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Adventure Awaits!

2 years ago

Hello everyone! I am challenging CYS members to write a short adventure story. 

It can be in any setting you like! It can involve the explorer we all know and love (and who also wears a wig)!

Just try and boost your imagination to the top and start writing!


Adventure Awaits!

2 years ago

Now is sort of a bad time. We already have a more fun way to do this exact thing. Wait for the holiday festivities to be over and get back to us.

Adventure Awaits!

2 years ago


Adventure Awaits!

2 years ago
Err, not exactly short, but 'any setting' gave me an idea so I just went with it.

I'm actually pretty happy with some of the things here, as the planning was lighter compared to some other more recent writing attempts, however, I will give a shout out to proofreading. It allowed for some small additions which made me a lot happier with how the whole thing came together.

With that said, I do imagine there is still room for it to be better, (even considerably so), and as such, all and any feedback is (as always) highly welcome.

Whoever may bother to read it, I hope you enjoy!

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part A.

2 years ago
Commended by mizal on 3/20/2020 8:35:43 AM
The explorer from Thunrik gathered up as much fluids as he could before spitting out a large glob of phlegm. It did not shatter against the stone, rather the viscous substance simply began to descend.

But the explorer did not care. He was busy following the faintest trace of wind in this light-devoid cave, consisting of a passage as wide as a window is thick. Well, if the window was layered, and boasted a decent gap between said layers. A gap that was still somehow suffocating. Suffice it to say, the explorer was getting his muted outfit smeared in rock. Even his white hair was beginning to get stained, specifically the fake hair which he currently kept lodged on his head with one hand, while balancing with the other.

It had been slow going for a while now, but the map was true, and the passage really was getting wider. He would surely find the treasure it promised soon. He should then be able to purchase a new pick with the earnings, seeing as he just had his current one break. After that he could do so much with the wealth. Perhaps never explore again?

These were the thoughts which occupied his mind just before the twisting passage came to reveal a sharp corner.

That must be it! he thought.

With a rejuvenated spirit, he rushes forth, and soon turns the bend.

Beyond is the faintest light of flickering yellow escaping around the edges of a thin-wood curtain, which completely obscures whatever lies beyond. A painted circle, perhaps some form of coin, decorates this curtain.

The explorer leaps at it, hatchet already mid-swing.

The curtain falls with the lightest touch.

Beyond is an enclosed pavilion, albeit with rocks protruding from here and there, and one wall being just like the passage the explorer came from. Further, there are some shabby crates lying around, and a faded red carpet in the middle, upon which a wooden stick bearing a candle resides.

A figure draped in various cloths of dark brown, green, grey, and blue turns to face his new visitor.

The explorer pauses upon seeing his host's features. Not the prettiest sight.

A one-toothed grin greets this reaction.

"Oh my! It finally paid off. Welcome to my shop, grand traveller, you have done well to reach this far, and now you may purchase something, as a souvenir."


"Oh, I am Moko. Not many new faces around here, so I forgot it is customary to start with that." He grins again.

"I... the map, it spoke of great treasure."

"The greatest treasures indeed! In my shop."

The explorer draws a blank on what to say. The growing silence begins to displease Moko.

"Ah," the explorer blurts out. "What do you sell?"

"Take a look," he says, happy again. "You buy what you touch."

Moko opens the lid of one of the crates. Inside, splinters. Endless, non-curated splinters. What could anyone possibly need them for?

"And, the other crates?" asks the explorer, not giving up hope just yet.

"Oh, more of the same, but lower quality stuff. I'd only sell the best to someone as far-travelled as you!"

The explorer looks over his shoulder, back the way he came. He done this not to hide the disappointment that sprouts upon his face, but rather to think on how futile this long journey has just become.

"Ah," said Moko, a weary tone of great wisdom coming upon him. "Your people are rich in wood such as this. Unfortunate. But worry not!" His old joy returns. "I'll take you to the other shops, to get something you can't find in abundance at your home. Oh yes, we have many things here, many great things. And don't worry about me, when I tell them that they have me to thank for your patronage, they'll have to give me a little something too! You'll be so glad you came."

The explorer turns back. "How many are shops there? And how big is this... community?"

"Big, big to me," he bats at the air, "you'll see. I'll take you to the best shops, most expensive and with the best goods. I am proud of my store, but it is not the top end of the products you'll find down here. It is still very useful!" The last part almost seemed added more for his own sake than that of the explorer's.

"Okay. Then take me to a shop that has something nowhere else can possibly provide."

"Of course, of course." Moko reaches behind a crate to retrieve a sign, the writing of which is shabby, but still reads: 'NO'. He pushes it out beyond his partial pavilion, where he leaves it, and goes to pull back the entrance flap, but stops early in the act. "Oh, yes, what is your name?"

A moment's hesitation. "Peruke."

Moko's grin widens further than before. "Right this way, Lord Peruke," and with that, he pulls back the flap, revealing hundreds of distant candles speckled throughout a deep void. A narrow bridge leads into this darkness, and it sways in the faintest breeze.

Peruke takes note of the numerous planks it is missing.

He steps forward.

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part A.

2 years ago
How nice of you to take pity on the child.

Someone should tell Peruke of the sunk cost fallacy.

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part A.

2 years ago

This was very interesting, and it had a sort of creepy ending. I definitely did not expect or predict it to go like that. I'll give some feedback, ranging from the story to the grammar.

Your grammar was pretty good! There were a few things that were phrased very awkwardly though, and I am not sure if they were typos or not:

- Does spit shatter or splatter? I get that it is thick, but I imagine shattering as a solid breaking into pieces. His phlegm wasn't solid was it? Actually, probably best not to answer... this was gross anyway. Not sure what the point was of including this, unless you wanted to drive home that he was dehydrated from his travel.

- "a weary tone of great wisdom" sounds strange to me. Wisdom doesn't have a tone does it? Maybe it does, but this didn't add much for me. I would have left it at a weary tone.

- "splinters" to me are pieces of wood embedded in your body. I would call small pieces of wood in a box "wood chips," but maybe that is just me.

- when the explorer turned away you state, "He done this not to hide the..." seems to me like a typo meaning to read, "He did this to hide..."

As for small grammar mistakes, I think a few commas were missing:

- "Beyond is the faintest light of flickering yellow escaping around the edges of a thin-wood curtain..." I think a comma needs to follow "yellow" here.

There was also some repetition. The sentence above this starts with "Beyond" and the paragraph two down from that also starts with "Beyond." Seems like you could use a synonym there (and in a few other spots where words felt worn out).  Nothing was major though.

Now for the story, there were just a few things:

- The description of the passage was vague and strange. "As wide as a window is thick" is pretty thin... oh wait, it's actually the width of a window that is "layered, and boosted a decent gap between said layers." This isn't clear and isn't something that helps me envision a space.  I mean, you could compare it to a common small space that people actually might have crawled in. Something like, "the tunnel was no wider than the crack between the wall and the couch were the explorer dropped the T.V. Remote last week. He almost got stuck retrieving that remote, and he was nearly pinned in place in the small corridor." You get the idea. Your other analogies and descriptions were all pretty good though! Just this one was... strange.

- Why wait so long to reveal the explorers name? I like how you did it, but he is "the explorer" for so long, then just casually drops his name. You could have added it to the first sentence. "The explorer from Thinrik, [insert name here], gathered up..."

- Why is he gathering up fluids in the first sentence? That sounds strange... is he clearing his throat and then spitting? Is he severely dehydrated from traveling and trying desperately to wet his throat? I don't know, it just was a weird start. So much emphasis put on something that didn't really matter or tell us much. With the theme going on, I thought we were going to find out he was infected with some disease... but he was just spitting...


That's all I have time for. I hope it helped! It was a creative piece and I liked the twists half way through and near the end! I would be interested to hear more about this community, the main characters motivations, and the mission in general! Overall, nice work!

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part A.

2 years ago

I appreciate the feedback, it helps get a much better perspective on things.

I think word choice in general is something I'll need to start paying more attention to. The repetition is something I find most common in second person with 'you', so I probably just hoped that because I wasn't writing in second person, I wouldn't have to worry about it. Whoops.

As for the weird name drop, thinking about it, I'd say it is two fold:

  • It is an element from my older writing style. I remember feeling obligated to not name drop characters outside the world. How would the reader just know their name? No, they'll know when it is mentioned. This obviously has some problems.
  • The character didn't have a name at first. Coming up with good names is something of a struggle (at times). However, once Moko got a name, I just had to give one to the explorer as well. Regardless, it should've been structured a bit better (since just asking for the name like that does feel a bit odd). Giving the explorer the name at the start would've been a good way to deal with this.

As for this section:

The explorer looks over his shoulder, back the way he came. He done this not to hide the disappointment that sprouts upon his face, but rather to think on how futile this long journey has just become.

It was originally as you mentioned, with him turning around for both reasons. I later ended up changing it (or trying to) so that it would only be for one reason. I should restructure it a bit for this to be clearer.

As for the praise of liking the twists, well, prepare for disappointment! Jokes aside, the story is not done yet. I will say that viewing this part as the whole thing can still be done, what with the death of the author and all that, but what makes it interesting to me is seeing if the story ends up better or worse when the other parts are added (obviously, I would hope for better, but I have some fears).

However, the following parts do get longer, so I won't ask you to read them. However, if you do, feel free to just leave a verdict on if you preferred it before or after the story was expanded. This applies for everyone else too.

I forgot to mention it in my opening post, but I have the other parts written (as I felt it'd allow for a more coherent story if I could proofread it all together). Anyway, I mention this now because I will continue to refer to the wood as splinters (for continuity's sake). However, thinking about it, I should've probably described them a bit better... ah, it'll be fine.

Also, regarding some of the things you said you weren't sure about being typos or not, that 'style' (or whatever) of phrasing does get toned down (going by my perception anyway). We'll see if the other parts end up reading better or not though, as I might've just gotten more used to it by then. Everything should be proofread about the same, so I'm curious to see if the quality is consistent.

Thanks for reading, and big thanks for the feedback!

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part A.

2 years ago

No problem! I will likely read them as they come out!

It is an element from my older writing style. I remember feeling obligated to not name drop characters outside the world. How would the reader just know their name? No, they'll know when it is mentioned. This obviously has some problems.

I think this makes sense depending on the point of view. If it is first-person, and I am the main character, then I should know my name at the start. If it is third-person, your method is better. If I know a character's thoughts, knowing their name isn't a stretch though. 

Do things your own way! There are all just my thoughts! I enjoyed it!

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part B.

2 years ago
Commended by mizal on 3/24/2020 5:10:04 PM
As his eyes adjust to the dark, Peruke begins to make out the shapes of structures. They all look so… makeshift. He also notices that some of the candles are not closer than the others, but rather just bigger. However, what truly captures his attention is one large spherical structure. He asks Moko, "That large structure over there, what is it for?"

"Ah, a good eye. We are going there actually. The ruling family, Hiyet, lives there. Their shop is on the first floor."

"What do they sell?"

"Knick-knacks provided by the church. You see, the church itself doesn't sell anything, but they do find things, which they sometimes have no use for, and so they offer them to the Hiyets."

Peruke once more scans the stacked constructs built alongside the chasm's walls. "Where is the church?"


"I don't see a church."

"They're all right there, the bottom most layer."

They look like any other structure to Peruke, the only difference being they are closer to that eternal darkness below. Perhaps the candles are a little dimmer too.

"Say, how deep is this pit?"

"It goes down as far as it goes up."

Peruke looks upwards. There is a distant opening, it appears as nothing more than a crack in the stone, but from the overcast sky beyond, its great size is made evident.

"Oh, this is a ravine? Does that mean you are implying that the pit is bottomless?"

"If you fall no one will hear you hit the bottom. Make of that what you will."

The two continue on in silence. Peruke realises that this place is rather quiet for a town.

They reach the end of the bridge. Amid the crumbling houses are pillars which support nothing. Yet, these pillars are engraved with symbols akin to the circle which adorned Moko's secret curtain.

"Where is everyone?" Peruke asks.

"Ah, I lose track of time easily, I'm blessed in that way, you know. But, to answer your question, I imagine they're sleeping." They begin a descent down some poorly carved steps. "Worry not though, the Hiyets will happily welcome you at any time. As I said, foreigners are rare."

"I can imagine. Where is the entrance to this village anyway? I assume you are not a gatekeeper."

Moko stops walking, his eyes light up. "A gatekeeper? Oh, if we had a gate, I'd be the best gatekeeper, what with my blessing and all. Especially if it were made of wood. But no, there is no main entrance. A few long caves like the one you came from are the only way in and out."

"No way to the top?"

"It is a wasteland up there. Why do you think we are so far below?" Moko resumes walking, Peruke follows.


The floor is polished stone. Silver strands decorate the walls, pressed all throughout and snaking upwards, where, at the very top of the spherical structure, a red gem is engraved. Candles line the perimeter, with only every second one burning. A bent wooden door is surrounded by the largest internal protrusion. There are three more spots along the other side, where, from smaller protrusions, green cloth hangs, acting as additional doors.

The silence is broken by a knocking, metal on wood.

Nothing happens.

The knocking resumes, louder this time.

A frail figure appears from beyond one of the drapes, rubbing their eyes. They have a single silver bracelet around their wrist, the bracelet is as thin as the strands which decorate the main wall. The figure reaches the door, and peaks through the gaps.

"Moko? I know for a fact that you were told to never visit at this time again!"

"No, get your masters, I bring a far traveller, Lord Peruke!" He steps to the side and pulls forward his companion.

With eyes wide, the servant dashes back the way he came, shouting, "Visitor! Esteemed Visitor!"

On the other side of the door, Peruke whispers to Moko, "I'm not a Lord, you know."

"Pfft, you're a foreigner, you don't know how we view your culture."

"Do you even know where I came from?"

"Hush, it's fine."

The door swings open, the once empty room beyond now hosts three small tables, each holding a crate. They are of a better make than those found in Moko's shop, but still don't fill Peruke with confidence.

What does put him more at ease is the scale of this operation, what with five servants standing around, all with their hands down, and with one holding a metal cup. And, while the larger man before him might boast a rangy beard, his back is a little straighter and his eyes betray a inspiring clarity. However, it is the dozens of intricate silver jewellery around the man's arms and neck that most fan the flame of hope in Peruke.

Maybe this trip won't prove useless after all.

"Welcome," says the head of the Hiyets, with a voice not at all matching his form. His eyes linger on Peruke's hair, akin to the gaze of someone who has never seen a wig before. After all, such white hair could never be natural on someone as young as Peruke. The head of the Hiyers continues speaking, "Lord Peruke, I hear. We are honoured by your visit. I am Ti, master of this household. Come in, come in. Would you care for a drink?" The servant with the cup approaches, kneeling and offering it up to Peruke.

The liquid inside is clear.

Not wanting to be rude, Peruke accepts the cup. The servant retreats, but Ti resumes his previous position, watching. It would require awkward acrobatics to pass him, so Peruke brings the cup to his lips, hoping these people have some standards regarding the drinks they offer their guests.

It is water. Peruke's relief is immense.

Ti closes his eyes momentarily, from a relief of his own, perhaps? But just as quickly he steps aside. "You too Moko, come in. You done well to not leave our visitor alone to wander this city, especially at a time as late as this, and bringing him to us was, indeed, rather wise."

Peruke approaches the tables. "I'm honoured by your hospitality, but I must ask. I hear you have a shop with some exquisite items, and I was curious if I might be allowed to take a look?"

"Certainly." Ti claps. Three servants rush forward to open the crates. Moko stays a good distance away, head partially bowed, and hands held at his stomach. Peruke does not truly notice this, for his attention is absorbed by the first crate.

Gold. Coins, goblets, ceremonial knives, plates, rings, beads, and even keys! He is so engrossed he does not even look upon the other two crates.

"I see my Lord has, perhaps, found something to his liking?" Ti asks, despite knowing the answer.

"It is quite… appealing. Yes."

"Perhaps you would like to purchase it?"

Peruke turns to look at Ti, unsure if he is being serious. Ti just continues to smile, unchanged.

These people have no idea about the value of this treasure, thinks Peruke. How strange.

"I might be interested. But I do wonder, as I am from far away, my currency may not translate to yours. What do you use for money here?"

"Oh, the peasants trade, but the wealthier deal in the currencies of the world! Show me but an inkling of what you own, and I will tell you how it measures up in our society."

Peruke reaches for his money pouch, digging around for a coin, mayhap a little too hastily.

He holds out one made of gold, but not an ancient one like those in the crate before him, but one from Thunrik. One side is minted with a crown, the other with a face. Peruke is pleased to see Ti's countenance light up.

Two different cultures, making an exchange where both get more than they could have hoped for. What a strange and lucky occurrence!

Peruke smiles, but only lightly. "My gold for yours?"

"Ah, yes, that does have value. Thun's land, I believe. Been a long time since we last saw one of yours. I do think we could make a deal, but say, how much do you think would be fair?" With a slight hesitation, and with some apprehensiveness, Ti adds, "Four, five coins?"

It takes Peruke all his willpower to not let out a yelp. Instead, he manages to withdraw four more coins from his pouch, and, hands shaking, holds out the five for Ti.

"I think that sounds reasonable."

The wooden door slams open, sending Moko scrambling to another corner of the room, or at least it would have, if it weren't a sphere, which the loud noise seemed to make him forget.

Peruke himself stumbles back a little, and by this instinctive movement drops two coins.

Five armour-clad figures with trailing black bandages march inside, shortswords pointed at the sky, but held at the waist. One has a circle painted on his helmet.

"The church enters, all halt!"

Peruke looks to Ti.

"How may the Hiyets serve you?" Ti asks, his voice weak.

"Reports, gifts, and prayers have summoned many of us here, but only us five have entered under your roof, Ti. As you know, the trifecta is seldom wrong, and so we wasted no time in our entrance, and thus we came straight away to where the disturbance is." Peruke can't help but feel that the guard is looking at him. His suspicions are confirmed when the guard adds, "I recognise not the cut of this man's cloth, nor his features. Who is he and what is he doing here?"

"That is Lord Peruke," says Ti, regaining some confidence. "He is a foreigner, come during the night, and by luck he stumbled upon Moko, who brought him here knowing we were best equipped to welcome him. See how he holds our cup? He has already drunk from our water. He came from Thun, and now was about to purchase from our shop." He takes a breath. "It is a good omen to be visited by him, and so it goes without saying that a good chunk of the profits would be spent on donations to the church."

"Lord Peruke of Thun," the guard mumbles. He shakes his head with a sharp clang. "Foreigner, I ask that you speak." A pause. "Did Ti cover everything?"

With a swallow, Peruke speaks, "Yes, he covered everything. I can expand on-"

"Aha! The disturbance is found!" More guards rush inside, these boasting wooden shackles, they begin to spill in a circle around Peruke.

The leading guard bellows over the pounding of boots, "His voice is the one shared with me by the Holiest, he must be taken to be examined and purified as needed. All here, comply, for violence is not what we seek!"

Moko is hunched in a corner, covering his face. The servants are huddled around their master, who offers no objection on Peruke's behalf.

Seeing that he is on his own, and not feeling particularly confident about the outcome of any examination, or purification for that matter, Peruke attempts to defuse the situation.

"My dear guard!" he shouts, as otherwise he would not have been heard, but at the sound of his voice the guards cease the encirclement, and even take some steps back. Some even seem to shake. "I believe you may be misremembering, the inside of this edifice plays tricks on my acoustics, let us talk outside so you may better hear my voice. I am, after all, a devout man, and I could never imagine needing purification, or wanting to needlessly waste the time of any priest."

The guards don't move.

"Let him exit!" shouts their commander, who spins around and marches out the front door.

Feeling confident, Peruke begins to follow. The guards before him part, leaving a wide gap to allow for his passage.

Approaching the exit, he can see more guards outside, all standing a good distance from the door, and neatly lined up. The only strange thing is that their heads appear to be on swivels.

As Peruke steps out, he realises he can't see the guard captain.

Adventure Awaits!

2 years ago

I unwatched this thread. That was a big mistake.

I'm ready to read all these submissions. And, damn, there is a lot.

Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik. Part C.

2 years ago
Commended by mizal on 3/24/2020 5:10:21 PM
Consciousness ebbs back, but it is consumed by a rhythmic pounding. On and on it goes. So encompassing.

Then the darkness begins to coalesce into something. Peruke realises it has become a rock. How strange. What deep symbolic meaning could a simple earth material hold.

Then he remembers.

The pounding is coming from his ailing head, atop which rests a sharp pain. Peruke attempts to examine it with a hand, only to find his wrists are stuck together behind his back. He can feel the wood.

Sitting up, Peruke figures it all out. He was captured, tricked by the guard captain, and now he is imprisoned. He thus finds himself in a cell, one of meagre size and blocked off from a nearby enclosed passage by iron bars. He can see a lock.

Figuring there is nothing to lose, Peruke attempts to push the door open with his foot. It doesn’t work. The church here might be aggressive, and they might lack a coherent grasp on the value of things, but at least they know how locks work.

Peruke examines himself in the dark best he can and finds that the church didn't take anything off him, barring his hatchet, which is missing. He did, however, gain one thing: additional dirt on his outfit.

Thinking on what the guard captain said, the next stage is some sort of examination. Granted, it is possible that the guard captain lied, and considering that they seem to have already found him guilty, Peruke decides that waiting around is not a good idea.

He makes his way from bar to bar, giving each a light kick, hoping one is poorly installed.

This plan, like the lock one, also fails.

He sits to think. Time begins to ebb away.


Peruke hears something. It is very faint, but amid the near total silence he does make out a shuffling of cloth against stone. They’re coming for him.

He gets up and attempts to push himself up against the stone wall, hoping his outfit, which is smeared in rock, might help attain some form of camouflage.

Peruke doesn't think it’ll work, but if it does, it honestly wouldn't be the strangest thing to happen to him today.

The sound grows louder and louder, and then stops.

"What are you doing?" Moko asks.

"Moko!" Peruke almost shouts but does manage to turn it into a loud whisper. "Did you pay my ransom or something? Or," he trails off, thinking of possibilities.

"What? No, I came to break you out. I don't know why the church decided to do this, but it is definitely outside their authority. I swear, they're usually quite reasonable," Moko says as he brings his hands near the lock, and then a faint light appears.


"Quiet," Moko says, voice strained.

Peruke watches, and sees wood coming into existence. The light disappears and Moko is left holding a splinter. He puts it inside the lock and begins to move it around.

Picking a lock like that doesn't seem like the best idea, but Moko appears confident, so Peruke doesn't mention it. Instead, he asks, "Is that your blessing? Magic that lets you make splinters?"

Moko pauses, looking at Peruke. A peculiar expression makes it almost seem like he regrets coming here, just to rescue an idiot. "No, my blessing is to not be burdened by the need for sleep. Wood creation is my gift."

"Ah," Peruke whispers, as if that makes perfect sense.

The splinter snaps, but Moko appears unfazed. His light returns, and another splinter is created. He gets back to work.

Peruke thinks about how he should add lockpicks to his standard exploration kit.

There is a click, and the door groans as Moko opens it.

"The guards had to have heard that," Peruke says, rushing forth.

"Most are sleeping, and I got past the awake one. He is far away enough to not be able to hear. Look, we need to get off your shackles, turn around."

Peruke does as he is told. It isn't long before he hears the wood crack and feels his hands liberated. He rubs his wrists as he turns to Moko. "Thanks."

Moko drops a few splinters; which Peruke sees must've been forced into parts of the shackles to break them apart. Even more litter the floor around the broken shackles.

Moko whispers, "This way, I have some robes for you outside, to obscure your form."

"Good thinking."

"Oh, and before I forget." He reaches into his outfit and pulls out two coins. They are from Thunrik. "I managed to scoop these up in the commotion, after they knocked you out."

Peruke takes them. "Thanks again."

"Don't mention it. It does however seem you won't be leaving with a souvenir, but I imagine your life is more valuable."

"Hah. That it is." Peruke then kneels down and picks up a splinter. "But I can still take this as a souvenir."

Moko grins, his one tooth still there. "Let's go. And stay quiet, we need to get past the guard."

Peruke nods.

The two begin their ascent.


A small platform near the Hiyets' household has been cleared out. Posted guards keep watch to redirect those who attempt to pass, but few citizens are up at this time, even if the masses will be awakening soon.

Upon this cleared platform is the guard captain from earlier, denoted by the circle on his helmet, and beside him is a high-ranking priest, holding a golden staff with a sphere on one end.

They are sitting as far away as they can from the other guards, and as they do, they speak in measured tones which border on whispers.

"I accept the possibility," says the priest. "For it does seem unlikely that one who ought to bring about our ruination would be captured so easily. Especially considering that they would have escaped by now if they had some grand magic at their disposal."

"And so, that means we must prepare for the arrival of our true unknown foe during the day, no?"

"It could also be dusk or dawn, but yes."

"Could be quite soon then."

A silence.

"I've talked with the Holiest," says the priest. "There are plans for an evacuation."

"Where will we go?" From the quiver with which the captain responded, the priest correctly surmises that the prospect of leaving is more terrifying to the guard than staying and facing a civilisation ending force.

"We would find another place, like our ancestors did so long ago. The world is large, after all."

"That does not fill me with confidence."

"Worry not, it is just a contingency. The possibility of victory through bloodshed does exist, and such an outcome is preferable for all."

"I'm glad to hear that."

"Just, we need to know if the tides do turn, so that we may run."

"Which path will you go by?"

The priest smiles. "Up. Gifts are already being put to use to form a path, albeit a most obscure one."

"Why run into the wastes?"

"The world could, no, would have changed; we would not want to follow a tunnel to a dead end."

"Then check it is clear."

"What matters more is that there is something beyond the tunnel. The wasteland is a constant, and from it we can head in any direction. Further, we can survive sometime within it, and that cannot be said for the unknown directions. Not to mention, at the top, we will see the best path to take next."

"I suppose."

"Worry not, all is being considered." A pause. "I will need you to join me for a meeting with the Holiest. We might have something that could prove most helpful in your coming battle: A relic."

"I am honoured." He bows his head.

A screaming begins.

The guards tense up.

"Go," says the priest. "It is Saknee."

"On me!" yells the captain, causing the other guards to cluster around him. "You five, stay with the priest, the rest of you, like the fall!"

It isn't long before they find Saknee, dressed in the garb of a lower ranked priest, head clutched. The citizens have dispersed already, knowing what their friends ailing means.

"Deception! So close, I can taste it in the air!"

"Disperse, eyes open," the captain shouts, as he rushes to the edge, to get as wide a view as possible. A few other guards do the same, while the rest go to check the nearby houses.

Two figures of cloth are running up upon one path, heading towards the edge of town. "North-west bridge, go, go, go!"

The torrent of guards is fast, much faster than the two figures, but they are yet far from their prey.

Then the figures get onto the bridge.

"We got them cornered, block the bridge."

The runners do not hear this, committing fully to the supposed dead end. With captain in front, the guards reach the bridge just as the runners get to the halfway point of the bridge.

The wood and rope construct shakes under the force of all these metal boots, but the planks do hold.

The captain examines his suspects, one's form looks like Moko, but the other is taller than anyone the captain can think- oh no.

The realisation causes the head guard to momentarily tumble, almost plummeting through the bridge, but the guards behind him help him stabilise, and as they do, he succeeds at suppressing his fear.

Perhaps they were not mistaken after all, and the foreign Lord is their foe. This is a good omen but, for a more deceptive end bringer should be easier to defeat in proper combat. There will be no need for evacuation, or to put a relic to use.

The two runaways disappear through the door flaps of the lone pavilion where the bridge ends, beside which a sign reads: NO. The head guard scoffs in his head, Moko never was good at spelling 'closed'. He slams into wood, piled beyond the flaps. The other guards skitter to a stop, bracing on each other to not plummet due to momentum. "They blocked the entrance. Bludgeons, get the bludgeons to the frontline!"

The guards begin to shuffle, but the precarious footing beneath slows them down.


Inside Moko and Peruke pile up the rest of the crates.

"One hit all they got?" asks Peruke.

"No, they'll make a way through, we don't have much time." He gestures at the tunnel, the path to which is still open. "Get out of here."

Peruke takes a step, but then looks back at Moko. "You should come with me; I can't imagine they'll appreciate you helping me."

After a moment, Moko deflates. "Thank you, but I cannot leave."

He gets up and retrieves a hidden pouch. He then opens the topmost crate, which is blocking the doorway, and grabs a handful of splinters. Peruke recognises it as Moko's premium batch. "Take this, you'll need it more than I," and then he adds, "and it'll make for a better souvenir than that other splinter."


Moko pushes the goods at Peruke's chest, who grasps them. He opens the pouch to store the splinters which are already threatening to puncture his skin. Inside he glimpses polished wooden marbles, two pearls, and various poorer currencies, but of kingdoms unknown. There isn't much; the splinters fit.

The stacked crates shake, some fragments dislodge.

"I can't just leave you!" Peruke says, stepping forward, only to be pushed back by Moko, causing him to stumble into the opening of the tunnel. Moko kneels and picks up the discarded wood curtain, which he lifts up to its original position. His magic illuminates from beyond as he begins to repair it.

The banging grows louder, punctuated by more and more cracks.

"I may not look it, but I'm not the healthiest of my people. My blessing may make me more productive here, but the outside world would kill me in far worse ways than my kin ever would. Something about genetics... but besides, I might think of something."

"What could you possibly think of!?"

"I'll tell them I killed you, and that your body disappeared. They don't know about this tunnel. I'll make them think I was possessed or something, and then overcame it."

"Will they believe that?"

"Worth a shot."

Peruke grabs his head; he doesn't think it'll work. Yet with false hair beneath his fingers, he gets an idea. He tears off the wig, lifts the bottom part of curtain, and lobs his wig into the room.

"Don't behead yourself!"

"It is a wig, fake hair. Say it is all that remained of me."

Moko's magic stops, the curtain holds. "A great idea," he whispers, picking up the wig and beginning to form splinters into it. He turns towards the curtain, and shouts, "Now go!"

Peruke lets the curtain drop, and then goes to respond, but before he manages to the top crate shatters, and a guard shouts, "I see Moko!"

Moko, for his part, managed to drop to the ground, keeping the wig hidden.

"He isn't moving," another guard mumbles.

The captain makes his way to the front and begins to push the other crates off to form a suitable opening. "Stay alert! No sight of our primary target."

Peruke is already gone.

He is moving back the way he came, already having turned the corner. If they find the tunnel they'll be on his trail, so he cares not for his discomfort. Some of the stone scrapes apart his outfit, and some cuts him. The wounds are unnoticed thanks to his adrenaline.

Peruke hopes Moko's plan works.

He does have a good track record, for he did manage to trick some guards into thinking that he was a priest escorting the prisoner to the Holiest. It turns out that the one guard watching them turned into five. Yet it did not matter, for they all believed Moko when he said he was a priest with a gift to take on the appearances of others, and that he took on the appearance of Moko to trick the foreigner. They ate it up.

Then the robes Moko had stashed allowed Peruke to practically disappear, for as long as he hunched his back, he would be unrecognisable. If only a real priest with the gift to sense deception had not been nearby, the whole escape would've been perfect.

Yet still, Moko knew what the screaming meant straight away, which allowed them to start running. If he hadn't been there, Peruke thinks he would have tried to hide, to sit against a wall and wait for things to calm down. It would've been a fatal mistake.

And so, Peruke hopes Moko's plan works.

Yet, he knows there is no way for him to know even if it does. And no way to ever find out.

So, he just presses on, not caring at all for if the journey was worth it.

He only hopes his arrival and departure don't lead to the death of a good man.

The Adventures of a Certain Llama

2 years ago

Exploration, explorers, uncharted territories, and untold adventures, most people think these are things of the past. Today there is a map for every island, cave, continent, and city. Nothing is left for explorers to find, or so they say: panels of experts that fail to see the truth. 

Covid-19 shuts the world down, closing boarders, grounding airplanes, forcing quarantines, killing exploration further. Still, one explorer has a wide smile and neck for adventure. Only the truly great find a way to explore in these difficult times; they find ways to do what others find impossible.

With a smile spread from ear to ear, AestheticLlama pulls the brim of her pith helmet down so that it shows beneath the top hat covering it. "Where shall we go today?" she asks herself as her computer makes a sharp pinging noise, indicating it has started booting up. 

Light flashes across AestheticLlama's face, casting a shadow over her eyes. Her top hat makes her shadow look like a large black dragon is curled up against the wall. Moving with speed and precision that comes with repetition, she opens the web browser and lands on the CYS homepage. 

"Ah, that Shadowdrake27 wrote another pointless forum post..." she said, checking her request for a grand adventure story. "Well, I can ignore that..."   She moves on to another thread containing short stories themed to match the pandemic spreading in the world. "Nothing food here either..."

Clicking on several links reveals nothing of interest, until she sees it. A notification alerted her about a post in a random thread titled "The Adventures of a Certain Llama." Clicking the link, AestheticLlama hastens to read the words that sprawled across the page; she doesn't notice that the shadow cast by her top hat had begun to move.

As she reads the last paragraph, the jaws of the shadow dragon snap shut, swallowing the Llama whole. Screams escape her mouth, but they are drown out by Shadowdrake27's laughter. AestheticLlama suddenly appears in a monastery deep in the mountains.

(Click the link and write a review to find out what happens next:

Note: post comment here since I will not be notified when you actually comment.


The Adventures of a Certain Llama

2 years ago

Welp, I'm dead.

An excellent story, by the way! I seem like the type of person who would kill someone in an instant, think that I'm powerful, and get defeated. Poor little llama me.

A daily task turned into an adventure! Love it!

The Adventures of a Certain Llama

2 years ago

I am glad you enjoyed it! If you actually read the story and comment, then I will continue writing you bits of story.

Also, it is hilarious that you stopped watching your own thread! 

The Adventures of a Certain Llama

2 years ago

The reason why is because I thought no one would actually participate. Boy, I was wrong.

The Adventures of a Certain Llama

2 years ago

It was a safe assumption... we are overachievers though.