This is a part of an actual story that I'm working on. I hope you all enjoy it!
An eerie silence blanketed the forest, the cold air stale. The sky shifted to a dark gray like a surging river of ashes and decay, bringing the swirling wind whispering through the trees. The ground, dry and cracked, was covered in a thin layer of frost. Thin fingers of ice reached down from the branches above, unmoving, still as the forest.
A child stepped out from the shadows, void of color, his hair dark as midnight. Tendrils of darkness clung to him, coalescing around his form. He walked into the clearing, pausing, boots crunching on the icy floor. He stepped forward, his warm breath steaming through the winter air. In his lay a rapier, a thin sword, its blade black iron. His hands, ungloved despite the freezing temperature, tightened their grasp. He looked up.
A massive city in all its glory rose up before him. The massive structures spiraled towards the sky, as if they sought to defy gravity. Towers reached up like fingers grasping at the clouds, the glowing white quartz radiant against the fading sunlight. An archway remained in the front, a gate blocking the entryway to those who had no magical blood inside them. The city remained untouched.
“Arcania,” he whispered, his voice soft as a passing breeze. His grip tightened on his sword as he trudged towards the structure, leaving a thin trail. He became more blurred as the world darkened, concealed by the shroud of inky blackness.
The first flake of snow fell, a small taste of the storm to follow.
He continued forward, his fingers scarlet from the bitter cold. His rapier was held pointing slanted towards the ground, its tip an inch from touching the snow. The soft crunch of his boots was the only sound in the silence. He was almost unnoticeable in the darkness, the only thing giving him away was the ghostly color of his skin, the moonlight reflecting across it. The storm, having reached them, began to fall from the sky, the grains of snow swirling through the air, the wind howling through the trees. The dirt road that lead to the school was gone, thick with snow. He had nowhere to go, nowhere but here.
He stopped in front of the arc, it’s massive bronze gate glowing with arcane energy, runes inscribed in it to protect from those who wished it harm. A dome made out of threads of transparent magic covered the entire city swirling and shifting in pattern, hard as diamond, thin as parchment, the only sign that they were there was the light that bent around them. It was the barrier of magic that separated the arcane from the mundane, hanging in the air as if it was suspended by a thread. It was the place of his dreams… but he wasn’t here to admire that. He took out his admission to the School of Arcanists, it’s familiar yellowed parchment the only thing that he’d read in weeks. This was his only chance to learn something meaningful, the school lying within the weaving streets of the city. He took a deep breath inward.
Towers rose high above the dome that sealed them, a mystical glow from within, the aura of power that radiated from it… this place was Arcania, the city of Arcanists. He peered through the gate, almost absorbing the magic within. At the far edge of the city, a castle of stone the color of ash, its age unknown, rose out of the granite ridge below it. It was the Proculus, the School of Arcanists. It's lights shone through the mist, orange and foreboding. He smiled inwardly.
Eclipse had finally arrived.
The carriage shook as it traversed the road ahead, covered in potholes and mud. The air inside was stale and cold, the darkness finally seeping in through the openings. The snow fell in large flakes, covering the ground in a pale white shade. The golden glow of the sun faded, fingers of light retreating towards the horizon.
Eclipse stared out into the darkness, apprehensive. He pulled out the money in his pocket. 10 Aurum, just enough to get him in. He put it back into his pocket, his hands shivering in the frigid air. The air smelled of mud and frost.
The carriage came to a halt, the horses stopping obediently in unison. Eclipse sat up, annoyed by the holdup. Something must have gotten in the way of the carriage. Eclipse exited the cart, his hand on the hilt of his sword in case he came across something unexpected. He looked at the road. Nothing there. He stepped forwards toward the horses, ready to reprimand them. He glanced up at the road in front of him, gasping.
An immense wall of stone jutted out of the landscape, imposing in its size. Battlement upon battlement arose before him, empty windows staring like dead eyes, examining the countryside behind Eclipse. A cloud of dread seemed somehow to cling to its roots. Mahogany wood reached across its walls, dry and brittle.
Two girls trotted alongside their carriage, ahead of Eclipse, slowing their horses down. One had long raven black hair and was wearing the the finest of cloaks, a quiver slung around her shoulder. The girl next to her had blond shoulder–length hair in pigtails. She wore a coat made of leopard fur. Eclipse abandoned his carriage, the horses neighing in protest as he tried to urge them forward towards the foreboding sight. He started walking further towards the school.
As he got closer to them, Eclipse began to hear their whispers.
“Proculus… we’re finally here.” The dark haired girl murmured. She let out a long sigh, gazing up at the castle, her feet leaving imprints on the soft mud below.
“I don’t want to go, Amphitrite! Let’s just leave! I bet we won’t use magic ever in our life anyway. The last war we had was a few decades ago,” her friend snapped, exasperated.
“KAT! We applied here; and we need to fend for ourselves now.” Amphitrite spat in the dust with disgust and anger.
“I j-just miss them so much. I wish they were here. I don’t want to go. I just want a happy life,” Kat mumbled, dragging her feet in the mud. Soft flakes of snow fell to the ground, covering up the marks she made.
Amphitrite gave a brown object to Kat. “Keep it. Legends say that that stone would give you luck, and even protection.” Kat’s eyes teared up and hugged her companion.
Eclipse couldn’t bear it any longer. He took long strides forward, falling into step alongside them. He kept his voice low.
“The stone has no magical properties whatsoever. If you want to survive on your own, know this: amulets and stones won’t protect you.” His eyes were downcast, darkness swirling within. Amphitrite and Kat flinched, startled.
“That’s not true – and where did you come from? It’s the middle of the school year – I thought we were the only ones entering this late,” Amphitrite said, her voice uncertain. Eclipse smiled, amused.
“It must be pure coincidence, then? But I doubt that we are the only ones traversing this road… this is a famous school, after all. Other students like us probably choose the middle of the year rather than waiting for the next year, I presume,” Eclipse said, still smiling politely. “You can call me Eclipse,” he said calmly, extending his hand.
Amphitrite hesitated, then shook it. “I’m Amphitrite,” she claimed. Her friend stepped forward.
“I’m Katherine, but I’d prefer it if you called me Kat. Most people do,” she said, smiling brightly. She extended her hand, and Eclipse took it.
“Anyway,” Eclipse resumed. “We aren’t the only ones, I hope. The letter said that it was perfectly normal for students to come between the first half of the year and the second, and we are right on time.” He spoke in a clear voice, as if he was participating in a serious debate.
“Perhaps. Would you like to accompany us?” Amphitrite spoke, her eyes staring at her feet. Eclipse’s eyes brightened, surprised, though his face remained passive as though he wanted them to believe he wasn’t excited.
“Well… sure, if you truly insist,” Eclipse said nonchalantly, his face neutral. “I was originally planning on walking alone, but since I don’t have anything better to do and you sound like you really want me to walk with you guys...” He stopped his sentence as soon as he realized Amphitrite was smirking at him. His mouth flattened into a straight line, if only for a second, before he realized that he still needed for his face to be neutral in order to keep up his act. His cloak trailed behind him, leaving markings in the snow as the wind swirled through the air. The only sound that accompanied them was the cold breeze whistling through the trees, their boots crunching against the frozen dirt.
They stopped at the gate. Eclipse reached towards the door, as if he intended to knock his fist against it. He paused, unsettled, as it eerily swung open as if it knew that they were coming all along.
I would love it if you guys could provide constructive criticism.
First, take it easy. It's not even been an hour. Not that many people will bother review this after time, but at least give some time before making a second post bringing it up.
Starting from the start, the opening line is off. "An eerie silence blanketed the forest, the cold air stale. " It doesn't really make grammatical sense, and it doesn't really do much. I mean, it establishes they're in a forest and sort of a mood, but not much else. If you're going to start it off, I'd try do it with a bit more of an oomph.
I'm also not particularly sure on the name. Eclipse. Seems more like an edgy My Little Pony, or a goth kid. I'd consider changing it. Amphritrite is a bit iffy too, mostly because I don't know how to pronounce, spell or even think about it, and it seems too far into the "Weird names for the sake of weird thing". Kat, on the other hand, seems too far from fantasy in comparison to other name.
There's quite a few grammatical mistakes, but as I don't care to clean them in my own stories, I shan't here. Consider it though, I guess, if that's something you care about.
You perhaps lean a bit too much on description, to the point that it gets a bit boring, and I'd imagine would be more of a bitch to write. Not every detail is really necessary here it seems, and you could do with slimming it down in future. I'd also say you use similes a bit too much, so maybe try to avoid that.
Character-wise, Eclipse seems like a bit of a cunt, and I don't particularly like him. He's immediately dismissive of the two girls, and acts like he doesn't give a shit, even though apparently he was. He seems to be trying to sell an image of pretentiousness, which even if it was fake, annoys me. I don't know why Amp and Kat would want him to come along, really.
Other than that... fuck, I don't know. It's really good, you should be proud of it, and I wish you the best of luck in writing the rest of it.
Eclipse is a pervert who wants to get his sausage in Kat and Amphitrite's panties.
Uh, yeah no. So, Eclipse is this child who is an elementalist and he can bend time itself. Amphitrite is a shadow elementalist who only wishes to educate herself on magic, and to make sure that she doesn't harm anyone. Katherine (Kat) is just a person who likes wearing animal furs, and I don't particularly like her that much in general.. But she'll prove vital to the book. This is meant to be a dystopian novel.
And Steve, I'll follow your suggestions, and thank you for those kind comments.
May Jesus Christ bless you for knowing your mythology. Mizal, you're my favorite person on this website (including Seto) right now. For those who didn't know, Amphitrite is the wife of Poseidon.
Greek stuff is my specialty. I made two storygames just as an excuse to squeeze in Greek mythological characters. That doesn't change the fact it's a shitty name.
Amphitrite is a beautiful name. x'D
Here's Chapter Two. Hope y'all enjoy it.
Amphitrite’s boots crunched on the ground, the cold snow frozen over with ice. She tentatively stepped through the gates, as if she expected a trap. She looked around, and then continued forward. Eclipse and Kat followed, keeping their distance from her as if she was the sacrificial lamb. She looked back at them, annoyed.
“Come on, everything’s fine,” she said. “It’s just a school. What do you expect, monsters popping out of the shadows?” She glared at them, until they came forward with resignation. She muttered something about how they were cowards under her breath. Eclipse was still tense, his hair standing on end.
“There’s something wrong about this. Why aren’t their any guards? It seems so… empty. The school is still a few miles ahead… the wall is pretty big. And who know what might live in the woods between this gate and Proculus?” He shivered, his eyes darting around. He felt like prey, regarded by eyes that he couldn't see. He flinched, startled. “There! I saw movement!” He pointed at the shadows, his companions laughing at him.
“I didn’t know you were paranoid,” Kat laughed. Eclipse’s eyes narrowed, defensive. After that, he remained silent. They continued walking, Eclipse taking the lead. He continued to scan the horizon, looking for movement in the darkness.
“So,” started Kat. “What made you want to become a student at Proculus, Eclipse?” She glanced at Eclipse. His face was still emotionless, and she could see his eyes deciding what to say, what he wanted them to know about him and what they didn’t.
“I came to Proculus,” Eclipse said, “because I have nowhere left to go.” He paused, looking at them and reading the expressions on their faces, before continuing. “No one knows who I am here, and no one knows that I am here. I have made enemies in the past, where I used to live – hopefully, I will not find any here. I will learn what I do not already know, and then I will leave.” He composed his face into a neutral expression, hiding his emotions underneath. It was obvious he wasn’t telling the whole story – in fact, he wasn’t telling them anything but a vague sentence that could be interpreted in many ways. Even so, it did give them hints – perhaps they could find out more later. “Anyway, I didn’t come here to talk about me… so, why are you here?” He looked up, curiosity creeping across his face. Kat started first.
“I came here to learn healing magic,” she said proudly. “I don’t want to use my magic for bad – if I knew healing magic, I could heal all the injured people and animals. One time….” She paused, hesitant before continuing. Her demeanor changed from bright and happy to gloomy. “One time, my brother was injured, and he got hurt… hurt really badly. I don’t want that to happen ever again.” A smile spread across her face again, as if she had never talked about it. She and Eclipse pointedly looked at Amphitrite, waiting for a response. She didn’t look up, clearly occupied with other thoughts on her mind.
“Amphitrite?” Eclipse ventured. Amphitrite looked up sharply. Eclipse continued. “Why are you here at Proculus?” Amphitrite made a casual motion with her hand, nonchalant.
“I would prefer not to answer,” she said, her voice light. Eclipse opened his mouth, about to say something. Amphitrite looked at him and Kat, her gaze steady. She gritted her teeth.“I said, I do not. Want. To. Answer.” She stared at them, waiting for them to challenge her. They flinched at her tone, and quickly changed the subject to something else.
After a while, Eclipse’s paranoia subsided. “How long do you think that it’ll take for us to reach the admissions area?” he said conversationally. No answer. He froze, slowly turning around.
Five men dressed in cloaks floated like specters around him. Eclipse reached for his rapier, his hand as quick as lightning. They were faster. They proceeded to seize his arms, legs, and head. They shoved a gag in his mouth, put a bag over his head, and tied his hands behind his back, punching him in the stomach until he felt that he would throw up, his breath loud in his ears. They threw him on the ground, removing his sword and any other items that he had on him, before pulling him by his legs, dragging him to where, Eclipse reasoned, he would be either killed or admitted.
“Unhand me right this instant! I will make sure that you will pay for your monstrous deeds if you do–” Eclipse heard Amphitrite snarl. A “thunk” sounded, and then there was silence. Eclipse’s vision began to fade as the air in the bag around his head became stale, sealed tightly around his head by firm hands. He tried to move his arms, yet he couldn’t find the strength to. All he felt was pain, the cold of the wind doing nothing to numb it. They hit him again in rapid succession, and then there was darkness.
The three of them woke up to pain, tied to thick trees in the forest. They looked around. The path was nowhere to be seen, and the sun was barely over the horizon. Amphitrite judged it was about five o’clock in the morning, and they were far from the path – they most likely had left school boundaries hours ago, and had stopped to rest for the night. She looked to her side. Eclipse stared back at her, frightened, his face smeared with mud and cuts. Kat stared forward, her eyes blank as if she had given up hope a long time ago.
Amphitrite’s eyes were distant, her lips dry and cracked. She could feel a trickle of dried blood lining the side of her head, her hair sticking together. She tried pulling on the ropes, but they were strong and didn’t break and were tied so that she couldn’t simply slide out. She looked over at Eclipse to see if he was having any luck.
“Eclipse… there’s no way we can get out of these ropes,” she mumbled. Eclipse snapped back to reality, fear driving his every thought. He was bruised in several places, but his eyes remained sharp.
“Amphitrite… Kat… this is no test. We will escape or we will die. There is no other option. So I advise we try something fast before it’s too late.” His eyes were cold and hard, calculating. He looked around. There was a group of three tents around them, the people in them probably still sleeping. There were no sharp objects around them – they would have to make do with what they had.
“Do you… happen to know any magic?” Eclipse said, his voice weak. Amphitrite and Kat shook their heads, not sure as to where he was going with that. “I was never taught any real magic, all I did was read books on magical theory… but it can’t be that hard, can it?” Eclipse’s eyes crossbow bolted towards the tents, debating to himself how long it would take for their captors to wake up. Not long enough. He held his hands out for a moment – nothing happened. He bit his lip, his eyes glazed over as if he was in deep concentration. He remained silent for a minute, his eyes darting around without looking at anything in particular, as if he was formulating a mental image in his head.
He began to exert magical energy, the air around him slightly warping as particles of darkness floated from his fingertips. He began to draw, creating a rift in the fabric of reality wherever his fingers went, a void of inky black following his fingers. He etched out a few symbols in some language that he could barely grasp himself. They continued to float around him as he continued to draw; each symbol represented a different part of the spell – the target, the action, and other things that would make sure that there would be no mistake as to how it would be fulfilled. He then began linking symbols that represented conditions to symbols that represented actions, and symbols that represented smaller–scale spells on their own to symbols that would need to use those functions. He drew with harsh but neat lines, creating a circle around each symbol he created and then shrinking it after he was finished. His end product was four dish–sized circles, engraved with lines dots, each surrounded by a ring of about ten circles that had a tenth of the size of the larger circle they surrounded. He connected each of the larger circles by straight lines, not forming a complete circle or a straight line, but instead twisted line that could resemble a branch. For a moment, they gazed at him in wonder as the symbols started to glow, yet still remain dark as midnight.
The symbols pulsed an angry red, and faded out. The air around him went still, and his face fell. He looked at his hands, and then looked at the ropes that still remained around him.
“I guess not,” he whispered. He looked towards the tents again. The people inside them were stirring awake. Eclipse’s face changed from one of failure to one of anxiety, his eyes crossbow bolting around at the surrounding tents. Eclipse focused, repeating the same procedure except hesitating once in awhile, changing some mistakes he made earlier slightly. A man exited the tent, the shape of his body hard to pick out in front of the blinding light of the sun. Eclipse face was one of pure determination and rage, his fingers trembling in the effort as they dashed around in front of him.
The air around him began to darken, almost as if he was sucking the light around him, an aura of pure darkness. His pupils expanded, covering his eyes with inky darkness. His face transformed, almost as if he changed into a different person. His skin turned an unnatural shade of white. They could now see that the spell was still in the air, vibrating, with purple and black bleeding out from each line. The grass and flowers around him shriveled and died, as if they had aged a hundred years in a few seconds. And so did the ropes.
Eclipse broke out of the ropes as if they were made of string, the ropes crumbling into dust.
He collapsed, his aura fading around him as his knees gave way, kneeling and then falling on the the cold ground. The spell faded, pulsing red like earlier, as if there wasn’t enough power to hold it up. Kat and Amphitrite gasped. Amphitrite tugged at her rope – apparently Eclipse’s spell didn’t have much range. The sound of boots crunching against the snow grew, stopping a few feet behind them.
“Impressive,” a voice remarked. “But I’m afraid your friend is dead. The strain of the magic on such an inexperienced body must have killed him. Time magic, as powerful as it is, is very dangerous – it may hurt the user at unexpected times.” He tsked, then walked in front of them in order to check on Eclipse’s body. The man’s eyes were pools of darkness even though his face remained jovial, a facade. He had a scar on his face, running from his forehead across the left side of his nose down to his chin. He reached down to take Eclipse’s pulse, his face falling in disappointment. He stood up, and nudged Eclipse’s limp head with the tip of his boot, smearing mud across the motionless face. He paused before leaving. “I would advise you don’t try anything similar – as such accidents could happen to anybody. Comprehend?” He looked up, smiling maliciously. Though he smiled and bantered, his eyes were emotionless – cold, ruthless, unforgiving, like the eyes of a serpent. Amphitrite scowled and spat on the man. The man’s expression darkened. He stalked back towards the other tents in order to wake the others up. Kat looked at Amphitrite, frightened.
“Kat,” she said nervously when the man had left and returned to his tent, “I don’t know where they’re taking us, or – or what they do to us…” she paused, biting her lip, her voice a low whisper. “But I do know that we need to escape this place or we may wind up…” Amphitrite faltered, looking at Eclipse. His corpse lied lifeless on the ground, his skin pale, his eyes staring blankly into the gray sky above. Kat shuddered.
“Kat. We need to find a way to escape. Either way, if we won’t try we will perish. Concentrate and control your inner magic. I know a little bit of vocabulary in the Arcane Language, but I’m not sure I know how to fit the words I learned back in grade school together to actually control the fabric of reality. Did you learn anything about sentence structure?” Amphitrite whispered in a low voice. Kat stared at her, uncomprehending.
“Look, Amphitrite,” she said. “The Arcane Language is different to all of us. Even if I did learn anything about sentence structure, it wouldn’t be useful to you. I practice healing magic, which is basically a whole different language than yours. I heal. I don’t, I don’t know, use rope destroying magic. That’s your job.” Amphitrite looked taken aback by her sudden outburst, then narrowed her eyes and turned away. Kat smiled innocently, pulling out a thin sliver of iron out of her boot. Amphitrite curiously gazed over to see what Kat was trying to do. Kat took the makeshift knife and began sawing at the rope that surrounding her hands. She kept sawing until her arms grew tired, the rope hard as iron, not even slightly fraying at the edges.
“Is it working?” Amphitrite asked, her eyes glowing with hope. Her hope was quickly diminished when Kat glanced up with a melancholy expression, shaking her head.
“I don’t think that these ropes break that easily, Amphitrite,” Kat said. “We’ll… just have to find another way out of these ropes.” She tried to slip the knife back into her boot, but it slipped out of her hands and onto the ground. Her eyes were downcast, staring at the ground as the last of her hopes disappeared. Amphitrite looked away from Kat, and continued to stare at Eclipse, still unnerved by his sudden death.
A shadow passed above, the sky suddenly darkening. Their faces shone pale in the faint light, the wind swirling through the trees, whispering faintly. They looked up at the swirling clouds above as the first drop of rain descended from the heavens.
I'll follow your tips Mizal. To be honest, I already have most of the chapters already written because I was writing them in my free-time during 2016, so yeah. I hope you like it so far.
Just wanted to inform you all that this will not be turned into a story-game, because if I write like this with all of the details and everything.. It will just be a pain in the ass to write.