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Fan Fiction Release! [A Warrior's Instinct]

    • 273 posts
    March 11, 2016 7:04 PM PST

     

    1. A Warrior’s Instinct


          Gammy’s blue and green bangs clung to his glistening forehead when he was startled awake by a haunting memory, the muscles in his limbs failing to respond. As he lay there in a hazy, limbless, sleeplike paralysis he sensed a presence lurking above him, desperately clawing his mind, piercing through his emotions. Calming his breath, Gammy centered his thoughts to fight back against the attack. It was only then that he realized he hadn’t taken a breath since he awoke. He tried to gasp, but the paralysis had spread throughout his body, not even the muscles in his chest and face allowed him to react. Slipping back into the unconscious realm, he fought the shadows above him with the only psychic energy he could muster. A headache had begun to form near the back of his skull when he took his first agonal gasp. Focusing on the locus in his mind, he forced another, clearer gasp followed by a complete exhale. Slowly, his breathing returned and paced as he continued to focus all he could to subdue the invisible force strangling him. He celebrated for a moment when his arms swung out toward the entity in an uncontrolled, flailing swing that found no target. In a final grasp at reality, he managed a weak, grunting scream that jarred the demons grasp upon him.


             He sat at the edge of the bed for a moment, grasping for small bits of reality to assure himself he wasn’t still dreaming. He noticed the subtle scent of grimberries and pine hanging sweet upon the cool breeze seeping in through the window. A moonless sky peered at him. The headache traveled down the spine of his brain and extended to his frontal lobe now as he remembered the ale from earlier in the evening. “Ah,” he thought, “Wild’s End. Home, sweet home.” He spent several minutes trying to awake the final muscles that had not recovered yet. He took a large swig of water from his canteen to drown the cottony, dry saliva collecting on his tongue and spit it into a fern potted near his bed.


             He stood and leaned unsteadily against the weatherworn windowsill. The wolves were howling below as they pursued their prey, and the temperature had dropped about twenty degrees since he had fallen asleep. It was about three hours until the spring moon would rise just before the sun and be visible for only a couple of moments before it was blotted out. This morning it would be full, and there wasn’t a Halfling alive that didn’t know it. Born among nature, all Halflings were taught to observe, honor, and respect the power of the spring moon, because the pull of the moon at this time of year brought with it uncontrollable energy and emotions.


    Spring moon, quench my thirst
    Satiate primal instincts first
    Young and dumb dream of lust
    Old and wise turn to dust
    O, charged orb, light the day
    Calm and cool our feral ways



              Gammy snatched up a sprig of fern and rubbed it against his teeth, using the fibrous vein to floss in between each molar. The walkways of Sorhiryth were empty and silence owned the night, with the exception of a stray, haunting giggle from a drunken female Halfling who had stayed out late. Among the shadows below the torch lit burrows of town, a hint of rustling leaves piqued his curiosity. Gammy held his breath and paused his flossing in order to heighten his senses. Into the north wind, the scent of grimberries and pine competed with a new, milky odor like that of fresh blood. Chick, chick, shchack. Chick, chick, shchack. The pacing of the two clumsy steps put the humanoid a little under six feet tall and possibly dragging something. The tromping paused momentarily to muster an ultravision spell, and with an arcane silence it was off again.


              “Humans,” Gammy thought, “noisy, buffoons.”


              He dropped the sprig of fern, stretched his neck side to side, and took a deep quieting breath before stepping out to pursue. The torch lit walkways made his shadow dance all over the place as he rushed by each one. Like a panther, he strode along, dodging into each shadow he passed. Silently and quickly he descended to the lights edge below where he perched onto a fresh stump only to find the clumsy steps trudging away from the village faster than expected. He knew he would have to pick up the pace, so Gammy, ever nimble in combat but awkward in life, took to the trees. Above the immature layer, he tracked the intruder heading north toward the grovegrass.


              Brush and young trees rustled and swayed to make room for the intruder. Concealed by the dark night and silent limbs, Gammy pursued the stranger. Each time the intruder paused Gammy would stop abruptly, hold his breath, and find himself so stiff that he couldn’t maintain balance and be forced to shift position to remain undetected. Afraid to fall out of the trees, he dropped to the forest floor where moving silently would be harder, but safer. Lightly bounding through the herb layer using boulders, fallen trees, and beaten down patches, Gammy quickly gained ground on the intruder. The reckless pursuit ended quickly, though. Before he could react, his foot slipped off of a mossy fallen tree trunk announcing his presence with a flourish as he tumbled into the crispy leaves lining the forest bed. The rustling quickly turned toward his location with the scrape of unsheathing steel. Gammy scrambled up to his feet as abruptly as he had tumbled and bounded up the nearest tree trunk, clawing his way up along the deeply pitted tower oak bark.


               “Check the trees!” a slithery voice hissed through the night like gypsum against slate, “take it alive, but don’t let it alert the guard!”


               Gammy winced and shuddered as the voice scratched against the hairs on his neck. Confusion struck him as he realized there must be multiple hunters, and there was no indication that there was more than one intruder. “A well laid trap,” he thought. With a sense of defeat, he dropped out of the tree making a loud thud. In this moment, Gammy swallowed his fears and prepared for the coming battle. They wanted him alive so this was his advantage, they had trapped him, and that was theirs. He was outnumbered, out witted, and very dangerous. He would be forced to fight as if his life depended on it to maintain the upper hand in battle.


              As soon as the hunting party came into view, Gammy flicked his wrist and a spout of golden flame flared out from his clenched fist immediately forming into a thick short bladed sword of fluid flame. The flare lit up a twenty yard area around him and he glared into the faces of three figures closing in. One was the human, lifeless, dragging a blood soaked sack behind him. The second was an elven scout, her bow made a dark creak as she loaded it, waiting for the opportunity to strike. The third, another human, flickered around him in the shadows, his figure never allowing the light from Gammy’s fiery sword to land on him for more than a moment.


              The rogue drew near and Gammy went into defense mode. A graceful ballet of sparking embers and flashing steel ensued. The rogue swung toward Gammy, and, with a quick parry and counter left, he singed the right leg of the rogue, hoping it would slow him down enough to give him an edge. A blunted arrow sizzled past his head, and he fell to the ground and rolled toward the shooter to gain ground on her. Gammy rose and feigned another step towards the ranger as the rogue lunged forward to meet his blade against Gammy’s flame sword with a splash of embers. This pushed Gammy back another step, and, with a flashing riposte, the rogue’s kidney met his knee. With a smirk, Gammy paused a moment to admire his work when another arrow clipped Gammy’s neck enough to spin him around face to face with the enslaved human. The still, almost zombie-like human, dropped the bloody sack to the ground and continued to watch the battle with an empty, haunting gaze. In less than half a second, Gammy leapt toward the ranger with his burning sword poised for a deep thrust. High in the air above her, he could see the panic in her eyes as the speed of this battle caught her by surprise. His flaming sword plunged through her shoulder blade, and settled into her right lung, the marrow exploding into Gammy’s face. The ensuing shock would bring relief for the elf as Gammy twisted his wrist, and the sword grew deeper inside her chest until the sound of her heart sizzling through her throat drowned out her gurgles. Gammy ripped his now longer flaming sword out of the elf’s chest with an explosion of bone and marrow and gore and the fog of burning flesh hung heavy on the battlefield.


    Sleep elf,
    Our pointless lives
    End in hell.
    Breathe in the embers of vengeance
    And measure yourself against me
    When we rise again.

     

             To Gammy’s dismay, the rogue had once again melded with the shadows and was flickering around the battlefield, but not advancing. As he focused on the rogue, He failed to notice a diseased root burst through the ground and grab at his left leg. With a downward swing of his flaming weapon, the diseased root flared and crumbled away. The rogue advanced a step as the shadows closed in, and paused once again.


               “Yessss, this one is in his prime, and his grasp of Kiren’s gift is overwhelming,” the voice hissed across the battlefield, “remember that your life is inconsequential. Do…not…kill…him.”


              At that moment, his mind stirred with fear, and he had that crushing paralysis feeling again. He knew he had accepted his fate when he leapt from the tree, but now, in the middle of mortal combat he questioned his own convictions. It was as if he has met Molsth face to face and now he could not control his feelings of dread. He knew one thing at this moment, and that was that he needed to flee.
    Although it seemed like a lifetime, the mental struggle was over before it began and Gammy found himself flying through the underbrush as fast as he could, paying no attention to the dangers of the forest. With the hunting party in tow, he continued north along what appeared to be a deer trail around the rim of the forest. He could easily avoid the poorly hidden traps of the now dead Elven ranger even in his unsteady mental state. His breathing was becoming labored and forced, but the fear continued to pierce his mind and he could not stop running. Where he was running, he could not remember, he only knew he needed to get far away from the hunting party.


              The forest decayed the deeper he ran, and the noises from his foes grew quieter in the distance. The light from his gifted blade drew to an end as the fear finally started to break and the rush of battle waned. He sensed his strength fading from a shallow wound on his neck, and the bitter waft of poison finally reached his nose. Gammy knew the archer had dipped her arrow before she had shot her last, so he found a clump of neutralizing moss among the rot and jammed it into the wound before his consciousness could fade. The path wound around a steep cliff face that he did not recognize in this moonless patch of his homeland. Ahead, he could make out a cavern entrance he did not remember. He could at least try to find a hiding place before the poison took its toll.


              Downed, decaying trees marked his path into the cavern like a welcome mat in the night, and Gammy couldn’t help but feel uneasy as he scouted for safety. The cavern contained many horizontal layers of sedimentary rock and he could tell that they were very, very old. Older than terminus itself, he imagined. The empty corridors echoed with every footstep. Large cathedral-like rooms greeted him along his path the deeper he moved; every room dead long before the creation of the outside forest. Several cathedral-sized rooms into the corridor, Gammy fell to a knee holding his head and his breath trying to fight off the darkness slipping into his mind. No longer able to he crawled behind an elaborate stalagmite formation to let the poison overcome his mind. Lying in the darkness alone in the alien, decaying cavern, he sat and listened for the hunting party and heard nothing. Not a whisper, not a clink. The poison took its final toll and Gammy fell into a deep, comatose sleep.

     

     


    This post was edited by Larr at March 17, 2016 5:34 PM PDT
    • 528 posts
    March 17, 2016 4:07 PM PDT

    Sorry, but the link only takes me to the file dropper front page. I do not see your story there??

    • 273 posts
    March 17, 2016 5:26 PM PDT

    Thanks! I see that it has disappeared among the 1's and 0's of the internets.  I shall post it in text form then. a single chapter at a time. 

     

    • 273 posts
    March 17, 2016 5:37 PM PDT

    2. A Warrior’s End


                A brutal slap woke Gammy up from his coma. In front of him, the zombified slave was emptying his hunting satchel to reveal disemboweled body parts from some Wild’s End’s animal population. In his groggy, hazed state, Gammy thought he saw some Halfling tongues and appendages, but he was unsure. Another slap and Gammy clearly saw the face of the rogue attached to the hand. He tried to reach for the dagger hidden in his bootstrap, but the clang of metal chains against metal cage echoed in the now candlelit cavern. The rogue smiled and twisted his thumb deep into Gammy’s poisoned shoulder.


               “How do you like my new concoction?” he gloated, “I made it special so we could track you. It was…unexpected how you ended my ranger, though.” He twisted his thumb once again into Gammy’s wound, his cries echoing unnoticed through the cavern.


               “Enough,” an absent, whispered voice hissed, “the moon is soon to rise and we have much to prepare for.” The rogue smirked and began drawing in the dirt around Gammy’s feet. “Yes, master.”


              Gammy, waited for the master to make an appearance, but he heard no footsteps. A shadowy corner of the cavern began to flicker and draw larger, tendrils of darkness sprouting to life. Gammy strained his eyes to find the figure or the candle casting such an odd shadow, yet he could find none. As the entity overtook him, Gammy’s hair stood up on end and his skin tightened on his frame. He was overcome with angry and violent emotions, his rage bubbled from within and his fear and loathing swirled in his mind. He knew this feeling to be the mental attack of the wraith, but nothing could have prepared him for its intensity and paralytic effect.


              “Arrrgh, to hell with you, wraith,” Gammy’s restlessness emerged violently.


              “I am in hell, Halfling,” it hissed back, “but after tonight, you will be my conduit and I will be allowed to walk this damaged plane until your body crumbles.”

     
              Gammy held his breath and shut his eyes as the wraith passed through him. The rogue finished with his drawing, and started draining the carcasses of their blood into a pitcher and lying out the Halfling appendages in the newly formed Pentacle at his feet.


              “You will die when the moon rises, Halfling.” It continued,” at the moment your soul leaves your body, I will be there to replace it and resurrect myself within your form. Your knowledge of Kirin’s gift will stay with your body, and I will be able to draw from your ability to wield the flame, melding it with my own magic. I will destroy the Halflings from within and cleanse this wood of your filth. Once again the tower oaks will rise in darkness.”


              Twitterlark echoes trickled against the cavern walls signaling the coming of the sun, and the moon. Gammy struggled, watching the slave and rogue toil away while listening for any help that may come along. Time seemed to spiral quicker without incident. Gammy could see a small portion of the moonless sky from a small port seemingly drilled through the rocky ceiling. An amber haze was slowly blotting out the starry sky. “Pruthah..Tomus..Domaney..,” the wraith began to chant in an unfamiliar language. The rogue poured half of the blood pitcher into the grooves of the Pentacle, and, without warning, he forced the rest down Gammy’s throat. Gammy vomited and choked on the warm milky brew. The wraith continued to chant and tendrils of darkness began to encircle Gammy’s form slowly seeping through his skin, he could feel the wraith waiting to pounce.


              As the rogue placed his coldark blade against Gammy’s throat, Gammy looked up through the porthole in time to see the first sliver of the spring moon passing overhead, heavily blotted out by the dawning sun. The slice began at the poisoned wound at the base of his right clavicle and ran deep across his jugular ending at his left ear. He immediately felt the world slipping away. The full spring moon faded with his consciousness and the rising sun.

    This blade cuts an unfinished rope
    Beyond reach, beyond hope.
    Absolve me, absent deities
    Sin weighs heavy on trembling knees

     

              With the final drain of a blood gurgled breath, Gammy’s could only muster a final plea for forgiveness. As he died, salty streams of tears bled down both cheek, and he felt the pressure of darkness pushing his soul out with a force that could have only been perfected through several lifetimes of necromantic study.

    • 273 posts
    March 17, 2016 5:42 PM PDT

    3. A Warrior’s Tribunal


              The Cloudy tendrils swirled behind Gammy’s eyes and burned like an acid wash against his brain. As the pain climaxed and slowly faded along with the bitter taste of dying, he felt a rising sensation. The constant, hazy bath of dark fog twisted and drifted all around him. A dim light reflected through the fog leaving a gray, dense mass supporting him.


              “Gammy Wildwit,” a voice echoed in a soothing, high pitched, angelic whisper, “It is often in this moment that Halflings praise death and are happy to return to the earth to begin a new cycle. Why is it you are filled with remorse and regret?”


              Gammy could not define his existence in this sensationless void, conscious yet incorporeal. He simply existed. “Gabreth…” he said, “I did not live long enough to...” he stopped, unsure of this entities intentions.


              “It is true that all of the races have sinned during these dark, frail times,” the voice echoed, “but your pain and reverence exists beyond your own lifeline. Perhaps death would bring peace for you.”
    “I do not deserve such a gift,” Gammy responded, “I must continue to live with the regret and the loathing I have for myself. I never got the opportunity to look into his father’s eyes and tell him where his son is. I must…”


              “You find yourself in the void, outside of the grasp of time. I, as a Celestial, must remain silent in this age, but tonight, with the full spring moon rising with the sun, I happen to have the power to intervene if I find you worthy, Gammy Wildwit. So, tell me, mortal, why must you continue to martyr yourself?”


               Gammy paused, speechless, unsure if this was real or not. He tried to remain vague, but in this presence, he could not contain the dark confession that affected him so intensely. He sorrowfully began, “I was in training with the warriors’ guild. They sent me out to investigate reports of grave robbers when I first came across Gabreth. He was elbow deep in a casket when I rushed to arrest him. I must have surprised him because he panicked and made a final grasp at the riches, but end up with the entire rotted right arm and ran off.”

     
              A gasp of bemusement echoed in the void and this disturbed Gammy greatly. A moment passed in awkward silence. Once Gammy felt that he had proved his point, he cautiously continued. “My mind had been tainted by my studies of Halfling history, and I saw wraiths everywhere I looked. I had no reason to believe so, but I immediately suspected he was studying necromancy under the tutelage of a wraith. Our history, I believed, had been ignored by this Nothi grave robber, and I wanted to make an example of him. I did not want him dead; I wanted him to live unwell, scarred forever by his treason. Of course, I was completely mistaken. Gabreth was simply a young Nothi skirting the edges of morality.”


              “An undeserved, dark fate, indeed, warrior,” the voice intervened, “your view of your duty is poisoned by simplified history and youthful logic. I will consider your motives, as well as your stupidity in this matter. Please, continue.”


              “What I did to him when I caught him…I could never ...” He paused, “He had far more blood than had seemed possible. I spent days carving his flesh up through his protests and insistence that he was innocent. I had run out of healing herbs by the second day of torture, but a dark voice continued to whisper lies to me. I continued with the torture, and he died slowly; my mind too clouded to see his anguish and pain. I was glaring through his tears, into his eyes when he finally died. There was no wraith; there was no darkness or rot. There was only longing for death, and forgiveness. His final word was, simply, ‘Father…’ ”. Gammy paused, reflecting on the dying moment.


               “Looking around my torture chamber after he died, I realized that the carnage and pain I had caused him was far too unfair and unjust.”


              “Such strong emotions from you in this moment, remorse, embarrassment, anger, fear, sympathy” The deity interjected, “it is as if you had experienced your own death in that moment. It is not a coincidence that your death so closely resembles his. This, I must consider, too. Tell me of Gabreth’s father.”


              “Several weeks later, having quit my training with the warriors’ guild, I sought out penance with Gabreth’s father, an elder Halfling by the name of Codi. The family had spent the better part of a month looking for any traces of Gabreth, but turned up nothing. When I came face to face with him, I could not bear the pain I would cause him and also feared what may become of me. Instead, I slowly interjected myself into his family just picking up small jobs to provide for them and help around their house, but, of course, I could never confess. I always tried to treat Codi as a father, but he still watches the trees, silently hoping for the return of his long lost son. That was a decade ago, and Codi has long since given up on life. He spends most of his days muttering to himself in a small wooden rocker on the front porch. That family has endured so much, to break their heart would be to break their spirit of life.”


              “How do you think the family will react once they find out what you have done?” the voice questioned.


              “I have been such a coward,” Gammy replied. “It has been far too long to ask for mercy.”


              “Mercy is a cowards blessing. Vengeance is a blessing only the worthy deserves. Do you have the courage to face it and the strength to endure?”


              Upon that point, Gammy reflected. Considering the entire course of events and the awful decisions he made, he began to contemplate his true desire to face his past. Life meant pain he could not comprehend. Imprisoned, tortured, disfigured, outcast, and disappointment and rage in Codi’s eyes were only the beginning. What life could he lead? What possible fate awaits him? The crushing realization that he feared life more than death suddenly silenced him. He could not answer the celestial.


              “Your silence is damning, Gammy Wildwit. Your motivation for absolution is steeped in selfishness. You do not deserve divine intervention…” the celestial stopped,”… but, perhaps, Gabreth and his family does. They pay the price for your sins every day you spend with them. You are a diseased wound that continues to fester, and it is your own selfishness that keeps you in their lives.”


              Gammy looked deep inside and saw far more truth in these words than he wished to admit. His heart ached for this discussion to end before his full reflection could be manifested in this celestial mirror. He spoke no more.


               Satisfied that the message was being received, the voice began, “the first lesson I will teach you is this. To enable healing, you must first eradicate the disease. You will confess to Gabreth’s father. Look him in the eyes, see his pain, and accept his judgement. If you fail me in this penance, I will revoke my blessing and permanently return you to the moment of your death.”


              Gammy pictured Codi’s face, the rage burning deep behind his lifeless eyes watching the horizon.


              “You will live upon Terminus with the scar given to you upon your death, just as you were to leave Gabreth with his scars.”


              If he could cry in this void, Gammy would have teared up at the thought of Gabreth’s bloody, desecrated body.


              “You will also continue to seek out the true history of Terminus so that you may learn where the lines of good and evil are truly drawn. These lines have been forged in blood spilled by many generations, and I will not allow you to repeat your own sins. You will abandon your study as a warrior with the Esqaps. You will instead study to become my champion, and I will lead you on a journey that puts you in great peril and perhaps you will find freedom through your own spilled blood. You have knowledge in tactics and combat, this will serve you well. However, you remain incomplete until you learn to wield divine wisdom. You will travel to Thronefast, Su’Roa, and Khadassa and learn from their divine scholars. You must earn their trust to earn their knowledge, but never forget my first lesson, Gammy Wildwit, it will be your first true measure. Do you accept these terms?”


              Defeated and ashamed, a battle within Gammy raged. Just as Gabreth did, he longed for death and forgiveness. For Gammy, though, forgiveness could only be granted by accepting life. With a head-hanging tone and disgust permeating his oath, Gammy simply whispered, “I do.”

    • 273 posts
    March 17, 2016 5:46 PM PDT

    4. A Warrior’s Crusade


               It was an instant if it was a lifetime. The thrust of a divine dagger pierced into Gammy’s weakly, unbeating heart. The numb, empty, space turned the blueish-red blood of life and tingles and sharp pains struck deeply into his freshly opened mind. The voice faded with the blinding light of the sun piercing through the porthole and all he could make out was “...heal him…” Another earth shaking flash of the divine shook rocks free from the inner cavern and caused the wraith’s tentacles to retreat and stand fast against a heavily armored dwarf’s scalding pillar. Immediately over the dwarf’s left shoulder, a brilliantly glowing arrow lodged itself deep into the stunned creature, anchori ng it against the cavern wall. The milky flavors of death and the painful sight of life greeted Gammy’s return to consciousness.


              As gammy hung there against the sacrificial cage, another, more heavily armored dwarf came charging ahead with an ethereal bow fading in his right hand while reaching with both hands for two large, battering ram shields strapped to his back. With one swift grab and charging thrust, his shields like blessed stone walls cleared out the center of the room including the stealthy rogue who collapsed into a heap under the divine power of the charge. The crusader did not hesitate to celebrate, though, because their most dangerous foe commanded his attention.


               A screech; the zombified slave shuttered and dissipated under the sizzle of a dismiss summoning spell. The rogue, fighting through a broken leg and backbone, took off in a fearful sprint away from the battle, through the caverns, and escaped into the deep decaying forest. A grinning Archai appeared over the cleric’s right shoulder, “he’s dealing with some pretty intense emotions right now. I don’t think he’ll find his way back anytime soon,” he said, his evil grin getting wider.


               “Pat yerself on the back later, enchanter,” the cleric bellowed, “this is a wraith, goddammit!”


               The temperature swelled and burned black against the unholy cavern stone as the ancient, pinned, angered wraith struggled to free itself and ferociously defend against the crusader. With every lightning fast combo, the team feigned off each attack with war-like efficiency. The enchanter was perfectly and systematically timing his weakening and beneficial spells, while the cleric continued to sear his pillar deep into the wraith’s flanks preventing an uncontrolled escape. The agile and strong crusader slammed his dual shields heavily against the wraith; its shadowy claws burning against the holy guard as he frantically tried to penetrate his defenses for a single shot at his unblessed chest piece. Still, the well balanced team could only manage a stalemate against the ancient enemy and it was only a matter of time before they would be overwhelmed, rotting corpses.


               “This wraith is very old,” the Cleric shouted, “probably as old as Terminus. We need to get out of here, now!”


              A clump of roots expanded down the length of the chain supporting the cage and grasped at the shackles holding Gammy back, tearing apart the steel bolts with a clang as he dropped to the stone floor, unable to support his own weight. The cavern began to bend and distort, churning his blood filled stomach into a fountain of pain. Rock formations began to crumble at the edges of the distortion and the center of the room opened to reveal the dual arches at Havensong. A well-camouflaged Nothi druid hovering above him grabbed him by the collar and began to drag him towards the portal. He tried to struggle and claw away, but failed in the passion of his protest due the state he was in. Through the paralyzing fear, all he could do was imagine the portal collapsing on him while he was passing through, leaving his lower half behind. Gammy gulped in the last few drops of vomit flavored blood as was heaved through the portal first, followed by the druid, the enchanter, the cleric and finally the crusader; who had taken substantial damage in the moment just before feigning into the portal.


               The crusader fell to a knee, coughing up blood as the cleric tended to him. The stalwart arches cast their shadow upon the group, the shadow of life’s arch and death’s arch crossing over where Gammy lay.


    Fallen god
    Fallen. Upon
    Earth granting
    Life Renewed,
    Ossari sleeps.

     

              “Remind me again… what we were doing there, old friend,” the crusader looked over at Gammy.


              Satisfied that his friend was stable, the cleric turned his attention to Gammy. “Fate, Halfling, seems to be your friend today.” He inspected Gammy’s neck wound, grimacing as he pealed back dead layers of flesh. The light emanating from the cleric’s hand blinded and warmed Gammy before it calmed and burned deep into his bones. After the light and the pain waned, he felt at his neck and could feel the deep cavernous trench that now painted his body.


               “It’ll never fully heal,” Parthus echoed from a recent memory, “until you cleanse the disease.” Gammy could only muster a nod.


               It was then that the Nothi druid came over and sat down at Gammy’s side. “That was one hell of a mess, Gammy Wildwit,” she said grinning ear to ear. Gammy must have had a surprised look on his face that he was recognized because the druid let out a gleeful haunting laugh. “Yes,” she said, “I recognized you from your teachings at the Wellpond on the stories of our people. My name is Phana.” Phana held out her hand in introduction and Gammy cautiously took it.


              “Aaanyway…,” she continued, “my friends and I were enjoying our final night in Wild’s End before heading off to Skyhold when we saw ya sneaking out of town. I was concerned, ya know, since we Halflings need to watch out for each other. So I asked my boys here to watch my back, ya know. Well, they weren’t all too keen on it, see, until ol’ Parthus, divine mandate himself here started shouting out about the stars and the moon and fate and all that, until no one else had a choice in the matter.”


              She turned toward Parthus and grinned with a wink, “Thankies Parthus ‘ol boy.”


              She turned back. “We tracked ya until ya started rolling around in the leaves like a clumsy oaf. Then we heard the sounds of battle,” she finally paused. “That poor, poor elf.” She hung her head in mourning. Then she started up again, “We followed that hunting party around forever, until they finally gave up and returned home to that cavern where they found you fast asleep in their sacrificial chamber.” She laughed wickedly again at the amusement. “We couldn’t just charge in with that wraith capable of tearing us to shreds, ya know, so we had to wait until we had the element of surprise. We just didn’t think you’d die that fast. Once we got the chance, I mean,” she paused,” ya know, you were there for the rest.”


              “I don’t know…how to thank…thank you all…,” Gammy finally managed looking up at them all and then back to Phana, “thank you, Phana.”


              “Don’t let it go ta yer head now, Gammy,” Parthus grumbled, “Phana is a good druid, and she’s practically family; we couldn’t let her wander around the forest at night.” Phana’s cheeks filled up and her grin got large and joyful as she cozied up to the distracted Archai and tried unsuccessfully to make eye contact. She slumped her shoulders over and continued to smirk through a playful pout.


              “Parthus…How…am I not…dead?” Gammy choked out, “…it was…an eternity…I …heard…things”


              “Everyone has their own story to tell about post mortem consciousness.” Parthus explained, “Be careful what you believe, though.” He paused for a moment. “Well, you need some rest. Phana will send you home. If you ever find yerself in the Oldassan Citadel look up me and Czuk here,” he motioned to the crusader, “we love our ale, and a good story.”


              With that, the spire at Havensong began to compress and distort, and this time, Gammy could smell grimberries on the other side of the portal. “Oh…God,” he shivered and held his breath. Phana tossed Gammy’s weakened body through the portal home.


              Gammy rose alone near the Wellpond where he taught his history lessons. It was still early morning, and many had yet to rise. He snatched at a fern growing near the landing pad and clenched it between his teeth. Home was up in the oaks and to the north, and he could think of no better place for him than his own bed. With this thought came a deep burning slice shooting across his neck and he could feel the coldark steel ripping deep within. Unfortunately, he thought, he had an appointment today, and his first stop led south.


    Pursuant follower scorned.
    Grave sins adorned
    An Estate of unrest.
    No place for Gabreth.

    • 1016 posts
    April 26, 2016 11:10 AM PDT

    This was a fun read!  Nice job!

    • 273 posts
    May 5, 2016 1:20 PM PDT

    Thanks OX! its fun to dive into the lore to develop a character back story.

    • 75 posts
    June 29, 2016 1:58 PM PDT

    This is pretty awesome. So much detail and creativity

    • 273 posts
    July 10, 2016 1:09 PM PDT

    Thanks for reading Kobrashade! I am glad to get feedback

    • 323 posts
    September 27, 2016 5:38 PM PDT

    Makes me want to read more Larr. Thank you for your excellent story. I enjoyed the read.

    • 206 posts
    February 7, 2017 8:40 AM PST

    I'm properly impressed. Great technically as well as good plot, characterization, and pacing!

    Three thumbs up! (I borrowed one from my daughter for a few seconds :D ).

    • 156 posts
    February 7, 2017 3:29 PM PST

    nice story! dual shield weilding paladin huh?  The only thing I had a problem with was dismissing the skill of the ranger at the beginning.

    • 273 posts
    February 8, 2017 5:36 PM PST

    Thanks for the feedback! Im happy this story still gets read =). 

    @Amris Thanks for the compliments! Hope your daughters hand gets better soon! Super glue is great for reattaching thumbs.

    @Maximus yeah.. Dual shields were meant as a temporary fighting style; charge, defending, and CC. I am with most who think that beyond that it seems kinda.. shall we say, odd.  And excellent point about the ranger. I didn't see it until now. (you understand...[Insert dead ranger joke here]) Good feedback, and I think I may make it up to her in a future piece =).

     

     

    • 206 posts
    February 8, 2017 5:43 PM PST

    Oh, I used the superglue idea, but I'm not sure her forehead was really the right spot. By the time I caught her, though, the glue was almost dry, so what choice did I have?? :p

    Oh, and who doesn't pick on rangers? They got the most used Gate spell in the game...

    *ducks flying vegetables* Was it something I said??

    • 4419 posts
    February 9, 2017 10:06 AM PST

    Wow very nice!

    • 273 posts
    February 22, 2017 6:45 PM PST

    Gammy Wildwit

    This here was my character sketch for Gammy Wildwit. Just going through old screenshot folders =)

    • 3380 posts
    March 13, 2017 7:28 AM PDT

    Thank you for sharing!