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The Sands of Time

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/23/2023 6:32:32 PM

Okay, so I was inspired by the Prompt for the Darkspawn x Wizzy Thunderdome prompt. I of course couldn't enter but this is what I have written. 

The Sands of Time

 

The dragon stood in testament to the wizards might and power. He who brought the dragon low as in stories and legend. With a boom in his voice and the thundering of firestorms was the dragon turned to bronze ruin. So was the fate of  the dragon Parnaxes, the mighty Prince of Smoke, the lord of reavers, raiders, and shadows and beast, now brought low. The story as he set into stone on the pillars at the base of Mount Thoran so long ago. 

 

The wizard was born Ovan, on a farm very far away a thousand years ago. Now he stands Idraxis, wizard lord of the realm and savior of the people. From the tower could the wizard stand and peer through time and space, through many miles of verdant countryside and simple folk, towns to the West and port cities to the East. North were the great men of Sleik who gave to him great tribute, and so the rat men called Gnavlers stayed their plunderous hands. South were more and more cities and towers, and on to a world he would only see through the Glass. Which was a creation of magic and even science. 

 

Idraxis donned over his white tunic, a blue vest, his usual wooden shoes, and a great grey cloak that gradually went the color of dawn with silver metal bits shaped like stars were sewn all over, and they could shine like them too when he wished it. Clasped with the gold grey of a moon pendant.

The wizard donned his hat with feather, his staff as gnarled as his hands were. He passed the apprentices that attended him, Idraxis’ own son Idrior paramount among them, the brightest of them, the shining star that would succeed him when he retired of these affairs. 

 

“I’m to see the stone of Parnaxes.” The wizard said.

 

“Shall we attend you, father?”

 

“No, I must go alone to gaze upon it. When it is your time, so shall you.”

 

The youth bowed and went back to his duties, if a bit sullenly. Idraxis’ cane tapped against the marble stone as he went. Down and down, and around, and finally, through the steps rounding the tower, the winds whipping and tearing at the wizard. Who feared they even might tear him from this towerside like a flea from a dog, yet the wizard persisted up and up until in his gaze he beheld the Behemoth of Wroth. The great dragon, now dulled with time, when once great was it.

 

The wizard came up to the landing, and though it was awe to look at, the real power came when he shut his eyes. Yes, Idraxis could feel the swirling of power still reeking from the beast. From time and time before, even before Ovan was born squalling in that barn one storm ridden night. The boy went on to acquire great knowledge and magics, outliving all who had beseeched him to be crazed and more. Time and knowledge was his to control, so Parnaxes had been found, now it lies he was defeated by this great wizard. Known for generations, who could doubt the wizard who showed great works and who built mightily this tower fortress?

 

Yet only here would Ovan admit it to himself, where in all other places he steeled his mind against some thoughts. The wizards mind was like a great stone vault under the weight of mountains, yet that prying presence he felt here and there. He knew not where it came from, and would not yield his secrets. The nights spent searching for this powerful being were for naught, fretful nights he spent.

 

The wizard shut his eyes and did as he always did, raising a hand and slowly, slowly, he subsumed the power of the great bronze titan. Little by little, feeling ten years younger he inhaled well the deep power of the ancients, to make his own and to his own will bend it!

 

Something was different this time, something was very wrong. And fire coursed through blood burdened skies and the wizards mind was smoke and haze. His knees buckled, and he fell, his staff falling as he gasped.

 

Though the dragon did not move he heard the fell breath. It breathed Foooooool in one fell bellow. Ovan clutched his chest. It could not be! It should not be that Parnaxes speaks!

 

And slowly, the wizard came to see. Where first he supped for ages and ages upon the remnant dragons strength, it now ebbed from him. The wizard aging many years beyond age he felt, and thought it would be his last breath. When the dragon spoke again the breath nearly toppling Idraxis from the mountainside and perhaps even the very tower from which they stood. 

 

Cometh Idraxis, Usurper.

 

The wizard’s gnarled fingers scraped the stone as he hunched, gritting teeth till one cracked and his nails bled so he did try to resist the power of the mighty suggestion, yet he could not. Feeble and frail he found just the strength to stand, taking his staff in hand he lifted it to smite his foe.

 

But the staff fell to ashes in his grip, and the wizard found himself stepping forward. One patter of sandal on marble stone after another, till he stood at the gaping maw. And for a moment, he could see fire brewing and roiling, a hot breath. 

 

“By gods.” The wizard murmured. Yet the flames did not consume him no, though they did swirl and bubble and grow ever brighter. 

 

In that light, he saw fire, and the great beast of unimaginable proportion. Cities turned to ash with a breath, under a sky of red blood and winged beasts, legions of men whose soul they had sold for safety. Unimaginable ruin wrought, yet there was hope. In a mighty band, who laid the dragon low for truth it would have seemed. But it waited….watched….the seduction of its suggestion bringing one tower lord to ruin after another. 

 

At a pulse of breath Idraxis, nay Ovan laid low stepped within. Down into the toothy maw that saw kingdoms rent and dynasties sundered. As the fire faded, so too did the sunlight at his back, the warmth replaced with an ice cold grip. Where the wizard shrieked and pulled his hair in expectation of a great fall, he instead walked in a cloud of darkness when a voice appeared from in everywhere and nowhere all around.

 

“Who there goes, who walks with such idle claim?” The voice was from one robed and hooded in mist. Who wear great trinkets, of amulets and rings of color and a clown of glory, though all dulled. A great beard and pale skin, which more or less was the appearance of many of these spectres who came before the wizard, whose name is now “Anon” so speak the spirits. The spirits who were all similar. 

 

The eyes were haunting, deep pools of dark waters, but in them sparkled the light of stars that bore through the minds of men. Their pale skin near that of porcelain, but the smell. As if a great many slain were come from the depths of the water, rancid, stenching, bloated. The wizards stomach turned. 

 

The spectre who first spoke raises their hands before the rest of the ghouls could set upon the wizard, slamming the butt of his staff on the ground though invisible, and the rest did likewise. His voice was like a thousand death rattles of tired old men. “Have you an heir?”

 

The wizard could but nod. And the spectre, nay demon seemed quite satisfied. It was then that the wizard felt as if he was floating, an ice cold numbness crept over him that clouded his eyes and choked his breath. 

 

“Welcome then brother, and with us sit forevermore.” Then the wizard was drawn deeper in by a great rasping wind. 

 

Forevermore



 

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

I vote for story A. 

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

Same

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

You know, the SECRET DUELER mechanic was invented for just such a situation!

The Sands of Time

5 months ago
Seriously impressed that you cranked this out in an hour. There's a few sort of awkward or maybe just unclear turns of phrase, but a lot of cool and epic imagery too.
Who wear great trinkets, of amulets and rings of color and a clown of glory

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

Im dying lmao

Canon this clown ass was the speaker now

The Sands of Time

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/25/2023 7:29:55 PM
Overall Plot

A wizard who once slew a dragon is killed (?) many years later by its power and then trapped with ghosts.

Which leaves us a couple of unresolved questions.

1) Where is the cause and effect?

All we find out is that “this time” there is “something different”. This is the inciting event that leads to the whole second half of the story and the ending outcome. Usually it would be character driven and point to some moral or theme, but here it’s left just about as vague and lazily unexplained as it gets.

1) Why are there ghosts?

I was going along with this all just fine and enjoying the vibes until suddenly, ghosts. I don’t mind the ghosts, the ending was quite cool and final, but I just don’t understand it.

My best guess is that the dragon took control of him and killed him (because of the something different that happened this time) but it’s really not clear that that happened or why. He jumps into the mouth which yes, seems like it would be fatal, but then just appears in the after life or whatever the dark dimension is.

Grammar

I came across several minor errors, but the thing that really kept tripping me up were the sentence fragments. Maybe you were going for a certain cadence or dramatic feel, but I don’t think it worked. There’s not really any poetic flow (the usual circumstance where it’s okay to get creative with grammar), it just feels like a lot of abrupt starting and stopping and stubbing my toes on periods in places where they don’t belong.

The first paragraph for instance:

The dragon stood in testament to the wizards might and power. He who brought the dragon low as in stories and legend. With a boom in his voice and the thundering of firestorms was the dragon turned to bronze ruin. So was the fate of the dragon Parnaxes, the mighty Prince of Smoke, the lord of reavers, raiders, and shadows and beast, now brought low. The story as he set into stone on the pillars at the base of Mount Thoran so long ago.

I get the idea, but looked at individually a lot of these sentences just don’t work. My suggestion for rewriting this clear of grammatical strangeness but still keeping the tone you were aiming for would be something like:

“With thundering firestorms and a booming voice was Parnaxes overcome, and here the dragon stood, in testament to the might and power of the wizard who laid him low. The mighty Prince of Smoke, the lord of reavers, raiders, and shadows and beast, now turned to bronze ruin as the stories and legends go, set into stone on the pillars at the base of Mount Thoran so long ago.”

Other instances of odd sentences:
Idraxis donned over his white tunic, a blue vest, his usual wooden shoes, and a great grey cloak that gradually went the color of dawn with silver metal bits shaped like stars were sewn all over, and they could shine like them too when he wished it. Clasped with the gold grey of a moon pendant.

The first is an entire paragraph and the second is a fragment. My attempt:
Idraxis donned his white tunic, blue vest, his usual wooden shoes, and clasped with a gold and grey moon pendant, a great grey cloak that gradually went the color of dawn. Stars of silver were sewn all over, and they could shine like stars too when he wished it.

I may not go through this entire thing line by line after all, but this one gets garbled towards the end:

The wizard’s gnarled fingers scraped the stone as he hunched, gritting teeth till one cracked and his nails bled so he did try to resist the power of the mighty suggestion, yet he could not.

There’s no reason to have two sentences here, just remove the period and it fixes itself:

Unimaginable ruin wrought, yet there was hope. In a mighty band, who laid the dragon low for truth it would have seemed.

And here, “but the smell” is something just sort of stapled to the prior sentence.

Their pale skin near that of porcelain, but the smell. As if a great many slain were come from the depths of the water, rancid, stenching, bloated.

It could either be moved to the next sentence where it would fit the subject, or they could all be combined.

“Their skin nears that of porcelain, but the smell is as if a great many slain….”?

And this is just a random little switch to present tense:

The spectre who first spoke raises their hands before the rest of the ghouls could set upon the wizard.

Punctuation

And finally, this I’ll just skim over briefly, you may already know these things and were just typing fast.

There are some issues with apostrophes, even in the very first sentence. But mainly I’m seeing errors in dialog. (Which is very common because I don’t think they even bother teaching this in schools.)

“By gods.” The wizard murmured.
...
“I’m to see the stone of Parnaxes.” The wizard said.


Just remember that each of these are meant to be all one sentence, so you would combine the quotes with the attributions. Which means replacing the mid sentence period with a comma and making the next word lower cased.

“By gods,” the wizard murmured.

“I’m to see the stone of Parnaxes,” the wizard said.

This is fine because they’re clearly separate sentences:
“Who there goes, who walks with such idle claim?” The voice was from one robed and hooded in mist.

I’ve always found this as something easier to just memorize by examples rather than explain, and there’s sites out there that will show you every possible combination and how it’s done correctly.

I assume anyone posting writing here is open to criticism so if not, that sucks man. But this was a writing exercise for myself more than anything, and this story was just sitting here all vulnerable and alone and interesting enough to read through in detail.

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

Hi, thanks for taking the time I guess. There really isn't anything too lazily unexplained, aside from the fact I didn't vomit ten thousand words of backdrop lore to go with it all. Some stuff is sort of implied and not explicitly said outright. With that said I'm not all that subtle so if you had half a brain maybe you could piece it together. I don't feel obligated to spell everything out either. 

But essentially the idea was the wizard never actually defeated the dragon. Being the longest living person of a thousand years, it was extremely easy to perpetuate the myth of him having personally defeated the dragon. It was done long ago by some other wizard, but the dragon being powerful, could even essentially overcome death. And for millenia upon millenia has used the hubris of each and every wizard lord against him, absorbing their power.
 

The idea was essentially that Ovan was absorbing the remnants of the dragons power to excel his own. The idea being that the dragon let him siphon some of its own power so that when he did grow stronger he could just consume it and gain even more power as a return on his investment. Really the dragon has been winning with the "seductive suggestion" of power and hubris of the wizards, turning their own faults against them. 

Unfortunately I've laid it out. But the theme is essentially the fault of hubris and overconfidence. The wizard having inherited the tower, stolen much of the dragons power to accelerate his own, while projecting himself as quite mighty. Which even then he is powerful in his own right but his whole existence and image is a giant sham.

As for the sentence bits and flow, I really don't care. I'm just writing however I feel like writing, and if it's not how you would write a sentence well....big fucking deal. You complain about me having short sentences and longer sentences in the same paragraph, which yeah. That's pretty normal, not everything needs to be strung together with so many commas. I'll write how i want in the wording I want. How can you sit there and try to tell people how to structure their shit. Have you even written anything decent? Who even are you.

The sentence isn't all that garbled if you can follow along, its mostly just the style I chose to use.

I'm aware generally of how punctuation works, but I shat this overall pretty damn good story out in less than an hour. Thanks for the response fag.

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

The Sands of Time

5 months ago
oof

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

As for the sentence bits and flow, I really don't care. I'm just writing however I feel like writing, and if it's not how you would write a sentence well....big fucking deal. 

I would like to agree with you till I realized that you haven't written anything substantial since the last chieftain. 

The other contestants at least have the grace to receive good natured feedback and not throw a tantrum like a rabies infected slobbering dog.

Edit: doing the edit dance to fix a grammar mistake, sorry I couldn't help it

The Sands of Time

5 months ago
You're just jealous because "writing sentences however you feel like" is an English first language privilege. Also if you try to do the edit dance again, this time I'm watching you.

(And he is not infected with rabies. That's slander.)

The Sands of Time

5 months ago
Thanks for explaining what was supposed to be going on in your story! I’m aware you wrote it quickly, that's why most of my post was made up of suggestions for improvements on a second draft. I’m sorry you didn’t like that. I notice you just looked at someone else’s story and then just said you hated it with no other information, I guess that’s more your personal style. Who even are you. Hi, I’m Cyclonis! I’m a guy on a writing site where users and mods like to claim that blunt and detailed criticism is welcome, even encouraged. I don’t think I need permission to respond to things posted on a public forum. Who are you? And how old are you? I really don't care. The tone of your entire response speaks to the contrary. I'm just writing however I feel like writing, and if it's not how you would write a sentence well....big fucking deal. The Help section here actually has some really good articles that will tell you how to structure a sentence, you should read them sometime if you refuse to hear it from anyone else. But saying you know a story has problems and that you didn’t care enough to fix them doesn’t protect it from criticism. Not on this site. Sure you can type whatever words in whatever order you want, no one is stopping you. But it’s on the writer to communicate their ideas. You can’t “choose” your own “style” of punctuation and grammar or use unclear wording and then get mad when people who can’t read your mind don’t know what the fuck you’re trying to say. For the rest of the English speaking world, sentences DO have a structure by the way. The punctuation is there as a part of that and it's all based on rules, not your feelings. But since you obviously have a lot of those, I'll just say that at its simplest level, a sentence requires a subject and an action, and leave it at that. Jesus wept.

The Sands of Time

5 months ago

No I read one of the stories in its entirety and hated it, though I did know pretty quickly that I hated it. Then I read like three to four sentences in story B and already knew i liked it better