creative writing, fairy stories, fiction, short fiction

Thorne – Origin

Thorne is my Dungeons and Dragons character, as I will be, after a long period, playing again. I thought I would share what I’ve written, and also it will serve as a record of the game itself, which I am looking forward to. I’m into the things I like without shame and role playing games are incredible ways to interact with others. 

 

The mornings were my favourite time of day. Wine coloured skies and air so clean its taste is still fresh in my mind.

 

Lilandra, my wife rose with me and we broke fast. We lived without fear of the future, clothed in the promise of children together. She carried our child inside her, and each morning, my lips pressed against the curve of her stomach before my work took me to the woods.

 

My hunt took me all over, and sometimes it would be dusk before my return home. The hunt had been plentiful and my pockets were full with coins from the meat sold at Syngorn but it was dark before home fell into my vision.

 

Beneath the darkness came my doom.

 

Crinamorte.

 

A clan of vampires, and undead allies, travelling south and wreaking havoc along the way. At the time, such news had not reached our part of the world, but my education began with Lilandra’s screams from our home tree.

 

She was bound at the wrists and ankles, whilst they waited for my return. A pair, male and female, clad in ragged finery and teeth shining with blood. They moved, too fast to be seen and dashed me to the ground.

 

When my senses returned, Lilandra was drained of blood and one of them took a knife to her belly. She looked up, and there was a shred of something pink at the corner of her mouth.

 

My mind broke at that point. They left me, insensible and wounded and set fire to my house. As they left, between broken and bleeding lips, my question amused them.

 

‘Why?’

 

The male, with his bald, pale head smiled and cocked his head, revealing his dripping, sharp fangs.

 

‘You were home.’

 

They left me to the flames.

 

I crawled away and fell to the forest floor, watched my house and wife burn. I laid there for days, waiting to die until a pair of travellers gave me aid and healing. My burnt and broken flesh renewed, but my mind?

 

No, not all of it healed.

 

In Syngorn, my remaining time was set to the task of drinking myself to death. Someone heard my oft-repeated tale and took pity on a soul-sick wood elf, which was how Ulrich found me.

 

He hunted monsters, and the undead were his most hated foe. He listened to me, swathed in a fur cloak with a mastiff bitch at his feet whilst he poured me wine to keep me talking. When my story ended, he offered to take up my cause. In a moment of terrible clarity, I decided a revenge delegated was a revenge denied. I asked him to teach me his ways and he looked at me with disdain.

 

Two shots with a borrowed shortbow into a wine butt convinced him of my utility. He clapped my shoulder and laughed with surprise. His tutelage was unsparing and cruel but my rage and grief drove me to excel. My expertise as a hunter and woodsman put me in good stead to absorb his lessons.

 

My first kill was good but it did not ease the call for vengeance which howled in my bones. Vampires were powerful, and so Ulrich taught me the strategies to kill the undead. Before long, Ulrich’s eyes saw less and he walked slower than before. After a long night helping Grimm, his bitch mastiff give birth to a litter of puppies, he fell asleep and did not awake. All but one of the pups died, and Grimm never recovered, and so after burying them all, I returned to Syngorn.

 

I paid for information on the Crinamorte from the Sparrows. It was not good news, they had power and influence in addition to their undead curse. The undead were growing bolder, and now I had burdened myself with a debt to a guild of thieves.

 

A boat awaits, and the first opportunity to repay this debt. It will take resources and planning to take them down, allies too, if such can be found.  

 

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art, character, creative writing, fiction, inspiration, life, purpose, social media, Uncategorized, writing

To Live

Daryl rolled the pair of twenty-sided dice and looked up over the top of the cardboard screen.

‘It misses you.’

Leanne cheered and checked her character sheet before she picked up her pencil and pointed it at him.

‘I cast a fireball at the troll.’

She rolled, frowned.

‘I roll 60. Is that a hit?’

Daryl looked at the rows of tables he’d drawn onto the screen, reference tables of outcomes and percentages written in his neat, crabbed hand with a ballpoint pen and grinned at her.

‘Absolutely, your fireball crashes into the troll’s chest for – ‘ he checked the table again and gestured to her.’ roll for damage.’

Leanne checked her selection and grimaced. Beth plucked a handful of different sided dice from the pile she had set out and passed them in her upturned palm to Leanne who plucked out the two that she needed and rolled them. Her grin of triumph made Daryl’s cheeks burn and he asked her, in a tight voice, what the dice had shown.

’18 points of damage for the fireball.’

Daryl grinned and sat back in his chair, eager for the chance to be dramatic and bringing his hands level with his head.

‘Your fireball shoots from the end of your wand -‘

Pete snickers and that cracks the room up, which Daryl is annoyed by, but because Leanne is there, he pretends that it’s hilarious and lets them laugh before they lapse into a mutual silence.

‘And it explodes against the troll’s chest, sending it flying backwards with a roar of agony.’

He has a childhood of Tolkien and Rowling to fall back on, not much of one, but enough that he wrote down ideas and phrases into a ragged notebook and used them. All his anxiety around their worth dissolved as he looked into Leanne’s bright, blue eyes.

‘So, he’s dead, right?’Pete said from the corner of his mouth. Daryl loved Pete most of the time, but down here, Daryl is in charge and he found it difficult not to say anything but Pete loved the game, with his half-elf thief who had a cloak of invisibility and an innuendo for every situation, so he kept the volume down on his loud personality so that Daryl was free to help them tell this ongoing story of treasure and danger.

A world that offered a chance of victory and glory.

Daryl was about to answer, statistically Leanne’s fireball wouldn’t kill the troll, but he’s disregarding the tables for the hope that Leanne’s triumph would make him look attractive to her, when the alarm goes off, a harsh braying sound that shakes the bones in your skull. They all look around and dash to the corner of the basement where their survival suits are kept.

They were slick to the touch, necessary for the amount of filtration they gave off, and it took them all, despite the constant repetition, a few minutes to get them on over their clothes and to check that they are all sealed up and squared away. They shouldered rifles and walked up the stairs in perfect formation.

Daryl registered a touch on his shoulder, and through the lenses, saw Leanne giving him a thumbs up. He opened the hatch and they head up to the surface.

The sky was purple, raging with clouds that seethed and boil whilst a flock of the black, bone carrion birds circled overhead. They had a short, dangerous walk back to the bunker, but they never felt quite so alive as they did in the basement and the feeling stayed with them. Daryl straightened his shoulders and began to walk.

Every day was a fight for survival, scouting expeditions for materials and food and it was one of them that Daryl found the crate of role playing game manuals. He had suggested it to the others after the fuel rationing meant that they couldn’t hook up the VR system anymore. They were told, that with their training and the resources that were in place, they would survive the damage done to the world. Daryl, as he passed the manuals around, grinned at them and said that games like these were reasons to live.

They head home, but their hearts and minds are already anticipating when they will return to finish off the troll.

 

 

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