I wasn't aware of that.
Logged
Dain
Insurgent Commander
***

Spell Energy / Taint +17/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 318



« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2013, 02:26:02 PM »

He's not!
Just hoping he is/ will Grin
Logged
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Dark Water
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
AtS Dark Mercury design by Nifelhein, based on the Mercury theme by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.196 seconds with 29 queries.
TinyPortal © 2005-2011