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Chapter One
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject:  

Here we go. Let's just get right into it.

Chap. 1

Pain. Lots and lots of pain. First thing I remember. I woulda said it was a hangover, but it was worse, and all over. It was so intense that I couldn’t think straight. It just went on and on, for an eternity, like poison flowing through my veins, or fire burning my bones to ash. And it was always on, and had always been going on, and would always go on, and it was-

The pain stopped, replaced by a mere hangover, like an angry porcupine trying to get comfortable in my head.

The world was black. Then I remembered to open my eyes.
I was in a murky room, kneeling on cold stone. I saw strange markings on chalked into the ground around me. Where was I?

I looked up, scanning the room for familiar objects. The only light in the room was two rings of circles, one of seven, and one of thirteen. Other than that, the only light was the glowing purple eyes of the girl in front of me.

Her face was young, about twenty, but her eyes, her purple eyes, which glowed in the dark light, showed a much greater age. Those eyes had seen many things, things that would make a grown man weep. Those eyes were like purple wells; you could sink into them and never return.

“What is your name?”

The voice pierced my mind, quiet, but full of authority. It slashed through my thoughts like a cleaver through a child’s breath. I tore my eyes away from hers, and saw her for the first time. Her face was pale, untouched by sun and slim. Her hair, barely visible under the hood of her black cloak, was a black like a raven’s wing at midnight. One pale hand, decorated with jeweled bracelets, delicately held a staff.

It was a thing of nightmares. The head of the staff was a claw, black and shriveled, and it held what looked to be a diamond. But in the diamond…

In the diamond, was a writhing black thing, the essence of nightmare, like liquid falling from a spout, only… only alive. And moving, inside the diamond.

“I believe I asked what your name was. Would you like to tell me, or should I make you?”

Again, the voice cut through my mind, without remorse, or anger, simply a statement of intent. There was no malice in that voice. It made it all the worse to hear.

I stammered.

“Benjamin Metzger, ummm, ma’am”

Her eyes widened for a moment, and I heard a sharp hiss. Then, her eyes narrowed to slits.

“Do not fool with me, maggot. I do not know how you know that name, but do not deign to use it for you own. None outside the Shadowsworn and the Nightbringers know that name.” She waved her staff, and my feet rose off the ground. I felt like a giant hand was lifting me off the ground, and was squeezing.

I gasped out the first name that came to mind.

“Red October.”

The squeezing stopped, and I had time to contemplate my stupidity. Red October? That was the name of that movie. The Hunt for Red October. God. No one could really believe that as a name.

The woman planted her staff back on the ground, with a thud.

“Reddoc Tober. A curious name, but perhaps the right one this time.” She cocked her head. “Follow me. The Dark Lord doesn’t like to wait.”

She turned, her cloak flaring as she strode from the room.

I ran after her uncertainly. Reddoc Tober? I guess it would have to do. I’d gone by a lot of names before, in acting, and I guess this wasn’t that much different. Except that if he went out of character, he could get squeezed again. Most likely worse. And who was this Dark Lord? That was like, the oldest name in the books.

I followed the woman through dark double doors, inlaid with writing and runes, and down a strangely familiar corridor. It was black marble, with torches like raven claws and gargoyles standing guard at the corners. It was almost like… But no. That was the opposite. All white stone, with angels and… But it was exactly like the summoning scene. Except the reverse. Dark to light. And this time, something heeded the summons. I heeded the summons.

But in the screenplay, this was supposed to be a fortress of Light! Led by the powerful Lord Metzge…. All right, that had been a small conceit. Who could resist little things like that? But that man had been a force of light. If everything was flipped, then that must mean that he was the Dark Lord. But did that mean that the people besieging the castle were the Good guys?

But in the scripts, the castle survives. Also in the script, nothing got summoned. What would happen now?

The scales were weighing heavily on the Evil side right now.

I almost smashed into the woman as she halted before an even more massive portal.

It stood forty feet high, and was ten feet wide, made of some black metal. In the door, reflecting the eldritch light of the torches, shone a ghastly frieze, with horrific scenes depicting things better left unnamed.

The cloaked woman grabbed a knocker, a naked woman, her back arched so that her hands were bound to her feet in an intricate knot, an expression of pain and terror gracing her face. She was so lifelike that I could swear she took a tortured breath as the cloaked woman’s hand wrapped itself around her torso.

The knocker fell against the door once, twice, and I could swear that I heard a gasp underneath those echoing eerie knocks.

The portal boomed open.

The woman walked through.

I followed.

What I saw took my breath away.

A throne faced the door. Not really a throne. Throne is an understatement. If I called Hurricane Katrina a summer breeze an understatement, that’d be the general idea. The back ascended into unimaginable heights. It seemed to glow darkly with an inner light, that somehow made all the torches littering the room seem like pale shadows. The chair was not inlaid with jewels, or gemstones, rather it had places that shone like glass, and places that absorbed the light. There was no discernable pattern to the light and dark.

Sitting on that thrown was a massive figure, easily nine feet tall and three feet wide, encased in black armor. The armor gleams with a black light, absorbing all of the torchlight like the dark material of the throne, yet somehow still visible in every painstakingly intricate detail. Swirls scattered the armor, mystic symbols that could be seen, and perhaps read, but never remembered.

Others were in the room, figures that would have caused me to tremble in fear, to cower and to scream in terror, but all of their dread was as nothing compared to dark majesty of the figure before me.

I stood paralyzed in my horror, unable to move as I could feel its dark gaze upon me from the void beneath its helmet.

It spoke. I have said before that the woman’s voice cut through my mind. This was like that. Kind of. Except a hundred times worse. Or a thousand times worse. Every second was an infinity, and every moment it became more of a pressure on my mind, infinitely worse than the moment before it. I believe I would’ve fallen, if I hadn’t been stricken by that incapacitating glare.

“Is this the result of your summonings, DuskTreader? He does not look like he is up to this task.”

The woman, DuskTreader, stepped forward and spoke. Her voice had no effect on me now, compared to the power of her master.

“Yes. He is the result. He will destroy the Amaranth.”

I would have wondered, but I had no room for thought.

A silence, then that overpowering voice again.

“Leave. Now. All of you. DuskTreader and this new one shall remain.”

Sibilant hissings started, quickly silenced, and dark figures slowly left. From the corner of my eye I believe I saw that some did not use the door, but I do not know. My memory of that time is not quite complete.

As the massive doors boomed shut behind us, the Dark Lord made a gesture.

The armor became smoke, which drifted oily away into nothing. Under the armor….

If I hadn’t already been more terrified than I had ever been, if I hadn’t been paralyzed with fear already, I would have fainted at this point. As it was, it was simply a trickle in the face of a never-ending flood.

Underneath the armor, was me. Only evil. My blue eyes glittered with the arrogance of one who has never been questioned, my pale skin now glowing darkly, like all the rest of the room. My blonde hair was carefully placed, set in place.

Oh the price we pay for our small arrogances.

The voice came again, except now it was my voice, coming from that pale copy. It was worse.

“So this is our savior hmmmmm?”

My blue eyes roamed my frame critically, then saw my face. His eyes widened in surprise, much as DuskTreader’s had upon hearing my name. I saw her eyes now, widened, with her mouth gaping, her eyes darting back and forth between us.

My blue eyes narrowed, slowly darkening to an almost black.

“Do not deign to wear that face. It shall have to be changed.”

Then before I could act, he was in front of me, his hand growing and changing to become a black clawlike thing, a parody of what it had been, and before I could do more than blink, it slashed across the side of my face.

I collapsed then, the left side of my face on fire.

The Dark Lord gestured to DuskTreader, already scrambling towards me. She hauled me to my knees, and then did something I was unable to catch with my one eye. My left eye was blinded with blood. All I saw was a soft white glow, and the eye healed, the pain withdrawing. My hand moved to my face, feeling the scar that crept from my temple down over my eye, around my nose and skirting my mouth, ending at my chin.

I got up. The pain wasn’t as bad as that I had felt not too long ago, but that wasn’t now, that wasn’t here. And the pain was not completely drawn.

The pain did something miraculous. It focused my mind wonderfully. Terror was gone, banished.

When I looked up, the Dark Lord was back on his throne, his hand returned, a sneer on his face. I saw it was directed at DuskTreader.

He spoke again. “So, worm, you have been summoned to join the ShadowSworn. We have had trouble, and we find ourselves down one. You have kindly volunteered to join.”

He paused.

“Come Closer. We wish to inspect you in the light.” His sneer widened, and this time it was directed in my direction.

DuskTreader hesitantly spoke up, approaching the throne. “Lord, is it wise to make him one of the ShadowSworn? The wording of the summoning states only that he will bring down the Amaranth. I did not say that he would not bring you down as well.”

The man with my face calmly backhanded her, sending her skidding along the ground.

“Do you truly believe that this worm could defeat us? We could obliterate him without a thought. And even if he were a threat to us, the oaths would stop him. We have always said to keep your enemies close.”

She stood, her face blank, using a pale finger to wipe away a drop of blood welling at the corner of her mouth.

“So you are the one who will defeat the Amaranth? We shall enjoy seeing you try. And do you believe you can defeat us as well?” His blue stare burned into my skull. I shook my head mutely. “I thought not. So, worm, what is your name?”

I opened my mouth, but the DuskTreader beat me to it, perhaps worried that I would again claim Metzger. I wasn’t that stupid. I doubt I would’ve survived that.

“He says his name is Reddoc Tober, Lord.”

His gaze intensified.

“So, Reddoc Tober, what is your power? What… capabilities do you claim to have that make you able to defeat the Amaranth?”

It's a bit long, but I had a LOT of time.

Anyways, the DP is whether to actually tell him that he's a failure and doesn't have powers, or to make something up, and if so, what?
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Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 309
Location: Deep within the music of the night

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject:  


Heh heh... Redoc Tober... Great name.

Well... if Ben says he doesn't have any powers, it is highly unlikely that the DarkLord will believe him, and will possibly punish or torture him painfully.

So I'm all for that.

Tell him the truth- and if he gets hurt or something, he can always make something up after. But try to tell the truth first, being too confused to think of anything else.
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Kalanna Rai

Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject:  

Say he's faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound...

Sorry but as long as we're stealing from movies why not become Superman?
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Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 28

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject:  

Ho-kay, I thought I should post something while I'm here. It seems pretty good so far. The priestess part made me laugh :P Like I said before, you might want to draw the writing out a bit more, to avoid rushing the plot. As for the DP, I vote he make something up. The Dark Lord would dismiss him as useless if he doesn't, and then it might be a little trickier to figure out where to take the story from there, yes? Or maybe, even if he lies now, some actual power could materialize later. Or something...I don't know :oops: Anyway, good job so far, keep it up.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject:  

Get clever and make up some power that he'll never need to totally prove.

Like being able to see the future, but only when he wants to do it, or when the conditions are right for him to have a 'premonition' - and only when he 'knows' its going to happen.

Since this is all mixed up with films he'll have some idea of the plots - premonitions may actually come true by sheer fluke.

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Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 130
Location: The paranormal universes that comprise my mind

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:50 am    Post subject:  

Good job DeadMan, very intriguing. You had some wonderful allusions, and some very descriptive sequences. My applause.

Some suggestions, slow it down a little a bit. That's one thing many authors (including myself big time) have trouble with. We want to get to the good bits. Characterize Reddoc, the Dark Lord, and others a little more and the best way to do that is through more conversation.

Quote: The armor gleams with a black light, absorbing all of the torchlight like the dark material of the throne, yet somehow still visible in every painstakingly intricate detail.

Seeing the tense you are writing in, I'd change "gleam" to "gleamed."

As for the DP, I think he should make a fool out of himself by stumbling over his words and a search for his power, so he ends up with something totally ridiculous but is taken seriously.

Honestly, well done. I'm looking forward to more.
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject:  

Hmm.. it's hard to say what "Reddoc"'s powers might be.. seeing as this new universe he's fallen into is sort of hard to grasp. I would think that his powers would be the opposite of the Dark Lord's, since they seem to be sort of "shadows" of eachother based off movie plots and screenplays. Isn't the underdog always the one to come out on top? I'd play dumb, anyway, and say something true in the lines of "directing".. which the Dark Lord can take any way he likes.
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks everybody!

Scissorkitty, just mentioning it, (this is a good suggestion and i may use it), but even if he did have powers shadowing the dark lord's, he wouldn't know about them as of yet.

But an intriguing idea it is...

Anyways, since I'm putting up polls for my other sgames, and since this one has gotten so many responses, I might as well put one up for this one too.

EDIT: I have grouped Tav and Skitty's options together, simply because i felt like it. And because, in my mind, they are kind of similar.
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Black Hawk

Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 242
Location: On board my ship/ At the Inn

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject:  

Yay tie breaker voted for ridiculous as I don't want to put my faith in memory of the script
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject:  

Closing the Poll

And the winner is to be intentionally vague and possibly ridiculous.

which might be hard....

*ponders how to write said scenario*
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The White Blacksmith

Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:32 am    Post subject:  

This had a different name, once-upon-a-time. Almost didn't recognise it.
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject:  

sorry whitey.

BUt i thought i might get more readers if i changed the name.
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