Thorn - Introduction (a Winterwind exclusive)

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Thorn - Introduction (a Winterwind exclusive)

Post by Spider » Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:28 pm

I've had this story in my head for a few years now. A story I've wanted to get out real badly, but never gotten around to. I've started it once, but a computer crash took care of that (although to be honest, I hadn't gotten very far nor had I worked on it for a while). But today I recreated what was lost. Furthermore, in order to keep me inspired to continue this time, I'm posting it here. The plan is to write, and post, at least one chapter each week. I don't know if I can keep that up, but for the first time in a long time I'm inspired to write again so here's to hoping.

It's a fantasy story and it's going to be somewhat cliché at first, but hopefully people won't think that at the end, so keep with me (that is if you like my writing style).

Also, this is a rough edit. I haven't gone through it once so there may be some spelling or grammatical errors, but I hope not. Feedback is always welcome.

So without further ado, I am proud to introduce:

Thorn
- a tale of life, death and what comes after
(working title)

Introduction

I guess it all started 15 years ago. It was the end of what had been a wonderful summer day. It was one of those days when it's so hot outside that doing any form of work is almost unthinkable, yet not so hot that it becomes unbearable to just exist. Simply a day full of laziness and fun, a day as close to perfect as you can imagine.

At a small house far out on the countryside, a man, Regin, was sitting on the porch watching the sunset. Most days he would be hard at work, but this particular day he decided that even he deserved a break. He knew he was going to have to make up for it in the days to come, but right now it was all worth it. Inside he could hear his wife playing with their five year old son. If he listened carefully, he could even hear the sounds his newborn daughter sleeping. He was smiling, probably thinking about what a perfect moment it was. Too bad it couldn't last.

First he could hear them. There was a sound like that of faint thunder, but since there were no clouds in the sky that couldn't be it. Then he started to make out shapes at the horizon. At first he couldn't make out how many they were but soon he could see there were about a dozen of them and that they were heading in his direction. When he realized this he stood up used his hands to block the sun from his eyes in order to make out any details on the riders. He looked them for almost a minute then he quickly turned and ran inside.

”Taana, get the kids!" he called out to his wife. "They've found us. We have to leave now."

But it was too late, something they quickly realized. You can't outrun horses on foot, especially not when carrying children. They knew the only option left to them was to fight.They quickly barricaded the windows and prepared to take their stand. They were outnumbered, but if they stayed inside the house, at least they would have a chance. Mardek, their son, and Mella, their newborn daughter, were locked in the backroom while the parents brought out their weapons they'd kept hidden for so many years.

"I had hoped we'd never need these again," Taana said to her husband.
"We always knew there was a chance we'd be found," he answered. "We knew he would never forget."
"I know, I know. But after ten years I almost felt like we'd gotten away with it."
"We still might. We've faced worse than this," he said with a faint smile.

She looked at him, taking his hand in hers. "Whatever happens, remember that I love you, Regin."
"And I you, Taana," he answered and kissed her softly just as the horsemen rode up on the yard in front of their house.

There were twelve of them. Ten wearing light armor and a black uniform with a red insignia of a serpent and two that were very different. In the front of the group was a person in black plate armor, that had the same red insignia, with a huge sword hanging on the back. It was impossible to say if it was a man or a woman, since the face was completely hidden underneath the helmet that came with the armor. The other one seemed to be a woman that kept herself in the back of the group. If she was wearing any armor it was of the lighter kind but it was hard to tell since she was wearing a gray cloak with a hood that covered most of her face. She was armed with two short blades hanging by her sides. The rest of the group were armed with a spear, a shield and a sword each.

They had stopped a few meters in front of the house and paused for a little while. When it became apparent that no one was coming out, the one in plate armor spoke.

"We know you are in there. Come out and make this easier on yourselves."

The voice was booming and had a very cold edge to it. It seemed to be a man's voice but it was hard to tell for sure. The words were spoken without emotion, in a very calm and collected fashion. And yet the sound was chilling to the bones.

"Make it easier on you, you mean," Taana replied with a tone of defiance. "We won't give ourselves up so easily, Deathknight."

At this moment Mella, who had been an absolute sweetheart all day woke up and started screaming. Though who can blame her? Waking up to the sound of the Deathknight's voice would make anyone scared.

"We all know how this is going to end," the Deathknight said in the same calm fashion. "You are both fearsome fighters, but we have you outnumbered and outmatched. You will both die here today, the only question is how quickly and whether or not your children die with you."
"You bastard!" Taana was furious, Regin almost had to hold her back to keep her from rushing out to attack the Deathknight
"I thought threatening children was below even your kind," Regin said.
"Below my kind? I don't know if anything is. Regardless, it wasn't a threat. If you stay in there we have to get you out somehow. And since I value the men and women under my command higher than I do your children, setting fire to the house seems to be the easiest way. I have no preference either way, but maybe you do?"

Regin and his wife looked at each other and they knew that what the Deathknight was saying was true. Again, they were left without much choice.

"Teres is coming here tomorrow to help with that boulder," Regin said quietly to his wife. "He will take care of the children."

Taana was shaking with anger, her knuckles white from clutching the grip of her axe. She found herself unable to speak and nodded slowly.

"We're coming out," Regin said out loud. "Just leave the children be."
"If you do not resist then neither I nor those under my command will harm them," the Deathknight answered. "And you know I do not lie."

Regin opened the door and walked out. Taana, still shaking, followed him.They walked out to the yard in front of the Deathknight, who dismounted and unsheathed his heavy blade.

"On your knees please. And throw those weapons away."

Taana and Regin obeyed in silence. They knew what was to come, but took faith in the fact that at least their children would be safe. The Deathknight raised his hands, preparing to strike.

"Wait!" The hooded woman spoke with a voice that was almost a whisper. She dismounted and walked towards Regin and Taana while removing her hood. She revealed a very pale face and dark brown long hair. Tears were slowly rolling down her cheeks, but they were tears of blood. She looked at the couple with her head slightly tilted, then a wicked smile came on her lips.

"Do you really think the lord would let us leave any survivors? Even children?"
"He promised..." Taana screamed while pointing at the Deathknight.
"And Deathknights do not lie," the woman interrupted. "Neither he nor any of those under his command will harm your children. I, on the other hand, am not under his command and I have not made such a promise."

Her smile widened and she began walking towards the house. Taana, out of herself with anger started to raise to throw herself at the woman, but didn't even get on her feet. The Deathknight swung as soon as she began moving and decapitated both her and Regin in one stroke. The woman disappeared into the house, where Mella was still crying. Then after a little while everything became quiet. Dead quiet. The woman re-emerged from the house and sat up on her horse. She turned towards the Deathknight.

"Our lord will know of your intentions to let the children live. I don't think he will be pleased."
"I was only trying to keep those under my command safe," he replied. "My orders didn't mention the children."
"It's a good thing I came along then."

Then they rode off. If anyone had bothered to look back towards the house they were leaving, they would have seen a girl climbing out from her favorite hiding place under the porch. She was crying heavily and ran out to the dead couple in the yard, kneeling next to their headless bodies. That girl was me and I had just seen my family murdered. I was nine years old.
[b]Josan[/b] on the power of commas:
"I saw a comma slay a fiendish burglyronic embryo of drenella 5 once."

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Ewen Brown
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Post by Ewen Brown » Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:59 pm

Taana's knckles are missing a 'u' i think
decapacitated
decapitated and incapacitated rolled into one, the first i suppose it is

nice beginning, i liked it, everything starts out somewhat of a cliché, it's either that or being completely innovative so either no one understands anything or that it's overly ridiculous

just started and already there's twenty something years of events looming in the distance, looking forward to reading more
stupidity causes violence

[url=http://www.winterwind-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=3071#3071]Swedish Snow Glaciers and Fjords[/url]

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Post by Spider » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:23 pm

Correct on both counts. The spellchecker in the program I use clearly suck. How it missed knckles is beyond me.

The story will stay somewhat cliché for a while, it's supposed to. There will be a turning point which should be fairly obvious.
[b]Josan[/b] on the power of commas:
"I saw a comma slay a fiendish burglyronic embryo of drenella 5 once."

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Post by Joseph » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:19 pm

I've just skimmed it, haven't read in detail yet but I knew there was a reason we work together.

So... is this going on the site soon... or shall I do that while you to the tricky stuff with the forums??? :razz:

EDIT:

I've read it through now. I'll agree with Ewen's comments (and your own addmission) about being a tad cliche (but then what in the fantasy genre isn't?). I like the ending. Surprised me.

A couple points:

I think you can work the dialogue better, make it a tad more "real" if you know what I'm getting at.

A minor note: "But it was too late, something they quickly realized." In my mind at least, by using the word "something" it becomes two thoughts, two sentences. If you eliminate the word "something", the comma makes sense breaking up one sentence.

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Post by Spider » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:51 am

Valid points, which I will take into consideration. I'll have to think a little about the dialogue, that has never been my strength.

But I'll see what can be done.
[b]Josan[/b] on the power of commas:
"I saw a comma slay a fiendish burglyronic embryo of drenella 5 once."

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Post by Ewen Brown » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:00 am

mca wrote:Clichés are a powerful toolbox - and nice bait. One of our other writers at Obsidian, Brian Mitsoda (who's working on our next, currently unannounced project) summed it up the best - clichés are a great way to lure someone in and then turn the tables on them , and then start getting scared and no longer take anything for granted. This is why Brian Mitsoda scares me. And not just because he is tall.
found this somewhat relevant (ok, ok, i admit, i'm tragically bored, shoot me)
stupidity causes violence

[url=http://www.winterwind-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=3071#3071]Swedish Snow Glaciers and Fjords[/url]

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Post by Noober » Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:21 am

I thought the ending was good. I was thinking the parents were protagonists, then swoosh - decapitated :shock: Where did you get the name Regin from?
a day as close as perfect as you can imagine.
I think you're supposed to write "a day as close to perfect as you can imagine.
The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.

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Post by Spider » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:53 pm

Ewen Brown wrote:
mca wrote:Clichés are a powerful toolbox - and nice bait. One of our other writers at Obsidian, Brian Mitsoda (who's working on our next, currently unannounced project) summed it up the best - clichés are a great way to lure someone in and then turn the tables on them , and then start getting scared and no longer take anything for granted. This is why Brian Mitsoda scares me. And not just because he is tall.
found this somewhat relevant (ok, ok, i admit, i'm tragically bored, shoot me)
Actually very relevant. That is certainly the plan.
Noober wrote:I thought the ending was good. I was thinking the parents were protagonists, then swoosh - decapitated :shock: Where did you get the name Regin from?
It was made up. At leat I think so.
;)
a day as close as perfect as you can imagine.
I think you're supposed to write "a day as close to perfect as you can imagine.
Absolutely right. And fixed. Thank you.

For those wondering, I have written a little more, but my internet connection is down so in order to post I have to bring stuff to school, which I'll try and do next week.
[b]Josan[/b] on the power of commas:
"I saw a comma slay a fiendish burglyronic embryo of drenella 5 once."

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