DarkSpawn, The Reader

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Fantasy storygame in the works on 4/4/2019 9:27:37 PM

Page 3. Introduction to The Decimation, fight scene and first choice of the game. Thoughts?

 

Clashing steel and screams snap you awake. Almost instinctively you reach for your weapon and burst out of your tent. Outside, your men are fighting unknown attackers. You notice some Talons laying dead on the mud. You take a good look at these mysterious enemies and notice they are considerably large and heavily armored. They look like giant alligators, wielding ridiculously large broadswords and battleaxes. The Talons are giving as hard as they’re taking, but these creatures are remarkable warriors. One of them swings his massive blade diagonally at one of your men. Their blades meet but the sheer force behind the lizard’s attack bypasses the merc’s defense and continues until it catches his side, almost cutting him in half. The man drops dead and the giant killer turns his attention to you. He bares his teeth in either a threat or a sadistic smile, revealing his large, sharp teeth. He lets out a blood curling roar and charges at you with his weapon raised high. You barely manage to roll out of the way before he brings his sword down with considerable strength, shattering a small boulder instead. He turns towards you swinging his sword wildly, apparently trying to get in a lucky strike. You continuously walk backwards, preventing any of his strikes from connecting all the while trying to catch an opening in his defense.

Eventually, he overdoes himself by swinging his sword with a single hand, trying to reach further than you can backstep. Certainly, had you continued to evade his attacks in this manner this last strike would have decapitated you, but you guess his move before he executes it. You crouch down and roll forward, getting inside his guard. You stab at his lightly armored leg, which causes a shout of pain from your opponent. He tries to kick you away, but you easily sidestep and hack at his injured leg as if you were chopping wood. This would normally result in your foe’s leg being almost severed, but this reptile’s scaled, leathery skin is tougher than you expected. Your blade only manages to get about a third of the way through his limb. Yanking it free, you block an incoming, desperate strike and parry, putting your whole weight behind your thrust and pushing his weapon away, leaving his torso exposed. Finding a suitable gap between the plates of his armor, you stab at where you think his heart should be with your blade which cuts clean through his chest and burrows deeply. The considerable amount of unusually dark blood that splashes out seems to confirm you have managed to pierce his vital organ. The giant gator roars in pain, holding your arm tightly.

 Surprisingly, though, this doesn’t kill him but rather seems to piss him off. Gripping your arm tighter, he uses his other hand to hold you by the throat. With your blade still dug into his chest and your arm being held with tremendous strength, you are unable to do much when this gargantuan lizard throws his large, snouted head back and then launches it forward in the form of a headbutt that catches you in the bridge of the nose. You feel your eyeballs shooting backwards and your ears ring loudly as your brain undoubtedly ricochets repeatedly against your skull. You fall backwards as your enemy climbs on top of you, crushing your throat with both hands as you struggle to get your bearings between the lack of oxygen and the knockout. You try to squeeze your hands in between your neck and his grip, but it’s futile. This thing is immensely strong, and he has no intention of letting you go. You sprawl and kick with as much strength as you can, but it does you little good.

 Your vision begins to darken, and you find it harder to put strength in your arms and legs. You try pulling his arms away, punching him in the face and wiggling yourself free, but none of it works. In a last-ditch attempt, you stab your finger into his bright yellow eye and push it deep, resulting in a thick spray of blood showering your face. You then pull it out in a spooning motion, causing his eye to fall out of its socket and hang by the optic nerve in front of his face. Your attacker lets out a pained roar, spitting large amounts of saliva and mucus on your face in the process. His grip on you, however, only tightens. Most of your world is now darkness and you cannot fight against this monster anymore. The back of your mind is replaying the dream you had last night: Your hand stretched out as you see the surface of the frozen lake getting further away from you.

 But just like in your dream, someone comes along just in time to save you from the brink of death. The pointed end of a spear exits through the lizard’s other eye, causing him to let out some sort of gasp as he releases your neck. You immediately begin breathing in and out like a maniac. You are dizzy and disoriented, but you clearly make out the girl holding the spear that ended your would-be killer. It’s Cass. You try to say thank you, but all you can manage are groans and pained breaths. You sit up and take a minute to compose yourself. As your brain begins receiving oxygen once more, you feel both your mind and your strength returning to normal and you manage to stand up. You look at your now dead attacker and sigh. This bastard had you. You pull out your sword from his chest and turn back towards Cass, who seems to be in a mixed state of fear and euphoria. Her first kill, you realize. “Thanks,” you say still struggling to catch your breath, “you saved my life.”

She smiles faintly in between her heavy breathing. She is about to say something when an older woman comes running towards you. It’s Lady, your longtime mentor and the only mage of the company. “Gods Hakkon, are you alright?” she asks with genuine concern after seeing the sorry state you are in. “I’ve been better,” you answer. “What are these things?” Lady shrugs. “Damned if I know. They came out of nowhere and killed some before we even realized we were under attack. Damn tough too. But they don’t seem to like fire,” she says with a grin as she produces a small flame in her hand. “Most of them are in the center of the camp. Give the word and I’ll rain down human, northerner and elven hell on them.”

While certainly a permanent solution to your reptilian infestation, letting Lady conjure a firestorm in the center of camp would certainly mean death for any Talons fighting there. Granted, most of them are likely dead already if most of these assholes are concentrated there. Besides, you almost died fighting only one of them, so you are not exactly looking forward to facing off against a group of these tough bastards.

Tell Lady to burn these bastards.

Tell Lady to stand down.


Why I don't write for Hosted Games on 4/4/2019 1:55:38 PM

Price of Freedom must be one of the first stories I read here. It's real shitty that you received the treatment you received when judging by the linked threads and screenshots you were  excessively nice at all times. From several years of lurking in CoG, I can say pretty confidently that some admins over there suffer severe cases of perceived internet importance. I'm glad you've put all of this behind and managed to publish your game and get some money for it..


Fantasy storygame in the works on 4/3/2019 11:04:36 PM

Thanks. I'll admit this whole cross-site feud is mostly unknown to me, but I lurked both here and over at CoG for quite some time. There is a reason I decided to make an account here and not there.


Fantasy storygame in the works on 4/3/2019 9:36:09 PM

Page 2

 

Looking back, you can see a rising column of smoke in the distance coming from the burned-out buildings you left behind. Reva is right; you could have easily bypassed this shithole and went on to attack more important places. After this battle, all you have to show for it are a couple of dead soldiers and some captured civilians who won’t stop complaining until you arrive at Hollow Point. Regardless, you’ll do as your told as long as you’re getting paid. Looking around, you can see that the events of the day have certainly taken their toll on the Talons. They are hardy men and women, but many of them are having trouble keeping up with the caravan’s march, and most have stowed away their weapons and equipment, so they aren’t weighed down. You wanted to keep walking for a couple more hours before resting, but you figure that at the pace you’re going you wouldn’t get much further before having to set up camp anyway.

Stopping in your tracks, you shout out the order to set up camp, which is relayed by others around you until everyone is made aware. Your order is certainly well received, with many mercs breathing sighs of relief. The company gets out of the road and moves into the swampy forests that surround it. It isn’t long until a clearing with a lower concentration of trees and not too much mud is found. Everyone at this point begin unloading the wagons and horses of all the equipment needed to camp here for the night. Tents are set, fires are lit, and Jonah the quartermaster begins skinning several deer that he hunted earlier. You sit down with your back to a tree and soon find yourself drifting off.

When you open your eyes, you are not at camp anymore. A cold breeze suddenly hits you and you feel a weird burning sensation across your entire body. You realize you are laying on top of ice. Sitting up, you can make out a town in the distance. This town seems to be built on the shore of some sea or lake, and several longships are resting at its port. I know this place, you think. This is Atlay, the town where you spent the first 18 years of your life. This is home. How did you get here?

Before an answer can come to mind, you hear a girl’s voice shouting from behind. “Hakkon! Don’t move! The ice is too thin!” she says, apparently fearing for your safety. You turn to look behind, and see a young girl, probably 12 or so. Her blonde hair is braided neatly, and she has a small toy bow slung across her back.

It’s not hard for you to recognize your own twin sister, but something isn’t right. The last time you saw Sibbe you were both twenty something. You turn back around and stare at the ice beneath you. The reflection you see is that of a young boy with bright blue eyes and well-trimmed blonde hair. Ah, you think to yourself. This isn´t real. I’m looking back on past events. You turn back towards Sibbe and stand up, being careful not to make any sudden movements. You try to put a little weight into each of your feet, one at a time to see how the ice reacts. There is no crack or visible sign of rupture. You look at Sibbe and smile. “It’s okay. I – “ is all you manage to say before the ice beneath crumbles under your weight and you fall to the cold water below. As you become fully immersed in the freezing water, you feel your arms and legs going limp and your skin being simultaneously stabbed by a thousand tiny needles. Suddenly, you begin hyperventilating and your body inhales even though you don’t want to which causes you to swallow a mouthful of water. You try to kick up with your feet, but your legs don’t seem to be working anymore. You stretch your hand out in a desperate attempt to reach the surface, but it is pointless. What strength remained leaves you and you succumb to the deep.

 However, before the Goddess Yirtr can take you, you feel a large hand grasping you by your shirt’s collar. In seconds, you are pulled out with great strength and laid on your back on the ice once more. It’s hard to see and impossible to breath, but your rescuer turns your head to the side with one hand as he begins pumping your chest with the other until you cough out large amounts of water. Immediately, you are picked up and you finally get a look at your savior. Halfdan, your older brother has a look of genuine concern plastered across his face. “Stupid child,” he says at you more worried than angry. He rushes towards Atlay with you in his arms, followed closely by Sibbe who constantly ask if you’re going to die with tears rolling down her face. You cough some more water and begin to feel the cold, freezing you to the bone.

Healthy isn’t a word you’d use to describe your relationship with Halfdan, what with you always pushing yourself to be at least half as good as he is at everything and constantly fighting with him, refusing his help on any kind of matter. And still, right now, you are thankful beyond words and perfectly comfortable with him carrying you to Atlay in order to get you warm. You are incredibly fatigued, and even with Halfdan screaming at your ear not to fall asleep, you can’t help but close your eyes. The last thing you see is your mother and several others rushing out of their houses towards you and your siblings.

You open your eyes and find yourself laying against the same tree at camp. You rub your eyes and look around. Camp has been completely set and many Talons are asleep, while others are gathered around fires that have been set all around camp, drinking and sharing stories. It must be around midnight, which means you dozed off for about four hours. You think back on your dream. It felt so real. You can still remember that day as if it were yesterday. After Halfdan saved you from drowning and carried you into town, your mother wrapped you up in furs and laid you in front of a fire in the great hall. When you were better, she gave you some hot food and then proceeded to beat you and Sibbe’s ass for playing in the ice when she specifically told you not to. Your once hostile relationship with Halfdan changed after that day, and as you both got older and more mature you put your differences aside entirely. You realize you haven’t seen your family for years, except for an unpleasant encounter with mom last year. Perhaps a trip to Atlay could be in order, but you’re not sure how much your mother would like to see you after the stunt you pulled on her last year.

You shake your head and stand up. Walking around camp, you see your tent has already been set. You look around and see the quartermaster, Jonah, still unloading some things from a wagon and handing them over to your newest elf member. Good to see Jonah putting her to good use. You walk towards them and without a word start taking crates from the wagon and placing them in the ground. Jonah acknowledges your help with smile and continues. He hands the elf a rather heavy looking barrel, which she takes from him, carrying it away with ease. You take a good look at her for the first time. Her slave outfit consists of a leather skirt and a top, both of which are clearly small for her. She has strong arms, likely a result of working hard as a slave and her exposed abdomen looks equally strong. Her black hair falls neatly around her shoulders and her eyes are a light brown. However, her most noticeable quality is without a doubt her height. Elves are usually shorter than humans, with a male elf tending to be around the size of an average human woman. However, this particular elf is taller than most male elves you know. Hell, she’s taller than many human men, you think to yourself. At this point, she stops her work and notices you looking at her intently, becoming visibly uncomfortable. You really need to stop doing that.

“Sorry,” you say as you turn your gaze to the side, “I was just trying to remember if you had already told me your name.”

“I hadn’t,” she says shyly, “its Cass.” You nod. “So, Cass, you were a slave back at that town, weren’t you? I speak some elvish and that’s what the captured civilians keep calling you.” She looks at you with a hint of sadness in her face. “I am,” she says looking at the ground, “or was,” she finishes. “For the last ten years.”

“And before that?” you ask. She moves her eyes from left to right and curls her lips slightly. “Just a farmer,” she answers. “Do you know how to fight?” you ask, taking a second look at her well-toned physique. “Not particularly,” she answers with perhaps a slight tone of shame as she sits down on the barrel she carried earlier. “It’s okay. From here on out, you’ll stay close to Jonah here. He’ll begin teaching you the basics, and he’ll put you to work in other things until you’re ready to fight. Needless to say, you’re bound by contract now, so you have to listen to everything Jonah says, and if you try to run away well you better run fast because if we catch you we’ll do more thank kill you,” you say trying to sound as threatening as possible. You really don’t want her to run away in the night or something like that. “Trust me,” she says with a smile, “I’m not going anywhere. Nothing can be worse than that fucking town.”

“I guess you’ll find out,” you say as you turn your back to her and walk away to your tent. Once inside, you take off your boots and finally lie down on the bedding. You’re not sure just how tired you are after your long nap, but you figure you should at least try to get some more hours of sleep before you must leave in the morning.


Fantasy storygame in the works on 4/1/2019 11:12:34 PM

Thanks for your input, particularly regarding dialogue punctuation. I admit I am not very well acquainted with its intricacies.


Setting and characters on 4/1/2019 11:09:08 PM

Hi. Here is an overview of the locations of the world and their history, as well as some of the important characters that the player will deal with early in the story. Also, the MC's name has been changed to reflect his new origin story. Prepare for a wall of text.

PLACES:

The mainland: The largest continent in the world. It is home to both “normal” humans and elves. The human kingdoms occupy most of the east and southeast of the continent, while the northeast Is generally home to smaller towns and lordships. This northern towns are constantly threatened by Storm Raider raids coming from the Storm Islands north of the mainland. The elves’ ancestral homeland, Emyethsera, is to the far west of the continent as are most of their largest cities, and their territory spreads to about the middle of the mainland, where one of their largest cities, Ilfethemar, was built centuries ago. Ilfethemar has been a source of constant dispute between the human kingdoms in the east and its elven owners in the west due to its close proximity to the human’s perceived border. As such, the city has constantly changed ownership during the past centuries after the human kingdoms banded together to fight the perceived threat posed by the Elven Imperium. The city was finally taken by a human coalition led by King Uldritch (Ádemar’s uncle) and was given to one of his vassals for safekeeping. Some years later, a young elven general called Aien Vawynn led a massive offensive against several human border settlements, including Ilfethemar. The elves expanded east and regained their ancient city. Vawynn became known as The Wolf after the campaign due to his aggressive strategies and cunning methods. He has held Ilfethemar since then, defending it successfully against several human attacks for the last 20 years, adding to his almost legendary reputation. Recently, Ádemar has begun to retake some of these territories from the elves, moving further west into elven lands but still avoiding Ilfethemar. The Elven Imperium is the ruling body in elven territory. Elven society is comprised of a caste system, where one’s value is based on their ability with magic. The most powerful mages in the Imperium make up the nobility, clergy, government and military leadership, while those with less magical talent are military officers, merchants, or artisans. Elves who display no magical affinity whatsoever tend to join the army as foot soldiers or find some sort of trade or manual labor to support their families. Additionally, a combination of magical deficiency, poor economic status and simple bad luck turns many elves into slaves. Elven slaves, while not treated particularly cruelly are nevertheless despised by the general populace and are often put to work in mines, dangerous construction or if they’re lucky as general helpers around small towns.

Dwarves also live in the mainland, in their massive underground cities. The roads that connect these cities with each other are believed to stretch throughout most of the mainland, underneath human and elven territory alike. However, dwarves keep completely to themselves nowadays after a violent war with elves many years ago. Few people alive today can claim to have ever seen a dwarf, much less one of their cities. The few dwarves one can hope to lay their eyes on these days are exiles who are forced by their people to live out their days in the surface that they loath.

Storm Islands: A grouping of small islands located north of the mainland, they are home to the Northerners, a subspecies of humans who are taller, stronger, and generally better than mainland humans. They are resilient to extreme weathers and illness. Most Northerners are organized into the Storm Raiders, a loose grouping of several “raiding parties”. Each raiding party is independent from each other and led by a warlord. Each party holds land in the Storm Islands and is free to raid along the northern coast of the mainland as they see fit. However, once or twice every year, all the parties come together to the call of the Storm King. The Storm King serves no ruling role other than supplying ships, weapons and equipment for the Great Raids that he organizes each year in exchange for tribute from the participants. In between raids, the King has no say over the day to day matters of life and rarely intervenes in disputes. Influential warlords constantly fight each other for control over more raiding parties and consequentially more territory. Combat for rulership over a new party is a ceremonial battle in which not only the feuding warlords participate, but all their raiding parties as well. This is because not only the individual talents of the warlord are being tested, but their leadership and battle strategy as well. The same is true for anyone aspiring to the Storm Throne. Whoever wishes to be Storm King must defeat the current one and all of his men in order to do so. In recent years, the Storm Raiders have begun conquering and actually occupying territory in the mainland’s northern coast under the leadership of such warlords as Torstein and Helga (Ryder’s mother), as opposed to just pillaging it. This is part of a new initiative by the current Storm King, in an attempt to gain farmable lands and become more self-sufficient as to not rely solely on raids for resources. This in turn has turned the Raiders into a much bigger threat for both humans and elves than they ever were before.

Ishtaray Isles: This is the name given to the large, desert archipelago located east of the mainland. It is home to humans usually called the Ishtarians. They are very similar to the humans from the mainland, except for the fact that their skin tends to be more tan or “golden”. They tend to have light green or hazel eyes. Each island is ruled by a different ruler, but important decisions affecting the entire nation are reviewed and discussed by a council comprised of influential lords, merchants and high-ranking military officers from each island. Every island has their own standing army, but all these armies are kept to the same standard to ensure that no one island can overpower the rest, and that if the islands must fight together, they can do so without much challenge. The islands were only “discovered” by Northerners exploring uncharted seas about forty years ago. The Ishtarians decided to play it cool with all their new neighbors, and immediately established amicable relationships with humans, elves, and northerners alike. The demand for the exotic products that the Isles provided soon became evident, and many Ishtarian merchants have made fortunes selling spices, creatures, plants, foods, and other luxuries native to the islands. Ishtarians practice slavery, but are much more inhuman in their treatment of slaves than the elves. Ishtarian slaves are seen as little more than animals, and aside from the back-breaking work they are made to do, many are forced to participate in the Ishtarian tradition of The Pits. The Pits are a series of fighting arenas located in the largest islands where rich nobles and merchants take their slaves to participate in gladiatorial style fights to the death while their masters bet on the outcomes of the fights. Reva was forced to fight on such conditions until she won her freedom through fighting. Indeed, it is not uncommon for slaves to be granted freedom if they excel in The Pits. Therefore, while some slaves may dread the day they are forced to fight for ther lives, others actually look forward to it, knowing it might be the only chance they have at becoming free men. Lately, Ishtarians have begun trading with both the Storm Islands and the mainland for men and women instead of money, setting up camps and docks to transport these new human, northerner and elven slaves to their lands. Ishtarian slave camps are said to be the stuff of nightmares. Recently, the Ishtaray Isles have been threatened by a horde of mysterious invaders coming from unexplored waters to the far north known only as The Decimation. Comprised entirely of a new race of large, biped reptiles, The Decimation took the northernmost Ishtarian islands by surprise, quickly gaining ground due to their clearly superior physical capabilities, good tatcics and perhaps most importantly for the 3 warships made entirely out of steel that they arrived in. After an initial series of devastating defeats, the entire Ishtarian army was brough together and they managed to stop the invaders at one of the northern islands, with both sides reaching a stalemate. For now, the motivation of The Decimation remain unclear, as the group has refused any attempts at negotiation.

CHARACTERS:

Hakkon: The MC and leader of the mercenary company The Crimson Talons. His mother is Helga, a northerner warlord who conquered a large territory for the Storm Raiders in the north of the mainland. There, she gave birth to twins from either a priest or a fisherman that she raped. Hakkon was raised in Atlay, a town in the northern coast of the mainland that his mother conquered and turned into her new stronghold. His sister Sibbe was always close to him, but his older brother Halfdan (a result of Helga’s marriage with a warlord whom she later killed to take over his raiding parties) would continually clash with the twins over their half-human status and the circumnstances behind their birth. Hakkon always needed to be one step ahead to keep up with his brother and be able to defend both himself and his sister. Helga was uncompromising with all her children, expecting them to learn how to fight, work and farm from early ages. As they grew and matured, the children learnt to put aside their differences and became closer. Eventually, both Hakkon and Sibbe, having no real obligation towards the Storm Raiders, were given the choice by Helga to choose their way in life. Sibbe chose to remain in Atlay while Hakkon chose to try his luck as a mercenary in the mainland, putting his ease towards combat to work, not knowing if he would one day return to his family.

Reva: Born as a slave on the Ishtaray Isles, Reva was first thrown into The Pits at the age of 14. Realizing quickly that the only ways she would leave the ring would be dead or victorious, she took advantage of the paralyzing fear the other kids were suffering and killed them. The next 10 years of her life consisted on being put against the most difficult odds the betters could come up with and coming out victorious against everyone’s predictions. Reva made a name for herself because of her prodigious skills at killing and was set free because of her victories on her 25th birthday. Unsure of what to do, and unfamiliar with any kind of work that didn’t involve killing, she joined a group of warriors intending to set sail for the mainland to find work as mercenaries. Their ship was caught in a storm and the survivors washed up on the eastern coast, where they were immediately attacked by the soldiers of a local lord. On the run, fatigued, hungry and injured, the three survivors of the once twenty-strong group accepted their fate and fought their attackers to the death. One was killed before the sudden appearance of short but massive armored figures wielding large weapons, who cut through the lord’s men with ease while letting out blood curling screams and threats. Some even continued to hack at their fallen foes after death. When it was over, their saviors were revealed to be dwarven berserkers, members of an ancient order of dwarven warriors who use emotions such as anger and fear to trigger a bloodrage that allows them to fight with improved tenacity and ferocity. However, after a while the prolonged use of the bloodrage causes their mind to rot and thus they are exiled from their underground cities to live out the rest of their days in the dreaded surface, until they die fighting or the madness finally takes them, at which point their fellow exiled berserkers are sworn to kill them. Reva and Hector, the other survivor, were allowed to travel with the group and Reva eventually convinced them to teach her they ways of the berserker. After some months, Reva essentially became part of their order. The dwarves explained that a setback of being a human was that she couldn’t enter a bloodrage to the extent a dwarf can, but this also had the benefit of not causing her to lose her mind. Over the following months, the dwarves began dying in skirmishes with bandits or animals. Some were taken by the mind rot and were thus put down by their comrades. Reva herself killed the last remaining dwarf after he too went crazy. After this, her and Hector went on to fulfill their original purpose for coming here and formed their mercenary company. Eventually, fate or luck would make her path cross with Hakkon’s.

Ádemar: The King of the Aerealan Kingdom, the largest human kingdom. He is the nephew of the previous King, Uldritch. When Uldritch died, his son James was expected to take the throne. However, James had a fame for avoiding work and enjoying wine and the company of women wore than his duties to the kingdom. His cousin, Ádemar, decided to push his somewhat strong claim to the throne (being prince of the royal dynasty eligible for kingship) and declared that the late King had told him in his deathbed about his wish to see Ádemar on the throne instead of James. Several earls and nobles sided with him, happy to have an alternative to mess that was King James. However, most still sided with James out of respect for tradition. In order to stand a fighting chance, Ádemar began augmenting his forces with mercenary companies, gaining a bad reputation as an unjust fighter, with some of his original supporters leaving his side. Despite this, both Ádemar’s reinforced army and his brilliant tactics ensured several victories in the war which allowed him some freedom to take arms against those that abandoned him, making sure to set an example. After this, Ádemar continued hiring larger mercenary companies until the size of his army had nearly doubled. Using the resources of his newly conquered land and his already vast riches to finance this pagan army, he was soon able to defeat his cousin’s army in open battle and killed James himself. He consolidated his power and quickly announced his intention to expand. In some months he began a new campaign using his army made up in large part of mercenaries and hired blades against some of the smaller neighboring kingdoms. While his bad rep continued to grow over his unconventional choice of foot soldiers and his use of women as warriors, few could back up their words when faced with the massive army standing at their doorstep. Becoming ridiculously rich after acquiring these new territories for himself, he set his sight higher. He resolved to conquer the entire mainland, swearing to kick out the invading northerners and finally bringing the human’s ancient foes, the elves, to heel. Despite his unpopularity in other nations, most people living under Ádemar’s rule like him. The immense riches his campaigns have brought in allow the people of the Aerealan Kingdom to live much more comfortable lives than before, and most people certainly like being part of the most powerful human kingdom in the world.

Cass: A former elven slave turned mercenary, Cass joins the Talons at the beginning of the game. Gifted with a natural talent for fighting and an unusually high stature for a female elf, she comes from mysterious origins and seeks to climb higher up the mercenary food chain. She is very intelligent and often looks to Hakkon for guidance. Whether he knows it or not, his actions will have a large impact on the kind of person that Cass will come to be.

Torstein: A northerner who along with Helga and others was instrumental in conquering land in the mainland for the Storm Raiders. Despite his victories and great fame, Torstein was sentenced to death for sleeping with the Storm King’s wife, at which point he fled to the mainland and became a mercenary. Torstein’s company is the largest one employed by Ádemar, numbering at almost a hundred. Torstein has become something of an advisor to the King in military matters and is taking full advantage of what he considers the opportunity of a lifetime, having made large amounts of gold working with Ádemar while being able to do what he loves most: killing. Torstein’s company is made up of members of all races, but he only allows other northerners to attain any form of leadership role. His second in command is a fellow northerner called Sigrún, who was a member of Torstein’s raiding party before her exile. She was sentenced to death herself for heresy and paganism but managed to escape and join Torstein on the mainland. She has a reputation for being something of a coward when it comes to fighting by herself, but those who perpetrate such rumors usually end up jumped by a gang of Torstein’s men with Sigrún at the helm, ready to silence these wild claims.

Senior members of the company (Hector, Jonah, Law and Lady): Over time, some members of the Talons have distinguished themselves from the rank and file and gained Hakkon and Reva’s trust. Hector has been by Reva’s side since they left the Ishtaray Isles together, remaining with her when she joined forces with Hakkon. He is a good swordsman and a leader to the other mercs. Jonah is the Talon’s quartermaster, handling both equipment and supplies for the company, as well as training new recruits. He was a member of Reva’s first company and remained when the Talons where formed from Reva’s and Hakkon’s previous company. Law is a mustached, lean man with a sharp eye. He is very good with any kind of aimed projectile weapon, but he excels most with a crossbow. He trains other Talons to use bows and crossbows and is generally a good leader to the men. He was one of the first members of Hakkon’s original company, and thus is a close friend of Hakkon. Lady, which is clearly not her real name, was the leader of the company Hakkon originally joined when he left Atlay. She took Hakkon under her wing and groomed him to succeed her one day. As she got older, she decided to accelerate the process and stepped down to allow Hakkon to lead, remaining by his side as a faithful advisor and friend ever since. She is about 60 years old and is gifted with magic, using her abilities to rain fire on enemies or heal her allies.

Hakkon’s family (Helga, Halfdan and Sibbe): Hakkon’s family continues to live in Atlay. Helga is a renowned Storm Raider who married a warlord as a young woman and then pulled his allies from right under his feet, killing him and acquiring his raiding parties and lands. She raided the northern coast for several years until under orders from the new Storm King she led along with other warlords including Torstein a large-scale attack into the northern coast of the mainland, taking several small towns, the largest of which was Atlay. Her raiding party learnt how to farm the lands and she has turned Atlay into her stronghold, walling the town and using it as a base to stage other attacks on neighboring towns. Here, she gave birth to Hakkon and Sibbe. Sibbe is Hakkon’s twin sister. She is a good fighter but more importantly, she is kind and understanding, which are definitely not traits common in the family. She and Hakkon are very close. Halfdan is the eldest. While he once quarreled with his younger siblings, age has tempered him, and he is close to his brother and sister. He acts as Helga’s right hand around Atlay, knowing well that someday he will be required to rule the land in his mother’s stead.

Gudmund: An overweight man who leads a large mercenary company. While not terrible in a fight, he is nevertheless frequently outmatched by others, hence why he tends to surround himself with strong, dumb and easy to influence men. His company has some bad blood with the Crimson Talons which too often comes bubbling up to the surface when both companies must work together.

The Wolf: Aien Vawynn, better known as The Wolf, is an elven general who made a name for himself after leading a large-scale offensive on human territory close to the elven border, taking many towns and forts including the ancestral elven city of Ilfethemar. He has since held the city from continued attempts by the humans to retake it, and has become something of a legend both for the elves and humans because of his apparent invincibility.


Fantasy storygame in the works on 3/31/2019 9:53:37 PM

Hello again. I haven't been able to focus as much as I wanted to on my story what with school and choosing a college and all. I have been making some progress but it is certainly less than I had hoped.If I hazarded a guess, I'd say I'm somewhere around 9% completion, which isn't good for nearly seven months. Anyway, with my education seemingly more relaxed for now, I'm hoping to get more work done in less time. For now, here is page thirty something for feedback. Its a shorter one but it has some action in it. Thanks in advance. 

Also, I'd like to add that the story has been tentatively named "No Way Back" for now.

The light rain that you have pretty much gotten used to this far west hits your face as you exit the room with a newfound sense of confidence. The plan seems sound enough and for once Torstein and you were able to agree on something. Certainly, having Gudmund’s company come along for the attack is not ideal but you’re not one to argue with a King and it makes sense strategically given that his company is the third largest one right after Torstein’s and your own. Reva exits right behind you but walks ahead of you as soon as she’s able. As you begin to descend the battlements you hear a commotion coming from the center courtyard. Rounding a corner, you arrive at the courtyard and find some Talons facing off with one of the smaller companies. It’s not uncommon, and probably nothing serious but it’s always better to keep an eye on stand-offs like this one to ensure they don’t turn into killing sprees. You lean your back against a wall and decide to observe how the situation unfolds. From what you can hear, it appears that after news of the attack plan were revealed, several of the small companies felt insulted for not being included. This particular company felt strongly enough to take it up with the Talons personally. There can’t be more than 15 of them, and they are led by a bald woman with tattoos all along the sides of her head. You are pretty sure you don’t know either her or her company, so they must be newly added to the army or just completely irrelevant. What surprises you most without a doubt is to see Cass at the head of the Talon contingent, shouting obscenities and insults rather passionately at the mercenaries. You know from speaking with Jonah that she has been getting much better at fighting with both sword and fists and from what you’ve seen yourself you also know she’s become well liked by the other Talons, but you didn’t expect her to take up any form of leadership position for now. Once again, she has surprised you.

You watch the argument for a couple more minutes with Reva at your side, and eventually it seems to die out. The opposing company begins walking away as Cass and the others continue to taunt them. However, the bald woman seemingly decides she hasn’t had enough and turns around with her fists clenched. You know exactly who she’s heading towards. Cass has been especially annoying with her insults the whole time and this woman won’t just let it go. You open your mouth to say something to Reva, but before the words even come out the bald woman is already on top of Cass, catching her by surprise with a quick punch to the gut. Reva immediately grabs the hilts of her swords, but you put your hand on her arm. “Nobody do anything! Let them sort it out!” you shout out at both the Talons and the woman’s company. Reva looks at you with confusion, and then looks at your hand which continues to rest on her arm. She yanks her arm away and you remember her immense dislike for being touched. Still, you have more important things to worry about right now than Reva’s pet peeves, namely the fact that Cass doesn’t seem to be doing so well. She’s gotten stronger and she knows how to fight but her opponent clearly has more experience. The bald woman throws a series of punches at Cass which don’t seem to carry much power in them, but the sheer amount of strikes this woman can throw in a short amount of time are enough to stun Cass and prevent her from responding in kind. She eventually manages to catch a break when either through tremendous skill or sheer luck she masterfully dodges a strike that had knockout written all over it and delivers her own punch, which catches her opponent on the side of the head and causes her to stumble. Cass at this point throws herself at the merc and attempts to tackle her to the ground, but her opponent manages to stay on her feet and takes advantage of Cass’s position by wrapping her arm around her neck and chocking her under her arm. Cass desperately tries to break free, but her foe seems to have a tight grip on her. You are about to intervene yourself after you notice Cass has stopped struggling until you see her curl her left hand into a fist while dragging in back. She then throws a weird uppercut which connects with the bald woman’s crotch. This strike seems to knock the breath out of her and her expression changes to pure pain. Cass then drags her arm back once more and hits her again. The second strike seems to be too much for the merc captain, and she releases her grip on Cass and bends over forward putting both hands to her stomach and making weird noises. Cass takes a second to catch her breath and then places both hands on the back of her opponent’s bald head. She pushes it down at the same time she raises her right knee, making them meet halfway with a horrifying crack. The bald mercenary immediately falls face first to the ground completely out of the fight. You’re pretty sure Cass broke some part of her skull and probably left her infertile.

At this point, the woman’s men begin walking towards your men while shouting threats and gripping their weapons. One of them has actually unsheathed his sword and is walking towards Cass with his weapon raised. You rush forward to attempt to deescalate the situation, but Reva beats you to it. She dashes forward at an incredible speed and unsheathes her blades so fast it seems she’d had them in her hands the whole time. What follows is a blur. She brings down both blades simultaneously on the unsuspecting man’s sword, knocking it out of his hand. The man makes a scared expression just moments before Reva spreads both swords to either side like an eagle and in the space of a second crosses her arms with the blades facing outwards, slicing the man’s throat. He looks down at his squirting throat with a hint of disbelief in his eyes and promptly falls on his back, choking on his blood. At this point Reva, with her swords and half of her face caked in the man’s blood turns to face the rest of the mercenaries, who are now probably reconsidering their hostility after watching their friend cut down in less than ten seconds. “This is over.” She says stoically. They all seem happy to agree and walk away with their unconscious captain. At this point, you walk over to Cass, who is leaning against a well in the courtyard trying to catch her breath as she holds her bleeding lip. She looks up at you, probably expecting to get scolded. “Good fight.” you say simply as you pat her back. Her eyes seem to spark up a little and you realize then just how much she’s always wanted to impress you. She has definitely managed to do so today, not only with her fighting skills but more importantly with her leadership skills. She has certainly come a long way from the elven slave you picked up in that town some months ago. You’ll have to keep a closer eye on her from now on. You walk away from her and come up to the Talons that were with her. “All of you, go join the rest of the company outside the walls. Tell them we’re moving on the Wolf at first light. Captain Reva will be there shortly with more details.”

They all nod and begin walking towards the gate. You look at Reva who is wiping her face clean and motion at her with you head to follow them. She nods and makes her way to join the others. You stay back for another minute until Cass has also left. You take one last look at the corpse in the courtyard and make a mental note not to piss Reva off.


Telltale Games shuts down on 9/22/2018 4:42:28 PM

This is unexpected. The first walking dead game was very good, and the ones after that were ok. The only other game of theirs that sucked me in was GoT. But then again, after a while they really started to bore me with the whole feeling of irrelevance their stories acquired when you would arrive at the same damn endings regardless of your choices. I stopped following them after borderlands precisely because of the "illusion of choice" that plagued their games. GoT and season 2 of TWD where the only ones who didn't suffer from this in my opinion, and actually made me feel like my choices mattered. Anyway, I always hoped they would continue GoT but that clearly isn't happening anytime soon. 


Fantasy storygame in the works on 9/21/2018 8:44:32 PM

Thanks for taking time to read the page and offering your feedback, you've given me much to think on. On some of the points you raised:

Regarding the king's background, the whole commoner turned king was an early draft which I've now reconsidered based on your input and my own realization at the unlikeliness of the whole thing. The new story is that Ádemar was the nephew of the last king of the largest human kingdom in the south. When the king died, the throne should have gone to his son but Ádemar used his somewhat strong claim to the throne (being prince of the royal dynasty eligible for kingship) to raise an army and reinforced it with mercenaries which was an oddity at the time what with honorable warfare and everything (this also had the effect of building up his reputation as a "dishonorable" or false king, but then again no one could do anything since he just started conquering everything in his way). This way, he already has the resources to field an army of mercenaries and the possibility to claim the throne plausibly. He would essentially be the Ethelwold to his cousin's Edward the Elder, if you're into old english monarchs.

I may be putting too little importance on arcane warriors and magic, which is dumb now that I think about considering how magic is portrayed as a ridiculously destructive force in most fantasy settings. I'll probably remove any mention of arcane warriors for now and just replace them with regular elf dudes, and then introduce the arcane warriors as your company moves further west into elven territory. In fact, now that I think about it it doesn't make sense for arcane warriors who are supposed to be the badasses of the elven army to be defending some abandoned, nondescript town.

I don't think Ryder really expected any of them to join up, with the whole "you just burned down our town" thing. It was mostly a "what if" situation and when faced with the prospect of being worked to death or fighting as a free man I think it is not unreasonable to think some people would at least entertain the idea. Naturally new recruits, especially those joining up under unusual circumstances would be closely watched by senior members of the company during their first few days. And the slave girl is just young in comparison to the others, not young in general. Twenty something I'm thinking. She will be properly introduced later, which is why her initial presentation is short and to the point. 

The human kingdoms are pretty much like 8th century english kingdoms: pious, sexist, bellic and extremely racist. In this case, their racism extends to elves, dwarves, easterners like Reva and pretty much anything that isn't a purebred human. Reva has definetely had it tough but she has worked her way up the mercenary food chain because she can kill literally anyone and thus doesn't take shit from anyone. I'd also imagine that mercenary companies would be more lenient in accepting women if they can fight. The Talons in particular have a non-discrimination policy. For Ryder, if you can fight or at least are willing to learn, then you're good. As for Ádemar, he's already tarnished his honor by employing mercenaries to fight his battles, a couple women fighting for him as well are of small concern and again, no one can really do anything about it because no one can stand up to Ádemar. Also, Reva's status as a berserker is not common knowledge and Gudmund and his men are exactly that; idiots. In Gudmund's mind, there was no way a woman, no matter how talented could kill Boversk. Guess he found out the hard way. Oh, and the swing with the hammer was definetely a horizontal swing, hence the "trying to hit her on the side of the head". I screwed up, my bad.

I wasn't trying to imply that mercenaries would just break their contract just because. But think from their point of view; they're mercs. They tend to work for the largest reward with least risk involved. They're used to fighting goblin infestations, or bandits preying on roads. Then one day comes along comes some noble offering them insane amounts of money to join his army. Most of them jump out at the opportunity and sign their contracts. Now, they are sworn to Ádemar and have become pretty much an army as the king has them fighting out in the open field, fighting entire kingdoms and laying siege to fortresses. Sure, some like Torstein are thriving with the situation, but many more simply want to go back to the way things were. 

Anyway, most of what I'm trying to explain here clearly isn't evident on the first page or else you wouldn't have brought it up. I'll try to change some things around in order to solve those doubts and try to create a clearer setting for first time readers. Also, like with the elven slave some stuff I'll just leave to explain later. I'll also make sure to take in mind your suggestion regarding how I want realism to factor in and I'll be more careful with the long sentences. Again, thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.


Fantasy storygame in the works on 9/20/2018 9:00:46 PM

Well shit, I’d better change it then. Don’t really want my character being associated with a zoophile.