Monday, June 13, 2011

The Withering I: Genesis: Chapter I (part 1)

Black. Everything was black around him. He floated along, through the darkness. Straining his eyes, he attempted to find some shape or form. He couldn't feel the rest of his body. 'It had to be there, it just had to!' There was nothing out there, he was just floating in nothingness. 'Is this death?' he wondered.

“No,” said a booming voice from the darkness, “No, young Endari, this is only the beginning,” As the voice faded away, the black became gray, then white, and grew brighter and brighter in his eyes, searing his vision until...


He woke up on the stone cold earth, his eyes still pressed shut. He could hear birds, singing songs of peace, the wind blowing in trees nearby, and the soft howl of echoed ambiance reverberating around him. He felt himself relax, the tension of what must have been a dream slowly sinking away. This was a comfortable spot. Here, he could feel his body, from the tip of his short, dark hair to the tip of his toes. Rolling over, he realized he must be sleeping on rock. The surface, cold and rough, met his side as he turned, informing him quite deliberately that he couldn't sleep here anymore.

He opened his eyes with a weary-woken groan. The sun reflected off the white stone on the ground and straight into his unsuspecting corneas, causing the poor man to cry out and cover his eyes rather quickly. “Damn it,” he muttered, shading his eyes with his hand as he sat up. The scene set before his was that of a mountainside, tall, majestic, and wooded. Grays and whites contrasted and accented by the greens and browns that were the vegetation and life that comprised this region of Eden.

The ground below him was just pearly-white rock, a dust-covered plateau jutting from the side of this mountain that almost appeared as though it were a deliberate creation. There was not much life on it, common weeds and wildlife can't root into solid rock, however some persistent plants have managed to creep onto the precipice, giving the dusty carving a splash of green. Boulders, big and small, littered the area, that could easily be the size of a normal human, or even a rather large human, in height and a house in width. The bluff itself was easily the size of a small village, situated about halfway up the largest peak in the mountain range. The sun rose just above the apex of the mountain, shining down on the valley it created.

He was in awe by the sight of it all, belittled by its sheer mass. After the momentary lapse in concentration, he realized that he had no idea where he was, or even how he got there. Worse yet, he barely even knew who he was. All he had was his name: Neil Endari. He stood up, brushing some of the dust off his clothes. He wore simple garments, made of cloth and twine, that barely covered his large frame. He edged over to the cliff and looked down. Far below him sat a tree line, seemingly teeming with life. Tall, healthy trees, not touched by man, inhabited by the natural creatures of the region. He looked out, over the horizon, but could not see anything save mountains and trees. There were no signs of any humans at all out there.

Slowly it hit him, with the force of a thousand boulders. He was alone here. He sat down on a nearby rock and let that realization sink in. Not only was he lost and confused, he was alone also. This was already turning into a great day. He laughed morosely at the wry humor, and stood up. Being alone is no reason to give up on life, so with this resolve he set out to build some sort of shelter. He got back to his feet and began moving to the side of the plateau. One step, two steps, and his stomach growled. Oh, he was hungry. Neil couldn't even remember the last time he had eaten anything. 'Surely, there must be some food in the lush forest below,' he thought. He made he was over to the edge of where the rocky ground met the fertile, green covered ground that was the slope leading down to the woods, and slowly and carefully made his way down the steep slope.

(More is coming, i have a few more paragraphs written but this seemed like a good stopping place for a bit. the PnP game this is based on has a few reality gaps that i need to address to make this a decent story, and im grappling with how i'm going to make it work as we speak. anyway, thanks for reading, and i hope you enjoy this. for more of my writing, jsut check out the archive. cheers)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Withering I: Genesis Exerpt

At last, the cave to the east was completed. Neil stood proudly over his people's creation, throwing down the last stone bearing their efforts.

"This day is a momentous one," he cried to his laborers, "as we break free of the walls that bind us. It is our time, our place in this world, to conquer nature and begin, finally begin, to experience all that this world offers us," Met by the cheers of his people, Neil stepped down.

As the people celebrated then returned to work, Harvey Lushwood approached. "Hail, Neil! This is a wonderful day indeed. This marks the turning point for The Dalish,"

"Hail, Harvey. Yes it does. However we can't rest now. There is still much work to be done,"

Harvey noded in agreement. "Quite. The Denland is starting to grow, this is good. We are seeing surpluses in food, this is a rich time for us."

"Yes, Harvey. But you know I could not have done this without you," said Neil, placing his hand on Harveys shoulder. "The Dalish would not be where they are today if it weren't for your leadership and courage. Don't look at me like that, Neil Endari is not one to take glory for himself.

"We built this place together, Harvey. Just look at it. Serendipity is thriving, and now with Denland to the south, we have the food supply for a larger settlement. You and I have defended our home from the Beasts, and have fought side by side. You have grown into one of the most important friends I have. Because of this, I'm leaving Serendipity to you."

"Neil, what are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I need a strong right hand to lead our people in the development of our cities. Its now your duty to oversee The Dalish home-city."

"And what will become of you?" Asked Harvey.

"I will search out new territory and look for others like us, for we are not the only people in this land, of that, i am certain. I will build our armies and found new settlements. While i am away i need someone i can trust, and that person is you."

With that, Neil Endari gathered his men and disappeared into the dark of the tunnel, leaving Harvey Lushwood to find his destiny.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heroes of the Dalish 1: Apollo of the Soul

~~The Soul Child~~

Born without sight, Apollo grew up under the tender care of his mother in the Great House Serendipity, where he was taught not to be ashamed of his condition, but use it as an opportunity to become a great innovator and develop his mental capacity for the greater good of the community. He showed great mental prowess, even at a young age, and quickly surpassed his mentors. Harvey Lushwood took notice of it and began the creation of the Thinking Rock so that their best and brightest thinkers had a place to reflect and learn.

When he became of age, Apollo came to the Thinking Rock to meditate. He meditated for a time, until a voice entered his mind. The voice, melded from a million voices said, "Apollo: do not be afraid, for we shall not hurt you, we shall deliver you in time."

"Who are you?" he asked.

"We are the voices of Harken, we are the souls of the past, and we are the latchkey to the future."

"What do you wish of me, a man with no sight? How could I possibly be of any service to you?"

"Those who see can not truly see what lies beneath. It is no coincidence you are who you are and you are where you are. You will help guide you're people to their destiny. You will be the one to help the Turning Catalyst complete the Weaving. You will gain the sight to see reason, where none appears to exist. You will be great, Soul Child, and soon you shall find true meaning."

"What does this mean, you speak in riddles, I know not why!"

"Because the truth mean more when confirmed by your own conclusions. The Turning Catalyst will seek you out, you will know him by his voice, for he speaks for all of us. You will know him to be true, and when you find this, follow him and we will make all known. Now sleep, young Apollo. Your destiny awaits you."

Confused and disturbed by this encounter, Apollo left the Rock with more questions than he had ever dreamed of having. he had hoped that the Turning Catalyst, whoever he was, would make his purpose clear.

The Dalish: Notes 1

Dalish Religion
The Dalish believe there are strong forces surrounding the great natural monuments of Eden, and they believe meditation at these sites grant them great knowledge and understanding of the world around them. It's no coincidence that these spots are the earthly manifestations of the leylines effects on Edens surface, which is why such great power can be drawn from these monuments. The increased mana flow from those who sit and meditate increases the brain function and therefore allows more abstract thoughts bloom in those who may have not had the inspiration before. This sudden burst of inspiration and understanding is part of why these spots are holy and greatly spiritual to those who don't understand the power of the leylines. Towns are erected around these spots and they become cultural markers of the Dalish, where the great art of the civilization is spawned.

Rebuilding the Leylines
Harken wishes for the Leylines to be restored to their former strength and reach. Neil Endari has been tasked by Harken to find a way to rebuild the leylines and harness their power to save Eden from the Withering. As the leylines are invisible to most, Harken has endowed a blind man with the power to seek out these leylines. That man is Apollo of the Soul, and it is his job to lead Turning Catalyst Endari to restore the worlds leylines so that the Gods and the mortals alike may stand together to prevent The Withering.

The Withering

The Withering is the Ancients name for Ragnarök. The Turning Catalyst is the one who will find the way to restore the leylines. The Soul Child is the one who guides him.

Letters of the Dalish 1

Apollo of the Soul
Were it possible to route the leylines... Neil Endari: you hold the power. There is an aura about you, one that I cannot fathom. But it is clear that you are, were, and will always be the key to our salvation. You are as Harken said: you are the Turning Catalyst. This is a great duty unto you, and trust that you will never be alone as you were those first days. Many a great man and being will travel with you wherever you go, providing assistance and companionship, including myself, Soul Child. For through our strong ties and bonds of friendship will you find the key to unlocking your inner potential. I have meditated long and hard on this. I believe this to be a fact, take it as you will. Trust in Harken, Turning Catalyst Endari, for he represents the best in all of us.

Harvey Lushwood
Many things have changed since your departure, Neil. You've changed with the knowledge gained, yet I see in your eyes that you are no different than you were when we found our Serendipity. This is good, but I see trying times ahead, friend. Hopefully the woes of war will not cloud your judgment on the ruling of our people. All is well here and will be well much longer if you would allow it. Please, rest well, knowing your stake is well saved. Harken watch us.

The Gatekeeper
During the watch of the bushless plains, I many a strange thing happen at night. I see the eyes staring. It will not be enough for us to keep watch by ourselves, for I fear a great assault about to take place. I worry that our trounce of the wolves at Stone Signis has disrupted the flow of the natural order here. They may possess more intelligence than previously thought. It is on this note that i request an additional garrison to put my mind at ease. Harken watches us, but soon, I'm afraid, there won't be much left to watch.

Harvey Lushwood
Gatekeeper, hold fast, your letter of urgency will not go unheard. The brave men of Denland move tonight, will arrive shortly after you receive this. I've heard also from Endari, who will be returning shortly to resupply for his travels. No doubt when he passes through Harken's Door, inform him of the situation, citing this letter. He is a fair man who will hear your pleas. Inform your master that i wish him to report to me in the near future, and may Harken favor you.

Neil Endari
Harvey, we lost more men in a recent engagement with some local wolves terrorizing a peaceful village on our great mountain. Their names, like the others, are to he inscribed into the Tunnel, as per or customs. Names: Dexter Sigma, Fredrick Andro, Alius Durn, Fax Sensim, Oli Azwold, Jeremiah Vega, and Constant Dent. See that they are honored as we do. I plan on returning, rest assured, you will see your friend soon.

Hear me, young Endari. The wind whispers my words through the living canopy of the tree line, making my poetry known to those who listen. I am not alone, believe that you are never alone, for even on the farthest peaks at the ends of Eden, my voice will ring just as strong for you as it does here. The surface you step on is alive with the souls of the past, manifest into us. We are all connected in life, as we are in death. Believe: death is not the end. Believe, and help your men to do the same. Continue onward, young Endari, and reflect on these words, and you shall find your purpose.