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    I have a loose plan for this and want to see where it goes. (Reupload)

    Chapter 1 - Stranger

    When Daglan woke up that morning he didn't see anything unusual. He had awoken from a drop of water falling from the ceiling as he did many mornings. His best friend Rozere was in the kitchen with her father cooking what smelled of eggs. The sun was shining through the cracks in the curtains and holes in the walls as it always did. What felt different? Then he heard voices outside, voices that grew louder and louder. At this point Rozere and her father Koshu had heard the commotion as well and stepped outside to see what it was. Daglan hastily followed suit, after finding his tunic and boots.

    Lying on the ground outside was a young man, no older than 25. He lay face up in the dirt wearing only baggy purple pants and a black conical hat covering his face. His long black hair seemed to be tied at the base of his head in a long spiky ponytail, his slender muscular body was covered in dozens of battle scars, and at his waist was a black katana with its sword tied firmly inside its sheath. Almost the entire town had crowded around him, murmuring and shifting anxiously. It wasn't often people arrived in town, mostly just traders on their way to and from Inoris, and that too was a rarity.

    "Back now people, give this man some room! And for the love of Reza, quiet!" Barked Doc Silvis as she pushed through the crowd. She immediately knelt down and felt his neck with her fingers. She paused for a moment and gave a very annoyed sigh, slapping away his hat. "He's alive alright. This dumbass is sleeping in the street." She gave the stranger a hard slap across the face, one that would have probably knocked him out, had he been awake. The crowd watched in awe as he yawned and scratched his nose, barely affected by Silvis.

    "What should we do?" Someone asked.

    "Do you know who he is?" Asked another.

    As the murmurs heighted Daglan could tell Silvis was getting fired up, over the years Daglan had gotten to know Silvis quite well, with all his escapades outside the town walls. Daglan knew better than anyone that Silvis hated when a patient ignored her, and more so when she had to repeat herself.

    "I said quiet! Don't you lazy bums have more important things to do?! Livani! Koreso! Aren't you two on watch?! Scram the lot of you!" A wave of fear crashed down upon the crowd and everyone began to disperse. All but Daglan, as Rozere pulled on his sleeve.

    "Come on Daglan," she hissed, keeping an eye on Silvis like she was some wild animal, "You don't want to make her angrier."

    "I'll be fine," he whispered, without looking back, his eyes stuck on the sleeping man. What was this feeling? It was like the feeling he got when Silvis healed his wounds, but not as warm. Almost closer to the feeling he got when abominations were near, when he ventures past the walls, but not as malicious. Before he knew it he was kneeling next to Silvis, watching her run her hand across his body, her hands glowing faintly, his curiosity bubbling.

    "He isn't cursed or hypnotized, I can't feel a single thing wrong with him. I do believe this man is really just asleep, and slept through a slap in the face." Silvis sighed. After a few moments she looked at Daglan with a tired smile, then frowned. "Thanks for being quite Daglan, now since you're gonna bum around, get to work hauling this bastard back to my infirmary and don't let him out of your sight. I want to know as soon as he wakes up."

    Daglan looked around to ask Rozere for help but she was already gone, how long had he been watching this stranger and Silvas? He looked down at the smiling, snoring face of the stranger, scooped under his arms, and with much difficulty began dragging the older, bigger boy to the infirmary.

    The infirmary was quiet today, there hadn't been a major abomination attack in quite a few weeks which didn't happen often. It wasn't long before Rozere came in with a grimace on her face and her fingers on her nose.

    "Honestly," she said in that strange nasally voice when you hold your nose, "I hate how much time you make me spend here. Between you getting hurt and my dad making me help Silvas, I can't get away!" She plopped down next to him and sighed. "So what's with this guy? Why are you still here with him?"

    "Silvas asked me to watch him and tell her when he wakes up. Apparently I can't let him leave till she talks to him." He shrugged, trying more to convince himself. She eyed him suspiciously, but immediately dropped the subject.

    "Did you notice his sword was tied closed? I wonder what that's about?" She reached out and placed a hand on his sword, and just then the weird energy the stranger gave off changed from similar to those of the abominations , to even scarier than anything he'd ever felt from them. Rozere fell to her knees and screamed as the stranger stood over her. When had he stood up?! Daglan shot to his feet, a smile ripping across his face as excitement crackled through his body. He prepared to defend his friend, when just as quickly as the evil energy had manifested, it disappeared. In fact the feeling Daglan had been getting from the stranger had all but subsided completely.

    He stared at Daglan and Rozere with a confused look. When Rozere had eventually stopped screaming, Daglan held out his hand to help her up. Daglan’s mind raced with questions but could he do nothing but stare at the stranger as he stared back.

    “Uh, hello-” he began and just then Silvas and Koshu burst through the door with Livani and Koreso close behind. Koshu sprang in between Rozere and the stranger, towering over him.

    "What did you do to my daughter!" He said through gritted teeth. The stranger scratched the back of his head and opened his mouth when Rozere spoke up,

    "It was nothing dad, he just woke up and scared me! Look at me I'm fine, now would you stop!" But Koshu didn't flinch, not until Silvas spoke up.

    "Back off Koshu, Rozere is right, she's fine, and this boy is obviously no danger at the moment." He mumbled something under his breath but did as he was told . "Yeah, listen to Silvas and not me." Rozere grumbled, crossing her arms.

    "Now listen here young lady, you will show your aunt some resp–" Koshu began but Silvas smacked him in the back of the head.

    "Now isn't the time, Koshu, take her and go," she glared at the stranger, who was still smiling awkwardly and scratching the back of his head.

    “Everyone out, now.”

    "Uh, where am I? He eventually stammered.

    "Daglan, out." Silvas said forcefully, without taking her eyes off the stranger. As well as Daglan knew Silvas, he'd never seen her this worked up, not even about the abominations . She was so strong-willed, so much more than anyone else in town. He had heard stories about Silvas, but only bits and pieces around town, probably all made up. Still there was one he heard more than others, he had heard before she lived in Graybarrow she had fought in some kind of war.

    Daglan sat outside the infirmary trying to hear as much as he could. Wondering what could have gotten Silvas so worried, and if that man was even human. He could barely hear anything, mostly Silvas's mumbled questioning and the nervous laughter of the stranger. As he sat and pondered, an extremely tall, wide shouldered man sat down next to him and lit a cigarette. He had a long thick mustache that covered his upper lip but came down on the sides past his chin, and scruffy brown hair that stuck up at weird angles.

    "Oh, hi Mr.Lucio." Daglan said as he pretended to have not been eavesdropping.

    "I haven't seen you in class," he said as he blew out a cloud of smoke, "and I don't often see you hanging around here by choice." He continued to puff his cigarette as they sat in silence.

    "Mr.Lucio… I can feel him like the abominations and Silvas's healing. What is he?"

    "I'm not sure, from what I've heard he sounds human enough. What do you think?"

    "I don't know… I think he's human? But why can I feel him?"

    "There must be something similar between him, Silvas's healing, and the abominations from the mountains and forest, hmm?"

    "I guess so…" They continued to sit in silence until Lucio had finished his cigarette.

    "You can always talk to me if you need help, Daglan. You may like getting experience more, but a little book learning can go a long way." He stood up, pressing his cigarette out between his fingers and putting the butt in his pocket. "It's always good to see you, don't be a stranger." He said as he waved his hand walking away. Daglan thought about what Lucio had proposed, something similar. It didn't seem like Silvas or the stranger would be coming out soon so Daglan decided to go home and see what Rozere thought about all this.

    When he did get home both Rozere and Koshu were in foul moods, having most likely fought since earlier. Deciding that he'd rather not be part of that, he grabbed his bag and scurried out the front door before Kusho had time to notice.

    It's a short walk to the gate, the guards had patched up his last hole in the wall, but he had since come up with another, more thrilling way. Climbing up to the top of the traders hall, he'd be high enough to jump to the wall once the guards had passed. Then it was a quick jump down and a sprint out of their eyesight before he was able to relax. He walked along a path he knew quite well until he came up on a small ladder, it was built into a tree that led up to a small treehouse.

    His exploration headquarters as he liked to call it. The inside was small and filled with trash, and his souvenirs from his adventures sat on a roughly made table. A small Salegitti skull, a broken dagger missing its tip, and a small crystal like rock that shown with faint yellow light. Next to them were three well worn books. He picked up the book titled journal and sat on the ground, scribbling furiously with a small piece of charcoal. He then began to study the other two, older, bigger books. One titled, Abominations of Hel’s Peaks, and the other, Creatures of South Shodun. Mr Lucio was right about book learning, but he liked his own books.

    Back in town Rozere was wandering around with her hands behind her head, whistling to herself. “I wonder where Daglan is?” She pondered allowed, before realizing she had stopped in front of Silvas’s office. She stared at the large building with its off-white stone, and massive steel doors. There were various cracks and dents all along the wells and doors, as well as wooden planks over the windows, Silvas called them the clinic’s battlescars, there was nowhere safer to hide in the whole town.

    She stared for a long time before realizing there was a man sitting in the grass, a large bottle of alcohol in one hand, and multiple empty bottles sitting neatly by his legs. His long spiky hair was a little cleaner, and the copious amounts of drool were now wiped away. His face was a bright red, and he had a cigarette hanging from his lips. He stared at her with a slight wobble,

    “Hey… You're that girl that touched my sword right?” He took another large gulp from his bottle.

    “Yeah? What of it?” She asked with defiance, her hands on her hips. He smiled a sickening smile and shot to his feet faster than Rozere could see.

    “Why don't you try it again? Or will you simply scream for help? Little girls shouldn’t play with monsters.” He said as he towered over her. “Go ahead.” He lifted his arm in the air so his katana was unblocked. Rozere’s knees began to shake and a lump formed in her throat but she did not look away. She was an ant, and this man was a giant. She wasn't going to back down, but he could stand faster than she could see. Surely dropping his arm even faster would be no problem right? He was right, she wanted to scream, but she stood firm.

    “Maybe I will!” She returned his malicious smile and reached out for his sword as fast as she could, bracing for the impact and the horrible crunch of bones as he grabbed her arm and snapped it in half. She flinched as her nerves went off, electric sensations coursing through her fingertips. It's happened! But what she felt wasn't pain, but the hard yet somehow soft grip of a katana hilt. She opened her eyes to see her hand firmly gripping his katana and a much more playful smile somehow even wider across this strange man’s face. He began to laugh loudly as she stumbled backwards and fell. He held out his hand, still giggling a little. She eyed him hard then after a moment smacked his hand away. She stood up, and began to brush herself off, glaring at him all the while. He apologized in between giggles.

    “My name is Noboru, you've got quite the spirit to face me down. What's your name kid?” He asked as he sat back onto the grass and took another long swig from his bottle. Rozere straightened up and looked at him with a fiery gaze.

    “Rozere of Grayborrow.” She said, crossing her arms. “And you dont scare me!”

    “What are you yelling about Rozere?” Silvas asked as she appeared behind her. “You!” she exclaimed as she saw Noboru “Where did you get all of that from!? Rozere give me a hand and throw away these bottles would you?”

    “She's already gone.” Noboru giggled. Silvas spun around to see that Rozere had indeed disappeared, as Noboru began to laugh louder. Rozere could hear the slap from across town as she sat against the traders hall. As she pondered just how big a lump must be on the side of Noboru's face, a ball smacked her’s.

    “Hey who did that!?” She demanded as she hoped to her feat, tears forming in her eyes, which she quickly wiped away.

    “Oh, sorry Rozere! I didn't mean to! Honest!” Said the boy as he ran up and grabbed his ball off the ground before the evil Rozere could kick it away, her foot swishing in the air. The boy was a few years younger than Rozere, had shaggy blonde hair, a tunic that was two sizes too big for him and a pair of round glasses broken in several spots.

    “You better be sorry, pipsqueak!” she said, wiping her eyes and now running nose. “I'll have to beat you up if not!”

    “Come on give Vilcus a break he said sorry. What are you doing over here by yourself anyways? Daglan run away again?” Said another girl with little blonde pigtails and red cheeks, as she came up behind Vilcus.

    “Hi Meska and no he didn't run away again.” Rozere said, sticking her tongue out. “I just think he went for a walk is all… he'll be back… soon!” She crossed her arms and held her chin up. “Well why don't you come play with us until he gets back?” Meska asked, turning around and walking away, “We are playing dodgeball, maybe you can hit Vilcus in the face.”

    “Hey nuh-uh! She won't hit me!” Vilcus persisted as he followed after her. Rozere sniffled, rubbed her nose with her sleeve, and smiled.

    “Okay fine, but wait up!” She yelled.

    As Daglan walked through the trees, he could feel the malicious energies from abominations  all around him, it was making his blood boil. He remembered the stranger looking down at him and Rozere, overflowing with the most malicious intent he had ever felt. A smile began to creep across his face once more, as he could feel something close behind him. He spun around to see a creature he had only seen in books, the sight of which excited and terrified him. 

    A giant humanoid creature with a long smooth snake-like torso, and grotesquely elongated arms and legs stood before him. It had a small pair of arms on its hips that bounced as if boneless, and a strange human face. Smooth indents of skin sat where the eyes should be, and it had a beak lined with razor teeth that jutted out at multiple angles. It clicked its tongue and sniffed the air then began to lick its beak with what could only be called a smile.

    “What should I call you big fella?” Daglan asked nervously as excitement shot through his body. This wasn't like anything he'd ever encountered in the forest, or during attacks. This creature was much more dangerous. He gritted his teeth and forced an equally disgusting smile, even though he was sure the abomination couldn't see him. He pulled out the dagger he had smithed in secret at Koshu’s forge and dropped his stance lower, lower, lower. The creator was clicking and sniffing in anticipation, no doubt it could feel Daglan’s bloodlust.

    Daglan took a slow step forward, then another. The creature's head tilted and it sniffed harder, then in a flash that Daglan couldn’t even see, it lashed out, slashing his shoulder apart. Adrenaline had already made its way to Daglan’s brain and he didn't even feel the warm blood soaking into his tunic or notice his limp arm flailing behind him as he attacked. He rolled under the creature’s arm and slashed at its ribs ripping its open sending its guts pouring out. It screamed in pain and whirled around, but its tall body and long arms whizzed over Daglan’s head. He rolled again, this time in between its legs, slashing at its knee, cutting down to the bone. It screamed again and fell to its knees with a gross squishy thud from one. It twitched and spazzed as it began twisting its body around in a disgusting manner.

    Daglan approached cautiously, but the adrenaline had worn off and he looked down at his arm. It was almost completely blue, and the little skin and bone that held his arm to his body squirted copious amounts of blood. There was a blur then he was flying through the brush stopping when he thudden into a tree. His eyes began to blur with red, then black. The last thing he heard was a familiar voice...

    “You are by far the most interesting of the bunch. Hey, can you hear me?”

    When Deglan awoke he was looking at a ceiling he knew all too well. In a bed he had awoken in many times. But this time he couldn't move. “Silvas! What's happening?! Silvas! Rozere!” Daglan began to thrash when he heard that same voice.

    “Hey hey hey! You're going to hurt yourself more than you already have!” When standing over him, blocking the light with his conical hat, was the stranger. “That was a nasty creature you were tangling with out there. I heard you like to fight but I'm guessing you've never seen a lasari before? Ugly things, and not easy to kill with small weapons if you don't know how.”

    “I do know how.” Daglan said matter of factly, “They have two brains located behind the eye sockets.”

    “Oh-ho-ho,” the stranger smiled maliciously, “ but how do you stop them from reproducing after that?” Daglan went silent for a moment. “What do you mean?"

    “Lasari have a fun ability to reproduce from their corpse. Specifically, their heart has two eggs inside that will hatch if it ever stops beating. So to properly kill one you must burn the heart.” He laughed and presumably sat back down, out of Daglan’s eyesight. There was a slight pause and Daglan was about to speak when he heard a gasp and the stranger continued.

    “Anyway, you almost lost your arm. Luckily, your doctor and blacksmith were able to fix you up, those two are something else. It'll take some time for your bo-” Daglan cut him off.

    “What do you mean I almost lost my arm?! What did they do to me?!” He exclaimed, thrashing, memories of his broken and bleeding arm flashing through his mind.

    “If you don't calm down, I will calm you down.” He said forcefully. “I hate babies. I thought you were supposed to be a tough kid? Now anyways it's just me and you here, everyone else is asleep, so please. I know you've heard of the metal prosthetics of this country, Metics, I think they're called? I’ve seen people in town with them. Well your blacksmith had to help your doctor make you a new shoulder.”

    “So why are you being so helpful? I don't know you, and you feel the same as an abomination.” “See it's things like that!” He shot back up his face noticeably red.

    “You're so interesting! I don't remember how I got here…” He scratched his head for a second, “but boy have I had fun since I've shown up!” Your girlfriend Rozere-”

    “She's not my girlfriend, and you leave her alone!” He shouted.

    “Well she's fearsome! And you’re so interesting too! Definitely the best five year o-”

    “I’m twelve. Rozere is thirteen.”

    “Well twelve then. Point is, I like you and your little girly friend, so I thought I'd help out and not let you die.” Then it dawned on Daglan, there was no way a search party found him like when he normally gets in a scap and passes. He had thoroughly lost and was deep in the woods. By all accounts he should be dead. Daglan was so angry he hadn't even thought about what happened afterwards.

    “It was you. So what do you want from me? Are you some abomination loo-” This time the stranger cut him off.

    “My name is Noboru, the handyman.”

    “I've never heard of that species.”

    “Well I'm not an abomination, I'm a jack-of-all-trades, so to speak. I travel from place to place making money doing odd jobs. Anyways, you remind me an awful lot of someone I used to know. So don't go throwing your life away against such low level trash as the abominations around here.” Daglan began to feel the intimidating malice from Noboru, almost that of when Rozere had touched his sword. “I know you can feel my energy. Unlike the people of this town, save a few, I think you're gifted.” Then it was gone just as quickly as before. “What do you want, Daglan.” Daglan’s blood was fire and his eyes daggers, piercing the ceiling with determination.

    “I want to be remembered.”

    “So get out of this town and maybe one day you can fight me, and I’m not even the strongest out there. Come… show this world what you're… made of because I for one… can't wait.” Just then Daglan heard a thud followed by an endless cascade of snores from Noboru.

    “Would someone get me out of here!”

    05:19 UTC


    Creating reciprocity

    Many magic systems have a facially transactional model of upfront costs: in order to achieve X output (magic), I need to give up Y input (blood, etc.). Essentially the mechanisms behind it all aren't a magic-making machine but instead a debt grantor, and the mage is a grantee. 

     For my magic system, I wanted to use a different model, flipping it from an upfront cost to a delayed cost: I can achieve X output now, but I will need to give up Y later. To be more accurate and explain, in my universe, the planet is a sentient consciousness, and everything in and on it is a different aspect or expression of its existence. This includes humans too, and other races as well, putting that aside. Magic is going into debt with spirits, but what the spirits want is not concrete like what people want; they have wants, needs, and personalities. What one fire spirit wants is not necessarily what another fire spirit wants, and due to this very nature, studying magic becomes more about understanding the other party so you can both come to an agreement that's mutually beneficial. Spirits are broken into different classifications based on their power and amicability. Some types of spirits are attuned to certain types of magic or are inclined to make deals for certain requests more than others.

    A lot of magic is reaching out and getting them to take stock and pay attention, with rituals and spells being akin to pitches or terms of a contract with reciprocity on both sides. Spirits breaking Deals come with just as much consequence as a person breaking a deal, and the punishment is equal to that of what was agreed upon. However, if for some reason you figure out how to keep delaying what you owe, eventually it will come if the deal isn't fulfilled to the letter, hence why being specific is important as well. Spirits are sometimes ephemeral; they know just as much as people do about someone that they know, or, to be more accurate, they only know what you say.and do on the very surface level and will not be able to read your heart, your soul, your intentions, and all that. With this said, it is also important to note that while spirits are not holy omniscient, they do talk to one and are careful about who they make deals with.

    Essentially, karma exists in this universe, but it's more centered around keeping your word, not in a you can't lie sort of way, but more in a are you someone who makes good on their deals specifically, not always pertaining tomagic, more so what sort of person you are in this universe." A good rule of thumb is that your deals are best kept, with anyone can learn magic if they have the right knowledge, more specifically access to certain types of spirits and spirits of different calibers, so you'll have access to your local spirits of darkness, With there being many different approaches to doing magic and calling spirits, you might not necessarily have access to a greater power that embodies a different or stronger aspect of the dark  with spirits not giving or allowing access to magic they deem worthy or not fit as magic can and will just not work or backfire ironically if the spirits think they're being tricked, swindled, or conned, however this generally depends on the spirits and Spirits in one area might let you do magic where others might not, but as I've said, spirits are humans, to use the broadest meaning of that word, and are capable of making mistakes and bad judgment calls.

    All of this being said, I've hit a snag in that I don't know how to create reciprocity between humans and spirits, more specifically how deals are enforced and who enforces them. My original idea was that it was enough that spirits were empowered to hold their end of the bargain and that not doing so would come at a net loss, but now I'm coming to reconsider this.

    There are probably a lot of things I missed, but this is it. What do you guys think? Any suggestions I know not many people are going to read this, but I wanted to give it a good old college try.

    04:38 UTC


    Coming up with a story for my comic. Looking for critique. Its all in shorthand and the characters names and personalities aren’t final. As it’s a comic the planing is a bit more rough.

    Nothing before dawn of universe. Two deities created from space dust. First good is created. Good creates evil to have a friend. Both genderless. One is associated with good and life the other with death chaos and evil. They are friends. Both create the universe together. Evil accidentally creates death one day. Almost kills good. Good becomes horrified. Good creates a universe outside of all of time and space by warping a black hole. Good banishes evil to the pocket outside time. Good Puts spell that allows only lost stuff to enter and leave the pocket.

    The black hole occasionally sucks in random stuff from earth. Nicknamed the lost sock dimension. All sorts of lost things end up here. Like if someone loses a hair tie or keys it goes here for a bit until they “find it” (it returns to earth) One day a mysterious doll ends up getting sucked in. Back on earth a box of books goes missing from a thrift store. Both the books and doll end up in universe. Evil Finds ancient spell book inside of box. Evil decides to escape the pocket through the doll by putting their spirit inside the doll with a spell. Does a shitty job and can’t pronounce everything in the spell. The portal sends the doll back to earth through the black hole. Cue doll ending up in the thrift store again.

    Boy finds doll and buys it as birthday gift for sister. The more insane people are driven by the doll, the more evils powers grow. Boy starts noticing there’s something weird about the doll he gave his sister. Evil decides to take over sister noticing she is a victim of bullying from kids at her school. While in the doll evil convinces boys sister to under go possession ritual. He makes a deal that she will get power beyond her dreams to overpower those who wronged her. Evil then uses her as a vessel to have a little fun and get back at good for banishing them. With evils powers the boys sister ends up killing her bully and mentally manipulating the bully’s cronies.

    Meanwhile Good checks on the pocket outside of time. Realizes evil isn’t there. Starts to panic. Finds the spell book and remnants of evils magic that leaked out of the doll due to bad spell job. Follows magic through the cosmos all the way back to earth. Finds out evil has already possessed someone. Goes back for spell book to undo everything. Book has disappeared back to earth

    Good recruits boy who bought doll to find the book undo the spell since it’s his own sister under possession. Evil finds out good has come for them. Escapes earth and hides outside of the realm of space and time while still possessing the boy’s sister. Boy finds spell book has returned to the location it came from. Good uses same spell evil used and possesses boy. Boy temporarily gains the powers good has and then follows the trail of leaking magic To where evil has hidden outside space and time. The boy talks to his sister. Helps her realize that she was brainwashed into having her powers to carry out the twisted desires of evil. Sister realizes that her own fear of being hurt by others made her lash out and become the same as those who hurt her. The boy mentions the spell to undo everything. She agrees. Spell is done.

    Both good and evil emerge from the bodies of those who they have possessed. The boy and his sister are frozen unmoving as all of time in the universe stops. Good talks to evil and evil confesses that because all it had ever known was chaos And death it count help but use its powers. But since it cared so deeply for good it became devastated when it hurt good and good responded with a lack of trust and banishment. Evil hated being banished and resorted to its desires of death and chaos to feel powerful and less hurt and to get back at good for not trusting them.Deep down evil is afraid of hurting good again and feels like theirs nothing to do if death is so engrained inside of itself. It’s basically evils nature to cause death and destruction. Good reminds evil of being able to create good things and be life giving. Reminds evil they created the universe together. Good admits that pushing evil away rather than helping them figure out what to do with this accidentally found power of death was wrong. Both acknowledged that now that it’s created it must be taken care of as a part of the universe. There is now some degree of it that is needed to keep things functioning. Good tasks evil to oversee death and chaos and keep it in line. Evil promises to never hurt anyone with it again. They return the brother and sister to earth. They turn back Time with one last spell from the book to undo all the stuff that has happened and alter then timeline of the universe to have it never happen again

    04:07 UTC


    How do you cheat in a Magic Written examination?

    One of my stories that i am currently focusing on is ofcourse like most fantasy stories involve an academy, and in that academy there is an exam. In that exam, it is one of my tools that i will use to provoke drama and more suspense but the point is, i am stuck and unable to think of ways HOW would someone cheat on a magic Written Exam and blame it on the other? I really need to know everyone. This exam will cheat not by plagiarizing or the usual irl Cheating/Copying off another student's work. But rather a CHEAT SHEET. Can anyone give me a thorough explanation of their ideas about this? Really appreciate the help <3

    01:26 UTC


    I Am Having Tough Time Plotting My Journey Arc

    I have the beginning and end of my story and there is a journey between them. The problem is: I can not come up with a good journey. Let me give you some context.

    Protagonist is an orphan girl who lives with his slightly younger brother in their big house. They got a good amount of money left over by their deceased parents that died during a war years ago. Their uncle comes twice a year to check on them. One day the siblings are ambushed by an assasin, they barely survive the attempt thanks to a stranger showing up and saving them and they learn that they are being hunted by some sort of a cult (let's call them sunset cult) because of their bloodline.

    A goddess contacts the protagonist after the ambush, gives her an amulet with healing powers and tells her she has to eradicate the sunset cult, because that cult opposes gods.

    Stranger tells siblings they got to leave the city. Now, importang thing is, stranger is from an another cult that was led by sibling's bloodline. Their uncle is currently leading their own cult (sunrise cult). Sibling's parent were previous leaders before they were murdered by sunset. Siblings don't learn all this all at once, as stranger takes his time feeding this much info.

    Siblings and stranger go on a journey to sunrise cult's hq, while being hunted by sunset.

    I have no idea how could the journey go. I mean like, what would happen? I start writing these chapters and all I end up with are descriptions of rocks and trees with some dialogues. I tried to add in some action but failed miserably. All my attemps felt bland. I thought about introducing another person to the team but was not able to come up with something plausible. I tried to introduce an illusionist from sunset cult that tries to split them apart but I just don't know how to incorporate stuff like that.

    I can't manage to plot this journey. Some help please?

    00:53 UTC


    Looking for critique on my short story (2200 words)

    Standing over the corpse of a recently dispatched privateer, she scanned her eyes over the battle unfolding in front of her. Despite the gloom, She could clearly make out that her men were outnumbered and unprepared for a straight fight. They had been planning to attack long after the sun had set, using their rowboats to sneak aboard the enemy ship and slit their throats while they slept. But they had been spotted and, understanding that capitulation was not an option, were now forced to fight for their lives.

    Another man came at her, clumsily swinging a long curved blade in a brutal, if unskilled, downward strike. At the last second she sidestepped the blow and responded with an attack of her own, the man tried to pull his sword up to parry, but was too late as the ornate sabre opened a deep crimson line across his forearm. Bellowing a stream of curses, he attacked again with an enraged vigor. But his wound compounded by his lack of finesse meant that his strike again failed to land, and his attempts to continue the assault were thwarted by a savage thrust from his opponent. As she sank her sabre hilt-deep in his chest, determined to watch as the arrogance, as well as life, left his eyes, she found her eyes wandering. A flicker of something behind a pair of dueling seamen had distracted her, it had been a tiny movement that would have been imperceptible to most people over the frantic battling, but to her it gleamed like a dagger's point. She was trying to work out what it was when she was forcibly snapped out of her concentration by another adversary approaching her. She swiftly wrenched her sword out the man's chest and set about dealing with the newcomer. Despite the heavily armed pirate trying to kill her, she still couldn't focus on the fight. She kept seeing glimpses of something in the distance, some movements weaving in and out of the melee, mirroring the fighting sailors, or just swaying by the sides of the ship. They looked barely real, nearly invisible in the low light and their outline was impossible to discern. A powerful slash that bit deep into her reinforced overcoat reminded her that she had more pressing matters to attend to. She moved backwards with a series of frantic parrys until she had enough breathing room to release an attack herself. She aimed a thrust at her assailant's thigh, determined to stagger him before finishing him off. But this man was more experienced than the last by far and he easily battered the strike away, regardless it had drawn his attention for long enough for her to draw one of her pistols and shoot him in the chest. She quickly checked around her to make sure that there was no immediate threat before looking back at the rest of the fight and quickly becoming enthralled by the spectres again. They looked more real now, as if empowered by the bloodshed around them and she could somewhat make out their shape. They were faint around the edges, and looked almost human, yet their movements seemed anything but. They deftly slid through the carnage, avoiding blades with comical ease. No strikes even came close to hitting them. And bullets always seemed to have been fired away from them. Some of them carried weapons of their own, swinging them in wide arcs that seemed aimed at the fighters around them but somehow managed to cut only empty air. Despite this no one took any notice of them and kept fighting as hard as they had been before, in fact, as she looked closer at the combatants, they appeared to be fighting even harder than before, the several minutes of nonstop fighting having no effect on their stamina.

    She watched as one of her men was cut down in front of her, his shirt in tatters and his stomach a mess of gore, yet still he fought on, dragging himself towards his enemy with an animalistic gleam in his eye before a heavy blade swung down and decapitated him. She stepped forwards to take his place but was immediately forced on the retreat by the person who killed him. It was a mountain of a man, with teeth filed down to points and with limbs slightly too long for his body. His upper arm had a huge chunk taken out of it by his previous assailant, and a hole had been blown through his leg by a pistol shot. Yet despite wounds that should fell any man, he pressed on, fighting with unrelenting savagery. She drew her dagger, and even though she had twice as many good arms as him, she could barely keep up with his attacks. He seemed inhumanly strong and she could tell that her odds of survival were low. A powerful blow knocked her backwards causing her foot to skid on some accumulated gore and sending her toppling backwards onto the deck. A desperate parry prevented her immediate demise but left her chest wide open to attack, and with not enough strength left to defend herself she realised her fate. The man towered over her seemingly even taller than he had once been, and raised his blade for the coup de grace. As she stared up at her soon-to-be killer, she could swear that she could hear something, music like, a slow melody, barely audible above the clanging metal and black powder discharges. But it was irrelevant, she was about to die and there was no point in thinking about music that may or may not exist.

    Suddenly a taloned hand burst from the man's chest tearing upwards until his entire torso was rent in two. The man fell forwards, dead long before he hit the deck beside her. She pushed her body upwards, trying to see who had killed the man. But as soon as her eyes lay upon the creature in front of her, she immediately regretted it. It was tall, inhumanly so, with long sinuous limbs and a mouth full of fangs, its skin was pale and riddled with open and barely closed wounds. But more disturbing still were its clothes. While the thing wore little more than ragged, bloodsoaked cloth, she could still make out the regalia signifying that it was a member of her crew, and she recognised the battered cutlass it held in its oversized claws. The music was much louder now, and impossible to ignore, the off-kilter jig was pounding in her head and still getting louder and faster, beating rhythmically in time with the movements of the whirling spectres. They were even more real now, shining against the dark backdrop of the night sky. She finally could see them for what they were.

    Men, women, soldiers and outlaws, people of all creeds and classes were moving on the deck, united by blank stares from unmoving eyes. They were starting to attract the attention of the other creatures now, and were forced to duck and weave ever faster through the onslaught. A woman ran past her, nimbly avoiding the huge sweeping claws that were trying desperately to rip her apart, the woman was in terrible shape, wracked with injuries with huge pieces torn from her arms and torso, and one leg ending halfway up in a ragged stump. Despite this, she was moving with inhuman grace, almost appearing to be playing with the creature. Upon a closer look, all the spectres seemed in similar condition, with grievous wounds that were all but ignored by the wearer. Their movements as well were synchronised, pulsing and spinning to the beat of the ever quickening music, as if the battle was some elaborate dance. A stark contrast to the animalistic savagery of the things chasing them. One of said things caught sight of her and charged on all fours, knocking other creatures aside in the desperation of an easy kill. It howled as it ran, the sound was abhorrent, and pierced through the music reverberating inside her head causing her vision to blur. As the creature approached her, the howling grew louder, even as it closed its mouth, she couldn't rid herself of the noise. It was all she could think about. She didn't see the thing reach her, her vision darkening and conscious fading long before it had a chance kill her.

    She was on a boat, and she was alone, that much she could tell. She looked around, the boat seemed to stretch infinitely away from her in all but one direction. She looked back off the side, staring into the inky black sea, it was much darker than usual, and as she looked closer, she realised that there was no water at all, just an empty void. She felt a presence behind her and turned back to the endless decking and masts. They were changed now, twisted and gnarled, with broken planks jutting out like teeth, no, they were teeth. Huge contorting mouths and ravenous maws were opening up along the decking towards her, carried by an soothing melody. She was almost caught as she sat there, enthralled by the music as ropes and tendrils of splintered wood snaked their way towards her. A sudden pain in her leg as a tendril latched on snapped her out of her trance. Frantically, she drew a pistol and fired it into the wood, breaking its assault for long enough for her to throw herself off the side of the ship, and into the abyss.

    "Come on you dogs, form a proper firing line!" she shouted as she opened the creature's throat

    "Or do I have to show you the meaning of discipline!" A spray of arterial gore from the thing's neck soaked her sleeve as she punched it in the skull with her sabres hilt.

    "Watch where you're brandishing that goblet! , I know you lack restraint when it comes to drinking but if you could at least try to get some in your mouth instead of throwing it over the guests it would be much appreciated"

    She drew a third pistol and put a shot between an approaching ghouls eyes.

    "Fifty lashes to any man who steps out of line!"

    A wild sweep from her sabre disembowelled the creature.

    "Twenty five percent? Don't waste my time with ludicrous offers like that, I'll take no less than forty"

    Another pistol shot put the thing down permanently.

    "First rank forward, fire, kneel, reload! Second rank forward, fire, kneel, reload! How many times do I have to go through this?"

    She stabbed her dagger into a third ghouls bestial eye. They were surrounding her now, her sudden burst of stamina was starting to wear off and fatigue was beginning to set in. As she brought her sword up for another strike, she caught a glimpse of its hand, and the ornate ring upon it.

    "Thief! Thief! He stole my wedding ring! Guards, arrest him!"

    She plunged her dagger into the creature's chest down to the hilt, several times over, once she was sure it was dead, she looked lovingly at the identical ring upon her own finger.

    "I could have been a baker, with hands like these"

    A claw dug into her shoulder, and she spun to face her attacker.

    "Oh you certainly are funny sir!" she choked in between bursts of hysterical laughter.

    "If only all the Lords at this place had as quick a wit as you!" She kept laughing even as her sabre was battered aside, as the talons sank into her chest, as she was torn in half by the beast before her, and as the last light left her eyes.

    The tavern was full to bursting with rowdy drunkards and revelry, he made his way to his usual seat, moving quickly to avoid the patrons and piles of vomit, but as he sat down and prepared to drown his sorrows, he noticed someone in front of him. She was a woman, with long straggly hair, matted with blood, she wore a ragged, bloodstained overcoat, with each tear revealing a horrific mass of wounds. She had the remains of a brace of pistols draped across her chest, a single solitary flintlock was tied there, more for the principle of it than for any practical purpose, as the barrel was dented and the mechanism almost completely broken off. One of her arms looked ruined, with many cuts down to the bone, but still somehow clutching the remains of a sabre hilt. Her other arm was outstretched towards him, palm upwards. None of her injuries were bleeding, and all appeared to be covered by some barely visible membrane, even the torn patches of her clothes seemed fixed with a thin glassy material, that despite its nature held no reflections. Even more horrific was her face though, not the wounds, although they were impressive, but her cold dead eyes that stared blankly over his shoulder. As he looked, he noticed what was left of her lips start to move. She spoke uncharacteristically for a walking corpse, her speech was even more unsettling than her appearance.

    "Excuse me," she said in a voice more smooth and intoxicating than any liquor money could buy.

    "Would you care for a dance?"

    1 Comment
    23:55 UTC


    Need a name for fantasy communism

    My story is all about economics and trade deals between elves, humans, and dwarves

    At first the dwarven kingdom is a hyper capitalist society with a wealthy upper class whole rule in an oligarchy.

    In the plot the oligarchy is overthrown and replaced by the king maligned inheritor to the true king of dwarves. Once in power he starts violently cutting off heads it turns into a revolution against the oligarch the state seizing the means of production “from each dwarf according to his means, to each dwarf according to his needs”

    It is absolutely supposed to be a parody of communism but I don’t think it would fit to just call it that so I need some high fantasy term for it

    Maybe an -ism but it has to sound dwarfish or maybe the law of X or Xs law any suggestions?

    23:31 UTC


    Plant power help

    So basically I have this character who has plant related powers. Thing is he has no idea how to control them. When he discovered them, he accidentally killed one of his friends, and has sworn to never use them again after that.

    Thing is idk how he could have gotten them in the first place. This is set on normal earth, so it isn’t a high fantasy world. Anyone have ideas?

    22:57 UTC


    Clothing for an magical ice zombie

    So im having a bit of a hard time finding some sort of clothing that i can describe for one of my characters, for reference they are a reanimated zombie through the essence of an ice god of death.

    I haven't found any type of clothing that would suit this guy so im hoping people here could helå me.

    (If you want me to be more specific then please ask me in the comments)

    22:17 UTC


    Looking for critique for short story's first chapter.

    I'm trying to write short stories in an attempt to shore up my skills for a novel this is the 2nd draft as the first my friends told me was an impenetrable lore dump. Hopefully I fixed that.

    FOX Battery: Silver Sword Chapter 1: Bolt

    The sword was alien and beyond beautiful. It shone like silver in the sun and with colors more odd when the sun sets. A saber with an impossibly sharp blade, yet undamaged were the magnificently machined murals filigreed along it's blade to the basket hilt. It's scabbard seemingly carved out a single chunk of onyx. That too was engraved entirely with impossibly small and strange encryptions, descriptions in a language Darren knew nothing about.

    Darren was awoken by the soft clatter of pots and pans gently rattling in the wind. He bolted upright and took stock of his surroundings. The sun was at its zenith, the thrill of being alone in his own wagon for the first time still hadn’t worn off. The ancient road spanned out into the distance in front of him. Despite the myriad of potholes and cracks that threw him about every once in a while, the roads here were older than Ancillia itself, a testament to the brilliant engineering of his . The massive roadways mesmerized him. They were laid down by the Firsts, the heavenly beings that were here before him. He traced the patterns of colored lines on the road pondering the intentions of their painters, Another good game to play alone was finding the cracks in the ancient road were filled with liquid rock, such an expensive substance yet he’s heard that every building in the Ancil was made from it, he noted that he should try visiting on his way home. He took out his map, marked in a thousand places by his father, and his father’s father. Looking at his goal, the center of conflict, the city Selene, he traced back to his position, searching for the nearest landmark. “Direction…” He looked for the sign marked “fifty kilometers”, instead spotting the one labeled twenty. “Perfection.” Pleased with himself for being closer to his destination than he initially thought and excited by the idea that he was technically within proximity of the crusade , he decided he’d visit some of the nearby villages with high hopes that he might even be able to find some better deals. Pulling off the road as his destination became closer he turned onto a bumpy dirt road which promptly and painfully jostled him, filling the air with clinking from hundreds of glass containers. Darren was atleast used to cobblestone roads laid out at home but crusaders don’t complain about such trifling things, this feeling was new and rustic he supposed plus all adventurers need get used to this feeling. After a few more minutes of bumpy road and clanking kitchenware he decided to command the Ardennes pulling the wagon to stop. The country view had a charm the city could never compete with. The rolling hills dappled with lavender made him envy the life of a peasant. Examining all the hills his eyes fell back upon the road he started upon seeing the shadow of a man. It was approaching slowly on foot, arms to their side they didn’t look like they were trying to be threatening but Darren had his hand on his sword’s pommel anyway, it's a dull adventurer who falls for ambushes after all. Two tense minutes later and he could finally make out details. The man was wearing a mask, the eyes on it glew a dull red. “A soldier?” he said mostly to himself, he jumped off the wagon, seeing to the man. Getting close he noticed that the mask encompassed the whole of his head, sealing the man's head inside, small bells tinkling at the side gave away its purpose. “Not a soldier, a tranquil. Fair morning do you-” Darren caught himself mid sentence and slapped his forehead at his own stupidity, Tranquil do not talk they only follow the orders of God. The tranquil carried a limping gait about it, obviously injured but they were the most devoted, they never complained and once close enough the Tranquil held it’s hand out to Darren. In its palm was a letter adorned with what looked like the seal of one noble house or another. “Is this for m-” Darren grumbled before snatching the letter out of the Tranquil’s hand, it was soggy and when he tried to open it, it practically disintegrated in his hand he shot a confused glance at the tranquil but it wasn’t standing there anymore, he turned around and saw it limping down the path the merchant came. “Guess it’s no use.” he thought “They won’t listen to anyone but their masters” he thought back to the mask it was wearing. It gave him butterflies, Af, it was a mask of Af. In all his days back home he’s never seen a soldiery tranquil before “ahh, close enough to smell the spiders burning now.” he whispered with a mixture of awe, excitement and maybe even a little fear. His father wouldn’t approve of that he thought, but then again he wouldn’t approve of many things he was doing. “Damned child, did you wish to die that bad or are you trying to spite your mother?” his air of smug delight was hard to suppress the day he received the summons. He was to muster with others in the capital, he was to fight side by side with angels against the demon hordes of the spider queen. It was like being recruited right into a fairytale and he thought his parents would be ecstatic. A slap to the face proved otherwise. Apparently they were not completely sold on the idea of their firstborn proving their house’s honor in the crucible of battle. Mother wept at his stubbornness and his father declared that he’d take the missive’s ultimatum, sending a servant and gold as proxy. But Darren would not give up on it, no matter how much his mother cried or how red his father’s face got. “You want to see war, I’ll show you war!” and while excited at first his hopes were crushed later when he was put on the lead of his family's’ trade caravan sent to deliver supplies to a military camp in Gydonsburg far from the frontlines garrisoned the sick and dying, beggers and debtors with not a single real knight. Putting on his finest green and blue doublet and trousers, supposing that those colors were popular everywhere in the country of Ancillia he would not be mistaken for a bandit, he was given a sash with his family’s crest a pair of crossed red feathers a magazine fed handcannon. Despite the assurances from his mother that the road he was to take was well guarded, he commissioned a sword and gambeson be made for his own purposes. He refused to take a hat. It made him resemble his father too closely and like that he was sent off. Darren thumbed his nose at father’s demands. After all, if a camp so far from the front would pay the amount he expected then a city at the front lines like Dauve or Selene would most likely pay a thousand times more. He ditched the caravan on the third night and made his way southeast. Back in the present Darren took a moment to admire his new hand cannon once more. It was an amazing piece of old world technology, the power of a hand cannon, more shots than a revolver, and almost no reloading time and more accurate than any of the former options. What demon could he possibly fear? He would ask himself so occupied was his mind on his weapon that he disregarded the smell of rot as his wagon approached the nearest village. The horse grunted in Exertion trying to crest the hill. “Halspas” he repeated the name in his head. His excitement was building“Father, I’m about to make you-” A bolt struck his horse between the eyes dropping it before it could even make a noise, he sat there dumbstruck and more confused than alarmed until a second bolt whizzed past his head the sound of cut air woke him from his stupor as he threw himself out of his cart landing with a thud in the lavender plants of the hill, he scanned the horizon something akin to fear creeping up on him. The village was gone, charred ruins standing in its place, the absence of smoke showing him that this wasn’t recent, more importantly he couldn’t find his assailant. “I-I have a gun!” Darren shouted in warning, there was no response. “I’m warning you!” he warned them again. They were not responding, perhaps they heard about the gun. He knew that he would have fled after learning that. Deciding it was most likely safe he slowly began to stand up. Eyes screwed onto the roofs dotting the skyline searching for shooters. The moment his head appeared above the grassline he was knocked onto his back, he would have yelled from surprise if the wind wasn’t stolen from his lungs first. An incredible pain unlike anything he’s ever felt before as it felt like his ribs were set on fire. He managed enough strength to raise his head. Though his vision was getting darker the last thing he saw was a bolt embedded in his chest.

    22:00 UTC


    The Timedreamer: Chapter One

    Hello, all. This is the first chapter of a fantasy saga which is currently in progress. I welcome all constructive critiques and criticisms, and will be more than happy to engage with your feedback. Thank you in advance!


    21:45 UTC


    Looking for a word to replace "F*ck" in the following sentence. Any suggestions, please?

    I wanted it to be an emotionally heavy scene and tried a lot of words but F*ck seems to be the most appropriate one. I really didn't want to use it though...

    She went back into the shack and sank on the threadbare sofa — anger and regret spread inwards like wildfire.

    “Fuck”. She held her head in her hands and let her tears loose onto the carpet.

    Any help/suggestions much appreciated.

    21:13 UTC


    general name for powerfull creatures not bound by any mythology

    i'm writing a book which is set on an island, where ocasionally people, things and creatures from many different dimentions, worlds, realities and so on appear. they are trying to create a society while also trying to adapt to laws of this dimention. on the island are also creatures from "failed dimentions", powerfull, crazy, and seemingly naturally impossible beings which bend reality around them, and i need a name for them that would be clear to all or almost all realities, so not based on religious, cultural or mythical texts, legends and so on.
    thanks a lot for suggestions, i have chosen the warped and i feel liks it really fits. thanks\

    21:09 UTC


    Would you read this?

    So, I’ve been wanting to write this book for so many years! I’ve finally taken the plunge and started writing it.

    I’ve had a few close friends read my first draft and so far they love it, which is great.

    However, I’m worried they are just biased because I am their friend and they are afraid to let me down gently.

    So I come to Reddit to ask any of you who can, would you read a book set in a fantasy world, with an abundance of prehistoric creatures, a stunning bit harsh landscape, a handful of mythical beasts and an unpredictable magic system?

    Thanks in advance 😘😘🦖🦕

    18:06 UTC


    Did I go too hard on this intro for my short story?

    A young girl, Fray, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Tourists had come through the mountains looking for the natural beauty and prosperity of Inreld. Merchants had come for the simple motivation of gold and goods, drinking in their spare time at the tavern down the road. Fray was in the town centre so she could get some meat for her mothers stew. Her father had just come back from the war, so she was trying to hurry so she wouldn’t miss any of his stories. The foreigners shivered and cursed under their steamy breaths. Fray was born in the ice. Up in Inreld, metal was an uncommon sight in public places, as one touch could lock you into a painful frostbite. The surrounding mountains, however, were even worse. Her father had sent letters of his journey through the peaks. He said all the men were praying to their gods, their tears making it not halfway down their cheeks before falling to the snow, solid. The ones that made it back say it never felt so good to see darkness. Some came back blind, but only after they had fought. The commander thought it would be a waste of meat to send them back, so they had to fight anyway.

    But among all the joy of the celebration, Fray stood deadfaced. Her eyes dried from the cold, a thin veil of snow coating her hair, undisturbed, for the host of their stay was still. She beheld a split sky before her, a grey solid mass bleeding a teal lightshow. The blue fire engulfed the fountain in front of her, sending masses of brick and shards of ice tumbling through the air. People ran, livestock ripped from the ground, raining red from the claw marks. Ice turned red. None of it mattered. She fell to her knees, the muffled screams of her friends and family being crushed beneath the stampede. Her eyes wandered down to her dress. Her mother made that dress. It had white ribbons and frills, so much time and patience. The flames nearly looked appealing next to the cloth. The heat climbed her like vines, whipping and feeding on her skin. She fell forward, the streets now empty, and, in her final moments, gazed down the cobbled streets past the merchants booths and the crowded fountain. Only this time, the only thing crowding around where the fountain used to be were corpses.

    17:58 UTC


    Thoughts on my novel's prologue?

    I posted a question on this subreddit a few days ago, and some of the replies have advised me to post a part of my novel here to receive some advice.

    Here it is:


    There were seven braziers, and three were lit. They stood on the top of a platform where an exhausting amount of steps led. Behind these braziers were rows of religious men. It was almost midday, and they wore simple robes with crudely made sashes shawled over their shoulders. Behind them were wide open doors, and from these doors emanated the woody scent of the Academy d’Ava. On the bottom of the steps was an army of men, but to the priests, they were less than men. They were of a beastly stature, and they towered over the priests with their immense size. A row of priests looked down to the ground and sang hymns. One priest stood at their forefront, and his gaze beamed forward while he looked down at the beasts.

    In front of them, there was an even larger figure. They held him as a hero, and whenever he walked past one of them, they thanked him for their freedom. He had an unyielding posture, for it looked as if someone threw a mountain at him that he would not budge from the ground he stood on. He had an aura of sorts, energy radiated from him, and it felt as if one was stronger in his presence. The air around him stung, but his men did not care for this. He climbed up the steps, alone, and made his way toward the door. The priest at the front halted him.

    "Enok, the monster of Yhourn himself..."

    The priest looked repulsed at the sight of the man.

    "...you may enter the Academy, barbarian." Said the priest.

    Two other Yhournish men walked up to follow him, but the priest put his hand up to halt their advance forward. Enok stared down at the priest, but he turned to his men behind him and waved them back. They gritted their teeth with annoyed fervor, but they listened to their god. He walked past the priest and walked alone to the large doors of the Academy. One of the rowed priests intercepted Enok, and he led the man inside the holy building.

    All the priests had blue sashes, but the priest in front had a silver sash. He stood out from the rest, and his glare contained enough scorn to make anyone wish to shut his or her eyes for good. He did not sing hymns like the other priests, he only stared and watched the people below. The large doors closed behind him, and the priests and barbarians stood in the courtyard of the Academy waiting.

    After a long while of waiting, the fourth brazier was lit, but Enok was still inside the Academy, and the barbarians down below grew restless. Muttering began spreading around in their army's ranks. They refused to sit down and rest, so they stood at attention for the entire duration. They did not wish to upset their god, but the amount of time that it was taking for a simple discussion manifested stress and concern in their hearts.

    The fifth brazier was lit, and now, the two men that were halted pounded their feet. They stared at the head priest with heavy disgust. They disliked his disdain, and they disliked how he looked at them as if they were nothing but dirt beneath their feet.

    "What is taking that bird fellow so long in there?" Yelled one of the two men.

    The priest with the silver sash ignored him and continued to stare down at the barbarians below. The frustrated barbarian argued with the soldiers around him. He looked as if he were insulted, but the majority of the other barbarians held their heads down and did not bring up a word. The man who was supposed to accompany him put his hands on his shoulders. They spoke a language that sounded so incredibly foreign that it stung the ears of the priest. The barbarian looked at the steps, and he slowly walked up to face the priest. The priest did not move, he was frail, but he did not care for the large stature of the barbarians before him. He was disgusted with them to such a high degree that he seemed to figure out how to look down at a man much larger than him, even when he stood inches away.

    The priest stood in the barbarian's shadow, and he puffed his chest out to the priest. The priest did not budge, and he returned the barbarian with a stare.

    "Let us in, priest."

    The priest looked up toward the barbarian. He stared into his eyes with a snarled lip, and he waved his hand to the side.

    "Barbarian, you are blocking my light. Move out of the way."

    The barbarian's face reddened and he pulled his blade out. The rows of priests stopped their hymns and stared at the barbarian with shock; however, the silver-sashed priest did not move. He stood without stress while the cold edge of the blade tickled his neck, and this only annoyed the barbarian even more.

    The barbarian's companion yelled to him in his language, and he beckoned for him to step down and cease his action. The barbarian refused, and he stood there looking at the priest. His eyes moved around, and he seemed to be in deep thought. It was as if he was actively trying to justify slitting the priest's throat right at that very moment.

    "The barbarian is speaking to the prophet at this moment. Alone. These were the terms agreed upon, and those terms will dictate how this meeting proceeds." The priest raised his hand with two fingers pointed up

    Lines of heavily armored men flooded into the courtyard. On their backs hung feathers, and in their hands were long pikes. They held the pikes up at their side, and they stood at ready, unmoving in their stance.

    "If you break these terms then it will be seen as an act of violence against the holiest of places, and we must defend our sacred site to the death. Or, rather, your death."

    "Gannok!" called the other barbarian.

    The words that followed were of their language. The priest on the front of the steps roughly understood that the other barbarian was calling for the one with the blade drawn to calm down and come back to his side. The barbarian stared at his companion down below, and his face returned to the priest with a snarl. The priest kept his chin high with a sardonic smile, and the barbarian put his blade away and slowly walked back down to his companions.

    The sixth brazier was lit. It had grown colder, and clouds had formed up above. The sun had almost set fully at this time, and small pockets in the crowd of foreign men have finally sat down to rest; however, the two in front kept those around them standing straight with an intimidating discipline. The pockets that did choose to rest sat down in a very specific manner. They all looked to the center of their cell and listened to a speaker standing dead in their middle. To the side of the speaker was a man who carried a banner, and each cell had a different banner. The two men in front carried Enok's banner, and the sigil on it was the pincer of a scorpion with the head of a Terukian, with their pointy ears and smug grins, impaled by the pincer's sharp point. Gannok's eyes stared through the priest and to the gates behind him. It was as if he was plotting how to reach through.

    "Priest! Tell us the nature of the meeting. Tell us why it must take them hours to finish."

    The priest stared down at them. It took him a moment for him to decide to answer them. He laughed to himself. He noticed the barbarian's angry eyes, so he sighed and cleared his throat to speak.

    "Barbarian! None of the priests up here were told of the nature of the meeting. Do not annoy me with ANY more emotional eruptions. You are sand-eating filth. Keep your words behind those untamed lips or I shall have them tamed for you."

    The words that followed were of their language. The priest on the front of the steps roughly understood that the other barbarian was calling for the one with the blade drawn to calm down and come back to his side. The barbarian stared at his companion down below, and his face returned to the priest with a snarl. The priest kept his chin high with a sardonic smile, and the barbarian put his blade away and slowly walked back down to his companions.

    The sixth brazier was lit. It had grown colder, and clouds had formed up above. The sun had almost set fully at this time, and small pockets in the crowd of foreign men have finally sat down to rest; however, the two in front kept those around them standing straight with an intimidating discipline. The pockets that did choose to rest sat down in a very specific manner. They all looked to the center of their cell and listened to a speaker standing dead in their middle. To the side of the speaker was a man who carried a banner, and each cell had a different banner. The two men in front carried Enok's banner, and the sigil on it was the pincer of a scorpion with the head of a Terukian, with their pointy ears and smug grins, impaled by the pincer's sharp point. Gannok's eyes stared through the priest and to the gates behind him. It was as if he was plotting how to reach through.

    "Priest! Tell us the nature of the meeting. Tell us why it must take them hours to finish."

    The priest stared down at them. It took him a moment for him to decide to answer them. He laughed to himself. He noticed the barbarian's angry eyes, so he sighed and cleared his throat to speak.

    "Barbarian! None of the priests up here were told of the nature of the meeting. Do not annoy me with ANY more emotional eruptions. You are sand-eating filth. Keep your words behind those untamed lips or I shall have them tamed for you."

    Gannok turned around to face the priest once more. "I will go in there and speak to my father myself-"

    "Do not be naive, brute. That is the holiest site in all of the world, and you think I will allow a second heathen within? You are perhaps the dumbest of all you sand munchers."

    "If I walk through those doors, and you choose to attack my people, all these priests that stand around you will die. You will die. Some of my men may die, but all of your men in their glittering steel armor will be killed. This site will be a graveyard, and this building will be the crypt where you put their bodies."

    "How poetic. I never knew an idiot could speak such colorful words."

    The priest raised two of his fingers, and the armored men took two steps forward. The priest grinned like a madman. His glassy eyes told the brute he did not care if violence were to break out, so Gannok returned Oswald a similar stare.

    A white streak of light illuminated the sky. It looked to be lightning, but it did not zig-zag around in a frantic manner. Everyone stood dumbfounded at the sight, and they looked around at one another as if they were trying to confirm the existence of what they had just seen. For a brief moment, the dark sky of the night was replaced with a light that blinded the eyes worse than the sun when it stood in the middle of the sky. It hit the Academy directly, and it drew the stares of all men, barbarians and priests, while it dominated the sky before them. They felt a rush of emotion that filled their body as if they stored love in their hearts or passion in their fists, and this emotion was ripped straight from them. It felt as if they saw a childhood pet killed in front of them. It felt as if they saw their mother or father pass away in their arms. It felt like loss. It felt like a void of obscure and painful nothingness. It was the longest moment those present had felt. Soon after the event, a deafening boom erupted from the Academy, and it sent a shockwave into

    the ground that shook the feet. It caused the barbarians to stumble, it led the pike-armed soldiers to break their formation, and it made the rowed priests scatter around while they tried to stop themselves from falling to the ground. Gannok stared at the priest, and his eyes stared at the sky above. The figure of a bird, rather a bird-like man, flew above and circled around the men in the courtyard below. Gannok clutched his dagger and sprinted toward the gates of the Academy.

    At this moment Oswald felt a sense of ease, and he whistled with his fingers once more. The soldiers ran toward the brutes and stuck their pikes forward ready to impale the beasts. The barbarians stood up and swung their cleavers and war scythes back at the soldiers. They ran up and hacked at the priests. It was a mess of blood and steel being thrown about, and many bodies have laid on the ground. Restan followed his brother into the Academy.

    Restan rushed in, and the priests that once stood lining the walls in prayer now laid on the ground slaughtered. They were impaled with candelabra and hung around dying. Their helpless bodies were scattered around the halls of the Academy. Restan had never seen his brother kill so many people so quickly before. It was as if something possessed him, and Restan felt a feeling of despair within him. He heard wailing deep inside the Academy. It was the wailing of a grown man. It was something Restan had never heard before. It was the sound of his brother crying.

    He ran around the corner and was met with a vast amount of books all lined in rows and columns stacked high to the ceiling. A pair of large gates were at the other side of the room, and he ran straight for them. He saw Gannok kneeling on the ground crying while he held the possessions of Enok in his arms. He locked eyes with his brother, and Restan's eyes were wide. It was like he could not open his eyes wide enough to comprehend the event. There was no sign of his father, and the feeling of loss and despair that he felt in the moment outside was again present in this room.

    Restan knelt to mourn his father, but Gannok stood up and turned around. His hands clasped around his blade and he fled the room with vengeful anger.

    For those who have read my prologue, thanks for your time!

    1 Comment
    15:44 UTC


    I need advice on writing for children and young adults

    I am a game designer and I've been working on a book for several years. The story is a parent-child drama with a young female protagonist and it is set in fantastical world of magic and mystery. The latest draft is done and I have sent it out to my friends for reading. As far as my character arcs and world building are concerned, the story has accomplished what I set out to do.

    However, I have had difficulty marketing the story, and my alpha readers told me the story does not appeal to my target demographic. I am no longer excited to read it myself, and now I am concerned that I have gone about writing it the wrong way. To use video games as an example, it's as if I made a side-scrolling beat-em-up when it might be better served as an open world RPG, or a first person puzzle game.

    The majority of the books I read are middle grade or YA fantasy written by women, as these are the stories I enjoy. However, I don't think my book appeals to these audiences. Therefore I am wondering what are some common characteristics of readers in this genre around that age that I can look to implement in my writing? I am considering a rewrite, not to pander to any particular trend or expectation, but to simply enhance the characteristics of what I already have.

    Advice is appreciated.

    14:02 UTC


    [In Progress] [43.7k] [YA Fantasy] Shattered: Book 1

    Hello everyone! I'm looking for beta readers or a critique partner for a novel I'm working on currently. It’s not completed yet, but what I have so far is the introduction into the series and I want to see how well it works with readers. This is my first official work although I've written other manuscripts before. This novel has gone through a lot of edits. I'm looking to iron out the final kinks in the story so far so I can fix any issues and get started on the rest of the story. My plan is to create a whole series so I would say think of this part as the introduction before the main story.


    With his village plagued by a deadly disease known as the white plague, Kazone Marlock, along with his cousin Karen and villager Rai, embark on a mission to find a cure. Immune to the disease themselves, they are sent by their village elders to find a cure to the untreatable disease. Their journey takes a supernatural turn when Kazone encounters a celestial apparition—a Taurus of the zodiac—who tasks him with retrieving magical and powerful shards scattered across the globe in exchange for healing his afflicted people.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, 15-year-old Eva Sauburn's life takes an unexpected turn when she is attacked by a rogue treasure hunter. Saved by her long-lost grandfather, Elric, Eva discovers her unique ability to destroy powerful and mysterious ancient shards. Learning of her fugitive terrorist father's involvement and convinced by her grandfather about the reasons to destroy the powerful shards Eva sets out on a journey with her grandfather to uncover the truth and confront the adversaries who seek the ancient shards.

    As Kazone and Eva along with their perspective comrades traverse a treacherous world, they encounter powerful allies and dangerous foes, including renowned monster hunters, corrupt officials, and enigmatic treasure seekers. Unbeknownst to them, the shadowy antagonist Stavick, driven by revolutionary ideas, seeks to collect the shards for his own purposes and has amassed a formidable following. The race to retrieve the shards becomes a high-stakes battle, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Amid conflicting emotions and the seductive allure of the shards, the protagonists must navigate their own personal struggles and confront the darkness within themselves. As their paths intertwine, Kazone, and Eva will face formidable challenges, testing their strength, resolve, and unwavering bonds. The journey will reveal hidden truths, shape their destinies, and determine the fate of their world.

    In this epic tale of adventure, danger, and self-discovery, the protagonists must overcome their pasts, confront their deepest fears, and ultimately choose between succumbing to the darkness or emerging as the heroes their world desperately needs.

    Feedback: I am looking for any type of feedback, positive, negative, constructive, anything that’ll help me craft a better story and become a better writer. Feedback on the plot, or character even motivations and goals literally anything and everything. If you have a thought at all please just let me know. I really appreciate harsh critiques so don’t think you're hurting my feelings or being offensive. Please ask any questions, let me know any comments or concerns. Swaps: I am really down for swaps, i would definitely love to read your work if you're interested in swapping. My story is a YA Fantasy novel, but I'm still down to read anything you have to offer. I'm free for the next few months so I have a lot of free time to read.

    For anyone interested, here is the first 10 pages: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WfXOD7gQS2hxaTxb2uPhbaO6joi404J8B6iXZaCSmNc/edit?usp=sharing

    1 Comment
    13:28 UTC


    Looking for C&C on a genderless character introduction.

    Hey all. I write small snipits, usually game and theme setting material. In a group I'm with now, there is an individual who has chosen to be a genderless character. I'm trying to reveal their origin to the group and in this setting the characters share their origins as memories. This person wanted me to write something for them and I'm having a bit of difficulty.

    Specifically I don't know how to write a genderless story. I think I have a decent starting point but I'm worried I'm overlooking something on that front.

    Additionally, with the added constraints in how I need to write this. I want to make sure the introduction sounds good by itself as well. I don't want to get too bogged down in the genderless writing aspect and make a weaker piece.

    Looking for any comments and critique related to what I've come up with. Hopefully about either the genderless language or the intro itself. But anything is welcome!

    They came across a sound. A soft scrape, as though the wind had shifted. The world was still. Every instinct told them danger was near and they needed to move. As silently as they could muster, they slid back into the shadows. In the stillness, they heard the scrape again, closer, as though shifting its focus to their new position. The towering hulks of trees formed a looming wall of observers in the small clearing. Breathlessly, endlessly, they waited. Just when they resigned to move, believing the sound was indeed the wind in the still night, they saw it. A flicker of movement, a slight coloration, and light. Soft at first but growing as it revealed itself. Standing before them was a stag, majestic in its existence and unapologetic for the nobility it conveyed. Stark white with moss covered points towering with its size into the overhead. As though they were merely a curiosity, it strolled forward. Each step conveying a silence and majesty unknown to them. As it reached where they hid, frozen in the gaze of the being before them, they remembered. A memory, fuzzy with age, yet powerful in conviction. A tale long of the forest. A way to inherit its will. Having the conviction of understanding they moved. Slowly and deliberately, they emerged to face it. As they stood, vulnerable in the light of it, it spoke. Not of words and language, but emotion and will. They felt its will, its pain, and its anger. Terrible anger filled with rage, pain, and loss. Images of sacrifice and mercy filled their existence. Then, as if a dream, the silence returned. With the message given, it took its leave. Unbothered and unhurried, it continued its travel through the trees as was its right. They understood. They understood who they were and what they must do.

    Thanks for giving this a read!

    13:26 UTC


    Weekly Open Thread

    Do you want to talk with the r/FantasyWriters community about an off-topic subject for the subreddit? If so, welcome to the weekly Open Thread! Here you may open discussions or ask questions unrelated to fantasy writing. Most topics lacking a home elsewhere on the subreddit can find one here.

    Subjects must be kept safe-for-work. Comments will be held to the standard of conduct we enforce elsewhere on the subreddit, those key tenets being:

    1. Be respectful.
    2. Don’t be rude or hostile.
    3. Don’t copy or plagiarize.

    It's possible that our automated bots may take down comments with links in the thread if they are unauthorized for the rest of the subreddit. Moderation will fix those instances if we see them occur.

    This post will stay pinned as a top post until a new Open Thread post replaces it next Monday. Enjoy!

    12:15 UTC


    Mythological/legendary creature that can only be defeated by a dragon

    Hi guys! I was wondering if there is a fantasy creature that can only be defeated by a dragon or views the dragon as its natural enemy.

    I want to put my characters in a pickle that forces them to employ the help of a dragon. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    11:23 UTC


    Looking for advice please

    Hi all, I want to write a story where the main character doesn't remember anything about anything or what it is or why it is there. Would you write something like that in first person or third person? Also any tips from you all who have written something similar, don't be shy! Cheers

    10:46 UTC


    Thoughts on this Chapter One opening paragraph?

    Please be honest and tell me if it's too description-heavy.

    "Time passed, as it always did, and daylight swallowed up the night's bellows. All remnants of blood and tears had vanished with the darkness, hidden in its soils and shadows. Beneath a hot, glazing red sun of midday, it was like night's whispers had suddenly been forgotten, ignored, avoided. Time was merciless in its ways."

    This would be following an action-packed prologue, so the pace is meant to be a little slower, but I don't want the reader bored, and know that my language may not be great.

    10:16 UTC



    So, I’m working on a story about fairies. What inspired me is I don’t really see a lot of media about fairies. I think the most popular are the fairly odd parents, Winx club, and the tinkerbell movies. So I decided to make my own.

    Here’s my idea of what I want fairies to be like.

    Fairies are tiny creatures with the ability to fly. There are different types of fairies. Different fairies have different abilities.

    Sky fairies: They live in mountains and control the weather.

    Flower fairies: They live in forests and can disguise themselves as flowers and control flowers.

    Luck fairies: They give blessings to the humans they think deserve them and watch over humans.

    Concealment fairies: They can grow to the size of a human, discard their wings, and summon them again. Some of them disguise themselves as humans.

    What do you think?

    10:08 UTC


    Which of these prologue ideas sounds the most interesting?

    1. A king is assassinated by a cult member who summons a creature from another dimension to sneak into his Palace and brutally kill him.
    2. A group of searchers track a man into a cave, where he is still talking despite having slit his throat hours ago. They realise that he has sacrificed himself to open gateways to this other dimension, and send immediate word to their king.
    3. A group of miners on a drink fest one night deep in the woods are attacked by a horrifying creature.

    Currently, I'm thinking number 2, just because it probably has the most relevance to the plot of the book, and I have a good opening line for it, too.

    Let me know!

    10:06 UTC


    Archaic words

    When reading lots of fantasy writers like Robert E Howard, Tolkien, Lord Dunsany, Mervyn Peake, Clark Ashton Smith, I feel like a lot of the fantasy feel comes from the use of archaic words. Anyone know of a good list of words to use, like a dictionary? and how important is writing using old language in getting the fantasy feel? I suppose you just pick up words and phrases by reading lots of old books. King James Bible etc.

    09:24 UTC


    What is your thoughts on fighting with weapons against like gods or powerful charathers and still hurt them.

    I always would like how do you have weapons strong enough to damage gods and hurt them but usually dont kill them by implaing them right away what are the things made of to hurt a god? And withstand a battle against gods like I always question that would you just fight with fists at that point?

    08:26 UTC


    Call of Duty: Eternal

    07:00 UTC


    A Magic being that can change genders, how would pregnancy work for them?

    I have two characters that have no specific gender and can change or switch between female and male gender without problem, how could I manage to have one of them pregnant and how would that look like?

    I had some ideas but none sound too good:

    • one of them has to stay in a female body until the baby is born.

    • the one carrying the baby will carry the baby even in male form. (They either have a baby bump always or only have it in their female form)

    • the baby is just born in a ritual or something (don’t like this one).

    • the baby is delivered in an egg.

    Anybody has better ideas or a better explanation? For the record, I would like the character to have a pregnancy experience.

    04:07 UTC

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